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Biceps tenodesis/SLAP lesions

Rehabilitation for biceps tenodesis and SLAP lesions


A supplementary local anaesthetic or nerve block is used during the operation which means that immediately after the operation the shoulder and arm may feel numb. This may last a few hours. After this the shoulder may well be sore and you will be given painkillers to help this whilst in hospital. These can be continued after you are discharged home. Ice packs may also help reduce pain. Wrap frozen peas or crushed ice in a damp, cold cloth and place on the shoulder for up to 15 minutes.

Wearing a Sling

You will return from theatre wearing a sling. This is required for upto 6 weeks, to allow the repair to heal. You should avoid forced straightening of the elbow or heavy lifting for atleast 6 weeks.

The Wound

This is a keyhole operation usually done through two or three 5mm puncture wounds. There will be no stitches only small sticking plaster strips over the wounds. These should be kept dry until healed. This usually takes 5 to 7 days.


You may begin driving 6 weeks after your operation.

Returning to work

This will depend on your occupation. If you are in a sedentary job you may return as soon as you feel able usually after one week. If your job involves heavy lifting or using your arm above shoulder height you may require a longer period of absence (8 weeks).

Leisure activities

You should avoid sustained, repetitive overhead activities or activities involving forced elbow extension for three months. Golf can begin at 12 weeks. For guidance on DIY and racquet sports you should speak with your physiotherapist.

Follow up Appointment

You will be made a follow up appointment at the Shoulder Unit for around three weeks after your surgery. At this stage you will be reviewed by the specialist physiotherapist or Consultant who will check your progress, make sure you are moving your arm, and give you further exercises as appropriate.


After leaving hospital you should exercise the arm frequently throughout the day. The arm may feel sore whilst you are doing the exercises but there should be no intense or lasting pain. Aim for four exercise sessions per day. The physiotherapist will advise you regarding the exercises prior to discharge.