1. Health
Jonathan Cluett, M.D.

Biceps Tenodesis vs. Tenotomy

By March 14, 2006

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Patients with biceps tendon problems, including biceps tendonitis and SLAP tears, may require surgical treatment. When the biceps tendon needs treatment, two options include biceps tenodesis and biceps tenotomy.

In a biceps tenodesis, the attachment of the biceps is moved to relieve pressure on the injured tendon. Patients have a slightly longer rehab, but better function and a normal appearing biceps muscle.

Patients who have a biceps tenotomy have the injured biceps tendon cut. The rehab is easy because there are no restrictions on the patient. There may be some arm cramping associated with a biceps tenotomy, and the biceps muscle may look slightly abnormal. Deciding which procedure is best for you depends on a number of factors you can discuss with your doctor.

March 8, 2007 at 1:13 am
(1) Linda Franz says:

The article says, “Deciding which procedure is best for you depends on a number of factors you can discuss with your doctor.” Can you please describe what these “factors” might be.

March 11, 2007 at 5:43 pm
(2) orthopedics says:

Factors include patient age, apprearance of the tendon at the time of surgery, other procedures being performed (for example rotator cuff repair), and surgeon preference. Many surgeons find that, in their hands, one procedure is far preferable to the other. Again, you should discuss with your doctor the plan for your surgery.

July 6, 2007 at 12:03 am
(3) William Crow says:

It seems highly unlikely full strength can be obtained after a biceps tenotomy.What are your thoughts on this?
Thank you

July 6, 2007 at 4:09 pm
(4) B Klooster says:

Any information on this procedure being performed on someone who had hemi-arthroplasty?

July 6, 2007 at 8:14 pm
(5) Bill Perry says:

An MRI shows that I have a partial tear of the rotator cuff. Would a MRI with contrast tell if the biceps tendon is involoved?

August 22, 2007 at 12:44 pm
(6) TJ says:

My doctor did not discuss this procedure with me before hand. Initially I was to get a slap repair, but once in there he discovered it was a torn bicep tendon. My doctor did a Tenotomy on me and now I have cramping and weakness. Is there anything that can be done to fix this problem once this procedure has been done? I hate that this is the outcome.

October 22, 2007 at 11:58 am
(7) Robert A. Burstein says:

To TJ – Did your doctor inform you that there was a possibility that you might need a tenotomy? If not, you have a potential claim. If you reside in NY, please contact me or David Blum at 212-947-9416 for a free consultation.

December 27, 2007 at 7:06 pm
(8) Bill McDonald says:

I have a slap tear and have the option of a tenodesis or tenotomy. My doctor likes to do tenodesis but told me of the additional risks of not working or infection. I am 45 and very athletic. What would you recommend?

January 1, 2008 at 3:41 pm
(9) Marrianne says:

I am 8 weeks post op for rotator cuff surgery and a tenomoty. I was NOT informed beforehand of the tenomoty. He explained the process of the rotator cuff surgery but made no mention other than saying he might have to “shave the bone” a bit. I am on worker’s comp as this resulted from a fall on the job due to negligence of another worker. I am also 50 years old, and used to manual labor as a way of making a living. I have been subsequently fired from this position. What are my rights here in the state of Georgia? On, and this surgery happened on my dominant side and until I asked my physical therapist this past week about the “bicep surgery” listed on my report, I didn’t even have an idea it had been done.

January 25, 2008 at 2:58 am
(10) Cindy E says:

I am 3 months post op from a Hemi arthroplasy. More pain now than before. I can only manage pain with Celebrix and T3′s. One doctors possible diagnosis is bicep tendonitis. Some symptoms such as catching/pinching, are similar to ones prior to surgery. Could this problem have existed already and would not have been noticed during surgery. No MRI was done prior, only a CAT scan and X ray. If so, can this be treated? I am active 49 years old and am still not able to resume basic activities pain free.

February 19, 2008 at 8:36 am
(11) terri says:

I am scheduled for a biceps tenotomy and am not sure it is a good idea. I am only 38 years of age and am active in sports..especially volleyball. I get the feeling that this is a simple answer for the surgeon. Any inputs?

March 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm
(12) BJ says:

My husband is scheduled for surgery on Friday and says the doctor plans to sever his bicep tendon. This will be the 5th surgery on this shoulder. I am very concerned about the fact the it’s his dominant hand/arm (right). The physician states he may lose 20-30% of strength in that arm after procedure.

April 15, 2008 at 9:59 pm
(13) Ed says:

In technical terms, the long head of my Biceps tendon is subluxed off its humeral groove. My doctor has suggested either Tenotomy or Tenodesis, but seems to be pushing the tenotomy. I am 47 and very active in sports including some rock climbing. Everything I’ve read suggests some loss in strength, chance of cramping and possible “Popeye syndrome”. I’m inclined to get the tenodesis, and deal with the added rehab. Any suggestions form someone who has experienced this or from an MD?

May 17, 2008 at 3:02 pm
(14) lucy says:

I injured my shoulder at work in may of 2006,pain from chest/shoulder to elbow front to back.Went to Dr.he did surgery to release the bicep tendon,had surgery,still in pain,went back to Dr.he wanted to do surgery again,we went to 2nd Dr.,this Dr.repaired a tear in the rotar cuff.I am still having pain in the bicep from the 1st surgery,the arm is weak,cramps,and feels like stabing at chest/shoulder area.The 2nd Dr.suggested as a last resort to reattach the bicep tendon,may not make things any better.I going to see a 3rd Dr.soon and see what he says.Has any had this happen to them.

May 23, 2008 at 1:06 am
(15) Tim says:

I had a surgery in sep 2006 doing a slap bank repair …. had bicep tendon pain but went back to work because of losing my job over it and retor my laberum and rotator cuff and had a second surgery in sep 2007 and that is working great besides the biceps tendon pain so now I have the same stupid option as everyone else as far as just clipping or replacing…. surgeon just thinks clipping it is the answer. I gotta think that cant be the best way.

June 14, 2008 at 1:48 pm
(16) Scott says:

I am in the military. I had a SLAP repair done in Dec. Afer physical therapy I was still in pain. So in May I had a Tenodesis performed. Now 6 weeks out my surgeon thinks the screw has seperated(waiting on MRI results). The doctor is 50/50 on going back in to reattach. I am 26 years old and extremly active. Any advice would be much appreciated.

June 27, 2008 at 1:23 pm
(17) Pat says:

I had a slap tear repaired on my right shoulder a few years ago. Two months after surgery, I still had the clicking sound & pain (tendon out of groove, passing over the bone) The doctor did a bicep tenodesis and after that I got a frozen shoulder. A year and a shoulder manipulation later eventually all felt well. Until this past month when I had pain in my right bicep, went back to Dr, had cortisone shot and one month of PT. Went back to Dr yesterday, he thinks I have a torn bicep tendon now, I will have an MRA soon. He also tells me if the bicep tendon is frayed and can’t be surgically repaired again, he will have to cut it. Leaving me with a “Popeye” bump on my bicep! (Very attractive I’m sure). I don’t want this and it will be my last resort. How will I know going in if it can’t be repaired or I end up with this lump on my otherwise normal arm? Am I being too vain, or is there another way to treat this(without cutting the bicep and losing 30% of the strength in my dominant right arm) even if the bicep
is frayed?

August 21, 2008 at 1:43 am
(18) Patty says:

I have recently verified a partial thickness tear to my anterior rotator cuff..just saw my surgeon who explained to me that I may need a tenodesis vs. tenodomy….he says to seve the tendon is the easiest rehab..not sure but I agree with many others in the fact that I don’t feel I will be able to function as well without my bicep …any advice??

August 28, 2008 at 9:37 pm
(19) Mike says:

Had a tenodesis on 8-7-08 and still having severe pains all the way down my humorous and very limited motion due to pain 3 weeks after surgery. My advice…No surgery except as last resort and only if you can’t live with present pain level. Pain pump sucked too! That needle was stabbed into my neck in recovery while they were trying to discharge me! I thought that would have been done while still under anesthesia. Guess i was wrong! Only lasted about 8 hours and I woke up in middle of night crying like a baby girl !!! Pain resembled hot iron held to the bone for the first week. Still having severe “charlie horse” type pain in triceps and biceps muscles of left arm.

August 31, 2008 at 5:05 am
(20) sarah says:

feel for you,had thermal shrinkage & decompression in 04, got severe frozen shoulder which spread to other shoulder, mua on that one,original shoulder been in pain ever since now they want to do tenodesis ,but i just cant face it ,i dont think it will work & think it will refreeze & iwill be in even more trouble.good luck all the best.

November 15, 2008 at 7:32 pm
(21) julie says:

I had biceps tenodesis on non-dominant arm 5 weeks aago. Expected 2-4 weeks post op recovery time and scheduled work accordingly (I’m an Ob/Gyn). Still, though, I have minimal active motion capabilities and have had to cancel full month worth of surgeries. How long is this going to take to heal???

December 8, 2008 at 1:37 pm
(22) cris says:

was doing fin 6 – 7 weeks post slap PT stretch me behing my back and ever since severe bideps pain and arm is amost non functional WC doc said I have adhesive capsulitis and wonts to wait on repeat MRI It has been 2 weeks with no relief even on new nasaid daypro any advise am so depressed

December 9, 2008 at 6:25 pm
(23) steven Shapiro says:

I had a tenodesis performed Nov., 5th, 2008. Almost 6 weeks post op and the pain at times is maddening. I am glad my surgeon was able to attach it. I know that it will take much longer to heal and to use my arm, but in the long run it will be worth the extra pain. Never let them do a tenotomy (cut and leave). If your Doctor did a tenotomy without your permission he was either incompetant or just lazy (maybe both), go after him.

December 23, 2008 at 8:55 am
(24) Mike says:

You may lose 10% of your strength if you have a tenotomy, but you will probably lose 5% with a tenodesis. My advice, if you’re not a thrower, have the tenotomy. The result is much more predictable and there is usually a lot of pain relief associated with it. In fact, anyone getting a Hemi or TSR should have one of these procedures done at the same time.

January 22, 2009 at 8:18 pm
(25) Pat says:

I had a tenotomy and 90% rotator cuff repair on my dominant arm in September of 2007. My arm is still weak and sometimes cramps. Now there is a spot even with my elbow (inside left) that is extremely sore. Is this part of the tendon dying down? Does anyone have a similar issue? Anyone have a good reference on this procedure as to what percent permanent loss occurs? My doctor said 10% but I see others mention 30%. Thanks!

February 17, 2009 at 9:04 pm
(26) D says:

Shoulder Tenotomy Surgery for Mar 27, 2009. Fifty Two year old active female. Already weakened and limited by the injury (do not know when to quit). Can I expect enough strength to resume previous garden and gym activities?

February 22, 2009 at 2:02 pm
(27) Debby says:

I had my long head of the bicep released 5 months after I had slap repair. When the dr. went in the second time, he discovered that my bicep was “shredded” more than 50% and he decided to release it. Before surgery, there was no talk of releasing this, only talk of whatever he found, he would repair. I’m still experiencing 6-8/10 pain. Should I request that he go back and repair this instead of leaving it this way?

April 3, 2009 at 8:16 am
(28) julie says:

what is the usual timeline for healing of a bicep tendonesis? when will i be able to fire a weapon with the affected(dominant) hand at the range. i’m not asking my doc because he’s biased and seems to think i should be able to do a handspring 3 weeks post op. any opinions appreciated.

April 8, 2009 at 10:52 pm
(29) D says:

Surgery performed 03-27-09. Dominant Right Shoulder Rotator Cuff Repair, Acromioplasty (bone grinding), Biceps Tenotomy (Cut Tendon), ended up with a titanium screw! Almost two weeks. Still pain in shoulder and bicep tendon with tingling in arm. Work scheduled for 4-13-09 (2 weeks post-op), primarily at computer, desk type work. Arm is in pain and pulling, cannot find a position comfortable to work at computer…Any Tips? I am Female 52 years old, I have had surgery in the past; but never the “Ortho” type. If you can avoid this type of surgery…save yourself the pain!

April 25, 2009 at 3:48 pm
(30) Rod says:

Had left rotator cuff repair and tenotomy (without my knowledge) FEB 2007. Had right rotater cuff repair and tenodesis SEP 2008. Both are killing me. Am very wary about having anything else done but cannot stand the pain. Am a university tennis coach. Need guidance.

June 24, 2009 at 12:54 pm
(31) Whiner says:

Ya all need to “suck it up”… surgery should always be used as a last resort, for pain relief and not necessarily to “return function”, and there is no guarentees that all pain will subside. Tenodesis and tenotomy are not complicated procedures and your bicep has a 2nd, more important tendon attatchment site than the one you are all talking about. Look it up in an anatomy book.

June 25, 2009 at 9:48 pm
(32) D says:

I am sucking it Up! Anatomy Book or not….Have you had your bicep tendon cut?

June 25, 2009 at 9:53 pm
(33) D says:

Hey Whiner, I am sucking it up! Surgery was a last resort. Have you ever had your bicep tendon cut……..please let us know….D

July 7, 2009 at 12:39 am
(34) AC says:

What are the chances of re-injury after a slap repair/ tenotomy, in sports or weightlifting for a reasonably active adult.

