Tendinopathy of the long head of the biceps brachii encompasses a spectrum of pathology ranging from inflammatory tendinitis to degenerative tendinosis. Disorders of the long head of the biceps often occur in conjunction with other shoulder pathology. A thorough patient history, physical examination, and radiographic evaluation are necessary for diagnosis.
Nonsurgical management, including rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and injections, is attempted first in patients with mild disease. Surgical management is indicated for refractory or severe disease. In addition to simple biceps tenotomy, a variety of tenodesis techniques has been described. Open biceps tenodesis has been used historically. However, promising results have recently been reported with arthroscopic tenodesis.