Patellar Tendinopathy



Patellar tendinopathy is caused by overuse.

Risk Factors

Patellar tendinopathy is more common in teens and people under 40 years of age. It is also more common in people who do things that involve jumping, such as volleyball and basketball.

Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Having a high body mass
  • Doing too much activity too quickly



Patellar tendinopathy causes pain below the kneecap. It is often worse during physical activity and when bending the knee.

The knee may also be swollen and stiff.


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the knee. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.

Pictures may be taken to confirm the diagnosis. This can be done with:

  • Ultrasound
  • MRI scan



The goal is to ease pain and improve movement. This may be done with:

  • Ice and rest to ease pain and swelling
  • A knee brace to keep the knee from moving
  • Medicine to ease pain and swelling
  • Exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee

Procedures or surgery may be done if other methods have not helped.


The risk of patellar tendinopathy may be lowered by slowly increasing the length and duration of activities.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.