Treatments & Conditions | Hand Microsurgery in Erie, PA

Biceps Tendonitis

Biceps tendonitis is inflammation of the long head of the biceps tendon. This usually occurs along with other shoulder problems and in most cases, there is also damage to the rotator cuff tendon. In the early stages of biceps tendonitis, the tendon becomes red and swollen. As tendonitis develops, the outer covering of the tendon can thicken and possibly grow larger. The tendon in these late stages is often dark red in color due to the inflammation. Occasionally, the damage to the tendon can result in a tendon tear, and then deformity of the arm. A few symptoms of biceps tendonitis include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the front of the shoulder, which worsens with overhead lifting or activity
  • Pain or achiness that moves down the upper arm bone
  • An occasional snapping sound or sensation in the shoulder

In most cases, damage to the biceps tendon is due to a lifetime of overhead activities. As we age, our tendons slowly weaken with everyday wear and tear. This degeneration can be worsened by overuse or repeating the same shoulder motions again and again. Swimming, tennis, and baseball are some sports examples of repetitive overhead activities. Many jobs and routine chores can cause overuse damage as well. Repetitive overhead motion plays a part in other shoulder problems that occur with biceps tendonitis. Rotator cuff tears, osteoarthritis, and chronic shoulder instability are often caused by overuse.

Return to Upper Arm Injuries & Conditions | Hand Microsurgery in Erie, PA