Distal Bicep Tendon Tear

Causes  |  Symptoms  |  Treatment Options

What Is a Distal Bicep Tendon Tear?

To help you better understand what a distal bicep tendon tear is, we must note that tendons are what connect muscles to bones, and biceps are the muscle on the front of one’s arm.

In a distal bicep tendon tear, the tendon attaching the biceps to the elbow is torn. These tears are usually the result of lifting heavy loads, especially if the tendon is already degenerated and weakened.

What Are the Symptoms of a Distal Bicep Tendon Tear?

When a distal bicep tendon tear first occurs, pain will be felt around the elbow and in the biceps. The biceps also become more prominent, especially when the elbow bends. This may lead to what is known as the “Popeye’s Sign”, where the bicep appears to bulge more than expected. Additionally, patient’s will notice that the strength of the elbow is also weakened.

What Are the Treatment Options Available for a Distal Bicep Tendon Tear?

The treatment options for a distal bicep tendon tear may vary based on the patient’s age. With older patients, doctors may recommend that the injury be left alone.

However, surgery is usually recommended in younger and more active patients because the associated weakness may impact both daily activities and sports.