Knee Tendonitis Symptoms

Knee tendonitis, a condition also referred to as patellar tendonitis, occurs when the tendon connecting the kneecap (patella) to the bone within the shin becomes stretched or damaged due to overuse or injury. This condition is common among people who play sports that require frequent jumping, such as volleyball or basketball. Discuss knee tendonitis symptoms with a doctor or physical therapist if they develop to ensure that permanent injury is avoided.

Knee Pain

The most common and frequent symptom of knee tendonitis is pain. Sensations of pain can develop within any region of the knee but typically localize immediately below the kneecap. Knee pain due to tendonitis may become most severe during physical exercise, such as running or while walking up or down a flight of stairs, report doctors at The Mayo Clinic. Certain patients may experience intermittent knee pain that appears during or after physical activities and then subsides after periods of rest. Pain may be characterized as temporarily sharp or constantly achy and may interfere with a patient’s ability to participate in physical activities or fall asleep at night. If knee pain symptoms persist or worsen, contact a doctor for further evaluation and care.

Knee Swelling

Damage to knee tendons can cause swelling at the site of trauma in certain patients, explains the Better Health Channel, a health information website established by the Australian government. If this occurs, the skin surrounding the knee may appear puffy or enlarged and may feel tender or warm to the touch. The skin at the site of injury may also appear discolored due to inflammation or bruising. Symptoms of knee swelling due to tendonitis are temporary and progressively resolve as the knee begins to heal.

Knee Tightness

Tendon damage within the knee can affect a patient’s ability to extend the knee joint normally. Swelling around the knee can cause the affected joint to become tight or stiff, especially when a patient attempts to squat or bend, explain medical professionals at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Sensations of stiffness or tightness within the knee can prevent an injured patient from moving about normally. These symptoms of knee tendonitis typically occur in conjunction with knee pain and swelling and may worsen if treatment is not promptly received.

About this Author

Rachel R. Ahmed, M.S., is a freelance writer and editor based in San Diego. Ahmed received her M.S. degree in integrated biomedical sciences and has been working as a freelance writer and editor for more than five years. Some of her freelance clients include The Burroughs Wellcome Fund,,, L3 Communications, and ThinkTank Learning.