Patellar tendinopathy – sometimes called patellar tendinitis or jumper’s knee – is an injury to the tendon that joins your patella (kneecap) to your shinbone. This tendon works alongside the muscles at the front of your thigh, enabling you to run, jump and kick.
Patellar tendinopathy particularly affects people who participate in sports that involve jumping, including volleyball and basketball, however it is also associated with certain chronic illnesses and muscular problems in the leg.
Symptoms of patellar tendinopathy
Patellar tendinopathy causes pain between your kneecap and shinbone. In the early stages, you will normally experience pain during intense physical activity, particularly when you first start to move your knee. Over time, however, the pain worsens and may start on interfere with day-to-day activities such as sitting or going upstairs.
Who is at risk?
The condition is common among athletes who participate in sports that involve running and jumping, particularly if you suddenly increase the intensity or frequency of training. Always build up gradually and make sure you wear good quality running shoes. Certain illnesses that affect the flow of blood to the knee, such as diabetes, and autoimmune conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can weaken the patellar tendon and may lead to tendinopathy. Tight thigh muscles and hamstrings can place the patellar tendon under increased strain, increasing your chances of patellar tendinopathy. You can reduce your risk of the condition by strengthening your thigh muscles and making sure you are using the correct technique during training.
If you experience symptoms that may indicate patellar tendinopathy, try resting and using ice to relieve pain and swelling in the affected area. If the pain continues to worsen or your knee becomes red or swollen it is important to get a proper diagnosis as leaving patellar tendinopathy untreated may lead to larger tears and worsening symptoms.
During a physical examination, your doctor will apply pressure to your knee to ascertain where the pain and may recommend imaging tests. At W27 we use ultrasound scans to diagnose all types of tendon inflammation, including patellar tendinopathy. Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of the inside of your body which can be viewed on a computer screen. It is a quick and safe diagnostic technique that avoids any exposure to radiation. In some cases we may use an MRI scan which can reveal subtle changes in the patellar tendon.
If you have mild symptoms of patellar tendinopathy, exercises to stretch and strengthen your muscles can be helpful, as well as painkilling medication and anti-inflammatories and ice to relieve pain and swelling.
W27 offers highly effective ultrasound-guided therapeutic injections in the treatment of patellar tendinopathy. Using ultrasound imaging to help us deliver the medication to precisely the right part of the knee, we offer:
- Corticosteroid injections, which are used to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Dry needling, which involves repeatedly injecting the abnormal tendon to create mild trauma and localised bleeding. Blood contains growth factors and proteins that are believed to promote cellular regeneration which can support tendon healing.
- Injections of hyaluronic acid, which mimics natural joint fluid and can help to lubricate painful joints.
- Platelet rich plasma injections, which are part of an emerging field of healthcare called orthobiologics. These use platelets from the patient’s own blood to stimulate healing and initiate tissue repair.
If you have patellar tendinopathy, W27 can advise on diagnosis and which of these non-surgical treatments might provide the most effective relief from your symptoms. Contact us for more information
SPORTS INJURY TREATMENT | MANCHESTER, LONDON, CHESHIRE + MORE
W27 provides fast, accurate diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal symptoms and conditions using the latest state-of-the-art imaging facilities.
For your appointment there is a choice of locations:
The OrthTeam Centre Ohm Building – 168 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M20 2AF
Euxton Hall Hospital – Wigan Road, Euxton, Chorley, PR7 6DY
MedSerena Upright MRI Centre Manchester – 26-28 The Boulevard, Manchester, M20 2EU
The John Charnley Wing, Wrightington Hospital – Hall Lane, Appley Bridge, Wigan, WN6 9EP
The Spire Manchester – 170 Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2AF
MedSerena Upright MRI Centre London – 114a Cromwell Road, Kensington, London, SW7 4ES
HCA The Wilmslow Hospital – 52 Alderley Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 1NY
Information about our Fees can be found here.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your options with a specialist, please contact the team to book an initial consultation.