Biceps tenodesis surgery is a procedure to repair the biceps tendon, a long cord-like structure that attaches the biceps muscle of your upper arm to the elbow at one end and the shoulder at the other. At the shoulder end, the biceps tendon divides into two strands, called the long head and the short head.
The biceps tenodesis procedure is performed to treat shoulder pain or reduced range of motion caused by inflammation or a tear in the biceps tendon. The most common biceps tendon injury occurs in the long head biceps tendon, which attaches to the top of the shoulder socket (the glenoid).
Pain from an inflamed or torn biceps tendon usually occurs in the front part of the shoulder and at the top of the humerus, the large upper-arm bone that runs from the shoulder to the elbow. The pain is often worse at night. Other symptoms may include cramping, tingling, swelling, and difficulty moving the affected shoulder or arm.
Why Choose Cooper for Biceps Tenodesis Surgery
Cooper is home to a board-certified and fellowship-trained specialist in shoulder surgery, with extensive experience in performing this procedure—and a track record of successful patient outcomes.
What Biceps Tenodesis Surgery Involves
During the biceps tenodesis procedure, your surgeon inserts a special type of screw or anchoring device into the upper part of the humerus. Your surgeon then clips off the end of the long head of the biceps, and sews the remaining portion of the tendon onto the screw or anchoring device, reattaching it to the humerus instead of the glenoid.
The procedure is typically performed arthroscopically, under general anesthesia. This minimally invasive approach involves small incisions through which a small camera and other surgical tools are inserted.
If the biceps tenodesis is part of a larger operation such as rotator cuff repair, conventional open surgery on the shoulder may be performed instead.
When Biceps Tenodesis Surgery Is Indicated
Biceps tenodesis surgery is performed to treat significant shoulder pain that doesn’t respond to more conservative, nonsurgical methods, such as physical therapy or anti-inflammatory medication.
Recovering From Biceps Tenodesis Surgery
Recovery from biceps tenodesis takes time, and involves three key components:
- Rest in the days after surgery to allow your body to heal
- Wearing a sling for 4 to 6 weeks to immobilize your shoulder and arm while it heals
- Physical therapy to help you regain range of motion and strength
Most people who undergo biceps tenodesis surgery achieve a functional range of motion and adequate strength within 4 to 6 months post-surgery. Complete recovery may take up to a year.
A high percentage of people who undergo biceps tenodesis report good to excellent results, including satisfactory pain relief and muscle strength improvement.