The benefits of an active lifestyle for your physical and mental health are almost innumerable, so you want to do what you can to avoid being sidelined. As any sports medicine specialist will tell you, early detection and intervention are key to this goal, which is why we’re focusing on the signs of patellar tendinitis in this month’s blog post.
Patellar tendinitis is an injury to the tendon that connects your kneecap to your shinbone. The patellar tendon works with the muscles at the front of your thigh to extend your knee so you can kick, run, and jump.
At LA Pain Doctor, Firas Hijazi, MD, and Satvik Munshi, MD, applaud your active lifestyle and work diligently to help you overcome overuse injuries like jumper’s knee. Through our efforts, our goal is to help you stay in the game for as long as possible.
With that in mind, it’s important that you do your part by recognizing when there might be a problem. Here, we explore five signs of patellar tendinitis that warrant further investigation.
1. Pain and tenderness around the tendon
When there’s damage to your patellar tendon, you may feel tenderness and pain around the tendon, just under the lower part of your kneecap.
2. Pain with activity
Patellar tendinitis is an overuse injury largely caused by concussive forces on your knee, such as activities or sports that require a fair amount of jumping. One of the early signs of patellar tendinitis is knee pain when you’re active, which can be throbbing pain or a dull ache.
3. Pain when your knee is bent
Your patellar tendon allows you to straighten your knee, so when you’re seated and your knees are bent, the tendon is stretched. If the soft tissue is damaged, sitting with your knees bent for long periods can be very painful.
4. Difficulty straightening your leg
If you experience pain or stiffness when you straighten your leg, such as when you stand up from a chair, this may be a sign of patellar tendinitis.
5. Swelling around your knee
When you have damaged tissue, your body responds by creating inflammation and swelling. If your knee is swollen, it’s always a good idea to get it checked out.
Treating patellar tendinitis
Any time you have ongoing knee discomfort, it’s very important to have us evaluate the problem. Left untreated, overuse injuries like patellar tendinitis can get worse and, ultimately, force you to significantly curb or even quit your active lifestyle.
When you come in, we review your symptoms and perform a physical evaluation. Next, we turn to advanced imaging to take a closer look at the inner structures in your knee. If we find that you have patellar tendinitis, we determine the degree of the damage and recommend treatment options, which typically include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Corticosteroid injections
- Physical therapy
It’s impossible to say how long it will take for your patellar tendon to heal, but studies show that a return to sports can take anywhere from 20 to 90 days, or more, depending on the severity of your tissue damage. Your patience, however, will be well rewarded when you take to the court, track, or field with a knee that isn’t painful.
For expert diagnosis and treatment of your patellar tendinitis, contact one of our locations in Metairie, LaPlace, Harvey, New Orleans, Luling, and Hammond, Louisiana, to schedule an appointment. Call the office most convenient to you today or book online anytime.