The patella tendon connects the patella to the tibia at the point of the tibial tuberosity (the bony lump at the top of the shin). It is an extension of the Quadriceps muscle helping to control movements around the knee joint. Patella tendinopathy is common with most sports and the tendon may fully rupture in severe cases. Osgood-Schlatters Disease is common in teenagers and effects the distal insertion of the tendon at the base of the knee causing pain and inflammation.
Causes: Patella tendinopathy or patella tendonitis is sometimes called ‘jumpers knee’ and commonly occurs in sports that involve excessive load directed through the tendon. It is common in sports which involve repetitive jumping such as volleyball, exercises such as ‘burpees’ and explosive sports such as sprinting in athletics. A complete rupture of the patella tendon can be caused by a sudden forceful contraction of the quadriceps muscle group when landing following a jump. Lower limb biomechanics, poor footwear and abnormal foot function may contribute to the problem or may possibly be the direct cause. Osgood-Schlatters Disease affects teenagers during growth periods and exhibits pain and inflammation around the tibial tuberosity as load is placed on the tissue with sports and activity.
Symptoms and diagnosis: Patella tendinopathy will cause pain and swelling at the base of the knee. Symptoms are normally exacerbated with the continual participation in sports and running until the problem is diagnosed correctly and treated by a physiotherapist. A complete rupture of your quadriceps/patella tendon may have had a history of a “popping” noise at the time of injury leading to the inability to straighten the leg or weight bear on the affected leg. The symptoms of Osgood-Schlatters Disease are similar to patella tendonitis with pain and inflammation directed around the tibial tuberosity during sports. An X-ray may be indicated to confirm the diagnosis of the problem.
Management: A skilled physiotherapist will correctly diagnose the problem and provide effective physiotherapy and rehabilitation required to reduce the inflammation and strengthen the tissue to allow a full return to sport. A lower limb biomechanical examination is recommended to fully assess the full extent of the problem.
Please feel free to contact the G4 Clinic to speak to a member of the team for any questions that you may have.