What has research taught us in the last 10 years

A look at some of the MSK injuries we thought we had cast-in-stone knowledge of, absolutely confident in the stories we told and the treatments we offered, only to have our fleeting confidence shattered by that most savage of beasts, research.

To that end, I shall discuss 2 injuries whose treatment I believe has been fundamentally changed by research in the past 10 years. At least one of these has changed back to the original thought processes, at least partially. So, let’s take a look at them one by one.

First up, Achilles tendonitis.

I pick this first, because it has had an influence on the other condition I shall discuss, and because the way we view this condition has changed in more than one context.

First, we no longer call it Achilles tendonitis, this primarily because eminent sports physician and researcher Karim Khan 1 pleaded with readers of the BJM to “accept the irrefutable evidence that the term tendinitis must be abandoned to highlight a new perspective on tendon disorders”.

Now, at the time of the Editorial it was necessary for a strong message to be sent that chronic tendinopathy had a different aetiology to inflammatory conditions such as RA, and to emphasise that traditional strategies such as corticosteroid injection and NSAIDs do not adequately address the pathology.

Simon Bartold
Director of Bartold Clinical