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Biceps Tear Specialist

Thomas J. Kremen, M.D. -  - Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Specialist

Thomas J. Kremen, M.D.

Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Specialist located in Santa Monica, CA & Los Angeles, CA

When you flex your biceps, that muscle mass is tethered to your shoulder and your elbow by your biceps tendons. An injury or tear to those tendons can range from mildly disabling to severely compromised movement and use. Wherever you fall on this scale, it’s always a good idea to have an orthopedic specialist take a look. Thomas J. Kremen, MD has extensive expertise treating bicep tendon tears, allowing his patients in Santa Monica to regain full use of their arms and shoulders. To learn more, call the office or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

Biceps Tear

What is a biceps tear?

While muscles can tear, the tear referred to here occurs in the tendons that attach your biceps to your shoulder. On the upper end, you have two tendons that link your biceps to the bones in your shoulder:

  • A longer one that attaches to the top of your shoulder, or glenoid
  • A shorter tendon that connects to the coracoid process on your shoulder blade

Most biceps tendon tears occur in the longer of the two tendons, and the tears themselves can be partial or complete.

What causes biceps tears?

Biceps tendon tears can happen for numerous reasons, including:


If you lift something or you fall onto your arm while it’s extended, you can tear your biceps tendon.


As you age, the years of use begin to add up, leaving all the tendons in your body a little weaker, including your biceps tendon. This is especially true if you’ve spent a lot of time using that tendon over and over, like lifting objects as part of your job.

What are the symptoms of a biceps tear?

The most common signs that you may have torn your biceps tendon include:

  • Sudden pain
  • Persistent cramping of your biceps with use
  • Weakness
  • Bruising
  • A “popping” sound
  • Your muscles may bulge since they aren’t pulled taut
  • Problems turning your hand

If you’re experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above, it’s always a good idea to have Dr. Kremen take a look.

How is a biceps tear treated?

Dr. Kremen’s first order of business is to assess whether there's a tear, whether the tear is at the elbow or the shoulder and the extent of the tear. To do this, he reviews your symptoms and performs a complete movement evaluation. He may also use diagnostic imaging for more answers.

Once he diagnoses the injury, Dr. Kremen typically starts your treatment with:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Ice therapy
  • Rest, with or without a sling
  • Physical therapy

If your biceps tear proves unresponsive, Dr. Kremen discusses surgery to re-attach or repair your tendon. Surgeries of this kind aren’t usually needed, but if your tear is severe, rest assured you’re in good hands.

If you suspect you have a biceps tear, call Thomas J. Kremen, MD, or use the online scheduling tool to book a visit.

Conditions & Treatments