Banner - Hide this banner

Author Topic: Knee pain for three years- maybe Patellar tendonitis  (Read 1298 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline okelfgirl

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Liked: 0
Knee pain for three years- maybe Patellar tendonitis
« on: October 11, 2010, 04:09:32 AM »
        I am a 21 year-old female in the US. In November of 2007, my left knee started hurting. I went into an orthopedic surgeon in June of 2008, and he said it might be plica syndrome. He prescribed Naproxen as needed, and I continued with that for probably 8 or 9 months. I went in again in early August 2008 and he said that it was idiopathic and there was nothing really he could do. So sorry!  ::) He named some things, but didn't seem too eager to do anything and said we'd just see how it goes. I went in to him 3-4 more times over the next year and a half. At some point, he suggested it was patellar tendonitis. I have had an MRI which showed no cartilage damage, but did show edema. It supported his diagnosis. I have had two Kenalog shots which did no good. He didn't think PT would help. His belief all along has been that it probably has to do with my growth and would eventually just go away.      
          It is a nearly constant dull ache in the anterior portion of my knee. I don't play sports, but I am a college student so I do quite a bit of walking to and from class. However, I was in HS when this all started. I am a skinny, fairly active girl. This has gone on for nearly 3 years. Luckily, it is something bearable, but it does affect my life. I am growing weary of it. I really am not sure what to do at this point.  Anybody have any thoughts/suggestions?

Offline crankerchick

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1863
  • Liked: 25
  • How 'bout them Cowboys!
    • Derotation osteotomy & TTT Post-op diary
Re: Knee pain for three years- maybe Patellar tendonitis
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2010, 04:20:59 AM »
Consider going to a different doctor for another opinion. A good set of x-rays and a thorough examination will go a long way in getting to the bottom of your issues. In addition, going to physical therapy for strengthening may or may not help, but it seems it would be worth a try before dissing it completely. I would get some more opinions.
Mar '07 - plica excision
Oct '09 - femoral + tibial derotational osteotomy & TTT
Aug '10 - hardware removal
"You control your leg. Don't let it control you." -Smart trainer
"Get your a$$ in gear and go for it! Nothing will happen until you make it!" -Smart doctor

Offline knee always hurts

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • Posts: 233
  • Liked: 0
Re: Knee pain for three years- maybe Patellar tendonitis
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2010, 04:44:48 PM »
According to this site, you are going to want an ultrasound performed by a radiologist with experience in diagnosing patellar tendinitis:

That should be able to give you a definitive diagnosis. If it turns out that it's not PT, it might be Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. PT can mimic PFPS because it can also present as a defuse pain around the anterior of the kneecap, but you can often find a localized area of sensitivity on the Patellar Tendon. If you don't, then you would more likely have PFPS. But definitely get that ultrasound to confirm.

If it is PFPS, then there probably isn't going to be a panacea that will magically cure your condition, especially since you've had it for 3 years now. I should mention that in the majority of cases of anterior knee pain, there is not any underlying damage to the articular cartilage. The pain is caused by an overload of tissues in the knee joint, which is not that unlikely since the knee is subjected to a greater load than any other joint in the body. Once the pain cycle begins, those same loads prevent the swelling from subsiding, and the pain can continue for years.

I imagine that at some point in the last 3 years, you've gone to physical therapy, and they've had you try all sorts of stretches and strengthening techniques, and they haven't worked. If that's the case, bet on them not working in the future. If you haven't tried it yet, it might be worth a shot, and I'd imagine other members of this forum would probably suggest it. But if the conventional therapies haven't worked for you, there are other options. But you're going to have to implement them yourself. Since I've already written a number of times on this topic, I'll just give you some links, but certainly feel free to ask any questions you might have. This blog has excellent information on how to rehab a variety of conditions, and this post will help you understand what could be causing the pain if it is PFPS. This is probably the best summary of all of the relevant research available on the internet. I think there is something like 125 footnotes! But it does cost $20.

You can also look at a few of the threads that I've posted on in the last few months: Also check out the blog linked in the first post.

It sounds like your experience with the doctor has been similar to mine, and your concerns have simply been dismissed. You deserve better than that, so get that diagnosis from a doctor who knows what they're doing. Good luck!