Brief Outline of Quadriceps Tendinitis
Quadriceps tendinitis, like other versions of tendinitis, involves inflammation of the tendon. This can be a result of repetitive stresses to the quadriceps, or excessive stress before the muscle is conditioned. Pain just above the patella (knee cap), especially when extending the knee, usually accompanies this injury.
Anatomy and physiology
The quadriceps tendon attached to, and covers the patella, becoming the patellar (tendon) ligament below this and attaching to the tibia. The patella runs in the groove of the femur at the knee flexes and extends, which results in the tendon passing over this bone as well. Repetitive stress can cause inflammation of the tendon, especially under contraction, such as when accelerating or decelerating. Minor tears may also occur int he tendon as well when the stress is too much for the tendon to handle.
Cause of Quadriceps Tendinitis Injury
Repetitive stress to the tendon, e.g. running or jumping. Repetitive acceleration and deceleration, e.g. hurdling or football. Untreated injury to the quadriceps.
Signs and symptoms
Pain just above the patella. Jumping, running, kneeling, or walking down stairs may aggravate the pain.
Complications if left unattended
The quadriceps muscles may become inflamed, and the tendon will become weak if left untreated. This could lead to a rupture of the tendon. A change in gait or landing form can lead to other injuries as well.
- Rest and ice
- Anti-inflammatory medication
Rehabilitation and prevention
Rehabilitation should include stretching and strengthening exercises for the quadriceps. Activities such as swimming can be helpful to reduce the stress on the tendon during rehabilitation. Return to a normal activity schedule should be delayed until pain subsides completely and strength is restored. Keeping the quadriceps flexible and strong will help prevent this condition.
A full recovery with no long-term disability or lingering effects can be expected in most cases of tendinitis, and surgery is only necessary in extremely rare cases.