How can surgery help a rotator cuff tear if the biceps tendon is involved?

Barry Kraushaar, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Rotator cuff tears commonly occur at the same time as biceps tendon injuries in the shoulder. When a surgeon looks in the shoulder he can see both problems at the same time. While repairing the rotator cuff, the surgeon may decide that it is necessary to operate on the biceps tendon as well. Procedures to repair the tendon depend on the severity of the injury. For example, a frayed tendon may need to be derided, or cleaned up. A nearly torn tendon may be cut/released. It may be very helpful to perform a biceps release in active or elderly patients. In younger or active patients, a procedure called biceps tenodesis is performed, reattaching the damaged biceps to bone for a solid repair. Commonly the rotator cuff repair and biceps tendon surgery is performed through the same incision.

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