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

Nick Kalogeros

The Wait Ends, Dramatically, for Glastonbury Kidney Transplant Recipient

For more than two decades, Nicholas Kalogeros of Glastonbury has known kidney failure and end-stage renal disease were inevitable without a transplant. A rare genetic disease, Alport syndrome, that damages small blood vessels in the kidney and eventually causes organ failure left Kalogeros on peritoneal dialysis the past year as...

Charcoal Grill

Don’t Get Burned This Summer: It’s This Simple

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, fireworks and fun in the sun. With it comes an uptick in burn cases to hospital Emergency Departments (ED) everywhere. Most are preventable. With the proper care and attention, a trip to the ED is avoidable. “Our skin’s function is to protect the body from...

Fish

What’s in the Fish You Eat? What About Local Fish?

Fish is a nutritional Hall of Fame protein loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins D and B2, calcium, phosphorous and minerals. Eating low-fat fish at least twice a week, says the American Heart Association, can lower your blood pressure and your risk of a heart attack of stroke. Unless,...

COVID-Related Depression

These Age Groups Most Affected by COVID-Related Depression, Anxiety

Experts call it the underlying crisis. While COVID-19 cases spike around the country, more than a third of Americans report related depression and anxiety. “The spread of COVID-19 leaves people feeling out of control, which is uncomfortable and unnerving,” said Dr. James O’Dea, vice president of operations for the Hartford...