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First Aid & Emergencies

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Tendon Injury (Tendinopathy) - Treatment Overview

Treatment for tendinopathies continued...

If these steps do not help to relieve pain, other treatment may be considered. Your doctor may:

  • Prescribe physical therapy.
  • Use a corticosteroid injection to relieve pain and swelling. But corticosteroid treatments usually are not repeated because of the potential for tendon damage.
  • Prescribe a brace, splint, sling, or crutches for a brief period to allow tendons to rest and heal.
  • Recommend a cast to rest and heal a badly damaged tendon. Casting or surgery is typically used to treat a ruptured tendon.

Medical researchers continue to study new ways to treat tendon injuries. Talk to your doctor if you are interested in experimental treatments. Some of the treatments being studied include:

  • Nitric oxide and glyceryl trinitrate, applied topically (to the skin) over the injury.
  • Ultrasonic, or shock, waves directed at the injured tendon (shock wave therapy) for pain caused by calcific tendinitis (calcium built up in the tendons). For more information, see the topic Calcium Deposits and Tendinitis (Calcific Tendinitis).
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP). In this procedure blood is drawn from the patient, spun at high speeds to separate the blood cells called platelets, and then the platelets are injected back into the body at the injury site.

Arthroscopic surgery or open surgery (using one larger incision) is sometimes used to treat calcific tendinitis that has not responded to nonsurgical treatment and is causing pain.1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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