Tendon and Ligament Tears Around the Elbow (Bicep/Tricep)

Institutes & Services > TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute

We use our elbows every day – in sports, jobs and around the house. And when your elbow or the muscles, ligaments and tendons around it cause you pain, you’re not able to do the activities you want to and need to. The orthopedic specialists at TriHealth Orthopedics & Sports Institute are here to help you get back to what’s most important. We use the latest advances in diagnostic tools to understand your injury and make a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Elbow Tendon and Ligament Tears

The most common tendon, ligament and muscle tears around the elbow include:

Each of these injuries have unique causes, symptoms and treatments. The team at TriHealth Orthopedics & Sports Institute will work closely with you to find the right path to get you back to your favorite activities.

Elbow ligament and tendon tear causes

Ligament and tendon tears are most often caused by overuse from sports, like golf, tennis, baseball or jobs that require overhead swinging, like carpentry or manufacturing. Traumatic injury, like a sudden blow, can also cause a ligament or tendon tear around the elbow.

Elbow ligament and tendon tear symptoms

Symptoms of an elbow ligament or tendon tear can vary based on the injury and location. You may experience:

  • Pain and tenderness around the injury
  • Reduced range of motion around the arm, elbow, forearm or wrist
  • Stiffness around the elbow
  • Swelling
  • Weakness in the hands and wrists

Elbow ligament and tendon tear treatment

Once you and your provider know what’s exactly causing your pain, your orthopedic specialist will create a plan that helps you return to activity. If your tendon or ligament tear is severe, you may need surgery right away:

  • Ulnar collateral ligament injury – Tommy John surgery can help repair or reconstruct the damaged ligament.
  • Biceps tear – Repairing a tear to the biceps can usually be done through a minimally invasive procedure. During surgery, your surgeon will reattach the tendon to where it belongs. Then, you’ll start physical therapy to strengthen the muscles so you can return to activity.
  • Triceps tear – A tear to the triceps muscle calls for surgery to restore function to your arm. Your surgeon will reattach the tendon and you’ll start physical rehabilitation as quickly as possible.

Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow don’t always require surgery. Sometimes, a conservative treatment approach that includes medication, lifestyle modification and physical therapy can relieve your pain and restore your function.

Elbow ligaments and tendon tears risk factors

You may be at higher risk of tearing the ligaments, muscles or tendons around your elbow if you:

  • Are older
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Repeatedly move your arm or forearm in a sport or occupation
  • Use tobacco

Elbow ligaments and tendon tear prevention

You may not be able to completely prevent an injury to your elbow, but there are steps you can take to keep yourself healthy, active and enjoying your favorite sport:

  • Always use proper lifting, throwing or hitting technique
  • Rest when your body need to
  • Strengthen forearm muscles
  • Stretch before you play or work
  • Use proper form
  • Use the right equipment for your body and skill-level
  • Warm up before and cool down after all physical activity

Schedule an appointment

The team at TriHealth Orthopedics & Sports Institute is committed to helping you relieve your pain and back to activity. Call us today at 513 246 7846 and we’ll get to the bottom of what’s causing your pain.

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