Proximal Biceps Tendon Rupture

A proximal biceps tendon rupture is a tear of one of the tendons that attach the biceps muscle to the bone. When the biceps tendon is damaged, this can cause pain and weakness in the arm, making many daily activities difficult.

What You Need To Know About Proximal Biceps Tendon Ruptures

What is a Proximal Biceps Tendon Rupture?

A proximal biceps tendon rupture is a painful condition that occurs when one of the biceps tendons tears. When functioning properly, the upper end of the biceps muscle is divided into two separate sections called the long head and the short head. The long head passes over the head of the humerus (upper arm) and attaches to the glenoid (shoulder socket). The short head passes in front of the humerus and attaches to a bony protrusion, called the coracoid, on the shoulder blade.

When the tendons that connect the bicep muscles to the elbow and shoulder are ruptured, it can cause pain, weakness, and instability in the arm.

Start your proximal biceps tendon rupture recovery by scheduling an appointment with a Resurgens physician today.

What Causes a Proximal Biceps Tendon Rupture?

There are two prevalent causes of a proximal biceps tendon tear: overuse and injury. Direct trauma to the arm can rupture the biceps tendons. However, many proximal biceps tendon tears are a result of overuse. Repetitive motion and natural wear and tear are two major contributors to this condition.

If you live an active lifestyle or work in a profession where you have to lift heavy objects, you may be at higher risk for a proximal biceps tendon tear.

Proximal Biceps Tendon Rupture Symptoms

Biceps tendon rupture symptoms can be debilitating and can vary depending on which tendons are affected. People with proximal biceps tendon rupture may experience a lump on their upper arm as a result of their torn tendon being unable to tighten. This appearance has given proximal biceps tendon rupture the nickname "Popeye Muscle."

Other biceps tendon rupture symptoms may include:

  • Sudden sharp pain in the elbow or shoulder

  • Radiating pain in the upper arm

  • Popping sounds

  • Weakness

  • Limited range of motion

How is a Proximal Biceps Tendon Rupture Diagnosed?

To diagnose a proximal biceps tendon tear, your Resurgens physician will start by discussing your medical history and how the condition started. Then, they will perform a brief physical exam to check your pain levels and range of motion.

Your physician may order diagnostic imaging to rule out any other potential conditions. After reviewing your imaging, they will talk to you about proximal biceps tendon rupture treatment and start your path to recovery.

Proximal Biceps Tendon Rupture Treatment

There are many proximal biceps tendon rupture treatment options out there. While there are non-surgical and surgical treatments, some may be addressed with simple at-home methods.

Some proximal biceps tendon rupture treatments include:

<h3> Non-Surgical Treatment

Mild to moderate proximal biceps tendon tears often recover with simple non-surgical methods, such as:

<h3> Surgical Treatment

If the proximal biceps tendon tear is severe, it may need surgical intervention. Patients may opt for biceps tenodesis if they have suffered deformity in the arm. Biceps tenodesis surgery attaches the tendon to the bicipital groove, fixing the bulging appearance.

A proximal biceps tendon rupture can keep you from doing things you love. Start the road to recovery by scheduling an appointment with a Resurgens physician today!

Virtual After-Hours Access

Resurgens Orthopaedics has partnered with the HURT! app to offer FREE virtual after-hours access to orthopedic specialists right when you need it.

Receive immediate guidance on your injury!