DefinitionTendons connect muscle to bone and help move joints. Tendonopathy is an injury to the tendon. These injuries tend to occur in tendons near joints such as the knee, shoulder, and ankle. The injuries can include:
- Tendonitis—An inflammation of the tendon. Although this term is used often, most cases of tendonopathy are not associated with significant inflammation.
- Tendonosis—Microtears in the tendon tissue with no significant inflammation
- Achilles tendon —back of heel
- Patellar tendon , which is attached to the kneecap
- Rotator cuff in the shoulder
- Biceps in the shoulder
- Wrist extensors near the elbow, on the outside
- Wrist flexors near the elbow, on the inside
- Quadriceps tendons
- Ankle tendons
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CausesTendinopathy is caused by overuse of a muscle-tendon unit. The strain on the tendon causes tiny tears that build up over time. There can also be inflammation.These tears cause pain and can eventually change the structure of the tendon.
Risk FactorsTendinopathy is more common in women than in men. It is also more common in older adults. Factors that may increase your chance of getting tendinopathy include:
- Overuse can be the result of doing any activity too much
- Strenuous or repetitive activities:
- Physical labor
- Physical problems
- Muscle imbalance
- Decreased flexibility
- Alignment abnormalities of the leg
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