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Author Topic: Patellar tendonitis/tendonosis for 21+ months...anyone had this problem?  (Read 4341 times)

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Offline nickaliw19

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Hello, I've been struggling with tendonitis/tendonosis for ~ 21 months (not weeks...months), and am quite frustrated with this, especially since I have been quite active throughout my life.  I've been trying conservative treatment so far (avoiding surgery still), and have stuck to it because I would get enough improvement that the rehab specialists let me go on my own and do my exercises on my own.  But impatient me, I would do too much and pretty much start all over.  I have done the rehab thing five different times (get better, reinjure). 

Now, I have learned my lesson and am taking my time, however, I am seeing no improvement with rehab (sixth time), and it is very easy to aggrevate my tendon (I kid to my friends that even a gnat landing on my knee would reinjure it).  The therapists are performing the Graston Method (deep message with metal tools to create new scar tissue that is aligned via subsequent exercise, followed by icing).  They have been doing this for over three weeks (once a week), but I have not seen any improvement.  I have resorted to crutches on bad days and avoid standing for more than a few minutes and walking very far.  This has really hindered my graduate research, for I work in the cleanroom, where you must stand for long times to work at the chemical hoods.

I have stopped taking NSAIDS (e.g., Ibuprofen) a month ago for the better interest of my intestines (never had bleeding, but thought it was a good idea, anyways).  I have actually read that NSAIDS could hinder healing in tendonosis cases (something about collagen cells not replicating DNA as fast as needed for mitosis).

Anyways, some questions:

Have you personally known anyone that has had this problem for so long?  Did he/she ever get back to normal athletic activity?
Do you think it is tendonosis or tendonitis, or a combination of both? 

I think I am posting more for emotional support than finding the answers to the above questions  :)

Cheers.

Patellar tendon injury 6/3/05
Diagnosed tendonitis
PT-self
reinjury
PT-professional
reinjury
(PT-prof & reinjury) x 4
Currently PT-prof with Graston Method to align scar tissue
Diagnosed with tendonosis

Offline kera4

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Hi! I have struggled with tendinitis/pes bursitis/ITB problems for a few years now. Back in 1999 I had lateral release surgeries, then in 2004 I had to have scar tissue removed. Ever since then I have had the tendinitis issues-it is very frustrating! The more exercise I do, the worse it gets. So, I have only been doing limited exercise (quad presses, walking in water, etc.) If I try squats, leg lifts, etc. they just become inflammed again. I also have some arthritis under the kneecaps, so cortisone shots have helped that. I also use a TENS machine, and lots of ice. I wish I could walk more that 3 blocks without sitting down! What a pain. Take care, Kera

Offline nickaliw19

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kera4, sounds like you've been through a lot more than me.  I am trying to avoid surgery at all costs, but am running out of options.  I met with one knee specialist/surgeon that worked with the Indianapolis Colts for years, but he seemed to be more excited about cutting me open than doing conservative treatment...I am going to another specialist in a few weeks to see what he has to say.

What is this TENS machine?  I am also thinking about walking in water.  Do you think you will get back to normal everyday activities w/o pain?
Patellar tendon injury 6/3/05
Diagnosed tendonitis
PT-self
reinjury
PT-professional
reinjury
(PT-prof & reinjury) x 4
Currently PT-prof with Graston Method to align scar tissue
Diagnosed with tendonosis

Offline lilrosie06

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As per my OS's orders, my PT started a procedure today called Iontyphoresis. Its when they put this cream (prescription) on an electrode of a stim unit, and put it right above the area that is hurting. This penetrates the medicine deep down and is supposed to help with the inflammation caused by the tendonitis. Being that today was the first time I had this, Im not sure if it has helped or not. But its worth a try......

DONNA
LEFT KNEE INJURY-1-05
SCOPE 4-05, LR 1-07, TKR 6-07, MUA 7-07, REVISION 10-07, INFECTION CLEANOUT 11-07, REVISION 4-08, EXPLANT 2-09 ANTIBIOTIC SPACER PUT IN, AND PICC LINE FOR 6 WEEKS
REPLACEMENT 5-09

BACK IN PT NOW....HIP AND FOOT PAIN, POSSIBLY SCIATIC

Offline nickaliw19

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Donna,

I'd be interested to find out if this helps, and hope it does for you.  Why did your OS finally give you this treatment.  From your profile, it seems like you've been dealing with this for over 2 years.

