Patellar tendinitis is an injury to the tendon connecting the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia). The patellar tendon collaborates with the front thigh muscles to extend the knee, enabling activities like kicking, running, and jumping. This knee injury may cause mild to severe levels of pain and discomfort.
This knee problem frequently results from overuse. This condition is also known as jumper’s knee, since it commonly affects athletes whose sports involve jumping. However, patellar tendinitis can occur in persons who don’t engage in jumping sports.
Pain often becomes worse with time. If left untreated, pain and soreness can become severe. Physical therapy is the first step in treating patellar tendinitis since it stretches and strengthens the muscles around the knee.
Patellar tendinitis’ initial symptom is pain, felt between the kneecap and the area where the tendon attaches to the shinbone (tibia), which typically worsen over time. Patients may initially only experience minor knee pain, but it can increase and become more severe over time.
The patient may initially only experience knee pain right after an intense workout. If left untreated, patellar tendinitis can progress, making it difficult to participate in physical activities, and eventually the pain may cause discomfort when performing even everyday tasks such as getting up from a chair, climbing stairs, standing up or sitting.
Patient may initially try self-care techniques such as applying a cold compress to the affected area and temporarily reducing or avoiding activities that may worsen their symptoms.
Consult your doctor if you are experiencing:
- Persistent or worsening pain
- Disruptions in your daily routine due to the pain
- Swelling or redness near the affected joint
Frequent stress or excessive pressure on the patellar tendon can lead to patellar tendonitis. Activities such as jumping and rapid running put stress on the patellar tendon bands and can result in tiny tears and sprains that weaken and cause pain over time.
The cause of patellar tendinitis remains unclear. According to healthcare providers, two main factors that can harm tendon tissues:
- A sudden increase in activity
- A sudden full workout after a prolonged break.
Patellar tendinitis may occur as a result of following factors:
- Age: People over 40 are more susceptible than children or young adults as patellar tendinitis develops gradually over a long period of time.
- Physical activity: Patellar tendonitis is most commonly linked to activities such as running and jumping. Changing the running shoes or sudden increase in the intensity or frequency can also put stress on the tendon.
- Athletes: Competitors and elite athletes typically train harder and more frequently than amateur athletes, putting their muscles and tendons under higher strain.
- Tightness in leg muscles: Patellar tendon strain can be worsened by tight quadriceps and hamstrings.
- Muscular imbalance: The patellar tendon may be pulled more forcefully if certain leg muscles are significantly stronger than others. Tendinitis could result from this uneven pull.
- Other disease: Some disorders affects the tendon by obstructing the blood flow to the knee. It includes metabolic illnesses like diabetes, renal failure, and autoimmune conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.