Patellar Tendonitis

LSU Volleyball Patellar Tendonitis Protocol


  1. WARM-UP: make sure you warm up before any activity. You may get on a bike, or use a heat pack or hot tub if available.

  2. ICE: Ice the knee after all activity. This will help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Do this immediately after activity and again at night before bed.

  3. MEDICATION: You may take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, as directed, such as Advil, Aleve, or Ibuprofen.

  4. TAPING/BRACING: you may want to use a strap or tape job over the patellar tendon. The cheapest way is to take pre-wrap and wrap it around the leg and roll it up into a small tube and allow it to rest on the patellar tendon where the most pain is present. Do this under your kneepad and use the kneepad to keep it in place. You may also purchase a strap used for “jumper’s knees”, however, this may not be as comfortable under the kneepads.

  5. STRETCHING: you should be stretching the entire leg daily. Emphasis should be placed on the quadriceps muscles as the patella is connected to them. You may want to consider using a foam roller if available.
    REST: if you are currently in season or doing heavy lifting in a weight room, you should back off the squats or plyometric work (jumping).

The main goal to strengthen and stretch the quadriceps muscles.
These exercises should be done 3-4 times a week. Proper technique is very important, or you could actually make your injury worse.

  1. Straight Leg Raise 4x25 reps. Lying on your back, raise your leg up with the knee straight. Variation: add a cuff weight to the ankle.

  2. Leg Extensions 4x15 reps. If you have access to a weight room, you may use the leg extension machine, use one leg at a time. If not, sit on a table with your legs hanging off and using one leg at a time straighten your leg at the knee joint. You can increase resistance by adding a cuff weight to your ankle or wrapping elastic bands around your ankle and the table leg.

  3. Wall Sits 3x1min. Variations: ball behind your back or ball between your legs, squeezing your legs together.

  4. Body Weight Minisquats 5x20 reps. Do not allow your kneecap to go in front of your toes. Variation: one leg at a time.