-Nick
Patellar tendon injury 6/3/05
Diagnosed tendonitis
PT-self
reinjury
PT-professional
reinjury
(PT-prof & reinjury) x 4
Currently PT-prof with Graston Method to align scar tissue
Diagnosed with tendonosis

Offline lilrosie06

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Hi Nick....
They have never told me I had patellar tendonitis before. I twisted my knee at work, and since then, I have been having lateral pain and pain in kneecap, along with tons of subluxations. I had a LR on the 23rd of Jan. and have already developed tendonitis. My PT said its not abnormal to get it after an LR, but so early in rehab is sort of weird, as Im not doing any major exercises yet. But, I will let you know how this works. Its definintely putting a damper on my recovery. A LR, tendonitis, and atrophied quads just dont mix.

Sorry you have been dealing with this for so long.I know what you mean about the NSAIDS. I have pre ulcers from taking so many pain meds, etc.

Do you Ice alot? My PT is preaching to me about icing several times a day. Its painful, I know. Please keep me informed, and I will do the same.

Donna
LEFT KNEE INJURY-1-05
SCOPE 4-05, LR 1-07, TKR 6-07, MUA 7-07, REVISION 10-07, INFECTION CLEANOUT 11-07, REVISION 4-08, EXPLANT 2-09 ANTIBIOTIC SPACER PUT IN, AND PICC LINE FOR 6 WEEKS
REPLACEMENT 5-09

BACK IN PT NOW....HIP AND FOOT PAIN, POSSIBLY SCIATIC

Offline kera4

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Dear Nick, The TENS machine is a home unit, like the stim. units they use in PT. Your doctor can order one for you. It has been helpful for maintaining some quad strength, and for pain control. Actually, my knees are a bit better than a year ago. I have given them more rest, and now I can do more. I hope I can continue to slowly strengthen, but I'm not sure what will happen.


Donna, my PT has used that cream/gel with ultrasound on my knees before and it did seem to help. Good luck in PT! I see you have had lumbar injections. I have had issues with my back as well, and have had many injections. I have had a nerve burning procedure that really has cut down my back pain.

Take care, Kera

Offline nickaliw19

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Hello Donna,

Yes, I perform ice messages (frozen cups of water) on my knees until they're numb (~5-8 minutes) after my stretching and subsequent exercises (I do quad, hip flexor, ITB, and hamstring stretches twice a day and exercises--1-2" knee bends and "monster walks" (see below)--only once a day.  On my bad days, where I cannot perform my exercises b/c of inflammation, I simply ice after my stretches.  Also, I ice any time that I have inflammation from standing too long, walking too far, putting too much weight suddenly on my bad knee, etc.  I take one of those re-freezable ice pads that velcros around my knee to work.  You don't want to ice 24 hours, of course...blood flow to the area is essential, just not when it is inflamed.  My PT was telling me that inflammation around tendons is tricky, because it goes out of control.

One thing that I have consistently noticed with my progress is that once I am not inflammed (by taking it easy), I can do one hip strengthening exercise...and my progress becomes relatively faster.  I simply put a very low resistance thermaband, tied to itself to create a circle, around my ankles and take small steps outward (~45 degrees), making sure there is at least a little tension in the band.  I do this until I start feeling either hip muscle tiredness or very mild irritation in my patellar tendon.  My PT calls these "monster walks".  It must be something about balancing the strength of the muscles that help you walk...with that said I simply have patellar tendonitis and nothing else, so I don't know if this exercise would help or cause further damage to your pre-existing condition. 

Kera,

I may need to talk to my doctor about this machine.  I am going to see a well-known (at least in my state) knee doctor to get another opinion about my treatment and hopefully a more informative diagnosis.

Nick
Patellar tendon injury 6/3/05
Diagnosed tendonitis
PT-self
reinjury
PT-professional
reinjury
(PT-prof & reinjury) x 4
Currently PT-prof with Graston Method to align scar tissue
Diagnosed with tendonosis