Patellar Tendonitis Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar tendonitis, or jumper’s knee, is the inflammation of your patellar tendon. This tendon extends from the bottom of your knee cap to the tibia (commonly known as the shinbone). If untreated, it can result in tearing. This pain interferes with your daily activities, starting out as occasional pain.

Patellar Tendonitis: Symptoms and Causes

The most common cause of patellar tendonitis is overuse of your kneecap, which can lead to injury. Harsh movements can result in more tears forming, depending on how you continue to exercise use of the patellar tendon. Strain can contribute to the stress on the patellar tendon, which can result in small tears.

Symptoms of patellar tendonitis can include:

  • Swelling of the kneecap
  • Tenderness behind and beneath knee cap
  • Pain in your daily physical activities (walking, running, exercising, etc.)
  • Your knee feels as though there is a “locking” sensation

What happens if patellar tendonitis is left untreated?

If patellar tendonitis is disregarded and is left untreated, your symptoms will worsen, and primarily because not seeking treatment means that you risk creating tears in your tendon. What initially starts out as pain, swelling, and inflammation can contribute to the deterioration of your kneecap. No doubt that your physical activities will come to a halt, and if you plan on making a career out of your athletic skills, then patellar tendonitis can prevent you from pursuing that dream. If you notice swelling for over two days, consult a doctor to seek treatment options.

What is the best treatment for tendonitis of the knee?

Support for your knee is the best treatment to seek while the patellar tendon heals. Orthotics cover a wide range of options to treat the kneecap, all allowing adequate healing and movement without pain. In conjunction with braces, splints, or other devices, you should:

  • Rest
  • Use anti-inflammatory medication (ibuprofen) or over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Physical therapy: will help strengthen your leg muscles, reducing pain
  • Icing the area a few times a day
  • Avoid intense sports and activities in the recovery period

Is patellar tendonitis permanent?

Patellar tendonitis can be treated to heal the tears, therefore, it is not permanent. That being said, the length you have this condition depends on your initiative to have it treated. Treatment can take anywhere from weeks to years. Avoid prolonging your treatment and making mistakes that further cause injury. If you heavily exercise while in the recovery process, then your recovery time will only be prolonged.

What is the difference between the patella and patellar?

The terms patella and patellar may be used interchangeably, but what does it really mean when a health expert refers to either or? The patellar refers to the area of the patella and the kneecap. The patella, however, is a specific structure that is classified by the skeleton structure of the bone. It is another word for the kneecap. So while the patellar can refer to the patella, the opposite does not hold true.

What are the signs of a patella hairline fracture?

In summary, the patella hairline fractures (also known as kneecap fractures) have different symptoms compared to other fractures which can help you distinguish a hairline fracture from other fractures.

Symptoms of this fracture include:

  • Pain surrounding and within the kneecap
  • Swelling
  • A deformed appearance of the kneecap (through an x-ray or MRI)
  • Tenderness on the kneecap

A person with a hairline fracture can raise their leg typically without pain, whereas a more severe case cannot do a straight leg raise, which is how you can “test” to see if you have a hairline fracture. However, this is not necessarily an accurate method for testing fractures, so we recommend getting an x-ray done to analyze the extent of the fracture and how to best approach treatment.

At our Burlington foot clinic, our highly qualified pedororthist has the technology, training, and experience to help treat a wide range of knee and foot conditions to help you get back to healthy and happy living in the shortest time frame possible. Contact us at 289-245-6624.

Scroll to Top