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Patellar Tendonitis or Tendinopathy

What is patellar tendonitis?

The patellar tendon begins at the lower portion of the patella (kneecap) and ends several centimeters below the knee, where it attaches to the tibia (shinbone). It can get inflamed in the short-term and in the long-term, it can get worn out. When it is inflamed, this is known as patellar tendonitis. When it wears out, it is known as patellar tendinopathy. It often results from repetitive jumping, running or knee-bending activities, as well as tight or weak quadriceps muscles. It can be seen in both kids and adults.

What are the symptoms of patellar tendonitis?

Patellar tendonitis and tendinopathy lead to pain at the patellar tendon. Pain is often worse with jumping and running activities. There may also be swelling over the tendon.

How is patellar tendonitis diagnosed?

Diagnosis is generally made through a discussion with your doctor and thorough examination of the knee.

How is patellar tendonitis treated?

Treatment involves progressive strengthening and stretching of the quadriceps muscles. Anti-inflammatories and icing may be tried as well. A patellar strap can be used to take pressure off the patellar tendon while the tendon is healing. Aggravating activities often need to be reduced or avoided for a period of time to allow the tendon to heal.

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Foot and Ankle Surgeon is Athlete at Heart

Ahmed Sonya

Sonya Ahmed, MD, is the chief of foot and ankle surgery in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UC San Diego Health. See how this 1996 Olympic hopeful vaulted her way through medical school. Read article.

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