Tendons are the fibrous tissue that your body needs to attach muscle to bone. The forces and resistance that is applied to a tendon during its daily usage can be more than 5 times your body weight. Because of this, occasionally tendons can rupture or snap. Some particular conditions that can cause a rupture include certain diseases like gout, or the injection of steroids.
While it’s not common, the rupture of a tendon can cause serious pain and if left untreated, can cause permanent disability to the location the tendon is found. Depending on the location of the tendon rupture, different signs and symptoms will be able to be treated with some sort of medical diagnosis or surgical procedure.
The four most common areas of tendon rupture include quadriceps, Achilles, rotator cuff, and the biceps. When ruptured tendons occur in younger people, the muscle will tear usually before the tendon does. In older people, however, and those inflicted with certain diseases like gout and hyperparathyroidism, tendon rupture is a common issue.
General causes of tendon rupture include direct trauma, as well as the aging process. While we age in life, our supply of blood decreases. This decrease in blood supply results in the weakness of the affected tendon. Other reasons for having a ruptured tendon can include eccentric loading, which means the muscle contracts while it’s being stretched in the opposite direction. This causes increased stress on the tendon involved.
Finally, steroid injection into the tendon often results in ruptures. This treatment can commonly be used for a severe case of tendonitis.
If you hear a snap or pop, you should call a doctor immediately. Additionally, if you feel rapid or immediate bruising after you have an accident, or are unable to use your affected arm or leg. This can all be signs of a tendon rupture.