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Bicep Tendon Injuries

Bicep tears can be related to a shoulder injury or an elbow injury.

There are a couple of varieties of a biceps tendon tear:

  • A partial tear is a tear that does not completely sever the tendon.

  • A complete tear will fully split the tendon into two separate pieces.

The tears can occur at the shoulder (proximal tears) or at the elbow (distal tears).


Symptoms associated with a torn biceps tendon include sudden, sharp upper arm pain-sometimes with a noticeable snap or popping sound. Cramping, bruising, pain and tenderness of the shoulder, biceps and elbow are common. In addition, it will most likely be difficult to turn the palm up or down.



Treating a torn biceps tendon non-surgically will include resting the arm that is injured and avoiding any heavy lifting or the activity that may have caused the injury (i.e. weight training). Applying cold packs and ice will help with swelling and overall pain. You can also take anti-inflammatory medications and non-steroid drugs for pain relief. We will consult with you on various at-home physical therapy exercises you can do in order to help with flexibility and strength.


Torn biceps tendon procedures are available to repair the injured tendon with minimal incisions using arthroscopic surgery. The goal of the surgery is to re-anchor the torn tendon back to the bone. Excellent results can be expected with full recovery in 3-4 months.

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