Carlos R. Rodriguez, MD
Patellar tendonitis or jumper's knee is a condition that causes pain in the band of tissue that connects the kneecap to the shin bone (the patellar tendon).
This is a condition that we often treat at the All Children's Sports Medicine clinic as it often occurs in our young athletes involved in sports that require repetitive jumping, running, walking or cycling.
All of these activities put repeated stress on the patellar tendon and cause it to get inflamed. The pain is located below the kneecap and can cause some swelling around this area also.
There are some problems with the alignment of your hips, legs, knees, or feet that may make you more likely to suffer from jumper's knee. Having wide hips, being knock-kneed, or having flat feet or arches that collapse when you walk or run (called overpronation) can all contribute to the development of this condition.
The physicians here at All Children's will examine you knee and see if you have tenderness at the patellar tendon. They will have you run, squat, or jump to see if this makes the pain worse. They will also check your leg's alignment and may order some x-rays of your knee.
The treatment usually consists of icing the area for 20-30 minutes three to four times a day for a few days until the pain goes away. You may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and a band to wear across the patellar tendon (called a cho-pat) or a special knee brace. If you have a problem with your arches or feet you may also be prescribed orthotics. Home exercises and physical therapy may also be recommended depending on the severity of the condition. You may also have to modify or refrain for your sports activities while recovering and healing.
Our goal is to get you back to your sport as safely and quickly as possible. In general, the longer you have symptoms before you start treatment, the longer it will take to get better. Finally the best way to prevent this condition is by having strong thigh muscles.