Biceps Tears

What is a Biceps Tear

Biceps, also called the biceps brachii is the muscle at the front of the upper arm which enables a person to bend their elbow and twist their forearm. The Biceps muscle is made up of two muscle bundles: long head and short head which attach the Biceps to the Scapula bone of the shoulder. A third tendon attaches it to the Radius bone in the elbow.

A Biceps tear is a medical condition in which one of the three biceps tendons are partially or completely torn from the bone because of an injury or pathological condition. An associated problem is Biceps Tendonitis, a condition caused by normal wear and tear, which causes micro tears and inflammation in the Biceps tendon long head.

Biceps Tear Symptoms

What happens when you tear your Biceps? A biceps tendon injury may cause the following problems:

  • A tearing sensation at the time of injury
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain in the affected area and the whole arm
  • Weakness in the arm
  • Difficulty in bending elbow and turning the wrist
  • A biceps tear in shoulder rotator cuff is caused by long head biceps tear and it can cause shoulder pain.
A 'sholder joint' illustration model


Torn Biceps tendon treatment depends on the severity of the tear; a Biceps tear is graded 1-3. A Biceps tear test or a Biceps tendon test is performed to diagnose the severity of the condition after which surgical or nonsurgical treatment is prescribed.

Non-Surgical Treatments

  1. Rest: Overuse injuries and tendonitis can be resolved by resting the arm, limited use of the muscle gives it time to heal naturally.
  2. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce pain and inflammation
  3. Physical Therapy: biceps exercises can encourage natural healing and recovery of the muscle

Biceps Tear Surgery

Surgery is prescribed if the biceps tear is of grade 3 or conservative treatments for grade 1 & 2 tears fail to provide relief. Most surgeons recommend surgery as the first treatment for Biceps tendon elbow tears, also called the partial distal biceps tendon tear. With surgery, the torn tendon is reattached to the bone.

Partial biceps tendon tear recovery time is determined to be 2-3 months after surgery whereas complete recovery for a full biceps tendon tear could take up to a year.

Complete Medical Wellness (CMW) provides reliable Biceps tear surgery in NJ. Our state-of-the-art medical facility is ideal for accurate bicep tendon test in NJ.

Read more about Distal biceps tendon repair and Biceps tenodesis here.

Take charge of your health, call us today for effective treatment options.