This is an overuse condition affecting the tendons attached to the patella (kneecap). The quadriceps tendon connects the big quads muscle in the front of the thigh to the kneecap while the patella tendon connects the kneecap with the shin bone. Both conditions are the result of overuse and repetitive strain. Patellar tendinitis/tendinosis is also known as jumper’s knee.
Repetitive strain can cause microtearing of the tendon and eventually also chronic inflammation. This results in pain that is typically located at the insertion of the quadriceps tendon into the upper part of the kneecap, or at the insertion of the patellar tendon into the shinbone.
Contributing factors include muscle imbalances, muscle tightness and leg deformities. The main cause however is the repetitive strain from sporting activities. Particularly sports involving a lot of jumping increase the risk of developing jumper’s knee. Typical sports include basketball, volleyball, track & field, gymnastics, running and others.
While many patients benefit from simple treatment like rest, ice and physiotherapy, some patients may have ongoing pain and functional restrictions despite best efforts. Patients with chronic tendinitis of the patellar or quadriceps tendon may benefit from an injection with PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma). This is made from the patient’s own blood, is safe to use and supports the body’s own healing mechanisms. Research has shown excellent outcomes in patients with chronic patellar/quadriceps tendinitis treated with PRP.
Our experts at the Orthobiologics Clinic are happy to assess your condition and to discuss the various treatment options including injection treatment with PRP.