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How is a biceps tear treated?

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Quick Answer

A biceps tear, specifically in the tendons, can be treated using a non-surgical or surgical approach, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Non-surgical treatment includes application of ice, intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, rest and physical therapy. Surgical treatment is usually recommended when conservative means are ineffectual or when the patient needs full physical recovery, including athletes and manual workers.

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Full Answer

Biceps tendons are connective tissues that attach muscles to bones located in the shoulder and elbow, which allows movement and rotation of the upper arms. Fraying around the tendon's region in the shoulders may cause the tissues to partially or completely tear. Tears at the elbow, which affects the distal biceps tendon, typically severs the muscles completely from the bone, as stated by Cleveland Clinic.

Using a cold compress, such as ice packs, can reduce inflammation in the general area of a biceps tear in the shoulders. Taking medications, including aspirin and ibuprofen, also relieves pain and swelling. Avoiding taxing activities, using a sling and getting adequate rest are also recommended for shoulder tears. Physical therapy includes constantly doing flexibility and strengthening workouts.

Severe shoulder and elbow tears are usually treated surgically. However, patients with ruptured distal biceps tendon who opt for surgery need to undergo an immediate procedure. Both tendons and muscle around the elbow tend to rapidly scar, making surgery highly unlikely. Rehabilitation normally follows surgery for a complete recovery.

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