Acute and Chronic Tendon Injuries: Factors Affecting the Healing Response and Treatment

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Michelle A. Sandrey
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Tendons have biomechanical properties based on collaborative remodeling of all their cells through normal lysis and synthesis. This review assesses factors that affect the healing response and presents solutions for rehabilitating acute and chronic tendon injuries.

Data Sources:

MEDLINE (1970–2002) and SPORTDiscus (1970–2002). Key words searched were tendon, tendinitis, tendinosis, tendinopathy, rehabilitation, ultrasound, NSAIDs, exercise, mobilization, aging, immobilization, and healing.

Data Synthesis:

The biomechanical roles tendons play change throughout one’s lifetime and are influenced by maturation and aging, injury and healing, immobilization, exercise, medications, and therapeutic modalities. Suggestions from animal, case, and clinical studies are varied but provide solutions in the treatment of acute and chronic tendon injuries.

Conclusions and Recommendations:

All factors that affect the tendon structure should be considered in a rehabilitation program. Therapeutic exercise, medications, or therapeutic modalities should never be used as a stand-alone therapy.

The author is with the School of Physical Education, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26505-6116.

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