Tendinopathies in the upper extremity: a paradigm shift

J Hand Ther. 2004 Jul-Sep;17(3):329-34. doi: 10.1197/j.jht.2004.04.002.


Epicondylitis and de Quervain's tenosynovitis are two common diagnoses seen by hand therapists in clinical practice. Traditionally, these conditions have been viewed as being due to an inflammatory process and treated as such. New research shows that tendons exhibit areas of degeneration and a distinct lack of inflammatory cells. Tendinosis is degeneration of the collagen tissue due to aging, microtrauma, or vascular compromise. This article reviews key literature related to tendinopathies in the lower extremity and comments on the dearth of similar articles for the elbow and forearm. Hand therapists are encouraged to embrace this new terminology and to engage in research in this difficult area to improve treatment regimens and outcome measures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Microscopy
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Tendons / anatomy & histology*
  • Tennis Elbow / pathology*
  • Tenosynovitis / pathology*