Quadriceps tendonitis (also spelled tendinitis) is a painful condition affecting the quadriceps tendon above the kneecap. The quadriceps group of muscles is the largest in the front of the thigh and is very important for stabilizing the leg. The group of muscles are individually called the vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis and the overlying rectus femoris. The quadriceps tendon connects the quadriceps to the shin bone (tibia) via the patellar tendon, which encases the knee cap itself. The process known as the quadriceps mechanism involves the patella (knee cap), the patella tendon, the quadriceps and its tendon. They all work together to extend the leg to straight.
Quadriceps tendonitis is caused by repetitive use of this tendon. This condition is most common in an athlete who is in involved in sports that require lots of jumping such as basketball, volleyball and jogging, or in a sport that requires a lot of stopping and starting. Little tears in the tendon and tendon sheath will present as pain and inflammation if these tears are not allowed to heal with rest.
Inflammation in the quadriceps tendon is often due to irritation and/or micro-tearing of the collagen fibers. When the fibers tear, they become weaker, inflamed and swollen causing pain and tenderness in the area.
There are 2 types of tendonitis, acute and chronic. Acute quadriceps tendonitis refers to inflammation that comes on suddenly, usually from a tendon strain or overloading it during exercise. Chronic quadriceps tendonitis occurs over time and generally results from long term repetitive use of the quadriceps tendon.
With both types of tendinitis, scar tissue develops on the tendon as the tears begin to heal. This scar tissue mends the tears in an abnormal way leaving the collagen fibers weaker and more prone to further injury. In the case of chronic quadriceps tendinitis, a build up of scar tissue over a long period of time will make the tendon and the entire knee joint more prone to re-injury.
Other conditions which can be a cause of anterior (front) knee pain are commonly confused with quadriceps tendonitis. These conditions include patellar tendonitis, synovial plicae, chondromalacia, patello-femoral subluxation and hyper-pressure, fat pad impingement or Hoffa's syndrome and patello-femoral arthritis.
The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results! With these simple therapies you will notice incredible results in your knee.
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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition.
Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before using any of our outstanding products to make sure they're right for you and your condition or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Always see your doctor for a proper diagnosis as there are often many injuries and conditions (some very serious) that could be the cause of your pain.
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