How is a distal triceps rupture diagnosed?
Dr. Mazzara will ask for a complete patient history, along with the symptoms and mechanism of injury. A thorough exam with an ultrasound may be required. Further diagnostic testing may involve an x-ray to make sure there is no bone injury and an MRI to confirm the diagnosis.
How is a distal triceps tear treated?
Treatment of a distal triceps tear depends on several factors including the patient’s age, expected outcome and degree of the tear. Some partial tears can be managed non-surgically, while full or complete tears require surgical repair.
Primary repair of the torn triceps tendon is possible within the first three weeks after injury. It is important to consult with Dr. Mazzara and his orthopedic team soon after initial injury. Delayed diagnosis may necessitate reconstruction, which is more complex and can have a longer period of recovery.
If Dr. Mazzara decides that surgery is the best option for the patient, he will make an incision over the back of the elbow to expose the ruptured tendon and repair it to the bone. The repair involves placing strong sutures into the tendon and anchoring them to the olecranon.
Healing requires immobilization of the elbow for several weeks to prevent stress on the repair. As with most tendon repairs, the tendon needs to heal in the repaired position. Motion exercises are started slowly over many weeks. Once full range of motion has been restored, strengthening of the triceps muscle and other supporting muscles can begin. It is important for the patient to follow Dr. Mazzara’s physical therapy protocol to achieve full healing and a return to normal activities.
If you would like more information about a distal triceps tear, please contact the orthopedic office of Dr. James Mazzara, elbow specialist serving patients living in Manchester, South Windsor, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford Connecticut communities.