Bicep Tendon Tear

Overview

Tendons are strong bands of tissue that connect muscle to bone. With this injury, one of the tendons anchoring your biceps muscle is torn. It may be torn partially or completely. Because the biceps is attached with two separate tendons, you may find that you can still use your biceps muscle even if one tendon is completely torn.

Causes

You can tear a biceps tendon if you fall and try to catch yourself. You can tear a tendon if you try to lift something heavy. And, a tear can happen over time if you overuse your tendon and it becomes frayed and damaged.

Symptoms

A biceps tendon tear can cause a sudden, sharp pain in your upper arm. If the tendon tears completely, you may hear it pop when it happens. Your arm and shoulder may feel weak and tender. Your muscle may cramp, and it may bulge. Your arm may bruise. And, you may have trouble turning your palm face up or face down.

Treatment

Treatment options may include rest, ice, medications and therapy. You may need surgery to repair the tendon.