Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ


I just came back from the doctor's office. I guess I have tendinosis of the Achilles. What is this?


Tendon pain at the elbow, heel, knee, or other tendon was always called tendonitis. Small tears of the tendon would set up an inflammatory response. When the injury doesn't heal before it's injured again, chronic pain can occur. We now know that in chronic cases, there isn't active inflammation. There's a process called tendinosis.

In tendinosis failed healing, not inflammation is the problem. The cells are disorganized. Some of the tissue cells are growing larger called hypertrophy. There's a loss of blood supply to the bundles of tendon cells. There may even be a lack of nutrition to the repair and remodeling cells.

You may also hear the term tendinopathy. This just means tendon injury without describing exactly what's wrong. Tendonitis and tendinosis are two types of tendinosis.

James P. Tasto, M.D., et al. Microtenotomy Using a Radiofrequency Probe to Treat Lateral Epicondylitis. In Arthroscopy. July 2005. Vol. 21. No. 7. Pp. 851-860.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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