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Triceps Tendon Tears -- A Rare But Serious Injury

The Huffington Post—New York, NY—January 14, 2010

by Dr. Josh Dines and Dr. Rock Positano
Sports Medicine Specialists at Hospital for Special Surgery

This season, we saw Offensive Lineman Damien Cook of the Detroit Lions suffer a season-ending injury on the first day of practice. It was discovered that he had sustained a tear in his triceps muscle, a potentially career-threatening injury which required prompt surgical repair and significant rehabilitation to provide him a viable chance at return to play. Unfortunately, Damien is not alone, as triceps tendon injuries have had a serious impact on many athlete's careers.

The triceps is the powerful muscle on the back of the upper arm that is responsible for straightening the elbow. It attaches to the shoulder blade on one end and to the elbow on the other. It is an important muscle in both everyday activities as well as in athletics. A triceps rupture specifically refers to the tearing of the tendon that attaches the powerful triceps muscle along the back of the arm to the tip of the elbow. Triceps ruptures commonly occur with falls onto an outstretched hand or during a block in football, when a sudden force causes the elbow to bend while the triceps muscle is simultaneously contracting and trying to straighten the elbow. The athlete's body weight is resisted by the triceps contraction, however the force may be too much and the tendon ruptures.

Read the full story at huffingtonpost.com.


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