What is Patella Tendonitis?
Patella tendonitis (also known as “Jumper’s Knee”) is an injury to the main tendon in the front of your knee. This tendon attaches the knee to the shin and works with the quad muscle to extend your leg. Injury to this tendon can occur from repeated extension of the knee, which may happen through repeated jumping, kicking, squatting, or running. Repeated stress to the patella tendon without adequate recovery results in a strain. A person may feel pain in the front of their knee after and/or during exercise. The tendon itself may even appear to slightly swell. In our athletes, this is commonly seen in basketball, volleyball, and soccer, but it may occur in any sport. This pain can worsen and become chronic resulting in poor performance or time away from the activities we love.
How Can I Prevent Patella Tendonitis?
Injury prevention is crucial in the world of sports. Before participating in sports or exercise you should warm up. A proper warm up will elevated your heart rate and bring on a light sweat. During or after this warm up, the parts of the body that are going to be stressed should be stretched. To help prevent patella tendonitis the quads and hamstrings should be stretched. After exercise, the muscles should be stretched again to improve flexibility. It is also important to remember to have days of rest during the week to allow your body to recover and heal. These simple techniques will help prevent you from getting patella tendonitis.
When Should I See My Doctor?
Sometimes after exercise your patella tendon may be a little sore from the added stress. Before seeing your doctor, you can always try a period of rest and ice to see if your pain improves. If this pain does not resolve or worsens over a few days, then you should see your doctor for evaluation and management before the injury becomes severe. Prompt evaluation and management are the keys to a quick and successful recovery!