The main role of the tendon of the bicep is to attach the bicep muscle to the shoulder and elbow of the arm and to allow for extension and rotation of the limb.
When this tendon ruptures, a sudden popping noise is heard which is followed by a sudden sharp pain and swelling over the affected area.
Both of these injuries can occur as partial or complete tears and the way they are treated will depend on the severity of the damage to the tissue.
There are three main causes for the development of a bicep tendon tear and they include:
Specific weightlifting techniques such as deadlifts and curls can increase the risk of a bicep tendon tear, especially if they are not performed correctly.
Excessive weight and physical overexertion when performing sets of curls is the most common cause of bicep tendon tears.
Bicep tendon ruptures can be managed conservatively together with physical rehabilitation and include the following measures:
If conservative measures are ineffective, or if the injury is severe enough, surgical intervention may be considered to manage the ruptured bicep tendon. The injured tendon can be repaired through key-hole surgery (arthroscopy) where slender instruments and a camera are inserted through small incisions in the skin to perform the procedure.
Physical rehabilitation is then performed after surgery to improve the range of motion of the patient and this can last for six to eight weeks. The therapy involves passive and active stretching as well as muscle strengthening exercises.
When deciding on the best therapy for a patient with a ruptured bicep tendon, it is always important to consider the individual needs and circumstances of the individual together with the severity of the injury.
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