July 17, 2009 at 10:21 am
(35) Mark says:

I recently had RC Surgery for a fall off a ladder 3 years ago. Upon my post-op visit I was informed the Dr. performed a Biceps Tenotomy that I was not told prior to surgery. I am not happy with this. I am 52 years old and into weight lifting and my job is very repetitious. My arm cramps when curling with no weight. How restricted will I now be?

July 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm
(36) Mark says:

I would like to leave a note to whiner. This is not intended to be sarcastic but my observation. Surgery is usually the last resort. And we are aware pain is involved in any surgery. However, it is important for the patient to know of all the possible procedures that may need done and there outcome. The patient may not know what to discuss with the Surgeon. When the surgeon recommends surgery but does not inform patient of possible procedures during surgery, whose fault is it? It can be a shock to find out the surgeon done something the patient was unaware of, and then they are stuck with the outcome. This is the concern with most of us that are incurring pain and problems after surgery and are just asking for anybody with suggestions. At this point, I wish I would have been properly informed of what a Biceps Tenylosis was. Sincerely, Mark

July 23, 2009 at 4:49 pm
(37) Julie says:

Had initial surgery for Full thickness rotator cuff tear on left shoulder with biceps tenodesis 1/07, followed by manipulation under anesthesia after shoulder froze in 5/07, followed by 2nd surgery for retear of rotator cuff and to remove adhesions in 10/07. I am now back in PT after having right shoulder operated on 5/6/09 full thickness rotator cuff tear also biceps tenodesis. My shoulder has frozen again and I’m trying to work it out so I don’t have to have another manipulation. As far as pain and length of time, my left shoulder now feels pretty good, however, it started to develop tendonitis after surgery on the right as I had to use it so much. The folks at PT have included it in their treatment and as I’m not having to use it as much, it is doing much better. I echo the sentiments on shooting pain, weakness, aching, spasms, etc. I also wouldn’t have surgery unless it is necessary. I spent 15 years avoiding surgery until my shoulders were impacting my life too much. (Bone spurs penetrated both rotator cuffs and calcifications shredded both biceps tendons.) There is light at the end of tunnel but it’s more like it reaches one level in 3 mos, another in 6 mos, then another in 1 year, not weeks. If that makes sense. And it certainly depends on what was done. After reading this thread, I’m thinking the biceps may have made the surgery more difficult.

August 3, 2009 at 3:47 am
(38) dave says:

hello everyone. found this site while searching for information on shredded bicep tendon injury and hope someone can help? as a result of a head on car crash I suffered a shoulder injury attributed to rotator cuff syndrome as a calcification spur was seen on X-ray. initial treatment, cortisone injection did not cure it so an acromioplasty was arranged during which the shredded bicep tendon injury was found and treated. the spur apparently built up over 20 years without causing me any problems. i had been holding the steering wheel with both hands and my dominant right arm held but my weaker left arm broke. the shock of the impact was not as severe on my left shoulder as it has been on my right due to the break in the left arm. information online and elsewhere suggests that the impact could have caused the SBT injury. has anyone else experience or thoughts on this please? i am delighted with the work of my uk surgeon, he has given me use of my arm again. many thanx. dave

August 15, 2009 at 1:50 pm
(39) Anon says:

Your information is incorrect. Surgery is performed to bring back function that was lost ALL THE TIME, & SUCCESSFULLY, I MIGHT ADD.The anatomy of the shoulder is complex. You are referring to the long head & short head of the biceps tendon. So what is your point. People are having problems & there are solutions. That is why they are reaching out. They aren’t WANTING to be “whiners” as you call it. I love YOUR BEDSIDE MANNER! Hopefully, you never have to have tendons repaired. Tendons are slow to heal, & are very painful, unlike a bone. Hopefully, you’re not in the medical field, & if you are get out.

August 26, 2009 at 10:20 pm
(40) D says:

I am trying not to “Whine”…. has been 5 months since the shoulder surgery. I have a “Tens Unit”, “Pain Meds”, “Muscle Relaxants” It still hurts daily!….D Let me Know of the “Easy Plan”

September 4, 2009 at 12:06 pm
(41) Rowan says:

I am a court reporter doing a transcript and in it they refer to a tenotomy and then a “labeled abbrement” or something that sounds like that. Can you help me? Thanks!

September 9, 2009 at 11:53 pm
(42) mm says:

3wks post-opt bicep tenodesis. feel better NOW but immobilized for 2 more weeks. shoulder is feeling stiff
how long is rehab normally?

October 6, 2009 at 7:01 pm
(43) Anon says:

#41: Labral debridement

October 13, 2009 at 11:44 pm
(44) Brentis says:

I did a modified tenodesis. My Dr. came up with the concept himself and ironically I found confirmation of this approach on the internet. I’m 10 months out and my bicep is great. strength is 95+ percent of left arm.

Approach was rather than drill bicep tendon into bone that rather place it into the soft tissue. Many report pain and issues with placement into the bone and tenotomy has issue of rendering the LHB useless. visually it looks great and I can curl 40lb dumbells/etc. with it.

if you have questions email me at jbg28 *(@)* yahoo.com

October 14, 2009 at 7:40 am
(45) Bill says:

41 Year old male, military, extremely active. $ years ago, I had a SLAP tear with a ruptured biceps tendon on my dominant arm. 1st surgery corrected the SLAP but I got a frozen shoulder as a result of not doing PT like i should have been doing. Second surgery did a manual manipulation to release the scar tissue and had a tenotomy. Six months of PT and for the most part, I am completely healed. No pain and very minimal loss of strength. The bottom line is you MUST do the PT. It sucks and hurts like hell but if you don’t, you are throwing your quality of life away.

November 4, 2009 at 10:47 pm
(46) M&M says:

43YR had bicep tendodesis on 8-21-09.from car accident. Feels pretty good compared to before.
Have pinching up in my shoulder when reaching &extending. Can’t reach behind my back. W/0 lot of pain. Was getting what I call “Power surges” in my bicep. Doc said if shoulder still stiff in 1mo might do injection in joint & can do manipulation under anesthesia. Anyone had this 3 1/2 mos post opt ???

November 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm
(47) Judy says:

I am 60 years old with a rotator cuff repair done on July 27, 2009. I complained since with very limited movement and also considerable pain that would not go away. Dr went back in on Nov 9th to remove scar tissue to allow movement and found at that time a torn bicep tendon. Along with the debridment and adhesions, he corrected the torn tendon with a biceps tenotomy. I was not told of this and was given no restictions for therapy the next day following the surgery. I am concerned that the dr would just opt to do the biceps tenotomy rather than repair it. My bicep has become distorted in the week from surgery and the area has something like spasms creating pain. I have yet to have my surgery follow up and not sure how to approach the surgeon with my concerns.

November 19, 2009 at 7:43 pm
(48) A PT says:

Didn’t Brett Farve have tenotomy before this NFL season done by THE Dr. James Andrews? Now, just becuase he is doing well doesn’t mean everyone should, but this should be proof that this isn’t a “lazy” or negligent procedure. Failing tendons aren’t surgeons faults and people with good results aren’t lurking and posting. To those with poor results, keep after it. The only guarantee that you won’t improve is when you stop trying!

January 8, 2010 at 11:13 pm
(49) Joy says:

I had Bicep Tenodesis 44 days ago on my right shoulder (I am right handed) I started PT – 10 days post op and I have it 2 days a week, I have kept up with the ice and home exercises. Yes there is pain, yes, it is slow healing, yes, there are some weird small effects, but I continue to heal and get a little tiny bit better everyday. I really hope to be able to play softball again this summer. After almost 2 years of life changing shoulder pain I decided on the surgery, would I do it again? I don’t know yet, I won’t know for awhile, but I have high hopes. I HATED the inmoblizer and was thrilled to be free of that beast, I sleep with a lot of pillows for arm support and take it as easy as I can with the shoulder, no sudden movements, nothing weight bearing. I was thrilled to be able to tie my shoes a few days ago, it really is the small things! Good luck to everybody.

January 14, 2010 at 6:13 pm
(50) mm says:

Almost 5mos after bicep tenodesis but since Nov have had deep severe ache/pain in shoulder. Saw Ortho yesterday now he thinks, either Frozen shoulder, body rejecting screw combo or something else. Going for MRI Sun.. Anyone else have a problem with the screw after the bicep tenodeis ???

January 21, 2010 at 11:50 pm
(51) emily says:

I’m scheduled for labrum surgery on Jan 26 (5 days from now!) and was told yesterday that I should decide between tenotomy or tenodesis. Labrum is fairly extensively torn from 12 to 9 o’clock position. Rotator cuff in good shape. In normal life, I do A LOT of climbing (rock, ice, alpine) and that is an understatement. I hope/plan on continuing this as long as possible (I am 47 and in very good shape).

January 21, 2010 at 11:54 pm
(52) emily says:

(continuation of last post)
are there any climbers out there that can tell me of their experiences with one method or another? I already had one somewhat screwed up joint repair (tunnel angle incorrectly drilled for ACL graft) and so would really like to avoid yet another problematic limb.

January 22, 2010 at 1:26 am
(53) emily says:

Sorry if this is repetitive, but the second part of my post hasn’t shown up yet, which has the question:
Are there any climbers out there that can tell me their experience with either of those options? I am certainly willing to work as hard as possible during rehab, I just really want to make the best choice of surgery procedures.

January 26, 2010 at 12:48 am
(54) pecoclimb says:

Hello Emily
I ama climber also and of all the sports I do,
I,m hoping that this one stays good
I just had my surgery last Thur. Jan 21st By Dr Gloria Beim
Super surgeon.
Had torn labreum, torn sub scap bicep tendonesis
I,ll be keeping in touch here to see how yours goes.
Bst of luck

January 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm
(55) pecoclimb says:

Hey Emily
Hope your surgery went well.
I,m back hiking up hills now 1 week after surgery
Feeling good and taking it slow just want to stay fit and keep the blood flow going.
Can,t be a bad thing.
Hope your r doing well after your surgery. wanna hear how its going for you when your up to it.

January 30, 2010 at 10:29 pm
(56) emily says:

used 2 doing things w/left hand. unfortunately, turned out i have really severe arthritis so surgeon thought bad idea to repair labrum. large sections of glenoid w/exposed bone so tightening joint would make it worse. lots of debridement/cleaning done, along w/bicep tenodesis. i was quite bummed 2 wake after surgery and find that out. they think if i get rotator cuff super strong i should be able 2 climb ok.

January 31, 2010 at 9:12 pm
(57) pecoclimb says:

WE just find another way to do it.
Hoping for you speedy recovery

February 1, 2010 at 12:57 pm
(58) emily says:

howzit going? still can’t hook myself up to cryocuff w/left hand (how come i can tie a bowline w/one hand but not shoes? ;-) ) but almost all else manageable. sold season ski pass yesterday and then went 4 hike up mt sanitas, feeling alright.

February 1, 2010 at 11:53 pm
(59) pecoclimb says:

Good to hear that you are getting about Emily
I,ve been using ice( frozen hashbrowns )
For a long session just before going to bed at nite
Only had to do pain med for 36hrs after surgery.
Ice at nite for at least 1/2hr twice before going to bed then ice gel pak to lul me into dreamland.
I hate using drugs of any kind.
I am also back hiking here in the mountains of BC.
iT FEELS SOOOOO GOOD!!!! to just be moving.
Now to keep from going sling crazyyyyyyyyy
No moving that arm on your own now.
Can,t even play guitar ( never could anyways )
Watching ice climbing,surfing,flying videos, keeping head in the game.

February 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm
(60) emily says:

ugh, i took the prescribed vicodin and naproxen for the first day. my stomach and intestines were so messed up by that night that i stopped and haven’t taken any since. might be a different story if i had 8 holes drilled for repair like originally planned- i think the 2 for the tenodesis must be smaller!
i attempted to play guitar unsucessfully yesterday by holding it like an upright bass, only managed to scrape guitar on floor. and finally put away ice tools and ropes sitting in hallway after ouray trip a few weeks ago. need 2 get dvd player for this laptop!
when does ur PT start?

February 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm
(61) pecoclimb says:

Ahhh ,I so get that one.
Them drugs are hard on a stomach.
Friend of mine suggested I take Voltarin so I tried instead of icing last nite.
Pain was way worse last nite so giving that up in favor of ice again
I really prefer the natural way and believe in the effects that hot and cold therapy have on promoting good circulation and there are no negative effects with ice,
my email addy is pecosurf@rockclimbing.com
Be nice to stay in touch as we have similar stuff at similar times going on with similar outcomes needed.
No worries either way
Just hoping for a good outcome for a sister of the rock and ice.

Just not as convenient, but hey,where have i got to rush off to?

February 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm
(62) pecoclimb says:

By the way
My PT started the very next day for range of motion

February 4, 2010 at 2:42 pm
(63) Bobo Zipps says:

I was scheduled to have a biceps tenodesis last month, but decided to postpone it so that i can still golf in my annual outing in march. I don’t have agonizing pain by any means, just an annoying pain when i try to either reach my arm back overhead or certain other things. my main thing is that i cannot bench press a respectable amount of weight anymore without pain (i’m a gym rat). after reading some of the posts here, it sounds like i should wait until i’m miserable and in a lot of pain before i have this surgery. would you agree? again, i only have an annoying level of pain for certain things and i thought this surgery would clear that up. am i naive?

