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Am J Sports Med. 2004 Mar;32(2):431-4.

Triceps tendon ruptures in professional football players.

Author information

  • 1University of Kentucky Sports Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Distal rupture of the triceps tendon is a rare injury, and treatment guidelines are not well established.

HYPOTHESIS:

Football players with triceps tendon ruptures will be able to return to their sport with minimal functional deficits.

STUDY DESIGN:

Uncontrolled retrospective review.

METHODS:

Twenty-one partial and complete ruptures of the triceps tendon were identified in 19 National Football League players over a period of 6 years. Team physicians retrospectively reviewed training room, clinical, and operative notes for each of these players.

RESULTS:

Most of the injured players were linemen. The most common mechanism of injury was an eccentric load to a contracting triceps. Seven players had prodromal symptoms prior to injury, and 5 had received a cortisone injection. Eleven elbows with complete tears underwent surgical repair. Of 10 players with partial tears, 6 healed without surgery. One player suffered a subsequent complete tear requiring surgery, and 3 with residual pain and weakness underwent surgical repair following the season. Two surgical complications occurred, both requiring a second operation. All of the players but 1 returned to play at least one season of professional football after their injury.

CONCLUSIONS:

Partial triceps tendon ruptures can heal without functional deficit. Surgical repair for complete ruptures generally produces good functional results and allows return to play.

PMID:
14977669
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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