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T40ORA

Original Poster:

4,724 posts

106 months

[news] 
Thursday 11th October 2012 quote quote all
I think that I have the symptoms of a 'serious' tear in my bicep. I have been suffering shoulder pain for a couple of weeks and have laid off lifting and just been doing stretching. I have already booked to see a physio/chiro on Monday as it does not seem to be improving - but just now I have noticed that there is a large bump on my bicep, the appearance of bruising and it feels less 'solid' above the bump. A quick Google shows these symptoms as typical, the bump being due to the rolling back of the muscle.

Should I drop everything and visit the GP urgently, and seek a referral? I understand that an operation might be necessary to reattach it, but how urgent is it to get anything done? Other than avoid working the muscle of course.

I'm a bit worried about this. I don't want any permanent damage if I can help it!

TIA

Slink

2,947 posts

59 months

[news] 
Thursday 11th October 2012 quote quote all
sorry no help, but how the hell do you rip your bicep so the muscle has folded back in the middle?

unless it was torn by, i dunno, you trying to grab a bus ???

Seti

1,833 posts

91 months

[news] 
Thursday 11th October 2012 quote quote all
I had similar but no 'bump'. Something tore within the bicep which effectively rendered the arm useless, and I'm sorry to tell you this, for almost two years. I couldn't resist any downward pressure on the arm however light.

I visited a physio a few times who massaged it and carried out some basic acupuncture. Neither of which seemed to help.

I'd recommend going to see a doctor asap - something I should have done.

T40ORA

Original Poster:

4,724 posts

106 months

[news] 
Thursday 11th October 2012 quote quote all
Slink said:
sorry no help, but how the hell do you rip your bicep so the muscle has folded back in the middle?

unless it was torn by, i dunno, you trying to grab a bus ???
I've just Googled and it is quite common apparently. I guess it is my age; I must not have warmed up enough before training.

It isn't the muscle that rips, but the tendon holding it to the bone. Might have been fraying for years. I had a shoulder repair Jan 2010, and have had on and off pain since then. Guess I should have pushed for more advice.

T40ORA

Original Poster:

4,724 posts

106 months

[news] 
Thursday 11th October 2012 quote quote all
Seti said:
I had similar but no 'bump'. Something tore within the bicep which effectively rendered the arm useless, and I'm sorry to tell you this, for almost two years. I couldn't resist any downward pressure on the arm however light.

I visited a physio a few times who massaged it and carried out some basic acupuncture. Neither of which seemed to help.

I'd recommend going to see a doctor asap - something I should have done.
Looks like there are partial and full tears. Partial tears are difficult to diagnose and have no bump. Complete tears, where the tendon breaks away from the bone completely, usual show the bump.

It looks like I will need surgery if I want to have any strength in the arm again - assuming mine is a complete tear, which is looking increasingly likely. I just don't know how quickly I need to get it operated on.

Nuts, pants and bo770x.

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Slink

2,947 posts

59 months

[news] 
Thursday 11th October 2012 quote quote all
oh, well theres something ive learnt, never new you could tear it in that way.

good luck with the recovery

Liokault

1,295 posts

101 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Don't worry so much.


I tore the tendon holding my biceps away from where it joins to my forearm about a year ago, I actually have video of it happening.

My biceps rolled back up my arm and the tendon stopped in the protective sheath about 7 inches along.

Esentially, my biceps is no longer attached to my forearm, well only by the protective sheath which I understand dosent transpher any force.

Now the good news, the biceps that you see (the big upper arm muscle) is mainly concerned with rotating the hand outward with the arm bent (think of using a screw driver to un screw a screw) rather than exerting any uplling force.

I went to the doctor (three doctors in the end) and he advised me that any surgery would largely be cosmetic and that he wouldnt reconend it. His summary was that with the total lose of the biceps, I should expect to lose around 50% to my ability to exert an anti closkwise force with my arm bent but only around 10-15% of the force in a straight pull.
His assesment of the surgery was that it required 3 months recovery with the arm totaly imobilised in a sling, then 6 months of progressivly larger ranges of motion, but no real force being exerted on the tendon. He also thought that surgery was not 100% and even if it was there was a much high chance of the tendon being torn a second time. I really didnt fancy 6 months in a sling and no driving.

More good news, one year on, the only time I really notice it s when I try to rotate my laptop under up under my armpit. I can do pull ups, I continued my Martial Art training......no real impact on my life.....it dose look weird thought lol


(I should spell check this, but I'm not going to)

T40ORA

Original Poster:

4,724 posts

106 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for the reply!

My consultant said much the same about my proximal rupture, and was really blasé about it. He is more concerned about rotator cuff damage, which may be a part cause.

He also said that I would experience only a 10% loss of strength. He did say, though, that if it had been your injury he would immediately repair it. However, my GP told me that different surgeons will give totally contradictory advice!

But again, thanks- you have cheered me up somewhat! And yeah, the weird bulge looks bloody funny.

