You are here: Orthoped » Physical Therapy Questions » Torn Lower Biceps

Torn Lower Biceps


I am a 43 year old male that has been bodybuilding for 30 yrs. About 6 weeks ago when attempting to catch a falling piece of lumber with my left arm I felt an intense pain then a lingering tingling in my lower bicep that was much like when you hit your funny bone. Not thinking much of it I worked on and later that night I noticed my left bicep was now shorter and less full than my right.
I have a nice peak but the fullness that i worked so hard to get over the years is no longer there.I started doing some research about biceps tears and based on my findings made an appt to have it looked at by an orthopedic surgeon in 3 days.I have what I believe to be a partial tear. But in contrast to what I have read I have had no residual pain, bruising, or loss of strength noticed.When standing with my arms to my side the difference in my arms is not evident. But when I hit a front double biceps shot I am so out of balance I look as though I am going to topple over.
My arm looks like what I have seen in other bodybuilders that I refer to as a genetic high bicep.My question is what can I expect? Treatment, recovery, rehab and the like. Do I need to cease training to prevent further damage?
What are the implications in the event I decide to not have or delay the surgery?Thanks!


  1. Doug – (saw your posting on the ask an orthopedic web site) Late June I was picking up a couple sheets of plywood and heard an audible snap in my right arm – I did research that night on-line and even though there was no tremendous bruising, there was pain and I concluded partial tear – distally, based on what I read. I went to an orthopedic and the idiot put me in PT for one month. After the month was up with little improvement, I went in for an MRI which revealed a 90% rupture (Probably what you have). I found a great surgeon who fixed it up – but he made it clear that for this injury you want it fixed ASAP (in his words my tendon directly after the injury would have been thick, white and healthy, but was thin and grey due to the fact that there is no blood circulating through the part that has been torn from the radial tuberosity – the part of the bone in your forearm that the distal biceps tendon attaches to. My advice – get an MRI ASAP (Demand it if you have to), and get it fixed – even if only a partial tear. I am 3 1/2 months out of surgery, and still far from 100%, but certainly stronger than I was a couple months ago.My surgeon was Mike Brunelli out of Framingham, MA (He uses the single-incision technique using suture anchors)