Bursitis and Tendonitis

Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, the fluid-filled sac near the joint where the tendons and muscles pass over the bone. The bursa assists with movement by reducing friction between joints. Tendonitis (also known as tendinitis) is an inflammation

of the tendon or, more specifically, the fibrous sheath that attaches muscle to bone. Tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the tendon sheath.

Repetitive overuse of a tendon can cause cellular changes in the tissues. Specifically, collagenous tendon tissue is replaced with tissue that lacks the longitudinal struc-

ture of a normal tendon. As a result; the tendon progressively loses elasticity and its ability to handle stress or weight. This makes the tendon vulnerable to rupture or inflammation (tendonitis and tenosynovitis).

Repeated use also can cause degradation of collagen. In fact, many patients diagnosed with chronic tendonitis may not have inflammation but instead have tendin-osis, a condition marked by these collagen changes. Overuse of a joint also can result in an inflamed bursa. Since the bursa serves to reduce friction within the joint space, bursitis causes stiffness and pain.

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