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Find out what causes a bicep tendon tear and how it can be treated
There are a number of causes of biceps tendon pain, one of which is a biceps tendon tear, but for expert assessment, diagnosis and advice on treatment from one of our highly-experienced orthopaedic Consultants, please contact us to book your appointment at a time that is convenient for you.
One of the most common reasons for biceps tendon pain is a tendon tear (sometimes also referred to as a biceps tendon rupture). Tendons connect muscle to bone, and a tear can cause pain and a reduction in movement of the affected area.
Types of injuries that may cause a tendon to tear include falling down onto an outstretched arm or lifting a heavy weight at an awkward or unusual angle. Depending on the severity of the injury, a biceps tear can be partial or complete; a complete tear meaning that the tendon has completely torn away from the bone.
A biceps tendon tear can occur at either your shoulder or elbow.
Your biceps muscle is attached to your shoulder by two tendons. The first of these, called the “long head” tendon, attaches the muscle to the top of your shoulder socket at what is called the glenoid cavity. The second of these, called the “short head” tendon attaches the muscle to a part of your shoulder blade (scapula) known as the coracoid process. It should be noted that a tear in the short head tendon is extremely uncommon.
While the biceps muscle attaches to your shoulder by two tendons, only one tendon attaches it to your elbow, the distal biceps tendon. A tear in this tendon is rare, although it may happen when an extremely heavy weight is lifted, or through specific injury.
There are many different causes of pain in the shoulder, upper arm and elbow, and it can be challenging to self-diagnose. That is why we always advise you book an appointment at a hospital nearest to you, to get an accurate diagnosis from a highly-experienced consultant, fast.
The most common symptom of a biceps tendon tear is a severe pain in the upper part of your arm, near either the elbow or shoulder. This may occur immediately after an unusual movement or strain has been put on your arm, such as moving a far heavier weight than usual (when moving furniture for example). You may also have:
However, there are times when surgery may be required to repair a torn tendon and/or reattach it to the bone, and this will depend upon the extent of the tear. Should surgery be necessary, this will be explained in detail by your Consultant and you will have the chance to ask them any questions you may have.
If you’ve been dealing with pain and/or less movement in your upper arm for a while, the last thing you want is to have to wait any longer for it to be treated. We have no waiting lists, meaning that you can be seen by one of our specialists promptly and receive any treatment you need without undue delay.