Triceps Tendon Repair: Open Techniques

  • Andrea Celli
  • Roger P. van Riet
  • Felix H. SavoieIII
  • Michael J. O’Brien
  • Gregory Bain


Triceps injuries, including triceps tendon ruptures, are relatively rare. Recently, the knowledge of tendon lesions has increased, and it seems to be related to more precise diagnostic and clinical assessments. The most common mechanism of injury remains a forceful eccentric contraction of the muscle. Several other risk factors have been studied, such as chronic renal failure, endocrine disorders, metabolic bone diseases, and steroid use. Olecranon bursitis and local corticosteroid injections may also play a role. The most common site of rupture is at the tendon’s insertion into the olecranon and rarely at the myotendinous junction or intramuscularly. Surgical intervention is recommended in acute complete ruptures; non-operative treatment is reserved for patients with major comorbidities, as well as for partial ruptures with little functional disability and in low demand patients. Various techniques and approaches have been proposed for the management of these challenging injuries. The goal of surgical management should be an anatomical repair of the injured tendon by selection of a procedure with a low complication rate and one that allows early mobilization.


Triceps rupture Triceps insufficiency Direct repair Anconeus rotational flap Achilles tendon allograft Olecranon bone deficiency 



Conflict of Interest 

No potential conflicts of interest are related to this manuscript.

The author has a teaching and speaking agreement with Zimmer Biomet, Acumed, and Wright Medical.

The author retains the copyright to the images, videos, and content in this chapter.


  1. 1.
    Celli A. Triceps tendon rupture: the knowledge acquired from the anatomy to the surgical repair. Musculoskelet Surg. 2015;99(Suppl 1):S57–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tatebe M, Horii E, Nakamura R. Chronically ruptured triceps tendon with avulsion of the medial collateral ligament: a report of 2 cases. J Shoulder Elb Surg. 2007;16(1):e5–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sanchez-Sotelo J, Morrey BF. Surgical techniques for reconstruction of chronic insufficiency of the triceps. Rotation flap using anconeus and tendon achilles allograft. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2002;84(8):1116–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    van Riet RP, Morrey BF, Ho E, O’Driscoll SW. Surgical treatment of distal triceps ruptures. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2003;85-A(10):1961–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sollender JL, Rayan GM, Barden GA. Triceps tendon rupture in weight lifters. J Shoulder Elb Surg. 1998;7(2):151–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ISAKOS 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Celli
    • 1
  • Roger P. van Riet
    • 2
    • 3
  • Felix H. SavoieIII
    • 4
  • Michael J. O’Brien
    • 4
  • Gregory Bain
    • 5
  1. 1.Hesperia Hospital, Orthopaedic DepartmentShoulder and Elbow UnitModenaItaly
  2. 2.AZ MonicaAntwerpBelgium
  3. 3.University Hospital AntwerpEdegemBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryTulane University School of MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  5. 5.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations