Management of Biceps Tendinopathy
Biceps Tendinitis encompasses a spectrum of disorders including primary biceps tendinitis, patients without primary tendinitis, and biceps tendinosis. Primary Biceps Tendinitis (5%) is inflammation of the biceps tendon in the intertubercular groove caused by mechanical stresses and overuse. Some clinicians identify biceps tendinitis simply by individuals who exhibit anterior shoulder pain that is exacerbated by shoulder and elbow flexion (Mitra et al, 2011). Mechanical stresses can include entrapment, instability, and spontaneous rupture of the long head of the biceps tendon. These patients often suffer from secondary impingement because of scapular instability, anterior capsule laxity, or posterior joint capsule tightness. Patients suffering from secondary impingement are often your younger athletic population between 18-35 years old. Primary tendinitis is much less common than those without primary tendonitis (95%). The patients without primary tendonitis have biceps tendon pathology secondary to a rotator cuff injury or labral tear. Interestingly, biceps tendinopathy is rarely found alone. It usually occurs secondary to or a cause of another pathology (Zhang et al, 2011). 85% of patients with long head of the biceps tendon partial tears have associated rotator cuff pathologies (Gazillo 2011). Additionally the umbrella term biceps tendinitis includes biceps tendinosis, which is caused by primary impingement of the shoulder and overuse. This usually involves your older population >35 years of age. Due to their age and primary impingement, these patients are also at risk for rotator cuff pathology.
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