Non-operative biceps tendon rupture treatment

Non-operative biceps tendon rupture treatment treats a tear in the biceps tendon, the long, cord-like structure that connects the biceps muscle to the shoulder and the forearm, without surgery. The biceps tendon may tear at the shoulder or at the elbow.

Treatment may include ice, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), rest, and physical therapy. Talk to your doctor about how you should treat the tear.


The biceps tendon originates from the top of the glenoid (shoulder socket) and exits through the bicipital groove. Below the shoulder, this tendon becomes the long head of the biceps muscle. The tendons that connect the biceps muscle to the shoulder joint are called the proximal biceps tendons. The tendon that attaches the biceps muscle to the forearm bones is called the distal biceps tendon.

When is surgery recommended?

Most elbow bicep tendon tears require surgery, but if you are older, less active, and don’t need full use of your arm, you may not need surgery for a bicep tendon tear at your elbow.

Some shoulder biceps tears do not require surgery. For many people with partial tears in the shoulder, pain can resolve over time and physical therapy can help restore strength.

Talk with your doctor about what treatment is right for you.

Non-operative biceps tendon rupture physicians

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