Patellar Tendinitis Treatment in Santa Monica, CA
In order for the knees to properly function, they require proper structural alignment. The patellar tendon of the knee, which connects your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone (tibia), in addition to facilitating your mobility, enables you to kick, run and jump. When problems arise with the structural alignment of the knees—whether it be from strain, irritation or injury—loss of mobility may ensue. A common cause of knee problems is patellar tendinitis (also known as "jumper's knee"), which refers to pain, weakness and swelling of the tendon connecting your kneecap to your shinbone.
Jumper's knee largely affects athletes, who sustain the injury from overusing the involved ligaments in their sport. Athletes involved in jumping sports, such as basketball and volleyball, may experience side knee pain from extended use of their knees and should contact their healthcare provider if they present with these symptoms, as they may have jumper's knee, to ensure damage is minimized. To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Santa Monica that specializes in patellar tendinitis treatment, call (424) 365-1800 or contact Dr. Jeremy Fischer online.
What is Patellar Tendinitis?
So what is patellar tendinitis, anyway? Colloquially known as "jumper's knee," patellar tendinitis is one of the most common forms of tendinitis. Though the precise cause has not yet been isolated, it is believed that repetitive stress placed on the patellar or quadriceps tendon during the act of jumping is largely to blame. Stress from overuse can lead to tiny tears in the tendon, causing your body to attempt to repair itself. As these tears multiply, however, they can cause pain and inflammation, and ultimately, weakening of the tendon, leading to functional loss in the tendon.
Poor hamstring and quadriceps flexibility puts you at a higher risk of experiencing impairment caused by jumper's knee, and vertical jumping ability as well as landing technique can be involved. Risk factors for jumper's knee include having a high body weight, being bow-legged or having limb-length inequality as pertaining to sports-specific training (or overtraining).
Patellar Tendinitis Symptoms
Patellar tendinitis symptoms are simple to identify. Pain between the kneecap and where the tendon attaches to the shinbone is the telltale sign of patellar tendinitis. This pain typically varies between 4 different stages of severity.
Stage 1: Pain occurs only after activity, but not so severe as to cause functional impairment of the knee.
Stage 2: Pain occurs during and after activity, although you are still able to perform satisfactorily in your sport.
Stage 3: Prolonged pain occurs during and after activity, which is marked with an increasing level of difficulty in performing in your sport at a satisfactory level.
Stage 4: A complete tendon tear has occurred which requires surgical repair to restore function.
Additionally, general symptoms which could suggest patellar tendinitis may include inflammation, tenderness and stiffness.
Jumper's Knee Treatment
To diagnose jumper's knee, your healthcare provider will take a health history followed by X-ray imaging to help distinguish between other potential causes of pain (such as a joint problem). An ultrasound and MRI may be elected to detect tendon abnormalities in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.
Jumper's knee treatment can vary depending on the severity of the injury you have sustained. Initially, medications such as pain relievers (ibuprofen or naproxen sodium) can help provide short-term pain relief for your symptoms. Physical therapy will likely be recommended and could include stretching exercises to reduce muscle spasms and strengthening exercises to combat weak muscles that may be contributing to the your strain.
For more severe cases of jumper's knee, your healthcare provider may recommend platelet-rich-plasma injections to promote new tissue formation and regeneration of the damaged tendon. In rarer cases, surgery might be recommended to repair the patellar tendon. An alternative, non-invasive treatment that shows promise that your healthcare provider may recommend is shock wave therapy, which utilizes acoustic waves to stimulate tissue growth.
To prevent the onset of jumper's knee, it is important to stress that you should not "play through the pain." If you experience knee pain, it is important to consult a healthcare provider. Schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Santa Monica that specializes in patellar tendinitis treatment. Call (424) 365-1800 or contact Dr. Jeremy Fischer online.
Vitality Integrative Medicine
Address4849 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
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