Tendons are like cords that connect muscles to bones, allowing us to move our joints. But when they get inflamed due to overuse or injury, it can lead to a condition called tendonitis.
While rest, ice, and physical therapy can usually help manage tendonitis, sometimes surgery may be necessary.
Let’s discuss tendonitis, treatment options for tendonitis, when tendonitis surgery is necessary, and what to expect if you do undergo the procedure.
What is Tendonitis?
When it comes to musculoskeletal issues, tendonitis is a common condition that many people encounter. Tendonitis commonly occurs in areas where tendons are subjected to repetitive motions or excessive stress. Common areas include the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles.
When a tendon becomes inflamed, it can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area. The pain is often worse during movement or when pressure is applied to the tendon.
The most common causes of tendonitis include repetitive motions, overuse of a particular joint or muscle, sudden injuries, and age-related degeneration. Athletes, individuals involved in manual labor, and those with certain medical conditions are more prone to developing tendonitis.
To diagnose tendonitis, your orthopedic doctor will likely perform a physical exam and review your medical history. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, or ultrasounds, may also be ordered to check for any structural damage.
Treatment Options for Tendonitis: When Surgery Is Necessary?
Treatment for tendonitis typically involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), along with over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy exercises, stretching, and strengthening may be recommended to promote healing and prevent future episodes.
In some cases, corticosteroid injections or other forms of medical intervention may be necessary if conservative measures do not provide sufficient relief.
Tendonitis surgery is typically considered when conservative treatments have failed to provide adequate relief, and the individual continues to experience persistent pain or significant loss of function. Some situations where surgery may be necessary include:
- Severe Tendon Damage: If the tendon is severely damaged, such as a complete tear or rupture, surgery may be required to repair or reattach the tendon.
- Chronic Tendonitis: In cases where tendonitis persists for an extended period, despite non-surgical treatments, surgery might be recommended to address the underlying issue and promote healing.
- Recurrent Tendonitis: If an individual experiences recurrent episodes of tendonitis that significantly impact their quality of life, surgery may be considered to prevent further occurrences and provide long-term relief.
- Occupational or Athletic Requirements: For individuals whose occupation or participation in sports relies heavily on the use of the affected tendon, surgery may be necessary to restore optimal function and minimize the risk of future injuries.
It’s important to note that the decision for tendonitis surgery is made on a case-by-case basis, considering the severity of symptoms, overall health, and individual goals.
There are several types of tendonitis surgery, depending on the location and severity of your tendonitis. Common procedures include:
- Tendon Repair: If the tendon is torn or ruptured, the surgeon will reattach or repair it using sutures, anchors, or other surgical techniques.
- Debridement: In cases where there is significant inflammation or damage to the tendon, the surgeon may perform a debridement procedure to remove damaged tissue and promote healing.
Additionally, several surgical techniques can be employed depending on your unique condition. These include open tendon repair, arthroscopic tendon repair, and microscopic tendonitis surgery.
In open tendon repair, an incision is made in the skin over the affected tendon, and the damaged tissue is removed. Arthroscopic tendon repair uses a small camera and surgical tools inserted through tiny incisions in the skin to repair the tendon. Microscopic tendonitis surgery is a less invasive technique where an endoscope and small surgical tools are used to repair the tendon.
What to Expect from Tendonitis Surgery
Tendonitis surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis, so you should be able to go home the same day. Before the surgery, you will be given general anesthesia to numb the area and prevent you from feeling any pain during the procedure.
Your surgeon may make small incisions around the affected area to repair the damaged tendons. They may also remove the bone spur or other tissues. Once the procedure is complete, you will be bandaged and may need to wear a splint or brace to keep the area immobilized.
After the surgery, you will need to rest and allow the area to heal. Your surgeon may prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort or pain you may experience. You may need to keep the area immobilized for several weeks, depending on the severity of the injury.
Physical therapy may be necessary to help you regain strength and mobility in the affected area. It is important to follow your orthopedic surgeon’s recommendations and attend all follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing.
Potential Risks of Tendinitis Surgery
As with any surgery, there are potential risks associated with tendonitis surgery. These may include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and scarring. It is important to discuss these risks of tendonitis surgery with your orthopedic surgeon before undergoing the procedure.
Tendonitis Treatment Near Me in San Antonio, TX
Tendonitis surgery is not always necessary, but when it is, it can be an effective solution for repairing damaged tendons and restoring mobility. If you are experiencing pain or inflammation in any of your tendons, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible from an orthopedic surgeon.
At the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, we have a team of highly trained and compassionate orthopedic surgeons who perform comprehensive assessments to recommend the best course of treatment for your condition, which may involve non-surgical options or tendonitis surgery. Our orthopedic surgeon uses advanced techniques and procedures to perform tendonitis surgery so you can get back to your daily routine faster.
To know more about us or schedule a consultation with one of our providers, contact our friendly staff today at (210) 692-7400 or use our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!