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Dr. Allan Mishra | Knee Pain Diagnosis



Diagnosis

PATELLAR TENDONITIS
(Jumperís Knee)

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Definition Inflammation and degeneration of the tendon that connects the kneecap (Patella) to the shin bone (Tibia).

Picture of Normal Knee

Model and X-ray of a Normal Knee
Details This disorder is seen in athletes that engage in running and jumping type sports such as basketball or volleyball. It is characterized by pain in the front of the knee that ranges from a dull ache to severe and sharp pain. As the inflammation progresses pain will occur during sports and then maybe even at rest.
Causes Patellar tendonitis is an overuse syndrome. Repetitive or power jumping contributes to swelling and inflammation in the patellar tendon. If untreated, small tears and degeneration of the tendon may occur. Poor muscle flexibility may also be responsible for causing patellar tendonitis.
Diagnosis Patellar tendonitis is diagnosed when an athlete complains of pain in the front of the knee coupled with tenderness over the area between the knee cap (Patella) and the shin bone (Tibia). Xrays may show a high riding kneecap. Occasionally, an MRI scan or ultrasound is employed to confirm the extent of the patellar tendon involvement.

Knee Physical Exam--Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar Tendonitis MRI
Treatment Non operative
Phase I Control of pain and inflammation with REST, icing, stretching and anti-inflammatory medication
Phase II Restoration of strength and function via physical therapy program. Modalities such as ultrasound, cortisone cream, straps and taping may be used during this therapy.
Phase III Continue therapy program to include sport specific
drills and testing. Resume activity or sports when symptoms have completely resolved.

Recently, Platelet Rich Plasma injections have been investigated as a potential treatment for this disorder by Dr. Allan Mishra.  Research is ongoing.  For more information, go to the homepage of EMEDx.

Operative

If nonoperative treatment measures fail, surgery may be needed to cut away the inflammation and stimulate healing of the tendon. This is known as a patellar tendon debridment procedure. Fortunately, most cases of patellar tendonitis respond to nonsurgical treatment. If this debridement procedure is needed, however, a diagnostic knee arthroscopy may be done at the same time to rule out other internal causes of the knee pain.
Prevention

Avoid overusing your knee by cross-training
Maintain maximum flexibility and always warm up before sports


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