Everything you need to know about tendon injuries.
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What are tendons?
Tendons are flexible yet strong collagen tissues that attach the muscles to the bones. Moreover, a tendon acts as a bridge between the muscle and bone. The bridge-like connection allows the tendons to transmit and regulate forces between the muscle tissues, during movement; this allows the body to remain stable. Tendons are located throughout the body and can be flat, wide, ribbon-shaped, tubular or fan-shaped.
Types of tendon issues:
- Tendon pain is usually a result of an irritated or inflamed tendon, also known as tendinitis. This condition causes acute pain and tenderness, which makes it difficult to move the affected joint. Tendinitis occurs as a result of an injury, repetitive movement, aging or a disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- A ruptured tendon generally occurs because there is a strain on the tendon. The strain and pressure can cause an injury. This can be caused by overextending or lifting a heavy object in a jerking motion.
- A partial tear occurs when the tendon is damaged, but not completely separated from the bone.
- Then there is the full-thickness tear, which is when the tendon is completely separated from the bone.
- Additionally, there are degenerative tears, which are a result of wearing down of the tendons. This occurs over time.
Why do tendon injuries occur?
Tendon injuries are likely to arise from daily living activities that require constant repetitive motion of the joint. For instance, an athlete such as a baseball player is more likely to injure their shoulder tendon, due to repetitive motion such as swinging a bat or pitching a ball. However, tendon injuries can also occur in the elbow, knee and ankle.
How are tendon injuries diagnosed?
The most common way to diagnose a tendon rupture is for a doctor to perform a physical examination on the affected area and order diagnostic studies if needed.
Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Roman A. Shulze