During arthroscopy, your doctor makes small incisions around your shoulder. He or she then inserts a small camera and miniature instruments through the incisions. This allows your doctor to assess the condition of the biceps tendon as well as other structures in the shoulder.
In many cases, the biceps tendon can be repaired and strengthened where it attaches to the shoulder socket (glenoid).
In some cases, the damaged section of the biceps is removed, and the remaining tendon is reattached to the upper arm bone (humerus). This procedure is called a biceps tenodesis. Removing the painful part of the biceps usually resolves symptoms and restores normal function.
Depending on your situation, your surgeon may choose to do this procedure arthroscopically or through an open incision.
In severe cases, the long head of the biceps tendon may be so damaged that it is not possible to repair or tenodese it. Your surgeon may simply elect to release the damaged biceps tendon from its attachment. This is called a biceps tenotomy. This option is the least invasive, but may result in a Popeye bulge in the arm.