Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture Overview
Injuries to the elbow joint are relatively common, especially in the athletic population. The biceps tendon is one of the structures within the elbow joint that can easily become injured from blunt force trauma or an excessive load on the joint. One possible injury is a distal biceps tendon rupture. A distal biceps tear is characterized as either partial (does not completely sever the tendon) or complete (severs the tendon off the bone). When a tear occurs to this structure, individuals living in the Dallas, Frisco and Fort Worth, Texas communities can depend on the elbow specialists at Texas Sports Medicine to help return them to the game they love as quickly as possible.
What is a Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture?
The biceps muscle is located in the front portion of the upper arm and runs from the shoulder joint to the elbow joint. The muscle is attached to bones by two groups of tendons.
- Lower biceps tendon (distal)- Attaches the lower part of the biceps muscle to the elbow
- Upper biceps tendon (proximal)- Attaches the upper part of the biceps muscle to the shoulder
The distal biceps tendon (the lower tendon) can become injured from blunt force trauma or excessive loading, often leading to a partial or complete tear (rupture). In many cases, a distal biceps tear occurs in middle-aged men during a heavy weight training session or while lifting an extremely heavy object.
Distal biceps tendon ruptures are fairly uncommon, accounting for approximately 3% of all tendon tears.
Distal Biceps Tear Symptoms
Once the distal biceps tendon tears, symptoms appear immediately. Common symptoms include:
- Intense pain at the time of injury followed by throbbing and then milder pain
- A loud ‘pop’ at the time of injury
- Biceps swelling
- Biceps bruising
- Arm weakness
- Inability to bend elbow joint
- Muscle ‘bunching’ that changes the upper arm’s normal contour