Also known as ‘patellar tendonopathy’ or ‘jumper's knee’, this is inflammation of the patella tendon initiated usually by a small tear, which may occur in any part of the tendon (1).
- usually the infrapatella region of the patellar tendon is affected but other sites such as insertion of the quadriceps tendon and the tibial insertion of the patellar tendon can be involved as well (1)
- commonly occurs in teenage boys (especially during a growth spurt) and in sports players who are involved in activities with intense rapid quadricep contraction e.g. - volleyball, high jump and long jump (2).
The patient complains of
- anterior knee pain which has been present for several months. The pain aggravates with activities like walking down stairs or running (2)
- local tenderness over the patellar tendon (3)
On examination there might be local swelling, thickening or nodules and the pain can be reproduced by resisted knee extensions. Usually there is no effusion present (2,3).
Tendinitis settles with rest, physiotherapy and NSAIDS (4). A steroid injection around (not into) the tendon may also help.
- (1) Australian Acute Musculoskeletal Pain Guidelines Group 2003. Evidence-based management of acute musculoskeletal pain. Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council
- (2) Calmbach WL, Hutchens M. Evaluation of patients presenting with knee pain: Part II. Differential diagnosis. Am Fam Physician. 2003;68(5):917-22.
- (3) Houghton KM. Review for the generalist: evaluation of anterior knee pain. Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2007;5:8.
- (4) Gilchrist I. Anterior knee pain. Arthritis Research UK 2004.
Last reviewed 01/2018