Quadriceps tendonitis is a knee injury most commonly sustained by running, jumping, and kicking athletes. The quadriceps are made up four tendons that play an important role in straightening the knee and rotation of the hips. Therefore, quadriceps tendonitis can severely limit or sideline an athlete. Luckily, non-surgical treatment options are available and effective. The four most common are:
- Activity modification. Quadriceps tendonitis is almost always caused by overuse. In many cases, treating the injury is as simple as decreasing the amount, or type of training an athlete performs. This decreases the symptoms—pain, swelling, weakness, tenderness— by decreasing tendon inflammation, scarring, and tearing.
Illustration 1- The quadriceps tendon works with the quadriceps muscles to straighten the knee. When it’s injured due to overuse, activity modification can allow athletes to return to competition with little to no downtime.
- Physical therapy. As shown in Illustration 1, the quadriceps and patella tendon work in unison to straighten the knee. Any imbalance in muscle strength or flexibility can lead to injury—usually in the form of tendonitis. For this reason, injured athletes are prescribed stretching and strengthening exercises that decrease symptoms and improve athletic performance. Other physical therapy treatment methods include massage, electrical stimulation and ultrasound.
- A neoprene knee brace can be used to support and protect the knee. By maintaining the patellar tracking in an anatomical position, a brace enables the quadriceps tendon to work properly and efficiently.
Illustration 2- A neoprene knee brace holds the patella in place
- Prescription anti-inflammatory medication. A fourth, and common, treatment option is the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These medications are used for pain control and provide symptomatic relief by reducing the inflammation in the tendon. They can only be prescribed by a physician—typically, an orthopedic specialist.
If you’re suffering from quadriceps tendonitis, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices in Mahwah and Clifton, NJ. Expert Orthopedic Surgeo, Dr. Nicholas Alexander, will examine your knee and determine the severity of your injury. Any, or any combination, of the above-mentioned treatment options will be used to get you back where you belong—on the playing field.