Triceps Tendon Tear

The triceps is the large muscle in the back of the elbow that serves to straighten your elbow. Ruptures involving the distal triceps tendon are relatively uncommon and normally results from a sudden injury such as a fall on an outstretched hand or a direct blow to the elbow. It can also result from weight lifting and through use of anabolic steroids. Risk factors for distal triceps tendon tear include olecranon bursitis, hyperparathyroidism and local corticosteroid use. People with distal triceps tear have pain, swelling and limited elbow range of motion. The distal triceps tear usually occurs when there is eccentric load to a contracting triceps, most commonly in professional athletes.

Your physician will usually order x-rays of the elbow to rule out other conditions causing similar symptoms. An MRI is ordered to confirm the diagnosis. Incomplete tears can be treated with conservative methods. Surgery to repair the tendon is required for patients with complete tears or incomplete tears with concomitant loss of strength.

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