Inflammation of the long tendon of the biceps. The tendon is particularly susceptible to injury because it has to pass through a narrow groove in the upper arm (the bicepital groove). Bicepital tendinitis is caused by repetitive overarm motions. Consequently, racket players, golfers, swimmers, gymnasts, and athletes in throwing sports are most at risk. The tendinitis often occurs in conjunction to an impingement syndrome. Typical symptoms include a gradual onset of discomfort over the front of the shoulder. Pain increases when the arm is held at right angles (as when looking at the face of a watch on the top of the wrist), and there is often crepitus (a crackling sound) over the top of the shoulder when the glenohumeral joint is bent or straightened. Mild cases respond well to rest and ice. If untreated, it can develop into a chronic condition with the tendon tending to slip out of the groove repeatedly. This may require surgical treatment, which involves translocating the tendon from the top of the shoulder to the front of the shoulder. Recovery of mild cases may occur in a week, but chronic cases may require more than three months of rehabilitation after surgery.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.