Patellar tendinitis is a painful condition of the patellar tendon where tiny tears within the tendon attempt to heal themselves but lead to foci of mucoid deterioration within the tendon.
Symptoms of patellar tendinitis
Chronic pain is the main feature of this condition. Although '-itis' usually implies the the condition is associated with inflammation, in this case there is usually very little inflammation, and it is better to use the word 'tendinopathy' rather than 'tendinitis'.
Ultrasound is often used to assess the extent of the damage. Physiotherapy is the first line of management, and possibly a steroid injection, although this is controversial. In chronic cases the therapist may prescribe extracorporeal shockwave therapy. In some patients the damaged area is surgically removed.
Changes in Morphological and Elastic Properties of Patellar Tendon in Athletes with Unilateral Patellar Tendinopathy and Their Relationships with Pain and Functional Disability. Zhang ZJ, Ng G Y-F, Lee, WC and Fu SN. PLoS One. 2014; 9(10): e108337.
Proposing a Patellar Tendinopathy Screening tool following a systematic review. Morgan S and Coetzee FF. S Afr J Physiother. 2018; 74(1): 454.