Popliteal Tendonitis : A Case Study

One of the most common cause of acute knee pain is a tear in the meniscus. So common that we sometimes overlook other possibilities such as Popliteal Tendonitis. We had one such case where the client complained about pain over the posterior aspect of her right knee. The pain came on and off increasingly over the past year as the client was training for a half-marathon later this year. Although a meniscal tear was first suspected, MRIs taken showed no such tear.

Examining her bio-mechanical movements, the client has a slight pronation on her right foot. On palpation, there was tenderness over the medial joint line and over the popliteal tendon region. All other assessments  were negative except for resistive knee flexion with a bias for tibial internal rotation.

Popliteal tendonitis tends to occur due to increased hyperextension of the knee while running or excessive up-hill training. This condition is often overlooked as the pain patterns are fairly dispersed and feels deep over the posterior aspect of the knee.

Management prescribed was soft-tissue massage and ultrasound for soft-tissue healing, inner-range quads strengthening for the tibial internal rotation bias and footwear advice for the right foot pronation.

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