Patellar Tendonitis

A common complaint from athletes is pain in the front area of the knee. The medical term for this pain is patello-femoral pain syndrome, runners knee, anterior knee pain, extensor mechanism disorder, or patellar tendonitis. It can be found frequently in athletes who run and jump etc excessively. However it can

People with patellar tendonitis often complain of a dull pain, which is caused by running, jumping, squatting, or walking up or down stairs. The pain may feel worse after bending the knee or when sitting. Sometimes the knee will click or lock up and may have the feeling of buckling under when walking. The knee is often swollen as this pain is usually chronic in nature.


Patellar tendonitis can be caused by direct trauma to the knee, but is usually caused by repetitive strain from overuse during activities. Knee pain is typically secondary to foot or hip dysfunction. Normal muscle relationships are usually altered by flat feet and can force the knee into the wrong position during walking, running, or jumping.

Even wearing the wrong shoes may cause stresses on the muscles around the knees. Repetitive movements in sports or work activities may exaggerate these imbalances and lead to patellar tendonitis.


Patellar tendonitis can usually be treated without surgical intervention. If the pain is so severe that it interferes with daily activities, the services of a doctor should be sought out. The Doctor will be able to assist with ways to better control the pain and to improve the ability to perform any desired activities.

If the pain of patellar tendonitis is acute, ice or an anti-inflammatory medication may help. The best treatment for patellar tendonitis is simply resting the knee by avoiding extra weight on it. This is easily accomplished by temporarily switching to a non-weight bearing activity, such as swimming.

Applying cold packs or ice wrapped in a towel for short periods of time, for several hours a day is another simple treatment. Compression and elevation are also excellent forms of treatment for this injury.


There may be restrictions within the foot, hip, or lower back which often cause unnecessary stresses on the knee. These stresses make it difficult to successfully complete any desired tasks. However once the pain is under control, there are a number of simple exercises to help balance the muscles, correct posture, and free the entrapped nerves.

By increasing the functions of the knees, these exercises then become the key to healing. If the exercises do not help the symptoms, (or make them worse), it is vital to contact the doctor in charge so the treatment and exercises can be modified to suit the patient.

Diagnosis of patellar tendonitis includes performing a functional examination to rule out serious conditions, discover functional weaknesses, and help to identify specific goals of treatment. It is important the correct diagnosis is made originally so the correct treatment can be given.

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