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Bicep Tear

Manhattan Orthopedics

Orthopedic Surgeons located in Midtown Manhattan, New York, Astoria, & Brooklyn, NY

A biceps tear can be painful, impair your functioning, and lead to complications, so it’s best to seek quality orthopedic care from board-certified orthopedic surgeon Edmond Cleeman, MD. At Manhattan Orthopedics, with locations in Midtown Manhattan and Astoria and Brooklyn in New York, Dr. Cleeman offers innovative nonsurgical and minimally invasive surgical solutions to get you moving your limbs as you should, in control and pain-free. Call your nearest New York City office or schedule a consultation online today.

Bicep Tear Q & A

What is a biceps tear?

Your tendons attach muscles to bones. Your biceps tendons attach your biceps muscles to the bones in your shoulder and elbow.

You can tear the biceps tendon in either your shoulder or elbow. With a tear, you might lose some strength in your arm and experience pain with certain movements.

Biceps tendon tears are partial or complete. Partial tears don’t completely sever the tendon, while complete tears split the tendon into two pieces. Torn tendons can start by fraying and completely tear as the damage progresses, sometimes when you lift a heavy object.

What are the signs of a biceps tear?

If you have a biceps tear, you might notice:

  • Sudden sharp pain in your upper arm
  • An audible pop or snap
  • Bruising from the middle of your upper arm down to your elbow and forearm
  • Tenderness or pain in your shoulder and elbow
  • Weakness in your elbow the shoulder
  • Deformity of the muscle 

You might also have difficulty turning your arm palm up or palm down.

What causes a biceps tear?

There are two primary causes of a biceps tear: 


If you lift something too heavy or fall hard on an outstretched arm, you can tear your biceps tendon.


Many biceps tears are due to the wearing down and fraying of the tendon that happens over time, often as a natural part of aging. It can be exacerbated by overuse and repeating the same motions.

Overuse can lead to a range of shoulder and arm problems, including shoulder impingement, tendinitis, and rotator cuff injuries. These conditions put even more stress on your biceps tendon and make it more likely to tear or weaken.

How is a biceps tear treated?

Dr. Cleeman often requests testing and imaging, such as X-rays, to diagnose your biceps tear. Depending on the severity and symptoms of your tear, Dr. Cleeman might recommend medications, lifestyle changes, or referrals for physical therapy.

In many cases, surgery is necessary to repair the tendon at the elbow or the shoulder. Biceps tears can be repaired with minimal incisions and advanced, safe, and effective procedures. The goal of tendon repair is to re-anchor your torn tendon back onto your bone.

Tendon repairs might involve stitches and plastic implants called suture anchors, or metal implants called buttons. The specifics of your tendon repair vary. Following surgery, your shoulder or elbow might be immobilized temporarily with a sling.

Fix your biceps tear so you can get back to doing the things you love without pain and impaired movement. Call Manhattan Orthopedics or schedule your appointment online today.

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