Popliteal Tendonitis is an inflammation swelling or irritation of the tendons of
the knee joint. The Popliteal tendon becomes inflamed and tender due to
overuse. Overuse injuries of the Popliteal tendon occur when you repeat a particular
activity (usually running, jumping or high-impact) until there is micro-failure of the
tissue that makes up the substance of the tendon. Swelling, inflammation and pain follows.
Symptoms of Popliteal Tendonitis
People with Tendonitis often have tenderness at the point where the Popliteal tendon
meets the bone. In addition, they may feel pain during running, hurried walking, or
jumping. A complete rupture of the quadriceps or Popliteal tendon is not only painful, but
also makes it difficult for a person to bend, extend, or lift the leg against gravity.
Treatment of Popliteal Tendonitis
Initially, the doctor may ask a patient with Tendonitis to rest, elevate, and apply ice
to the knee and to take medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve pain and
decrease inflammation and swelling. If the quadriceps or Popliteal tendon is completely
ruptured, a surgeon will reattach the ends. After surgery, the patient will wear a cast
for 3 to 6 weeks and use crutches. For a partial tear, the doctor might apply a cast
without performing surgery.
Rehabilitating a partial or complete tear of a tendon requires an exercise program that
is similar to but less vigorous than that prescribed for ligament injuries. The goals of
exercise are to restore the ability to bend and straighten the knee and to strengthen the
leg to prevent repeat injury. A rehabilitation program may last 6 months, although the
patient can return to many activities before then