Quadriceps Tendinopathy

Quadriceps tendonitis

Overuse can cause pain and inflammation of the quadriceps tendon as it inserts into the top of the kneecap. Over time this can lead to degeneration of the tendon.

Symptoms of quadriceps tendinopathy

Pain around the top of the kneecap during and after exercise.There may be pain when simply contracting the quadriceps muscles or pressing in along the top of the knee where the muscle attaches to the patella. The patient is likely to feel stiffness the day after training and have pain when standing from a crouched position.

What is quadriceps tendinopathy?

Tendinopathies are diseases of the tendon. These can come in many forms, including tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon) and tenosynovitis (inflammation of the sheath surrounding the tendon). The term tendinopathy is used to cover most tendon injuries.

The insertion of a muscle is its lower attachment point. The quadriceps muscles insert at the top of the patella (kneecap). This injury is an overuse injury, as the pain tends to develop gradually over a period of time, rather than at a specific point. Pain in this area is more common in older athletes and in weightlifters. This is because of the high strain on the muscle insertion during deep squats.

Treatment of quadriceps tendinopathy

What can the athlete do?

Apply cold therapy or ice if it is acutely painful. Ice can be applied for 10 to 15 minutes every hour for the first 24 to 48 hours. Later once any acute inflammation has calmed down applying heat and wearing a heat retainer may be more beneficial.

 

Stretching the quadriceps muscles is important and should be done regularly throughout the day. A sports injury professional can advise on a full rehabilitation program. Rest is unfortunately also very important. If you do not rest, it will not get better!

What can a Sports Injury Professional do?

A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. Ibuprofen) in the early acute stages, however if this injury is a long term chronic problem then anti inflammatory medication may not be beneficial and may even hinder recovery.

Cross friction sports massage techniques can be particularly effective in treating chronic quadriceps tendinopathy. In persistent cases a doctor may give a corticosteroid injection.

Recovery from chronic quadriceps tendinopathy can take weeks or even months.

Related Articles

Osgood Schlatters Disease

Osgood Schlatter disease or Osgood Schlatter lesion is a very common cause of knee pain in children between the ages of 10 and 15 years old. It was named after two physicians in 1903, Dr. Robert...

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome is inflammation of the Iliotibial band on the outside of the knee as it rubs against the outside of the knee joint. Symptoms include pain over the outside of the knee which...

Jumpers Knee

Jumpers knee or patellar tendonitis is an overuse injury that results in pain at the front of the knee, localised at a point towards the bottom of the kneecap. Repetitive strain from too much...

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) also known as runners knee, chondromalacia patellae, anterior knee pain and patellofemoral joint syndrome is a generic term used to describe patella pain at the...