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 result from a sudden elbow injury, such as a fall on an outstretched hand or a direct blow to the elbow. It can also result from weightlifting and through the use of anabolic steroids. Dr. Steven Struhl is a sports medicine and orthopedic surgeon who offers triceps tendon tear orthopedic treatment at his clinics in NYC and Westchester.

Symptoms of Triceps Tendon Injury

People with a distal triceps tear have pain, swelling and limited elbow range of motion. A distal triceps tear usually occurs when there is an eccentric load to a contracting triceps, most commonly in professional athletes. Risk factors for distal triceps tendon tears include olecranon bursitis, hyperparathyroidism and local corticosteroid use. Triceps tendon tears can have similar symptoms as many other elbow and upper arm injuries and conditions, so a proper diagnosis is important before a treatment plan can be implemented.

If a triceps tendon tear is suspected, x-rays of the elbow are usually ordered to rule out other conditions causing similar symptoms. An MRI is ordered to confirm the diagnosis. Incomplete tears can be treated with conservative methods like rest and immobilization while healing, followed by physical therapy. Surgery to repair the tendon is required for patients with complete tears or incomplete tears with concomitant loss of strength, followed by physical therapy and rehabilitation to restore complete function.

If you have a triceps tendon rupture causing pain or elbow dysfunction, contact us at Shoulders & Knees to schedule an appointment with Dr. Steven Struhl. We offer triceps tendon tear orthopedic diagnosis and treatment at our clinics in UES New York City and Westchester, NY.