Biceps tendinitis can be described as inflammation or irritation of the biceps tendon at the shoulder. Otherwise known as the long head of the biceps tendon, this structure attached the biceps muscle to the bones in the shoulder. As tendinitis progresses, the covering of the tendon (tendon sheath) can thicken causing further irritation and inflammation. This condition usually occurs in conjunction with other shoulder conditions including; arthritis, tears of the labrum, shoulder impingement and others.
Pain in the front of the shoulder, along with weakness are common symptoms of biceps tendonitis. This discomfort often worsens with overhead activity and lifting.
Non-Surgical: Initially treatment usually consists of simple measures including rest, anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections along with physiotherapy to assist in restoring range of motion and strengthening the shoulder.
Surgical: Should non-surgical treatment not relieve the symptoms, surgery may be considered, especially if other shoulder problems are also present. This shoulder is generally performed arthroscopically in which a biceps tenodesis is performed which involves removing the damaged section of the biceps and remaining tendon is reattached to the upper arm bone.
Following surgery, a rehabilitation plan will be prescribed to restore range of motion and strength in the shoulder. Certain activities may need to be avoided following surgery to allow the repaired tendon to heal, however most patients have very good results and are able to achieve full range of motion and move the arm without pain. Through following an intensive rehabilitation program, improvements can be made out to 12 months following surgery.