Also known as 'Jumper's knee', patella tendinopathy is caused by functional overload to the patella tendon. High volume training, and forceful, repetitive loading of the Quadriceps muscle group makes individuals particularly susceptible to developing this injury.
Affecting more males than females, this injury tends to affect very active individuals who are involved in explosive jumps, or explosive starts and stops. Knee pain is often felt at the beginning and end of their sporting activity, but can develop into continuous pain, even after exercise and at rest.
It has been found that individuals who have very mobile knee caps (patellae), and poor supporting muscle strength around the knee and hip, are more predisposed to developing patella tendinopathy.
Diagnosis can be made through ultrasound, MRI and clinical testing. Successful treatment is usually achieved with early intervention, using physical therapy. This can involve the use of isometric and eccentric contraction exercises, soft tissue and stretching techniques,, and lifestyle modifications.
Other treatment methods such as extracorporeal shock wave therapy, ultrasound-guided electrolysis, percutaneous neuromodulation, adipose tissue stem cell injections, hyaluronic acid and platelet-rich plasma injections can be offered should conservative methods fail.
Canosa-Carro, L. et al. (2022). Current understanding of the diagnosis and management of the tendinopathy: An update from the lab to clinical practice. Disease-a-Month. 10: 1016-1314.