Distal Biceps Rupture Overview and Repair

What is a Distal Biceps Rupture?

The bicep is the main muscle on the front of the arm that helps you in moving your elbow and revolving your forearm. The muscle connects to the forearm bone through a tendon, which functions as a rope at the end of the muscle. A distal biceps rupture is a tear of the tendon from the forearm bone. Because the bicep muscle is responsible for strength and rotating the forearm (for completing simple tasks like twisting a doorknob), ruptures can result in weakness, discomfort, and a disruption to daily life.


What Causes a Distal Bicep Rupture?

Over a period of time, if the bicep is injured, the biceps tendon can become frail, which is called tendonosis. Alarmingly, tendonosis of the biceps tendon can either be pain-free or can cause dull or sharp pain in the area of the inflamed tendon – just past the front of the elbow in your forearm. This can lead to partial tendon tears or a complete tendon rupture. Biceps rupture can often happen without any warning. Usually, a biceps rupture happens when you are lifting heavy objects repeatedly or with the forceful straightening of the elbow to lift an object. A distal biceps rupture is more common in middle-aged males and only accounts for 3% of all bicep tendon ruptures.

What are the Symptoms of a Distal Biceps Rupture?

A biceps rupture mainly happens when the tendon tears away from the forearm bones. You may feel a pop or tearing impact in the front of the elbow which can be very excruciating. The common symptoms include constant pain, swelling, bruising, a warm sensation in the elbow, and sometimes muscle spasms. The elbow will usually resume functioning after a biceps rupture because of the additional muscles that can perform part of the body’s job. However, your range of motion will be restricted or limited.