By Joshua Tucker
Bicep Tendonitis is one thing, but Bicep Tendon Rupture is quite another.
Tendonitis can be painful and problematic.
A ruptured Bicep tendon can be painful and permanently debilitating.
If you just hurt your arm and your here reading because you're curious, at best let's hope that you have a VERY minor rupture of your biceps tendon.
If you have a partial or completely ruptured tendon, you've very likely already been to the hospital, and/or have already had Bicep tendon surgery to reattach the parts of the tendon.
A Biceps tendon rupture is a situation where the Bicep tendon, for whatever reason, has been torn apart to some degree.
'Tendon tear' and 'tendon rupture' are used interchangeably.
Technically, a Bicep tendon tear is the same thing as a Biceps tendon rupture, though rupture is usually used for BIG tears and Total separation. Additionally, tears are usually 'clean' tears, and ruptures -can- look like a 'shredding' of a tendon.
Kind of like a bone can have a clean break, or it can have a 'Compacted fracture', where it's lots of breaks/fractures/shards.
I don't know how much sense that makes, but what I'm -trying- to say is, a Bicep tendon rupture can be a clean rip, or a totally messed up disintegration of a tendon structure.
It's bad at both ends of the spectrum.....
At the 'good' end of the spectrum, it's just a tiny little bicep tendon rupture or tear.
At the 'bad' end of the spectrum, it's a TOTAL separation of the biceps tendon. Meaning, there used to be one piece of rope, and now it's in half.
Bad bad bad.
If it's very minor, it can and will heal, and likely just leave you with Bicep Tendonitis.
The thing is, nobody calls a minor case 'rupture'. Realistically, that label is reserved for significant rip, tear, and separation of a tendon.
The IMPORTANT thing to know about ruptures of a bicep tendon, is that the bigger the rip/tear/separation, the worse the problem is, and the more likely that you will need surgery.
Ripped 50% or more? Absolutely need surgery.
Ripped 25%? Almost certainly will need surgery. You'll definitely WANT bicep tendon surgery.
The bigger the rip, the lower the chances of it being able to heal back together.
Anything more than 25% rupture separation....it's just not likely.
Even 10%-24%...you're looking at needing surgery.
At the 1% to 10% range, you're then looking at variables like how do you use the arm.
If you're an athlete or use your arms for your job, then it will probably be worth it to get surgery.
If you're a couch potato, it may not be worth it.
If you're an elderly person that doesn't really use your body much anyway....then you have to weigh the dangers of surgery against how much pain/limitation the biceps tendon tear causes you.
Weak spots make structures weak.
Mostly we believe, and most every source that you'll find on this backs up this mindset, that tendons rupture and tear because there is too much sudden force placed upon them.
And this is very true. Too much tension is applied, the structure can't hold it, and something has to give.
So torque, or tension, or force, or whatever you want to call it is clearly a cause of Biceps tendon rupture.
However, there is a deeper conversation to consider.
Bridges don't collapse because of too much weight. They collapse because there is a structureal weak spot, and the weight is too much for it.
Same with Tendons.
Don't get me wrong. You can tear a perfectly healthy tendon with too much force.
But for a variety of reasons, tendons can develop weak spots.
Over use and time, tendons can develop the wear and tear micro-damage that comes with Tendonitis.
This means that there are microscopic tears, and then scar tissue lays down to heal it. But scar tissue is structurally weaker than the original structure and fragile to. So there is another microscopic tear, and another. More scar tissue, more tear.
Remember, we're talking TINY here.
So you can develop a TINY little weak spot. But then you put a huge force on the tendon, and that tiny weak spot gives way, and then the rest of the tendon structure can't resist the force, so it gives way.
Due to lack of new blood and nutrition, tendons can develop spots of Tendonosis.
These growing 'dead' spots decay more and more. It starts out small, and then degrades more and more of the tendon.
Again, if it's a big enough weak spot, too much force will pull the dead tissue apart, and that's when the rest of the tendon gives way.
Just like a strong looking bridge collapsing due to a tiny mechanical weakness.
Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics cytotoxicity:
The above dynamics take months and years to develop.
But you can get Tendon rupture, (usually Achilles tendon rupture) literally two hours after taking an antibiotic like Levaquin or Cipro.
Levaquin Tendonitis is the generic term for tendon damage from Levaquin cytotoxicity.
The drug attacks the tendon dna and energy producing cells, and the tendon can completely rupture in two hours, or months or years later (after much pain as the tendon damage continues and continues and gets worse).
I wouldn't take Levaquin or Cipro unless my LIFE depended on it. If you're in the percentage that takes damage from it, you will be very very unhappy.
Bicep tendon rupture is obviously best when avoided.
If you get a large or total Bicep tendon rupture, it's worth it to get surgery, as there is really no other option other than being a cripple.
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