What is Biceps Tendonitis?

Biceps tendonitis is a common cause of shoulder pain in the front of the shoulder. The muscle that gives the shoulder the ability to rotate the arm and bend at the elbow is called the biceps muscle. The attachment that holds the biceps muscle to the shoulder bone is called the biceps tendon. Athletes who participate in overhead sports, such as swimming, basketball or tennis are at an elevated risk for developing biceps tendonitis. Patients with biceps tendonitis complain shoulder pain and weakness which is caused by inflammation as a result of wear and tear of the tendon. Dr. Armando Vidal, orthopedic shoulder surgeon is experienced at treating patients with severe shoulder pain caused by biceps tendonitis. Patients in Vail, Aspen and the surrounding Denver, Colorado communities trust him to properly diagnose and treat shoulder pain.

Distal Biceps Tendon | Vail CO

What can be done for biceps tendon pain?

Shoulder pain can have many different causes and treatments. Dr. Vidal will often prescribe a conservative approach for mild shoulder pain without recurring dislocations which includes rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) along with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAIDs). For patients who have not responded to non-surgical treatment and are still experiencing pain and instability, Dr. Vidal will often recommend a procedure called biceps tenodesis.

What is biceps tenodesis treatment?

Biceps tenodesis is used to treat a tear in the tendon that connects the biceps muscle to the shoulder. During this procedure, Dr. Vidal will release the tendon from its attachment inside the shoulder joint (called a tenotomy) and reattach the tendon to the upper arm bone (humerus). By reattaching the tendon to the arm bone, instead of inside the shoulder joint (glenoid), allows it to move away from the site of aggravation, allowing overhead movement and activity to resume. The procedure allows the muscle to function, while allowing the tendon to avoid cramping, pinching or other causing other shoulder discomfort. Patients in Vail, Aspen and the surrounding Denver, Colorado communities experience great relief from pain after biceps tenodesis.

Are biceps tendon procedures done arthroscopically?

Arthroscopic surgery for biceps tendonitis and other biceps tendon problems is the preferred method of treatment. Often, it is combined with rotator cuff repair because the biceps tendon passes through the rotator cuff, into the shoulder joint. If the rotator cuff becomes torn, the biceps tendon can become unstable. Dr. Vidal can correct both problems during the same surgery. On occasion and if there is significant shoulder damage that requires more intense repair, Dr. Vidal may use open surgery to complete the necessary treatment.

How long does it take to recover after a biceps tenodesis?

As with most surgical orthopedic procedures, recovery time will vary based on the age, extent of injury and overall patient health. Here are a few things to expect:

  • A sling is placed after surgery to provide comfort and to keep the shoulder immobile.
  • Passive shoulder exercises (where someone else moves your shoulder) begins shortly after surgery to preserve range of motion.
  • Active shoulder exercises (you move your own arm and shoulder) continue as approved by Dr. Vidal and his team.
  • The sling is often used for 2-4 weeks after shoulder surgery but can be removed for physical therapy.
  • Heavy lifting should be avoided until the biceps tendon has healed. This is typically 10 weeks.
  • Strengthening exercises may begin after complete biceps healing.
  • A return to regular activities typically usually occurs within 3 months.

Biceps Tendon Surgeon

The biceps tendon is a crucial tendon in the arm that can be damaged by frequent overhead movements, or by carrying heavy items consistently. There are many non-surgical treatments, however, more severe tears or injuries to the biceps may require surgery. Arthroscopic shoulder surgeon, Doctor Armando Vidal can provide accurate diagnosis and surgical treatment for patients in Vail, Aspen, and the surrounding Denver, Colorado communities who have experienced an injury to the biceps tendon. Contact Dr. Vidal’s team today!


The Steadman Clinic – Vail, CO
180 S Frontage Rd W
Vail, CO 81657

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226 Lusher Court
Ste 101
Frisco, CO 80443

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322 Beard Creek Road
Edwards, CO 81632


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Vail, CO 81657

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