05 November 2010

Bicep injury, treatment advice

For patients with tendinopathy both surgical and nonsurgical treatments show promise, need more study.

For patients with tendinopathy both surgical and nonsurgical treatments show promise, need more study.


  • Recent studies reported no significant difference in function or patient satisfaction between the two primary surgical options, biceps tenotomy or tenodesis.
  • Each year, an average of 10 million people seek medical attention in a surgeon or physician’s office or at the ER for a shoulder injury and an average of 4 million people come in with arm injuries.
  • Both surgical treatments for LHB tendinopathy are statistically successful, with a complication rate of less than 1%.

  • Both surgical options - biceps tenotomy and tenodesis (between which the article found no preference) now can be performed via arthroscopy.
  • The authors agree that nonsurgical treatment is the first – and in many cases may be the only –treatment necessary.
  • The authors of this review seem to agree that of the two surgical options, biceps tenodesis should be used in younger, active patients.

  • Rest;
  • anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • activity modification; and
  • physical therapy.

  • Sudden, sharp pain in the upper arm
  • Audible popping or snapping in the shoulder or elbow
  • Cramping of the biceps muscle with strenuous use of the arm
  • Bruising from the middle of the upper arm down toward the elbow
  • Pain or tenderness at the shoulder and the elbow
  • Weakness in the shoulder and the elbow
  • Difficulty turning the palm of the hand up or down
  • Because a torn tendon can no longer keep the biceps muscle tight, a bulge in the upper arm above the elbow ("Popeye Muscle") may appear, with a dent (signifying absence of muscle) closer to the shoulder. (EurekAlert/November 2010)




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