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Tendonosis vs Tendonitis

Tendonitis is now Tendonosis

Tendon injuries are among the most common overuse injuries. What was once commonly thought of as a tendonitis is now considered a tendonosis.

Tendonosis is defined as primary collagen degeneration characterized by

  • separation of collagen bundles
  • increased hydrophilic ground substance
  • increased poor quality blood vessels
  • absent inflammatory cells

Inflammation likely precedes the development of tendinosis but the current research reports that it is short lived (approximately 5 days). The clinician is more than likely treating the histopathological entity of tendinosis

Clinically, patients with proven tendinosis complain of pain some time after exercise or more frequently the next morning. The athlete commonly reports that they are able to play through the pain or the pain disappears as they warm up, only to return as they cool down.

  • Tendonitis is defined as inflammation of the tendon. Despite the popularity of the diagnostic label it has rarely been proven to occur histologically.
  • Treatment for tendonosis includes heat, massage, stretching, continuous ultrasound and eccentric strengthening.
  • Treatment for an acute tendonitis included rest, icing, avoiding aggravating activities and evaluation of the aggravating activity.

Ref: Brukner;khan., Clinical Sports Medicine 2002