Avulsion injury of the triceps tendon is an uncommon injury. It is one of the least common injuries to elbow but is nevertheless commoner than an intramuscular triceps tear.
Patients usually usually present with regional pain, swelling and inability to extend to the elbow with an appropriate antecedent history of trauma.
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 identifed with a targeted scan along with soft tissue thickening and fluid.
Will additionally show a thickened +/- retracted tendon. Regional oedema and fluid seen seen as:
- T2: high signal
- STIR: high signal
Treatment and prognosis
This injury requires surgical fixation.
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- 2. Singh RK, Pooley J. Complete rupture of the triceps brachii muscle. Br J Sports Med. 2002;36 (6): 467-9. Br J Sports Med (link) - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 3. Ho CP. Sports and occupational injuries of the elbow: MR imaging findings. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1995;164 (6): 1465-71. AJR Am J Roentgenol (abstract) - Pubmed citation