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Knee Conditions and Treatments

Patellar Tendinitis (Jumper's Knee)

Patellar Tendinitis is also known as jumpers knee. It is an inflammation in the patellar tendon, the band of tissue that connects the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia).

It is diagnosed with a history and physical examination. X-rays or other tests may or may not be necessary.

Causes

The most common activity causing patellar tendinitis if jumping, hence it is commonly referred to as jumper’s knee. Activities that place repetitive stress on the patellar tendon may cause it to become inflamed. Other activities such as running, walking or bicycling may also cause patellar tendinitis. Most commonly, however, patellar tendinitis is caused by tightness of the quadriceps muscles.

Patellar tendinitis can be caused by problems with the way your hips, legs, knees or feet are aligned. Having wide hips, being knock-kneed, or having flat feet, can predispose you to patellar tendinitis because certain body mechanics will place more stress on this area with activity.

Symptoms
  • Pain or tenderness around the patellar tendon, especially where it attaches to the patella.
  • Swelling around the patellar tendon.
  • Pain with activities, such as jumping, running, or walking.
  • Pain may be worse with downhill walking, or descending stairs.
Treatment

Non-operative
The treatment of patellar tendinitis begins with rest, and avoiding activities that cause the discomfort. Any problems with body mechanics or alignment should be addressed, and corrected if possible. Icing is recommended. Bracing with a infrapatellar strap or a Cho-pat strap is common.

Alternative

Operative
Operative treatment of patellar tendinitis is rarely necessary.

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