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Biceps Brachii

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Anatomy illustration of the biceps brachii
Diagram shows the position of the bicipitoradial bursa during pronation and supination. With pronation, the interval between the radius and ulna is decreased, resulting in increased intrabursal pressure.[1]


  • Distal biceps tendon
    • Courses laterally and deep
    • Inserts on Radial tuberosity of proximal Radius on the ulnar aspect
  • Bicipital Aponeurosis
    • Also termed lacertus fibrosus
    • Extends medially to insert on the fascia of the forearm
  • Distal biceps tendon anatomy
    • There is no distal tenosynovial sheath, only a paratenon
    • Classical description: single flat tendon which rotates 90° externally as it moves from anterior to posterior and medial to lateral
    • More recent: there are distinct short-head and long-head components contributing to a bifurcated tendon[2]
  • Bicipitoradial Bursa
    • Located between the distal biceps tendon anteriorly and the radial tuberosity posteriorly[3]
    • Lies along the medial cortex of the radius, partially envelops the distal biceps tendon
    • Occasionally it ensheaths the tendon[4]
    • Role: reduce friction between distal biceps tendon, proximal radius during pronation and supination
    • Enlargement can impair flexion/ extension of elbow, compress neurovascular structures
    • May compress superficial or deep branches of the radial nerve causing sensory or motor symptoms, respectively
  • Interosseous Bursa
    • Lies medial to the biceps tendon
    • May compress median nerve when enlarged
    • Compressive symptoms can worsen with pronation caused by increase tension within the bursa



  • Flexion of the elbow


  • Flexion and abduction of the shoulder
  • Stabilization of the glenohumeral joint when the upper extremity is abducted and externally rotated [5]


  • Anterior Humeral Circumflex Artery
  • Brachial Artery


Clinical Significance

See Also

  1. Malanga, Gerard, and Kenneth Mautner. Atlas of ultrasound-guided musculoskeletal injections. McGraw-Hill, 2014.
  2. Athwal GS, Steinmann SP, Rispoli DM. The distal biceps tendon: footprint and relevant clinical anatomy. J Hand Surg Am. 2007;32(8):1225–1229.
  3. Kannangara S, et al. Scintigraphy of cubital bursitis. Clin Nucl Med. 2002;27(5):348–350.
  4. Skaf AY, et al. Bicipitoradial bursitis: MR imaging findings in eight patients and anatomic data from contrast material opacification of bursae followed by routine radiography and MR imaging in cadavers. Radiology. 1999;212(1):111–116.
  5. "Sarmento, M. Long head of biceps: from anatomy to treatment. Acta Reumatol Port. 2015 Jan-Mar;40(1):26-33.
Created by:
Tyler Schmitz on 20 July 2019 22:08:37
Last edited:
5 September 2023 15:59:56