Brief Outline of Quadriceps Tendinitis

Quadriceps Tendonitis

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.

Treatment

  • Rest and ice
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Injection
  • Physiotherapy
  • Shockwave

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.

Long-term prognosis

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.

Joint Pain

Brief Outline of Quadriceps Strain

Quadriceps Strain

A muscle strain, which is a forceful stretch or tear of the muscle or tendon in a weight bearing muscle such as the quadriceps, is painful and difficult to rest. The quadriceps are involved in supporting the hip and knee structure to hold the body weight. A quadriceps strain can result from a forceful contraction of the quadriceps or unusual stress placed on the muscles. As with other strains it is graded 1 through 3, with 3 being the most severe tear.

Anatomy and physiology

The quadriceps are composed of four muscles; the vastus lateralisvastus medialisvastus intermedius, and rectus femoris. A strain may occur in any of these muscles, but the rectus femoris is most commonly strained. Due to the force generated in activities such as sprinting, jumping, and weight training, the musclee may microtear, but when the muscle is stretched forcefully under a load such as with high impact sports like football and hockey, it may also pull away from the attachment or completely tear.

Cause of Quadriceps Strain

Forceful contraction or stretch of the quadriceps.

Signs and symptoms

Grade 1: Mildly tender and painful, little or no swelling, full muscular strength.

Grade 2: More marked pain and tenderness, moderate swelling and possible bruising, noticeable strength loss.

Grade 3 (full tear): Extreme pain, deformity of the muscle, swelling and discolouration, inability to contract the muscle.

Complications if left unattended

grade 1 or 2 tear left unattended can continue to tear and become worse. A grade 3 tear left untreated can result in loss of mobility and a severe loss of flexibility in the muscle.

Treatment

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Immobilisation
  • Physiotherapy

Rehabilitation and prevention

After the required rest period, activities should be approached cautiously. Avoid activities that cause pain. Stretching and strengthening of the quadriceps will be necessary. Ensuring a balance strength between the quadriceps and hamstrings is important to prevent a strain. Poor warm-up techniques must be observed to prevent strains and gradually increasing intensity will help as well.

Long-term prognosis

Quadriceps strains seldom result in long-term pain or disability. Surgery is only needed in rare cases where a complete tear does not respond to immobilisation and rest.

Joint Pain