Patellar Tendinopathy

Injury Description 

Patellar tendinopathy is usually associated with insidious onset of localised pain on the patellar tendon just below the knee cap.


Repetitive trauma causes degeneration and micro- tearing of the tendon.


It is suggested that there are four stages to tendinopathy:

  1. Early inflammatory reaction- usually first 24- 72hours. The body’s normal mechanism which sends cells to the area to try and heal the injury
  2. Angiofibroblastic degeneration- there is an increase in fibroblastic cells, vascularity and neuronal ingrowth of the tendon which causes malalignment of tendon structure
  3. Structural failure- at this stage the tendon ruptures (varies in size)
  4. Fibrosis or calcification- formation of fibrous tissue or calcification within the tendon



Pain is usually made worse with jumping, changing directions and decelerating.


There may also be a thickening of the tendon.



Patients recover well with Physiotherapy treatment and should expect to be able to return to normal sports/ activities.


Injuries to the medial collateral ligament that is lower down usually takes longer to rehabilitate than a tear that is higher.



  1. Relative rest and modifying aggravating activities is essential to successful treatment
  2. Physiotherapy treatment aims to reduce pain and improve functional strength as well as identify and treat overcompensating structures