The Basics of Ruptured Tendons
Tendons are the fibrous tissue that your body needs to attach muscle to bone. The forces and resistance that is applied to a tendon during its daily usage can be more than 5 times your body weight. Because of this, occasionally tendons can rupture or snap. Some particular conditions that can cause a rupture or snap more likely include certain diseases like gout, having type O blood, or the injection of steroids.
While it’s not common, the rupture of a tendon can cause serious pain and if left untreated, can cause permanent disability of the particular area the tendon is located in. Depending on the location of the tendon rupture, different signs and symptoms will be able to be treated with some sort of medical diagnosis or surgical procedure.
The four most common areas of tendon rupture include quadriceps, Achilles, rotator cuff, and the biceps. Generally, tendon rupture happens in order men or those middle-aged. When ruptured tendons occur in younger people, the muscle will tear usually before the tendon does. In older people, however, and those inflicted with certain disease like gout and hyperparathyroidism tendon rupture is a common result.
General causes of tendon rupture include direct trauma, as well as the aging process. While we age in life, our supply of blood decreases. This decrease in blood supply results in the weakness of the affected tendon. Other reasons of ruptured tendons can include eccentric loading, which basically means the muscle contracts while it’s being stretched in the opposite direction. This causes increased stress on the tendon involved.
Finally, steroid injection into the tendon often results in rupture. This treatment can commonly be used for a severe case of tendonitis.
If you hear a snap or a pop, you should call a doctor immediately. Additionally, if you feel rapid or immediate bruising after you have an accident, or are unable to use your affected arm or leg. This can call be signs of a tendon rupture.
A visit to a hospital’s emergency department may be necessary when an injury occurs that can produce a severe pain and/or comes with a pop or snap. Other crucial symptoms that may require you to take a trip to the emergency room include weakness and the ability to move the involved area, the inability to handle weight, or visible physical deformity in the area.
The most common type of rupture is achilles tendon. Check out our achilles tendonitis page for details on how to diagnose, treat and cure tendonitis pain in the achilles tendon.