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Bicep Tendon Tear Treatment in Illinois

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Tendons are responsible for attaching muscle to bone. In the shoulder, various tendons work together, stabilizing joints and reinforcing the shoulder’s flexible structure. Among them, the bicep tendon connects the major arm muscle to bones in the shoulder. Through injury and overuse, this tendon can become torn, undermining shoulder strength and stability.

What Is a Bicep Tendon Tear at the Shoulder?

The shoulder’s ball and socket joint is comprised of the collarbone, shoulder blade, and upper arm bone. The bicep has two tendon attachments at the shoulder. The “long head” attaches just above the socket (glenoid) in the shoulder blade, while the “short head” connects to the coracoid process, a protrusion extending from the blade. The long head is more susceptible to damage because it passes through the shoulder joint. The short head is rarely torn; many people suffering long head injury can maintain shoulder function, relying on the single tendon connection. Surgery is required to restore full strength and range of motion.

Causes & Symptoms of a Bicep Tendon Tear

Athletic injury and prolonged use are common causes of shoulder pain. A bicep tendon tear may occur at the shoulder or elbow. It could result from a traumatic incident sustained participating in sports or develop over time during normal daily activities. Repetitive strain can lead to a partial tear, or the tendon may be completely severed. In some cases, a worn, fraying tendon may appear first, progressing to a partial tear until it eventually splits in two.

A torn bicep tendon at the shoulder may present these symptoms:

  • Sudden, sharp pain in the upper arm
  • An audible pop or snap
  • Cramping of biceps muscle with strenuous use of arm
  • Bruising from middle of upper arm down toward elbow
  • Pain or tenderness at shoulder and elbow
  • Weakness in shoulder and elbow
  • Difficulty turning arm palm up or palm down
  • Bulge in upper arm above elbow, with dent closer to shoulder

Get the treatment you need at Fox Valley Orthopedics. Contact us at (630) 584-1400.