You have (or think you have) a tendon injury, you’re in pain, and you’re not quite sure what your next option is. When it comes to any injury to your tendons, bones, or joints, it’s always recommended you see an orthopedic professional near you, such as an orthopedic surgeon.
It may surprise you to learn that orthopedic specialists and surgeons treat musculoskeletal problems with more than just surgery – in some cases, physical therapy and other treatments can be more than enough. Even if you do need surgery, recent advances in medical technology have made surgery safer and easier on the body. Keep reading to find out more about what a tendon injury is, the symptoms of a tendon injury, and what treatment options are available for you after your tendon injury.
What is a Tendon Injury?
As the name suggests, a tendon injury occurs when a tendon is strained, inflamed, or torn. Tendons are a special kind of tissue that connect your muscles to your bones and help you move your body. Because of this, tendon injuries are often caused by repetitive motions or overuse. Tendon injuries are also caused by arthritis, aging, and other health conditions.
A tendon injury can either be sudden (or acute)or chronic (occurring over a long period of time). In addition, you may have heard of the term “tendonitis” – this refers specifically to an inflamed tendon.
Common tendon injuries include:
- Biceps tendonitis
- Golfer’s elbow
- Patellar tendonitis
- Rotator cuff tear
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Tennis elbow
- Trigger finger
Each tendon injury is unique to the patient, so treatment options vary depending on what your orthopedic specialist recommends. It’s important to talk to your doctor about all potential treatment options before settling on a treatment plan.
How Do I Know If I Have a Tendon Injury?
If you’re unsure whether you have a tendon injury, there are a few common symptoms to look out for. Common symptoms of a tendon injury include:
- Dull pain or stiffness when moving a joint
- Reduced range of motion
- A popping or crunching sound with movement
- Mild swelling
If you believe you have a tendon injury but are not sure, your orthopedic specialist can perform diagnostic tests to accurately diagnose your condition. These tests may include an ultrasound, MRI, or X-ray. Each of these tests is non-invasive and painless, allowing you to get an accurate diagnosis conveniently and comfortably.
Non-Surgical Tendon Injury Treatment Options
Whenever possible, a skilled and trained orthopedic professional will not recommend surgery until all other noninvasive treatment options have been exhausted. Common non-surgical tendon injury treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Medications like steroids or pain relievers
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
- Splinting or casting of the affected area
Your orthopedic professional may recommend one or more of the above non-invasive treatment methods to provide you with the best results. It’s important to note that non-invasive treatments take time to repair your affected area. Desired results may appear over a period of weeks.
Tendon Repair Surgery
If you have exhausted all non-surgical treatment options and you still have pain or weakness in the injured area, tendon repair surgery may be required.
If your orthopedic surgeon does recommend surgery, there are now many surgical options thanks to advances in technology. Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery in which a camera on a probe and precision tools are used to perform surgery inside the joint or affected area. This allows surgeons to repair tendons and other injuries with only a few small incisions.
Arthroscopy surgery is a great option because it provides patients with the results great results as well as minimal downtime and recovery period after surgery. Arthroscopic procedures also produce less scarring than traditional surgery, allowing patients to heal more quickly with fewer complications.
Orthopedic Surgeon Near Me
If you’re suffering from a tendon injury and are looking for treatment in Johnson City, Kingsport, or Bristol, Tennessee, look no further than Watauga Orthopedics. Our dedicated team of orthopedic surgeons and midlevel providers are proud to provide a wide range of cutting-edge, minimally invasive treatments to men and women of all ages.
If you have any questions about your tendon injury and possible treatment options, we encourage you to call us today at (423) 282-9011 or use our appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!