Tendonitis, epicondylitis, and overuse syndromes are soft tissue injuries that most commonly occur from sports injuries, repetitive use or direct trauma. Whenever medicine adds the ending “itis” to a word, it implies inflammation as the underlying source of the problem. While this is a good assumption, it is not always true.
Microtrauma, resulting in direct tissue damage such as tearing of the attachment of a tendon to bone, can be associated with swelling in the absence of inflammation. This condition is properly referred to as a tendonosis. Since a tendonosis is similar in clinical presentation to an “itis,” these conditions are frequently spoken of together and referred to as overuse syndromes.