Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Diagnosis of long head of the biceps tendon pathology: current concepts
  1. Brian B Gilmer1,
  2. Emily Harnden2,
  3. Dan Guttmann2
  1. 1 Department of Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Mammoth Orthopedic Institute, Mammoth Lakes, California, USA
  2. 2 Department of Shoulder Surgery, Taos Orthopaedic Institute, Taos, New Mexico, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Brian B Gilmer, Department of Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Mammoth Orthopedic Institute, 85 Sierra Park Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546, USA; bbgilmer{at}


The history, physical examination and diagnosis of long head biceps tendon (LHBT) lesions is challenging. The LHBT has both intra-articular and extra-articular components, often engages only in specific arm positions and activities, takes a long oblique course across the shoulder joint and is adjacent to and associated with other critical structures around the glenohumeral joint. Previous reviews have described the limitations of examination and diagnosis of the LHBT through various modalities. The purpose of this review is to summarise the current tools available for LHBT diagnosis, assess their effectiveness and discuss emerging techniques to improve diagnostic accuracy. Directions for future study are described to improve preoperative planning and intraoperative detection of LHBT pathology.

  • Shoulder
  • Tendon
  • Tears
  • Diagnosis Method
View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Contributors EH performed literature review, drafting of the manuscript, editorial review and submission. BBG performed development of concept, literature review and interpretation, drafting of manuscript and editorial review. DG performed development of concept, interpretation of literature, drafting of manuscript and editorial review.

  • Competing interests Dr BBG reports other interests from DePuy/Synthes, Stryker, Pacific Medical, and Arthrex outside the submitted work. Dr DG serves as a consultant for Arthrex and Pacira; he receives institutional Fellowship support from Tornier, Medacta, Smith & Nephew, Arthrex, Stryker, DJO, Breg, Pacira. Both are outside the submitted work.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.