Landing biomechanics, but not physical activity, differ in young male athletes with and without patellar tendinopathy

Review written by Dr Jarred Boyd info

Key Points

  1. Symptomatic young male athletes with patellar tendinopathy appear to demonstrate load-avoidant mechanics as demonstrated by decreased patellar tendon force loading during landing.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Patellar tendinopathy is a condition that is prevalent amongst athletes who participate frequently in stretch shortening cycle activities (1). The literature posits that a central feature in the development of tendinopathy is surpassing the tendons load capacity, manifesting as load intolerance (2). Load capacity can be defined as the ability to meet the intensity, volume, and frequency demands placed upon the tissue (3).

Clinically, tendinopathy is often contended by reducing high load physical activities and prioritizing progressive loading (1). However, patellar tendinopathy continues to present a unique challenge as the prognosis can be extensive and the incidence of future episodic events is high.

The aim of this study was to examine whether young male athletes with and without patellar tendinopathy demonstrate differences in biomechanical load and physical activity load, providing potential insight into more efficacious rehabilitation practices.

A central feature in the development of tendinopathy is surpassing the tendons load capacity.
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Rather than placing extreme effort on altering the structural and histological make-up of tendons, we should be attempting to increase the load tolerance and thereafter load capacity.

METHODS

This study split 41 active male athletes between the ages of 15-28 into 3 groups. Focal pain of at least a 2/10 during a single-leg decline squat test and ultrasound imaging of patellar tendon abnormality was used as criteria to

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