Matthew Judon, a key defensive player for the New England Patriots, tore part of his bicep while playing against the Cowboys this past weekend. It has been said he had surgery on his bicep this week and his return to play is currently unknown.

Now let’s talk about it! The biceps brachii is located at the front of the arm and has 2 muscle bellies. One short head and one long head. The muscle crosses the shoulder and elbow joint. The biceps is a big shoulder and elbow stabilizer. The function of the biceps is:
⁃ shoulder flexion
⁃ elbow flexion
⁃ forearm pronation and supination (aka forearm twisting/turning)

Bicep tears can be partial or complete tears. In Judon’s case, it seems to be a partial tear. With complete tears though, the bicep can recoil and create a “popeye deformity”. Think of the funny Popeye cartoon and how big his arms are after eating lots of spinach! Thats what the bicep can look like if it is completely torn.

Signs and symptoms of biceps tears include:
⁃ Pain
⁃ Swelling/bruising
⁃ Decreased elbow mobility
⁃ Hearing a “pop”

How can PT’s help. Well, Judon will be in a brace for at least the first week where he will be unable to put weight through his arm and unable to mobilize elbow. As weeks and months occur, rehab and return to sport will include
⁃ Scar and soft tissue mobilization
⁃ Pain relief strategies
⁃ UE mobility and strength activities
⁃ Shoulder and forearm stabilization
⁃ Sport specific exercises and activities (4-6 months after surgery)

It is unclear when Judon will return, but for the Patriot’s sake, we hope it is sooner rather than later. Although, it is unlikely we won’t be seeing him on the field till next season!

Published October 5, 2023 | Posted in NFL Injury Spotlight.