Management of Biceps Tendon Pathology: From the Glenoid to the Radial Tuberosity

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Management of proximal and distal biceps tendon pathology is evolving. The long head of the biceps tendon, if inflamed, may be a pain-producing structure. In appropriately indicated patients, a symptomatic long head of the biceps tendon can be surgically managed via tenotomy, tenodesis, and/or superior labrum anterior to posterior repair. In some patients, primary superior labrum anterior to posterior pathology can be managed via biceps tenodesis. Determining which procedure is most appropriate and which technique and implant are preferred for a given patient with biceps tendon pathology is controversial. Less debate exists with regard to the timing of distal biceps tendon repair; however, considerable controversy exists with regard to selection of an appropriate surgical technique and implant. In addition, the treatment of patients with a chronic and/or retracted distal biceps tendon tear and patients in whom distal biceps tendon repair fails is extremely challenging. Orthopaedic surgeons should understand the anatomy of, nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for, and outcomes of patients with proximal or distal biceps tendon pathology.

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