Outcomes and complications of triceps tendon repair following acute rupture in American military personnel

George C. Balazs*, Alaina M. Brelin, Theodora C. Dworak, Daniel I. Brooks, Timothy C. Mauntel, Scott M. Tintle, Jonathan F. Dickens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Introduction Triceps tendon ruptures are uncommon injuries primarily occurring in young, active males or elderly individuals with various systemic diseases. Relatively little is known about the epidemiology of this injury, or the results of surgical management in high-demand populations. The purpose of this study was to define the incidence and outcomes of surgical treatment in active duty American military personnel. Patients and methods The Military Data Repository (MDR) was queried for all active duty military personnel undergoing surgical repair or reconstruction of a triceps tendon rupture between January 2012 and December 2014. The electronic health records of all patients with at least 12 months clinical follow-up were searched for demographic information, injury details, preoperative imaging findings, post-operative complications, and ability to return to duty following surgical repair. Incidence was calculated based on total active duty population in the MDR over the study period. Risk factors for postoperative complication and inability to return to duty following surgical repair were assessed using univariate analyses. Results A total of 54 acute triceps tendon ruptures were identified in the search, of which 48 had at least 12 months follow-up and complete post-operative records. The incidence of acute triceps tendon rupture was 1.1 per 100,000 person-years. Twelve patients experienced post-operative complications, six of which were traumatic re-ruptures within four months of the index surgery. No patient had a post-operative infection or atraumatic repair failure. 94% of patients were able to return to active military service following surgical repair. Enlisted rank was a significant risk factor for a post-operative complication, but no factor predicted inability to return to active duty service. Conclusions Surgical repair of acute triceps tendon ruptures reliably restores strength and function even in high-demand individuals. In our population, traumatic rerupture was the most common complication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2247-2251
Number of pages5
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Military
  • Surgical repair
  • Triceps tendon rupture


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