Your biceps do more than just swell when you flex them! In fact, you rely on these muscles, found in the front of your upper arms, for a wide range of motions.
The biceps muscles in your arms connect to your shoulder and elbow joints with strong tendons. If these biceps tendons are injured or torn, you can experience pain, loss of limb strength, and lasting challenges. It’s essential to get the right care for this type of injury if you want to protect your shoulder and elbow joint function.
At Rapid City Orthopedics in Rapid City, South Dakota, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joseph Humpherys has the expertise in joint preservation you can trust when it comes to treating bicep tendon injuries. Dr. Humpherys is also a sports medicine specialist and is familiar with the unique needs of athletes after a bicep tendon tear.
Stress and trauma in your bicep tendons
The tendons holding your biceps muscles in place are tough bands of thick tissue. But, under repetitive use strain or in an impactful moment of trauma, even your toughest tendons can be damaged.
Your biceps tendons can experience micro tears, a condition known as tendonitis. That occurs due to repeated motions, such as those in a baseball pitcher’s shoulder or a tennis player’s elbows, during practice and competition.
You can also experience biceps tendon tears at the shoulder or the elbow. When that occurs, the tendon completely separates, leaving your biceps muscle unsupported. You might hear a popping sound.
Bicep tendon tears and bicep tendonitis can be painful and need prompt professional evaluation and treatment to resolve the issue without lasting complications.
Caring for bicep tendon tears
Dr. Humpherys evaluates your bicep tendon injury and recommends the best immediate and long-term treatment steps to promote healing and long-term joint and muscle health. He also provides a pain management plan to keep you comfortable while you recover.
You may be able to manage pain from mild bicep tendonitis with icing therapy or over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These therapies also help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the injured area. Corticosteroid injections can also provide pain relief.
Severe biceps tendon tears typically need surgical treatment. After your surgery, you may be able to regain the full range of motion of your shoulder and elbow. Recovery takes several months.
As you heal, it’s essential to rest the injured limb. Don’t try any athletic activity or heavy lifting, and avoid flexing your elbow or raising your arm above your head. Dr. Humpherys provides physical therapy support to help you recover your strength and range of motion without disrupting the healing process.
If you’ve experienced a bicep tendon injury or tear, get in touch with Dr. Humpherys at Rapid City Orthopedics today for an evaluation and customized treatment plan. With the right care, you can fully recover from biceps tendon tears.
Request your appointment online now, or call today to book.