Regiment

2,187 posts

46 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Slink said:
sorry no help, but how the hell do you rip your bicep so the muscle has folded back in the middle?

unless it was torn by, i dunno, you trying to grab a bus ???
The only time I've seen someone tear their bicep was during a sparring session, they threw a punch, quickly but with no power, snapped the punch at the end and their goes the bicep. It looked like there was a single bit of invisible fishing wire was wrapped round his upper arm as his bicep looked like it had a crease round the middle of it.

Liokault

1,295 posts

101 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Regiment said:
The only time I've seen someone tear their bicep was during a sparring session, they threw a punch, quickly but with no power, snapped the punch at the end and their goes the bicep. It looked like there was a single bit of invisible fishing wire was wrapped round his upper arm as his bicep looked like it had a crease round the middle of it.
Funny, sparring was how I did mine. Wound up a hook and my bicep let go before it landed.

T40ORA

Original Poster:

4,724 posts

106 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Liokault said:
Funny, sparring was how I did mine. Wound up a hook and my bicep let go before it landed.
Did you get it re-attached?

T40ORA

Original Poster:

4,724 posts

106 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Liokault said:
Funny, sparring was how I did mine. Wound up a hook and my bicep let go before it landed.
Did you get it re-attached?

996 sps

6,071 posts

103 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
OP - Sorry to hear/read this, how much loss of strength have you got? What movement have you lost and does the same movement give you pain?

We had a guy do a full rupture doing deadlifts, completely coiled up the bicep below the shoulder, immense pain, immediate loss of function.

Another guy full rupture of the Achilles tendon throwing a basketball, horrendous noise foot immediately plantarflexed straight to hospital.

Sounds like you've been let off reasonably lightly but even so its never nice.

LordGrover

22,904 posts

99 months

[news] 
Sunday 14th October 2012 quote quote all
A little late to the party, but what precipitated the injury?
By precipitated I mean, in a bit less poncy way, caused. hehe

T40ORA

Original Poster:

4,724 posts

106 months

[news] 
Sunday 14th October 2012 quote quote all
I have no idea about loss of strength, as I haven't really experimented with my arm. There is a huge psychological barrier at the moment, knowing that the bicep is not attached properly and that if the other proximal tendon, or the distal, goes I'm somewhat buggered! No apparent loss of range of movement.

I think I am too body aware for my own good, as I still feel queasy about the arm and don't like even looking at it yet.

And to ask another question, I have no idea what precipitated the injury. I have had shoulder(rotator cuff?) Pain for the last three or four weeks, so have not been to the gym in that time. I had noticed a reduction in pain and just happened to notice it when I looked in the mirror.

I was chatting to a guy over the weekend, whose long head let go when he was using a screwdriver. He said there was immense pain, which I didn't experience at all.

I am still bemused by the fact that the consultant was so matter of fact about not fixing the damage and that I should just carry on as usual. It just feels wrong....

Of to see a biomechanics man tomorrow, to have a long chat about the possible why's and wherefores, and how to maximise my chance of prevention of further similar injury.

996 sps

6,071 posts

103 months

[news] 
Sunday 14th October 2012 quote quote all
Is there anyway you can get an MRI on it?

Yep bet your worried about using it, the long head bicep tendon is often known as 5th rotator cuff but your tear is from distal end? From radius and ulna?

Get an MRI and a good sports physio if you can.

There are a few physios on here but its impossible to give good advice from the internet without seeing the injury.

Can you start swimming/hydro? Just doing bicep/triceps exercises in the water using the water as resistance.....just an idea but again I'd be asking the person assessing.

T40ORA

Original Poster:

4,724 posts

106 months

[news] 
Sunday 14th October 2012 quote quote all
I'm having an ultrasound in a week, and I'lldiscuss and MRI with the consultant when we look at the results.

No, it isn't distal which I hear is a more significant injury. It is long head proximal.

I went to the gym yesterday and did some light pull down and rowing exercises. No pproblems or pain, other than from the rotator cuff which will also be scanned. But I was too scared to go anywhere near body weight for the pull downs. I stopped at about 45kg.

The head of the bicep feels weird - sort of thin at the front, I guess, where the long head tendon should be.

I wonder what the course of treatment would be for, say, a serving soldier. Would they repair it or accept the 10% loss of strength?

LordGrover

22,904 posts

99 months

[news] 
Sunday 14th October 2012 quote quote all
Pm Bill on here. He knows stuff.

T40ORA

Original Poster:

4,724 posts

106 months

[news] 
Sunday 14th October 2012 quote quote all
I'll look for him when I am at my laptop.

996 sps

6,071 posts

103 months

[news] 
Monday 15th October 2012 quote quote all
T40ORA said:
I'm having an ultrasound in a week, and I'lldiscuss and MRI with the consultant when we look at the results.

No, it isn't distal which I hear is a more significant injury. It is long head proximal.

I went to the gym yesterday and did some light pull down and rowing exercises. No pproblems or pain, other than from the rotator cuff which will also be scanned. But I was too scared to go anywhere near body weight for the pull downs. I stopped at about 45kg.

The head of the bicep feels weird - sort of thin at the front, I guess, where the long head tendon should be.

I wonder what the course of treatment would be for, say, a serving soldier. Would they repair it or accept the 10% loss of strength?
I personally would just wait for the MRI, that'll be your gold standard diagnosis, then they'll plan your treatment accordingly.





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