The patellar tendon runs from the kneecap (patella) to the front of the shinbone (tibia). When the thigh muscles (quadriceps) contract, the knee extends, or straightens, by way of the patellar tendon. Overuse may lead to inflammation of the tendon.
Frequent kneeling, squatting, climbing or jumping (frequently seen in basketball players).
Pain in the front of the knee, just below the kneecap. The pain is worsened by kneeling or squatting.
Tenderness along the patellar tendon, usually near the attachment of the kneecap. Swelling, or thickening of the tendon may be present.
Diagnosis is made by history and physical examination. X-rays are frequently obtained to make sure there is no other injury.
Rest, avoidance of aggravating activities, anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy are the mainstays of non-operative care.
Debridement of the damaged tissue. Rarely indicated.
Non-operative care is generally successful.