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Tear of the Tendon of the Triceps

Falling on the hand when the arm is flexed or forceful throwing can cause a rupture in the tendon of the triceps. Weightlifting with very heavy weights can also cause this injury. Most tricep tears are partial and are most commonly located at the insertion of the olecranon (the tip of the elbow); occasionally, however, the tendon attachment will be completely torn away from the olecranon.

Symptoms and diagnosis

– Pain occurs at the tip of the posterior aspect of the elbow.
– A gap can be felt in the tendon.
– Weakness and impaired ability to straighten the arm at the elbow are present.
– An X-ray should be carried out to exclude bony injury. An MRI scan can show the extent of the injury.


– In cases of minor or partial tears, gradually increasing exercise is the main treatment.
– Surgery should be carried out when active athletes have suffered a complete tear of the tendon or its attachment.

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