Histopathological findings in spontaneous tendon ruptures

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1997 Apr;7(2):113-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.1997.tb00127.x.


A spontaneous rupture of a tendon may be defined as a rupture that occurs during movement and activity, that should not and usually does not damage the involved musculotendinous units (1). Spontaneous tendon ruptures were uncommon before the 1950s. Böhler found only 25 Achilles tendon ruptures in Wien between 1925 and 1948 (2). Mösender & Klatnek treated 20 Achilles tendon ruptures between 1953 and 1956, but 105 ruptures between 1964 and 1967 (3). Lawrence et al. found only 31 Achilles tendon ruptures in Boston during a period of 55 years (1900-1954) (4). During the recent decades tendon ruptures have, however, become relatively common in developed countries, especially in Europe and North America. A high incidence of tendon ruptures has been reported in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany. Hungary, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA; somewhat lower incidences have been reported in Canada, France, Great Britain and Spain. On the other hand, Greece, Japan, the Netherlands and Portugal have reported a clearly lower incidence. Interestingly, Achilles tendon ruptures are a rarity in developing countries, especially in Africa and East-Asia (5). In many developed countries, the increases in the rupture incidence have been dramatic. In the National Institute of Traumatology in Budapest, Hungary, the number of patients with an Achilles tendon rupture increased 285% in men and 500% in women between two successive 7-year periods, 1972-1978 and 1979-1985 (5).

MeSH terms

  • Calcinosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Incidence
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Male
  • Muscular Diseases / pathology*
  • Rupture, Spontaneous
  • Tendon Injuries / pathology*
  • Tendons / blood supply
  • Tendons / pathology