Bicep Tendon Injury & Pain

Diagnosis and Treatment for Bicep Strains, Tears & Tendonitis at the Shoulder

Bicep Tendon Injuries

A biceps tear or bicep strain can occur in the shoulder or elbow, depending on which end of bicep muscle or bicep tendon is affected. Proximal bicep tendon injury (at the shoulder) is often a cause of shoulder pain. This is sometimes missed if a careful examination is not performed.

Complete Bicep Tendon Tears

The biceps muscle in the arm has a tendon that attaches to the glenoid, or socket, within the shoulder. If the tendon tears, the muscle sometimes “falls” down into the arm. This is known as a Popeye deformity. Although this looks strange, most patients do not have pain or significant weakness and therefore do not need to have surgery unless they don’t like the way it looks.

Partial Bicep Tendon Tears

Partial tears, however, are more common than complete ruptures. Partial tears can occur alone or with rotator cuff problems. Dr. Goradia repairs partial biceps tendon tears using an arthroscopic technique he helped develop called a biceps tenodesis. It involves removing the damaged part of the tendon and re-attaching the remaining portion back to the bone.

Proximal Biceps Tendonitis

Proximal biceps tendonitis typically causes pain at the front of the shoulder. Biceps tendonitis is often caused by overuse, which leads to inflammation and micro tears in the tendon. Tendonitis can also result from an acute injury, such as a sudden heavy load on the tendon. Treatments for biceps tendonitis range from noninvasive options such as cortisone injections and physical therapy to surgery, depending on the patient’s specific case. If surgery is needed to repair the tendon, Dr. Goradia uses an arthroscopic technique, allowing for faster recovery times.