Distal triceps tendon ruptures are relatively rare. Few studies have investigated functional outcomes after repair. There is no consensus on fixation methods for this injury. The purpose of this study was to compare the functional outcomes and the reoperation rates after distal triceps tendon repairs using transosseous tunnels and suture anchors.
A multicenter, retrospective review of all primary triceps repairs done between 2006 and 2015 was performed. Patients were included if they had a minimum of 2 years of follow-up. Intraoperative data recorded included repair method and number of anchors used when applicable. Patients were contacted for functional assessment with the Mayo Elbow Performance Score (MEPS). Postoperative complications were also queried.
There were 56 cases of primary triceps repair identified in an all-male cohort. Average age at time of surgery was 52.7 years; 58.9% of patients had transosseous repair, and 41.1% had suture anchor repair. The average follow-up was 4.26 years. The average postoperative MEPS score for all patients was 94. There was no difference in MEPS outcomes based on construct type. Postoperative Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand scores had an overall average of 4.81. A statistically significant difference was found, with the transosseous group averaging 2.98 points lower than the suture anchor group. This difference was not found to be clinically relevant. Only 4 patients had rerupture of the triceps requiring revision.
Primary repair of distal triceps tendon ruptures yields good, durable patient outcomes with minimal rerupture regardless of repair construct.