Tendonitis means inflammation of a tendon. Although the word â€œTendonitisâ€ is often used, it is actually an out-dated term. The suffix â€œitisâ€ 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 â€œTendinosisâ€, which denotes the scar tissue accumulation, and cellular changes to the tissue.
Patellar tendinosis, or â€œjumperâ€™s kneeâ€, 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.
Jumperâ€™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.