Surgical Management of Proximal Long Head Biceps Tendon Disorders

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Disorders of the long head of the biceps tendon can make a significant contribution to shoulder pain and dysfunction. Historically, open biceps tenotomy or a proximal tenodesis of the tendon through a deltopectoral approach was used to manage biceps tendonitis and instability. Recent developments have added additional options. Arthroscopic techniques offer minimally invasive methods to secure the biceps in the suprapectoral region at the appropriate length. An open subpectoral tenodesis provides for simple exposure that secures the tendon just proximal to the musculotendinous junction and eliminates potentially diseased tendon and synovium from the biceps groove. Common fixation methods include the use of interference screws, suture anchors, and button devices. Future developments will likely add modified tenotomy techniques that will minimize the Popeye deformity in low-demand individuals. Simpler, but secure methods of fixation for higher demand patients will minimize the operative time required.

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