February 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm
(64) pecoclimb says:

Heya Bobo
I,m not sure what I think about it but what Im understanding is that with these bicep surgeries, you are needing 6 months min re hab
So thats 6 weeks in a sling, 6weeks range of motion and then 12 more weeks to slowly build back muscle before you “might” get a green light.
I guess they way I look at it is, if I,m definitely going to get it done, may as well start right away and sooner to get back in to the game.
If I hadn,t have postponed, I already be half way instead of just two weeks. No good time to do it other than sooner. imho.

February 4, 2010 at 4:40 pm
(65) Bobo Zipps says:

true, the sooner i get at it, the sooner i’d recover. but i guess my ultimate question is even after i fully “recover” from the surgery, will i be pain free and able to bench press what i used to do? the reward needs to be worth the price! :-)

February 4, 2010 at 8:49 pm
(66) pecoclimb says:

What I do know for sure is, that know one will guarantee any outcome, as there are so many variables like arthritis, chronicty of the injury ect.
The way I see it is, ya pays yer money and ya take yer chances.

February 10, 2010 at 10:25 am
(67) Scott in NY says:

Hi Everyone, I am a 50 yo, male scheduled for surgery tomorrow, 2/11/10! I just found this site, after reading up on all the different shoulder procedures. My biggest issue is all the stuff my surgeon is doing. I have tremendous confidence in him, he is the Ortho. Dept chairman, and teach Arthroscopic Shoulder surgical techniques and reconstruction also. I have a 3.5 cm tear in my RC, a torn Supranatius Tendon, a torn Biceps Tendon, torn Labrum, Hill-Sachs Injury and Bankhart defect (flattened one side of the Humeral Ball). He expects to repair all of this with 3 Arthroscopic surgical sites, and on open 1 Ĺ inch incision. I did discuss the Tenotomy versus Tenodesis, and have opted for the Tenodesis. He wants my arm totally immobile for 10 weeks post operatively. Only then can I start range of motion movement, and no weight bearing or strengthening until 6 months post surgery. Will this timeframe and amount of repairs predispose me to a frozen shoulder? Will this hinder my recovery to get the strength back in my arm? BTW- This all from 4 shoulder dislocations in the last 24 months!

February 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm
(68) Paul says:

The part that seems to be missing from this discussion is the importance of the therapist. I have had two bicep tendon repairs, one on each shoulder. Seeing the therapist early (day after surgery) to get home program was so useful. I credit the therapist for my good outcomes. I went to Advanced Therapy Center (www.handhelper.com) in Torrance, CA. They specialize in shoulders. My therapist was Mo Herman. The surgeon makes the repair but the therapist gets your functionality back. Good luck with your repair!

February 19, 2010 at 10:38 pm
(69) Scott says:

Well, its one week after surgery. There were some surprises during surgery. I discussed with my surgeon, that I wanted a Tenodesis and not a Tenotomy. He said no problem, he would do it. Unfortunatley, when he went in to shoulder, he found much more damage than the MRI indicated. Instead of a 3CM RC tear, he found the entire rotator cuff torn off the back, top, and front of humeral head (the ball), he spent 2 hours reattaching it with 6 titanium screws, (anchors)and then went to repair the supraspinatius tendon which wnet well, he shaved the Acromion bone down to give it better movement, and used another bio-absorbable anchor for this repair. We he went to the Biceps tendon, he saw that I had so severly ruptured it, that you could see the tendon balled up and frayed badly. He had no choice but to clean up the attached are near the muscle, and removed the tendon so it would not impinge the joint. He did not repair the torn Labrum because he felt it would not add to my recoverable motion or strength. You may wonder how I know al this? He had me come to his office the day after surgery, and showed me over 50 pictures of my surgery. It was amazing. Now I jusy hope for a good recovery, and to get back as much motion and strength as possible. BTW if you ever have this type of surgery, and they implant a pain pump, and you wonder if it is doing anything for you. It is! After it was removed, you really know it! Trying to sleep is impossible, you can not get comfortable in this contraption! He wants me to protect the shoulder joint in a sling/brace for 10 weeks, removing it for slight gravity rotational movement, for 1 minute, 5 times a day. I hope time passes quickly. There is a lot more to say, so if there are any questions, just ask away.

February 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm
(70) jules says:

If anyone has any thoughts on two different game plans from different surgeons. According to my mri report, i have an extensive (13mm) slap tear in my right (dominant) shoulder…an articular surface tear of the supraspinatus tendon and degenerative changes of the acromioclavicular joint… this is all Greek to me.
At this point the pain is chronic & constant and with certain movements it is an awful sharp pain. My strength level in this arm has really diminished in the last 6 months. I’ve been dealing w/this for a couple of years and have had 3 cortisone shots and done PT to no avail. Both surgeons plan to shave the bone and remove scar tissue I understand I will get immediate relief from this alone… One surgeon wants to cut the biceps tendon and let it reattach on its own: tenotomy whereas the other surgeon plans to reattach the tendon (tenotesis). I understand that with the latter procedure a little more rehab and recovery may be needed which I am ok. I am nervous to let the tendon just go as I’ve heard my muscle may look funny and there may be ongoing residual cramping etc…
Any feedback on which procedure: either way they have to do surgery so wouldn’t it make sense to do the more thorough procedure so I don’t have to go thru this again????

February 22, 2010 at 11:12 pm
(71) Scott says:

Julie, you will have a bit more recovery time and PT with the Tenodesis, (re-attachment of the biceps tendon)I don’t know why you were told the biceps tendon will re-attach itself to the bone if just have it cut (Tenotomy). This is not true. If you want to regain as much strength as you can in your arm, and want no chance at anything but a natural look to your biceps muscle region then you should request a Tenodesis. That is where they usually use an interference screw to assist with creating a strong atachment of the tendon to the bone. The healing of this is what takes the additional time. I’m sure it will be worth it. I wish I had the choice! Also please read up on your injuries and learn about the different repair procedures. This will allow you to ask much better questions to you surgeon before deciding anything. Good luck.

February 25, 2010 at 12:16 am
(72) Sandy says:

I had a biceps tenodesis and subacromial decompression on 01/18/10. I was amazed at how much motion I had right after the surgery. I only went to 2 physical therapy sessions and they were a complete waste of time & $$$. I only wore the sling for approximately one day which was actually a week after I had the surgery because it didn’t feel good that day. I am almost 6 weeks post op and have complete motion and am able to do bicep curls, military presses & bench presses with approx. 20lbs right now. The doc reattached the long head of the bicep tendon to the rotator cuff interval and not into the bone (bicipital groove). This doc is good-he did a fellowship under Dr. Andrews in Birmingham.

February 26, 2010 at 12:25 am
(73) james says:

wow sandy! had the same thing done 2.5 weeks ago and feel good, but was told no lifting even the weight of my arm as it could pull the anchors out. were you not instructed the same? still in a sling, but it comes off next week. i wear for half the day usually.

February 26, 2010 at 11:31 am
(74) Sandy says:

James, I had the long head of the biceps tendon stitched into the rotator cuff interval-just a different way of doing it but achieving the same results. At my 3 week post op visit the doc said the stitches were so strong you could go water skiing with that stuff. I was on a 2lb lifting restriction for the first 3 weeks and am now on a 5lb lifting restriction. So I started slowly with the weights and gradually increased very carefully with no problems. I was even able to sleep on my left side (had left shoulder done) 4 days after surgery with no problems. This surgery was soooo easy compared to a left shoulder labral repair that I had done 1 1/2 yrs ago and then ended up with a frozen shoulder and then had surgery to unfreeze it 1 yr. ago so I guess I’ve been somewhat aggressive with the shoulder motion to avoid tht again.

February 27, 2010 at 10:06 pm
(75) james says:

Thanks Sandy! I am very optimistic now about my recovery. i will take it easy, but plan to be diligent about therapy. Take care.

March 1, 2010 at 11:22 am
(76) pecoclimb says:

Hey Sandy
Is that really true?
I,m impressed, but am somewhat confused.
Why don,t these surgeons get on the same program?

March 4, 2010 at 10:46 pm
(77) Sandy says:

Hey Pecoclimb,
Just had my 6 week post op appt. this last Monday & am on a 15lb lifting restriction. I actually told him that I was lifting weights like I stated above and he said that u need to give the tissue time to heal. But I told him the shoulder felt great and he said fine just take it easy. I think with the biceps tenodesis where the interference screw is used in the bicipital groove is much more sensitive with the weight issue compared to the procedure my doc used. I’ve just started swinging my golf clubs and plan to get back to golfing mid to late March-very avid golfer :)

March 4, 2010 at 10:51 pm
(78) Sandy says:

Pecoclimb, just looking back at the comments and u had alot more done than I did. U had a torn labrum and I struggled when I had mine fixed-very painful surgery so take it easy & don’t push too hard!!!

March 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm
(79) pecoclimb says:

Hey Sandy
Yep, I,m thinking that torn labrum repair takes a little more care
How much issue did you have with that?
I still have nite pain deep in shoulder after 6 weeks.
Guessing thats normal

March 9, 2010 at 12:16 am
(80) Sandy says:

Hey Peoclimb,
I had 3 anchors put in for the torn labrum and wore a sling with the pillow for 6 weeks. I had major pain the whole time and about 3-4 weeks after the surgery had to get a prescription for sleeping pills because I had not slept in about 3-4 days because of the pain and everyone said I seemed depressed-would cry over nothing all the time, lol. I had alot going on at the time-my daughter was getting married about 7 weeks after I had the surgery and I was trying to help with that stuff. I had to sleep in the recliner for some time because it was too painful to sleep in bed. I ended up with a frozen shoulder-I think it froze up really fast, probably around 3 weeks after surgery because I was in so much pain. Having a frozen shoulder was very painful. I ended up having surgery for the frozen shoulder about 5 1/2 months after my labral surgery. The surgery for the frozen shoulder was awesome-painful for a while, but I got back full motion. So definitely take it easy with the shoulder.

March 9, 2010 at 10:15 am
(81) pecoclimb says:

Hey Sandy hmmm lots to think about.
Thanks for your input.
Hope your healing goes well.
Now, to take it easy,,,,,,,,,,

March 14, 2010 at 10:29 pm
(82) Ron says:

Thank you to everyone who left a post on this site. I read them all before my pre-op, and as a result, I was able to have a somewhat intelligent conversation with my doctor. I had the surgery (Tenodesis) on Thursday (3/11). The doctor seems to think everything went well. Since this wasn’t associated with any other injury, I only had to wear a sling for about 48 hours. Other than some discomfort with the points of entry, the pain has been minimal. In fact, the itching associated with the bandage and wound healing has been the biggest problem. Having a hole drilled into the bone with a screw shoved in to compress the tendon seemed like a sure recipe for pain, but surprisingly it simply hasn’t materialized. I was able to stop taking all pain medication by Saturday. I am, obviously, minimizing all use of the arm- with no heavy lifting of any kind. Dr thinks 7-8 weeks is all it will take to be back to “normal.” I hope he’s right….

March 17, 2010 at 11:19 pm
(83) pecoclimb says:

Good luck Ron!!!
Hoping for the best.

March 21, 2010 at 3:21 am
(84) Steve says:

I had a Bicep Tenodesis and Slap Repair on my left shoulder about 4 months ago.I have followed all the rehab exercises and taken pain killers as advised.However I still have alot of pain around the surgery area.The surgeon has no idea what is causing it and he says give it time.How much time does it need ? The pain feels tight and sticky around the Bicep screw area all day and I think thats causing the pain.I have about 90% range in shoulder so they have excluded Frozen shoulder and a MRI scan post surgery shows all is well.Can some one help with situation and suggestions please

April 3, 2010 at 9:38 pm
(85) Ron says:

Just an update.. the post I left above was on March 14. On March 15, my wife and I went to look at a new home, just in the final stages of completion. Where I live, once a new home is constructed in the driveway is poured, the builder usually puts a 6 inch to 1 foot barricade across the driveway to keep people from driving on the recently poured cement. On the day we visited there was a painter’s van parked in front of the driveway (at the end of a cul-de-sac), and I was walking behind the salesperson and my wife. When we came around the van the salesperson was talking, which is what I was focused on coming around into the driveway. And then, as we moved towards the house, my foot caught the barricade that I had no idea was in front of me. Having no no ability to swing my left arm out to catch my balance, I fell with the full force of my weight (200+ pounds) on my left (yes, where I had the surgery) shoulder. The pain was excruciating. Last Thursday, I had surgery again. The doctor said the MRI showed I had given myself a tenotomy, but once he got inside he said the damage was much more extensive. He had to open up the old incision in order to do the repair, which included replacing the screw he had placed in there three weeks earlier. He also had to cut me lower in the bicep in order to go in and find the tendon that had fallen down towards the elbow. The recovery has been much more painful, and I am fearful of the long-term recovery.

April 8, 2010 at 11:33 pm
(86) Sandy says:

Ron, that sounds very painful!!! I hope u have an uneventul recovery this time!!! Good luck & keep us posted.

