Inspection and Palpation of the Biceps Muscle – Clinical Examination

Inspection and Palpation of the Biceps Muscle – Clinical Examination


Inspection and Palpation of the Biceps Muscle The biceps muscle consists of both a long and short head. The tendon of the long head runs from its insertion on the supraglenoid tubercle of the scapula, through the bicipital groove of the humerus. Examining the tendon is particularly important since it is a common site for irritation and degenerative changes. Before testing functionality of the tendon, inspect the biceps at rest and during contraction to detect any abnormalities. If the muscle belly is more distal, for example, a proximal rupture of the long head tendon should be suspected. Afterwards, palpate the tendon of the long head within the bicipital groove between the greater and minor tubercles. If the patient’s arm is palpated while rotating the arm in and out, the tendon should be detectable as it moves. Tenderness may be a sign of an inflammatory lesion or degeneration of the tendon. A noticeable click suggests a subluxation of the tendon.

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