Inflammation of the patellar tendon


The patellar tendon (kneecap tendon) connects the large thigh muscle, the quadriceps femoris muscle, to the shinbone via the kneecap and thus plays an important role in the stabilization and mobility of the knee joint. Together with the kneecap, which increases the leverage of the thigh muscle, the patellar tendon enables the lower leg to stretch.

Incorrect or excessive strain on the knee can easily lead to irritation and inflammation of the patellar tendon, which is associated with severe knee pain and restricted mobility.

root cause

The most common cause for one Inflammation of the patellar tendon is a Incorrect or overload, whereby a Irritation of the tendon arises. In particular sports, which involve frequent take-off and stop movements, landings after jumps and sudden changes of direction, are stressful Patellar tendon strong. The Patellar tendon while running.

It can also get through permanent overload to the so-called Patellar tip syndrome come. This is a Wear and tear diseaseat which it becomes a chronic irritation of the Patellar tendon at the transition between tendon and bone comes.

Other causesthat become a Inflammation of the patellar tendon can lead: shoes, incorrect technique in sports, anatomical defects (If one, Knock knees, Dysmetria of the legs), too hard running surface (e.g. asphalt) or muscular imbalance.

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Typical for a Inflammation of the patellar tendon are Lower end pain of the Kneecap. Most of the time the pain occurs only on one side on, only in about 20% of all cases both knees are affected. Depending on the progression of the inflammation, the pain can only occur after a training session, during training or even in everyday life or at rest. Above all, it hurts Extension movement in the knee.

Is the Patellar tendon completely cracked or more damaged can the Lower leg no longer stretch out.


in the The foreground of the diagnosis stands the clinical examination of the affected Knees. The attending doctor will raise the knee Redness, Swelling, Restrictions on movement and Pressure pain examined.The one that is noticeable here Pressure pain below the kneecap as well as pain when Stretching the leg against resistance.

Imaging procedures how Ultrasonic or one MRI of the knee can secure the diagnosis. especially the MRI of the knee is suitable for determining how far the inflammation and any damage to the tendon has progressed, as active inflammation can be recognized in this procedure.
Accompanying tears, tears or partial tears of the patellar tendon can also be seen in the MRI.

Also one X-ray examination may be of use to a possible Broken bone to exclude.

The exact assessment of that Degree of inflammation through the imaging process is very important as this Influence on the course of therapy takes.

Stages of inflammation

The Patellar tendinitis can be divided into three stages.

  1. Stage I: The symptoms only exist after sporting activities. Sufferers are still able to finish their training sessions and have no anatomical changes such as knock knees or bow legs. No injuries or changes are seen in the tendon. This is a reversible state.
  2. Stage II: Already at the beginning of the training the pain sets in, the tendon is swollen and cell infiltrates with signs of inflammation appear in the synovial fluid of the knee. This stage is also reversible after the inflammation has been treated
  3. Stage III: The pain is permanent and irreversible, the tendon is badly inflamed and begins to crack. At this stage, the tendon is permanently damaged. Once the inflammation has subsided, it will not regain its typical elasticity, and the risk of becoming chronic is very high.

Patellar tip syndrome

At the Patellar tip syndrome it comes to severe Knee pain by chronic overload the extensor apparatus of the knee joint. The reason for this is a frequently repeating, for the knee unusual tensile stresshow they especially at Jumping sports arises. Therefore the designation "Jumper's knee“- also a synonym for that Patellar tip syndrome.

For those affected by the Patellar apex syndrome creates the movement a lot minor injuries on the tendon which to Inflammation and pain to lead.

With older age The incidence of patellar aspiration syndrome is also increasing as it increases with age Change of fibers and structures gets into the tendons, making them more prone to injury.

In particular Beginners are at risk to develop the symptoms described if you start training unprepared and too cocky and that Put unusually heavy strain on your knees quickly.

Therapy will that Patellar tip syndrome usually conservative. Most importantly, the triggering load for the time being at least 6 weeks to end. After that, a load can slowly be built up again. Additionally you can anti-inflammatory drugs how Ibuprofen be taken.

More information on the topic Patellar tip syndrome do you think ...? Find here.


Above all, the knee must be spared.

The most important measure in therapy for inflammation of the patellar tendon is to protect the affected knee joint. Sport should only be done in a pain-free area and ideally paused completely at the beginning and slowly increased again after a few weeks. To keep the stress low when running, stretches with lots of curves, climbs or uneven surfaces should be avoided.

In addition, exercise therapy in the form of physiotherapy can help relieve the tendon and get used to adequate stress. Cold applications and special exercises can also relieve the pain.

In addition, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be taken, such as ibuprofen or diclofenac. These have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. However, the side effects of prolonged use of these drugs should be considered and prophylaxis should be taken, especially to prevent the frequent complications in the gastrointestinal tract.


Through a varied and well-structured training plan unnecessary overloading of the patellar tendon can be avoided. It would be ideal between different sports such as running, swimming, biking and weight training alternate to such a thing avoid one-sided loading.

Also is extensive stretching a good measure to prevent irritation before running. Before exercising, especially the Hip, thigh and calf muscles be stretched well.


The Prognosis of patellar tendinitis depends on stage. Most of the cases are mild to moderate inflammation (see stages I and II above) which one good prognosis and no permanent damage entail.

Only that severe inflammation can lead to permanent, non-treatable damage. That's why it's important early detection of the disease and a possibly necessary Pause from training.