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Tendinopathy

David N Westerdahl, MD -  - Sports Medicine Physician

Sports Health Northwest, Inc

David N Westerdahl, MD

Sports Medicine Physician & Non-Operative Orthopaedic Specialist located in Portland, OR

Tendons are connective tissue that attaches your muscles to your bones. Two terms, tendonitis and tendinosis are commonly used to describe tendon related pain.  Tendonitis is inflammation of the tendon and is a common condition in athletes and active individuals. Tendinosis is a term describing degenerative changes to a tendon.  Tendinosis may not have inflammation, is common, and can take months to resolve.   Whether you are experiencing tendinopathy in your elbow, your knee, or other areas of your body, David Westerdahl, MD, at Sports Health Northwest, Inc, can provide expert care to heal your tendonitis, ease your pain, and help you get back to your active lifestyle. Call the office located in The Graham Clinic in Portland, Oregon, or book an appointment online today.

Tendinopathy Q & A

What is tendinopathy?

Tendinopathy has two main subcategories.  First, tendinosis which describes chronic tendon pain, degeneration of the tendon collagen, and may not have inflammation.  The second is tendonitis also sometimes spelled tendinitis is usually shorter in duration, associated with inflammation or irritation of a tendon.  Tendonitis most often occurs from overuse but can also develop after an acute injury

Tendons are tough fibrous tissues that attach muscle to bone and support mobility. 

What are the symptoms of tendinopathy?

Pain at the site of your injured tendon is the most common symptom of tendinopathy. The pain may develop gradually or occur suddenly. The discomfort may range from a dull ache to severe pain.

Calcific tendoniitis occurs when you have a buildup of hard calcium deposits in the tendon. This type of tendonitis causes severe pain and most often affects the tendons in the shoulder.

What are the types of tendinopathy?

Tendinopathy may affect any tendon that connects muscle to bone. Dr. Westerdahl treats many types of tendon problems that affect the major joints athletes and active individuals use when playing their sport.

Common types of tendinopathy include:

  • Patella tendonitis (knee pain)
  • Shoulder tendonitis
  • Gluteus medius tendonitis (hip pain)
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Hand and wrist tendinopathy

 

Tendon pain may be acute or chronic. Dr. Westerdahl uses the term tendinopathy for patients with chronic tendon problems. 

How are tendinopathies treated?

Dr. Westerdahl takes a conservative approach to care, using many innovative nonsurgical treatments for tendonitis. He customizes your treatment plan and interventions based on the location of your tendon pain, the severity of your symptoms, and your usual level of activity.

Initially, he may recommend:

  • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE)
  • Activity modification
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing or splinting
  • Interventional procedures

Sports Health Northwest, Inc, also offers minimally invasive treatments for tendinopathy, including:

Percutaneous tenotomy

For chronic tendon pain, Dr. Westerdahl may recommend percutaneous tenotomy. During this minimally invasive procedure, he uses advanced tools and technology to remove the damaged tissue without harming the healthy tissue. 

Ultrasound-guided calcific tendonitis lavage

For calcific tendinopathy, Dr. Westerdahl performs an ultrasound-guided lavage. During the needle-based procedure, he uses fluid to flush out the calcium deposits from the affected tendon. 

The minimally invasive procedure requires little downtime and allows patients to quickly get back to their active lifestyle.

Tendinopathy is a common condition in people who engage in repetitive movements. For expert care of your tendonitis from an experienced sports medicine physician, call Sports Health Northwest, Inc, or schedule an appointment online today.