Patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee, is an overuse condition affecting younger adults who participate in jumping or kicking sports. Patellar tendonitis arises when the tendon connecting the kneecap (patella) to the shin bone becomes inflamed and irritated.
Patients suffering from patellar tendonitis describe a dull aching pain in the front of the knee below the kneecap, often accompanied by sharp pain when running or jumping. Pain can also be felt when prolonged sitting, squatting, and kneeling, as well as walking up and down stairs.
Treatment for patellar tendonitis begins with avoidance of the aggravating activities until the pain resolves. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc.) may be used to help control pain and resolve the inflammation. Heat application before activities is recommended, as well as icing the knee afterwards. A short course of physical therapy may be indicated as well to work on strengthening of musculature that supports the knee.