The patellar tendon connects the kneecap to the lower leg bone. Tendinopathy is an injury to the tendon. It can cause pain, swelling, and limited movement. The injury can include:

  • Tendonitis—inflammation of the tendon
  • Tendinosis—tiny tears in the tendon tissue with no significant inflammation

Treatment depends on the severity of the injury.

Patellar Tendonitis
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Tendinopathy is generally caused by overuse of a muscle-tendon unit. Over time, the strain on the tendon causes structural changes within the tendon.

Patellar tendinopathy occurs from overuse of the patellar tendon. Overuse may be caused by any activity that requires:

  • Intense running
  • Jumping
  • Frequent stops and starts
  • Frequent impact to the knee
  • Falls
  • Tendon weakness from certain diseases