Tendonitis knee or, as the Mayo Clinic calls it, patellar tendinitis is an injury that affects the muscle tendon that connects the knee cap to the shin bone. This tendon plays a crucial role in how you uses your leg muscles. It allows to extend your knee when kicking a ball or jumping. Tendonitis knee is a common injury among athletes, especially in sports that involve a lot jumping like basketball and volleyball.
Tendonitis knee usually manifests itself as pain centered on that part of the tendon between the kneecap and the shinbone. It could only be apparent after one engages in vigorous exercise, while participating in sports, or even when doing everyday tasks. The condition is a stress injury caused by overuse, resulting in tiny tears in the tendon. This can in turn result in inflammation and more tears if left untreated.
Besides medication to temporarily relieve the pain, there are a number of therapies designed to alleviate tendonitis knee. These include strengthening and stretching exercises and the use of a strap that distributes the stress of using the tendon from the tendon itself to the strap, thus alleviating pain and helping with healing.
In some cases more serious procedures have to be undertaken. Corticosteroid injections can help to alleviate pain, though some care must be taken to not weaken the tendon and thus cause more rupturing. Some doctors are experimenting with injection of platelet-rich plasma that may aid in tissue growth and thus healing. In more extreme cases, surgery may be indicated.