Tendon problems

Diseases of tendons (tendinopathy) may affect tendons around the knee. This causes pain, swelling and restriction of knee movement. This condition tends to be chronic and is usually due to over-use or repetitive minor trauma. Tendinopathy usually responds well to conservative treatment. The mainstay is physiotherapy and eccentric stretching. Surgery is rarely required.

Ultrasound scan of Patella Tendinopathy

Ultrasound scan of the patella tendon showing a typical appearance of patella tendinopathy

Patella Tendinopathy

This is an overuse injury. It is also known as jumper’s knee. Previously thought to be an inflammatory condition, it is now accepted to be a degenerative wear and tear process. Patients complain of pain at the front of the knee, made worse by jumping or hopping. Diagnosis is clinical but can be confirmed with MRI or Ultrasound scans. Treatment is often prolonged and may involve intensive physiotherapy, injections (STEROID/ACP - autologous condition plasma) and ultrasound shock wave therapy. If symptoms don't settle with these conservative measures, surgery may be indicated especially if the lesion is very localised.

Quadriceps Tendinopathy

This is less common than patella tendinopathy and tends to be seen in a slightly older age group. It occurs at the attachment of the quadriceps tendon to the top of the patella. It tends to cause tenderness and pain on contraction of the quadriceps muscle. Diagnosis is confirmed by ultrasound and/or MRI scans. Principles of treatment are similar to those for patella tendinopathy.

Orthopaedic consultation
Key-hole  knee surgery
Mr Wilson carrying out knee arthroscopy surgery
Scrub team before ACL surgery