Patellar tendinopathy, more commonly referred to as “jumper’s knee,” is an overuse injury common to players of tennis, basketball, volleyball and just about any sport that involves a great deal of jumping and landing on one’s feet. The patellar tendon connects the underside of the knee cap to the shin bone (tibia). The injury most commonly occurs upon repeated impact when landing.
If caught early enough, jumper’s knee can often be healed with a combination of rest and ice, but when the injury is repetitive, or has become more severe, surgical intervention may be necessary to restore the knee to full function.
The radiologists at Advanced Radiology employ a TENEX procedure to help heal damage done to the patellar tendon in jumper’s knee much the same way they do for plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. The radiologist guides a hollow needle into the damaged tendon. Once inside, ultrasonic waves delivered through the needle cause the damaged tissue to break up and liquefy, and then the liquefied tissue is aspirated out through the needle.
Once the damaged tissue is removed, healthy tissue can regenerate to take its place. The length of recovery is dependent on the extent of the damage. However, immobilizing the knee is not recommended as this can lead to decreased flexibility. Most patients are able to return to moderate activity within 6-8 weeks. For more intense sports activity, physical therapy and evaluation of the load on the joint and technique is advised.