Bicipital Tendonitis Follow-up

Updated: Nov 21, 2018
  • Author: Britt A Durham, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Follow-up

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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