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Triceps Tendon Ruptures

Triceps Tendon Ruptures

Triceps tendon ruptures are a relatively rare but serious injury that can cause significant pain and loss of function in the affected arm. 



The triceps muscle is located in the back of the upper arm and is responsible for extending the elbow. The triceps tendon connects the triceps muscle to the olecranon process of the ulna bone in the forearm.



Triceps tendon ruptures occur when the tendon is completely torn away from the bone.  This can result in severe pain, weakness, and loss of function in the affected arm.


Mechanism of Injury:

The mechanism of injury for triceps tendon ruptures typically involves a sudden, forceful contraction of the triceps muscle, such as during heavy lifting or pushing. This can cause the tendon to tear away from the bone, resulting in severe pain and loss of function.



The symptoms of a triceps tendon rupture may include sudden severe pain in the back of the elbow, swelling, bruising, weakness in the affected arm, and difficulty extending the elbow.


Treatment Options:

The treatment of triceps tendon ruptures depends on the severity of the injury and the patient's overall health. In general, operative management is recommended for complete tears or high-grade injuries, while non-operative management is recommended for partial tears or low-grade injuries.


Non-operative management typically involves rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy to reduce pain and inflammation and promote healing. In some cases, a brace or splint may also be recommended to support the affected arm and reduce stress on the damaged tendon.


Operative management typically involves surgical repair of the torn tendon, which may involve suturing the tendon back to the bone or using a graft to reinforce the repair. Physical therapy is also an important component of post-operative management to restore strength and range of motion.


Recovery from surgery:

Recovery from triceps tendon repair surgery can take several months and requires a comprehensive rehabilitation program. In the immediate post-operative period, the patient will need to wear a brace or splint to protect the affected arm and allow for healing. Physical therapy will be necessary to restore range of motion and strength in the affected arm, with a gradual return to normal activities over several months.


Overall, the treatment of triceps tendon ruptures requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account the severity of the injury and the patient's overall health. With prompt and appropriate treatment, most patients can achieve a good outcome and return to normal activities. However, recovery from surgery can be a long and challenging process that requires patience and dedication to rehabilitation.

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