April 15, 2010 at 12:44 am
(87) pecoclimb says:

Yikes Ron,, sorry to hear that.
Well, don,t worry, this too shall pass and will eventually become a thing in our pasts.
I,m heading in for MRI this Friday to see if I,ve done any damage from a very small fall I took 2weeks ago.
I hardly noticed it at the time.
Thought I had gotten away with it.
It,s been kinda painful ever since.
I,m 3 months since surgery so am not looking forward to starting all over again.
But, if thats the way it is ,I,m just going to have to suck it up..
Good luck with yours

April 16, 2010 at 8:48 am
(88) Scott says:

Well it is 8 weeks after surgery. no sling, no real pain, range of motion is increasing well, but no weight yet! I can start isometrics on 4/18.
One word to anyone who reads this site. If you are lucky enough to have had a tendon repaired, no matter what the method, it is only as stron as the re-attachment. Even if an interference screw is used, (That is what they are called) it is just used as an anchor in the bone to sew the tendon to. The other method is to drill 6 to 8 little holes in the bone, usually 3 or 4 in a line nest to each other and the tendon is sewed to the bone using the drilled holes and no screw. There is no pain involved in either because ther are no nerves in the bone or tendon. Recovery should be very slow, so take it easy and let the tendon heal and re-attach to the bone. BTW this does not always occur, there is 20% that the tendon will not re-attach. Also age and current medications you take have alot to do with your ability to heal well. Do not rush a shoulder’s healing. I can’t believe a doctor would tell his patient to go put weight on a freshly repaired tendon! Read the liklihood of tearing int out again then think about your longterm use of your arm and shoulder. Good healing takes time, if you want to make sure you get the best result out of the sugery, be smart about your recovery plans.

April 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm
(89) LJ says:

Just thought I would leave my comments. I’m 13 months post op for biceps tenodesis and must say it was the best decision I ever made, I have NO biceps pain at all anymore and have regained all strength, now doing 20lb biceps curls at the gym. I’m 26 year old active female and didn’t like the idea that once a tenotomy is done, it can never be reversed, so I chose the longer rehab.

I will mention the rehab is not easy and the pain was quite bad at times, took about 9 months to recover to the point where I didn’t even realize I had it done anymore. I hadn’t seen any posts with updates on progress longer out from surgery so I thought I would share mine. The thought of the surgery is quite nerve wracking, but it honestly was one of the best decisions i ever made to have the tenodesis done.

April 26, 2010 at 8:43 pm
(90) Sue says:

Thanks for all your comments. I’ll benefit from all your experiences! I’m scheduled May 6 for a subacromial decompression and possible supraspinatus repair (MRI showed “partial” tear), biceps tendonesis, and removal of some damaged bone from my ac joint. This is all the result of a mountain bike crash last Sept. Physical therapy didn’t help, only aggravated things. I was very active prior to the crash and was training for a biathlon when I crashed. Right now I have to enjoy light hiking with my dog.

April 26, 2010 at 9:31 pm
(91) James says:

Thanks LJ. I will be 3 months post op next week May 2. I have about 75% range of motion, but still tender where the tendon is anchored. Bicep curls feel fine, but any movement of the shoulder above my head is still very weak and painful. At what point did you regain that motion? even to hold my arm straight out is tough.

April 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm
(92) pecoclimb says:

Hey there James
I,m 3 months and 1 week since surgery.
I also have issues with pain, to the point of getting another MRI done
The MRI showed everything intact ,
Also, I can do bicep curls without pain and currently at 12 lbs/ 3 sets of 15 – 20 reps
Thats my limit at the moment and I find that I,ve
got to alternate that with some days off and lighter days as well.
Some days are great and some days are very weak and painful.
I,m really feeling the effects of pushing too hard and have concluded that I need to slow down my expectations.
All in all, slowly improving in some ways .
Hoping that yours goes well
Take care

April 28, 2010 at 7:51 pm
(93) James says:

Thanks for the update Peter. I was told 6 months for most people to feel 90% better. I think you are right that you need to slow down expectations and try to do a little better everyday. One interesting note is that my Dr. offered a cortizone shot to “help speed things along”. I passed and told him if I was still feeling stiff and pain in another month I would take him up on it. What concerns me is I am not supposed to need that stuff anymore. Keep us posted on your progress and I will do the same.

May 8, 2010 at 8:44 pm
(94) LJ says:


The long head of the biceps along with the deltoid is a shoulder flexor, once the long head it cut and reattached lower on the humerus, it’s no longer a shoulder flexor. With your arm being held right in front of you at 90 degrees is when the long head is especially at work, so it’s completely normal to lose some strength in various positions of shoulder flexion overhead, especially right at 90 degrees. In terms of range of motion, you should be getting that back anytime now, by 4 months I had most motion back.

I would say I felt about 90% recovered at about 7 months, now I feel even better. There are still various positions I put my arm in that i can feel where they re-attached the tendon, especially in abduction and external rotation. In terms of the tenderness from the anchor going away, I noticed that was completely gone at 7 months, which my OS says is a bit longer then normal, but everyone reacts different. He also gave me the option of cortisone to help with discomfort which I declined and decided to just give it time and not be so aggressive with curls, etc.

May 10, 2010 at 10:56 pm
(95) James says:

Thanks LJ. at 3 months and one week and I would say I am just a tad better than i was 2 weeks ago. Your recovery schedule sounds great to me at this point. I am going to wait for that 4 month mark before I get too concerned. Thanks again and I will update my progress at 4 months. PS> have about 80% of my ROM back.

May 11, 2010 at 7:44 pm
(96) Sue says:

Had surgery last Thurs, am typing with one hand! Surgeon found larger than 50% tear in supraspinatus & repaired it. Did the tenodesis and ac joint work too. Pain is improving, got no sleep night of surgery. Surgeon ordered more meds and cryo device. Cryo thing worth weight in GOLD! Can take arm out of sling to do “pendulums” now. Very little swelling. Follow upext week.

May 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm
(97) Leanne says:

I am not sure if I should get the Tenotomy along with the SLAP surgery to be done on 6/18. My DR says it’s no big deal and I will not lose noticeable strength. He also said my recovery should be quick and back playing racquet ball in a couple months. This is not what I am reading here. I was in an accident that caused the injury. I am a rock climber, play racquet ball, my bf and I fence, do caving, hiking/snow shoeing with poles, ride mountain bikes and a motorcycle. I don’t want to lose what I love to do. It’s summer and I will be doing PT and losing out this year. The pain for the tendon is minimal so do I really need this with the SLAP?

May 26, 2010 at 6:34 pm
(98) pecoclimb says:

I would get another opinion if I were you.
Getting a tenotomy just does not seem neccesary .
If you can save that tendon, then you should IMHO
Rock climbing also my passion .
I sure want to have everything working in my favour .
Emily on this post also a climber.

May 27, 2010 at 12:27 am
(99) LJ says:


I’m surprised your OS suggested tenotomy over tenodesis along with the SLAP. I will tell you that a lot of surgeons are now suggesting patients have a tenodesis with a SLAP repair because of an increased incidence of biceps tendinitis after surgery, preventing people from participating in overhead sports and even daily activities. For a lot of SLAP sufferers, a tenodesis is often inevitable down the road. So now, surgeons offer it along with the SLAP to completely avoid those problems all together and really does not add that much time to the SLAP recovery. I too had a SLAP repair and then a few years later had to have the tenodesis. Things were just never right after the SLAP repair and now that i am just over a year out from the tenodesis, it feels so much better. Now, after all I went through, if i were offered the tenodesis with the SLAP i would recommend to anyone they do it. that is my opinion based on personal experience of myself and A LOT of other SLAP sufferers i’ve talked to. But if you’re young and active, choose tenodesis first, if you have problems, you can always have a tenotomy, but a tenotomy can never be reversed.

June 10, 2010 at 11:33 am
(100) Leanne says:

I have not been able to get ahold of my OS. He is only in town 2 days a month. I am going to tell him I only want a Tenodesis if the bicep tendon is damaged badly. He had told me I have some arthritis in the shoulder due to all my activies and THAT pain will remain. Just getting nervous as the 18th is next week. Any suggestions on prepping myself for the SLAP or just keep up with daily routine? Also my insurance does not cover a “second opinion” and I would go out of pocket. My OS is the only one doing this surgery for my HMO.

June 18, 2010 at 12:43 am
(101) LJ says:

anyone getting ready to have shoulder surgery or going through the recovery process, I would highly suggest checking out slaptear.com. It’s a forum with a few thousand members, it’s free to sign up and offers lots of tips on how to handle daily activities, etc from people who have actually gone through it. It’s updated daily and any questions you have will be responded to within a few hours and there are even professionals on the board who can offer advice.

again, slaptear.com

June 24, 2010 at 9:54 am
(102) Erika says:

Just had a tendonesis done on my non dom bicep last Tuesday, 10 days post op today. No pain meds, only occasionally at night and then, just tylenol. On top of that, I had a spur removed and my bursa was cleaned. I can only move my arm (shoulder) a small amount, but started PT 3 days post op have a GREAT surgeon and a GREAT PT, which is a MUST. This surgery was a last resort, worse case and had to be done. 11 months post injury.

People, there is always pain. Did I realize the FULL extent of rehab? No, but I did know up to 6 months to get back to normal before I did it. I will live with the inconvenience and just look forward to recovery.

I work with children and returned to work 6 days post op. I can finally get both hands on the keyboard to type, though I have to help my left arm up here. Typing hurts….but, it’s actually good apparently for the muscle.

July 8, 2010 at 8:54 pm
(103) TOM says:



July 11, 2010 at 11:43 pm
(104) LJ says:


I don’t know your full history, but will do my best to give you an explanation and treatment would depend on the symptoms and level of pain you’re experiencing.

Thickening of the supraspinatus means there has been impingement/wear on the tendon and has thickened as a result of swelling/inflammation. There is a partial tear where it attaches to the bone, but depending on how much it’s torn, it is usually only ever repaired if more then 50% of the tendon is torn. However, the bursa is a fluid filled sac under the acromion and between it and the supraspinatus and with impingment over time, it becomes thickend and inflamed, causing more impingment on the tendon. The old SLAP injury means the top portion of the labrum (Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior) around the biceps tendon was previously torn.

In terms of treatment, if you experience clicking followed by a dull ache with difficulty sleeping, those symptoms are more related to the SLAP injury and may need to be repaired. The labrum will not heal on its own because of poor blood supply. If your symptoms are more related to pain with overhead activity and impingement syndrome, a clean up procedure to debride/shave down the tear of the supraspinatus and removal of the inflamed bursa and shaving/smoothing the underside of the acromion would most likely be the treatment of choice with full recovery from surgery being about 3 months. A SLAP repair depending on the type of repair needed would need a recovery 6-8 months typically, unless it just needs to shaved down which is closer to 3 months.

So, the treatment all depends on the symptoms you experience, but if you have been rehabbing and aren’t seeing any progress, the surgeries I listed would most likely be offered. If you’re looking for the names of the procedures to research more on your own they are SLAP repair or Subacromial decompression/Bursectomy (debridement procedure).

Feel free to post more questions if you have any, I have had all of those surgeries done myself that I listed and can answer any questions you may have.

August 23, 2010 at 9:19 pm
(105) Rebecca says:

Earlier this month I had an SAD, DCE and bicep tenodesis in my left shoulder. The pain was gone immediately, it was amazing. The soreness is still there, and I will have another few months of healing, but I am so glad I got it done. The drugs they gave me were horrible, I guess I could never be a good druggee. heh. Percocet, Oxycontin, etc. I felt more sick from the narcotics than the surgery.

Did anyone get a block in their shoulder for the surgery? I refused, and am glad I did. There is tenderness where my bicep is re-attached, they took about 3 inches off. I have pictures of the swollen, red tendon… it should not have looked like that. And my bursa was so red and swollen as well. This was the right choice for me, and I am not afraid of the recovery. I am on my way to becoming pain-free! (The soreness is to be expected…) I am off all painkillers now (11 days post op) and have no problems sleeping in my bed, but I sleep on my back or right side. I still keep the sling on… for 2 more weeks. (then I will have an SAD for my right shoulder, but not a bicep tenodesis).

August 27, 2010 at 1:23 pm
(106) Sam says:

I had tenodesis on my right (dominate) shoulder two years ago for a full bicep and rotator cuff tears. I was able to gain full range of motion and strength within 10 weeks and only took the pain meds for a couple of days as they made me feel worse than the surgery. I did have a block. My OS was amazed at my rapid and full recovery (female, 57 years old). The biggest savior was the ice machine – I used it for two weeks, including sleeping. I strongly recommend it. I started PT within the first week (2X week and exercises at home) and started weight exercises at 6 weeks. For anyone requiring the surgery – it’s woth it, follow all instructions and PT time and get an ice machine – use it not the drugs. Also, someone recommended a reading bolster for sleeping = to sleep semi upright and off the shoulder. This was a big help.

