How To Tell If You Ruptured Your Bicep Tendon

Need to know how to tell if you ruptured your bicep tendon? If you rupture your bicep tendon, you may hear a popping sound on your elbow or shoulder area and feel immediate and severe pain. Bicep muscles are connected to bones by fibrous tissue known as tendons. Bicep muscles and tendons can be temporarily or permanently damaged by injury. The overuse of tendons can lead to pain, restricted movement, weakness and fatigue. Bicep ruptures usually occur in the elderly due to degeneration of the tendon. Bodybuilders or weight lifters will frequently develop this problem from lifting heavy objects. If you can do less than four reps, then you run the risk of injuring yourself. Certain types of medications, such as corticosteroids, will weaken your tendons, causing you to eventually rupture your bicep. There are non-surgical and surgical treatments that will help repair your ruptured bicep tendon.

  1. If you've ruptured your bicep tendon completely, there will be significant swelling of the elbow. Your bicep muscle will ball up towards your shoulder, often called the “Popeye Muscle.” Purple and red bruising at the elbow will be visible.
  2. When you rupture your bicep tendon, there will be a gap where your muscle used to be. The tendon is similar to a rubber band; when snaps it becomes loose. You will feel weakening of the affected area. You will have difficulty trying to move your affected arm.
  3. The pain will subside after two or three weeks. Pain will last longer if you've injured your rotator cuff due to the bicep tendon being ruptured.
  4. Partial bicep tendon rupture is less obvious than a complete tear of the bicep tendon. If the pain is accompanied by the tightening of the bicep muscle or bending of your arm, you may have a partial tear.


American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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