Tendonitis 4/5 (3)

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Late inflammation in the Achilles tendon. Durey A, Yonsei Med. J. (2010), CC BY-NC 3.0


The tendons are cords or lines that connect muscles to the skeleton. When a bend, stretch, or grip, the tendons slide many places through their own channels (tendon sheaths). In the hands and feet where the distance between the anchorage in the skeleton (fingers, toes) and the muscles is long (in the forearms and legs), the tendon sheaths are particularly prone to overload. Rare is also available joint disease (arthritis), connective tissue diseases or Vasculitis.

Late inflammation is often seen around joints:

Disease Cause

Overloading of unilateral work or sports and exercise is the most common cause of tendonitis. Also autoimmune rheumatic diseases of the joints, in particular Rheumatoid arthritis og connective tissue disorders can cause tendonitis. Infections are rare. Some antibiotics (levofloxacin) may also cause tendonitis.

Symptoms of tendonitis

Late inflammation at congestion is painful, especially in any movement and pressure on the tendon. The symptoms last for several weeks. At the same time rheumatic joint disease (like rheumatoid arthritis) The tendons may be swollen without particular pain. In the case of infection (rare), there are at the same time other signs of infection such as fever, night sweats.

Investigations and diagnosis

Usually, tendonitis is detected by a regular clinical examination of tendon muscles and joints. If necessary, ultrasound or MRI examinations can also detect the condition. In some chronic cases and in a form of tendon inflammation in the shoulder, calcification can also be detected by regular X-ray examination.

Treatment of tendonitis

Late inflammation after congestion is initially treated with relief. One should avoid movements that trigger the pain. Support rails (orthoses) and other aids may be required in a few weeks. At the same time, triggering cause must be avoided. Ibux gel or Orudis gel that is lubricated and massaged into the skin over tendonitis can be useful when the inflammation is just under the skin. Against pain, light painkillers may be required. In early disease phase, cortisone injection may be useful. If underlying rheumatic disease is the cause, custom exercises to prevent overgrowth and lasting stiffness are important. Otherwise, the measures are as mentioned above. Infection must be treated with penicillin or other antibiotics. In chronic tendonitis, adapted physical exercise and stretching are useful.


Tendonitis usually passes over within a few weeks. However, some items are longer. In the long run, they will almost all be painless and regain normal function.


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