Long Head of Biceps Rupture

Long Head Biceps Rupture

The biceps muscle splits into two tendons at the shoulder. The long tendon runs over the top of the humerus bone and can suffer a partial rupture causing pain at the front of the shoulder. This shoulder injury is more common in older athletes and can cause pain down the arm and swelling in the joint.

Symptoms

Symptoms include a sudden sharp pain at the front of the upper arm. There may be pain and swelling over the front of the shoulder joint. Contracting the biceps muscle against resistance is likely to be painful, certainly in the first couple of days and in particular for the long head of the biceps, lifting straight up forwards up above the head against resistance is likely to be painful.

Explained

The biceps muscle splits into two tendons at the shoulder. A long one and a short one. The long tendon runs over the top of the humerus bone (upper arm) and attaches to the top of the shoulder blade. A rupture of this tendon is rare in young athletes but more common in older ones.

Treatment

If the athlete suspects this injury they should apply ice and see a sports injury specialist or doctor as soon as possible. Rest and apply ice or cold therapy as emergency first aid.

A professional therapist will advise on treatment and rehabilitation. For severe or complete ruptures surgery may be required to repair the tendon.

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