6 Months Post-Op Biceps Tenodesis ... Recovery Progress Check

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by 140.6, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. 140.6

    140.6 New User

    Mar 2, 2010
    So as the title suggests I am six months out from a biceps tenodesis and I feel like I am about 90% of where I was pre-op. I have made a complete recovery from a day-to-day activity perspective and have about 95% of my range of motion back. I would say that I have about 90-95% of my overall strength back as well.

    When it comes to playing tennis I have complete confidence in my ground strokes and volleys, not to mention no pain whatsoever.

    Pain/Discomfort rears its ugly head when I try to serve or hit an overhead. The good news is that the pain/discomfort is not on the front of my shoulder any longer, so from that perspective the surgery was a complete success. The bad news is that I am having some pain/discomfort in my triceps and back side of my shoulder. Which makes no sense given what a biceps tenodesis is unless it was the initial 8 weeks of very limited activity and then an additional 8 weeks of light rehab/physical therapy. When I think about the fact that I have regained most but not all of my range of motion there is probably some residual stiffness/scar-tissue that needs to be worked out.

    For those of you who have had a biceps tenodesis how long was it before you were back to your old self? And by that I mean hitting serves as hard as you ever did or wanted to without any discomfort?

  2. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Feb 17, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    I have not had a biceps injury.

    Maybe the range of motion of your Triceps decreased while you were recovering. Serving flexes the elbow to near the end of its ROM and might therefore stress a tight triceps. Maybe measure the ROM of your elbow flexion. ?


    This reference gives normal ROM for elbow flexion as 0-160 d..


    The serve puts the shoulder joint in a different position which, I think, also affects the triceps so it should be more complicated that simple ROM. But if the simple ROM is off.............
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  3. 140.6

    140.6 New User

    Mar 2, 2010
    ^^^Yes, my thoughts exactly. I am pretty sure that it is soreness/stiffness related to muscle atrophy and ROM loss.

    Even my doc said at six months everything is solid and not to worry about the biceps, but to slowly work my way back to normal serving by hitting 10-20 serves a few times a week until I can get back to normal.

    I was just curious if this is normal or to be expected, etc., given the surgery and expected recovery time. I know when I had my ACL reconstruction I was back on a tennis court in 4 months doing light hitting with little movement, but i wasn't 100% until about 9 months post-op. And I just wonder if this is going to be a similar experience, although maybe longer as I am much older now.

    Thanks for the reply.
  4. ab70

    ab70 New User

    Mar 17, 2009
    I had similar pain when I came back playing after tenodesis, tricep pain went away first after 2-3 month of regular play the back of the shoulder took longer and my guess you need more scap and RC strength. Be careful though a year after the surgery I hit an overhead and aggrevated the new anchor point of the bicep..., while I had zero pain at that spot before.
  5. 140.6

    140.6 New User

    Mar 2, 2010
    ab70, thank you! I am glad to hear that I am not alone. I guess my expectations were just a bit high for what mechanically is a very simple surgery. Albeit much more invasive than I originally thought it would be.

    I will definitely keep working on scapular and rotator cuff strength.

    Thanks again.
  6. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

    Aug 14, 2006
    sounds encouraging.

    i had the distal bicep tendon operated on the day you started this thread (5 weeks ago). this sounds like something people recover from ~100% in 6-12 months.

    good luck

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