Tendon Ruptures

Acute or Chronic Tendon Ruptures

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of tendon rupture include: Tearing or popping sound at the time of the injury, pain or tenderness in the area of the ruptured tendon, weakness or stiffness in the injured area, swelling, bruising and trouble walking or moving the area where the tendon rupture occurred.

A tendon is the fibrous tissue that attaches your muscle to bone. The forces applied to a tendon may be more than 5 times your body weight. In some rare instances, tendons can snap or rupture. These tears may occur in end to end or in lengthwise directions. Conditions that make a rupture more likely include age between 30-50, male gender, sports participation, chronic tendinitis, obesity, the injection of steroids into a tendon, fluoroquinolone antibiotics (e.g. Levaquin, Ciprofloxacin), certain diseases (such as gout or hyperparathyroidism), and having type O blood.

Initial conservative management of a tendon rupture may include the following: 

  • Rest the injured tendon until pain and swelling have decreased. 
  • Seek advice from a healthcare professional on what activities you can do while your tendon heals.
  • Alternate heat & ice on your tendon for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for 48 hours or as directed. 
  • Compress the injury with an elastic bandage, air cast, medical boot, or splint to reduce swelling. 
  • Elevate the injured area above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain.

You should see a healthcare professional when: 

  • Symptoms do not get better with treatment; 
  • Function is impaired in the foot;
  • Walking is impacted; and,
  • The tendon continues to pop or crack. 

Your provider will perform a thorough history and physical. Deficits in the function or strength of the tendon may raise suspicion of the injury. 

Imaging will give a greater evaluation of how serious the injury may be:

  • X-rays can show if the tendon has completely separated from the bone. 
  • An MRI of your tendon can show the extent of the damage. 
  • An Ultrasound may show a tear in the tendon.

Treatment of a partial tendon rupture may involve a splint, brace or cast to limit motion of a limb. Crutches, wheelchairs or a knee scooter may be necessary to reduce weight bearing on the injured limb. These measures may reduce further injury to the tendon. NSAIDs/Acetaminophen/Opioids may be necessary to manage pain related to the tear.

Now, Regenerative Medicine procedures are replacing surgery as an alternative for partial tendon tears.

The aim of using regenerative medicine is to support your body’s self-healing processes, reverse disease progression and suppress inflammatory reactions that can worsen pain, leading to symptom relief and recovery of function. We utilize regenerative medicine procedures including patients’ stem cells to repair the tendon naturally. Stem cells exist in high concentrations in bone marrow which can be aspirated with minimal discomfort, and then injected into the affected area often.

Platelet rich plasma has a high concentration of growth factors that activate the stem cells and prompt them to produce additional growth factors and anti-inflammatory cytokines, thereby promoting healing and regenerating. Stem cells will begin to heal the injury by stimulating cellular proliferation and local repair processes, and by reducing inflammation, resulting in pain relief and improved function.

Physical therapy may be recommended after swelling and pain have decreased. A Physical Therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement, range of motion and strength. If the injury is a complete rupture or there are associated fractures, surgery may be recommended.

Enjoy life again without pain or surgery. Find out if you are eligible for our treatments

Is Stem Cell Therapy
Right For You?

Although Stem Cell Therapy is considered by some people to be experimental, various research studies show that regenerative stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma injections can provide excellent relief from joint and musculoskeletal pain and ongoing inflammation