Tendons are the structures that attach muscle to bone throughout the body. Tendinopathy develops when a tendon becomes irritated, inflamed, torn or damaged. Tendinopathy is a very common condition, but many people underestimate the impact it can have on their lives. It is more commonly known as Tendonitis, however recent medical advances have revealed only initially is there inflammation of the tendon. Here are 3 facts you should know about Tendinopathy:
1. Tendinopathy can happen to anybody.
Although most common in more active individuals, anyone who uses repetitive movements or holds awkward positions at work or during the day can develop tendinopathy, especially those who may not be performing the repetitive action properly or with the optimal support. For instance, daily improper overhead lifting may cause rotator cuff injury that can lead to tendinopathy. Other common areas for tendinopathy include the elbow, foot/heel and knee. Swimmer’s shoulder and golfer’s or tennis elbow, Achilles tendinopathy are all different types of injury occurring at different sites.
2. Sometimes disease can cause tendinopathy.
Patients with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis are more prone to tendinopathy and can develop more aggressive inflammation and possible damage to the tendon. According to recent research, patients with diabetes are three times more likely to develop tendon pain. Doctors however are still unclear about the underlying mechanisms.
3. Early treatment is paramount.
If a tendon becomes painful, treatment should be sought immediately with an orthopedic specialist. Treatments include physical therapy to build strength in the injured area as well as injections if symptoms are more severe.
If treatment is not started earlier enough a tendon may tear or rupture, causing a snap or pop and resulting in severe pain. This can also occur suddenly due to an injury. This is a more serious injury that requires surgery to repair the tendon.
Often times, patients with tendinopathy, also have tenosynovitis, especially patients who have rheumatoid arthritis. The sheath called the synovium produces a small amount of oily fluid to prevent friction when the tendon pulls on the bone. Tenosynovitis is the inflammation of the sheath or covering of the tendon which causes pain and loss of mobility in the tendon. Treatment for both tenosynovitis and tendinopathy are very similar.
At The Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine (OSM) Center we utilize the collective skills of our exceptional providers to deliver the most complete musculoskeletal care available. From your first appointment, you are cared for by a team specifically built based on the best treatment for your condition. If surgery is necessary, you will be paired with an OSM surgeon who has the expertise and experience in your specific condition. Our surgeons use the latest minimally invasive techniques where appropriate to ensure fast recovery. Contact us today to schedule a consult.