Tendons are the tough fibres that connect muscle to bone.Tendon injuries occur near joints, such as the shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle. A tendon injury may seem to happen suddenly, but actually it is the result of many tiny tears to the tendon that have happened over time. It usually causes pain, stiffness, and loss of strength in the affected area.
HOW IS TENDON INJURY DIAGNOSED?
To diagnose a tendon injury, a doctor will ask questions about past health and symptoms and will do a physical exam. If the injury is related to use of a tool or sports equipment, the doctor may ask to show how the patient used it. If the symptoms are severe or do not improve with treatment, the doctor may want to have a test, such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI. Ultrasound can show thickening, swelling, or tears in soft tissues such as the bursae and tendons.
HOW IS TENDON INJURY TREATED?
The goals of this early treatment are to reduce pain and inflammation of the tendon as well as restore normal motion and strength
Rest the painful area, and avoid any activity that makes the pain worse.
Apply ice or cold packs for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, as often as 2 times an hour, for the first 72 hours. Keep using ice as long as it helps.
Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen or naproxen) if you need them. Be sure to follow the non-prescription medicine precautions. Always take these medicines exactly as prescribed or according to the label.
Do gentle range-of-motion exercises and stretching to prevent stiffness.
DID YOU KNOW?
A tendon injury can lead to a serious tear if there is constant pressure applied on the area and thus caution should be exercised.