Patella tip syndrome is a chronic inflammation of the patellar tendon’s insertion point on the kneecap. It usually occurs after excessive strain and can be accurately diagnosed because the pain is clearly located at the lower patella tip and can be easily reproduced during an examination.
Patella tip syndrome is divided into four levels. At the first level, pain occurs exclusively after heavy strain. At the second level, pain occurs at the beginning of and after strain. At the third level, the pain is constant. At the fourth level, the patellar tendon will tear.
Patella tip syndrome is the most common knee condition in elite athletes and aspiring amateur athletes. Sports with high tensile loads on the patellar tendon, such as during jumping or shock absorbing, are particularly prone to patella tip syndrome. In addition to high jump and long jump, this also includes ball sports such as volleyball and basketball as well as weight lifting and endurance running on hard surfaces.
Patella tip syndrome is an inflammation of the tendon that connects the thigh muscle with the shin (tibia) via the kneecap (patella). It occurs at the lower end of the kneecap directly on the transition between patellar tendon and patella.
Most people probably know patella tip syndrome (PTS) by the colloquial description “jumper’s knee.” The technical terms patellar tendinitis, patellar tendinosis, enthesiopathy and patellar tendinopathy are also used.
Patella tip syndrome is caused by chronic excessive strain on the tendon insertion point. The strain is strongest when the knee is bent because the tendon insertion point is flexed and tensed.
Three areas can generally be involved in triggering patella tip syndrome: the active musculoskeletal system (muscles and tendons), the passive musculoskeletal system (bones, joints and ligaments) and the individual body posture.
Especially when landing after a jump, a maximum tensile load is applied to the kneecap In addition to the intensity, the frequency of the strain and the individual’s physical condition play an important role.
A congenital ligament weakness, shortened or hardened thigh muscles, a shorter leg or other physical imbalances can increase the tensile forces that are exerted on the patellar tendon.
In the case of high-riding patella, also known as patella alta or high-riding kneecap, the kneecap has shifted upwards, thus exerting increased tensile forces on the patellar tendon when the knee is bent. High-riding patella can be congenital or acquired.
If the kneecap shifts outwards, additional strain is applied, which can result in problems.
To lay the foundation for successful treatment of patella tip syndrome, it’s firstly important to stop whatever is causing the strain. Depending on the intensity, a break of six to twelve weeks is recommended before starting to train again.