Knee Tendonitis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
What is Knee Tendonitis?
Knee tendonitis, also known as patellar tendonitis or a patellar tendon tear, is one of the most common causes of inner knee bone pain or sharp pain under the kneecap. Also known as a jumper’s knee, tendonitis in the knee is caused by an injury to the tendon connecting the kneecap to the shinbone. The patellar tendon works with the muscles in your thighs to facilitate various movements, including running, kicking, and jumping. An injury of the knee tendon or patellar leads to a severe loss of mobility.
Knee tendinitis is colloquially known as a jumper’s knee because it’s particularly common amongst athletes whose sports involve frequent jumping, such as volleyball and basketball. However, knee tendinitis and bilateral knee tendinopathy can also happen to someone who doesn’t participate in sports. When you consult a knee pain doctor, they should examine your knees, diagnose the root cause of knee pain, discuss your symptoms, and curate personalized treatment plans, usually consisting of physical therapy and minimally invasive techniques.
The board-certified knee pain doctors in New York diagnose and treat the root cause of your knee pain. They administer unique diagnostic techniques, identify your symptoms, and recommend minimally invasive treatments, such as corticosteroid injections. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of a torn patellar tendon, such as inner knee bone pain, pain above the kneecap, inner knee pain when straightening the leg, and knee pain on the interior side, please schedule an appointment with our knee pain doctors.
Symptoms of Knee Tendonitis
Knee tendinitis is usually accompanied by painful sensations between the kneecap and the shinbone, i.e., the patellar region. At the earliest stages of knee tendinitis, you might only experience knee pain when you start physical activities or just after an intense workout. But the pain will gradually intensify and worsen, eventually interfering with your regular activities. Over time, knee pain will be bad enough to prevent you from climbing stairs.
The following are the common symptoms of knee tendinitis:
- Patellar tendon tear
- Sharp pain under the kneecap
- Torn patellar tendon pain
- Inner knee bone pain
- Pain above kneecap
- Inner knee pain when straightening the leg
- Knee pain on the interior side
- Knee pain while climbing stairs
- Knee pain while jumping
- Swelling and redness around knee joint
Root Cause of Knee Tendonitis
Knee tendonitis is an overuse injury, usually occurring because of repeated movements and overuse of the knee joints. That’s why a jumper’s knee is particularly common amongst athletes who use the knee joints regularly during their sports, especially while jumping. Repeated stress on the knee joint can lead to a patellar tendon tear, which your body tries to repair. Over time, as the tears multiply, your body’s regenerative capacity can’t keep pace with the patellar tendon tears, leading to inflammation and bilateral knee tendinopathy.
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Risk Factors for Knee Tendonitis:
- Sports: Athletes specializing in sports that involve long periods of running and jumping have a high risk of patellar tendon tears. This is especially true when the athlete suddenly increases the force with which they engage the tendons, leading to increased stress.
- Tight Leg Muscles: You may experience a patellar tendon tear because of tight quadriceps or hamstrings that run up the back of your thighs.
- Leg Muscle Imbalance: If there’s an imbalance in the strength of your muscles, the stronger muscles can pull the patellar tendon out of place, causing bilateral knee tendinopathy.
- Medical Conditions: Knee tendonitis can occur because of illnesses that prevent optimal blood circulation to the knees, weakening the knee tendons. These diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, kidney failure, and diabetes.
Tips to Prevent Knee Tendonitis:
- Ice and rest your knees if you notice any exercise-related knee pain
- Don’t participate in sports if you experience knee pain
- Don’t place additional stress on the patellar tendon
- Strengthen your leg muscles to support the patellar tendons
- Engage in eccentric exercises that involve lowering your legs slowly
- Use proper physical techniques while playing sports
Diagnosis of Knee Tendonitis
During your first appointment with our knee pain doctors in New York, you will undergo a thorough assessment. The knee pain specialist will ask about your daily physical activities, the symptoms you’re experiencing when those symptoms first appeared, and your medical history. You must answer all of the doctor’s questions with complete honesty and accuracy to help them diagnose the root cause of your knee tendonitis.
The knee pain doctor will physically examine your knee joints to test your range of motion. They might apply pressure on different areas, move your legs and knees in different positions, and determine the specific location of knee injuries. After physical examination, the knee pain doctor may administer x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to visualize the injured kneecap or patellar tendon and thus curate a personalized knee pain treatment plan.
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Jumper’s Knee Treatment Exercises
Physical therapy is one of the most effective therapies for knee tendinitis. Your physical therapist will offer a wide range of jumper’s knee treatment exercises to decrease the pain and inflammation. Your exercises may include stretching and strengthening exercises that work on your leg muscles, helping you strengthen the weakened patellar tendons. The physical therapist will also work on balancing your leg muscles.
Non-Surgical Knee Tendonitis Treatment
Our knee pain doctors only focus on non-surgical knee tendonitis treatments. You may receive ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injections into the patellar tendon to alleviate inflammation and swelling. However, this treatment also weakens the tendons, so corticosteroid injections must be accompanied by jumper’s knee treatment exercises that involve stretching and strengthening exercises. Our knee pain doctors only recommend surgery in extremely rare cases when all other treatments fail.
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Meet Our Team of Knee Pain Specialists
KNOW OUR TEAM OF HARVARD TRAINED KNEE SPECIALISTS
Knee Pain Doctor in New York
Dr. Michael Nguyen
Dr. Michael is available for Knee Pain treatment consultations in Manhattan, New York.
Knee Pain Doctor in New Jersey
Dr. George Hanna
Dr. Hanna is available for Knee Pain treatment consultations in Manhattan, New York.
Knee Pain Doctor in New York
Dr. Shane Volney
Dr. Volney is available for Knee Pain treatment consultations in Manhattan, New York.
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