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Bicipital Tendonitis Follow-up

  • Author: Britt A Durham, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
 
Updated: May 23, 2016
 

Return to Play

Return to activity should not occur until the patient's discomfort and pain is controlled effectively and a monitoring program has been initiated. Some authors recommend waiting 3 weeks after pain has completely resolved before allowing participation in competitive activities.

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Complications

Individuals who return to a high level of athletic activity too soon may find themselves with symptom flare-ups. Continued straining of an injury that has not healed completely can put the individual at risk for chronic degenerative tissue damage and biceps tendon rupture.

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Prevention

Prevention of bicipital tendinitis is similar to prevention of rotator cuff injuries, including warm-ups before exercise, the use of passive stretching and strengthening exercises, avoidance of painful activities, and the use of proper biomechanics. Increased attention should be made for those athletes at high risk of bicipital tendinitis, such as baseball pitchers. High angular velocity and torques combined with the repetitious nature of pitching results in vulnerability of the shoulder to injury.

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Prognosis

Although the prognosis of bicipital tendinitis is dependent upon the degree of injury, most patients do well with treatment (see Treatment: Acute Phase, Recovery Phase, Maintenance Phase, and Surgical Intervention). However, a significant number of patients develop degenerative changes, and spontaneous rupture of the biceps tendon occurs in 10% of patients.

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Education

Inform the patient that an increased risk of biceps tendon rupture or chronic inflammatory changes exists if the directed restrictions are not followed.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Britt A Durham, MD Director of Risk Management, Department of Emergency Medicine, Martin Luther King Medical and Trauma Center, King-Drew Medical Center; Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Drew College of Medicine; Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine; Partner and Chief Financial Officer, Durcress Medical Group, California Medical Board District Medical Consultant, Lakewood Atheletic Sports Medicine Team Physician

Britt A Durham, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Richard Chambers, MD Chief of Orthopedic, Diabetes and Amputee Service, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center, University of Southern California

Richard Chambers, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Diabetes Association, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Chief Editor

Sherwin SW Ho, MD Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Section of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Chicago Division of the Biological Sciences, The Pritzker School of Medicine

Sherwin SW Ho, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Arthroscopy Association of North America, Herodicus Society, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

Disclosure: Received consulting fee from Biomet, Inc. for speaking and teaching; Received grant/research funds from Smith and Nephew for fellowship funding; Received grant/research funds from DJ Ortho for course funding; Received grant/research funds from Athletico Physical Therapy for course, research funding; Received royalty from Biomet, Inc. for consulting.

Additional Contributors

David T Bernhardt, MD Director of Adolescent and Sports Medicine Fellowship, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics/Ortho and Rehab, Division of Sports Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

David T Bernhardt, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Sports Medicine, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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