Ruptured Tendons in Anabolic Steroid Users

Steroid Use in Bodybuilders may lead to Ruptured TendonsSteroid use is more frequent with the intense level of competition in today’s sports. For bodybuilders, the consumption of steroids allows these individuals to grow their existing muscles in size. These types of drugs help bodybuilders burn fat, gain muscle and achieve a desired body appearance for competition.

While steroid use is illegal without a doctor’s prescription, many athletes including bodybuilders are beginning to use steroids more frequently than ever before.

Common Types of Steroids Used by Some Athletes

Because of the very serious health risks involved, it’s very important for athletes and coaches to understand the physiological impact of taking steroids. There are four common types of steroids that athletes and other individuals take to strengthen and build muscles. These include:

  1. Testosterone
  2. Anabolic steroids
  3. Human Growth Hormone (HGH), and
  4. Insulin.

The types of steroids listed above produce different results and come with different side effects. All of these drugs should NOT be taken without your physician’s approval. Steroids are dangerous to individuals that abuse them.

Research on Bodybuilders and Anabolic Steroid Usage Finds Risk of Ruptured Tendons

While these different types of drugs are illegal and often result in bad side effects, it is important to address the impact of these drugs. A recent study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in October 2015 found that bodybuilders saw an increase in ruptured tendons while using anabolic steroids. Dr. Gen Kanayama studied 142 bodybuilders to determine the impact of steroid use in these individuals.

This group of bodybuilders were divided into two groups. They had 88 athletes that had been on the steroids for at least two years, and 54 athletes that had no history of any steroid use. What they found was quite interesting. They found that the anabolic-androgenic steroid users had a 22 percent incidence of tendon ruptures compared to only 6 percent with a non-steroid bodybuilders. The non-steroid bodybuilders tendon ruptures were in the lower extremities involving the knee or the ankle. They found that the only athletes that sustained upper extremity tendon ruptures were the bodybuilders that were taking anabolic steroids.

Overall, there was a higher incidence of tendon ruptures among steroid users. In contrast, non steroid body builders had a much lower incidence of tendon ruptures. Seventeen percent out of the 22 percent of tendon ruptures were in the upper extremity for the steroid bodybuilders. And there were no tears in the upper extremity for the non-steroid bodybuilders.

This study underscores the fact that steroid use impacts individuals on the inside, rather than just on the outside. While athletes take steroids to bulk up and gain muscle, these drugs can cause debilitating injuries including ruptured tendons. If you or someone you know is taking illegal steroids in order to gain muscle or improve their physical fitness, there tend to be more health risks than benefits. It is important to talk to your physician about steroid use to keep your body healthy.

For more information about this study, or to get help from a board certified sports medicine doctor, call Dr. Grossfeld’s office today to schedule an appointment and get help.