Tendinosis describes pain and inflammation in the tendon and may affect tendons in the shoulder, knee, wrist, elbow, finger, thigh or heel.
The condition may be caused by tears in the tissue surrounding the tendon or by the slow deterioration of a tendon over time. Tendon tears can be caused by injury incurred through sport, for example, and overuse of a tendon can lead to repetitive strain injury.
Some of the symptom of this condition include:
- Swelling that impairs movement of the tendon
- Intense pain in the tendon, especially on movement of the affected area
- Joint stiffness
- A grating or crackling sensation as the tendon moves
- Weakness in the affected area
- Development of a lump along the tendon
- If the condition persists, the tendon may eventually tear completely and a gap may be felt along the tendon. Movement of the affected area is then further impaired.
- If the sheath that surrounds the tendon is affected rather than the tendon itself, the term used is tenosynovitis
Tendons that are commonly affected include –
- Achilles tendon, which connects the back of the foot to the calf muscle
- Supraspinatus tendon in the shoulder
- Bicep tendon of the upper arm
- Tennis elbow affecting the side of the elbow
- Golfer’s elbow affecting the middle of the elbow
- De Quervain’s tenosynovitis affecting the thumb
Reviewed by Sally Robertson, BSc