Bicep tendon repair is needed when the tendons attaching the bicep muscle to the arm are torn. The tendons can tear at the shoulder or the elbow. When the tear occurs at the shoulder, other parts of the shoulder can be damaged including the rotator cuff tendons.
Often referred to as a bicep tear, this condition is most commonly associated with weight lifters, but can also occur as a result of injury from falling hard on an outstretched arm or lifting something too heavy. The tendons may also just wear out and fray over time due to age or repetitive overhead sports including swimming and tennis.
Biceps tendon tears can be either partial or complete.
Partial tears do not completely sever the tendon. Complete tears split the tendon into two pieces.
Diagnostic procedures may include the following:
an immediate sharp pain in the bicep near your elbow, followed by bicep muscle weakness, stiffness and bruising
an audible snap or pop
sudden loss of arm function, difficulty in turning the palm up or down
a bulge on the bicep
surgery - Several new procedures have been developed that repair the tendon with minimal incisions. The goal of the surgery is to re-anchor the torn tendon back to the bone at the shoulder or elbow. Sometimes the tendon is attached with stitches through holes drilled in the bone. Other times, small metal implants are used to attach the tendon to the bone.
Physical Therapy is a critical part of complete recovery. Our doctors recommend DMC's Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, with 30 convenient locations across southeastern Michigan. To find one near you, click here.