Tendinitis is a medical condition categorized by inflammation of one of the tendons in your body. When this tendon inflammation also irritates the protective sheath that covers the tendon, the condition is known as tenosynovitis. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at tenosynovitis, particularly as it affects your Achilles tendon.
Tenosynovitis Of The Achilles
Tenosynovitis can develop in any tendon in the body, but it most commonly affects tendons that are regularly used and overstressed. Common locations for it to develop include the Achilles, wrists, hands, knees and shoulders. The root cause is excessive inflammation in the tendon, which is typically caused by overuse, direct injury, tendon strain, or the presence of an infection or disease that results in an inflammatory response in the affected area.
Symptoms of tenosynovitis include:
Limited movement in the area
Pain and tenderness in the area
Increased pain when moving the area.
Redness or a warm sensation
Diagnosing and Treating Tenosynovitis Of The Achilles
Because inflammation does not reveal itself well on an X-ray, and with a goal in mind to help keep patient costs down, tenosynovitis is oftentimes diagnosed with a physical exam and by talking with the patient about their symptoms. A foot specialist will exam your Achilles and ask you to perform some simple movement tests. If they suspect you may have partially torn your Achilles, they will order imaging tests, but if they believe the discomfort is likely due to tendonitis or tenosynovitis, they’ll walk you through some conservative techniques for treating the condition.
Treatment is aimed at reducing pain and calming inflammation and irritation. Short term rest is one of the main ways that tenosynovitis is treated, but that doesn’t mean you should just stop activities altogether. Eliminate strenuous activities, but controlled movements help to strengthen the area. Alongside rest, consider a combination of heat or cold therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and targeted physical therapy. For conditions caused by an infection, antibiotics will be ordered.
In rare instances, surgery may be required to remove the inflammation or debride the area should an infection be causing problems. However, most people recover fully with non-operative treatments.
Left untreated, tenosynovitis can restrict tendon movement, which can lead to strains or tendon rupture. An Achilles rupture will likely need corrective surgery and make it difficult for you to move around for months, so reduce your risk of significant injury by treating your tenosynovitis because it causes bigger problems. For more information, or to talk to a foot specialist about your Achilles discomfort, reach out to Dr. Silverman’s office today.