Biceps tendon | Patient's Guide

Biceps tendon | Patient's Guide

Latest figures from WorkSafe show that a significant number of claims are for muscle or tendon injuries.

Biceps tendon injuries can be caused when a worker is required to undertake overhead shoulder work or frequent and intense heavy lifting.

What is biceps tendon injury?

The biceps muscle is located at the upper part of the arm. It has an important function to rotate the forearm and bend the elbow.

The upper part of the biceps muscle has two tendons – the long head and the short head. If the long head tendon is injured, it often causes pain in the shoulder. The lower part of the biceps muscle is attached to the forearm. When the lower part of the biceps is injured, it can cause pain in the elbow.

Biceps tendon tears

Bicep tendons can become weakened and inflamed (biceps tendonitis) leading to fraying of the tendon. As the damage progresses, the tendon can tear (ruptured biceps tendon). A tear of the biceps tendon can be partial or complete. 

What causes biceps tendon tears?

There are two main causes of biceps tendon tears:

1. Injury: such as falling on an outstretched hand, lifting heavy objects;

2. Overuse: wear and tear of the tendon over an extended period of time.

Work that involves heavy lifting or repetitive action can cause the tears.

What are the symptoms of biceps tendon tears?

Symptoms can vary from a sharp pain in the upper arm to hearing or feeling a ‘pop’ when the tendon tears. Other symptoms include weakness in the shoulder or elbow or a bulge in the upper arm called a ‘Popeye deformity’.


If you suspect you have a biceps tendon injury, it is important to get the right advice.

Book an appointment with your doctor to conduct a physical examination. Your doctor may want you to undergo imaging tests such as an x-ray or an MRI. 

Once you know more about your injury and it’s severity, it is important to seek legal advice so that you may claim compensation for time off work and medical expenses.

How Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers can help you

The shoulder will heal, but I need time off work and some medical treatment. Can I claim for this?

Yes. In order to make a claim for weekly payments of compensation and for medical expenses for an injury arising out of your employment, you need to lodge a claim with WorkSafe. Redlich's can assist you to complete the Worker’s Claim for Compensation form.

Our experienced lawyers can advise you about the benefits you should receive as a result of your biceps tendon injury.

The damage is permanent. What type of entitlements apply in this situation?

In addition to the payment of your medical expenses and weekly loss of wages, if the damage you have sustained has left you with a permanent impairment of your body, you may also be entitled to a lump sum payment.

Lump sum payments for physical injuries currently start at around $10,000, but this sum depends upon the type of injury and when it occurred. 

Claims for permanent impairment benefits cannot be made within 12 months of the injury, unless it can be proven that the injury has stabilised sooner. We can help you with your application for permanent impairment benefit.    

A permanent impairment benefit claim must be accompanied by medical records and medical reports from your treating practitioners. We can obtain these on your behalf.

What if I was injured in negligent circumstances?

In addition to your WorkCover entitlements, you may also be able to sue for further compensation if you were injured in negligent circumstances. 

To bring a claim in Court, you will need to establish that:

  • you have suffered a serious injury;
  • your employer’s negligence was a direct cause of the injury; and
  • you have suffered actual loss and damage as a result of the injury.

The time limit for this action is 6 years from the date of the negligent act, which caused your injury.

If you believe you have a serious injury claim it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. 

Our friendly and approachable lawyers have extensive experience in this area of law and can be contacted directly on (03) 9321 9988.

About us

Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers has been assisting injured Victorians for more than 40 years.  We are a leading personal injury practice with a passion for helping our clients access the compensation they need to get their lives back on track.

If you are injured or unwell and believe that you may be entitled to compensation, it is important to get advice early.  We take on all types of cases and represent all parts of the community, including people who find it difficult to afford a lawyer or speak a language other than English.

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