Treating a Torn Bicep Tendon

If you have a bicep tendon tear it can be a very painful surprise. A tendon tear can happen suddenly while you are lifting something heavy, or it can happen suddenly one day after years of playing a sport. However a bicep tendon tear happens, you should get help as soon as you can if you notice sudden pain in your arm.

How do tears happen in bicep tendons?

The bicep is the muscle in the front of the upper arm. It is connected to the elbow with one tendon and to the shoulder with two tendons. Tears can happen in either location, and they can be partial or complete tears. In a complete tear, the tendon tears away from the bone.

Athletes who use their shoulders repetitively, such as pitchers, weight lifters, and swimmers, are at increased risk for bicep tendon tears. However, the injury can happen to anyone – the risk of tendon tearing increases as we age, and it can happen even if you do something as simple as fall and land hard on your outstretched hand.

How do I know if I have a torn bicep tendon?

You may hear a popping sound as the tendon tears, and you may notice a bulge in your upper arm as the bicep moves out of place. There may be swelling or bruising, sudden and severe pain in the elbow or the upper part of the arm, and difficulty turning your arm.

How is a torn bicep tendon treated?

How your torn bicep is treated depends on how serious the tear is and if another part of your arm is damaged, such as the rotator cuff. It may be as simple as taking time to rest and recover and using over-the-counter pain medication. Physical therapy may be recommended. In very serious cases, you may need surgery.

A torn bicep tendon will not heal on its own – that’s why it is so important to see your doctor as soon as you can if you are in pain. Contact Specialty Orthopaedics in Harrison, New York, if your arm (or any other part of your body!) is in pain. Call 914-686-0111 for an appointment today!

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