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Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons - connective tissues that attach your muscles to your bones.
Tendons enable you to move your joints, working like rubber bands that contract and release so you can flex and bend your body. Irritation or injury to a tendon can cause inflammation and lead to tendonitis.
Tendonitis can affect any tendon in your body, but the Achilles tendon that goes from your heel up the back of your leg is the one most likely to be affected by tendonitis.
Tendonitis typically develops when something you do causes the tendon to come under excessive pressure. Many things can put undue pressure on your Achilles tendon, including:
Some people are born with short tendons or flat feet, both of which make you more likely to develop tendonitis. It can also affect young people when they’re having a growth spurt or older people because of the loss of elasticity that comes with age.
Achilles tendonitis occurs when the fibers in the tendon tear, which often happens in gradual stages as lots of tiny tears lead to a weakening of the tissue. You can also get adhesions between your Achilles tendon and the paratenon sleeve that surrounds it, which means the tissues get stuck together.
Treatment for tendonitis focuses on reducing pain and inflammation. Most importantly, if you feel pain in your ankle that could be Achilles tendonitis, use appropriate first aid.
You need to rest the injury, use an ice pack or cold compress to ease the inflammation, put a compression bandage on your ankle, and raise your leg above the level of your heart to minimize swelling and encourage proper blood flow.
You might need to take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) if you feel particularly uncomfortable. Massage, gentle stretching exercises, and using footwear that supports your ankle can all help, too.
Dr. Cancelliere’s treatment starts with finding the best way to relieve pressure from your ankle. Potential methods of achieving this include:
You might also need steroid injections to reduce tissue inflammation and pain.
Going forward, physical therapy is vital to successful recovery from tendonitis. Your treatment program for rehabilitation from tendonitis could include:
Dr. Cancelliere can also use regenerative medicine treatments such as stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. These injectable treatments work by stimulating your body’s natural healing abilities, promoting the growth of new tissue to replace the damaged parts of the tendon.
Surgery for tendonitis is only considered if conservative approaches don’t provide a solution. Dr. Cancelliere is a highly skilled foot and ankle surgeon and can usually carry out tendon repair procedures using minimally invasive surgical techniques.
To get the best treatment for your tendonitis, call one of our office locations in either Somerville, Massachusetts, or Londonderry, New Hampshire today, or book an appointment online.