Tendinitis and Tendon Injuries: How It's Diagnosed?

How is it diagnosed?

Tendons are flexible bands of thick tissue that connect your muscles to bones.
Tendons are flexible bands of thick tissue that connect your muscles to bones.

Your orthopedic doctor may ask you about the details of the injury, history, and initiation of pain and physically examine your affected leg or hand for 

  • Inflammation at the joint and surrounding.
  • Tenderness of the tendon and sheath at a specific point on the tendon.
  • The resistance of the muscle by examining the occurrence of pain.
  • Similar problems such as bursitis (inflammation of the small sac acts as a cushion between the joint) or gout (uric acid crystals around the joint).

To check the thickness of the tendon, dislocations, and tears, the doctor may order

If your doctor is suspecting any infection, they may order a blood test. You may need to repeat imaging and blood tests if the problem recurs and does not recover fully. If you have redness and swelling with warmth at the joint, you may have bursitis. Then your doctor may take a sample of the joint fluid by inserting a needle and send it for a laboratory test.

What is tendinitis?

Tendons are flexible bands of thick tissue that connect your muscles to bones. They help to move the muscles or bones of your shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle joints.

Repeated injury to these tendons may result in redness, swelling, soreness, and pain (inflammation) around your joint called “tendinitis or tendonitis.” It is also called “overuse tendinopathy.”

What are the symptoms of tendinitis?

If you have tendinitis you may

  • Experience redness, swelling, and pain at the site of the tendon or surrounding area.
  • Be unable to move the body part or joint where the tendon is swollen.

You must seek medical help if you are having pain, redness, and swelling that worsen rapidly.

What are the causes of tendinitis?

Causes include:

  • Repetitive, minor trauma on the affected area or from a sudden but severe injury during certain activities such as gardening, raking, throwing pitching, tennis, golf, or skiing
  • Sitting or standing for a long time in an incorrect posture at work or home or exercising or playing sports in an incorrect posture
  • Insufficient warming exercises before starting weight-lifting or sports activity
  • Certain defects since birth in the bone or joints such as length differences in the legs
  • Certain joints or hormonal diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, and thyroid disorders
  • Unusual side effects of certain drugs
  • Over-exercising or exercising too hard
  • Certain infections such as infections from a cat or dog bite to the hand or a finger


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WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/understanding-tendinitis-treatment

American College of Rheumatology: "Tendinitis and Bursitis." https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Tendinitis-Bursitis

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "What Are Bursitis and Tendinitis?" https://www.chcrr.org/health-topic/tendinitis/