Wednesday, October 18, 2017 14:41

Treatment For Patellar Tendon Injuries

Posted by on Friday, August 28, 2009, 14:15
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Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. Rest from painful activities is a must. Ice, anti inflammatory drugs, supportive braces and various forms of electrotherapy have all been used with good effect to reduce the discomfort.

I usually treat the tendon with soft tissue manipulation, and ask the patient to use ice and perhaps gentle self massage for the tendon on a daily basis. I use electrical muscle stimulation for vastus medialis obliquus, especially if there is pain on full knee extension, as it vital to prevent the loss of the extension mechanism.

If the tendon is not too tender, especially in the later stages of recovery, i may also use electrical stimulation directly over it, with the knee supported slightly bent, to promote efficiency extension movement using the tendon’activity. The patient has to do very gentle quadriceps stretching exercises regularly, and progressive strengthening work.

If the pain in the tendon is severe, and investigations show bone damage or cyst formation, surgery may be needed to clear the debris: technically this is called debridement. It may also be necessary to reinforce the tendon, which may be done by simply putting a stick into it.

Sometimes, the surgery is done under local anaesthetic. Following surgery, the knee is protected for a few days, but weight bearing and gentle exercises are started immediately, and progressed according to the patient pain levels.

Recovery from patellar tendon injuries of all kinds is complete when the patient can do all normal activities and squat fully and symmetrically. Kneeling is likely to remain painful for a long time, sometimes indefinitely after good functional recovery has been achieved. A minor patellar tendon injury can recover quickly, but more often the problem takes anything from three to twelve months.

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