September 19, 2010 at 12:34 pm
(107) Rebecca says:

3 days ago I had my right shoulder done (5 1/2 weeks ago I had my left shoulder done — with an SAD/DCE and a bicep tenodesis). So 3 days ago I had just an SAD/DCE on my right shoulder. I have to admit that I feel great. I took only 3 doses of the vicodin (only 1 tablet each time), and have been off narcotics for 2 days now. I am sore, for sure, but my range of motion already is better than it was before the surgery. In fact, it is better than my left shoulder already. I am doing the wand exercises (AAROM) and still using my right shoulder as the lead for the left.

I think my right arm still is stronger, although the soreness is a bit more intense, as there is probably still a bit of inflammation from the surgery itself. I am icing practically all day long on the right shoulder… and still 2-3x per day on my left.

I only wore the sling for one day.

I haven’t seen the physical therapist yet, but have already started testing out the exercises he will be having me do. I can do them no problem. I only have a few positions where I have limited motion in (trying to scratch my back, for example).

I am excited that the surgeries went well. I woke right up 5 min after surgery, and was coherent, and even walked to the restroom by myself before I even went into phase II recovery. I was ready to go home before my prescriptions arrived.

Now, I plan on still taking it easy and doing exactly what the doctor has recommended for me. I am letting my body heal, and helping it of course, with homeopathy (arnica 200c) and creams to put on my muscles (not on the incisions).

September 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm
(108) connie says:

I am a 53 year old woman and had tenomony done on my right arm it took 1 year and 3 mris and they still went in blind…they called it scope and hope.. well they did a biceps tenomony and acromioplasty, synovectomy… ugh The surgery was sept 10 and i start pt this week. Still bruised and very sore.. my question is I do physical labor on my job which is repetitive lifting 5lbs for eight hours a day, forty hours a week for eight more years(retirement)> Will I be able to do this job without pain or reinjuring my arm again. (all done right handed)? My arm might feel great after my pt is done but going back to work is scary. Can anyone tell me their experience of going back to work?

October 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm
(109) Erika says:

People…you HAVE to trust your surgeon. It really comes down to that. If you don’t, get a second opinion.

I didn’t take the “easy” road, we went in hoping for the best, after the MRI came back negative (why we spend 3K on something that is never right I still don’t know). I knew best case was a clean up, worse case a tenodesis.

I ended up with a tenodesis, bursectomy, bone spur removal and debridement. My shoulder was a MESS.

I am 4 months post op, it’s a VERY long painful process but it will be worth it. I don’t listen, I do too much, though I have healed incredibly well. I had ROM when I shouldn’t have…..but I also know that if I do too much the 20 steps forward end up 20 back.

I won’t need another surgery (unless the spur comes back and it can). That was the goal…go in, get it taken care of and it’s done.

What I did notice…things I’ve dealt with over the years I never thought could be connected were….I had a muscle knot by my shoulder blade for a LONG time, it’s gone….headaches I’ve suffered for 20 years have diminished considerably, my wrist pain….gone.

November 13, 2010 at 10:58 am
(110) Hurtin'Jim says:

I am 25 days past surgery date, both acromioplasty and biceps tenotomy. Pain has not lessened much at all in those 25 days. Lots of icing. Surgeon seems satisfied with results so far. How often should I be seeing my physical therapist? So far, have been given only one exercise, and had only two appointments. Can I do harm with too much icing? I was told that most all of the pain would be gone in two weeks. It is far from that. Sleeping fitfully in a recliner. Trying to stay away from anything but OTC NSAIDs. Advice appreciated. Thanks.

November 15, 2010 at 10:59 am
(111) houtx says:

Had these procedures on right shoulder in Dec 1999:
Arthroscopic Anterior-Inferior Glenohumeral Reconstruction,
SLAP lesion repair,
Rotator interval repair,
Thermocapsular reconstruction,
Subacromial decompression.
Outcome: Approx 75% of pre-injury strength (vs outcome of approx 50% for similar open surgery on left shoulder in Jan 1994)

Rigth shoulder has been bothering me the last two years (popping, grinding, impingement and nighttime pain) and is now weaker than the left shoulder. I now have this right shoulder diagnosis:
biceps tendinitis, biceps subluxation, biceps entrapment.

Proposed surgery:
if symptoms continue or increase, arthroscopic biceps tenodesis, possible arthroscopic biceps tenotomy.

Can anyone name a surgeon with which they have had a successful outcome for biceps tenodesis? Most of the posts at this site do not report a favorable outcome. The surgeon I have been seeing suggests that tenodesis and tenotomy outcomes are frequently worse than the conditions they are intended to treat, and therefore should only be considered as last resorts.

Regarding MRIs: I have had false negatives for back, hip, shoulder and elbow (for elbow also had a false positive for lateral epicondylitis although I had no pain, no symptoms and my problem was medial). I had the back, hip and shoulder problems subsequently surgically corrected. Many of the posts at this site describe what was discovered during surgery despite having had an MRI. Based on my experiences MRIs are not reliable. If you search, you will find medical research papers that report on the incidence of false positives and false negatives from radiologic testing. It is higher than you might think.

November 17, 2010 at 6:03 pm
(112) Hurtin'Jim says:

Has anyone heard of a method of PT called the Jones Strain Counter-Strain (SCS) method? Very hard to find info on it on the web. Experience with this protocol? Good for shoulder surgery recovery? Thanks

November 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm
(113) houtx says:

Hurtin’ Jim,

I haven’t had the procedure you describe and I am not familiar with the therapy technique you refer to. My experience with post-op shoulder pain is that it was principally when I laid down for more than 30 minutes. This meant 6 wks of sleeping in 30 min bursts after my open left shoulder surgery and 6 mos of sleeping in 30 min bursts after my arthroscopic right shoulder surgery. At about the time I finally broke down and bought a recliner after the 2nd surgery, the nightime pain subsided sufficiently so I could sleep better. I didn’t take anything for pain after being released from the hospital because I didn’t care for the side-effects. Sounds like you have already figured out the recliner thing to keep your shoulder elevated. There is some info and a video at the site link below. I hope it helps.


November 18, 2010 at 8:22 pm
(114) Hurtin'Jim says:

Very kind of you to respond, Houtx. I read your November 15 post — believe me, my surgery is minor compared to what you have been through already. Best wishes with your continued pursuit of shoulder health.

December 9, 2010 at 12:07 am
(115) Msmith08 says:

I’m not sure if my story will be of any help to anyone, but I thought I would share it anyway. I had a biceps tenodesis done 10/6/10, so it’s been 2 months. I spent 6 weeks in the sling that I hated but my arm felt better when I wore it. I still haven’t started formal PT, just doing home exercises. My doctor didn’t use any screws for my tenodesis-he sewed the tendon. I’m still in quite a bit of pain most of the time. Something in my back is over-compensating and I have pain the the area of my shoulder blade frequently along with the pain in my shoulder. My ROM is still very limited if I try to go above my shoulder. I had a nerve block done for my surgery, something I regret this time around (I had an arthroscope done in January with a nerve block and it was fine that time). When I woke up, I was barely able to breathe. They got too close to the nerve that controls breathing and I didn’t feel better until the nerve block wore off (about 14 hours later). I don’t mean to scare anyone away from the nerve block, because it definately helps with the initial pain, but always remember there can be side effects! They told me 6-9 months for recovery, but with the way my shoulder is feeling, I’m worried it will be closer to the 9 months. It’s nice to read about other people’s experiences, especially those that are farther into recovery. Thanks!

December 10, 2010 at 2:42 pm
(116) houtx says:


Thanks for your post. Please keep us updated on your progress. I am considering tenodesis or tenotomy for my right shoulder. I would like to hear from somone who has had a good outcome. I am also looking for a Dr that produces good results with this these surgeries.

Regarding your recovery, I have had glenohumeral reconstruction (among other things) on both shoulders. It took 1 yr to get to 80-85% of post-op peak recovery level and 2 yrs to get to 90-95% of post-op peak recovery level. I was very diligent with recovery exercises. Don’t get discouraged. You can do it and you should get better with time. My biggest issue was post-op night time pain. As long as my shoulder was elevated (easier done during the day than at night), the pain was tolerable for me.

I had a nerve block at the time of surgery on my right shoulder but did not experience the breathing problems that you describe. Is your Dr a shoulder specialist? How many tenodesis surgeries has your Dr done?

I occasionally have pain in my right shoulder when I take a deep breath. Probably some nerve irritation in the area of my shoulder damage.

December 10, 2010 at 7:02 pm
(117) Hurtin'Jim says:

Now 7.5 weeks after surgery, not progressing well, for one simple reason: the PT folks failed. I only had one real PT session in the first four weeks after surgery, nine days after the operation. This apparently let a lot of scar tissue form (adhesion), and now my current PT has to work to break that loose. So, recovery goes from 8 weeks to maybe 12 or more. Surgeon says may have to put back on operating table and physically break the shoulder loose under anesthesia. Lesson learned: get into PT within a week of surgery, and don’t let your PT schedule you for less than 2 sessions every week. I go to a Jones Strain Counter-Strain therapy PT now, and I think that is the way to go. Keep up your home exercises — that seems to be key to proper recovery. Just make sure you control PT frequency, and demand to be treated right, or else change PT providers ASAP.

December 11, 2010 at 2:29 pm
(118) houtx says:


Sorry to hear you’re having a rough time. For both of my previous shoulder surgeries my surgeon dictated the post-op PT schedule and regimen. It started with a therapist and became self-administered after I was given therapy/exercise instructions.

Is your surgeon a shoulder specialist?
How many tenotomies has your surgeon done?
I’m searching for success stories before I go down the tenotomy/tenodesis route.

December 16, 2010 at 6:32 pm
(119) Thumper says:

Very interesting reading. I had Rotator cuff repair and de-burring 2 years ago, Recovery was 6-8 weeks. It is crucial to start PT immediately. I had a year of full ROM and no pain. The same shoulder started hurting this summer. MRI and $$$$ showed the RC did not knit to full strength (63 y.o.,fit and active)and an inflamed and frayed biceps tendon. Concensus from 2 OS is either snip or refasten. Either one does not appeal to me. Refastening (tendonesis) means putting more screws in my shoulder. I need to return to work in April. At my age, I am wondering if pain management is better than cutting off parts.(no Vicodin!) Surgery is scheduled early Jan.

December 23, 2010 at 1:49 am
(120) Msmith08 says:

I am trying to stay positive! My shoulder is getting a little better every week. Most of my pain now is sharp pains when I move my arm wrong (which is frequently) and not so much the constant aching. I’m a little concerned with the comments from HurtinJim. My doctor has not sent me to formal PT yet… just home exercises still until I see him again beginning of Jan. I’m sleeping OK, even on my bad side. I toss and turn a lot though. I’ve given up on pain meds- I didn’t want more narcotics and they gave me Tramadol (non-narcotic that mimics an opiod if I remember correctly) but it makes me too nauseous and dizzy to function. My doctor is a shoulder specialist, and supposedly a very good one. He’s been with the University of Iowa for 25 years. I guess it’s too early to tell if he did a good job or not (he didn’t do my 1st surgery). I don’t remember how many tenodeses he has done.
Thumper- Try to look into a doctor who can do a tenodesis without screws. My doctor doesn’t use screws anymore (he went into some long story as to why not)- he sewed my tendon into place.
And I definately agree-don’t just trust an MRI. Get a second opinion. My false positive MRI caused an unnessesary surgery and lots of lost time. I’m only 26 and this shoulder business is really dragging down a lot of my life.

January 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm
(121) Equest_rain says:

I had a rotator cuff repair and tenodesis Aug. 2010. The original injury was from a fall Feb. 2010. Ever since I woke up from surgery there has been numbness traveling from my armpit to my wrist on the inside of my arm. The shoulder is healing very nicely with minimal pain…it is the constant burning, tingling, numbness that is making me crazy. Dr. says we can only hope the angry nerve is going to wake up in 6-12 months…and if not…then we have a problem. Well…Houston…I already think there is a big problem. But I see no one else posting about having this kind of numbness/burning/pain. And when I reach down for something, or pick something up, it is that hot on fire pain you get when you hit your crazy bone. Dang me! This is worse than the original injury. Any one else have this problem and what did the Doc say about it. Help Help Help!

January 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm
(122) Hurting too says:

Google ARPWave Therapy and give it a try!!!! It’s the first thing that’s helped in over 2 years since my accident

April 11, 2011 at 7:53 pm
(123) Michele says:

I had surgery on 3/1/11 on my left shoulder. Surgeon performed a Slap repair, rotator cuff repair, subacromial decompression, and excision of distal clavical, partial synovectomy of glenohumeral joint. In addition, my surgery report states he did a bicep tenodesis and a tenotomy. He put a whip stitch through the bicep tendon then drilled a 6mm hole and used a 5.5 mm screw to affix the bicep tendon.One limb of the whip stitch was placed through the bicep tendon, the scew inserted and tied over itself.
I did have a nerve block in addition to General Anesthesia. When Nerve Block wore off, pain was excruciating and I was prescribed 2 15mg Oxycontin 2x a day and 15 mg Oxycodone 4x a day also wore a polar ice cuff continuously for a week and in a sling until just this past Friday.
I am doing much better, now only require 4 norco per day and once in a while an oxycodone if pain is worse (I couldn’t stand the oxycontin…worked great for pain but I felt terribly paranoid and just could not take it anymore). I cannot use any oral anti-inflammatories due to GI issues from long-term use in the past. I still use polar cuff regularly and do “pendulum” exercise 3 x a day. I still sleep in a recliner. First PT was today which consisted of a little stretching, pendulum, ice and stim……nothing else. My shoulder area is “sore” but most of my pain is in the “bicep area” a deep almost burning type pain.
My question……I’ve read alot about tenotomy vs tenodesis..what if you have BOTH done. Has anyone had both and what was your outcome. Is it normal to still have pain 6 weeks later…I hope nothing has gone wrong and I am a bit nervous. My Surgeon is supposed to be an excellent one, so I completely trust all that he did, I just guess I don’t ask enough questions. Any info is appreciated.

