Knee tendonitis, clinically called patellar tendonitis and more commonly known as jumper’s knee, is a tendon inflammation injury often caused by repetitive strain. Unless treated properly, knee tendonitis causes at least mild discomfort and at worst severe pain and immobility.
Knee tendonitis is a common affliction that occurs for a variety of reasons. With the proper diagnosis and treatment, its effects are short-term. The recovery time for treated knee tendonitis is brief as well. You may even be able to manage the signs of knee tendonitis with self-care options after you’ve received a clear diagnosis from Dr. Marc Haro at the Southeastern Orthopedic Institute.
Causes of Knee Tendonitis
Knee tendonitis happens when your tendons develop small tears during intensive activity, and the damage doesn’t immediately repair itself. As more tendons tear without rest, your knee weakens and becomes strained. This repeated strain leads to persistent pain and a potentially long-term condition called knee tendonitis.
Those who regularly do strenuous exercise without proper rest, nutrition and conditioning are most at risk to develop knee tendonitis. Weekend hiking, running on hard surfaces, basketball, and other high-speed or high-impact exercises strain your body when you don’t take precautions.
If you’re overweight, you’re also at risk of developing knee tendonitis because of the constant stress on your knees. Age also adds risk because muscles grow tighter and stiffer over time. Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and other chronic conditions often lead to knee tendonitis as a side effect.
Signs of Knee Tendonitis
Discomfort in the area between your leg and your kneecap usually is the first signs of knee tendonitis. At first, you may experience pain when participating in an intense workout or activity. Eventually, your knee hurts more often. Even getting up out of a chair can cause pain. Other common signs of knee tendonitis include:
- Pain above or below the kneecap
- Pain during or after a workout
- Pain that recurs with activity and is eased by rest
- Pain in your shinbone
- Swelling around your knee that’s sometimes warm to the touch
- General knee stiffness
- Chronic pain even during sleep
If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your orthopedic doctor. As long as he rules out other causes of your knee pain, such as referred lower back pain from a pinched nerve, sacroiliac joint dysfunction or herniated disc, rest and self-care may be your best first option.
Treating Knee Tendonitis
Your first steps to take include:
- Putting ice on your knee to reduce swelling
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication to reduce pain and inflammation
- Improving flexibility with a stretching program
- Addressing muscle imbalance through targeted physical therapy exercises
If home care doesn’t significantly reduce your symptoms after a few weeks or if your pain increases or your mobility decreases even further, you may need more intense interventions. While Dr. Haro always begins with the least invasive treatment, further treatment may include:
- Injections of corticosteroids into your knee
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
- Oscillating needle procedure
- Minimally invasive surgery
Don’t ignore your body’s warning signs. Don’t try to self-diagnosis and treat knee pain on your own. Call the specialist at the Southeastern Orthopedic Institute who knows what you need when you show signs of knee tendonitis.