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Am J Sports Med. 1993 May-Jun;21(3):482-5.

Rupture of the triceps tendon associated with steroid injections.

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Orthopaedic Surgery Service, Brook Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.


Rupture of the triceps mechanism is an uncommon injury that has been recognized with increasing frequency in recent years. It has been proposed that such injuries commonly accompany fractures of the radial head and must be actively evaluated in the presence of such a fracture. We present a unique case of isolated rupture of the triceps tendon in an athlete who was lifting weights. This case was complicated by a history of olecranon bursitis that had been treated with numerous local steroid injections, as well as a history of anabolic steroid abuse. Both systemic steroids and local injections may predispose tendons to rupture. Triceps tendon ruptures may result in uniformly good to excellent results if recognized and treated surgically. This case also serves as a reminder of the risks of treating inflamed tissues with local steroid injections, especially in strength athletes who place high demands on their musculoskeletal structures. Finally, this case documents a second case of triceps mechanism rupture in an athlete who has abused anabolic steroids. A study by Hunter et al. suggests that oral steroid abuse may be associated with detrimental effects on the mechanical properties of connective tissue, demonstrating another negative effect of anabolic steroid use in athletes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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