The Achilles tendon is a large tendon which connects the heel to the muscles of the calf.
Disorders of tendonsTendinitis (see below), inflammation of a tendon, may follow an injury. Tenosynovitis (see below), inflammation of the inner lining of a tendon sheath, usually affects tendons in the hands and wrists or feet and results from overuse. Inflammation of the outer wall of a tendon sheath, a condition known as tenovaginitis (see below), may restrict movement of the tendon through the tendon sheath.
Injury may cause a tendon rupture (see below). The Achilles tendon in the heel can rupture during vigorous sprinting and jumping. In many cases, however, because the tendons are strong, severe stress results in pulling off a piece of bone where the tendon is attached, rather than tearing of the tendon itself.
TendinitisInflammation of a tendon, usually due to overuse or injury. Symptoms of tendinitis include restricted movement, pain, and tenderness.
Treatment is with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ultrasound treatment, or injection of a corticosteroid drug around the tendon. See also tennis elbow.
Tendon ruptureA complete tear in a tendon. A tendon may rupture when the muscle to which it is attached contracts suddenly and powerfully, such as during vigorous exercise. Rupture may also be the result of an injury or joint disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms include a snapping sensation, impaired movement, pain, and swelling. Diagnosis is usually obvious from the symptoms. Surgery to repair the tendon may be needed. In some cases, the tendon may heal if it is immobilized in a plaster cast.
Inflammation of the lining of the sheath that surrounds a tendon. The usual cause is excessive friction caused by repetitive movements; bacterial infection is a rare cause . The hands and wrists are most often affected in tenosynovitis, although the tendons in the feets are also commonly affected in runners. Symptoms include pain, tenderness, and swelling over the tendon.
TenovaginitisInflammation or thickening of the fibrous wall of the sheath that surrounds a tendon. Tenovaginitis affecting the sheath of one of the tendons that bends a finger results in trigger finger.
Related categories• ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
• HEALTH AND DISEASE
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