April 12, 2011 at 6:59 pm
(124) Sara says:

I had shoulder surgery June 2010- right shoulder arthroscopic- acromioplasty, bone spur removed, etc. I started pt 3 weeks post-op. My doctor said I didn’t need it, but I wanted to make sure I was healing correctly. I ended up in pt for 6+ weeks. In the fall I was still having lots of issues, so I went back to the doctor. I tried a cortisone shot, different medicines and pain patches. I eventually had another mri. The doctor said I had painful scar tissue and needed to deal with the pain for an entire year before he would re-evaluate it. I decided to get a second opinion. This doctor is concerned about my bicep tendon. He gave me three options- do nothing, try pt again, or surgery. I went to pt for 9 weeks and just saw the doctor again. He said I could either stick with pt or have surgery. My physical therapist said she has nothing more to offer me. I am doing at home exercises. I am 28 years old and have consistant shoulder pain every day. I compensate a ton. It is getting old. Any suggestions would be helpful.

April 18, 2011 at 11:32 am
(125) houtx says:

Wow! You had a lot of surgery on that shoulder in one session, perhaps even more than I reported in my post (111). I needed 4 months for the nighttime pain to subside. My daytime pain was tolerable. I don’t understand how you could have had both a tenotomy and a tenodesis on the same shoulder. In a tenotomy, the long-head biceps tendon is cut from its normal anchor spot and left dangling. In a tenodesis, it is cut from its normal anchor spot and then re-attached to another part of the shoulder. If it was re-attached, then I would characterize the procedure as a tenodesis. You might want to get an opinion from another doctor that specializes in shoulders to see if you are on track for recovery. You should be able to find one through ASES-ASSN.org or AAOS.ORG.

April 18, 2011 at 11:41 am
(126) houtx says:

Ten months seems like a long time to me to still be having post-op pain. Was your 2nd opinion doc a shoulder specialist?

April 20, 2011 at 7:33 pm
(127) Sara says:

My second opinion is an orthopedic doctor who specializes in shoulders. I spoke with him over the phone today. He said I need to make a decision about how much the pain is affecting my life. There isn’t a day without pain, so it is A LOT. Every day activities and when I am doing absolutely nothing at all. This is the most frustrating. The surgery he suggested is releasing the bicep tendon and either reattaching it or letting it be. He said that is a “cosmetic” decision. He would also do work in the AC joint and look around to see if there is anything else. I would be in PT days after surgery and continue in PT for 3-4 months. He said at my age I should have never had the last surgery, but people that have one surgery tend to need another surgery. I am thinking that surgery is my only option now. Now I just have to schedule it. Two summers in a row recuperating from shoulder surgery. Not my idea of fun!

April 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm
(128) houtx says:

Hi Sara,
Sorry to hear you have some difficult choices. Significant post-surgery pain almost 1 yr later does not seem right to me based on my experience with previous operations on both shoulders. Something is wrong in there. Also, it is disconcerting when Dr #2 says Dr #1 performed unnecessary surgery. I am dealing with a similar botched/ unnecessary surgery issue, but at least thus far my pain issues are not as severe as yours. My Dr #1 said tenodesis or tenotomy but not yet. Dr #2 originally said torn rotator cuff, but in my last appt said tenodesis. Latest MRI indicates a partial RC tear but shows no tear or dislocation of biceps tendon. I have scheduled another appt with Dr #2. My current thinking is that an arthroscopic inspection, RC repair and loose particles removal is OK but not a tenodesis or tenotomy. I’ll see if he convinces me otherwise. I assume that I can always go for a tenodesis later. I am active (with compromises) and have no interest in any more restructuring shoulder surgery unless I am convinced it is needed.

Some questions for Dr proposing tenodesis or tenotomy:
What do the studies indicate about the long-term outcome of these surgeries? (Ask for copies so that you can read the studies.)
How many of these surgeries have you done?
How many years of post-tenodesis/tenotomy experience does your longest-ago patient have?
What kinds of activities were your patients able to resume? (rock-climbing, weightlifting, swimming, tennis, golf, etc.)

Let me know what you decide and how it goes.

June 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm
(129) Sara says:

I am just about two weeks away from my shoulder surgery. Last week I had a VERY thorough pre-op appt. I was able to ask all my questions and get answers. My doctor and the PA strongly recommend a tenotomy over a tenodesis. Their arguments made complete sense. So as of now I will be having a tenotomy along with other “cleaning out/looking around” procedures. I will be in PT 4 days later. I really feel like I am in good hands as shoulders are the doctor’s specialty.

June 17, 2011 at 12:21 am
(130) los angeles says:

went in for a SLAP tear repair and bicep tedon reattachment. I woke up in no pain and caught myself even putting weight on left elbow in the sling. Doc called about 1/2 hour AFTER I was home and explained my tissues were so raggedy ALL he did was a tenotomy. This was never an option. In fact he ruled it out a month ago in his office. I would never ever have agreed to that. Yeah, I’m vain and the pain was mostly tolerable. All this bs from one of the “best” shoulder guys in Beverly Hills. Anyone know a shark attorney?

July 23, 2011 at 11:57 am
(131) houtx says:


Your type of experience is what’s been keeping me from having additional work done on my right shoulder. I want agreement with the doc on what is to be done BEFORE the surgery. Some docs insist that MRIs are accurate and yet patients end up with surprise procedures based on what the doc finds after the operation has started. Based on research papers I have read and posts at this site MRIs are not as accurate as some docs claim.

July 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm
(132) houtx says:

Hi Sara,

How are the post-tenotomy results?

July 24, 2011 at 7:03 pm
(133) Sara says:

It is been just slightly over a month since surgery. Things are going pretty well. I have been in PT twice a week since 4 days after surgery and doing exercises 3 times a day on my own. I have seen the doctor twice since surgery. First was the day after surgery and then two weeks after. He was happy with where I was. Physical therapists are happy with where I am also. I was getting a little frustrated a week or so ago, and they told me I needed to cut myself some slack. Since this is the second surgery in a year, it will take me longer to recuperate completely. I have some discomfort (muscle cramps, bone pain, etc.) and ice pretty consistently which helps. I have been off work since the surgery wanting to take my time since last time I rushed back. I plan on going back at the beginning of August and see the doctor again at the end of August. So far so good…

August 2, 2011 at 4:08 pm
(134) Bertt says:

I had a tenodesis 9 weeks ago and i’m still having significant pain especially when i move my arm to almost shoulder height.i’ve been in PT for 7 weeks.Dr. was talking about sending me back to work the end of aug.I can’t pick up 10 lbs. without having sharp pain,and I deliver beer for a living.How am I going to lift a keg of beer (165 lbs.)without screwing my shoulder up again.a case of beer is over 20 lbs.40 oz. bottles are about 40 lbs. a case.all of these I have to lift over my head repeatedly(except kegs)i’m wondering if i’m going to have to find a new occupation.

August 3, 2011 at 12:11 am
(135) MSmith08 says:

Well I realized it has been since December that I last updated how I was doing. I’m not sure if this will be helpful to anyone, because unfortunately, I’m still struggling. I had my biceps tenodesis 10/6/10. Dr #2 didn’t put me into formal PT until beginning of January. After a month in PT, I asked to go back to my original Dr (Dr #1) and it was approved. I saw him and he was of the opinion that I should have started PT much sooner and more aggressively. So he put me into work hardening, where I went 5 days a week, 4 hours a day. That lasted about 5 weeks, and I did regain almost all my ROM and some strength, but I couldn’t get above about 35 lbs without a lot of pain. After lots more less aggressive PT, trigger point injections along my back and shoulder, and on top of everything else, MY OTHER SHOULDER HURTING TOO (due to overcompensating all the time)! So I got sent back to Dr #2 a couple of months ago. (He was the one who did my surgery). He proceeded to have a fit, saying I should never have been doing the level of PT that I was doing, that all I did was reaggravate my tendon that wasn’t ready yet. So he has backed me down to NO activity with my right arm at all, and I have had several more painful cortisone injections in both shoulders (including this morning). Luckily, my left shoulder is getting a lot of relief, but my right shoulder has had minimal to no improvement. Pretty much my options are down to continuing the cortisone injections or the dreaded biceps tenotomy.
SARA- So since your story sounds very similar to mine and we are about the same age, I’m curious how the tenotomy is working for you. I know you are still recovering, but how is it affecting everything in your life? It’s only something I want to consider as a very last ditch effort, but unfortunately, if my injections from today don’t help anymore, I might not have a choice unless I want to live with the pain everyday.

August 3, 2011 at 12:16 am
(136) MSmith08 says:

I would question your doctor based on what you have written. Both my docs said 6-9 MONTHS for full recovery from a tenodesis. (I am at just over 9 months and not even close to fully recovered.) I would be very careful because my round of hard PT set me back in my recovery. I know everyone is different, but especially if you are still having that much pain, be sure he/she isn’t trying to push you too far too fast.

August 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm
(137) jennifer says:

My husband had his 5th shoulder surgery recently. The third doctor did not reattach his biceps, could this be the cause for him having two additional surgeries. He did not do anything for him to tear his biceps again it just happens. We found out the biceps where not attached from the other doctor.

August 23, 2011 at 2:04 am
(138) Jenny says:

Hi to all who are struggling post-op. I am 9 weeks post op for repair of full thickness tear to supraspinatus tendon/muscle and bicep tenodesis. I would not wish this on my worst enemy, well maybe one or two people! Anyway Physio has just upset me by informing me of a hydro?????? injrction which the doctor stabs in between the rotator cuff and fills with a saline solution to help break down scar tissue etc as my range of motion is not as advanced as he thinks my shoulder should be. My brother has had the injection and he says it is the most sickening pain he has endured. I know where my surgeon can stick his syringe. I have two weeks to get my act together and try and stretch though the pain and minor depression I’m experiencing. I am also going to investigate acupuncture as a form of analgesic. I’ll keep you posted.

September 15, 2011 at 7:50 pm
(139) ggray says:

what happened to houtx? how is sara? who was sarah’s DR.? Reading these posts is better then any of the TV reality dramas. Houtx, did you find the right DR? Anybody have good luck with Kerlin Jobe?

September 15, 2011 at 10:48 pm
(140) Sara says:

I have been meaning to update…I saw the dr. at the beginning of September 10 weeks post surgery. The doctor is pleased with my range of motion and strength. I am still having pain, and he isn’t surprised. He hopes when I gain more stability, strength, etc. it will get better. I am becoming more aware at how much I have compensated by using my left arm. I need to break these habits and trust that I can use my right arm more than I have been. I see the dr. again at the end of October. I am still continuing PT weekly and exercises at home 3 times a day. We are trying just about everything…something has to work. Staying positive.

September 18, 2011 at 6:01 am
(141) Jane.K says:

I am 5 days post op from a Tenodesis and debridement. This is the 3rd surgery on my right (dominant) arm. I also have severe osteoarthritis and my ortho doctor said my shoulder is bone on bone. I am doing way better than I thought at this point. I am only wearing the sling for short periods and take T3′s only at night. I am able to use my arm some but I do it carefully. I haven’t started PT yet, not sure when I need to. I see my doc next week to get the stitches out. I just hope I am not doing too much too soon.

October 3, 2011 at 11:47 pm
(142) Scot says:

It has been over 2 years since I have had my biceps tenodesis surgery. My shoulder still hurts just like before the surgery. What is the healing time for a surgery like this?

October 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm
(143) Jane.K says:

Scot, you should check with your doctor. It’s almost 4 weeks since my surgery and I am doing awesome. I don’t have much pain, mostly it hurts at night. My surgeon says I should be good anywhere from 2 months to 2 years before I need a joint replacement now. I am hoping for years.

October 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm
(144) Dave says:

Hi all, have just stumbled across this site and am very interested in what people have to say. I have been offered a biceps tenodesis by my surgeon and am debating whether to get it done or not. I have regular pain in my tendon (dominant side) and my bicep is notably not as ‘full’ or quite as strong as my other one. I am a Personal Trainer and a regular gym ‘goer’ so am really keen to get it sorted. Any thoughts or advice on this would be greatly appreciated.

November 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm
(145) MSmith08 says:

Be very careful about a tenodesis. I had mine 10/6/2010, and just 2 weeks ago I ended up having a tenotomy done. My tendon was re-tearing. The healing time for a tenodesis is about 9 months-1 year, if not longer. When I look back, I wish I would have just had the tenotomy done in the first place.

