The biceps is a tendon that connects from your shoulder to your elbow and helps elevate your shoulder and arm in addition to flexing your elbow. As it exits your shoulder, it runs in the bicipital groove between the subscapularis and supraspinatus of the rotator cuff. Biceps tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the tendon that can cause pain, weakness, or snapping within the shoulder. The biceps tendon can be partially torn or even fully detach at the shoulder, causing a “popeye” deformity, which looks like the muscle drops down in the arm and appears larger.
The pain associated with a biceps tear frequently lessens with time, and much of the weakness associated with biceps dysfunction can be attributed to the rotator cuff. 50% of people with a biceps tear will have a rotator cuff tear as well. You may ultimately require surgery for your rotator cuff instead of or in addition to your biceps tear.
For patients who require complete recovery of strength, surgery is required to repair the tear. These surgical repairs to the biceps tendon are completed arthroscopically with a minimal incision. The goal of the surgery is to re-anchor the torn tendon back to the bone for proper healing.