There are many different treatment options for biceps tendinopathy ranging from conservative therapy to invasive surgical therapy.Biceps tendinopathy can be ongoing for a long time if not correctly treated.
Medication. Such as nonsteroidal anti inflammatories (NSAIDs) aer used to help control inflammation and pain levels. It is best to talk to your doctor as they will advise and prescribe you the best medication for your symptoms.
Corticosteroid Injection. This procedure is carried out by your doctor and involves injection of a local anesthetic along with a steroid injection along the tendon. This therapy is used to help decrease the inflammation and speed up the recovery of the tissues.
Surgical intervention is often used with higher functional level patients and athletes, or those where conservative therapy has not worked. Surgery is normally performed arthroscopically, this is where small incisions are made into the shoulder joint and an arthroscope is inserted into the shoulder. This type of surgery allows the surgeon to assess the shoulder joint including the condition of the biceps tendon using small tools and cameras that are inserted into the arthroscope.
Biceps Tenodesis. During this procedure the damaged section of the tendon is removed and the remaining part of the tendon is reattached to the arm bone (humerus).
Tenotomy. In more severe cases where the tendon is too damaged to be repaired the surgeon may opt to release the tendon from its attachment to the glenoid labrum ( part of the shoulder joint). This is one of the least invasive surgeries however, it may result in a ‘popeye’ type bulge on the upper arm.
The overall negative effects of surgery is that it can damage the fascia surrounding the tissues of the shoulder joint. Fascia is a thin connective tissue that surrounds the muscles and tendons and prevents them from rubbing together. For this reason there is a small chance that some symptoms and discomfort might not completely disappear in the affected shoulder region.