The knee joint is made up of three bones: the thigh bone (femur), the shin bone (tibia) and the kneecap (patella). The patella is located on the front of the knee, and is attached primarily to the quadriceps (quad) muscle and the tibia via the patellar tendon. It facilitates knee extension by transmitting the powerful forces from the quad muscle to the tibia, and is critical in enabling activities like walking, running and stairclimbing. Activities that impart repetitive force on the patella and the patellar tendon can lead to inflammation and damage to the patellar tendon, leading to patellar tendinitis. This is commonly seen in runners, or laborers who perform repetitive climbing, squatting or kneeling.

Patients with a patellar tendinitis report pain in the front of the knee under the kneecap, or over the patellar tendon, and difficulty with activities like running, climbing stairs, squatting and kneeling
Patellar tendinitis is diagnosed by a combination of the patient’s history, the findings on physical examination. An X-ray is important in excluding bony lesions and an MRI is sometimes beneficial in defining the degree of damage to the structures involved.
Treatment for patellar tendinitis involves a variety of conservative modalities like rest, activity modification, bracing, icing, physical therapy and oral and topical anti-inflammatory medications. If symptoms persist surgical options include arthroscopy and/or mini-open debridement of the diseased segment of the patellar tendon.

At Oceana Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, Dr. Aboka performs minimally invasive Arthroscopic Patella Tendinitis Surgery, designed to achieve quick healing and return to an active lifestyle.