Torn biceps often require surgery. Find out what you need to know.

INJURY
Bicep Tendon Tear – Elbow

ALSO KNOWN AS
Elbow tendon tear

ABOUT
The bicep tendons attached the bicep muscles to the bones in your shoulder and elbow. If the bicep is torn, you will loose strength in your arm and be unable to turn your arm from palm up to palm down. The tear can either be partial or complete.

COMMON INJURY
Bicep tendons are most typically torn because of a sudden injury. The injury usually occurs at the elbow, when it is forced straight against resistance.

DIAGNOSIS
Initially, the SMGOA physician will look for a gap in the tendon by feeling your elbow; as well as test the supination strength of the forearm by having you rotate your forearm against resistance. Additional tests, including x-rays and MRI may be considered.

NON SURGICAL TREATMENT
Most often surgical treatment is necessary, however for older or inactive patients, some nonsurgical options are available. Full arm function cannot be restored without surgical options.

SURGICAL TREATMENT
The distal biceps tendon is reattached to the forearm bone. Surgery should be completed within the first 2-3 weeks following injury.

Bicep Tendon Tear – Elbow
Image courtesy of AAOS