Tendons connect muscle to bone and help move joints. Tendinopathy is an injury to the tendon. These injuries tend to occur in tendons near joints such as knee, shoulder, and ankle. The injuries can include:
Tendinitis—an inflammation of the tendon. (Although this term is used often, most cases of tendinopathy are not associated with significant inflammation.)
Tendinosis—microtears (tiny breaks) in the tendon tissue with no significant inflammation.
Tendinopathy and the associated pain may take months to resolve.
Tendinopathy is caused by overuse of a muscle-tendon unit. The strain on the tendon causes very tiny tears that accumulate over time. These tears cause pain and can eventually change the structure of the tendon.
Overuse can be the result of doing any activity too much, such as:
Physical labor—especially those with repetitive motions
Factors that increase your chance of tendinopathy include:
Alignment abnormalities of the leg
Pain, particularly with activity
Decreased motion of related joints
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor will ask about your activity and the location of the pain.
In the majority of cases your doctor will make a diagnosis based on the exam and history. If your symptoms are severe your doctor may order:
—to look for calcium deposits in the tendon
—to confirm the diagnosis and show the amount of damage to the tendon (more likely when symptoms continue despite treatment)
Treatment depends on:
Severity of symptoms
The tendon involved
Length of time symptoms have lasted
Treatment may include:
Avoiding the activity that is responsible
Reduce shock vibration on the joint
Rest for the affected tendon
Ice after activity
Cast or splint for immobilization of the affected area
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a