Biceps Tenodesis


What is a biceps tenodesis? 

A biceps tenodesis is a type of surgery used to treat a tear in the tendon that connects your biceps muscle to your shoulder. The tenodesis may be performed alone or as part of a larger procedure on the shoulder. The procedure is typically used when the biceps tendon causes pain in and around the shoulder, whether from biceps tendonitis or a biceps tendon tear. Injury, overuse, and aging can all cause inflammation and wear-and-tear of the tendon, and are some of the most common reasons for this type of shoulder pain.


Who needs a biceps tenodesis? 

In order to fully relieve shoulder pain, a biceps tendon injury may need to be addressed. Patients who develop cramping of the muscle or pain, or who require complete recovery of strength, such as athletes or manual laborers, may require surgery. Surgery may also be the right option for those with partial tears or chronic tendonitis whose symptoms are not relieved with nonsurgical treatment. In these cases, Dr. Potts may recommend surgical intervention with a biceps tenodesis to reattach the torn tendon.


What happens during a biceps tenodesis?

A biceps tenodesis is performed under general anesthesia, and may be done through a small, open incision. During the procedure, the normal attachment of the biceps tendon in the shoulder joint is detached from its normal attachment (if not completely torn already) so that it can be reinserted at a new location further down the arm bone. A hole is created the top of the arm bone (humerus), and the proximal end of the tendon is secured in place by screwing it to the bone with a specialized anchor.

A biceps tenodesis may be performed as an isolated procedure but more often is part of a larger shoulder surgery, such as a rotator cuff repair or shoulder labral repair. Surgery is quite safe, with few complications, and can restore nearly all of your arm strength and function.