Sports Injuries - Biceps Brachii Tendon Rupture
Biceps Brachii - Ruptures typically result from sudden trauma to the biceps brachii tendon
Biceps brachii tendon ruptures can occur from weight lifting or throwing sports but are generally uncommon, particularly in young athletes
Repetitive strain, particularly due to over-lifting, can lead to irritation and microscopic tears in the biceps brachii tendon, which connects the biceps brachii muscle to the scapula at the proximal end, and the radius and fascia of the forearm at the distal end.
A biceps brachii tendon rupture typically results from sudden trauma to the biceps brachii tendon. Injury at the proximal end of the tendon of the long head of biceps is most common.
Biceps brachii tendon ruptures can occur from weight lifting or throwing sports but are generally uncommon, particularly in young athletes.
In older individuals it is often the result of degenerative change or previous injury to the tendon.
Cause of injury
Weakness due to tears in the rotator cuff. Throwing activities. Weightlifting.
Signs and symptoms
Bulge in the upper arm. Inability to turn the palm upward. Sudden, sharp pain at the shoulder.
Tears may affect older individuals as a result of degenerative change or previous injury to the tendon.
Complications if left unattended
Generally, little functional loss accompanies rupture of a proximal biceps brachii tendon, as two tendinous attachments occur at the shoulder, one compensating the other in most cases.
For this reason, surgery is rarely required and complications are rare, though without proper healing, re-tearing and degeneration of the tendon are more likely.
Anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications to reduce pain. RICER regimen immediately following injury. Later heat to promote blood flow and healing.
Rehabilitation and prevention
Following rest and recovery of the tendon, flexibility and strengthening exercises should be undertaken to restore full mobility in the shoulder.
Avoidance of sudden lifting beyond normal capacity and violent loading to the biceps brachii tendon as during throwing sports may help prevent the injury.
Most biceps brachii tendon ruptures resolve without medical intervention if given proper time for healing. In younger athletes with demanding training schedules, surgery may be contemplated to repair the rupture.
Tears and ruptures to the distal end of the biceps brachii tendon at the elbow are more rare but can be more severe, requiring surgery. In both cases the prospects for full recovery are excellent.
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