Scientists explain tendon damage that leads to bunions

A team of researchers at Brown University have found that tendons act as shock absorbers in the joints. 

Scientists explain tendon damage that leads to bunions Bunions are a deformity caused by a misalignment of ligaments, tendons and other connective tissues at the metatarsophalangeal joint, which is the base of the big toe. Brown University researchers conducted a study which may shed some light on how the condition develops as a result of repeated impact. 

In order to reach their conclusions, the scientists looked at turkey legs and how shock is absorbed when the birds trot, as their muscle and tendon structure resemble that of a human.

They found that tendons act as a main shock absorber, which may explain tendon damage in people who engage in high impact sports.

"Something has to take up the slack, and it falls to the tendon," said lead author Nicolai Konow.

The researchers noted that tendons are typically resilient enough to handle repeated impact. However, as bunion sufferers may already know, not all feet are created equal.

Bunion splints or orthotics may help give tendons at the big toe joint some time to heal, as they have been known to take pressure off the metatarsophalangeal area. 


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