What is tendinitis in the knee, and what do you need to do to get rid of it?
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Tendinitis is an inflammation of a tendon. Tendons are the fibrous cords or bands that connect muscles to bones. When tendinitis occurs, the tendon becomes swollen and painful. The most common location for tendinitis is in the knees, although it can also occur in other areas of the body, such as your ankles or elbows.
The most common causes of tendinitis in the knee are overuse. With sports and exercise, it’s usually jumping and running. The tendon can also be injured by turning, squatting or kneeling on it repeatedly.
The symptoms of tendinitis in the knee include:
- pain in the front of your knee, especially when you bend or straighten it
- pain when you run or jump
- stiffness in your lower leg muscles and ankles
The diagnosis of tendinitis is made by a physical examination by a doctor or orthopedic surgeon. In some cases, further tests such as an MRI or ultrasound may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for tendinitis is based on the severity of your symptoms. Tendinitis may be treated with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy exercises to strengthen surrounding muscles and help support the tendon. In some cases, injections are given directly into the area around where you have pain. Cortisone shots are harmful to tendons and should be avoided, but there are other injections that can help the tendon heal without harming the tissue. Surgery is rarely needed for knee tendinitis.
Tendinitis is a common knee problem that can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the joint. It’s usually treated with rest, ice packs and anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen. If these methods don’t work after three weeks or so, your doctor may recommend physical therapy or injections into the tendon itself.
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