Biceps Tenotomy

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Biceps tenotomy is a medical procedure where the tendon of the bicep’s long head region is simply cut off with its attachment at the glenoid. It is then let to hang well down the upper arm. Biceps tenotomy is a simpler medical procedure which is done to reduce the pain. The surgical procedure does not affect the stability of your shoulder. Yet it does actually create a cosmetic effect which is called Popeye deformity in many of the cases. It looks like it is flattened especially on the top of your biceps and looks fullness above the elbow region. People who underwent the biceps tenotomy procedure usually have normal biceps function just after the biceps tenotomy treatment procedure. Read More

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Biceps Tenotomy

Biceps Tenotomy Surgery vs Biceps Tenodesis:

Biceps tenodesis is generally a minimal invasive surgery where your surgeon cuts the biceps tendon mainly from the glenoid. It is then reattached to the humerus by using sutures as well as screws. This surgical procedure is very often done with younger patients who are more active since the surgical procedure is considered to be highly stable. It also carries out very less chance in people to have the Popeye deformity.

While, on the other hand, Biceps tenotomy is a medical procedure where the tendon of the bicep’s long head region is simply cut off with its attachment at the glenoid. The surgical procedure is usually done arthroscopically mainly as a day procedure. You generally should be able to move your hands after the surgical procedure. 

Biceps Tenotomy Protocol: (Biceps Tenotomy Rehab Protocol)

Biceps tenotomy protocol is a procedure which provides the clinician with the necessary guidelines to the doctor. It gives the postoperative rehabilitation course of a patient who has undergone a tenotomy biceps surgical procedure.

The clinical criteria progression are as follows:

Phase 1 – It is the passive range of motion phase. It starts approximately post operation 1 to 2 weeks later

Phase 2 – It is the active range of motion phase. It starts approximately postoperative 2 to 4 weeks later

Phase 3 – It is the strengthening phase. It starts approximately postoperative 4 to 6 weeks later

Phase 4 – It is the advanced strengthening phase. It starts approximately post operation 6+ weeks later

Biceps Tenotomy Treatment Procedure:

The diagnosis and treatment procedures for biceps tenotomy are as follows:

Prior to the treatment:

  • Your doctor usually performs a number of varied manipulations of your arm as well as your shoulder in order to help them determine how severe your injury is
  • Overall health condition of yours will also be advised by your doctor to be taken before the surgery.
  • If the severity is less, simple treatments like icing, taking aspirin or else ibuprofen (Advil), and also rest will help. Apart from that, physical therapy as well as cortisone injections may also help
  • If the severity is more, shoulder surgery along with biceps tenodesis will also usually be performed

During the Treatment:

  • Your doctor will advise you to take aspirin or any other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or naproxen, three days before the surgery
  • General anesthesia is usually given before the start of the surgical procedure
  • During the surgical procedure, your doctor or surgeon usually inserts a special type of screw or an anchored device right into the upper part of the humerus, which is the upper arm bone.
  • Surgeon then clips off the end (biceps long head) and also sews the remaining portion of the tendon onto the screw so that the ends are reattached to the humerus rather than that of the glenoid.
  • The entire procedure might be done mainly through small or open incision
  • Open surgery is usually done on the shoulder just in case if the tenodesis is part of large operation. It is arthroscopic biceps tenotomy procedure

Biceps Tenotomy Recovery Time and Post-Treatment Biceps Tenotomy Rehabilitation:

  • Recovery timeline from biceps tenotomy takes longer time. It usually involves rest, wearing a sling, as well as physical therapy.
  • Some people get their functional range of motion as well as necessary strength by almost four to six months from the surgery time
  • Total recovery from the surgical procedure takes one year
  • As part of rehabilitation, physical therapy usually starts after a couple of weeks after operation

Biceps Tenotomy Complications:

Some of the possible complications are as follows, though being rare:

  • Infection and bleeding
  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia (Leading to stroke or heart attack or death)

In case of larger shoulder surgery, complications include:

  • Stiffness or Frozen Shoulder
  • Nerve injury in surrounding shoulder
  • Shoulder joint cartilage damage (Chondrolysis)


You may have the biceps tendon torn mainly after a trauma (injury) or even develop certain symptoms over time mainly from hand motion repetitions. Few of the symptoms of bicep tendon tears usually include:

  • Biceps cramping after or during heavy use
  • Pain at your shoulder and elbow
  • Tenderness and weakness in shoulder and elbow
  • A sharp pain mainly in the upper arm
  • Popping or snapping sound
  • Arm rotation difficulty to the palm downward or forward motion
  • Upper arm bulge (Popeye muscle)


1. What is cpt code for biceps tenotomy? (arthroscopic biceps tenotomy cpt)

Arthroscopic biceps tenotomy is usually considered to be part of the debridement. CPT code 29822 or 29823 should be reported based on the extent of work.

2. What is biceps tenotomy versus tenodesis clinical outcomes?

It is observed from the study that a total of 699 tenotomy surgical procedures resulted in a great outcome in 77% of patients with around 43% occurrence to be of cosmetic deformity.

3. Why do I have pain after biceps tenotomy?

Spasms and cramping usually causes biceps pain in the surgical procedure and it is potentially the downside of the procedure.

4. What is arthroscopic biceps tenotomy?

It is actually a valuable option mainly for the treatment of irreparable as well as degenerative rotator cuff tears for person with a pathologic biceps.

5. What to expect during biceps tenotomy rehabilitation?

During a biceps tenotomy rehabilitation process, your doctor mainly advises you to undergo physical therapy.