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Tendinopathies and Degenerative Tears


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Tendinopathies and Degenerative Tears


Tendinopathy is the general term used for both tendonitis and tendinosis. Whereas tendonitis involves swelling of the tendon, the term tendinosis refers to a tendon which is painful or degenerated due to a series of problems affecting the actual tendon tissue.

Isolated tendinopathies are rare and these are normally associated with rotator cuff pathologies.


A degenerative tear of the biceps tendon is usually caused as a result of chronic tendonitis, within chronic rotator cuff pathology.

An acute tear may also occur due to a strain or a forced action yet almost always after a previous tendinopathy.


  • In tendinopathy: Pain in the front of the shoulder. This normally gets worse following certain movements, for instance when trying to lift a heavy object with the palm of the hand and the elbow extended.
  • In the event of a tear: A sharp pain and a sensation of ripping at the moment of the injury and a loss of strength in the biceps. During clinical examination, especially in men, there appears a characteristic deformity known as "Popeye arm" or "fallen biceps" (the outer muscle layer of the biceps is lower).


As this tends to be associated to the rotator cuff injury, the treatment is similar and includes platelet-rich plasma as mentioned previously.