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Tendonitis Surgery

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What Is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendon, which is a band of tough fibrous connective tissue that connects the bone to muscles and has the capability of withstanding tension. These tendons come in different shapes and sizes. There are small ones that enable movement of parts like fingers, and there are large types that help in standing and walking. An example of the latter one is Achilles tendon.

What Are The Symptoms Of Tendonitis?

  • Thickening or mild swelling of the tendon near a joint
  • Stiffness in a given joint that restricts movement
  • Pain near a joint, especially around a wrist, ankle, shoulder, or elbow
  • Tenderness near the joint areas
  • Appearance of a bulge or lump in the tendon itself
  • A cracking sensation when the joint is moved

Who Can Get Tendonitis?

A tendon can become inflamed due to numerous reasons that will be discussed. Tendonitis is often painful, and the pain tends to be felt mostly where the tendon is affixed to the bone. Anyone can get tendonitis, but it is common in adults aged forty years and above.

Dr. Doerr Orthopedic Surgeon

What Are The Types Of Tendonitis?

Achilles Tendonitis

Located between the muscles of the heel and calf, the Achilles tendon can be inflamed by shoes that are too tight or those that do not offer proper support to the foot. It is an injury that is widespread in sports persons. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are also more likely to suffer from this type of tendonitis.

Supraspinatus Tendonitis

This type affects the upper section of the shoulder joint. The tendon found there becomes inflamed and causes upward pain when the arms are moved. If other tendons around the shoulder area are affected, a patient may suffer from rotator cuff syndrome. Some individuals may experience pain when they lie on the shoulder that is affected.

Tennis Or Golfer’s Elbow

Tennis elbow is the pain experienced on the tendon located on the outer section of an elbow and may also radiate southwards to the wrist. Golfer’s elbow, on the other hand, is pain felt on the internal part of an elbow and is common among golfers. Just like tennis elbow, the pain in golfers elbow may also radiate down to the wrist. In both tennis and golfer’s elbow, the pain becomes more severe when one tries to lift or pull anything with the hands.

De Quervain’s Stenosing Tenosynovitis

This type of tendonitis occurs in the area between the thumb and the wrist. The tendon present there becomes inflamed, causing some visible swelling, and moving your thumb in any direction becomes painful.

Trigger Finger Or Thumb

In this type, a finger or thumb is fixed in a bent state or snaps during movement due to the thickening and inflammation of the tendon sheath found in the palm. In some cases, a nodule is fashioned along the tendon, and the tendon’s movement is inhibited.

Tendonitis Of The Wrist

This type is common amongst production line workers and badminton players. They tend to use the same motion repeatedly with their wrists, and that is what causes swelling of the tendon. If not kept in check, the pain could worsen.

What Are The Causes Of Tendonitis?

Swelling of the tendons is caused by sudden injury or repetition of a particular movement over time. Circumstances that contribute to this include:

  • As time goes by and one ages, the tendons become less flexible and more vulnerable to various injuries.
  • Sports that feature movements that are deemed repetitive like golf, bowling, baseball, tennis, and running can lead to tendonitis.
  • Some health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes are more likely to cause tendonitis.
  • If your job involves awkward positions, repetitive movements, and forceful exertion, then the chances of developing tendonitis are high.

How To Treat Tendonitis

  • Pain Relievers
    • Drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen may help relieve the discomfort that comes with tendonitis. They, however, do not treat the underlying problem. Swelling can be controlled by using topical creams with anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Therapy
    • It involves specific exercises that are designed to stretch the affected tendon muscle unit and strengthen it. This type of treatment is considered to be long-term, but one has to go for these therapy sessions for months for the effects to be long-lasting.
  • Corticosteroids
    • Injections of cortisone are known to reduce inflammation and ease the pain. This type of treatment is, however, not recommended for people with chronic tendonitis as repeated injections usually result in weakened tendon tissue.
  • Surgical Procedure
    • The treatment is usually a last resort when all other types of treatment have failed. It is recommended for chronic tendon inflammation or when the tendon has completely torn away from the bone.

What Happens After Treatment Or Surgery?

For speedy recovery after treatment, ensure that you follow what your doctor tells you. In case of a surgical procedure, you will be able to go home on the same day after recovering from the anesthetic. It is not a critical type of operation. You will, however, require care while at home resting.

A surgical procedure or injections of cortisone may leave the affected area numb for a while, but as soon as the anesthetic wears off, there will be some pain. Be sure to have some pain relievers with you before you leave the medical facility as they will make the healing process bearable.

After an operation, the affected section can get swollen and bruised too, so ensure you do not engage in any activity that requires you to move the particular body part. Also, have someone with you as you recover. They can lend you a hand whenever necessary.

Orthopedic Specialists

Jeffrey Hessing, MD and Timothy Doerr, MD have a passion for helping others. They have a combined 50 years of orthopedic excellence dedicated to the people of the Boise area. All of our surgeons are board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Doerr

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