December 22, 2011 at 9:45 am
(146) chris says:

I had slap repair and tenodesis done on 10/6/2011 and about 4 weeks after surgery I fell on the shoulder where surgery was done. I started having pain in my bicep area about 2 weeks ago. My doctor thinks that I should have a tenotomy done and that I may have torn or frayed the biceps tendon that was reattached during surgery. The pain is about a 3 and some days it is a 4. If I move the wrong way or reach for something the pain is bad. My doctor gave me a cortisone shot but that has not helped. I can continue with pt and hope my pain goes down to a 1 but it has not happened yet. I want to get back to work and not sure what to do. I am seriously considering the tenotomy just to get back to normal. I have been dealing with shoulder pain since the March.

December 28, 2011 at 10:50 am
(147) susan says:

I had a biceps tenodesis four weeks ago tomorrow, also labral debridement and trimming of a bone. Started PT on day 7 (more of an evaluation) and then 3x per week beginning on day 12. I’m doing the pulleys, weighted bar, arm bike and the therapisst is stretching my arm. I do the pulleys 2x each day at home for 5 mins, icing consistently in the evenings, and starting yesterday, icing regularly during the work day. I feel a constant achiness in the shoulder and biceps area, but not terrible.

However, I am concerned about progress with the stretching, altho after reading some of the posts I may be wanting too much too fast. The therapist continues to push my arm over my head to a point where it’s unbearably painful. He has been taking measurements regularly and last week he was able to move my arm to 170 degrees (it hurt like crazy – literally brought tears to my eyes), but this week, only 160. When he moves my arm up from my side, it almost feels like the top of my shoulder is preventing my arm from rising higher than 90 degrees, then the pain rapidly increases to the unbearable stage. I am not supposed to lift/pull anything. Still very dependent on my good arm.

I just want to know if I/m progressing well – is all this normal? Therapist says yes, but also keeps saying “we want to keep pushing” and ” you may not get back full rom. I am 55 female, and this is my dominant left side.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

December 28, 2011 at 10:21 pm
(148) MSmith08 says:

I would be verrry careful about pushing too hard, too fast. My doc that did my tenodesis thinks that the aggressive PT that my other doc ordered (I switched because I was tired of driving so far) caused my tendon to re-tear. I ended up needing a 3rd surgery to do the tenotomy. If you are not sure about the aggressiveness of your PT, talk to your doctor or consult another PT. Yes, you have to push through the pain sometimes, but you don’t want to re-injure. I have been dealing with my shoulder for over 2 years now and 3 surgeries. I’ve learned that conservative treatment can be a good thing! I am about 6 weeks post-op from my tenotomy and I’m still worried about the level of pain in my shoulder. I’m anxious to see what my doc thinks on Tues. Good luck!

December 29, 2011 at 11:06 pm
(149) Jane.K says:

It’s been 3 and 1/2 months since my tenodesis, unfortunately it didn’t work the way my surgeon and I wanted it to. I will have a joint replacement in May or June. All the best to the rest of you!

December 30, 2011 at 9:25 am
(150) Susan says:

Thanks for the comments. I talked with the Drs. nurse and I have decided to change PT offices — I don’t feel that the current PT is communicating well at all with me and yesterday their office called and cancelled my appointment for today – rescheduling for next week – leaving an entire week between appointments when I have been going every other day. Their reason was that they had a therapist out. I think that action is indicative of lack of attention and I just have a bad feeling about the process. So, I have an appointment this afternoon with another PT. Hoping for better understanding and the right kind of progress.

December 31, 2011 at 12:52 pm
(151) Sara says:

December 20th marked 6 months since I had surgery. I saw my doctor around the same time. He felt confident in releasing me from PT and said I didn’t need to see him unless I had questions or any issues. He told me not to hesistate to call him with any concerns. My PT also thought I was ready to be released. I had been seeing her twice a week then because of insurance limits went down to once a week and then to every other week etc. I had been doing exercises two/three times a day, but the dr. and pt don’t want me to over-do it, so now I am doing them 3 times a week. It seems a little strange not doing them as often. I still have daily discomfort especially when doing repetitive things, overhead activities etc. I have to start breaking the habits that I started in the beginning to avoid pain. The doctor says I am in the function and endurance stage now. I am staying positive, but it is hard to remember when my shoulder didn’t hurt.

January 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm
(152) Erika H says:

hi just found this site. i go on jan. 20th to further discuss whether a tenotomy (like my ortho doc wants to do) is the right way to go. my regular doc wants me to have the tendon reattached. i also have to get a spur removed, bone shaved and arthritic tissue removed. i have put this off since last spring because of work and fear. i spent three years in pain and no doctor could tell me what is was until last march when i found my new regular doc. (i had armpit pain which would get severe sometimes, especially driving) it definitely has affected my life. i am going to get the surgery because i do not want things to get worse, but very much fearing the recovery only because i need to work for my family. since my paid days equal three weeks off, am i crazy to think that i will be able to return to work as a legal secretary once those three weeks are over? is this possible? btw thanks everyone for your earlier comments

January 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm
(153) Susan says:

An update on my situation in case it might be helpful to someone in a similar place in recovery. I changed physical therapists and am seeing a huge difference in my progress. The new PT is much more informative about the process and what to expect. Encouraging and clearly knowledgeable. She is able to move my arm to about the same degree as the other place with lots less pain. Also, she has given me 7 home exercies to do 2 – 3 times a day. The other place only had me doing the pulleys twice a day at home. A consistent home program in addition to the 2 – 3 times a week therapy sessions makes so much sense. My advice is to make sure you feel very comfortable with your therapist, otherwise find someone else. I am going to tell my Dr. the reasons for the change. (The original therapist is in a group that is part of his office/business.) Don’t know if he’ll care, but he needs to know. Thanks MSmith08 for your suggestion.

January 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm
(154) Aaron says:

I had a bicep tendesis done december for a slap repair on my dominant side. Three weeks later to the day I woke up to a cramped bicep. It felt like the long head detached. Went to the doctor and he basically told me some tissue had sluffed. The doctor could not tell me if the whole repair pulled or not. Just curious if any body has had this problem. I am a male in late thirtys. Thanks.

January 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm
(155) Destiny says:

Hi all,

I had a Rotator cuff tear repaired in July then because of limited motion and severe pain still had a bicep tentomy in Nov. My Dr. said cutting the bicep would stop all the pain immediately! Well news for ya..it didn’t. I still have severe pain, on Loratab still. He had me get a arthrogram and MRI which I did and I see him in 2 days. My pain is anterior right below shoulder especially with certain arm movements. Dr. says I also have severe arthritis and says I need a total shoulder soon which I won’t get.
What should I do about the problem? Should I have the bicep reattached? Will that help? Can they do that? Any ideas?


February 6, 2012 at 1:22 am
(156) Jane.K says:

Hi Destiny, I had the bicep tenodesis last Sept. It helped my pain for about 2 months. I am having a total shoulder replacement in March. Nervous, yes but will be so happy to have that pain gone!

February 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm
(157) Jenna says:

I had a biceps tenodesis and bursectomy done 8.5 weeks ago and I am in more pain now then I was before the surgery. I get very sharp pain in the front of my shoulder where they reattached the bicep with a dissolvable screw. I hurts to even brush my teeth, wash my face, carry a water bottle, pretty much everything I do. The pain also keeps me up at night. I have been going to physical therapy 2x a week, which has helped with my range of motion. I also get a painful clicking when I move my shoulder. I see my doctor in 8 days, not sure what he is going to do for this. Is a cortisone a possibility? As anyone experienced this after surgery?

February 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm
(158) LA says:

I just had surgery gor a SLAP tear & large head bicep tendon tear.

I did not have the bicep tendon reattached. The damaged portion of the labrum and bicep tendon were simply removed. Apparently, this a newer method of dealing with the injury. Since the tendon is not reattached, there is very little pain and the recovery is significantly quicker with almost no chance of re-injury.

I’m two weeks post surgery, and was actually cleared to begin weight training and physical activity again.

March 7, 2012 at 8:07 am
(159) TK says:

I was hit by a semi while bicycling on a bike path in 2010. Severely broke my neck and screwed up my non-dominant shoulder attempting to lessen the impact. After slap tear/cuff repair #2 and a year and a half later…I’ve lost both my job as a helicopter medic and working as a medic in the ER. Now my surgeon is recommending a tenodesis.

After reading these posts…I’m freaking out. I used to be a super active guy…tech diving, spearfishing, mountain biking, and weight lifting. I know I should just be happy that I’m alive and walking…but I want my active life back. Any recent GOOD stories out there about tenodesis?

Best of luck to all of you recovering.

March 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm
(160) Suzie says:

I am 14 months post surgery: Decompression, resection distal clavicle, frozen shoulder and biceps release (of which I was unaware and did not find out until I changed Ortho Doctors). I followed the doctors order to a T and each visit was told I was progressing fine, at each visit I asked why there was hug lump where my bicep was and was told “that’s normal, I’ve seen it before) When I complained of the pain like a hot knife slicing my arm when I used it was told again “it’s normal” and was released 3 month post. 3 Months later I was still in pain and was told that I was using it too much and to rest and come back in 3 months if it still hurt. It did but I didn’t – went to another Ortho who said it would be to evasive to repair the tendon and also he said he would not have chosen the option to cut the tendon and I would eventually have a total replacement but was too young. I was ordered to PT for strength and offered a shot of cortisone. So now I have to wait 7 to 10 years for pain relief….

April 8, 2012 at 7:10 am
(161) Jane.K says:

I am 2 weeks postoperative from my total shoulder replacement. The pain I had before from the arthritis and tenodesis is completely gone. Right now it’s just the surgery pain. Another 4 weeks and I start physio. It’s a great feeling to know that I will finally be back to normal and pain free in a couple months.
Good luck to everyone!

May 27, 2012 at 8:02 am
(162) Eddie says:

Hello all…..I just read thru ALL the comments over the past few years. I just tore my proximal biceps tendon 2 days ago in my left arm. Tore the distal tendon in my right arm 2 years ago, had the surgery (was successful), but downtime and rehab/recovery was a lengthy process.

This injury does not feel too painful, it’s only been 2 days (have not take the prescribed pain meds). I really need an opinion if by opting not to do surgery I can live with this. A small depression is noticeable at the top of the biceps, and it is balled up by the elbow. But I can still curl 10-15 lbs with little pain, and manged a few push-ups. Will this injury heal itself and 80-90% of the strenght come back without surgery? It is just starting summer, I run a landscaping business and we are super busy.
I don’t want to be totally out of commission for 6 months, also I am hopeful to play flag football in September. Any positive stories out there from people who declined the surgery and are now doing fine?

June 4, 2012 at 6:37 pm
(163) Marti says:

Suzie, I am having the same problem 4 weeks after Rotator repair and bicep tenotomy. Still in therapy and shoulder is getting bette but my concern is I have a terrible burning in my bicep area whenever I se my arm. I haved talked to my surgeon who tells me it’s just nerve pain and nothing he can do about it. Anyone else have the burning after surgery?

July 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm
(164) sara says:

I had subcomial decompression and bicep tenodesis 6 weeks ago. My passive ROM is fine. But my bicep started to cramp and has felt hard since about 10 days after surgery. I also get a burning sensation in my bicep which is worsened at night which causes me to get little sleep. to top things off, I have numbness in my hands and fingers (had a nerve block). I saw my doctor two weeks ago and she said at that point she only was concerned with my incisions healing properly – they have. Any thoughts about the burning/cramping bicep pain. Will it eventually go away? This has become depressing since I didn’t expect things to go wrong like this. This site is great and I would appreciate any input …

July 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm
(165) Sara says:

This is a response to Sara’s questions/concerns…I have commented on this forum before, but it has been awhile. It was a year in June that I had shoulder surgery for the second time. I had my first surgery in June 2010. This last surgery I had a subacromial decompression/mumford and a bicep tenotomy. I deal with cramping in my arm regularly, and it can be quite irritating. My doctor warned me that this may happen but should eventually go away. My bicep has not felt hard, but I wonder if your bicep released on its own. My doctor warned me about that if I had a tenodesis. I do still have quite a bit of pain in my shoulder and it is frustrating to still deal with this after two surgeries. I am seeing a rheumatologist about various joint pain in my body but haven’t gotten any answers yet. I am wondering if I should see my shoulder doctor again. My range of motion and strength is good, but the pain is still there. My advice is to stick with therapy and exercises…as my doctor said, “I can do all the surgery I want, but therapy/exercises is the key to recovery!” Good luck!

