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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

Disorders of Tendons

By Stephen B. Adams, DVM, MS, DACVS, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University

Tendons act as bridging and attachment structures for the muscles; some bridge long gaps between the muscle bellies and target bone and, therefore, are prone to injury themselves, especially because they are often loaded to the extreme and are only minimally capable of elastic elongation. A prime example is the superficial flexor tendon of horses, which is frequently injured by partial tearing that leads to tendinitis. Another acquired injury of tendons involves traumatic disruptions. Because of the relatively poor blood supply of both tendons and ligaments, healing is always prolonged with inelastic scar tissue, and the injured tendon never returns to its original strength. Therefore, management of tendon and ligament injuries requires patience with conservative longterm rehabilitation. Reinjury is common.