Because the symptoms for bursitis and tendonitis, or damage to a tendon, are similar, they are often confused for one another, according to Cedars-Sinai. In addition, the joint pain associated with tendonitis is sometimes mistaken for arthritis.
Symptoms of tendon damage include pain, swelling and stiffness. Symptoms tend to be worse at night and are exacerbated by movement, according to Cedars-Sinai. In addition, the pain and tenderness of a tendon injury can sometimes be mistaken for that of a fracture, as Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine explains. Ligament tears or damage also share many of the same symptoms experienced with tendon damage.