Cleveland Browns: Joe Thomas Injury Discussion

Joe Thomas suffered a torn left triceps tendon yesterday in the Cleveland Brown’s lost to the Tennessee Titans. He was quoted, “I could feel the tendon detaching from my elbow and get rolled up into my mid-triceps.”

The triceps brachii, is the primary muscle of the posterior humerus. It’s responsible for elbow extension, shoulder extension and to an extent shoulder adduction (primarily a function of the Long head).


Typical recovery will have you doing rehabilitation for six to nine months. While his elbow is completely immobilized for up to about a week, there are a few things that I can do as a manual therapist and chiropractor to help assist the rehabilitation for a torn triceps tendon.

What could I do?
The main focus I’d be doing in the interim while an individual is immobilized at the elbow is to focus on the soft tissue of the shoulder and wrist to maintain range of motion in the respective joints. Maintaining proper range of motion is important to the rehabilitation of the elbow; lack of range of motion at the shoulder can place stress on the elbow which could be detrimental to the rehabilitation.

The next thing I would be able to assist in is clearing out edema and scar tissue management at the elbow joint to help restore passive range of motion at the elbow and then help the patient progress into active range of motion.  There are many rehabilitation protocols out there for triceps tendon rehabilitation. I’m not a physical therapist, so my role in the process would be soft tissue rehabilitation and modifications of exercise once the patient is cleared for general physical preparation and sports training.

Get better Joe Thomas. Future Hall of Fame Left Tackle.

Other notable injuries over the weekend:
Carson Palmer, QB, broken left arm, 6-8 weeks.
Jeremy Lin, PG, ruptured patellar tendon, season-ending.
Chris Paul, PG, bruised left knee, 2-4 weeks.

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