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Author Topic: Patellar tendonitis not responding to PT - alternatives?  (Read 2813 times)

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Offline mbw1103

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Patellar tendonitis not responding to PT - alternatives?
« on: July 28, 2008, 02:31:47 AM »
Hi,

Sorry in advance for the long post.  I hurt my knee almost 3.5 months ago (April 15) - I fell while running during a softball game and landed on my knee.  I'm a bit stubborn and didn't have it checked out immediately.  There was dramatic improvement overnight and it continued getting better for a time, which combined with a cursory exam of my knee by my rheumatologist convinced me that I didn't do anything too serious (note, I do not have arthritis in my knee, she just looks at all my joints on each visit). 

About a month and a half after I injured it, I went on a trip that involved lots of walking and a long plane trip.  Before I left on the trip, I was just about pain free; by the time I got home, my knee started to get steadily worse.  After a few weeks I was in a lot of pain and decided it was time to get it checked out.  The OS did an MRI and said everything looked "pretty much normal" (x-ray was normal too); he suggested physical therapy.  After a month of PT (2x/week), my knee is actually worse (if an exercise hurts, I stop but the littlest things set it off - latest was using the clutch while driving). 

Both the OS and physical therapist agree that it's patellar tendonitis, even though it doesn't show on the MRI.  I saw the OS on Friday and he suggested another round of PT; he said that if there's still no improvement after 6 weeks then we'll talk about surgery.  He also prefaced this by saying that he didn't know if surgery would help.  After reading about the surgery on this board, I'm more convinced that I want to avoid surgery if at all possible.

Is there anything else I can be doing to help my recovery?  I can't take NSAIDs or cortisone because of various other health problems.  So right now it's just ice as often as possible and more PT.  Even though neither my OS or physical therapist suggested it, I tried a chopat strap, which just seemed to aggravate my knee more, so I stopped wearing that.  Note, I'm not concerned about getting back into sports, I simply want to get through the day without pain.

Thanks in advance,
Melissa

Offline katiesdreaming

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Re: Patellar tendonitis not responding to PT - alternatives?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2008, 02:49:37 AM »
Hi there,
I have bilateral patellar tendonitis, and what is really helping me is light therapy at PT. He applies a light machine to areas around my tendon, and it's supposed to help heal the tissue and reduce pain. Also, applying ice cubes till they melt on the tendons and just aggressive icing is helping me.

Hope this helps!!!
12/02 LR on L knee
2004  Synvisc injections
6/07  Acute L knee subluxation, cortisone, PT
1/08  TTO Fulkerson with LR L knee, LR on R knee
6/08  Acute subluxation of L knee in July, disability 4 times in 2 yrs
1/08 -- Present  PT year round. Bilat Patellar Tendonosis. Chronic Flare ups

Offline mbw1103

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Re: Patellar tendonitis not responding to PT - alternatives?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2008, 02:55:40 AM »
Thanks Katie - I'll ask my physical therapist about the light therapy.  I'll give the ice cubes a try - lately, i've just been going to sleep  with an ice pack on my knee.....it seems to help at least for a little bit.

Melissa















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