Tennis Knee

What is tennis knee?

Tennis knee is known by a number of names such as jumper’s knee and runner’s knee, but medically, it is called “patellar tendonitis”. Patellar tendonitis or tennis knee is an injury that is similar to tennis elbow and is characterised by the inflammation of the tendon that connects your patella (kneecap) to your tibia (shin bone). The associated pain is either mild or severe.

Tennis knee is an injury that occurs simply as a result of overuse and repeated strain on your kneecap. Tennis knee weakens the tendons in your knee and if left untreated will eventually damage your tendons.

Causes of tennis knee

Just like tennis elbow, tennis knee is an overuse injury. This means that it is caused by overuse or frequent pressure on your knee joint, such as when you frequently jump or land on your knees on hard surfaces. Tennis knee is common among athletes and sports people; however, this condition can happen to anyone. You are at the risk of tennis knee if you are involved in activities that place repetitive strain on your kneecaps and knee joints.

There are two types of tennis knee: patellar tendonitis, which is the more common one and refers to the inflammation of the tendons around the knee; and patellar tendinopathy, which is the wearing away of the tendons as a result of overuse. Both conditions require immediate medical care if you are to avoid serious complications.

Diagnosing tennis knee

In order to find out the cause and severity of your condition, your GP will likely request for your medical history, ask certain questions that has to do with your occupation and daily activities, and carry out a physical examination.
If more information is needed, your doctor may recommend an X-ray or MRI scan to complete the diagnosis.

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