By: Jason Neufeld

The elbow and heel/ankle joints are common places where tendons are injured. After personal injuries such as the sudden impact of an auto accident or slip and fall / trip and fall may cause ankles to twist or rotate in a way that causes a tendon injury. Crushing injuries (i.e. falling objects) may cause tendon injuries as well.

Tendons are the fibers that connect your muscles to your bones – and when you are moving, they are under constant stress. When you engage in particularly stressful movements, tendons may become injured. The likelihood of this happening increases as we get older and (other than acute/traumatic personal injury incidences such as the one’s described above) doctors have never really fully understood the biological mechanism behind this phenomenon.

Natural Non-Personal-Injury Related Tendon-Injury Study

A research team from England’s Queen Mary University published a study on horse cadavers (they are also susceptible to tendon injuries) in January 2014. The QMU researchers discovered that fascicles (the bundle of fibers that make up tendons) are coiled. Much like a spring – this is what lets tendons to elongate and then quickly recover. Also – much like a spring – after many thousands of times being stretched out, they do not recover as well as before, increasing the likelihood of injury.

This study is a good first step paving the way for researchers to develop better and more comprehensive treatment programs – or preventative recommendations.

Vehicle Extraction Techniques May Be Outdated

The Emergency Medical Journal (January 2014) has published updates regarding ongoing project analyzing first-responder techniques used, all around the world, to extract a trapped car-accident victims – to see which ones minimize aggravating or causing spine injuries. The study is premised on the idea that immobilization techniques are not always evidence based; and that extraction protocols must vary depending on the circumstances. For example: the study found that in certain cases, car accident victims would be better served responding to verbal commands as opposed to passively waiting for first-responders to extract them using more-complicated-than-necessary extraction hardware.

This collaborative and international study is still in its early stages. Phase II will commence later in 2014.