Distal triceps tendon ruptures are rare. The authors present a series of 184 surgically treated, acute, traumatic triceps tendon avulsions and compare the complications between those treated with anchors (A) versus transosseous (TO) suture repair.

No difference exists in the retear rate between TO and A repairs. Study Designed: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

All patients who underwent an open primary repair of a traumatic triceps tendon avulsion within 90 days of injury, between 2007 and 2015, were retrospectively reviewed. Surgeries were performed within a multisurgeon (75 surgeons), multicenter (14 centers), community-based integrated health care system. Patient demographic information, type of repair, complications, and time from surgery to release from medical care were recorded.

184 triceps tears in 181 patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean age was 49 years (range, 15-83 years). There were 169 males. The most common mechanisms of injury were fall (56.5%) and weight lifting (19%). Mean time from injury to surgery was 19 days (range, 1-90 days); in 74.5% of cases, surgery was performed in 3 weeks or less. There were 105 TO and 73 A repairs. No significant difference was found between the two groups in the mean age ( P = .18), sex ( P = .51), completeness of tears ( P = .74), tourniquet time ( P = .455), and prevalence of smokers ( P = .64). Significant differences were noted between TO and A repairs in terms of reruptures (6.7% vs 0%, respectively; P = .0244), overall reoperation rate (9.5% vs 1.4%; P = .026), and release from medical care (4.3 vs 3.4 months; P = .0014), but no difference was seen in infection rate (3.8% vs 0%; P = .092). No difference was noted in release from medical care in patients who underwent surgery 3 weeks or less after injury compared with those undergoing surgery more than 3 weeks after injury (3.90 vs 4.09 months, respectively; P = .911).

Primary repair of triceps ruptures with TO fixation has a significantly higher rerupture rate, higher reoperation rate, and longer release from medical care than does repair with A fixation. Implementation of suture anchors in triceps repairs offers a lower complication rate and earlier release from medical care.

Polls results

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate how much this article will change your clinical practice?

NO change
BIG change
100% Article relates to my practice (3/3)
0% Article does not relate to my practice (0/3)
0% Undecided (0/3)

Will this article lead to more cost-effective healthcare?

66% Yes (2/3)
0% No (0/3)
33% Undecided (1/3)

Was this article biased? (commercial or personal)

33% Yes (1/3)
66% No (2/3)
0% Undecided (0/3)

What level of evidence do you think this article is?

0% Level 1 (0/3)
0% Level 2 (0/3)
100% Level 3 (3/3)
0% Level 4 (0/3)
0% Level 5 (0/3)