Bicep Tendon Disorders

The biceps muscle has two origins at the shoulder:

  • The short head of the biceps – Inserts on the coracoid process of the scapula, which is outside the shoulder joint. It is almost never a source of shoulder pain.
  • The long head of the biceps – Inserts in the shoulder joint at the top of the shoulder socket (glenoid) and labrum.

shoulder-biceps-tendonitis

The long head of the biceps tendon is in close proximity to the rotator cuff tendons and is frequently affected in rotator cuff disorders. It is a common source of shoulder pain. Biceps pain can occur from tendinitis (inflammation of the tendon in the bicipital groove) or tendon tears.

shoulder-biceps-tendonitis2

Biceps tendon pain can often be treated nonoperatively with physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications. If nonoperative treatment is unsuccessful, arthroscopic treatment may be considered. The biceps tendon can either be released from its insertion (tenotomy) or released and secured in a new location on the humerus bone (tenodesis). These procedures can be done on an outpatient basis.

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