Patellar tendonitis or patellar tendinitis or jumper’s knee in layman, is a condition affecting the tendon on the inferior portion of the knee known as the patella. It is common among athletes who employ jumping during their routines.
Patellar tendonitis can be very disturbing as someone with this soft tissue injury can have limitations in ambulation as a result of the affectation of the structure that supports the knees from flexing and extending; thereby limiting the ability to walk. When you are experiencing patellar tendonitis, the first thing that you should do is to consult a medical practitioner or a chiropractor immediately to employ managements and get your knee functioning normal again. Treating patellar tendonitis is relatively easy; however, treatments should be employed early because delayed management may pose further injury to the other structures in the musculoskeletal system as the patella is not able to support the knee anymore.
Treatments for patellar tendonitis usually are based on the degree of injury. Patellar tendonitis with no functional impairment, with pain before and after an activity and with moderate affectation of the range of motion of the knees may only involve conservative managements including medical and home remedies.
Medical Management for Patellar Tendonitis
Physicians usually prescribe pain relievers to reduce pain and inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are preferred for mild to moderate pain whereas corticosteroid injections are used for severe pain and inflammation that do not respond to conservative managements. A more modern approach is iontophoresis or the spreading of corticosteroids on the skin followed by the use of electrical charge to drive the medication inside the skin overlying the affected patella.
Physical therapy and rehabilitation is also employed to help individuals return to their optimum functioning and maintain adequate range of motion of the lower extremities. Along with physical therapy, strengthening and stretching exercises are employed to ensure that the muscles are flexible and strong enough for support to avoid tension on the tendon.
A patellar tendon strap is also used to apply pressure on the patella to help distribute the weight of the body into the strap instead on the injured tendon. All of these managements are deemed to be effective in reducing pain; however, you may still employ home remedies to act as adjunct managements.
Home Remedies for Patellar Tendonitis
There are various home measures that you can employ to relieve pain and inflammation. Rest is the first thing that you need to employ as further movement of the affected knee may lead to further injury to the patella. Avoid working through the pain because this will just intensify the swelling and pain, rather, temporarily avoid those that aggravate pain such as running, climbing, squatting and other high impact exercises.
Application of ice is also effective to relieve inflammation and swelling. In case of acute injury to the patella, application of ice reduces the swelling; thereby, limiting loss of function and pain. You may also place an elastic bandage temporarily over the area to serve as compression and support. Lastly, elevating the legs for at least 30 degrees may help drain blood from the feet and improve circulation to the affected knee.
Surgical Management for Patellar Tendonitis
When all of the above managements are ineffective and pain becomes persistent, surgery may be the last resort. Surgery is done to repair the torn or injured patella using small incisions around the knee.
Treating patellar tendonitis starts with employing emergency measures and consulting a doctor immediately. So before managing your condition on your own, consult a physician or a certified chiropractor.