The Sports Doctor: Tenosynovitis a problem across sports
Tenosynovitis is the inflammation of a fluid-filled sheath (called synovium) that surrounds a tendon. The symptoms of tenosynovitis include pain and swelling with difficulty in range of motion of a joint where the inflammation is present. This condition may involve the tendon with mild involvement in the joint.
The diagnosis is made upon physical examination of that area. This condition is experienced in a variety of sports.
In running tenosynovitis can cause plantar fasciitis or tendonitis. Running shoes should provide shock absorption for high-impact to help avoid injury. Replace running shoes after 600-800 miles of running or walking, especially if used in the rain, which dries the rubber and causes it to become hard.
In baseball it causes sprains and tendonitis with involvement of the metatarsal toe joint. It can lead to stress fractures. Utilize multi-cleats for children ages 11-15 to avoid heel pain. Under the age of 11 years use nonmetal cleats, rubber instead.
In tennis, basketball and volleyball, it can cause sprained ankles, Achilles tendonitis and forefoot joint pain. Utilize a thick stiff sole that provides support for impact. In basketball, high top shoes will provide support in the ankle for fast changes in position.
In football and lacrosse, tenosynovitis causes Achilles tendonitis, turf toe, ankle sprains and forefoot sprains. Protect the ankle with high top support. This is important for players who make quick lateral or side-to-side turns. Utilize properly cleated shoes for traction on grass fields, especially in wet conditions.
In soccer tenosynovitis can cause ankle sprains, turf toe ingrown toenails, Sever’s Disease (heel growth plate injury in younger players 8-15 years old). Utilize good arch support in the soccer shoe for different foot types. Take into consideration the type of turf played on. Rubber cleats are molded and are favored over the screw-on type.
Often it is important to match your foot’s arch type (high, medium or low) with a customized shoe insert (orthotic) that may help avoid tenosynovitis and pain.