A triceps tendon rupture is a traumatic injury to the elbow that can be very serious. The triceps is the large muscle group in the back of the arm. It helps you straighten your elbow and push objects away from your body. The triceps tendon attaches the triceps muscle to the olecranon (the bony tip of the elbow).

Mechanism of injury

Injury to the tendon is almost always traumatic and requires a significant amount of force. The mechanism usually involves a force that suddenly bends the elbow while the muscle is trying to straighten it. It can occur in weightlifting or in contact and collision sports such as football.

Athlete with elbow pain after a triceps tendon rupture

Treatment of a triceps tendon rupture

Treatment usually involves surgery. The surgeon must repair or reattach the tendon. The surgeon makes an incision over the back of the elbow to expose the ruptured tendon and repair it to bone. He will put stitches in the tendon and attach them to the tip of the elbow with either suture anchors or through tunnels drilled in the bone.

The surgeon must then protect the repair to get the tendon to heal in that position. You will probably be in a brace to immobilize the elbow and prevent stress on the repair for several weeks. Then you will work to regain elbow range of motion and strength. Return to sports can take many months, and therefore this is usually a season-ending injury.

Also read:
Elbow injury: 5 serious injuries in athletes and active people
Reasons an MRI can be important to evaluate an injury

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