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Patellar Tendinitis

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Last updated June 11, 2022

Patellar tendinitis quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your patellar tendinitis.

Patellar tendinitis quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your patellar tendinitis.

Take patellar tendinitis quiz

What is patellar tendinitis?

Patellar tendinitis is also called jumper's knee and patellar tendinopathy. It is an inflammation of the patellar tendon, which runs from the bottom of the patella—or kneecap—to the top of the shinbone.

It is most often an overuse injury seen in athletes, especially those in sports involving jumping, but it can affect anyone. Strenuous physical activity without warming up first, or tightness and inflexibility in the muscles of the thighs, can put additional strain on the patellar tendon.

Symptoms include pain just below the kneecap. At first it may only appear during exercise, but later becomes chronic as the tendon becomes more damaged and inflamed. Eventually the pain interferes with normal movement.

Rarity: Rare

Top symptoms

Treatment

See a primary care doctor, who may refer you to a specialist (orthopedist). It is important to get treatment, as the condition will not heal on its own and will only get worse through forced movement.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and imaging such as ultrasound or X-ray.

Treatment includes:

  • Rest
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Physical therapy to return flexibility to the tendon
  • Sometimes corticosteroid injections
  • Surgery
Share your story
Dr. Rothschild has been a faculty member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He currently practices as a hospitalist at Newton Wellesley Hospital. In 1978, Dr. Rothschild received his MD at the Medical College of Wisconsin and trained in internal medicine followed by a fellowship in critical care medicine. He also received an MP...
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