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Triceps tendon - avulsion fracture
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pfwein


Oct 19, 2010, 2:51 PM
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Triceps tendon - avulsion fracture
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While climbing, I heard and felt a ripping sound in my elbow, followed by immediate and weakness and pain when extending my elbow (i.e., using my triceps).

Noticeable amount of fluid accumulated at elbow tip.
I went to the Dr. (GP), who ordered x-ray, which showed small bone chip off of point of elbow. He diagnosed (as I understand it) as the tendon that connects the triceps to the ulana ripping to some extent, including ripping some bone from the ulna.

He didn't recommend any treatment (other than staying off of it). He seemed to think it wasn't that big of deal. When he pressed, he estimated 4 weeks recovery time.

I've climbed a bit and get wincing pain when quickly extending the forearm. (For example, imagine dropping something and then quickly moving your forearm to try to catch it -> wincing pain.)

This happened almost a month ago, and is definitely not healed.

Has anyone had anything like this, or have any insights? Should I ask my GP for a referral to a sport medicine Dr. (I have Colorado Kaiser, not sure what their policy is.)


AntinJ


Oct 19, 2010, 2:59 PM
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Re: [pfwein] Triceps tendon - avulsion fracture [In reply to]
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If it was a complete rupture of the tendon, I would assume you would need a surgical repair for a full recovery.

I would think that you would need an MRI to be certain...

Best of luck,

Jason


aerili


Oct 19, 2010, 10:23 PM
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Re: [pfwein] Triceps tendon - avulsion fracture [In reply to]
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That is CRAZY! Not only are these injuries quite rare, but your mechanism of injury makes almost no sense to me (were you mantling super hard or something?!).

I would DEFINITELY get a specialist's opinion!!!


ozoneclimber


Oct 20, 2010, 1:36 AM
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Re: [pfwein] Triceps tendon - avulsion fracture [In reply to]
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I would get a referral to an orthopedist. I had something somewhat like that happen to my knee years ago. My GP did basically the same as your's, slapped a full leg brace on it and told me to stay off it for 4-6 weeks. It has been damn near 10 years now and only gotten worse. If I'm not careful, or if I over-stress it, my patella will actually rotate out. I should have had surgery to fix the problem in the first place but my GP was either too lazy or had his head up his ass.

No insurance means no fix for now. I just have to be careful...

I suggest you get another opinion and fix it now before it progresses...

-B


onceahardman


Oct 20, 2010, 4:03 AM
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Re: [pfwein] Triceps tendon - avulsion fracture [In reply to]
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Get an orthopedic referral.

The only times I have seen this injury (twice), it was in bodybuilders who I suspect were on the 'roids. Both were surgical candidates.


pfwein


Oct 20, 2010, 7:38 AM
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Re: [onceahardman] Triceps tendon - avulsion fracture [In reply to]
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Thanks for the comments/feedback everyone. I'll try to get a referral.
BTW, i was not manteling (although, as you would expect, a manteling move is now extremely painful--i cannot even really attempt one).

Left arm was positioned above me and to my left, had a fingerlock, and I pulled on the hold--hard for me, but nothing seemingly crazy. Was on vertical or less than vertical rock (crux of Broken Tree at Devils Tower).

A follow up Q if you have thoughts: I''m traveling to Gunks tomorrow to climb. Now i understand I'll not climb anything hard, but do you think it's a problem to climb moderates as long as I avoid pain, or is that likely to make things worse?


gblauer
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Oct 20, 2010, 8:39 AM
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Re: [pfwein] Triceps tendon - avulsion fracture [In reply to]
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pfwein wrote:
I''m traveling to Gunks tomorrow to climb. Now i understand I'll not climb anything hard, but do you think it's a problem to climb moderates as long as I avoid pain, or is that likely to make things worse?

Only an (addicted) rock climber would ask this question...Smile


rkrocks


Nov 3, 2010, 9:15 PM
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Re: [pfwein] Triceps tendon - avulsion fracture [In reply to]
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OMG...you are screwed. Am recovering from bicep/tricep tendon rupture (whatever) 5-6 yrs ago. MRI will diagnose and depending on where you sit ....surgery may/nay not be what you are interested in. Find on occupational therapist, certified hand therapist (or even a PT) for modalities (unless you are one) and adhere to a strict regime. I will lay out the rehab regiment if interested.


OCD


Nov 4, 2010, 2:18 AM
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Re: [pfwein] Triceps tendon - avulsion fracture [In reply to]
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had you been on any antibiotics? cipro? levaquin?


pfwein


Dec 21, 2010, 8:32 AM
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Re: [AntinJ] Triceps tendon - avulsion fracture [In reply to]
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I got an MRI. Took a long time because of delays at Kaiser.

This is what Kaiser said:
"Here is the radiologist report:
Impression: Near complete tear of the distal triceps tendon at its
olecranon insertion (at least 90%). There is adjacent hemorrhage or
fluid. No discrete cortical avulsion fracture identified. There is
up to 2 cm proximal retraction."

I'll see what they recommend re: surgery or anything.

Mostly I'm just updating this in case anyone has a similar injury (apparently they are rare in rock climbing, but obviously they can happen!).

Edit--had surgery on Jan 21.


(This post was edited by pfwein on Feb 1, 2011, 10:08 AM)


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