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Biceps Repair Surgery

The biceps are the muscles in the upper, frontal portion of the arm between the shoulder and elbow. This muscle is the workhorse of the arm for performing many arm tasks, from throwing to lifting. Three tendons attach the biceps to bones in the shoulder and elbow – the proximal biceps tendons and the distal bicep tendon. Biceps ruptures or tears generally involve the tendons, not the muscles. If you have a ruptured biceps tendon, Jonathan L. Glashow, MD orthopedic surgery center performs biceps repair surgery at our Miami, FL, facility.

The biceps tendons include the two upper tendons that connect to the shoulder. There is a long-head tendon that connects to the top of the shoulder blade and a short head tendon that connects to the front of the shoulder. There is also one tendon at the bottom of the biceps that connects to the elbow. Most biceps tendon tears or ruptures are caused by either repetitive use or sudden overexertion. There is a higher risk of this type of shoulder injury in middle-aged individuals with age-related deterioration in the tendons.

Symptoms of Biceps Tendon Ruptures

Most biceps tendon tears at the elbow occur from heavy lifting strain while shoulder biceps tendons tend to rupture from repetitive injuries. Both can occur suddenly, but most likely the tendon had been deteriorating for some time before it finally frayed enough to tear. Symptoms of a biceps tendon rupture include:

  • A popping sensation near the shoulder or elbow
  • Pain near the shoulder or elbow
  • Bruising at the injury point
  • A bulging or change of bicep appearance (Popeye muscle)
  • Weakness in the upper arm or forearm

Elbow biceps tendon tears are more common – these may make it difficult to rotate the forearm to the “palm up” position. While the arm can still function without surgical repair, it is limited. If surgical repair is desired, it should be completed quickly after the injury.

In the shoulder, almost all biceps tendon ruptures involve the large head tendon. The bicep can still function using the small head, but it is weakened. Biceps tendon repairs in the shoulder can be completed through arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

If you have a suspected biceps tendon rupture, contact the office of Jonathan L. Glashow, MD. Call our Miami, FL office to schedule a consultation to discuss treatment options.

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