Patellar tendonopathy is a common knee condition which affects the patella tendon. This tendon connects the patella to the tibia, it is a part of the extensor mechanism that straightens the knee during walking, running and jumping. It is commonly repetitive jumping that causes small tears within the tendon that do not heal and become a chronic injury.
Patients tend to experience a sharp pain at the front of the knee often just below the knee cap. It is often exercise or activity related pain and can persist as a dull ache afterwards for a number of days.
Patella tendonopathy normally responds to non-operative treatment although the pathway to resolution of symptoms can take some time.
- Physiotherapy is the mainstay of treatment, concentrating on
- Quadriceps and hamstring strengthening
- Eccentric exercises to improve the tendon strength
- Massage treatment
- Use of taping around the knee
- Overall assessment of gait biomechanics
- Assess for flat feet – may require orthotic shoe insole support to recreate foot arches
- Hip – gluteal strengthening
- Pain killers and ice will help with symptom control in the initial phase
- Injections into the tendon such as platelet rich plasma