What is the treatment for a biceps tendon injury?
Patients diagnosed with a proximal biceps tendon injury typically recover with conservative treatment. The application of ice and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can reduce the pain and inflammation associated with this injury. Refraining from heavy lifting or other activities involving the upper arm is highly encouraged to promote recovery. Once the pain and inflammation have decreased, Dr. Williams will recommend a physical rehabilitation program aimed at strengthening and restoring range of motion to the shoulder joint.
*Non-surgical treatment is not appropriate for distal biceps tendon tears.
If a patient is experiencing cramping or severe pain, or if conservative therapy is unsuccessful, Dr. Williams may recommend a shoulder arthroscopy with Biceps Tenodesis for proximal biceps tendon injuries. A partial proximal biceps tendon tear may require debridement, a procedure where only the torn or frayed edges of the tendon are removed. A procedure known as biceps tenodesis may be utilized if the tendon is completely torn, or a large portion of the tendon is torn. This procedure removes the damaged portion of the tendon from the shoulder joint and then reattaching the remaining tendon to the humerus. The small incisions employed with the arthroscopic approach allow patients to return to their normal activities in a shorter period of time.
Distal biceps tendon tears require open surgical repair. A small incision is made at the anterior elbow, and the tendon is reattached to the radius using specialized instruments called suture anchors.