Junior Orthoteers Advertise on Orthoteers
Orthoteers Junior Orthoteers Orthopaedic Biomechanics Orthopaedic World Literature Society Educational Resources Image Gallery About Orthoteers Orthoteers Members search

Biceps Rupture

What is it?

  • It is rupture of the biceps tendon 


  • More prevalent in men then women
  • Patients generally aged between 40 and 60 years old
  • Most commonly affects the dominant arm.


  • Most commonly affects the long head of the biceps tendon
  • Tears can be partial or full thickness
  • Vast majority of ruptures occur at its origin at the supraglenoid tubercle 
  • Caused by:
    • Inflammatory and degenerative changes over time
    • Sudden trauma e.g. weight lifting
  • Associated with rotator cuff tears in the elderly population.


  • Pain
    • Sudden, sharp pain in upper arm while doing activity
    • Or may complain of repetitive pain on performing overhead activities
  • Hearing a sudden snapping or popping sensation at the time of pain
  • Visualising a lump in the upper arm.

Clinical Features / Examination

  • Flexion of the arm at the elbow produces a 'popeye' sign or lump in the upper limb
  • Bruising of the upper arm
  • Localised tenderness
  • Indentation at the bicipital groove
  • Positive Speed's or Yergason's test.

Figure 1 - 'Popeye' sign associated with Biceps rupture (right biceps)

This is a preview of the site content. To view the full text for this site, you need to log in.
If you are having problems logging in, please refer to the login help page.

© 2005-2007 Orthoteers.co.uk - last updated: 20 February 2006Medical Websites and Marketing by Blue Medical 
Biomet supporting orthoteersThe British Orthopedic Association supporting OrthoteersOrthoteers is a non-profit educational resource. Click here for more details
Biceps Rupture
Calcifiying Tendinitis
Frozen Shoulder
Hide Menu