Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar Tendonitis

Jumper’s Knee

Patellar tendonitis is inflammation of the patellar tendon. This is the tendon that attaches the knee cap to the shin bone, and is critical in straightening the leg and slowing the knee down during bending or squatting. Patellar tendonitis can range from a slight inflammation and microscopic tearing of the tendon to a complete rupture of the tendon. Tendonitis can develop after a sudden increase in either the amount or intensity of activity, or after a direct blow to the knee or patellar tendon. This is a common injury among athletes who participate in sports that require repeated jumping, kicking, sprinting and quick cuts.  Patellar tendonitis is also common in individuals with weak quadriceps, tight hamstrings and or flat feet. For most individuals, the first sign of patellar tendonitis will be pain in the front of the knee. Tenderness can occur just below the knee cap. If this does happen, the athlete should stop all activities that may be the cause of the symptoms. To help reduce any pain or discomfort, ice and anti-inflammatory medications may be very helpful in the initial phase of treatment. If symptoms are severe, a knee immobilizer may be recommended by your physician. Once the symptoms have improved, the athlete should begin exercises to improve range of motion and flexibility of the quadriceps and hamstrings. Once flexibility and range of motion have started to improve, strength and conditioning exercises should be added to the rehab program. The athlete should be able to complete all exercises without pain, before they are allowed to participate in their sport again.

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