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Biceps tenodesis for a torn labrum? Tell me about your recovery
October 17, 2013 10:51 AM   Subscribe

If anyone here has undergone a biceps tenodesis as treatment for a torn labrum, I would be very interested to hear about your experiences in surgery, rehab and how it ultimately worked out for you. Especially if you do regular weight training and/or active sports like basketball. At age 43 I'm a little nervous about this and would appreciate hearing from someone who's had this done.
posted by Alaska Jack to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm 33, rather athletic, play a full-contact sport, and enjoy lifting. I've had two labral repairs - Bankart in June '12 and Latarjet about 5 weeks ago, but not tenodesis. The Bankart involved soft tissue repair and bone anchors, and the Latarjet involved moving one head of the biceps from its natural position and reattaching it to the front of the glenoid. So, both different from yours, but similar.

The Bankart was arthroscopic with two incisions on the front of my shoulder, and one in back. I didn't have really any pain the first day because the nerve block was still in effect. I even went to practice that night and sat in the scorekeepers' box. The dressing was so bulky and thick that ice wouldn't have helped, so I didn't ice until it came off, two days post. The first night was kind of miserable and required a lot of strategically-placed pillows, and a lot of positioning help from my spouse.

After that, Ibuprofen and one ziptop bag of ice on the front of the shoulder and one behind was basically all I needed for pain relief. I took the prescribed Vicodin anyway, because it made me sleep which kept me in bed and not finding things that absolutely had to be done. I recall spending about three days in bed, being as lazy as possible.

After recovery, I found that I could never get enough ROM to get good form under the bar to back squat. That was about the only fitness-related limitation I found. Strength wasn't very diminished - really only as much as being in a sling for a month would reasonably cause. I was very satisfied overall with the repair and recovery, and the outcome. I'd say my fitness level played a big part in that. Unfortunately, I reinjured it.

The Latarjet was a lot more painful because of the larger incision and resultant tissue trauma, and of course the osteotomy. Those likely won't be factors for you. But, the translation of the head of the biceps, we have that in common here!

Not surprisingly, I find that my gross motor is still a bit sloppy on that side. It's a bit of a strange sensation, almost like my left arm is a longer lever than expected. There is a lot of muscle fatigue in the biceps, a whole lot actually, and a lot more loss of strength. I expect that to completely smooth out in the coming months. I'm scheduled to return to full contact by January at the latest, though I'm guessing late November.

Let me know if there's anything else I can tell you!
posted by pajamazon at 10:41 PM on October 18, 2013


Also: it'll probably drive you nuts how slow they want you to go in PT, especially if you like lifting.
posted by pajamazon at 11:24 AM on October 19, 2013


Thank you very much!! I'm at that point where I'm kind of thinking, well, how bad is it now really? It won't heal itself, but would just kind of managing it with PT be a better outcome than I would get by severing/re-attaching a biceps tendon?

I appreciate your taking the time to comment!
posted by Alaska Jack at 10:21 AM on October 21, 2013


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