Patellar tendinopathy is a very common injury in those who play sports using frequent explosive movements, like basketball and athletics, typically caused by overloading, or continued microtraumas.
Pain and swelling around the knee are usually seen. The knee pain in here goes through four clinical stages, starting with mild pain and increasing to severe pain before the tendon eventually ruptures.
We use Ultrasound scans here usually to observe any tendinosis. In most cases this can be treated without surgery, whilst the recovery time depends on the severity of the injury, we have a very high success rate helping our patients to recover from these injuries.
The success of the rehabilitation treatment of patellar tendinopathy is very different depending on the time of onset of the disease, the severity and the type of patient. An overview of recent onset and moderate seriousness offers a good chance of success, regardless of the sport.
Initial rehabilitation treatment involves an active rest, that is, reducing the workload, eliminating gestures that exacerbate the pain, without interrupting the activity and pain control through physical therapies (laser, shock waves, ultrasound). At this stage it is very important the relaxing massage of the quadriceps, the hamstring reflex and deep transverse massage of the patellar tendon combined with a good execution of stretching exercises of the front and rear chain to ease tensions on the tendon itself.
In the subacute phase you can start the eccentric muscle strengthening and elastic quadriceps and core muscles; in the absence of pain you can move on to the recovery of sport specific gesture and preventive exercises.
The real cure of tendinopathy is therefore prevention, by avoiding overloads.