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'.

 

Management

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.

Synonyms: 
patellar tendinopathy
patellar tendonitis
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A discussion about the role of shockwave therapy for refractory patellar tendinopathy.

Patellar tendinitis

Part of a series by Mr (Dr) Charles Willis-Owen on lower limb overuse injuries.

Overuse syndromes affecting the patella

Repetitive activities can stress anatomical structures and lead to 'overuse' symptoms.

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