Tendinitis of Knee: Everything You Need to Know
What is the tendinitis of the knee, also known as bilateral knee tendinopathy?
Do you experience sharp pain under the kneecap, pain above the kneecap, inner knee pain when straightening the leg, back of knee tendon pain, or pain in front of the kneecap? These are knee tendon tear symptoms, and they indicate that you may have underlying tendinitis of the knees, also known as bilateral knee tendinopathy or a jumper’s knee. If you identify these symptoms, please contact our board-certified knee pain doctors to explore your treatment options in New York.
Tendinitis of the knee, also known as patellar tendinitis, is an overuse injury wherein the tendon connecting the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone is damaged. In healthy knees, the patellar tendon works with the leg muscles at the front of your thighs (quadriceps) to extend your knees, facilitating various knee-related movements, such as running, jumping, and kicking. However, the overuse of the knee tendons can lead to a patellar tendon tear.
Knee tendinitis is colloquially known as a jumper’s knee because it’s particularly common amongst athletes engaging in sports that involve frequent jumping, such as basketball and volleyball. When you’re jumping, you place immense stress on the leg muscles and patellar tendons, leading to tiny tears that can eventually cause a patellar tendon tear. The ideal treatment for knee tendinitis is physical therapy or the stretching and strengthening of the tendon in the knee.
Knee Pain Doctor NYC is led by a talented team of knee pain specialists who diagnose and treat the root cause of your knee pain. We review your medical history, perform diagnostic tests, and recommend the ideal combination of physical therapy and minimally invasive treatments to restore optimal mobility. We avoid opioids and only recommend surgery in rare and extreme cases when minimally invasive treatments fail. Please schedule an appointment to explore your jumper’s knee treatment options in New York.
What are the knee tendon tear symptoms?
A patellar tendon tear leads to the gradual development of pain sensation in the patellar tendon region. You may notice mild pain and aching sensations in your knees, usually between the patellar region and shinbone, when you play sports or engage in physical activities. Over time, if left untreated, knee pain sensations can increase and worsen, eventually restricting your movements during regular activities, such as climbing stairs.
The specific knee tendon tear symptoms depend on your unique condition, but you may experience sharp pain under the kneecap, pain above the kneecap, inner knee pain when straightening the leg, back of knee tendon pain, or pain in front of the kneecap. These are some of the most common symptoms of knee tendon tears, and they usually intensify with activities. If you notice these symptoms, please rest your knees.
What causes patellar tendinitis?
Patellar tendinitis is an overuse injury, which means it’s caused by patellar tendon tears due to excessive activities. If you perform repetitive activities involving the knees, such as running and jumping, you develop tiny tears in the tendons in the knees, which your body tries to heal. If you have a lot of tiny tears, your body might not be able to heal them fast enough, making them multiply with repeated activities. Over time, repeated knee pain can lead to inflammation and weakening of the tendons, which, in turn, can cause bilateral knee tendinopathy.
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The following are the risk factors for bilateral knee tendinopathy:
- Physical activities that involve repeated use of the knee tendons
- Sudden increases in how often and strongly you use the knees
- Excessively tight leg muscles, including the quadriceps and hamstrings
- Imbalances in the leg muscles can pull the patellar tendons out of place
- Kidney failure, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and other such medical conditions can disrupt blood flow to the knees and weaken the patellar tendons, leading to knee tendinitis.
What helps tendonitis in the knee?
If you want to minimize the risk of tendonitis in the knee, you must strengthen your leg muscles. You must strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings to better sustain the stress of physical activities, minimizing patellar tendon tears that can cause knee tendinitis. You should ideally engage in eccentric activities that involve lowering your legs slowly after extending your knees, which can further develop your leg muscles.
You must also improve your techniques and posture. While playing sports, you must seek professional instructions on using the optimal techniques, posture, and equipment to reduce stress to the patellar tendons. And if you experience any knee pain, you must stop playing immediately, rest, and ice your knees. This is the best means of improving the health of your knee tendons, giving your body the time it needs to repair the tiny tears in the patellar region.
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What are the best jumper’s knee treatment exercises?
Please contact your physical therapist or knee pain doctor to explore your treatment options and physical therapy plans. Each individual is unique, and your knee tendinitis symptoms will also be unique. The knee pain doctor or physical therapist will run diagnostic tests and physical examinations to curate the ideal set of jumper’s knee treatment exercises. The goal is to strengthen your leg muscles and improve mobility, but the specific exercises will depend on your unique condition — the exercise plan usually includes stretching and strengthening exercises.
What are the treatment options for bilateral knee tendinopathy?
- Physical therapy and exercises to improve strength and mobility
- Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and swelling around the knees
- Medications to offer short-term relief from knee pain
- Surgical debridement of the patellar tendon if all other treatment options fail (rare)
The board-certified knee pain doctors at our medical center only provide conservative and minimally invasive treatments. We avoid using opioids because they don’t address the root cause of your knee pain, and we only recommend surgery in extremely rare cases when all other treatments fail to yield the desired results.
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