Patellar tendonitis, also commonly referred to as jumper’s knee, is a condition that can
cause severe knee pain. The patellar tendon connects your knee cap to the front of the
tibia, or shin bone. This tendon is forced to undergo a lot of stress in daily life, even
more so if you participate in activities that involve a lot of jumping, like basketball,
volleyball, long or triple jumping, and others.
Jumper’s knee can cause high levels of pain with specific movements and can make it
difficult to participate in the activities you love. However, there are many treatment
options available for patellar tendonitis, and stem cell therapy provides a promising
option that eliminates many of the potential problems of other treatments.
What is Patellar Tendonitis?
Patellar tendonitis occurs when the tendon below your knee cap becomes inflamed and
damaged. When the knee bends and extends, this tendon is forced to stretch and
contract. It undergoes a lot of stress with explosive motions, such as jumping and
landing, especially off hard surfaces.
When it is forced to do too much, this tendon can become painful or tender to the touch.
In addition, the area below the knee cap can become swollen, causing pain with
running, jumping, bending the knee, and more. Initially, the pain may be primarily
noticed directly after exercise. However, if left untreated, this condition can worsen and
become more chronic in nature.
While this condition occurs from overuse, it is more common if you have tight leg
muscles or strength imbalances in the inside, outside, front, and back of the thighs. In
addition, individuals who have higher body weight or who have bow-legged or
pigeon-toed knee alignment are also at an increased risk for its development.
There are a variety of different treatment options available for jumper’s knee, some of
which are more effective than others.
Physical therapy is one of the most commonly prescribed treatments for patellar
tendonitis. This form of therapy focuses on treating the surrounding muscles to reduce
any muscle compensations, relieve tightness in the muscles, correct improper form with
specific motions, strengthen all muscles of the legs, and promote correct joint alignment
throughout the body.
While physical therapy can be effective, it can take months for your body to heal itself
and return to normal form. Even if symptoms are alleviated, the chance of reoccurrence
is quite common, especially if you return to the sport in which the initial injury occurred.
This can lead to further physical therapy or the need for other treatment options.
Arthroscopic Debridement Surgery:
Debridement surgery is generally only prescribed when other more conservative
treatment methods have failed. This surgery is performed arthroscopically, meaning that
only small punctures are made in the skin as opposed to cutting the joint open
completely. A small camera is inserted into one of the punctures to allow the surgeon to
perform the procedure accurately.
This procedure involves cutting away or shaving down damaged pieces of cartilage in
the knee joint and cleaning up any fraying or damage on the patellar tendon itself.
These surgeries may also work to shave down any bone spurs that may be causing
While these procedures may be able to help clean up any existing damage in the joint,
there is always the chance that an infection or blood clot could occur. In addition, these
surgeries do not always address the root of the issue, and the existing muscle, joint, or
bone problems can continue to damage the remaining cartilage in the joint, leading to
further health issues.
Arthroscopic surgeries also can cause the knee joint to become stiffer, and physical
therapy is often required following the procedure. Debridement surgery can be quite
costly on its own, and having the additional costs of physical therapy can make the
process even more taxing on your wallet.
Opioid Pain Management:
Another method of pain management is through the use of prescription medications.
While these can effectively block pain and reduce levels of discomfort, there are also
many issues with this type of treatment. Taking medication may lessen pain, but it does
nothing to address the true cause of the pain.
Because of this, it will be necessary to continue taking prescription medications on a
long-term basis. This can result in many other health complications, including
dependence or addiction, an increase in pain sensitivity, and symptoms of withdrawal
after you stop taking them.
Stem Cell Therapy:
Stem cell therapy provides a great treatment option that can naturally enhance the
healing process using the body’s own cells. Stem cells are produced largely in the bone
marrow, and they have the ability to create many different types of tissue depending on
where they are transported to in the body.
These cells can create both cartilage and connective tissues, which are beneficial to
both the knee joint and the patellar tendon. By injecting stem cells directly into the
damaged area, they can help to regrow and repair damaged tissue while recruiting
additional cells to the area to speed up the healing process.
Stem cells are a great alternative to other treatments for runner’s knee as they are
associated with no side effects and are not costly like many of the other options. Stem
cell therapy utilizes the body’s own healing processes, is minimally invasive, and
addresses the problem and can provide results effectively and efficiently.
Please call us at 623-535-9777 for more information on regenerative treatments
available in and around the Arizona area.