A tendon tear commonly refers to tiny tears in the tissue in and around the tendon caused by a muscle's inability to optimally absorb shock, load and/or force. They can occur in almost any area of the body where a tendon connects a bone to a muscle. The most common places are:
While tendon tears seem to happen suddenly, they’re usually a result of many tiny tears to the tendon that have happened over time usually due to overuse or being overstretched.
When tendon damage occurs, movement may be seriously limited. Typical symptoms of tendon tears include:
Anyone can get tendon tears, but they’re more common in adults, especially those over 40 years old. As tendons age, they tolerate less stress, are less elastic and are easier to tear. Others at risk include anyone involved with heavy lifting and other manual labor. Tendon tears in the elderly are often caused by a medical condition, like gout or a thyroid disorder.
In younger generations, tendon tears usually occur due to trauma as a result of sports, an accident or a motorbike crash. Excessive use of steroids also makes tendons weak and can result in tendon tears.
Treatment depends on individual pain thresholds and tissue repair rates, as well as the extent of the damage. They can range from daily range-of-motion exercises to surgery in order to repair tissues. Make an appointment with a Summa orthopedic specialist who can diagnose your injury and recommend the appropriate treatment plan.