Knee Pain? What To Do if It’s Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar tendon brace
Print icon

Feeling pain in your knees when you are exercising?

Jon Davis of Hartford HealthCare’s Sports Medicine team says that it could be due to patellar tendonitis. Patellar tendonitis, also known as Jumper’s or Kicker’s knee, is the inflammation of a tendon, generally due to overuse. Patellar tendonitis specifically is caused by repeated tension of the knee extensors (quadriceps).  As a result, inflammation may occur in the patellar or quadriceps tendons.  If you have repetitive forceful knee extension (from, for example, running or weightlifting), the knee may begin to appear swollen and could lead to tendon inflammation.

Signs and symptoms of patellar tendonitis include pain and tenderness below the knee cap, as well as swelling over the affected area. There are three stages of pain from patellar tendonitis:

  • Pain only after sports or activity.
  • Pain that occurs during and after activity, but does not inhibit performance.
  • Prolonged pain during and after activity that impairs athletic performance.

It’s important to seek treatment prior to the later stages of pain. The longer you wait to address the pain, the longer it will take to return to activity without pain.

The challenge in treating this injury is the ability to return to activity without symptoms returning. Many types of treatments for an athlete with patellar tendonitis may be effective in resolving symptoms: ice, heat (such as ultrasound or a heating pad) and stretching/strengthening.  A patellar tendon brace (also known as a chopat strap), as shown above, applied at the base of patella may also be beneficial.

The brace applies compression to the area, taking some tension off the tendon. This can alleviate some of the pain associated with patellar tendonitis. If your symptoms become prolonged or worsen, you should consult a physician for alternative interventions, such as medication or physical therapy.

For more information about the treatments Hartford HealthCare offers for athletes of all skill levels, please visit Mysportshealth.org 


What's New

RLA Graduation

For Recovery Leadership Academy Grads, A New Way to Help Others

By Kate Carey-Trull Lyne Stokes, a former teacher in Hartford Public Schools, was in a severe depression this summer when she reached out to her friend Karen Kangas and found out about the Recovery Leadership Academy. “I was in a dark place in my life at the beginning of the...

TAVR

Can You Get a New Aortic Valve While Partly Awake? With TAVR, Yes.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is the popular technique for replacing a defective heart valve without open-heart surgery, and one Hartford HealthCare fellow found a way to make it even safer, more efficient, more effective and less costly. Dr. Wassim Mosleh, a second-year University of Connecticut cardiology fellow working with...

Parkinson's

Parkinson’s: Where Behavioral Health and Neurology Intersect

By Kate Carey-Trull Chances are, you know someone with Parkinson’s disease. One person is diagnosed every 10 minutes, with about 60,000 Americans diagnosed with the chronic, progressive neurological and degenerative disorder each year. Dr. J. Antonelle de Marcaida, medical director of the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute Chase Family Movement...

TryCycle

TryCycle, a Mobile Tool, Gives Added Connection in Recovery

It’s easy enough to talk about the urge to use opioids when you’re seated across from your counselor in a regular appointment. It’s the reason you’re there. But office visits are typically not when the temptation of opioid use disorder (OUD) is most challenging. That itch comes later, when you’re...

Mammography

Mammogram? Let a Women’s Health Coordinator Be Your Guide

Whether it’s a woman’s first or the fifth, having a mammogram can bring a flood of emotions and anxiety. Patients face unfamiliar, sometimes uncomfortable equipment designed to detect abnormalities in the breast. If a mammogram reveals a cause for concern, many women’s minds race as they wait with uncertainty and...

Your brain and aging

How Normal is Memory Decline as We Age?

Normal aging makes joints creak and skin sag. Inside the brain, cognition changes in similarly “predictable ways,” according to Dr. Amy Sanders, director of the Ayer Neuroscience Institute’s Memory Care Center in Wethersfield. Research has shown, she said, that the speed with which adults process new information or retrieve stored...