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      Tendon and Ligament Tears

      Tendon and Ligament Tears

      Tendon vs. Ligament

      Tendon and Ligament Tears

      First, a bit of anatomy. Tendons connect muscles to bones. Ligaments connect bones to bones.

      Tendon and Ligament Injuries

      Significant injuries to tendons and ligaments will often result in a loss of function or stability with regard to nearby joints. For example, a loss of the continuity of the rotator cuff tendons around the shoulder will result in the loss of motion and strength in the upper arm and a loss of the continuity of the quadriceps tendon about the knee will result in the loss of motion, stability and strength of the leg.

      Additionally, a loss of continuity of the stabilizing ligaments around the knee or ankle, while rarely impairing motion or strength, can result in significant instability, making it difficult to engage in any type of sports activities, occasionally interfering with simple ambulation.

      Diagnosis and Treatment

      Diagnosis of tendon and ligament tears usually requires an MRI evaluation. Fortunately, many of these injuries can be managed conservatively with a brace and physical therapy. Occasionally, these injuries require operative intervention to restore improved function.

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