Biceps Tenodesis: What Is It, and Do I Need One

What is it?

Biceps tenodesis (also known as “the tenos muscle”) is a common exercise performed by many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. The purpose of performing this exercise is to develop the bicep muscles which are responsible for extending your arms and gripping objects such as barbells or dumbbells. These muscles are also responsible for punching, kicking, throwing, climbing etc.

The bicep muscles are often used during resistance training programs. They are very effective in building strength and size.

However, they have some disadvantages when compared with other exercises like squats, deadlifts, lunges etc.

The main problem with using them is that their range of motion is limited and they tend to cause pain if not done correctly.

The following are some of the reasons why using them may lead to injury:

1) Short Range Of Motion : Due to its short range of motion, it causes discomfort in the upper back region.

If you use it too much, then you will feel tightness in these areas. You may even experience pain due to this issue.

2) Poor Technique: Using this exercise is very straightforward.

However, there are some techniques that you can use to increase or decrease the intensity and also prevent injuries.

If you perform it with poor technique, then it may put unnecessary stress on your bicep tendon which may lead to tears and other tendon-related issues.

3) Not Knowing When To Stop: Many people tend to ignore the pain that occurs while doing this exercise.

They think that they can handle more weight than they actually can.

The logical approach in this situation is to STOP and decrease the weight. If not, then you may risk suffering from tears, fractures, or other serious issues.

This is why it is always a good idea to know your limits and exercise caution while training with free weights.

Who needs it?

Biceps tenodesis is an operation that is required by those patients who have damaged their bicep tendon completely. These patients have a lot of pain in their arm and cannot lift or extend their arm properly.

In most cases, the patient will also experience numbness and tingling sensations due to nerve damage or other health issues. This procedure is also recommended for those who have been suffering from frozen shoulder.

How it works?

The main goal of this surgery is to remove the sheath around your bicep tendon. This is done so that it can be easily moved without causing pain or discomfort. The tendon will be detached from the bone in your shoulder area to prevent any type of friction that may cause pain.

Patients who go through this surgery should remain completely immobile for 4 weeks before light stretching exercises can be performed. It is very important to remain immobile for the first month since any type of movement may cause bleeding or tearing of your bicep tendon and will require you to go back to the operating room for treatment.

This is a major procedure, so it is not suitable for everyone who experiences pain while lifting. Only patients who do not respond well to anti-inflammatory medications are eligible for this surgery.

What are the risks and side effects?

There are a lot of risks involved in this surgery. It is a highly invasive procedure that may result in excessive bleeding or nerve damage. A patient may also suffer from infection due to unsanitary surgical equipment.

Other risks that you should be aware of:

– Inability to extend or flex your arm completely

– Feeling of “looseness” or “slack” in the tendon

– Numbness in your fingers

– Excessive scar tissue that may lead to stiffness in your arm

– Inability to carry out daily tasks (You may require the help of another person to perform some tasks.)

How much does it cost?

Due to the nature of this procedure, bicep tenodesis is rarely covered by medical insurance. This means that you will have to cover all the costs of the procedure yourself.

The average cost of bicep tenodesis in the US is USD 12,500 though this may vary depending on your location and medical facility.

Who can perform the procedure?

Bicep tenodesis is a very technical procedure that requires a medical professional who is trained to perform surgery. Your general practitioner may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon or a physical therapist.

Before the procedure can be performed, you will have to consult with your surgeon so that he may assess if you are a suitable candidate for the surgery. He may also advise you to go through physical therapy before deciding to go under the knife.

How do I get the procedure done?

Your surgeon will provide you with instructions on how to prepare for bicep tenodesis. He will provide you with guidelines on what you can and cannot eat or drink before the surgery.

You are required to stop taking any medication that may interfere with blood clotting at least two weeks before the surgery as well. Depending on your location and medical facility, you may be required to stay in the facility for a few days after the surgery.Bicep tenodesis is a major surgery, so you will have to spend time recovering in the hospital.

You may be required to get assistance at home as well. Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions on how long you will have to rest and how you should go about your daily activities once you go home.

Your surgeon will most likely provide you with physical therapy instructions as well.

Should I get the surgery done?

That is a decision that only you can make. We have provided you with all the information that we believe is relevant to your decision. It is now up to you to decide if bicep tenodesis is right for you.

Sources & references used in this article:

Interference screw vs. suture anchor fixation for open subpectoral biceps tenodesis: does it matter? by PJ Millett, B Sanders, R Gobezie, S Braun… – BMC musculoskeletal …, 2008 – Springer

Biceps tenotomy versus tenodesis: a review of clinical outcomes and biomechanical results by AR Hsu, NS Ghodadra, CDRMT Provencher… – Journal of Shoulder and …, 2011 – Elsevier

A humerus fracture in a baseball pitcher after biceps tenodesis by EJ Dein, G Huri, JC Gordon… – The American journal …, 2014 –

Anatomy of the biceps tendon: implications for restoring physiological length-tension relation during biceps tenodesis with interference screw fixation by PJ Denard, X Dai, BT Hanypsiak, SS Burkhart – Arthroscopy: The Journal of …, 2012 – Elsevier