Tendon Repair

Tendon injuries, also known as tendinopathies, happen when there is an overload that causes small fibres to tear. When the affected muscles or joints are put under pressure, it causes tendon inflammation which reduces blood flow and can lead to nerve compression. When there is a mild inflammation it is referred to as tendonitis. It is called tendinosis if there is tendon degeneration.

Tendon injuries are common in sports. Injury location will depend on the sport. Some common tendon injuries include:

  • Achilles tendon: in the heel, it is common among professional athletes. It causes inflammation, pain, and swelling.
  • Patellar tendon: in the knee, it is more common in women. Exercising is important to avoid discomfort.
  • Supraspinatus tendon: in the shoulder, as it is a fragile area, and recovery tends to take longer. This is usually the tendon affected in rotator cuff injuries.
  • Lateral epicondyle tendon: in the elbow, most commonly known as tennis elbow. It is common amongst tennis players, but can happen in other professions too.


Some of the most common causes include:

  • Not warming up before exercise
  • Sports injuries
  • Repetitive movements or overexertion
  • Physical changes (such as postural dysfunction and many more)
  • A bad movement, especially when exercising
  • Inadequate training equipment
  • Metabolic dysfunctions or poor hydration


The symptoms of tendon injuries vary according to their location. There are several common symptoms, including:

  • Pain and tenderness when moving the tendon or joint
  • Stiffness at night or upon waking
  • Inflammation
  • Heat and redness
  • Hearing or feeling a crack when moving the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon (in some cases).


Be prepared to tell your doctor about the following:

  • Recent or past injuries
  • Past and present sports and physical activities
  • Previously diagnosed medical conditions
  • Any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements you take

If your doctor can’t make a diagnosis with a physical exam, they may order additional tests. These could include:

  • X-rays
  • MRI scans
  • Ultrasounds


Treatment tends to be conservative, and includes rest and anti-inflammatory measures, depending on the severity of the injury. This may include medications, nutritional supplements, dietary changes, using bandages and manual therapy.

The methods used will depend on the injury location, severity, and how long it has affected the patient. Although there are many different treatments, the most common ones are:

  • Rest
  • Stretching
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Physiotherapy

When treatment doesn’t work, surgery may be resorted to instead.