Ice and Rest
Apply ice or a cold pack to the knee for 15-20 minutes, every four hours, for 2-3 days. Wrap the ice or cold pack in a towel. Do not apply the ice directly to your skin.
Avoid the activity that caused the pain. Reduce shock or vibrations to the knee.
First talk to your doctor if you have any questions about using medications. Over-the-counter drugs that are commonly used to reduce pain include:
This strap (also called a counterforce brace) can help support the tendon and reduce pain. It is worn as a band just below the knee.
Physical therapy will help:
- Stretch and condition the quadriceps muscle, which attaches to the patella
- Maintain muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance
If the treatments above do not reduce inflammation, some doctors may recommend that you consider a cortisone injection. (This should be used only for chronic tendonitis that has not responded to other treatments that have been used for at least two months.) Check with your doctor to find out what is best for you. Avoid repeated cortisone injections.
Return to high-impact physical activity gradually. Healing has occurred when:
- The knee can bend and straighten without pain.
- You are able to jump on the injured leg without pain.
- You are able to jog in a straight line without pain.
- Swelling is gone.
- Normal strength of the quadriceps muscles has returned.
You may need surgery if there is:
- Advanced damage to the tendon
- Little or no response to other treatments over a 6-12 month period