How are biceps tendon disorders treated?
For biceps tendon injuries or disorders that are minor, treatment with ice, rest and anti-inflammatory medication will be prescribed. Tendinitis and partial tendon ruptures may not require surgery; some tendon tears may be associated with rotator cuff tears. Dr. Vidal will advise patients to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity until the tear heals completely. Physical therapy is then recommended to regain strength and flexibility to the shoulder.
Biceps tendon injuries and disorders do not always require surgical intervention. Dr. Vidal will discuss patient options based on age, activity level and severity of the injury. Biceps tendon tears that occur near the elbow almost always require surgery and should occur within a week or two of the injury.
Biceps tendon tears at the shoulder can be repaired with a minimally invasive surgery called arthroscopic repair. Dr. Vidal is experienced in complex shoulder procedures and would use small incisions to re-anchor the torn tendon back to the bone. If only a small part of the tendon is torn, a simple smoothing, or debridement of the torn fibers may be all that is required. If a large portion of the tendon is torn, the damaged part may be removed from inside the shoulder joint and then the remaining tendon would be attached to the humerus (upper arm bone), allowing the tendon to work normally again. This procedure is called biceps tenodesis.