What is Patellar Tendonitis?
Patellar tendonitis, otherwise known as Jumper’s Knee, is an inflammation of the tendon that connects the patella (knee cap) to the tibia (shin bone). Patellar tendonitis is an overuse syndrome of the patellar tendon. The front knee pain is worse with jumping or running.
The condition is seen in athletes who perform repetitive jumping. Males and females are equally affected. There is an increased risk for patients who participate in sports with excessive jumping, such as with basketball or volleyball. The risk increases with poor flexibility of quadriceps and hamstrings.
Diagnosis of Patellar Tendonitis
- History of anterior knee pain that worsens with flexion.
- Phase 1: pain after activity
- Phase 2: pain during and after activity, not affecting performance
- Phase 3: pain during and after activity, and affecting performance
- On exam: Pain over inferior pole of patella and over tendon directly. Pain with knee flexion. May have pain with resisted knee extension.
- Diagnosis is clinical, but radiographs are necessary to rule out bony pathology.
Treatment of Patellar Tendonitis:
Treatment of patellar tendonitis includes rest from the activity that causes pain. Doctors recommend ice application to the knee, and occasionally NSAIDs are used.
When acute pain resolves, wearing Chopat strap (patella strap) to help support the patella is recommended. The strap is worn directly over the patellar tendon. Athletes should do stretching exercises to improve hamstring and quadriceps flexibility.
To make an appointment to discuss your patellar tendonitis, please call 718-283-7400:
Dr. Natalya Urovish, Non-Operative Sports Medicine
Dr. John Munyak, Non-Operative Sports Medicine
Dr. Orry Erez, Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Joint Reconstruction Surgeon