It is a collection of fibrous tissue that joins the top of the kneecap to the quadriceps muscles. The quadriceps affect by straightening the knee's movement, such as moving, jumping, and running. The quadriceps tendonitis can become painfully swelled because it is more useful in different activities, e.g. sports. This condition is known as quadriceps tendonitis. Mainly, tendonitis can affect the knee, hip, quadriceps, or ankle.
The following factors can be responsible for quadriceps tendonitis:
- Weight Lifting: Frequently lifting heavyweights.
- Sports: In sports, anything involving running, jumping, or a quick start can cause it. Moreover, it is common in many sports, for instance, running, basketball, soccer, and volleyball.
- Muscle Tightness: Stiffness and tightness in the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles are other factors that can produce it.
- Obesity: It is a common factor observed in non-athletes experiencing this issue.
- Chronic Disease: It can also be caused by conditions that obstruct blood supply. Chronic diseases that may weaken the tendon are Rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, Diabetes mellitus, Metabolic disease, chronic renal failure, leukemia, gout, hyperparathyroidism.
- Surgery: Has occurred after knee surgery or dislocation.
- Aging: Aging is another factor that causes it. Tendons get less flexible and take longer to heal as people get older.
- Corticosteroids: People who use corticosteroids often suffer muscle and tendon weakness.
- Fluoroquinolones: An antibiotic that links with quadriceps tendon tears.
- Immobilization: Can be anywhere from the hip to the foot.
- Pain in the Affected Area: Its most general effect is pain at the bottom of the thigh, just above the kneecap. The pain will increase as a person move his knee. They may also have some swelling.
- Localized Tenderness: A patient feels uncomfortable when they press on the top edge of the kneecap.
- Swollen Knee: People feel swelling around the tendon and kneecap
- Knee Stiffness: When a patient first gets up in the morning or after sitting down for a while, he observes knee stiffness.
- Weakness: A patient may feel weakness in and around the knee, reduced power during the "push-off" state of running or jumping.
The primary purpose of treatment is to:
- Lessen knee pain and swelling
- Rectify muscle imbalance
- Progress in quadriceps function
When people suffer quadriceps tendonitis, treatment depends on the severity of the issue.
- Non- surgical treatment
- Surgical treatment
1. Non-Surgical Treatment
Most people who suffer from quadriceps tendon pain treat by non-surgical treatments:
- Rest: Avoiding activities that are caused by knee pain. In most cases, relative rest is best, but people may require complete rest in severe cases.
- Ice: Patients also feel comfortable by regularly applying an ice pack to the knee during the day. Its application for 10-15 minutes can support lessening swelling and quadriceps tendon pain.
- Physical Therapy: The physician may use various physical therapy such as ultrasound, acupuncture, or electrical stimulation for treatment. Physical therapy aims to lessen the pain and swelling and enhance the function of the quadriceps.
- Deep, Transverse Friction Massage: Can be highly efficient in chronic cases of quadriceps tendinopathy. It serves to break down adhesions and realigns the collagen fibers in the tendon. In this way, the tendon heals.
- Taping Up Knee: The therapist may tape up the knee to avoid overloading the tendon and stop the pain. A knee support strap is also beneficial for many people, especially during sports.
In addition to this, the patient should also wear knee support or immobilizer as their doctor recommends. A knee support can be used to brace and protect the knee and is helpful for its healing. Moreover, it enables the quadriceps tendon to work correctly and efficiently.
Exercises: Stretching exercises have also been influential in the treatment. For example, knee stretches support improving the flexibility of the calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps muscles to decrease the tension through the tendon.
Moreover, strengthening exercises are also helpful for the quadriceps muscles, especially the VMO muscles, which control kneecap movement, hamstrings, and glutes muscles. It benefits diminish the strain on the tendon. Doctors should prescribe more strengthening exercises as patients heal. Furthermore, many people do not pay more attention to it and go for sports regularly. It can lead to severe issues. They should discuss with their doctors when it is safe to return to sports activity.
Medicines: Many people get relief by taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication) to treat decreased quadriceps tendon pain and inflammation in the knee. There are also some other drugs such as the pain reliever acetaminophen (Tylenol), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and the anti-inflammatory drugs aspirin (Bayer), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
Injections: Doctors also recommend injection in more severe cases. Corticosteroid or plasma-rich protein (PRP) knee injections are very popular in this regard. A single corticosteroid injection can lessen pain and swelling, but repeated injections can create the tendon to weaken and enhance the chances of injury.
2. Surgical Treatment:
If the patient does not cure by the above-mentioned non-surgical treatment, surgical treatment is needed. The actual aim of surgery is to remove the tendon's damaged portion, repairing and restoring the blood supply to the tendon. Furthermore, doctors recommend surgery by considering the below things:
- Patient's activities
- His previous level of function
The surgery is typically done arthroscopically, such as key-hole surgery. However, in some cases, It requires more extensive open surgery. In surgery, holes are formed in the kneecap with a particular drill. Then, sutures are placed in the tendon and carefully tied onto the kneecap with the help of the drill holes. After the surgery, a knee immobilizer brace is usually worn. Surgery is helpful in healing by restoring the blood supply to the injured quadriceps. Most patients can go home that day in arthroscopic surgery.
After recovery, many people return to the previous activities that are not good for them. People should take care of themselves and take proper rest for a healthy life. After all, health is all they want.