About Bicep Tendon Tear

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is a Bicep Tendon Tear?

The bicep is a medium size muscle on the front of the arm. The bicep has two tendons. The proximal bicep tendon attaches to the shoulder. The distal bicep tendon attaches to the elbow. Both tendons can tear. Tears may be partial or complete.

  • Proximal bicep tendon tear. The proximal bicep tendon is the more commonly torn.
  • Distal bicep tendon tear. Distal bicep tendon tears are uncommon.

Common Causes:

  • Typically a fall on an outstretched hand
  • Overuse injury
  • Lifting an object that is too heavy

Symptoms of a Bicep Tear may include:

  • Sudden, sharp pain immediately presents
  • Loud snap or pop may be heard
  • Bruising
  • Weakness and tenderness
  • Visible anatomical deformity present shortly after the injury

When you arrive for your initial consultation, an Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) Upper Extremity Specialist will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care.

When diagnosing a bicep tendon tear, our experts will provide:

  • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
  • A physical examination
  • Multiple view x-rays (to rule out a fracture) or MRI

Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options may be used to treat some bicep tendon tears. Treatment options include:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

Oral medications decrease nerve inflammation and pain.

Physical Therapy

An OPA approved therapist can help you maintain your motion and function


Avoid heavy lifting and overhead activities to relieve pain and limit swelling

When symptoms do not respond to nonsurgical treatment options, our specialists may recommend surgery. A bicep tendon repair attaches the torn tendon to the bone. Our physicians use the latest bicep tendon repair surgical techniques and instruments. You will recover in as short a time frame as possible. Physical therapy helps you regain strength and prevents a tear from reoccurring.
At OPA, our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Orthopedic Upper Extremity Specialists are experts in treating bicep tendon tears.

If you are in pain and would like a treatment solution you should contact OPA to schedule an appointment at our location in Anchorage.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Elbow Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Owen L. Ala, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Adam Ellison, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Jessie Janowski, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Jeff Moore, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Eli Powell, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Greg Schweiger, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.


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