Biceps Tendinopathy

Biceps Tendinopathy

Body Part


The shoulder is a ball and socket joint in the upper extremity. The glenoid (the socket) and the humeral head (ball) form the gleno-humeral joint. This joint is enclosed in a capsule. Surrounding the shoulder are the tendons of four muscles that are responsible for the initiation and modulation of shoulder movement – the rotator cuff. Running in a groove in front of the arm bone is one of the biceps tendons. The biceps is the big muscle at the front of the arm and one of its tendons crosses and enters the front of the shoulder joint. It attached on to a roll of soft tissue called the labrum. This tendon bends the elbow but also aids in shoulder function.


This tendon can become sensitive and inflamed, sometimes because of repeated use of the shoulder and acute trauma, but a lot of the time it can happen without any clear cause.


The individual will complain of pain in the front of the shoulder. The tenderness can be illicited by certain special tests, and will be made worse by certain movements of the shoulder.


Your surgeon will assess and investigate you and once the diagnosis is made treatment is initially non-surgical with activity modification and anti-inflammatory medication. If your symptoms fail to respond to these measures the shoulder can be injected, a procedure that can be done in clinic or in the radiology department under ultrasound guidance. In severe cases that are resistant to the above measures an operation may be necessary. Your surgeon can discuss this with you.