Patellar Tendinosis (old term Tendonitis)

Tendonitis means inflammation of a tendon. Although the word “Tendonitis” is often used, it is actually an out-dated term. The suffix “itis” means inflammation, however, research has shown that it is really a build up of scar tissue and break down of collagen that is the problem, not inflammation. Therefore, the newer term that replaces tendonitis is “Tendinosis”, which denotes the scar tissue accumulation, and cellular changes to the tissue.

pateller tendon - Copy

Patellar tendinosis, or “jumper’s knee”, is a relatively common condition in patients who engage in sports that involve explosive lower-limb movements. The patellar tendon attaches the bottom of the kneecap to the top of the shin bone. Pain associated with this condition is located just below the kneecap. Initially, the pain occurs only after activity. As the condition progresses the pain occurs during the activity and then even at rest.

Jumper’s knee may also e viewed as a spectrum that ranges from initial overuse inflammatory changes to chronic degenerative breakdown. In the last stage of this condition the patellar ligament completely ruptures. Prior damage to the knee from repetitive overuse or trauma, biomechanical factors, and the forces inherent in landing from a jump probably contribute to tendon fatigue and patellar tendon rupture.

Treatment goals:

  • Breaking down scar tissue with Targeted Soft Tissue Therapy
  • Strengthening the weak muscles with Physiotherapy and/or Functional Rehabilitation
  • Correcting biomechanical imbalances (over-pronation) with Orthotics and/or proper shoe selection
  • Modifying the training program to allow proper rest and repair to the patellar tendon