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[Surgical treatment of distal triceps tendon ruptures].

OBJECTIVE: Restoration of the anatomy and the original length of the muscle-tendon unit in triceps tendon ruptures.

INDICATIONS: Acute and chronic triceps tendon ruptures with persisting symptoms and significant strength deficits.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Infections and tumors in the surgical area.

SURGICAL TECHNIQUE: Prone position. Skin incision over the distal triceps in a lateral direction around the olecranon. Mobilization of the tendon and débridement of the olecranon. Drilling of 2 × 2.9 mm suture anchor holes medial and lateral into the footprint of the olecranon. In addition, drilling through the olecranon 12 mm distal to the tip of the olecranon and transosseous introduction of 4 sutures. Then the suture anchors (all-suture or titanium anchors) are inserted into the drill holes. Refix the deep and superficial tendons with the anchor threads. Refix the upper tendon portions with the transosseous sutures. In the case of chronic lesions, a graft interposition is necessary.

POSTOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT: Dorsal 10 ° splint, then change to an orthosis fixed in 20 ° extension and passive mobility 0-30 ° flexion for 6 weeks. From the 7th week onwards, load-free, physiotherapeutically controlled increasing mobilization. Starting weight-loading from the 13th week on. Full load after 6 months.

RESULTS: In all, 34 male strength athletes with acute triceps tendon rupture underwent surgery using the hybrid technique described and were prospectively recorded. The MEPS‑G score averaged 94.7 points, there were no permanent limitations in mobility, and the postoperative strength ability averaged 94% of the original strength performance ability. The return to sport achieved 100%. The complication rate was 20.6%. Reconstruction of the distal triceps tendon using hybrid technology leads to very good functional results. Half of all patients complained of symptoms even before the rupture, which suggests previous damage to the distal triceps tendon caused by degeneration.

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