WHAT IS IT? PATELLAR TENDINOPATHY
Patellar tendinopathy in the past has been frequently referred to as Jumper’s Knee or Tendonitis.
It involves degeneration of the patellar tendon, a process termed tendinosis.
The patellar tendon attaches from the patella to the tibial tuberosity.
Signs & Symptoms
Pain and tenderness below the patella (specifically where the tendon attaches to the inferior pole of the patella).
Aggravated by jumping, hopping, changing direction, and squatting
Pain occurs at the beginning of exercise, decreases with warming-up, and return post-exercise.
Possible wasting of quadriceps muscles
What Causes It?
Tightness in quadriceps and hamstrings
Weakness of the calves
How to Self Manage
Increasing stretching of leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, calves)
Strengthen lower limb muscles (quads, glutes, calves)
Trial a patellar strap to decrease the load on the tendon.
See a physiotherapist for further assessment and an eccentric loading program.
Return to sport time varies between 3-12 months depending on how chronic the injury is.
Ultrasound or MRI investigation may be used for diagnosis purposes.
Surgery is an option, whereby scraping of the tendon can significantly reduce sensitivity.
How Physio Helps
Assess the patellar tendon to determine if it is the source of pain
Muscle imbalance correction
Eccentric loading program for the patellar tendon
Prescription of a brace to offload the patellar tendon
Deep transverse frictions
Stretching of hamstrings, calves, ITB, and calf muscles
Strengthening of quadriceps, glutes and gastrocs.