Biceps tendon rupture
What is a biceps tendon tear?A biceps tendon tear can first be caused by a sudden trauma, for example due to an acute overload of the armpit muscle.
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A biceps tendon tear affects the arm flexor muscle, the so-called biceps brachii muscle.
A biceps tendon rupture occurs when at least one tendon of this muscle has a tear. A distinction can be made between the distal biceps tendon rupture and the proximal biceps tendon rupture: while a distal biceps tendon tear occurs in the area of the elbow, a proximal biceps tendon tear affects the area of the shoulder.
If it comes to a biceps tendon rupture, this can be expressed by a noise that resembles a whip bang. This sound is usually accompanied by an immediate pain in a biceps tendon rupture. In the area where a biceps tendon rupture occurs, a cavity is palpable after injury, often with a hematoma (bruise).
A biceps tendon tear usually leads to functional impairments, which are expressed, inter alia, in that a bending of the elbow joint is no longer possible.
A biceps tendon tear can first be caused by a sudden trauma, for example due to an acute overload of the armpit muscle.
One such cause for a biceps tendon rupture can be observed, for example, with strength athletes, but also with craftsmen. An external force on the elbow, for example, by a blow, can also cause a biceps tendon rupture. Furthermore, a biceps tendon tear can be favored, for example, by performing doping; The effect of hormones can damage the tendon substance, increasing the risk of biceps tendon rupture.
Wear and tear on the tendon through an advanced age can lead to a biceps tendon rupture, for example, in active golfers. Finally, various underlying diseases (such as degenerative or rheumatic diseases) can damage the tendon tissue and thus contribute to a possible biceps tendon rupture.
Symptoms, complaints & signs
As a rule, a biceps tendon tear is associated with very severe pain. This pain often spreads to the adjacent regions of the body, causing severe pain throughout the arm or even in the shoulders. The quality of life of the person affected is thereby significantly reduced and reduced.
Furthermore, it comes to a muscle weakness, so that the implementation of ordinary activities in everyday life is usually no longer readily possible. The bicep itself shifts through the biceps tendon tear. Likewise, it comes to heavy swelling and continue to bruise. Since it does not come to a self-healing, the person concerned in this complaint is always dependent on a medical treatment.
Without treatment it can lead to a wrong weaving of the tendon, which leads to further complaints and complications. In most cases, those affected by the biceps tendon tear are restricted for several months in their movement. Successful treatment will continue to require various therapies to fully restore the movement of the arm.
In most cases, the biceps tendon tear does not cause permanent or permanent damage. In some cases life limitations can also lead to mental health problems.
Diagnosis & History
A biceps tendon tear can first be diagnosed based on typical, visible symptoms. These symptoms of biceps tendon rupture include functional impairment of the elbow and / or a visible shift in muscle elevation away from the area of biceps tendon rupture.
Further details of a biceps tendon rupture can be visualized using methods such as ultrasound or MRI. Both methods are capable of imaging tissue structures affected by biceps tendon rupture.
Usually a biceps tendon tear can be successfully treated so that the subsequent coping with everyday life is easily possible. Regardless of treatment, elbow mobility may be limited following a cured biceps tendon tear. Surgical measures after a biceps tendon rupture can occasionally increase the risk of a renewed biceps tendon rupture.
As a rule, the biceps tendon tear is associated with severe pain. These can occur acutely and permanently or occur only with movements of the arm. As a result, the everyday life of the patient is heavily burdened and restricted. However, there is also a high loss of strength in the upper arms.
Ordinary activities or sports activities can not be carried out easily. The muscle moves in most cases up, which the affected person can feel. In most cases, a biceps tendon tear is treated surgically. There are no further complications here. The tendon can be hung on the bone.
Immediately after surgery, the patient's arm can not be loaded. However, the stress level is increased daily, so that the arm gets used to a normal state again. The treatment is also accompanied by physiotherapy. Due to the surgery, the usual complications of an operation can arise.
These include infections and inflammation of the wound or complications of healing. Mostly, the patient can use the arm after several weeks without any restrictions, but the risk increases in this case for a renewed biceps tendon rupture.
When should you go to the doctor?
In case of urgent suspicion of a biceps tendon rupture, the early visit to the doctor is just as useful as for symptoms that indicate a strong overuse of the tendon of the biceps. There are several reasons for this.
