Triceps tendon rupture

Background

  • Injury is rare and almost always occurs distally
  • Results from FOOSH causing flexion of extended elbow or direct blow to olecranon

Clinical Features

  • Pain and swelling posteriorly just proximal to the olecranon
  • Sulcus with a more proximal mass (retracted triceps) may be palpated
  • With complete rupture ability to extend the elbow is lost

Evaluation

  • Obtain radiographs to rule-out avulsion fracture

Differential Diagnosis

Elbow Diagnoses

Radiograph-Positive

Radiograph-Negative

Pediatric

Shoulder and Upper Arm Diagnoses

Traumatic/Acute:

Nontraumatic/Chronic:

Refered pain & non-orthopedic causes:

Management

  • Sling, ice, and referral to ortho
  • Most partial tears can be treated conservatively with immobilization

See Also

References