The patella tendon is a structure that runs from below the kneecap (Patella) to the shin bone (tibia). Its function is to straighten the knee. Acute inflammation of the patella tendon is called patella tendonitis. If this persists the tendon degenerates leading to patella tendinosis.
Anyone can be affected by this condition but it is most common in athletes who are involved in jumping sports, hence it is also known as “Jumpers Knee”. It is commonly seen in runners. Some things that increase the forces through the patella increasing the risk of patella tendinosis are:
POOR FLEXIBILITY IN THE QUADRICEPS
POOR FLEXIBILITY IN THE HAMSTRINGS
RAISED KNEECAP (PATELLA ALTA)
Diagnosis is usually clear from the symptoms and examination. MRI and Ultrasound scans will show subtle changes however these are usually ordered to rule exclude alternative diagnoses rather than confirm tendonitis.
Patients complain of pain along the tendon, which can feel sharp,particularly after running or jumping. After exercise the pain might persists as a dull ache and the tendon is often tender to touch.
The good news is that non-surgical measures are often successful. It takes a minimum of six weeks for the knee to improve and a strict programme of rehabilitation is needed. However, reoccurrence is not uncommon.
Conservative treatment options include:
AVOIDING ACTIVITIES THAT AGGRAVATE THE PAIN UNTIL AN IMPROVEMENT IN CONDITION PAIN KILLERS AND ICE TO CONTROL SYMPTOMS ALLOWING REHABILITATION EXCERCISES STRETCHING OF TIGHT HAMSTRINGS AND QUADRICEPS TO REDUCE FORCES THROUGH THE PATELLATENDON
EXERCISE REGIME WITH A PHYSIOTHERAPIST – A SPECIAL PROGRAMME OF ECCENTRIC EXCERCISES
WILL BE FOLLOWED. EXTRA CORPOREAL SHOCKWAVE THERAPY
PRP (PLATELET RICH PLASMA) INJECTIONS IF THE ABOVE MEASURES FAIL TO RESOLVE THE CONDITION
I had a total knee replacement done and had the best care. Yes did experience a long wait to go to surgery but that’s expected in most hospitals. Was in for 3 days and couldn’t fault the care, nurses and cleanliness of the hospital. Lovely food. One nurse in particular always managed to make me smile