What are the shoulder tendons?

Tendons are connective tissue bands that connect muscles and bones together and are responsible for distributing the force of muscle contractions to the bones for movement. There are several tendons found within the shoulder girdle but three tendons are more commonly recognized as part of the shoulder. The biceps tendon is separated into two heads to anchor the proximal biceps muscle to the scapula (shoulder blade). The long head of the biceps tendon emanates from the superior glenoid cavity of the scapula and the short head of the biceps tendon originates from the coracoid process of the scapula. The pectoralis major tendon attaches the pectoralis major muscle to the bicipital groove of the humerus (upper arm bone). The rotator cuff consists of four muscle-tendon groups: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor. Each of these tendons originates from the scapula and attaches to the head of the humerus.

What is a shoulder tendon injury?

A shoulder tendon injury occurs when the tendon separates from its attachment site on the bone. These injuries can result in partial separation of the tendon or a complete severing away from the attachment site. A traumatic event such as a blunt force trauma directly to the shoulder can result in a shoulder tendon injury. Athletes are the most susceptible to these kinds of injuries, but non-athletic individuals can still be vulnerable. Dr. Ronak Mukesh Patel, orthopedic shoulder doctor, treats patients in Sugar Land, Pearland, and the Houston, Texas area who have experienced a shoulder tendon injury and are in need of a surgical tendon repair.

What are the available treatment options for a shoulder tendon injury?

Mild shoulder tendon injuries, such as a small tendon tear, often respond well to non-surgical therapies alone. However, surgical intervention may be necessary for patients with complete tendon ruptures or when non-surgical treatment options fail. There are a number of surgical techniques available to treat shoulder tendon injuries. Each of the available procedures can be performed arthroscopically using a small camera (arthroscope) and specialized surgical instruments. The patient’s age, activity level, medical history, and recovery goals will be evaluated to formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Dr. Patel can implement one or more of the following surgical procedures:

  • The damaged or torn tendon fragments are simply excised and removed.
  • Tendon Graft: A tendon graft is harvested from the patient (autograft) or donor (allograft). This new tissue is implemented to lengthen the tendon for reattachment or reconstruct the tendon in its entirety.
  • Biceps Tenodesis: The biceps tendon is resected from its original attachment site on the scapula, known as a tenotomy, and then fastened to a new attachment site on the humerus.

Other tendon injury repairs of the shoulder may include:

Shoulder Tendon Repair Surgeon

Are you an athlete who participates in contact sports such as football, MMA, wrestling or hockey? If so, you may be at risk of a shoulder tendon injury. Shoulder tendon injuries often require surgical intervention to restore range of motion and full strength to the shoulder. Shoulder tendon surgeon, Doctor Ronak Mukesh Patel,  provides diagnosis as well as surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for patients in Houston, Sugar Land, and Pearland, TX who have suffered a shoulder tendon injury. Contact Dr. Patel’s team today!