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Biceps Tendinitis

What is Biceps Tendinitis?

Biceps tendonitis is defined as inflammation of the long head of the biceps tendon that connects the biceps muscle. People who suffer from this condition usually start complaining of pain. Arthritis, instability, and tears in the glenoid labrum often plague people already suffering from biceps tendonitis. Pain can travel the entire upper arm. There is also a snapping sound that some people experience. In many cases, physical therapy, rest and relaxation eventually heals the problem, while surgery is required for some sufferers with a more serious case of this condition.


Possible Causes

Overuse of the biceps tendon from repetitive movements is considered to be one of the leading causes of biceps tendonitis. Sports and work tasks that demand overhead movements of the arm are believed to cause the inflammation. Tennis, baseball, racquetball and swimming are four examples of sports that require the type of overhead motions that contribute to this painful condition.
Another possible cause of biceps tendonitis is through injury. Falling can cause trauma, and this can sometimes cause biceps tendonitis to develop. Any fall that tears the transverse humeral ligament allows the biceps tendon to slide out of the bicipital groove. This action leads to the inflammation of the biceps tendon and the development of the condition biceps tendinitis. Three other injuries are also believed to promote the development of biceps tendonitis. Injuries to the upper body, sustained in almost any manner (sports, repetitive motion, work) can all be associated with biceps tendonitis.


Treatment Options

Non-Surgical Treatment

Many biceps tendonitis sufferers respond to nonsurgical treatment. Resting the arm and discontinuing the activity that causes the problem is often enough to heal the inflammation. To manage the pain, anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen is often recommended.

Physical therapy or occupational therapy is also the answer for some people. Physical therapists are typically charged with the responsibility of relieving pain by reducing the inflammation. By providing joint manipulation and therapy relief from the pain can often be achieved. In addition to easing the pain, therapists consult with patients about the cause of the problem and make recommendations about how to avoid the same injury in the future.

Surgical Treatment

Acromioplasty is a common surgery used to treat the symptoms of bicipital tendonitis. A two-inch incision allows the surgeon the ability to remove a small piece of the acromion that creates more space between the humeral head and the acromion for the purpose of relieving pressure off the tissue in between, where the biceps tendon is located.


Recovery Time

The recovery time can vary depending on the treatment provided. For people undergoing physical therapy as a treatment to reduce and eliminate inflammation, heavy arm activity should be avoided for a period of three to four weeks after therapy ends. Overhead activities should be modified to prevent future problems. A Physical therapist can recommend ways to avoid injury as normal activities are eventually resumed.

For those people who require surgery, physicians recommend gentle exercises immediately following the procedure under the supervision of a physical therapist. At first, ice and electrical stimulation therapy may be recommended to reduce swelling and pain. Massage and other treatments are also used in some cases as other options for easing pain and promoting the healing process.


Why See Dr. Knight for Biceps Tendinitis?

As always, it is prudent to select a physician or surgeon who is recognized as an experienced specialist. Dr. John T. Knight is a renowned Orthopedic Surgeon who has spoken and appeared on Good Morning America, CNN and radio. Dr. Knight’s background and experience has also been featured in major publications. Educated at Louisiana State University School of Medicine, and studying and completing a Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship from Joseph H. Boyes, Dr. Knight began his career more than twenty years ago.

He is acknowledged as a prominent hand and wrist surgeon who specializes in innovative treatments that include minimally invasive techniques for the hand, wrist, and upper extremities. With twenty years of experience and 15,000 medical procedures to his credit, Dr. Knight offers the top credentials that all patients deserve.


Inflammation of the Biceps Tendon at the Elbow Animation Video



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