ePlasty: Vol. 14
Spontaneous Rupture of the Extensor Pollicis Longus in a Break-Dancer
Grant D. Shifflett, MD, Eugene T. H. Ek, MBBS, PhD, FRACS, and Andrew J. Weiland, MD

Hand and Upper Extremity Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY

Correspondence: shifflettg@hss.edu
Keywords: break dancer, tendon rupture, extensor pollicis longus, wrist, trauma

Dear Sir,

We report an interesting case involving the spontaneous rupture of the extensor pollicis longus (EPL) tendon in a break-dancer. A 29-year-old male professional break-dancer presented to our institution with the chief complaint of right wrist pain and inability to extend his thumb. He reported insidious dorsal-sided wrist pain but had the acute onset of worsening pain and inability to extend his thumb following a performance the weekend prior. Physical examination confirmed rupture of the EPL with a positive lift-off test (Fig 1). The patient underwent surgical reconstruction of the EPL with standard transfer of the extensor indicis tendon. Intraoperative findings showed EPL tendon attenuation at the level of the radiocarpal joint, dorsal capsular hypertrophy, and a bony spur adjacent to Lister's tubercle at the base of the third dorsal compartment. At latest follow-up, the patient demonstrated a well-functioning tendon transfer with restoration of thumb retropulsion. He has returned to all previous activities, in particular break-dancing.