Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ


I heard about a local man, an strong guy, who ruptured his biceps tendon. How does that happen?


The biceps tendon, the strong tissue that connects the biceps muscle to the bone can become avulsed or torn away as the result of a trauma. There are two types of avulsions that can happen: the proximal avulsion (close to the shoulder) or the distal avulsion, closer to the elbow.

The typical patient with a biceps tendon rupture is a male, over 35 to 40 years old, who do strength type exercises, body building, or heavy lifting. The tendon will snap, sometimes causing a snapping sound that the patient can hear. It doesn't usually happen all of a sudden, but to a tendon that is already injured or prone to injury.

Someone with a snapped biceps tendon will likely have bruising and swelling, and the muscle will look unnaturally bunched up or cramped. Shawn W. O'Driscoll, PhD, MD, Lucas. B.J. Goncalves, MD, and Patricio Dietz, MD. The Hook Test for Distal Biceps Tendon Avulsion. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. November 2007. Vol. 35. No. 11. Pp. 1864-1869.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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