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What is Proximal Biceps Tenodesis?


Proximal biceps tenodesis is the surgical reattachment of a surgically altered torn proximal biceps tendon, which connects the upper part of your biceps muscle to the shoulder.

Who may benefit from a Bicep Tenodesis?

  • Chronic biceps tendonitis refractory to conservative treatment
  • Acute proximal biceps tears on young, active patients
  • Chronic labral pathology
  • Excessive use of the shoulder during sports and overhead activities

Why is Proximal Biceps Tenodesis Necessary?

Non-surgical treatment includes medication, resting or avoiding activities that aggravate your symptoms, application of cold packs or physical therapy. ¬†Proximal biceps tenodesis is recommended by your doctor if you: 

  • Do not respond to nonsurgical treatment methods
  • Have other structures injured within the shoulder 
  • Are an active individual who requires restoration of muscle architecture

How is Proximal Biceps Tenodesis Performed?

The surgery may be performed by arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) or open surgery if proximal bicep tenodesis is part of a larger surgery. Proximal bicep tenodesis may involve the following steps:

  • You are given general anesthesia. 
  • A tiny incision is made by your surgeon. 
  • An arthroscope, which is a thin tube-like instrument with a camera, is inserted through the incision to visualize the joint.
  • Your surgeon views the inside of the shoulder joint and the bicep tendon tear on a monitor and performs the necessary surgical repair.
  • The injured tendon is detached from the shoulder joint (It may already be detached in the case of a complete tear). 
  • The frayed end of the long head of the bicep is clipped off.
  • An anchoring device is used to reattach the tendon to the bone. 
  • The incision is closed, and a surgical dressing is placed. 

Risks associated with Proximal Biceps Tenodesis

Proximal biceps tenodesis is a very safe procedure; however, there may be certain risks which include, but are not limited to, bleeding, infection, delayed healing, or failure to heal.

Recovery after Proximal Biceps Tenodesis

After the procedure, you may be given pain medicine for a few days to keep you comfortable and your shoulder will be supported by a sling for about a month. Physical therapy may be recommended after a week or two to maximize the range of motion and shoulder strength.

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons
  • Orthopaedic Trauma Association
  • Weill Cornell Medicine
  • AANA Advancing the Scope