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Bicep Tear

Bicep Tear

Bicep tear occurs when the tendon is injured, which causes it to detach from the bone. This HealthHearty article lists the symptoms of this condition, followed by treatment options.
Medha Godbole
Biceps are a set of muscles located on the upper arms. In medical and anatomical terms, it is referred to as biceps brachii muscle. It helps in the rotation of the forearm and flexing the elbow. It comprises 2 bundles of muscles, each having its own origin. Any injury to this tendon can impair the movement of the bicep. However, injuries to this region are known to be quite rare.

  • Sharp and sudden pain in the upper arm
  • Cramping while moving the arm
  • A marked 'pop' or 'snap' in the affected area
  • Bruising on the central portion of the upper arm towards the elbow
  • Tenderness in the arm
  • Inability to rotate the arm
  • A bulge in the upper arm above the elbow

The treatment for a bicep tear depends upon the intensity and the cause of the injury. There are 2 types of bicep tears―partial and complete. In a partial tear, the tendon is not completely damaged. In case of a complete tear, the tendon is splint into two. The head of the bicep tendon is more vulnerable to injury, as it travels to the attachment point in the socket through the shoulder joint. An injury or an overuse can lead to a tear in the bicep tendon. For instance, falling hard on an outstretched arm or trying to lift something too heavy can cause a rupture in the tendon. Or it can occur over a period due to weakening of tendons.


Some people choose the option of resting the arm completely, so as to allow the injury to heal naturally. Mild arm weakness or deformity is not a matter of concern for a few people. If the rotator cuff has not been injured then an ice pack, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, or pain killers, along with adequate rest would be effective in dealing with torn tendon. Further, physical therapy can help strengthen the shoulder and restore its movement.

Surgery is the only viable option to those who have suffered from a grave injury. Those who desire a total recovery of the tendon in terms of strength and mobility in a shorter duration can opt for a surgical procedure. For those suffering from a partial tear, surgery can be a good option, in case the non surgical treatment hasn't worked well. Re-anchoring the tendon back to the bone is the main aim of such a surgery. The chosen course of treatment and severity of the injury would determine the recovery time.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.