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Bicep Tenodesis Surgical Repair: What To Expect

By Sports Medicine Oregon


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Rotator cuff repair is a common procedure focused on mending cuff tears utilizing a series of anchors and sutures. While the procedure itself is routine the mere prospect of “going under the knife” can be daunting for patients in the days and weeks leading up to surgery. That said, from anesthesia considerations to specific wound care instructions, there are many concepts to familiarize yourself with prior to your scheduled appointment. When should you plan to start a physical therapy regimen? How long after surgery should you schedule your post-operative visit? We will answer those questions and others in this article.Read More

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Team Physicians for the Portland Timbers and Portland Thunder

Team Physicians for the Portland Timbers and Portland Thunder

The Procedure

You are having a bicep tenodesis. Bicep tenodesis is surgical repair of an injured or degenerative tendon through the use of sutures and fixative devices anchoring the tendon to bone. The repair will be done with a combination of arthroscopic portals (small incisions) to look inside the shoulder and a small open incision to repair and reattach the healthy part of the tendon.

There are some cases in which the tendon can not be repaired and is released. If this is necessary it will leave an asymmetry in your bicep muscle but will relieve the pain once it heals.

Your surgery will take approximately one hour. You will wake up in the recovery room where your progress will be observed for one to two hours. Your family or friends may visit you here.

Preparing for Surgery

You should not have anything to eat or drink 8 hours prior to your check in the day/night before your surgery. All medications that you use should be discussed with your surgeon before your surgery takes place. Most medications can be taken the day of surgery, following the procedure. If you are diabetic, or have any other concerns about medications, please discuss this with the surgeon as special arrangements may be necessary. The anesthesiologist will try to speak with you the night before to discuss anesthesia. Should this call be missed, you will speak to the anesthesiologist at the bedside before your procedure begins. Please wear loose clothing. Please have the correct date, time and location of your surgery confirmed before the date. You will need someone to drive you home and accompany you for the next 24 hours.

After Bicep Surgery

You will have a sling in place that will secure and limit the activity of your arm. You may wear this over a shirt for more comfort. You also may remove the sling and move your elbow, wrist and fingers but no lifting of objects or your arm.

You will also have a cold pack that is attached to a cooling unit which you may use according to your tolerance. Please be aware of the skin beneath the cooling pad and protect it with a small cloth or towel to avoid burning or other skin irritation. Do not place the cooling pad directly on your skin.

Do not submerge your wounds in a bathtub, hot tub, pool, etc., until the incisions are completely healed (7-10 days).

You will have a scheduled post-operative visit in a week to 10 days following your procedure. At that time, the surgeon will meet with you and discuss your surgery findings, pertinent information, future prognosis and rehabilitation plan. We will also give you recommendations regarding activity and limitations.

Usually, we will check your progress once every month.

You are encouraged to call our office with any questions that you may have after the procedure.

You should call immediately should you develop a temperature greater than 101° F, numbness or tingling in the operative arm, excessive drainage or excessive bleeding from the incisions, nausea or vomiting, uncontrolled pain or any other symptoms that you have concerns about.