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Sports Medicine

Dent in Bicep Muscle Caused by Trauma

05/09/2011

Question:

While riding a bicycle at approximately 20 MPH, a vehicle, which had just passed me, stopped in a traffic lane and a passenger opened her door suddenly. I struck the door edge with my handlebar and left arm. there was heavy bruising and swelling of the left upper arm but no severe pain or loss of range of motion. There was definitely no tendon damage.After two weeks the swelling is gone and the only bruising left in a a diagonal line across the bicep. My concern is that the bicep itself appears to be dented in the same diagonal pattern. Although attempting to curl heavier weights is painful at the site of the dent there is no other pain, loss of strength or diminished mobility. Can a muscle be dented?

Answer:

This dent may be in the subcutaneous (beneath the skin) tissue overlying the muscle rather than in the muscle itself. Alternatively, there may have been disruption or tearing of the more superficial layers of your biceps muscle. There has to have been some degree of injury to your biceps muscle since you experience pain in your biceps when curling heavy weights.

If you haven't done so already, and particularly if this problem and your concern persist, you may wish to consult with your physician and/or a sports medicine physician. An MRI scan (or diagnostic ultrasound imaging, if available) would clarify the integrity of your biceps muscle, but this information would be useful mainly if surgical management of your condition was to be seriously considered.

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University