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Tendinopathy and osteoarthritis: a chance to kill two birds with one stone
  1. Robert-Jan de Vos1,
  2. Gerjo JVM van Osch1,2,
  3. Sita M A Bierma-Zeinstra1,3,
  4. Jan AN Verhaar1
  1. 1 Department of Orthopaedics, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3 Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert-Jan de Vos, Department of Orthopaedics and sports medicine, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 2040, Rotterdam 3000 CA, The Netherlands; r.devos{at}

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Tendinopathy and idiopathic osteoarthritis (OA) are prevalent in middle-aged active individuals and represent a significant disease burden. Both disorders are associated with overloading of musculoskeletal tissues and both respond well to mechanotherapy. Other shared risk factors include genetic predisposition, obesity and specific age.1 ,2 Both disorders have a multifactorial pathogenesis.

Tendon and cartilage both consist of an extracellular matrix with mainly collagen (type I and II respectively), proteoglycans and sparse distribution of specialised cells. The key histopathological feature of tendinopathy and OA is extracellular matrix degeneration. The 2015 study on tendon structural changes in patients with diabetes in BJSM by de Jonge et al 3 points to similarities between tendinopathy and OA, which we frequently notice in our collaborative tendon and OA research group. These similarities between degenerative tendinopathy and OA may have clinical implications. Below, we would like to display some examples.

Can knowledge about tendons help us better understand OA or vice versa?

Role of advanced glycation end products

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) accumulate in connective tissues of patients with type 2 diabetes. De Jonge et al 3 showed more tendon structure disorganisation in individuals with …

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  • Contributors R-JdV prepared the first draft of the paper. GJVMvO, SMAB-Z and JANV revised the paper.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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