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Patellar Tendinopathy


Tendinopathy or patellar tendinitis is the most frequent tendon pathology. It usually affects athletes below the age of 45 and up to 20% of jumping athletes suffer from this condition. It is more common in males, volleyball players and those with poor quadriceps and hamstring flexibility.
The mechanism involved in this condition is the overuse of the quadriceps with micro tears in its tendon. Normally, the body is under constant repair. In this condition, the tendon has difficulties to heal and the scar formed, does not have the strength of the original tissue. When pain appears, the structural damage to the tendon is significant.
Once the condition is recognised, the biomechanics of the patient are evaluated, trying to find predisposing factors, such as: joint mobility, strength of the core muscles and sport technique. The activity that triggered the disease is suspended or limited, and a strengthening plan is indicated. Usually after 6 weeks, 65% of patients return to activity without pain.

If the exercises are not effective, more aggressive treatments should be indicated; always in the context of rehabilitation. Options are Shockwave therapy, Platelet Rich Plasma and Percutaneous Electrolysis therapy. Usually with these treatments more than 90% of patients improve symptoms.
In people where the symptoms do not improve after 6 to 12 months, surgical intervention is recommended. Surgery involves opening the tendon sheath and performing small cuts in the tendon to stimulate it to heal.