Bicep tendon injuries are typically related to a shoulder injury or an elbow injury. The bicep is a strong muscle that helps bend your elbow and rotate your forearm. It also helps to keep your shoulder stable and to elevate the upper arm. Dr. Eric S. Millstein is a top-ranked orthopedic surgeon, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of bicep tendon injuries. Contact Millstein Orthopedics, located in Century City, Los Angeles, California, to schedule an appointment.
The bicep consists of two heads that run from the area above your shoulder joint to the area below the elbow joint. Your bicep tendons attach the bicep muscle to bones in the shoulder and in the elbow.
Biceps tendon tears often occur with lifting extreme amounts of weight (deadlifting), with serious or constant overuse, from an injury that involved twisting your elbow/shoulder in an awkward position or from falling down on your outstretched arm. Bicep tendon injuries at the elbow most often occur when lifting a heavy object.
Symptoms of bicep tendon injuries include:
Bicep tendonitis, often referred to as bicipital tendonitis, rarely occurs on its own. Bicep tendonitis is more of a secondary condition that develops as a result of rotator cuff tendonitis or shoulder tendonitis. Bicep tendonitis is one of the bicep tendon injuries that affects the area where the bicep muscle meets the front of the shoulder. It is a very common condition among athletes and is usually ignored until it develops into a more severe condition.
Bicep tendonitis can develop as a result of:
There are many different warning signs and symptoms that show development of bicep tendonitis:
A sometimes-noticeable popping sound when you move the shoulder or arm.
Bicep tendonitis is slow to develop and some patients may only have slight discomfort in the early stages. The pain may only occur during and after certain exercises. However, if continued use occurs and symptoms continue, bicep tendonitis can spread over a much larger area and become a much more problematic condition to treat.
If not treated, bicep tendonitis can turn into a larger problem. The bicep tendon attaches the bicep muscle to bones in the elbow and in the shoulder. The bicep tendon can rupture at the shoulder, resulting in either a partial or complete tear.
Bicep tendon tears at the shoulder are also likely to a result from heavy overhead lifting, repetitive overuse of the shoulder in sports like swimming or tennis, and old age.
Symptoms of a bicep tendon rupture at the shoulder include: