Biceps tear at elbow
The biceps extends from the shoulder to the elbow and allows us to flex our elbow and shoulder. The bicep has strong tendons that attaches muscle to bones and in certain situations this can tear. Tears of the bicep tendon at the elbow are rare. Bicep tendon tears at the elbow can be partial or complete.
Causes of biceps tendon tears at the elbow
The cause of a bicep tendon tears at the elbow usually involve a sudden injury that exceeds the capacity of the bicep, this situation is more common in accidents, trauma and sports injuries. These injuries are also more common in individuals who are using nicotine, or corticosteroids as these affect tendon quality.
Symptoms of biceps tendon tears at the elbow
Once torn, you will still be able to flex your elbow due to other muscles picking up the slack, however you will not be able to supinate your elbow fully, palm up. Surgery is usually needed for people who need full function, however for those who don’t, surgery can be avoided and this is reasonable. Other common symptoms as our chiropractors and physiotherapists note are:
- Elbow pain
- Elbow swelling
- Visible bruising
- Weakness in supination
- Deformity with muscle bunching
Treatment of biceps tendon tears at the elbow
Surgery is needed to regain full recovery of strength and function. If surgery is needed , it should be done within 1-3 weeks post injury. However in people that are older, or the injury has occurred to their non-dominate arm, then non-surgical treatment is available. Nonsurgical treatment may also be an option for people at high risk of complication from surgery. Regards, chiropractic and physiotherapy treatments before or after surgery will be centred on two things. The first is reducing pain and the second is restoring function. Our chiropractors and physiotherapists at Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) will do this by advising on rest periods, mobility exercises, strengthening exercises and return to sport or occupation strategies.