help- patellar tendonitis

i hurt my knee while dunking , i was tryin to show off. i took off from my left leg, which i never do, and when i came down my left knee gave out and i had a sharp pain right below my knee cap. that was about 4 days ago and i still can’t run on it unless i warm-up really well. how long should i rest and what should i do to treat it besides R.I.C.E.


First get it diagnosed properly by going to a sports physio/doc.

Second if it is patellar tendonitis, do a search in the forum, I have listed ways to correct this from what I have learned.

I have the same problem. Personally I don’t think there is anything that can be done apart from rest (up to 4-5 months in my case). I’d love to see some evidence (proper evidence in terms of controlled studies) that there are effective treatments to accelerate the healing, but I don’t think that exists.

I’m cynical of physiotherapists, unless you pay big $$$ then I don’t think you are likely to get a good one that deals well with sports injuries. Beware of them doing the ‘shake and bake’ treatment.

I would give it a little time first (rest) and then spend a little money and see a good therapist.

(Eccentrics can assist in rehab too)

First of all - due to the nature of you you injury (direct trauma) I can pretty much assure you that it is not PT. Get it checked out. Patellar tendonitis tends to be an overuse injury that develops over time.

Second of all - patellar tendonitis can be treated effectively (and relatively quickly: 6-8 weeks to full return) with an eccentric drop squat if it is caught early enough.

Yea i really do need to get it checked out, but i cant right now. this is not the first time i’ve had problems with this knee. ever since about 9th grade, 5 years ago, after running, after basketball practice, or just long car rides my left knee would be sore in the same spot it is now, but it never got to a point where it would hinder me while playing. about year and a half ago i was a football practice doing a tackling drill and one of my teammates took me out right at my left knee. at the time it didn’t hurt that much, but by game time on that friday i went two series on D and could barely but any weight on my left leg. since then i haven’t had any problems with it until now, except for the stiffness and soreness after exercising.
And i just thought of something else. I dont know if this is a reason or not but the day before i hurt my knee, i twisted my left ankle. i iced it that night and the next day if felt pretty good, not 100% but good. could this be a reason i got the injury in the first place.


look into sub-max eccentrics. there are some studies out there on incline single leg squats. toes facing downhill, 6-8sec eccentric. you may want to ask mike hope on about it. also you can google it to check out some studies. good luck

First of all, I work in physical therapy and I agree with Svass that what you are currently experiencing is PROBABLY not patellar tendonitis. It is difficult to know for sure without seeing you and knowing more. When you get the time, I would certainly have a physician or quality therapist properly advise you.

Secondly, since time is a constraint, ESPN3 has great advice in trying to ask Michael Hope. I have talked and visited with him and he is a wealth of quality, evidence-based knowledge.

This sounds a lot more like patella femoral syndrome. Usually caused by improper tracking of the patella due to tight quads and lateral knee structures (ITB, VL). Has the nickname ‘theatre knee’ - which usually causes the pain you describe (knee pain from keeping the knee bent and immobile for long periods of time). Stretch the quads and ITB, foam roll the ITB, strengthen the vastus medialis, adding an eccentric knee drop progam won’t hurt . . . and last but not least - GET IT CHECKED OUT. I know that you ‘can’t’ right now, but getting advice for fixing an injury over the internet is a recipe for disaster.

thanks for the advice i will go see a docter as soon as i can. and i think your right about it being PFS. i did some reading about it and i found out fallen arches can cause PFS. That makes a lot sense because i have no arches at all

PFS - can be treated quite easily and a good therapist is worth they’re weight in gold here.

But SVass made a great point that I repeat regularly here … with injuries trying to get them treated on line is like asking Dick Cheney for advice on hunting … you might get the right advice or you might shoot yourself in the foot.

Everybody is an injury expert online, and while some are genuine in there attempt to help - they’re only p*ssing in the wind without inspection and assessment (even if the person is some way qualififed).

Every injury advice online should end with - “But go see a PT for proper assessment and advice”

Out of interest, what does ITL stand for?

Do you mean ITB - Iliotibial Band ?

I had VMO wastage from an old knee injury. Can either of you suggest exercises for the VMO that you know to work? I only needed instability exercises to rehab before, but I want to do something more substantial in addition now to that and stretches.

I am going to get an EMS unit when I can afford it.

I would go see a PT but I think it’s a bit of a lottery trying to find a good one. If the problems persist I will eventually though. An OL coach may be able to suggest one.

. . . or do you mean VL - vastus lateralis (the outside quad muscle). I don’t see any ITL in there :slight_smile:

If there’s no severe wasting, and the muscle is firing, I would go with Peterson Step Ups, or banded terminal knee extension (TKEs).

If there is wasting, and lack of endurance, I would probably start with seated TKEs (foam rroller under knee) until 10 x 10s contractions can be easily maintained, then move to the same with ankle weights - before I would move into the step ups and band TKE’s.

EMS is a great rehab device in this case, and can help cut rehab time substantially.

You’re preaching to the choir. I just moved to a new part of town, and am trying to establish a good network of chiros, massage therapists and physios. Its a crapshoot with a lot of them - and its been a huge headache trying to find some good ones.

Having some problems with my knees too, went to doctor and now we are waiting until I can make some nice ‘pictures’ of my knees but he said my already that there is something wrong with the patella.

I sit alot during the day (work) and mostly with my feet “under” the chair itself. Could this be one of the causes as you said in that quote?

Atm, going out and standing up for a long time can give me alot of pain. It happend once that I had it difficult to walk around because of the pain. Even when I go to bed after such an evening, I get pain’shocks’ in my knee. :s

I really like Petersen Step-ups for the VMO.

There are also VMO Squats too - but the PS-ups are very effective.

I also think they are very effective at teaching correct firing too.

It may not be VMO wasteage - I’ve seen cases were the pain-shocks you talk about can be fixed with a quick ART session as the source was just simple hypertonicity… get proper diagnosis.

Can I come to set up and work with you SVass?