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Surgery to repair a triceps tendon rupture

April 24th, 2007

Triceps tendon tears are less common than biceps tears, and often incomplete. However, traumatic ruptures of the entire tendon do occur, and ideally require repair within 3 weeks--before retraction prevents primary repair. Operative techniques do allow for repair, but when retraction prevents bringing the triceps tendon back to the olecranon process, allograft tendon may be required to bridge the gap.

Postoperatively, immobilization in extension is needed for 4 or so weeks, afterwhich gradual increases in elbow flexion are allowed. Full return to normal use may take 4 months to minimize any risk of rerupture.

Related Photos:

Triceps rupture may be associated with a palpable defect proximal to the tip of the elbow

Complete rupture of the triceps tendon is noted

The tendon needs to be mobile enough to allow primary repair, otherwise allograft reconstruction will be required

The triceps has been repaired with a suture bridge technique