Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What Is Biceps Tenodesis?

if you recall, after Michael Brantley had his labral tear surgery on November 9, 2015, i did my own research in order to get a better idea of what he'd just endured. so you should have seen this coming lol

what exactly is the biceps tenodesis procedure that Michael had done to his right shoulder on August 15 in Dallas, Texas by Dr. Keith Meister and Dr. Mark Shickendantz? i'm sure most of his fans want to know, none more than i. while Indians' head athletic trainer James Quinlan shared in Jordan Bastian's article on indians.com that it consisted of cutting the biceps tendon and anchoring it to a different part of the shoulder, i wanted more details.

following a quick google search, i found two articles via shoulderdoc.co.uk and rothmaninstitute.com that helped explain the procedure and its purpose further. basically, it involves detaching the long head of the biceps tendon from its superior labrum in the shoulder and reattaching it to the humerus bone just below the shoulder. in doing this, the pressure is relieved from the
biceps tendon and a portion of the biceps tendon can then be extracted. by using modern fixation screws, this repair is strong enough to enable arm movement early on post-surgery.

sounds kind of scary, but one article explicitly claims this procedure avoids the risks of biceps discomfort, which had been the main recovery setback issue for Michael as of late. it also states that this operation is preferable for more active people, which a ballplayer certainly is.

biceps tenodesis can be performed two ways--either by a mini open technique or a subpectoral technique. unfortunately, there is no way for me to know which kind the doctors used on Michael unless the Indians reveal that information later in time.

you can watch the procedure executed on a real shoulder in this youtube video that was embedded within the first article i linked. fair warning though, it is a graphic video. so if you're squeamish and cannot tolerate looking at real human anatomy, you might want to skip it.

note: there are actually quite a few biceps tenodesis videos on youtube, proving there are various ways to do it. if you feel so inclined, watch a couple to see the differences.

once surgery is complete, the arm will be in a shoulder sling for about 3 weeks. it must be worn when out and about as well as sleeping, but can be removed for dressing, bathing, and light activities. the patient will also be taught certain shoulder exercises to do while in recovery and will have a post-op appointment in 3 weeks, right around the time that the sling is projected to be taken off for good.

as i wrote in my last blog, Michael will seemingly be on track to actually play with the Indians in spring training this time in 2017. the only thing that will be affected by this is Michael's offseason preparations. chances are, he won't get to hit in the batting cage as much as he'd like before heading to Goodyear, Arizona, but i'll take that over knowing he's going to miss the start of the season, like was the case in 2016.

Michael's a tough guy and i know he'll get through this. it's just a bump in the road. soon we'll see Dr. Smooth hitting line drives all over the baseball field again, and it'll be as though he was never injured. =D

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