What Are Triceps Tendon Tears?

The triceps tendon attaches the triceps muscle to the elbow. It can be partially or completely torn due to:
  • Overuse
  • Throwing activities
  • Hammering
  • A blow
  • The arm being suddenly pulled straight
Typically, symptoms include:
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • A popping noise
  • A bulge in the upper arm
Treatment depends on the severity of the tear.

How Are Triceps Tendon Tears 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. Stretching and strengthening the triceps muscle and tendon.
  3. A strap, brace, or spint.
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.