WHAT IS IT? PATELLAR TENDONITIS / 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 and 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
- Abnormal biomechanics
- Increased pronation
- 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
- Biomechanical review
- 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.
- Neural mobilisation
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