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Knee tendinitis, or patellar tendinitis, is an inflammation of the patellar tendon. It usually occurs just below the kneecap. It is commonly called “jumper’s knee” because jumping activities can strain the patellar tendon. However, sports medicine physicians know that it can afflict people who participate in all types of sports and athletic activities.
Repetitive injury and overuse are the most common causes of patellar tendinitis. However, a single traumatic event can also cause it.
How to Prevent Patellar Tendinitis
In addition to guarding against overuse and recurring jumping activities, there are other precautions that you can take to help prevent patellar tendinitis.
- Stretch before engaging in any athletic activities, particularly strenuous ones. By stretching the hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles, you can the lessen risk of injury during jumping and running activities.
- If you are beginning a new sport or exercise routine, get some professional instruction to make sure that you are doing it correctly and not placing undue pressure on your muscles or tendons.
- Strengthen your thigh muscles so that they can better handle the stress that can lead to patellar tendinitis.
- Do eccentric exercises, such as extending your knee and then slowly lowering your leg.
- If your knee is in pain, rest and ice it. Don’t try to play through the pain. Avoid all activities that will place stress on the patellar tendon.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Each additional pound you gain can add as much as eight to ten pounds of force during some activities on the knee.
Proper Diagnosis is Key
If you’re experiencing pain in your knee, it’s essential to see an orthopedic surgeon so that the problem can definitively diagnosed and treated. Because the treatment for tendinitis is unique, and the wrong treatment can worsen the condition, it’s important that it be correctly diagnosed.
The good news is that treatment usually does not involve surgery. In many cases, physical therapy as well as strengthening and stretching exercises can help. Sports medicine doctors can also teach you correct jumping and other exercise techniques to help prevent a re-occurrence of the condition.
At Southeast Orthopedic Specialists, our team of Florida orthopedic doctors, physical therapists and sports medicine specialists can diagnose your problem and design a treatment and rehabilitation program that can get you moving again without pain. Call us or contact us online today to schedule an appointment.