What is a triceps tendon tear?
The triceps tendon attaches the triceps muscle to the elbow. A triceps tendon tear can be caused by:
- Throwing activities
- A blow
- The arm being suddenly pulled straight
Typically, symptoms of a triceps tendon tear include:
- 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:
- Activity modification. Slowing down or stopping activities that involve using the elbow.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy stretches and exercises can strengthen the triceps muscle and tendon.
- 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.