Biceps Tendon Repair Specialist

Kristofer J. Jones, MD -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Kristofer J. Jones, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine & Cartilage Restoration Specialist located in Westwood, Los Angeles, CA & Torrance, CA

Your biceps tendon is responsible for attaching your bicep to the bones at either end: the elbow and the shoulder. If you tear a biceps tendon, the bicep pulls away from the bone and can curl up inside your arm. That causes immediate pain and decreased strength in the arm. While some patients continue to function with a torn biceps tendon, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to limit the consequences. Contact Kristofer J. Jones, MD, in Los Angeles for thorough evaluation and treatment today.

Biceps Tendon Repair Q & A

What’s the difference between a partial and complete biceps tendon tear?

If you have a partial tear, you can assume the biceps tendon wasn’t completely severed when you injured it. If you have a complete tear, however, the tendon was cut into two separate pieces. Additionally, you can tear the tendon that attaches to the elbow or the tendon that attaches to the shoulder.

In most cases, though, the affected tendon attaches the muscle to the shoulder. That particular tendon is at a greater risk of injury simply in virtue of your anatomy.

What causes biceps tendon tears?

Most cases of biceps tendon tears are due to injuries like falling and landing on your outstretched arm or repetitive overuse.

Those at highest risk of biceps tendon tears include elderly citizens, people whose work requires frequent overhead activity, sports that require overuse of the shoulder, smoking, and certain medications called corticosteroids.

What are the signs and symptoms of a biceps tendon tear?

If you’re experiencing any of the following biceps tendon tear signs and symptoms, seek treatment from Dr. Jones right away:

  • Sudden, very sharp pain in your upper arm
  • A loud snap or pop at the time of injury
  • Cramping bicep after using your arm strenuously
  • Bruising that begins the center of your upper arm and extends to your elbow
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Tenderness and pain at the elbow or shoulder site
  • A bulge in your upper arm

Dr. Jones considers your signs and symptoms, his findings during a physical examination, and the results of imaging tests to diagnose this condition.

How are biceps tendon tears treated?

Patients experiencing a total rupture, or who need to regain their strength for work or sports, may require surgical treatment.

During such a procedure, Dr. Jones aims to repair the tendon through minuscule incisions whenever possible. Whether the procedure is minimally invasive or traditional, however, the outcome is usually positive.

Other patients -- particularly those who experienced a partial tear -- can completely recover with conservative treatment that includes ice, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, rest, and physical therapy.