Biceps tendon tears can be either partial or complete. A partial tear is when the tendon is not completely severed, and then a complete tear is when the tendon is in two pieces. In many cases, torn tendons begin by fraying. As the damage progresses, the tendon can completely tear, sometimes when lifting a heavy subject. Typically a bicep tendon tear is due to an injury or overuse.
A torn triceps tendon specifically refers to the tearing of the tendon that attaches the powerful triceps muscle along the back of the arm to the tip of the elbow. Triceps ruptures commonly occur with falls onto an outstretched hand or during a block in football, when a sudden force causes the elbow to bend while the triceps muscle is simultaneously contracting and trying to straighten the elbow.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of a biceps tear typically include:
- Sudden, sharp pain.
- An audible pop or snap.
- Cramping in the bicep.
- Pain or tenderness at the shoulder.
- Weakness in the shoulder/elbow.
- Difficulty turning the palm up or down.
Signs and symptoms of a triceps tear typically include:
- Nonsteroidal medication.
- Physical therapy.
- Minimally invasive surgery.
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