Tendonitis of the knee occurs in the front of the knee below the kneecap at the patellar tendon (patellar tendinitis), or in the back of the knee at the popliteal tendon (popliteal tendinitis). Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon produced by events such as jumping, which strain the tendon, hence the name “jumper’s knee.” Knee Tendonitis is diagnosed based on the presence of pain and tenderness localized to the tendon.
Although fairly uncommon, a tendon rupture can be a serious problem which may result in excruciating pain and permanent disability if untreated. Each type of tendon rupture has its own signs and symptoms and can be treated either surgically or medically, depending on the severity of the rupture and the confidence of the surgeon.
- Direct trauma
- Advanced age: As you age, your blood supply decreases. This decreases blood flow to the tendon, resulting in weakening of the tendon.
- Eccentric loading: When your muscle contracts while it is being stretched in the opposite direction, increased stress is placed on the involved tendon.
- Steroid injection into the tendon: This treatment is sometimes used for severe tendonitis.
Knee Tendonitis is treated with a combination of ice packs, immobilization with a knee brace, rest, and anti-inflammatory medications.
Gradually, exercise programs can rehabilitate the tissues in and around the involved tendon. Cortisone injections are generally avoided in patellar tendinitis because there are reports of risk of tendon rupture as a result. In severe cases, surgery may be required. A rupture of the tendon below or above the kneecap can occur and repair of the ruptured tendon is often necessary.