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Tendon Rupture

Treatment of Tendon Rupture Sustained from Levaquin Use


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Levaquin (levofloxacin) is broad spectrum antibiotic produced by Ortho-McNeil-Janssen subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Pharmaceuticals.

A fluoroquinolone antibiotic, Levaquin is used to treat infections of the skin, respiratory tract, and urinary tract. This family of drugs has been definitively linked to a high risk of tendon rupture in patients of all ages, with an increased risk among the elderly, transplant patients, and those taking corticosteroids.

A tendon is a rope-like flexible band of tissue that connects muscle to bone. If a tendon ruptures, or snaps, it can be exceptionally painful and may result in a lasting disability. The most common tendon rupture associated with Levaquin use occurs in the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is located at the back of the foot just above the heel, and is necessary for ambulation. Another affected tendon is the quadriceps tendon. This tendon is attached at the top of the knee and is also critical for walking. The rotator cuff may also be ruptured. The rotator cuff tendon is located in the shoulder and is needed for full range of motion of the shoulder. The biceps tendon controls the ability to flex the arm at the elbow and generally ruptures near the shoulder.

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Symptoms of a tendon rupture may include a snap or pop felt or heard, severe pain, instant bruising, obvious weakness, inability to utilize or move the affected arm or leg, inability to bear weight on affected leg, or obvious abnormality in appearance of the area.

Treatments for tendon rupture may be surgical or non-surgical in nature. For Achilles Tendon Rupture, the objective of treatment is to re-establish normal tension and length to the tendon so that activity level can return to normal. Both surgical and nonsurgical options begin with an approximately 6 week period of casting. Physical therapy is required to regain range of motion. Quadriceps tendon rupture is a very disabling injury. Early surgical intervention followed by casting for 4-6 weeks is usually necessary to repair damage. A rotator cuff rupture treatment is based on the severity of symptoms. Physical therapy may be effective with small tears, but surgical intervention may be necessary to restore full function to the affected area. Rupture of the biceps tendon usually occurs near the elbow and requires surgery if completely ruptured. Post-op immobilization with a sling is required, followed by physical therapy.

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Tendon rupture is a very serious condition. If you, or someone you know, has sustained a tendon rupture after treatment with a fluoroquinolone antibiotic such as Levaquin, contact a lawyer to discuss your right to compensation.

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