Patellar tendonitis, also known as Jumper’s Knee, is an acute injury that occurs when the ligament connecting the patella (knee cap) to the tibia (shin bone), becomes inflamed and irritated. Patellar tendonitis causes pain at the front of the knee joint, just below the knee cap. This condition is most often seen in athletes involved in activities that require a lot of jumping or rapid change of direction, which are actions that are particularly stressful to the patellar ligament. Participants of basketball, volleyball, soccer, and other running related sports are particularly vulnerable to patellar tendonitis.
Patellar tendonitis can also result from a sudden, unexpected injury that can damage the ligament, such as landing heavily on your knees. Patellar Tendinosis, on the other hand, is a chronic condition that develops gradually. Instead of the ligament becoming inflamed and irritated as it does with tendonitis, tendinosis is characterized by microscopic tears and thickening of the ligament. This degeneration means that the tendon does not possess its normal tensile strength and is at increased risk of rupture with continued activity. Conservative treatment can be very effective in helping the tendon regain its tensile strength.