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Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture

What is a Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture?

The biceps muscle in the arm assists with flexing (bending) of the elbow, but its main role is actually to turn the forearm from facing the ground to facing the roof (supination).

Rupture of the distal biceps tendon usually occurs when a sudden, unexpected force is put on a partly flexed elbow, such as grabbing a heavy load to stop it falling. The tendon typically tears at the point where it joins onto the radius bone in the forearm. 

The tendon may retract up into the arm, causing the shape of the biceps muscle to change. If a distal biceps tendon is left unrepaired a person can still bend their elbow and rotate their forearm, however, they will have less strength of the supination movement and they will have lower endurance when performing multiple supination movements, such as turning a screwdriver.

Treatment for a Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture

A person with a heavy manual job or who requires elbow strength and endurance for their work or sporting activities will usually benefit from a distal biceps tendon repair.