Distal Biceps Rupture

Distal Biceps Rupture

The biceps muscle is a primary mover for several motions at the elbow. This muscle helps in flexing both your elbow and shoulder joints. It is also responsible for bringing your arm towards your body, otherwise known as internal rotation.

An injury involving the biceps tendon, where it attaches to the elbow, often follows a direct hit to the front of your elbow or attempting to lift something too heavy.

This can cause a rupture of the tendon, causing it to pull away from the bone, and is often associated with a loud “pop” and a Popeye arm deformity, in addition to pain and bruising. A distal biceps rupture can be fixed by attaching your tendon back to the bone through a small incision.

SymptomsDistal Biceps Rupture

  • Pain on the front of the elbow
  • Radiating symptoms into the front of the arm and shoulder
  • Bruising, swelling, and deformity of the muscle
  • Weakness with elbow flexion and internal rotation
  • Difficulty holding or lifting objects



A distal biceps rupture is diagnosed through MRI or Ultrasound imaging. This imaging identifies the extent of the rupture and determines if surgical intervention is necessary for healing.


A distal biceps rupture is commonly repaired surgically using minimally invasive techniques to reattach the tendon back to the bone. Once the tissue has healed, it will be important to regain mobility and strength at the elbow. Physical therapy can help restore strength in the biceps and surrounding tissue. Modifying activities during the healing process will also be essential as you use the biceps more.