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Revista Brasileira de Ortopedia
On-line version ISSN 1982-4378
COHEN, Moisés et al. Patellar tendinopathy. Rev. bras. ortop. [online]. 2008, vol.43, n.8, pp.309-318. ISSN 1982-4378. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-36162008000800001.
Patellar tendinopathy, or jumper's knee, is often seen in athletes that practice jumping modalities, or modalities that require repetitive impact strength. Histologically, the excessive load on the tendon may cause changes in the extracellular matrix and results in small lesions that may, when chronic, lead to tendinosis specially in the lower pole of the patella. Pain in the anterior region of the knee is the first symptom reported by the patient with this disease. The beginning is insidious and gradual, mainly after physical activity, but with the progression of the disease, pain may be frequent during or already in the beginning of the activity. The diagnosis of patellar tendinopathy is eminently clinical, characterized by pain when palpating the lower pole of the patella and adjacent areas. In more advanced cases, a palpable nodule and associated edema may be visualized. Supplemental exams, such as X-ray, ultrasound, and MRI help in the diagnosis. Ultrasound and MRI are the best indications, as they may define the exact location of the lesion, its extension, and also identify whether or not degenerating changes are present, MRI providing the best resolution. Initial tendinopathy treatment is clinical, with relative rest, correction of etiologic factors, cryotherapies and physiotherapy. The use of pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs is controverted. For those cases that do not respond to clinical treatment, surgical is an option, and the literature brings several techniques with varying rates of good results.
Keywords : Tendinopathy; Patellar ligament [pathology].