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Understanding tendinopathies
  1. G A Murrell
  1. Orthopaedic Research Institute, St George Hospital, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Murrell, Research and Education Center, 4–10 South St, Kogarah, Sydney, NSW 2217, Australia;

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Is apoptosis the heart of the problem?

One of the “banes” of most health professionals who look after athletes and workers is tendinopathies. What causes them? What gets them better? Recently there have been several advances that may contribute to our understanding of these disorders.

We all know that tendinopathies occur in the tendinous portion of musculotendinous units that cross joints, often two joints—for example, the extensor carpi radialis brevis in tennis elbow, the patellar tendon in jumpers knee—and that they occur in situations of repetitive, high, often eccentric loading. The classic pathology is a loss of the normal collagenous architecture and replacement with an amorphous mucinous material that lacks the parallel, longitudinal architecture of normal tendon.1 Soslowsky et al2 made a major advance when they developed an animal model that could reproduce many …

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