Patellar tendinitis: the significance of magnetic resonance imaging findings.


Journal Article

We evaluated the significance of magnetic resonance imaging findings in patients with patellar tendinitis. Midline sagittal magnetic resonance images were taken of 12 knees from 10 patients and of 17 knees from 15 age- and activity-matched subjects who underwent imaging for reasons other than patellar tendinitis. Of the 12 magnetic resonance imaging scans of knees with clinical patellar tendinitis, 3 (25%) exhibited no defect and only 7 (58%) had unequivocal intratendinous lesions. Among the 17 scans of subjects without clinical patellar tendinitis, 5 (34%) showed no defect and 4 (24%) had unequivocal intratendinous lesions. Proximal tendon width was significantly larger for the tendinitis patient group (5.0 +/- 1.7 mm versus 3.9 +/- 1.0 mm), although considerable overlap was present. All subjects with unequivocal intratendinous signal changes had a significantly longer nonarticular inferior patellar pole and were significantly older (38.1 years versus 26.8 years). Only Blazina stage III lesions were associated with abnormal findings on magnetic resonance imaging. As a whole, the sensitivity and specificity of magnetic resonance imaging was 75% and 29%, respectively. In younger patients with relatively mild symptoms, magnetic resonance imaging did not show significant changes; in older, active patients changes may be present in asymptomatic knees.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shalaby, M; Almekinders, LC

Published Date

  • May 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 345 - 349

PubMed ID

  • 10352771

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10352771

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0363-5465

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/03635465990270031301


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States