Symptoms of distal biceps tendon tear

30 July 2014
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30 July 2014, Comments: 0

The distal biceps tendon is a durable band of connective tissue that connects the lower part of the bicep muscle in the superior arm to the bones in the elbow. If the elbow is straightened forcefully against resistance, it can cause the distal biceps tendon to partly or completely rupture. On the other hand, this type of injury is considered rare, affecting only a small percentage of individuals in a year. The individual who has this condition must seek immediate emergency care if this injury is suspected since it cannot heal on its own.


A tear on the distal biceps tendon basically frees the support of the biceps at a certain distance away the elbow. Once this happens, the muscle will likely withdraw and develop a large-sized mass in the superior arm. Additionally, the absence of the distal biceps tendon right after a rupture injury can lead to a small break to manifest under the skin at the front part of the elbow.

The skin that surrounds the front part of the elbow will look significantly inflamed or enlarged right after a tear on the distal biceps tendon. Even the small blood vessels under the skin surface can end up injured on an injury to the tendon occurs, which can lead to discoloration. The bruising can manifest around the affected elbow or even radiate up to the forearm. Always remember that the affected skin surface is usually tender or sore to the touch.

Distal biceps tendon tear

The skin that surrounds the front part of the elbow will look significantly inflamed or enlarged right after a tear on the distal biceps tendon.

Popping sound and pain

A tear can often cause a perceivable popping sound once the affected tendon tears away from the bone or muscle situated on the elbow. The abrupt and intense pain typically occurs at the site of the injury that can be unbearable for some individuals. Primarily, the sensation of pain on the front part of the elbow tends to be intense. Right after the injury was sustained, the elbow pain can steadily subside once there is no more tension on the torn tendon.


Once an individual experiences a tear on the distal biceps tendon, the biceps muscle is no longer held rigid and could not contract in a normal manner when the individual engages in physical activity. If the individual performs supination in which the forearm is held in a palm up position, it is very weak after this injury is sustained. It can also be difficult for the individual to bend his/her elbow. The feeling of weakness can drastically interfere with the daily activities of the individual such as reaching or picking up objects.

If a tendon tear is suspected, it is essential to consult a doctor right away. There are also first aid measures that you can perform to help minimize the pain. By enrolling in a first aid course, you will undergo first aid training so that you are prepared to handle similar injuries.

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