Clinical Outcomes of Low-Cost, Anchorless Repair of the Triceps Tendon Using a Proximal Knot Technique

Arthrosc Sports Med Rehabil. 2021 Mar 2;3(2):e535-e541. doi: 10.1016/j.asmr.2020.12.005. eCollection 2021 Apr.


Purpose: To use validated outcome measures to evaluate the clinical results of surgical repair of distal triceps tendon ruptures using transosseous tunnels and high-strength sutures with proximally based knots.

Methods: A consecutive series of traumatic distal triceps tendon ruptures at a single institution was studied. All cases were surgically repaired by 1 surgeon using high-strength suture with a bone tunnel-based repair technique. Repair knots were oriented proximally instead of in the traditional distal position. All patients were evaluated at long-term follow-up with a physical examination performed by the orthopaedic surgeon and the following validated outcome measures: Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score; Mayo Elbow Performance Score; and visual analog scale score.

Results: Seven male patients with a mean age of 38 years (range, 19-50 years) and mean follow-up period of 4.1 ± 1.2 years underwent distal triceps tendon repair with bone tunnels and high-strength sutures with proximally positioned knots. Of the repairs, 4 involved the dominant arm. At final follow-up, the mean Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score was 1.3 ± 3.1; the mean Mayo Elbow Performance Score was 99.3 ± 1.9; and the mean visual analog scale score was 0. One additional patient who declined participation in the study had wound dehiscence and infection with an associated partial rerupture.

Conclusions: This case series of triceps tendon repairs using transosseous tunnels and proximally based knots showed favorable postoperative elbow function based on validated outcome measures.

Level of evidence: Level IV, therapeutic case series.