radial tunnel syndrome

What is a triceps tendon tear?

The triceps tendon attaches the triceps muscle to the elbow. A triceps tendon tear can be caused by:

  • Overuse
  • Throwing activities
  • Hammering
  • A blow
  • The arm being suddenly pulled straight

Typically, symptoms of a triceps tendon tear include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • A popping noise
  • A bulge in the upper arm

Treatment depends on the severity of the tear.

How is a triceps tendon tear treated?

Partial tears may heal using nonsurgical treatment options, such as:

  1. Activity modification. Slowing down or stopping activities that involve using the elbow.
  2. Physical therapy. Physical therapy stretches and exercises can strengthen the triceps muscle and tendon.
  3. Bracing. A strap, brace, or splint may be used to promote proper healing.

Complete tears are rare and may require surgical intervention. An orthopedic surgeon performs a triceps tendon repair to attach the torn tendon to the bone. Following surgery, the elbow is immobilized for 2-4 weeks. Following immobilization, physical therapy is used to stretch and strengthen the muscle, and prevent future injury.