Tendons are the tough fibers that connect muscle to bone. For example, the Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Most tendon injuries occur near joints, such as the shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle. A tendon injury may seem to happen suddenly, but usually it is the result of many tiny tears to the tendon that have happened over time.
Doctors may use different terms to describe a tendon injury. You may hear:
Most experts now use the term tendinopathy to include both inflammation and microtears. But for many years most tendon problems were called "tendinitis." Many doctors still use this familiar word to describe a tendon injury.