top of page

Biceps Tendonitis

Biceps Tendonitis

Biceps tendonitis is an overuse injury that causes inflammation of the biceps tendon, which connects the biceps muscle to the shoulder and elbow joints. Here is a detailed description of biceps tendonitis, including its anatomy, mechanism of injury, non-operative and operative treatments, and recovery:




The biceps muscle has two tendons that attach it to the bones of the shoulder and elbow joints: the long head and the short head. The long head of the biceps tendon runs from the top of the shoulder socket to the elbow joint, while the short head runs from the shoulder blade to the elbow joint.

Mechanism of Injury:


Biceps tendonitis is typically caused by overuse or repetitive movements that place stress on the biceps tendon. This can occur from activities such as lifting weights, throwing a ball, or performing overhead activities. Other factors that may contribute to the development of biceps tendonitis include age, poor posture, and shoulder instability.

Non-Operative Treatment:


Non-operative treatment for biceps tendonitis typically involves rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections. Rest and ice can help to reduce pain and swelling, while anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce inflammation. Physical therapy can help to improve range of motion and strength, and corticosteroid injections can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.


Operative Treatment:


If non-operative treatments are not effective, or if the biceps tendon is severely torn, surgical intervention may be necessary. Two common surgical procedures for biceps tendonitis are biceps tenotomy and biceps tenodesis. Biceps tenotomy involves cutting the damaged portion of the biceps tendon to relieve pain and improve function, while biceps tenodesis involves detaching the damaged biceps tendon from the shoulder and reattaching it to the upper arm bone.




Recovery from biceps tendonitis can take several weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the injury and the type of treatment. Non-operative treatment usually involves a period of rest followed by physical therapy to help restore strength and range of motion. Surgical recovery may involve immobilization of the arm for a period of time, followed by physical therapy to regain strength and range of motion. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions for rehabilitation and to avoid activities that may cause a re-injury.

bottom of page