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What is Patellar Tendonitis?

Updated: Jan 18, 2022

Jordan Rhodes, Professional footballer

''I had been suffering with Patellar tendonitis for over 5 years. All forms of alternative treatment had been exhausted. After visiting The Shockwave Specialists and learning about the benefits, I was genuinely amazed at the results. Overall, I had 6 sessions of shockwave therapy with Sam the specialist. Firstly, he explained the condition and anatomy, then the effects and benefits of shockwave. The treatment was uncomfortable but it worked! My condition was completely eradicated and I am now pain free. I can not recommend this service highly enough''.

The patellar tendon connects the kneecap known as the patella, to the shinbone known as the tibia (Please see diagram below). Tendons connect muscle to bone and are made out of connective tissue with lots of strong collagen fibres. Ligaments connect bone to bone and consist of fibrous connective tissue, which is why you may hear this being referred to as the patellar ligament.

Patellar tendonitis is a inflammatory condition that effects the patella tendon. It is commonly referred to as jumper's knee. Although anyone can suffer with patellar tendonitis it is regularly diagnosed within athletes, especially sports that involve excess running and jumping like football and rugby.

Why does Patellar Tendonitis occur? Patellar tendonitis usually occurs by a sudden increase of exercise and or repetitive activities. This puts too much stress and strain on the tendon too quickly, resulting in micro tears of the tendon fibres causing pain and inflammation. If this change in lifestyle is ongoing the stress on the tendon can prevent the body from repairing the injured tissue. The structure of the tendon is then damaged, resulting in continued pain called tendinopathy.

The first symptom of patellar tendonitis is pain and discomfort at the bottom of your kneecap. The pain may only be present in your knee as you begin physical activities. As the condition develops the pain will present during sport or exercise and eventually, the pain will interfere with your daily activities.

We highly recommend not ignoring your body's warning signs. If you continue through the pain you may create larger tears in the tendon. This will result in further knee pain and reduced function. Call now to book an appointment and let us get you back on the path to recovery.

How do you diagnose Patellar Tendonitis?

Firstly, we assess the signs and symptoms. An X-ray, Musculoskeletal (MSK) Ultrasound, and in some cases an MRI would be required to confirm the condition. Our specialists provide a fast diagnosis and easy access to appointments.

Available treatments for Patella Tendonitis

  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (non invasive and preferred method of treatment)

  • Steroid injections

  • Medication

  • Orthotics

  • Physiotherapy


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