On the one hand, it is usually indistinguishable for sufferers whether the biceps tendon has become inflamed or already torn due to a narrowing in the shoulder area. For a possible operation, however, this is crucial, since surgical therapy often succeeds better, if it has not yet come to a complete biceps tendon rupture. In addition, the timely visit to the physician is also useful in view of the fact that a conservative therapy may even be able to circumvent surgery.
Another reason for the earliest possible visit to the doctor lies in the often very unpleasant symptoms of an inflamed or (partially) torn tendon of the biceps, which manifests itself mainly in sometimes severe pain and marked restrictions on movement. This can often improve only within the framework of a well-founded therapy, so that untreated also the overuse or irritation of the tendon by narrowed anatomical conditions in many cases lead to tearing of the biceps tendon.
If the patient feels a tear, the timely doctor's visit is also important. It is not only about adequate therapy for the tendon, but also about maintaining the important function of the biceps.
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Treatment & Therapy
Which medical measures are used to treat a biceps tendon rupture depends, among other things, on the patient's symptoms and also on his physical requirements.
Basically, a biceps tendon rupture can be treated in two different ways: As part of the so-called conservative treatment of a biceps tendon rupture is waived surgical measures. The conservative treatment of biceps tendon rupture is based, for example, on a consistent implementation of targeted physiotherapeutic measures.
If conservative treatment fails to achieve the desired result in the event of a biceps tendon rupture, surgical measures to treat biceps tendon rupture may be used. If there is a biceps tendon rupture in the area of the affected person's shoulder, there is a tendency in medicine to perform a corresponding operation using arthroscopic procedures (using instruments that are also used for joint reflections).
In surgical procedures, the tendon may be reattached to the bone during a biceps tendon tear; for example by sewing or hanging on the bone. If elderly people are affected by a biceps tendon rupture, physicians often tend towards the more conservative treatment of conservative therapy. However, if the lower biceps tendon is affected by a biceps tendon tear, it is usually operated immediately.
Outlook & Forecast
The biceps tendon tear is basically associated with a good prognosis. However, the completeness and pace of healing depend on several factors. These include the selected form of therapy (surgical or conservative treatment), the extent of the lesion (partial or complete rupture of the biceps tendon), and patient involvement in regeneration.
Special stability is achieved in many cases by the operation. In the vast majority of cases, it restores the normal range of shoulder and arm mobility. Also, patients who permanently burden the arm due to a special profession or hobbies, complain after the operation often no functional restrictions. Only a slight loss of power in contrast to the other arm is sometimes recorded. However, this usually falls so low that it does not noticeably restrict the patient's everyday life and work.
If the biceps tendon rupture has been caused by mechanical irritation, such as the constant friction on a bony structure, and is linked to an inflammatory process, it is important that the cause be treated as well. Only then can a rekindling of the inflammatory response be avoided and a good prognosis can be made for the operated tear on the biceps tendon. In rare cases, surgical complications such as bleeding or infection, as well as too early loading of the arm, complicate the patient's healing process.
For example, to prevent biceps tendon rupture, it may be helpful to warm up sufficiently before exercise. If possible, avoid overloading the arms as these increase the risk of biceps tendon rupture. Biceps tendon injuries should be repaired before reloading to prevent biceps tendon rupture.
You can do that yourself
A biceps tendon tear must always be treated by a doctor. The medical treatment can then be promoted by some measures and preparations.
First, it is important to spare the affected body part. Those affected are recommended in the first days, especially bed rest and avoiding incriminating or jerky movements. Thereafter, physiotherapy and alternative measures such as yoga or Pilates can support the healing process. However, depending on the severity of the tendon tear, it may take some time to start training again.
Especially professional athletes and people who have to move a lot for physical or psychological reasons should therefore also consider therapeutic measures. This can effectively combat depression and lack of motivation.
Various medicinal plants also contribute to healing. Effective is, for example, the analgesic and anti-inflammatory arnica or the antibacterial marigold ointment. The use of medicinal herbs and plants should be clarified with the responsible physician to avoid interactions. Finally, the injury must be maintained sufficiently to prevent inflammation and other complications. Again, all steps are best done in consultation with the doctor.