Patellar Tendinitis

Understanding Patellar Tendinitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Patellar tendinitis, commonly known as “jumper’s knee,” refers to inflammation of the patellar tendon linking the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone. This vital tendon assists in lower leg extension.


Patellar tendinitis typically arises from repetitive trauma or overuse, particularly in sports involving jumping, like basketball or volleyball. Hence, it’s often dubbed jumper’s knee. Occasionally, acute injuries to the tendon that haven’t healed properly may also trigger this condition.


The primary symptom of patellar tendinitis is pain over the patellar tendon, exacerbated during activities like jumping or kneeling. In some cases, swelling around the tendon may occur.


Diagnosis involves a thorough evaluation of symptoms and physical examination by a medical professional. X-rays may be taken to rule out bone-related issues, while MRI scans can reveal degenerative changes in the patellar tendon.

Conservative Treatment Options

Treatment options typically start conservatively and include:

  • Rest: Avoid activities exacerbating the condition, such as running or jumping.
  • NSAIDs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to alleviate pain and swelling.
  • Stretching: Pre-exercise stretching helps prevent recurrence and strengthens surrounding muscles.
  • Ice Application: Applying ice reduces inflammation and swelling.
  • Knee Support: Utilizing knee supports or straps can redirect force away from the tendon, providing pain relief.
  • Iontophoresis: This technique involves applying topical corticosteroids using an electrically charged device to alleviate symptoms.
  • Corticosteroid Injection: Injections, guided by ultrasound, may be administered around the affected tendon to relieve pain and facilitate pain-free exercises.


In rare cases where pain persists despite conservative measures, surgery may be considered. Surgical intervention typically involves removing severely damaged portions of the tendon and repairing any tears.

By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for patellar tendinitis, individuals can actively participate in their recovery process, facilitating pain relief and restoring normal knee function.

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