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Ruptured Tendon (cont.)

Ruptured Tendon Causes

In general, tendon rupture occurs in a middle-aged or older man. In the young, muscle tissue usually tears before the attached tendon will tear. But in older people and in those with certain diseases (such as gout and hyperparathyroidism), tendon rupture may occur.

  • General causes of tendon rupture
    • Direct trauma
    • Advanced age: As we age, our blood supply decreases. This decreased blood supply to the tendon results in weakness of the affected tendon.
    • Eccentric loading: When your muscle contracts while it is being stretched in the opposite direction, increased stress is placed on the involved tendon.
    • Steroid injection into tendon: This treatment is sometimes used for severe tendonitis.
    • Medications: Quinolone antibiotics, including ciprofloxin (Cipro) and levofloxin (Levaquin), have been associated with tendon ruptures.
  • Quadriceps tendon rupture
    • Direct trauma to the knee just above the patella (kneecap)
    • Advanced age resulting in decreased blood supply to the inside of the tendon
    • Combination of quadriceps contraction and stretching of the muscle (eccentric loading)
  • Achilles tendon
    • Advanced age resulting in decreased blood supply to the inside of the tendon
    • Strenuous physical activity by those who are not well conditioned
    • Direct trauma
    • Unexpected forcing of the sole of your foot upward (dorsiflexion of the ankle) as in landing on your feet after jumping from a height
    • Excessive strain while pushing off with weight-bearing foot
    • Having group O blood type (This is a controversial cause-and-effect relationship.)
  • Rotator cuff tendon rupture (most commonly to the supraspinatus)
    • Lifting a heavy object overhead
    • Direct trauma
    • Attempting to break a fall with an outstretched hand
  • Biceps tendon rupture
    • Forced flexion of the arm
    • Traumatic rupture usually occurs when lifting 150 pounds or more
    • Advanced age resulting in gradual weakening of the tendon
    • May occur spontaneously
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/17/2016

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Patellar Tendon Rupture »

The patellar tendon ruptures relatively infrequently.

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