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Biceps Tendon Tear

Bicep tears involve damage to proximal or distal tendons, causing pain and weakness. Treatment includes rest, medication, therapy, immobilization, and possibly surgery.
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What is a Bicep Tear/Torn Bicep?

A bicep tear, involving either the proximal or distal tendon, results in pain, weakness, and potential anatomical deformities. Proximal tears are more common and often caused by injury or overuse, while distal tears typically result from lifting heavy objects. Fellowship-trained and board-certified specialists diagnose and treat these injuries with customized plans.

Nonsurgical treatment options include rest, ice, pain and anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, immobilization, and bracing. In some cases, surgery may be recommended, involving a bicep tendon repair that reattaches the torn tendon to the bone using the latest techniques and instruments. Post-surgery, patients undergo physical therapy to regain strength and prevent future tears.


The bicep is a medium size muscle on the front of the arm. The bicep has two tendons. The proximal bicep tendon attaches to the shoulder. The distal bicep tendon attaches to the elbow. Both tendons can tear. Tears may be partial or complete.

  • Proximal bicep tendon tear. The proximal bicep tendon is the more commonly torn. The causes of a tear are injury (typically a fall on an outstretched hand) and overuse. A sudden, sharp pain immediately presents. A loud snap or pop may be heard. Bruising, tenderness, weakness, and a visible anatomical deformity present shortly after the injury.
  • Distal bicep tendon tear. Distal bicep tendon tears are uncommon. The cause of a tear is almost always lifting an object that is too heavy. An audible pop followed by severe pain occurs. Swelling, bruising, weakness, and a visible anatomic deformity are seen shortly after the injury.

Fellowship trained and board-certified specialists quickly diagnose bicep tendon tears so they can be treated as soon as possible. Customized treatment plans provide maximum symptom relief.

How is a Bicep Tear/Torn Bicep Treated?

Nonsurgical treatment options may be used to treat some bicep tendon tears. Treatment options include:

  • Rest and ice
  • Pain and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Immobilization
  • Bracing

Our specialists may recommend surgery in some cases. A bicep tendon repair attaches the torn tendon to the bone. Specialists use the latest bicep tendon repair surgical techniques and instruments.

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Patients deserve personalized, outcome-driven care provided by physicians who genuinely care about them. As medicine has become more corporate and transactional, OrthoNJ prioritizes exceptional doctor/patient relationships. This is why we say we have The Power to Put Patients First.

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Patients deserve personalized, outcome-driven care provided by physicians who genuinely care about them. As medicine has become more corporate and transactional, OrthoNJ prioritizes exceptional doctor/patient relationships. This is why we say we have The Power to Put Patients First.

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