Long Head of Biceps Rupture on the Shoulder

Long Head of Biceps Rupture

Long Head of Biceps Rupture on the Shoulder, Knee and Shoulder InstituteThe biceps muscle bifurcates into two tendons at the shoulder, a long one and a short one. The long tendon lies over the top of the humerus bone and attaches right at the top of the shoulder blade. It can be impacted by a partial rupture that leads to pain at the shoulder front.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons at the Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute provide treatments for biceps rupture to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and other towns and communities in this section of Nevada.


Long head of biceps rupture is characterized by a sudden sharp pain at the upper arm’s front part, which can also be accompanied by swelling and pain over the front portion of the shoulder joint. A patient can find it painful to contract the biceps muscle against resistance, particularly in the first few days when it becomes difficult to lift the long head of the biceps, straight up forward over the head, and against resistance.


Athletes who may have ruptured the long head of the biceps should apply ice on the injured area or use cold therapy as emergency first aid. The patient should also immediately consult a sports injury specialist. It is vital to take adequate rest, and not make too many movements if the patient is in pain.

An orthopedic surgeon will prescribe treatment followed by a detailed rehabilitation program. A patient may also require surgery to repair the tendon, if there is a severe or complete rupture.

Rehabilitation Program

The injured biceps tendon can benefit from occupational or physical therapy based on the individual case, surgeon’s recommendation and the type of facility. The surgeon will advise rehabilitation after a complete examination of the area to understand if there are any associated injuries and complicated factors that may impact the treatment.

They will ask the patient to rest the impacted joint in the acute stage, which can be also be accompanied by soft immobilization. The therapy may also include controlling the swelling with cold therapy, such as using specialized cold compression units, hydrotherapy, ice massage, and cold packs. The inflammation can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

A surgeon will advise post-op rehabilitation after examining the intra-operative findings during repair. The surgeon may put the patient’s arm in a soft sling immediately after the surgery, which will allow the patient to make gentle movements of the arm and range of motion (ROM).

To initiate ROM and muscle strengthening, the surgeon can introduce therapy bands and pulleys after 10 to 14 days of the surgery. The patient is advised to do advanced functional exercises as well as maintain and advanced ROM for six to eight weeks.

During this time, the affected arm can tolerate most cases of moderate loading. However, the patient is advised against heavy loading for a few more months, particularly in case of distal tendon repairs.

Profound, kind, and board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada, and other parts of this region of the state for the treatment of long head of biceps rupture.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9393.

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