August 13, 2012 at 12:40 am
(166) mjm says:

fall with dislocation of shoulder, went out a few days later…Had 3rd rotator cuff repair with hill sachs fracture and longhead tendonotomy. when PT did not improve. therapist decided it was not ethical to continue PT. Popeye muscle big time and really hard to do anything simple such a putting up a gallon of milk in the fridge- What about the kinesio taping, really depressing when you try and do simple stuff. any suggestions appreciated Rotator cuff 01,03 and 10 same shoulder- due to failed back surgery-I fall alot, also CMC in right had due to falling (baslar joint arthritisis)- bummer

August 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm
(167) jimbo970 says:

I went in for rotator repair of tear from a car accident. When I came out of surgery doc informed me everything went well and slid in that he did a bicep release (I had no knowledge beforehand) in any case i followed the instructions and kept arm in sling etc… I began PT at three weeks still in sling – at end of week PT said I didnt have to use slin and a follow up appt a week later nuse sais I should still keep wearing sling. To cut to the chase arm is constantly achey and after about a month I noticed bicep looked kinda odd – at first I thought it was due to atrophe but in another follow- up appt doc said the tendon ruptured. He said did I fall or something. i said I cannot remember falling or any sudden event. Doc said well I would not bother “repairing” it becasue it is mainly a cosmetic defect – even though I am in a pain, repairing it would be too complicated and may not ever fix it. I am told this in a very non shalaunt manner. What complicated this even more is the car wreck was work related (not my fault) and WC just pays for initial repair and then if you can walk and talk you are considered healed. I am very upset with the outcome and at aloss as to what I can do about it. Had I known my bicep was going to be like this I may have gotten a 2nd opinion before surgery – oh and I also have a nasy scar from my upper arm near my arm put which looks like I was burned – doc said that was the most convieninet entry point and if you are wearing a shirt no one will see it.

August 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm
(168) jimbo970 says:

I had rotator repair surgery a few months ago from injuries in a car accident. Doc said I should get shoulder fixed sooner than later. Having had prior rotator repaired on other shoulder a few years back Ė the experience went very well so I anticipated the same result. The doc never mentioned a bicep release etc… When I came out of recover doc stopped by and said all went well and that during the operation he released bicep tendon. Of course I was just under and bandaged up so I wasnít sure what doc was referring to. To cut to the chase I entered PT and at the 1 month point relalized that the bicep and shoulder looked deformed. I attributed it to atrophy but noticed the bicep was looking bulgy. On a follow up apt I mention to doc my bicep and arm were very achy. This was at about 6 weeks. In the next follow-up I was still having pain and more intense and bicep is looking more pronounced. The doc looked at it and said your bicep tendon ruptured. It was said very nonchalant. I am involved in a Workers comp case (the auto accident was work related) and struggled to get to the point where I could even get treatment for my shoulder so I donít want to make waves, but I am very upset and getting more upset as time goes on because I donít see the improvement I expected. The insurance company is like well its repaired so no more PT and the doc was like, I wouldnít undergo surgery to correct it because the tendon probably has shriveled back and to undergo a fix you would need skin graph, donor tendon and have a huge scar on arm. SO I donít know what to do. I feel like I was not properly prepared for the outcome and I am to just accept the way things are now with no remorse.

September 14, 2012 at 6:43 pm
(169) AJC says:

I just underwent my second surgery on my left shoulder and am 1 wk post op. First surgery was 2004 had a bankart repair. post op on that surgery was good 95% range of motion and no pain. Couple years later resulting from my line of work i assume, I started feeling clicking again and chronic pain. Also inflammation in the front towards my armpit. Went back to the dr now this being 8 years post op from the first surgery because now i was just getting tired of it. It was very liveable just want it fixed. Had an mra. Dr said the old repair looked good said i had a slap tear and would scope me and if anything else was wrong he’d fix it. Cut the bicep and attached it to the arm and cleaned up some fraying on my labrum. I have no pain 1 wk post op except a sharp one that comes and goes every now and then and thats probably my fault because i have been going out to the store with my wife and doing things like holding light things with that hand. If your in excruciting pain after this surgery id say find a different dr. i was off pain meds on day 4 and the block wore off 24 hrs after surgery the pain was quite tolerable. I am a 28 yr old male 6’2″ 240 lb tree climber. The worst part of this surgery was wearing this stupid sling!

November 19, 2012 at 7:58 am
(170) Paul says:

Feb. 2012 I had surgery for the 4th time on my shoulder, which was to be for a small tear in the rotator cuff due to a fall. The doctor indicated that the surgery was going to be a simple repair in his opinion from looking at the MRI. When I talked to him two weeks after surgery, he said that the surgery had been more than he expected. The tear in the rotator cuff was larger than expected, I had arthritis to be cleaned up, the biceps tendon was stretched and they had to shave the clavicle. He said that even though the biceps tendon was not torn, he opted to cut and reattach it. He said that this part of the surgery has a high rate of failure and that most doctors would not bother it, but he thought he would take a chance. I am almost a year out of surgery and having problems. My shoulder swells and gets tight with use and for some reason fluid builds up in the joint. I cannot raise my arm out to my side to shoulder level, I have cramping when lifting anything with much weight to it. A second opinion doctor put permanent restrictions on me against lifting more than 40 lbs., no pushing or pulling over 10 lbs. intermittingly, no contiuous pushing or pulling and no working above my shoulder. The operating physician, overruled him, saying I did not need any type restriction and to go back to work. I work manual labor and work above the shoulder most of the day. According to the operating physician the bicep surgery failed and nothing further can be done with it. The shoulder also sits lower and has a noticible dent about 3 inched from the end of the shoulder where the shoulder drops about a half inch. The doctor says there is a problem there and this isn’t normal but has no idea why it is this way. I have a lot of popping, crunching, pain and cramping in my shoulder. I am also 57 years old. At night I cannot sleep for my arm going numb. I don’t know what to do at this point.

January 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm
(171) susie says:

I had a partial shoulder replacement 2 years and a bicep tendonectomy.
My shoulder and muscle hurts just and much if not more. If I use it for anything my bicep and shoulder hurts for 2 or 3 days afterwards. I hope I am not in this pain the rest of my life.

February 7, 2013 at 2:02 pm
(172) JJ says:

If your active opt for the biceps tenodesis, this procedure can be performed arthroscopicly. Many docs prefer doing an open biceps tenodesis, however this can be done with an implant called a fork tip swivelock or a basic suture anchor and the rehab will be much faster.

February 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm
(173) Racquetball Girl says:

I had biceps tenodesis on January 30th with a torn labrum. He cleaned out the labrum and moved my bicep tendon. I am 10 days post surgery and pretty much just annoying pain in back of shoulder. Biceps hurts with the wrong movement. I was told I can’t start pt for 30 days. I sleep in my reclined and it’s getting old. When I try to lay in bed there just isn’t enough support. I have to keep the sling on 24/7 and am not allowed to straighten my arm at all. The doc did say I can bend my arm upwards as long as I dont flex at all. I am not looking forward to that first pt session.

February 11, 2013 at 7:08 pm
(174) bandaide says:

i went in for labrum repair and debridement, and came out with a tenotomy. my mri says the bisceps tedon is normal. hmmmm. than why did he cut it. bow never told me about it before or after. 1 1/2 years later i find out. my left arm is pretty bad. i work on cars and the pain and lack of strength is to much along with the cramping and deformity. i wouldn’t wish this on anyone who is active or does manual labor. i was always very strong and now have trouble opening a jar

April 13, 2013 at 4:22 pm
(175) LRK says:

8 weeks out since a labrum debridement and a bicep tenodesis. I had no clue the doctor was going to do the tenodesis. An MRI I had 2 days ago shows that the screw came out and I have what the Dr. called it a “popeye” bicep. Doctor called yesterday and said to set up an appt to come in and he will have to pluck out the screw. He said other than a little deformity from the muscle I won’t notice any difference. It still irks me the I was not told of the tenodesis before surgery. I was out of work for a month and now this.

May 24, 2013 at 9:31 pm
(176) Ugh says:

I recently had a biceps tendonesis. All went well and I am recovering nicely. The surgeon left part of the incision open in my armpit. Does anyone have any experience with this? How long will it take before this closes?

June 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm
(177) Hayleyrunner says:

After reading the posts here, I am having second thoughts about having my R shoulder surgery. I am a Physical Therapist and ironically I treat a lot of orthopedic patients. My pain began about 9 mos ago, I did PT tx on myself thinking I only had Tendonitis which was causing my pain. But the pain intensified and began to affect my function as a PT and other daily activities. I finally consulted w/ an ortho who actually refer pts. to me for PT. An MRI showed a vertical tear in my long head of biceps and some arthropathy in the AC joint. At this point, I have developed Frozen Sh w/ range of motion very limited w/ reaching overhead, back and to side w/ sharp pain in the deltoids and scapular area. Dr H recommends Scope, Tenotomy vs Tenodesis & Subacromial Decompression. I am trying to buy time right now, but have scheduled for procedure in 2 mos. I will definitely seek for a 2nd consult w/ another ortho I have treated patients for. Even if I feel like Dr H is competent w/ 17 yrs of experience, I still want to hear it from another expert. I know that I can make my recovery process go well…but I have to make sure that the operation will be performed right so I can return to my normal & highest functional level. in the mean time, I am still doing all my exs and stretchings even w/ mod-high pain level to make sure I get my R shoulder ready for surgery. I hope that I will be able to tx and help my self get well as much as I have taken care of my patients for 22 years of being a Physical Therapist.

June 9, 2013 at 6:34 am
(178) kyle evans says:

I injured my shoulder at work on aug. 20 2012, and after the classic run-a-round with work comp they did a cat-scan with arthrigram. I was told i had a right sub-scap rotater cuff tear. I had surgery on feb. 20 and it was interesting to say the least. No rotater cuff tear, but the surgeon decided to do a bicep tendon release. Now i am worse off than i was before surgery, now having frozen shoulder also. My work requires lifting cases upwards of 100 pounds as many as 5000 times a day. 28 years old and my never have full use of my shoulder. If you are having any surgery, talk in dept with your surgeon about what he MIGHT do while your out. Would glady give advice– kyleevans370@yahoo.com.

August 13, 2013 at 1:02 am
(179) Kelly says:

I put off surgery for 1-1/2 years but it turns out that “cleaning up” the inflammation in there was 100% necessary. Two expensive MRIs pointed toward rotator cuff repair, they were both wrong. Rotator cuff was a little shredded on the surface but just needed cleaning up, a slap tear left a chunk of labrum stuck in my shoulder joint. Surgeon expected to do a biceps tenotomy and it WAS really inflamed looking. She pounded the anchors in, snipped the biceps tendon, started to attach to new spot, and the anchor BROKE and she lost the tendon. So I got an unplanned tenotomy. Can you believe that?!? Then I get a bill for $22,000. Are you kidding me. Well now that I’m 4 months post-surgery I can tell you I’m glad I had surgery. The Popeyes deformity is no big deal, it sort of looks like you have an awesomely bigger biceps. I worry about long-term strength development as I know I’m nowhere near as strong as I was. But don’t be afraid of surgery. If you have a lot of pain that cortisone injections couldn’t keep from coming back, surgery is your answer. I can’t believe my surgeon broke an anchor in my arm but… At least I can sleep
(Even lying down!) at night now!

August 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm
(180) Cheryl says:

Hi Kelly thanks for your input. I was in a car accident in January and found out that I need a tenotomy or tendonesis on my dominant right shoulder. I’m a massage therapist with my own practice and being out of work for any amount of time is just horrible for me. My ortho leans towards the tenotomy as the recovery is quicker and would probably have the same loss of strength with either surgery. One of my concerns as a woman and I suppose a vain one, is the Popeye deformity. I do have a question, have you lost range of motion in your forearm motions? I would love to keep in touch and hear of your progress.

September 18, 2013 at 2:00 am
(181) DJ says:

I am a 50 year-old male who used to have a body that could stop traffic. Severe pain in my shoulder has cut out my ability to do virtually every exercise in the gym that I once did. Got two opinions from surgeons, and they both agree that I either need a tenotomy or a tenodesis, but I don’t want either procedure. I’m in law enforcement and can’t fathom being on light duty for the length of time it takes to recover, nor the “Popeye arm” and loss of strength that looks to be almost inevitable. Trying to use every alternative I can think of to avoid the surgery,which already includes several months of PT and a cortisone injection. Seeing all the negative things that people are writing about their experiences surely don’t help matters. Wish there was another way

December 30, 2013 at 12:58 pm
(182) TD says:

I had rotator cuff surgery 3 years ago. Along with that, a growth was shaved that was sawing into my long head tendon. After 6 months of rehab, I was as good as new and very happy. About 8 months ago, familiar discomfort returned in the area of the long head tendon. Kept getting worse until I was very limited in what I could do with my right arm as far as lifting anything. Moved to a new house a month ago and really irritated the shoulder lifting boxes and furniture. Was going to visit my doctor after our cruise ended last week. In the meantime, on the cruise, I fully extended my arm to the side, palm up, and swung up to keep a beach ball in the air. It was reactionary. Huge mistake. Immediate lighting bolt from my shoulder down to below my bicep. Oddly, the pain subsided overnight. More odd, I was pain free but had a very large bicep. Doctor told me today that I had performed my own tenotomy. I had a choice. Reattach with tenodesis and rehab for 4 months or leave it alone (self inflicted tenotomy) and general strength PT for 6 weeks. I opted out of surgery. I’m in my 60′s, bald, have a paunch. My wife loves me as I am. I’m way past the vanity stage so the popeye arm does not bother me. I am pain free and do not want the surgery.

March 3, 2014 at 4:01 pm
(183) ethel says:

can anyone help me out iam trying to find out what subacromial decompression with open clavicle excision is and what it intail thank you

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