Triceps bony avulsion

Last revised by Dr Maulik S Patel on 17 Jan 2022

Avulsion injury of the triceps tendon is an uncommon injury. It is one of the least common injuries to elbow but is nevertheless more common than an intramuscular triceps tear.

Patients usually present with regional pain, swelling and inability to extend to the elbow with an appropriate antecedent history of trauma.

The mechanism of injury usually occurs from an eccentric contraction against forced flexion or a direct blow to the elbow 3.

May show soft tissue thickening along the posterior arm +/- an avulsed bony fragment off the olecranon.

The avulsed bone fragment may be identified with a targeted scan along with soft tissue thickening and fluid.

Will additionally show a thickened +/- retracted tendon. Regional edema and fluid are seen as:

  • T2: high signal
  • STIR: high signal

This injury requires surgical fixation.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3
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  • Case 4: ultrasound
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