Tendon pathology

Last revised by Maulik S Patel on 17 Jan 2022

A number of processes can cause tendon pathology and there is a discrepancy in terminology reflecting the unclear pathophysiology. 


  • tendinopathy: general umbrella term for pain and swelling of a tendon 2,3
  • tendinitis
  • tendinosis
    • chronic tendon injury with cellular-level damage 2
    • some authors specifically define it as tendinopathy of the mid-tendon 3
  • tenosynovitis: pain and swelling affecting a fully-developed tendon sheath +/- tendinosis 3
  • paratenonitis/peritendinitis/paratendinopathy: inflammation of the paratenon +/- tendinosis 3
  • tendon entrapment
  • tendon rupture
  • tendon instability (subluxation and dislocation)


Tendon pathology can be:

  • degenerative
  • traumatic, e.g. acute ruptures, lacerations

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