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Biceps Tenodesis
Dr. James Chen, M.D. - In San Francisco, CA



An arthroscopic-assisted surgical procedure performed to relieve symptoms of chronic biceps tendonitis by shortening the tendon and removing it from areas that commonly cause inflammation. Through 2 or 3 small incisions around the shoulder an arthroscopic camera and instruments are used to identify the biceps tendon and examine the extent of inflammation or injury. After confirming the pathology the biceps tendon can be cut from its native attachment. An incision is made on the front of the arm slightly below the shoulder. The free biceps tendon is identified and the end is stitched and trimmed to an appropriate length. A hole is drilled in the humerus bone along the course of the tendon. The tendon is inserted in the hole and secured with an absorbable screw. This procedure maintains the function of the biceps muscle and resolves the symptoms of tendonitis.

Common Questions about Biceps Tenodesis

What is a biceps tenodesis procedure?

A biceps tenodesis is a procedure in which the long head of the biceps tendon is detached from its insertion on the shoulder socket and anchored on the humerus with a bioabsorbable anchor or a metal button. An injured long head biceps can cause pain and discomfort from friction, strangulation, and tearing. Removal of the tendon from the attachment on the socket provides relief.

Why is a biceps tenodesis performed?

If a patient has chronic biceps tendinitis that is refractory to nonsurgical treatment such as physical therapy, cortisone injections, and anti-inflammatory medications, then a tenodesis procedure is a good option for pain relief without any loss of biceps strength.

What is an open biceps tenodesis?

An open biceps tenodesis is when an open incision is made along the humerus where the tendon can be anchored into the humerus.

What is an arthroscopic biceps tenodesis?

An arthroscopic biceps tenodesis is when the long head biceps tendon is anchored arthroscopically into the humerus without additional open incisions. Typically, an arthroscopic tenodesis anchors the tendon in the bicipital groove.

What is a subpectoral biceps tenodesis?

A subpectoral biceps tenodesis is when the biceps tendon is anchored below the level of the pectoralis major muscle insertion on the humerus.

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