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. Treatments from your doctor may include physical therapy, stretching, a patellar tendon strap, and steroid injections. If those conservative treatments have failed and 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.