Pain at the attachment of the patellar tendon to the patella can often be due to the condition known as Sinding-Larsen-Johansson disease.
This condition is most often noticed during a growth spurt early in the second decade of life.
There is a higher prevalence in boys, but this may be due to a greater involvement in sport.
Like the more common Osgood-Schlatter disease, it is characterised by:
- Pain that is dull, superficial and localised to the tendon attachment
- Usually has a gradual onset but may be associated with a traumatic event
- Tends to be aggravated by activities such as running, kneeling, kicking, squatting and jumping
- The pain tends to linger for some time after activity and eases with rest
- The area is usually tender to touch and pain can be elicited by resisting contraction of the quadriceps
- The bone is inflamed at the attachment of the patellar tendon to the patella
As with all sporting conditions, correct diagnosis and treatment should be encouraged.
The primary treatments for this condition are:
- Stop the aggravating activities
- Ice applied after any pain producing activity
- Gentle stretching of the quadriceps but not to the point of pain
- Supportive tapes or straps may be of assistance
- Other forms of physiotherapy such as ultrasound or electrotherapy may also be helpful
- It is also important to educate the player about their condition and the probability of a complete recovery
When do you see someone for help?
Your Lifecare practitioner will be able to provide an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate management plan. Often this problem can require a sports medicine doctor, physiotherapist, and/or podiatrist to assist.
For more information, see your local Lifecare practitioner.