Triceps Tendon Tear

Triceps Tendon Tear
July 29, 2017

Torn triceps tendon can turn out to be a threatening injury and adversely affect an athlete’s career if they are not treated aptly. Prompt surgical interruption and rehabilitation program are essential if a patient sustain an injury in the triceps tendon. Triceps tendon is the tissue that connects the triceps muscle located at the back of the upper arm to the shoulder blade on one end and to the elbow on the other. Any fall, injury or overuse may cause the tendon to rupture”, says Dr. Gupta while speaking on Triceps Tendon tear.

Dr. Gupta after being in the field for over more than 25 years keeps coming across patients with severe and critical injuries. His acquired finesse and deftness in relieving patients of their debilitating conditions have distinguishably made him stand apart as being the best shoulder and hand specialist in India.

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Furthering his views about Triceps Tendon Tears he says, “When patients seek our medical diagnosis our instant query is regarding the location of the pain they feel and how well they can extend their injured elbow against resistance. Once we are confirmed that the injury is a tear in the triceps tendon we go ahead with imaging tests to document the tear and plan surgery. MRI and ultrasound are our tools of clinical deduction. Signs that indicate the presence of triceps tendon tear are pain, weakness, tenderness and swelling in the elbow and upper arm. Inability to straighten the elbow is the foremost sign that exhibits that the problem may be related to triceps muscle.”
Designated as the head of Hand and Shoulder division at Max Healthcare, Dr. Gupta has already relieved more than 6000 patients with surgical excision and with each case handled with a new approach, he continues to serve his patients diligently.

The patient should consult our medical team >>click here for appointment

Winding up the topic, Dr. Gupta puts forth, “It usually affects men rather than women aged between 30 to 50 years of age. We prescribe surgery within four weeks else the recovery and the outcome remain precarious. Physical therapy is essential to help restore mobility and strength in the arm and elbow and the patients should be well prepared to wait for a period of up to six months before completely resuming sports activities.

FAQ – Triceps Tendon Tear

When the triceps muscle at the back of the arm, connected by the triceps tendon to the elbow, sustains an injury and gets ruptured or torn it is referred to as a tear in triceps tendon. On being torn, it gets pulled away from the bone that holds it resulting in failure to pull on it thereby making elbow extension difficult.
Triceps muscle is a muscle that runs at the back of the upper arm and is attached to the shoulder blade on one end and to the elbow on the other with the help of a fibrous tissue called tendon. This muscle is responsible for straightening the elbow.
The signs that indicate triceps tendon tear are-
  • Tenderness and swelling at the point where the tendon is attached to the elbow
  • Weakness in the elbow and upper arm
  • Intense pain in the upper arm
  • Bulge in the upper arm
  • Difficulty/ inability to straighten the arm
Triceps tendon tears may be caused because of-
  • Sudden fall on an outstretched arm
  • Injury during sports such as weightlifting, boxing, gymnastics and football
  • Repeated use of the triceps muscle causing pressure on the tendon
  • Certain medical conditions enhance the risk of triceps tendon tear such as chronic renal failure, hyperparathyroidism, bone disease, excessive use of steroids
The presence of triceps tendon tear is ascertained by a physical examination. Thereafter certain imaging tests which help to diagnose or conclusively confirm the presence of the tear such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Ultrasound are conducted to display the tissues of tendons, ligaments and muscles to understand the location and degree of retraction of the tear.
Majority of cases with triceps tendon tear are repaired by surgical excision. After making an incision on the back region of the elbow the torn tendon is repaired and stitched back to the bone. Space is made in the bone to facilitate proper fitting of the tendon. The incisions are then closed with sutures and the elbow is immobilized to enable healing. In cases where the tendon gets shortened after an injury the tendon is reconstructed with a graft.
It is essential to immobilize the elbow for 2 to 4 weeks after the surgery. Thereafter a rehabilitation program comprising of physical therapy exercises to restore mobility and strength in the arm and elbow are recommended to the patient.
Recovery period depends on the severity of the tear but on an average triceps tendon tears take up to 3 -6 months to heal and become functional again.
Posted in Condition & Treatments by admin