Complete and retracted distal short head biceps tendon tear (MRI)

Case contributed by Dai Roberts
Diagnosis almost certain


Pop around distal biceps with incomplete muscle retracted. ?Partial thickness distal biceps tendon tear

Patient Data

Age: 40 years
Gender: Male

Complete avulsion tear of the distal short head of the biceps brachii tendon with retraction into the arm with surrounding fluid. The distal long head of the biceps tendon is mild tendinopathic but intact and still attached to the radial tuberosity. 

Case Discussion

The distal biceps brachii tendon 'complex' has two components and is made up of the distal long head and distal short head tendons. The short head attaches distally and is superficial to the long head and is the more commonly torn component in these partial distal biceps complex tendon tears. Care must be taken when describing these and MRI is more sensitive than ultrasound.

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