Tendon rupture, also called tendinosis, can occur due to a variety of factors that can compromise the structural integrity of tendons. A common cause is the combination of acute traumatic injury and chronic overuse. In traumatic injuries, a sudden impact or fall can stress a tendon beyond its breaking point and lead to rupture. However, chronic overuse can also cause tendons to gradually suffer micro-injuries. Prolonged stress from repetitive motion (e.g., at work or during sports) can cause these micro-injuries to accumulate and eventually lead to a complete rupture. In addition, degenerative changes due to aging or chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can increase the risk of tendon rupture. In the following, we will introduce you to different types of tendon ruptures and explain how we can treat them in our practice in Frankfurt.
Biceps tendon tear on the arm
A biceps tendon injury can result in the tearing of a portion of the tendon that attaches the biceps muscle to your shoulder or forearm. The biceps muscle is largely responsible for bending the elbow joint and consists of three tendons. In the upper area, it is connected to the shoulder via two tendons (long and short biceps tendon) – in the lower area, it is connected to the forearm via a common tendon. Tears in the forearm area often occur suddenly due to intense tension. Tears in the shoulder area are usually caused by degenerative changes in the shoulder joint. Prolonged shoulder discomfort often precedes a tear.
Typical symptoms of a rupture of the biceps tendon
- Sudden, stabbing pain
- Audible “pop”
- Large bruise on the forearm and in the area of the flexor elbow joint
- The biceps muscle pulls back, when tensing it shifts upwards
Therapy in Frankfurt
Injuries to the shoulder and elbow have different effects. In the case of forearm injuries, a major loss of strength in flexion and external rotation of the forearm usually leads to surgical treatment, especially in younger patients. In this case, the tendon is reattached to the attachment on the forearm with the help of suture anchors.
In the case of tendon rupture at the shoulder, the loss of strength is less, and treatment is usually without surgery.
Rupture of the extensor or flexor tendons of the hand
Hand tendon injuries can result in tears, bony avulsions or severances of the affected tendons. Sharp severances of the tendon often occur due to injuries with broken glass or knives. A bony avulsion of the tendon can result from violent bending or extending movements of the fingers. Sometimes a tendon tears even without a direct (sports) accident, for example, due to inflammatory or rheumatic diseases.
Typical symptoms of a tear of the extensor or flexor tendons of the hand
- Restricted movement of the fingers or hand
- Malpositioning of the fingers
Therapy in Frankfurt
A thorough physical examination is crucial in hand tendon injuries, and we pay particular attention to the type and extent of movement restrictions in the fingers. To rule out possible bone injuries, it often requires an X-ray examination.
Treatment options for injured tendons are varied and depend on the type of injury. We can often successfully treat extensor tendon injuries in the front of the fingers with a splint or cast without surgery.
Flexor tendon injuries usually require surgical treatment, which should be performed promptly after the injury to suture the tendon. If treatment is delayed, a tendon graft is sometimes required.
Tear of the quadriceps or patellar tendon at the knee
Both tendons attach to the kneecap (patella). A rupture of the quadriceps tendon is the rupture of the tendon that connects the thigh extensor (quadriceps muscle) to the kneecap. In the case of an affected patellar tendon, the tendon that runs from the lower pole of the kneecap to the lower leg tears. Both tendons are part of the extensor apparatus of the leg and transmit force from your thigh to your lower leg. Tendon rupture usually occurs due to degenerative changes in the tendons. Acutely, it can also be caused by severe muscle strain in a flexed position of the knee joint, and less commonly by direct trauma to the kneecap.
Typical symptoms of a tear of the quadriceps or patellar tendon at the knee
- Loud cracking in the knee
- Swelling soon after
- Restricted ability to walk / running often no longer possible at all
- Reduced strength when stretching the knee joint
- Instability of the knee
- Inability to move the knee
Therapy in Frankfurt
In this case, surgical treatment is usually required. The tendon is either sutured or, in the case of tears close to the bone, reattached to the bone.
Rupture of the Achilles tendon on the foot
The Achilles tendon transmits the force of the calf muscles to the heel bone and allows the movement where you can lower the toe down. This allows you to stand on your toes or push off the ground when running or jumping. Although the Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the human body, it can tear. External trauma is rarely the cause. In most cases, there is a chronic change in the tendon. The tear then occurs due to sudden strain or abrupt stopping.
Typical symptoms of tendon rupture of the Achilles tendon in the foot
- Sudden, whip-like pop
- Sharp pain above the heel and in the calf
- Limited ability to walk
- Therapy in Frankfurt
- First, a careful ultrasound examination of the tendon is performed to determine if the ruptured tendon ends are sufficiently approaching in a pointed foot position. If this is the case, conservative therapy can be performed in a special lower leg boot.
If the tendon ends are too far apart or the tendon is torn directly at the calcaneus, surgery is required.
Also possible: partial tear of a tendon
In a partial tendon tear, the tendon in question is partially, but not completely, torn away from its attachment point to bone or muscle. This type of injury falls between a tendon strain, in which the tendon is overstretched or irritated, and a complete tendon tear, in which the tendon is completely separated.
Causes of a partial tear of a tendon can include acute trauma, overuse or degenerative changes. For example, a sudden fall or heavy load can damage the tendon and cause a partial tear. With repetitive stress or chronic overuse, the tendon may gradually wear down and tear.
Symptoms of a partial tear of a tendon may include pain, swelling and dysfunction in the affected region. The severity of symptoms depends on the degree of the tear.
Treatment can be conservative and includes rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles around the injured tendon.
Other tendon injuries with similar symptoms
There are other tendon injuries or conditions where the tendon is not torn but causes similar symptoms.
- Inflammation of the tendon and tendon sheath.
- Tendon slippage
- Tendon calcification
- Tendon dislocation
- Tendon tissue thickening
You can learn more about the individual tendon diseases here: Tendon injuries Frankfurt
Diagnostics and treatment of tendon ruptures in Frankfurt
It is important to seek medical attention immediately if a tendon tear is suspected. Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the chances of recovery. Untreated tendon tears can lead to long-term dysfunction and complications, so you should take the injury seriously.
At our private practice for orthopedics and traumatology in Frankfurt, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of injuries. We have a state-of-the-art, high-resolution ultrasound as well as a fully digital X-ray machine to examine your tendons. Since we are also experts in the field of sports medicine as well as sports injuries, we are also your perfect contact in Frankfurt for all these issues.
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