Biceps Treatments including SLAP Repair

There are two possible arthroscopic treatments for patients who have biceps problem.

The first is a arthroscopic biceps tenotomy that is when we cut the long head of the biceps tendon.   the purpose of this is for pain relief.  Functionally you may notice a slight reduction in some strength when using the elbow and commonly people experience a 'popeye' sign which is a bunching up of the biceps muscle belly in the upper arm.  This technique is usually reserved for people who have low demand on shoulder and elbow function.  

The other option is an arthroscopic or mini-open biceps tenodesis and that is where we cut the biceps and then re-fix it back down to the proximal humerus which is the upper part of the arm.  This procedure is done in younger poeple who have a higher demands on the shoulder and elbow function as it maintains the strength and function and reduces the risk of a 'popeye' sign.

Post-operatively following a biceps tenotomy, you can mobilise the shoulder as pain allows. 
Post-operatively following a biceps tenodesis, we wil protect your shoulder in a sling for about 3 weeks avoiding extension of the elbow and the shoulder combined, as this can put a lot of strain on the repair.   The physiotherapists will go through this with you on the ward after your surgery.

SLAP Repair

This is when the long head of the biceps tendon inserts onto the top of the glenoid which is the socket of the shoulder joint.  Following a traumatic injury to the superior labrum people often experience a clicking and pain felt anteriorly at the front of the shoulder.  Certain tests that we will perform in the outpatients will determine whether it is the  biceps tendon or the superior labrum that is torn.   Often we get MR Arthrogram of the shoulder which defines the tear.   Arthroscopy is performed to repair the superior labrum by using anchors to fix the torn labrum back down to the socket. 

Post operatively, you will wear a sling for a few weeks and the Physiotherapists will guide you through certain exercises to keep the range of movement of the elbow and the shoulder going.  
Return to work and driving can take about 5-6 weeks and return to sport on average takes 3-4 months. 

You will be reviewed at 3 weeks post surgery and 3 month post surgery.  It can take up to 6-9 months to feel the full benefit of the surgery.

For information on procedures
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