Bicep tendon rupture is a condition that we see more commonly in middle-aged men. The bicep is the strongest flexor of the elbow and performs supination, which is a very important part of the hand function, helping to rotate the palm out of the hand. This injury usually occurs in males around the age of 45 and 50, where tendinosis or weakening of the tendon at the level of the attachment to the radial head has developed. However, biceps tendon rupture can also happen in younger males and females in an acute rupture.

The presentation of bicep tendon rupture is usually experienced with a ‘pop’ and a dull ache around the forearm and subsequent bruising around the elbow. The tendon recoils into the upper arm and creates the typical ‘Popeye’ appearance, with a large bicep mass in the upper arm and inability or weakness of flexion. Of note, it is still possible to bend the elbow, as there are multiple muscles that facilitate flexion of the elbow itself; however, supination is weak, and flexion of the elbow is painful in these cases.


The treatment for bicep tendon ruptures is usually surgical, as there is no real place for conservative treatment. The sooner the surgery is done, the better, as chronic or delayed repairs become more complex as the tendon retracts up into the arm and the tendon quality diminishes. Sometimes, grafting is needed to achieve tendon-to-bone fixation. Usually, the re-attachment of the bicep tendon to the bone is done via strong implants using special suturing material that goes through the tendon and then attaches to the radius through drill holes with buttons or interference screws. This surgery typically yields good results, and most patients return to their usual activities after a period of rehabilitation. After the surgery, caution must be taken to protect the repaired tendon with a sling or elbow splint and graded return to movement and function.


1Is a bicep tendon rupture serious?
A bicep tendon rupture is a prevalent type of injury that can be corrected by means of surgical repair.
2Can a bicep tendon rupture heal independently?
When the biceps tendon is torn from the bone, it cannot heal independently.
3Will a bicep tendon rupture take long to heal?
It can take over three months to heal.

Please read the above text for more in-depth information to help answer these questions. It's important to consult with our qualified healthcare professionals to ensure the appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan for your specific situation.