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Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar tendonitis is also known as jumper's knee and is characterized by inflammation and irritation of the patellar tendon. The patella tendon is the robust band of tissue that connects the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia). This tendon plays a pivotal role in the mechanism that allows the knee to extend, which is essential for activities such as running, jumping, and climbing. The condition primarily arises from repeated stress on the patellar tendon, leading to small tears and inflammation. Over time, this stress can cause the tendon to become irritated and inflamed resulting in patellar tendonitis.

Patellar Tendonitis Anatomy
Patellar Tendonitis Tear

Patellar tendonitis is commonly associated with repetitive stress to the knee joint, particularly from high-impact activities. Key factors contributing to the development of this condition include:

  • Frequent participation in jumping sports like basketball and volleyball

  • Sudden increases in the intensity or volume of physical activity

  • Tight leg muscles, contributing to greater tendon strain

  • Imbalances in muscle strength between the quadriceps and hamstrings

  • Poor biomechanics or technique during sports or physical activities

Symptoms of patellar tendonitis include pain and tenderness around the patellar tendon, swelling, and a feeling of weakness or instability in the knee. Pain may be particularly noticeable when jumping, running, or walking up and down stairs.

Patellar Tendonitis Brace

The primary goals in treating patellar tendonitis are to reduce pain, decrease inflammation, and restore normal tendon function. Initial treatment strategies often include:

  • Physical therapy exercises focusing on stretching and strengthening the muscles around the knee, particularly the quadriceps and hamstrings

  • Use of patellar tendon straps or knee braces to alleviate strain on the tendon

  • Eccentric exercises, which involve lengthening the quadriceps muscle under load, are particularly effective in promoting tendon healing

  • Rest and reduction of activities that exacerbate knee pain

  • Ice applications to minimize inflammation and swelling

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief

If conservative treatments do not lead to improvement, more advanced options such as shockwave therapy or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections may be considered to stimulate tendon healing. Surgery is typically reserved for severe cases where non-operative measures have failed to provide relief after several months.

Preventive measures, including proper warm-up routines, strength and flexibility training, and attention to technique during sports and exercises, are crucial to avoid the onset or recurrence of patellar tendonitis. Tailoring the treatment and prevention strategies to the individual’s specific needs, activities, and goals is essential for successful management of patellar tendonitis. Rehabilitation and a gradual return to activity play a significant role in ensuring a full recovery and reducing the risk of future injury. Toronto's Revita Therapy provides a comprehensive treatment program tailored to the individual's specific needs and lifestyle for effectively managing Patellar Tendonitis and promoting long-term recovery.

Start Your Patellar Tendonitis Program Today 
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