Quadriceps tendon inflammation is tendinitis of the quadriceps tendon.Essentially, it is a micro-lesion of some fibers in the quadriceps tendon, or the muscle attachment to the tendon itself.
The kneecap (patella) is a small bone at the front of the knee . It slides up and down a canal in the thigh bone (femur) as the knee bends and straightens.
There may also be a tear of some quadriceps tendon fibers from the top of the kneecap.
The tendons connect the muscles to the bones. The strong quadriceps muscle in the front thigh attaches with its tendon (quadriceps tendon) at the top of the kneecap. This tendon covers the kneecap and is continued below in the form of the kneecap ligament (patellar tendon).
Tendonitis of the quadriceps tendon is common in people who engage in sports activities involving running, jumping, stopping suddenly (“stop and go”). The pain is felt just above the kneecap. Swelling and tenderness of the tendon and its surrounding area are possible. In some cases the pain is rather mild, but in other cases it can become so severe that the athlete is forced to take a break.
As with any injury, it is important to match the intensity of the activity to your physical condition.
On the one hand, this certainly depends on the severity of the pain, but even in a hard training or competition preparation phase, it could become necessary to reduce the amount of training or to take a break from sports. If you continue to train and play with tendinitis as before, the inflammation worsens and becomes chronic, which ultimately means a much longer break from competition for the athlete .
Causes of Quadriceps Tendonitis
Quadriceps tendonitis is triggered by repetitive or prolonged activities that put tension on the tendon. This usually happens during long workouts that involve running, jumping, squats or (ball) shooting; or in sports that involve frequent changes of direction, rapid acceleration and deceleration, and high-impact jumping (such as basketball or tennis).
This inflammation can also be triggered by a large and sudden force that overloads the quadriceps tendon to the point of being unbearable. For example, this can occur during rapid running acceleration, landing from a jump that is too high, or direct trauma to the quadriceps tendon.
Signs and Symptoms of Quadriceps Tendonitis
Tendonitis of the quadriceps tendon causes pain in the front of the knee, just above the kneecap , which gradually worsens. In milder cases, patients experience only mild discomfort or a feeling of stiffness after very intense and repeated contractions of the quadriceps muscle, which increases during rest. In the early stages of tendonitis, the pain may be relieved by warming up the affected muscle area thoroughly.
As the inflammation progresses, the discomfort can worsen during exercise and affect athletic performance. Localized swelling and a feeling of weakness in the knee are possible, especially during acceleration or squatting.
Other symptoms may include tenderness when directly palpating the quadriceps tendon and a limping walk (especially on an incline or uneven surface). Stretching the quadriceps muscle (pulling the heel toward the buttocks) can cause pain or a feeling of stiffness.
Diagnosis of quadriceps tendinitis
A thorough examination by your doctor is usually enough to diagnose quadriceps tendinitis.
Tests that examine the stiffness and swelling around the quadriceps tendon can help diagnose inflammation.
Ultrasound , X-ray , magnetic resonance , or CT scans can be used to help diagnose and assess the severity of the condition.
X-rays are sometimes taken to rule out the presence of calcium deposits . The other technical examination methods, such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance, are sometimes used to rule out more extensive damage to the tendon.
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