Shoulder tendonitis treatment options
Non-surgical treatment of tendinitis in the biceps (long head)
Episodes of inflammation can be treated nonsurgically using traditional methods:
- Cortisone injection
Surgical treatment of tendinitis in the biceps (long head)
Surgical treatment of disorders of the long head of the biceps is reserved for chronic pain issues from a partial tendon tear. It consists in treating the tear at the point of attachment to the superior labrum (tenotomy) and, possibly, reinsertion of the biceps tendon onto the humerus (tenodesis). This type of procedure can be combined with rotator cuff repair surgery, since a tear in the long head of the biceps is frequently accompanied by a rotator cuff tear; observation of a long head biceps tear should therefore alert us to this second diagnosis.
Treatment of a spontaneous rupture of the biceps at the shoulder (long head)
The long head of the biceps can detach spontaneously at the shoulder, usually after physical exertion. The patient will often hear a popping sound and see bruising or notice that that biceps muscle is “drooping” toward the elbow. The long biceps is a secondary tendon and detachment is rarely disabling if the rotator cuff is unaffected. There is no need to repair it, therefore, because the only real disadvantage is the appearance of the arm, and surgery could cause further damage.
Many professional athletes have torn the long head of the biceps and never had surgery. A shining example in sports medicine is the former NFL star quarterback John Elway, who won two Super Bowls after a tear in the long head of the biceps in his dominant arm. It was not treated surgically, and he even boasted that his ability to throw was improved after the injury!
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Five months after my operation, despite the severity of my wound, I am again able to ride a bike without difficulty or pain. I had an impeccable and attentive follow-up from Dr. Beauchamp. Thank you!