If you’re experiencing pain in your triceps, and you’ve ruled out other causes such as muscle strain or tendinitis, you may have a tricep tendon tear. This can be a debilitating injury, but surgery may be able to help. In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about tricep tendon tear surgery. So, if you are worried you may have a triceps tendon tear, keep reading!

What is a Tricep Tendon Tear?

A tricep tendon tear is what it sounds like: an injury to the tricep tendon. This tendon connects the triceps muscle to the bone in your elbow. A tear can occur suddenly, due to an accident or fall, or it can develop over time from repetitive motion. Symptoms of a tricep tendon tear include pain, swelling, and bruising in the affected area. You may also have difficulty extending your arm or moving your elbow.

Do You Need Surgery?

If you have a tricep tendon tear, you may require surgery to repair the injury. The type of surgery will depend on the severity of the tear. A more severe tear will require open surgery. Surgery is usually followed by physical therapy to help you regain strength and range of motion in your arm.

What are the Risks of Surgery?

As with any surgery, there are risks associated with tricep tendon repair surgery. These include infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. There is also a risk of the triceps muscle not healing properly or re-tearing after surgery. Your doctor will discuss the risks with you before surgery to help you make an informed decision.

How Long Will Recovery Take?

Recovery from tricep tendon repair surgery can take several months. You will likely need to wear a splint or sling for the first few weeks to protect your arm as it heals. You will also be placed in a moveable brace for around 4 weeks. This moveable brace allows for some movement of your arm, but limits the risk of re-injuring your tricep. 

Physical therapy will also be a key part of your recovery. You will likely need to attend physical therapy sessions 2-3 times per week for several weeks. The therapist will work with you to help regain strength and range of motion in your arm.

Good Stretches for Tricep Tendon Repair Recovery

1. Doorway stretch: Stand in a doorway with your affected arm outstretched. Lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

2. Triceps stretch: Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your affected arm overhead and bend at the elbow so that your hand reaches down your back. Use your other hand to gently pull on your elbow, until you feel a stretch in the triceps muscle. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

3. Wall slide: Start by standing with your back against a wall and your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your affected arm straight up alongside the wall. Slowly slide your arm down the wall until you reach a comfortable position. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

How Can Dr. Daniel Hatch Help You?

Dr. M. Daniel Hatch is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder and elbow surgery. He has experience treating tricep tendon tears and can help you determine if surgery is right for you. He will also develop a personalized treatment plan to ensure a successful recovery. To learn more about tricep tendon repairs or to schedule an appointment, contact The Orthopedic Partners, an RCM Clinic today!