Bicep tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon that connects the bicep muscle to the bones in the shoulder and elbow, is a common condition that can cause significant discomfort and impede arm functionality. This article delves into the condition’s complexities and the comprehensive treatment solutions offered by Dr. Michael Bercik, a respected orthopedic surgeon at Lancaster Orthopedic Group.

Bicep TendonitisDr. Michael Bercik is highly regarded for his proficiency in addressing intricate shoulder and elbow issues, including bicep tendonitis. His remarkable academic achievements, with degrees from Georgetown University and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, are complemented by comprehensive international fellowship training. Dr. Bercik demonstrates a commitment to a patient-focused approach in orthopedic treatment with unwavering dedication to excellence in patient care.

What is Bicep Tendonitis?

Frequently seen in athletes and individuals engaging in repetitive arm movements, bicep tendonitis is caused by inflammation of the tendon connecting the bicep muscle to the bones of the shoulder and elbow. Patients with bicep tendonitis may experience:

  • Persistent pain in the upper arm area
  • Swelling and tenderness near the shoulder or elbow
  • Increased discomfort during lifting or overhead activities
  • A sensation of snapping or popping in the shoulder

Surgical Treatment of Bicep Tendonitis

Surgical treatment of bicep tendonitis is typically considered when conservative measures, such as physical therapy, medication, and rest, fail to provide effective relief. Surgery is usually recommended for patients with severe tendonitis or those who have experienced tendon rupture. A few surgical interventions include:

  • Biceps Tenodesis: This procedure involves anchoring the torn or damaged biceps tendon to the bone. Dr. Bercik may either reattach the tendon to the upper arm bone (humerus) or clip the tendon to prevent it from sliding through the groove at the shoulder joint.
  • Biceps Tenotomy: In a tenotomy, the tendon is released from its attachment point in the shoulder. This method is often chosen for older patients or those with less active lifestyles, as it can result in a cosmetic “Popeye” bulge in the biceps.
  • Arthroscopic Surgery: For some patients, an arthroscopic approach can be used. This minimally invasive surgery involves small incisions and a camera to guide the procedure. Dr. Bercik cleans out the inflamed tissue and repairs the tendon. This technique is less invasive and typically results in quicker recovery times.

Post-Surgical Rehabilitation

Recovery and rehabilitation are critical components of successful surgical outcomes. Post-operative care typically includes:

  • Immobilization: Initially, the arm may need to be immobilized in a sling to allow the tendon to heal.
  • Physical Therapy: After rest, physical therapy is crucial for restoring strength and range of motion. Exercises gradually progress from gentle stretches to more strenuous activities.
  • Pain Management: Pain and discomfort post-surgery are managed with medications and other pain relief methods.
  • Gradual Return to Activities: Patients are advised to slowly return to their normal activities, following the guidance of their healthcare provider and physical therapist.

The goal of surgical treatment for bicep tendonitis is to alleviate pain and restore normal function to the arm. Most patients experience significant pain relief and improved arm strength post-surgery. However, the success of the surgery often depends on the patient’s commitment to rehabilitation and adherence to post-operative care instructions.

Bicep Tendonitis Treatment with Dr. Bercik

Under Dr. Bercik’s care, patients suffering from bicep tendonitis can expect a holistic treatment approach, encompassing everything from initial diagnosis to advanced surgical procedures and thorough rehabilitation. His expertise ensures symptomatic relief and a strategic approach towards long-term shoulder and arm health.

To schedule an appointment, please complete an appointment request form or call 717.560.4200.