Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)

The patellar tendon is a strong band of tissue that connects the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia).

Located at the front of the knee joint, the patellar tendon helps your muscles extend your lower leg so that you can kick a ball, pedal your bicycle, and jump up in the air, among other normal knee functions.

Patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee, is a common injury caused by an overuse of the patellar tendon.

Overuse of the patellar tendon can cause small tears in the tissue, leading to pain and inflammation. This condition typically occurs in individuals who play sports that involve repetitive squatting, running, and jumping movements.

What are the symptoms of patellar tendonitis?

Some common symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness in the front of the knee, just below the kneecap.
  • Swelling and stiffness in the knee joint.
  • Pain that worsens with jumping or running.
  • Weakness in the knee joint.

What are the risk factors of patellar tendonitis?

Following are factors that can increase the risk of patellar tendonitis:

  • Age: Common in younger individuals in their teens and 20s.
  • Gender: Men are at a higher risk to develop patellar tendonitis compared to women.
  • Certain sports: Patellar tendonitis is more common among people who are active in sports that involve jumping such as basketball, volleyball, among others.
  • Overuse: Engaging in activities that require repetitive jumping or running can add stress to the patellar tendon, thus increasing the risk of injury.

How is patellar tendonitis diagnosed?

Diagnosis is made based on various investigations. Your doctor will first evaluate your medical history and symptoms before conducting a physical examination.

During a physical examination, your doctor will examine the knee joint for signs of inflammation (swelling, tenderness). Certain tests may also be performed to assess the knee joint’s strength and flexibility.

Imaging tests such as X-ray and MRI may also be done to evaluate the extent of injury and rule out other causes of pain. An X-ray can help rule out other conditions, such as arthritis or a fracture. An MRI can provide a more detailed view of the soft tissues in the knee joint, including the patellar tendon.

How is patellar tendonitis treated?

Treatment for patellar tendonitis typically involves a combination of rest, physiotherapy, pain relief, and lifestyle changes.

  • Rest: Avoid activities that cause pain and irritation to the patellar tendon to help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  • Physiotherapy: To strengthen the muscles around the knee joint, improve flexibility, and reduce stress on the patellar tendon.
  • Pain relief: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Lifestyle changes: Modify training routine or change the way certain activities is performed can help reduce stress on the patellar tendon and prevent further injury.

Book an appointment at Pantai Hospitals

A dedicated and expert team of Orthopaedic specialists at Pantai Hospital is available for consultation to provide the best care and assistance.

Get in touch with us to book an appointment today if you have concerns or questions regarding patellar tendonitis. We assure you the best possible care tailored to your specific needs.

Pantai Hospital has been accredited by the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH) for its commitment to patient safety and service quality.

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