Patellar tendonitis / jumper’s knee is an injury to the tendon connecting your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone. The patellar tendon works with the muscles at the front of your thigh to extend your knee so that you can kick, run and jump.
Patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee, is most common in athletes whose sports involve frequent jumping — such as basketball and volleyball. However, even people who don’t participate in jumping sports can get patellar tendonitis. Chronic patellar tendonitis can develop into patellar tendinosis.
The main difference between patellar tendinosis and patellar tendinitis is time. Patellar tendinosis is a chronic (persistent or recurring) condition caused by repetitive trauma or an injury that hasn’t healed. By contrast, patellar tendinitis is an acute (sudden, short-term) condition in which inflammation is caused by a direct injury to the patellar tendon. The differences are reflected in their suffixes, with “-osis” meaning abnormal or diseased and “-itis” meaning inflammation.
Most cases of patellar tendonitis / jumper’s knee can be treated with relatively simple, at-home care under your doctor’s supervision. Patellar tendonitis treatments from your doctor may include physical therapy, stretching, a patellar tendon strap, and steroid injections. If those conservative treatments have failed or it appears to be patellar tendinosis, you are faced with surgery to debride/scrape the damaged tissue from the patellar tendon or a single treatment of Orthowave® High-energy Shockwave Therapy, the FDA approved non-invasive alternative to surgery.
If your patellar tendonitis is not too severe; rest, ice to the injured knee, and time to heal may be all that is needed. You can use over the counter anti-inflammatory medications to help control the pain. Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy and/or a steroid injection. If conservative treatments fail, non-invasive High-energy Shockwave Therapy or surgery might be required.
The fastest way to heal your patellar tendonitis is to apply ice and rest to the injured knee when the injury first occurs. The more you work the knee when it is injured, the worse the injury becomes.
The best treatment for tendonitis of your knee is to rest and limit any activities that stress your knee, apply ice, and sparingly use over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) like Ibuprofen or Naproxen to control the pain. Wearing a knee brace may help stabilize the knee while it is in the recovery phase. You physician may prescribe physical therapy, which is often successful. If the knee tendonitis is too severe, then surgery or non-invasive High-energy Shockwave Therapy might be required.
Patellar tendonitis may seem to go away after you warm up and begin to exercise, but that does not mean that it is completely healed. Since it is an injury to the tendon, recovery does take longer than other types of injuries, but it is possible to completely heal from patellar tendonitis. For severe cases, surgery to debride the tendon or non-invasive High-energy Shockwave Therapy might be necessary.
Usually, your pain will lessen over the course of several weeks, but complete healing may take several more weeks or months. Everyone is different and the healing time is dependent on the individual and the severity of the tendonitis in the knee.