Weakness, muscle fatigue, pain, and deformity can all happen with bicep tendon tears. A bicep tendon tear can happen at the shoulder or the elbow, making diagnosis and treatment a more complex issue. This is why it is so important to seek immediate help from the skilled, experienced orthopedic specialists at the OCC – Colorado Center of Orthopedic Excellence in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Whether the tear is in your shoulder or elbow, you can’t afford to let these injuries keep you from being able to function the way you need to.
A bicep tendon tear is a tear or break in the tendon that connects the biceps muscle in the upper arm to the shoulder or elbow. This type of tear can happen suddenly or gradually. For example, in many cases, torn biceps tendons begin by fraying. As the damage progresses, the tendon can completely tear. They can be either partial or complete: partial, where the tear doesn’t completely sever the tendon, or complete, where the tendon splits into two pieces. These tears commonly occur in the dominant arms of adults between the ages of 40 and 60. 90% of tears happen at the shoulder.
ABOUT THE BICEPS MUSCLE
The bicep muscle is well known to most people as the muscle that forms the shape of the anterior (front) surface of the upper arm and is often the prominent muscle for flexing the elbow. It is more prominent in males because muscle hypertrophy (bulk) is greater in a male’s anatomy due to the level of testosterone, but with the increase in the prevalence of weight training in females, the biceps tendon/muscle is easily visualized on the thinner and fitter women. Tendons are bands of fibrous tissues that have the property of being tough as well as flexible. Three tendons attach the bicep to the bone:
- The long head tendon attaches the bicep to the top of the shoulder socket
- The short head tendon attaches the bicep to a bump on the shoulder called the coracoid process
- The third tendon attaches the bicep to the radius, one of the forearms’ bones.
Any of these three tendons can tear.