Patellar tendinopathy is an injury to the tendon that joins the kneecap to the lower leg bone.
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This problem is more common in teens and people under the age of 40. It is also more common in people who do things that involve jumping, such as volleyball and basketball.
Other things that may raise the risk are:
- Having a high body mass
- Doing too much activity too quickly
This problem causes pain below the kneecap. It often worse during physical activity and when flexing the knee.
The knee may also be swollen and stiff.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on your knee. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
Images may be done to confirm the diagnosis. This can be done with:
The goal is to ease pain and improve movement. This may be done with:
- Ice and rest to ease pain and swelling
- A knee brace to keep the knee from moving
- Medicine to ease pain and swelling
- Exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee
Procedures or surgery may be done if other methods have not helped.
The risk of this problem may be lowered by slowly increasing the length and duration of activities.
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info http://www.orthoinfo.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Patellar tendinopathy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/patellar-tendinopathy . Updated May 16, 2019. Accessed March 26, 2020.
Patellar tendon tear. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00512. Updated February 2016. Accessed March 26, 2020.
Schwartz A, Watson JN, et al. Patellar Tendinopathy. Sports Health. 2015 Sep;7(5):415-420.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
- Review Date: 02/2020
- Update Date: 03/26/2020