What is Patellar Tendinopathy?
A tendinopathy occurs when a tendon fails to heal after an overuse injury. This causes pain and swelling of the tendon and often results in a limp, lack of function and stiffness.
The patella tendon lies below the knee-cap and connects it to the front of the top of the shin bone. Patellar tendinopathy (sometimes called “jumper’s knee“) can affect the tendon where it attaches to the knee cap (insertional tendinopathy) or in its middle (mid-substance tendinopathy). Patellar tendinopathy, sometimes referred to as jumpers knee, causes pain directly over the tendon and this can be worse with activity, jumping (hence “Jumpers Knee”) and with kneeling. The tendon is tender when pressed and may be a little swollen.
This common tendinopathy is seen in people who participate in sports activities that involve a lot of jumping. It is seen particularly in runners and in basketball and netball players.
How is it diagnosed?
The diagnosis of the condition is usually fairly straightforward but we often recommend an ultrasound scan and sometimes an MRI scan to confirm the degree and the exact location of the abnormal area of tendon and to exclude a fat-pad problem which can mimic patella tendon pain.
How is Patellar Tendinopathy Treated?
Rest, icing, anti-inflammatory tablets and painkillers can help symptoms. Specific physiotherapy stretches and exercises (eccentric programme) may also be recommended. Some people find an patellar strap helpful in reducing pain.
Unfortunately, the condition can often fail to respond to these measures, and we see many patients who have suffered with the condition for over a year and who have been unable to participate in their usual recreational activities and whose daily lives are made difficult because of the pain.
What if these don’t work?
In longstanding (chronic) cases that have not responded to the above treatments, we first recommend shock wave therapy as it involves no needles, no anaesthetic and is performed in the out-patient clinic. It is also very safe. We often use focussed shock-wave therapy in insertional tendinopathy. We have found it to be successful in relieving pain in 60-70% of cases which is a little lower than in some other conditions.
Other treatments are available for chronic tendinopathy, such as PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections. This works by injecting healing cells derived from the persons own blood into the affected area.
As a last resort, mini-incision day-case surgery can be considered. We use modern technology to carefully remove tiny bits of diseased tendon.
Changed my life completely, cannot thank you enough
I was in pain daily. I dreaded walking up or down stairs for a few years. I had to give up my hobbies due to the pain. Before I was seen in the clinic I had both tendons released, loads of physio and a tibial tubercle transfer on the left.
I was seen quickly by Mr Sood and he examined me and also arranged a scan. He diagnosed bad patellar tendinopathy and gave me some exercises to do and also arranged some shock wave treatment. It was one of the least painful treatments that i have had. I had 3 sessions lasting 20 minutes. I was slightly sore afterwards but only lasting a couple of hours.
I can now run up and down stairs and am back to the gym but I won’t kick box again just in case.
I would recommend the clinic. It has changed my life completely. I cannot thank Mr Sood enough for his and his teams help.
I would recommend the treatment my pain and swelling decreased
I was suffering from patella tendinopathy. I am a contemporary dance and ballet student and this affected my education. I tried eccentric work for about 8 months and had no result at all. I had shock wave therapy for 3 sessions and it also wasn’t too effective. I then had a PRP injection. It was painful for about 3-4 days but gradually the pain and swelling decreased. I would recommend the treatment as my pain has decreased but I would advise people who would take PRP treatment that it would take a long time and to be patient.
back to doing my activities and lots of walking
I had patella tendonitis and this affected my sports activities. I had to stop tap dancing and tennis – too painful! Even walking became painful. The knee was very unreliable on stairs etc. as kept giving way.
I had physiotherapy and shock wave therapy but no improvement was noticed. The PRP injection was a success but was painful and the knee was sore for a day or so afterwards. I was able to go back to doing my activities and lots of walking. I would recommend the PRP treatment because it solved my problem and my knee has remained pain-free for 3 years.
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