In Singapore, musculoskeletal knee pain is a common problem. It affects people of all ages and may be the result of an injury or a medical condition, such as arthritis and gout. The most common knee injuries involve tears in the cartilage, ligament, or tendon. As a matter of fact, a major cause of knee pain among young adults and the elderly is the condition called “patellar tendon tear.”
A patellar tendon tear involves the complete or partial rupture of the band of connective tissues attaching the bottom of your patella (kneecap) to the top of your tibia (shinbone). This condition causes your knee to become unstable, thereby making it hard for you to walk or bear weight on your leg. To better understand what this is and why it occurs, read on as this article shares the most important pieces of information you should know about a patellar tendon tear, including its major symptoms and causes.
How is the patellar tendon torn?
Patellar tendon tears are usually referred to as “jumper’s knee”, as they often occur in sports or activities that involve jumping and landing at various angles. A patellar tendon tear can be a result of a traumatic injury in the knee, but it is more commonly caused by the repetitive stress put on the knee over a certain period. Almost every individual with a patellar rupture suffers from a chronic condition called tendinosis, which results from tendon overuse.
Patellar tendon tears are common in sports, such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, long-distance running, and track and field. However, they are not always caused by sports injuries. There are certain medical conditions that can also rupture your tendon, causing it to weaken. This includes obesity, diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and severe knee infections.
Common symptoms of patellar tendon tear
Patellar tendon tears can be complete or partial. The tear usually occurs at the area where the tendon attaches to the patella, thereby causing a piece of bone to snap off with it. You can typically determine if the tear is complete or partial by how much you can have your leg straightened. If the rupture is complete, it would be impossible to have your knee straightened due to the lack of an attachment. The usual symptoms of a torn patellar tendon are as follows:
Pain directly under the patella or kneecap
A popping or snapping sound at the time of rupture
Bruising and swelling in the front of the knee
A soft spot in front of the knee
Inability to completely extend the leg
Difficulty doing sports or walking
Risk factors of patellar tendon tear
Jumper’s knee can affect both young adults and the elderly. A combination of different factors can contribute to the development of a patellar tendon tear, such as the following:
Physical activity: Jumping and running are most commonly associated with patellar tendon tears. A sudden increase in how frequently and how hard you engage in an activity also puts additional stress on your tendon, which can then lead to rupture.
Muscular imbalance: Some people have muscles in their legs that are much stronger than others. In that case, the stronger muscles can pull harder on the patellar tendon, and this uneven pull can result in a patellar tendon tear.
Chronic illness: As mentioned earlier, patellar tendon tears are not only caused by injuries but also by certain illnesses. Some illnesses cause disruption to the flow of blood to the knee, which causes the tendon to weaken.
Overall, a patellar tendon tear refers to the complete or partial rupture of the band of connective tissues that attach your kneecap to your shin bone. When your patellar tendon is torn, it may lead to your inability to fully straighten your leg or walk.
If you think you are suffering from a patellar tendon tear or other forms of knee pain, Affinity Pain Clinic is here to help you! We are a reputable pain management clinic that provides safe and effective treatments for an array of pain conditions, such as knee pain, neck and back pain, joint pain, neuropathic pain, tennis elbow, Golfer’s elbow, and more. We also offer the most comprehensive facial pains treatment in Singapore.
To learn more about our top-notch treatments, get in touch with us by filling out the contact form here.