Biceps, also termed as the biceps brachii, refers to the thick muscle that lies in front part of the upper arm. It is connected both to the shoulder and the elbow by two different tendons that help attach muscles to the bones. The tendons are made up of collagen which gives them flexibility and high tensile strength. The tendon that attaches the biceps muscle to the elbow is called the Distal Biceps Tendon. It connects the biceps to the radius bone which forms a part of the forearm. Tearing of this tendon and its detachment from the bone is referred to as Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture. In some cases, the ruptured tendon may retract and pull towards the shoulder. The condition is mostly observed in men over 35 years of age and sportspersons such as weight lifters as well as bodybuilders.


  • Catching a heavy object falling from a height
  • Tendonitis or weakening of tendons over a period of time may make them susceptible to ruptures
  • Lifting heavy weights with the elbow bent


  • Pain near the elbow
  • A popping sound at the time of injury
  • In case of a complete rupture, a hollow may be created near the elbow as the tendon retracts
  • A lump may be formed in the upper arm
  • Weakness may be felt in the arm
  • Limited range of motion
  • Difficulty in rotating the arm
  • Swelling
  • Bruising or discoloration
  • Muscle spasms in the arm
  • A feeling of warmth may spread in the elbow joint


  • Clinical observation of the injured arm
  • MRI scan X-ray imaging to check for bone damage or displacement
  • Evaluation of the patient’s medical history


Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture can be treated both surgically and non-surgically.

Non-surgical or conservative methods may include:

  • Use of a sling to support the elbow
  • Prescription of anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the supporting muscles
  • Resting the elbow and avoiding any stressful activity
  • Applying ice packs

Surgical methods of treatment include:

  • Direct Repair – The loose end of the tendon may be repaired and attached back to the elbow joint by making two incisions in the arm (at the front and back) above the elbow
  • Suture Anchor Method which involves attaching the torn tendon to the radius bone by inserting a suture anchor
  • Surgical reconstruction of the damaged tendon may be done by extracting a part of another tendon within the body