The biceps is the muscle located in front of your upper arm. Its main purpose is to allow you to bend and twist your forearm as well as move it around on your daily activities. Some injuries are common and can happen to anyone regardless of the age and gender of the person, including a biceps tears at the elbow.
Causes of Biceps Tendon Tear
There are two major causes of a tear in bicep tendons — injury and overuse of the biceps. Accidents involving your forearm and elbow could happen such as heavy objects falling on your arms causing a tear on the bicep tendon at your elbow.
Overuse of the bicep tendon is also experienced by people who use their muscles in the forearms a lot like athletes. Tendons weaken and wear down over time causing tendinitis. The condition also worsens as you keep on using them.
Symptoms of Biceps Tendon Tear
- A tearing sensation during the injury
- Swelling, bruising, and even inflammation in the injured area
- Loss of strength on your arms
- Inability to turn your palm
- A gap or indention on your elbow
- Pain that worsens with repetitive arm activity
Diagnosing a Bicep Tendon Tear
A series of physical exams will be conducted to check the condition of your forearm and elbow along with assessing the severity of the injury. Your physician will also review your medical history to determine if you have already experienced the same injury before.
Once torn, the biceps tendon on your elbow will not grow back and heal. However, other arm muscles will let you bend your elbow even without the biceps tendon. Before you can tell that you have a bicep tear at your elbow, you need to be diagnosed first with an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). An MRI is an imaging test that takes detailed pictures of what’s inside your body through the use of powerful magnets and radio waves. The Radiology Clinic in Rockville, MD, offers state-of-the-art high resolution 3T MRI imaging for bicep tendon tears and other injuries.
Biceps tears at the elbow are most common in athletes, and evaluation of the elbow with an MRI is an important tool that can provide information and current condition of your elbow. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please go see your doctor. If your doctor decides that you need a diagnostic imaging study for further evaluation and confirmation, please call The Radiology Clinic to allow our fellowship trained musculoskeletal radiologists to make accurate and prompt diagnoses. Please call us today for an appointment at 301-217-0500.