Long Head Bicep Rupture


  • A sudden sharp pain at the front of the upper arm.
  • Swelling over the front of the shoulder joint.
  • A feeling that something at the front of your shoulder has torn.
  • May be a visible deformity, especially if a complete rupture.
  • This is because the biceps muscle contracts or bunches up.
  • Partial rupture is likely painful when contracting the biceps


A biceps tendon tear can also occur in younger individuals, but usually after a traumatic fall on an outstretched arm, heavy weightlifting or consistently sport activities such as snowboarding and soccer.

  • Older people have put more years of wear and tear on their tendons than younger people.
  • Repetitive strain injuries can puts more stress on the biceps tendon, making it more likely to weaken or tear.
  • Heavy overhead activities.
  • Smoking nicotine use can affect nutrition in the tendon.
  • Corticosteroids are linked to increased muscle & tendon weakness


A biceps long head rupture is simply a tear to the tendon that attaches the long head of the biceps muscle to the front of the shoulder.

The biceps muscle is located on the front of the upper arm. When it contracts, it flexes the elbow and weakly flexes the shoulder.

The upper part of the biceps muscle splits into two heads. Each head attaches with separate tendons to the front of the shoulder.

The long tendon passes over the top of the humerus bone and attaches to the top of the shoulder blade.


If you suspect you may have a rupture of the long head of biceps then seek medical advice from a sports injury specialist or doctor as soon as possible.

Apply immediate first aid of ice or cold therapy.

A professional therapist will advise on treatment and rehabilitation.

For severe or complete ruptures surgery may be required to repair the tendon, especially if you participate in sport that requires use of your shoulder.

Some patients may get by perfectly well without surgical repair as surprisingly there is often little loss of strength in the biceps muscle which functions perfectly well with a single head intact.

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