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A person with popliteustendinitis has inflammation of the popliteus tendon, which is located behind the knee. Tendons are strong bands that connect muscles to bone. The popliteus tendon attaches to the outer, bottom surface of the femur and travels diagonally, behind the knee, to attach to the inner, upper surface of the tibia.
The popliteus tendon runs across the rear of the thigh up to the knee and curves to the front of the shin. It helps both to keep the femur in position and to avoid unnatural outward twisting of the lower leg while you are running. Inflammation of the tendon is common for certain track athletes and runners, and will necessitate rest and possibly other treatment until the injury has healed.
Pressure is placed on the popliteus tendon during such everyday movements as the feet hitting the ground.
Running downhill can put an inordinate strain on the tendon if practiced excessively.
This occurs more often than in general sprinting because the surface is not flat; other factors that can contribute to straining the tendon include overuse: running with fatigued muscles, for too great a length of time, or without suitable warm ups or other stretches.
The injury is regularly felt after an ankle rolls unusually inwards, causing a tear in the tendon.
Symptoms of popliteustendinitis are similar to knee bursitis. The most common symptom of popliteal tendinitis includes knee pain that worsens with movement. Additional symptoms may include swelling, redness, and warmth to the skin overlying the popliteal tendon.
The popliteus tendon comes into immediate contact with the joint capsule, a number of ligaments and tendons, and the bones of the knee. With each movement of the knee, the popliteus tendon slides past these parts, which may irritate the tendon. Chronic irritation leads to inflammation of the tendon and the surrounding structures, with the gradual development of popliteal tendinitis.
he popliteus tendon actually passes through the capsule of the knee and into the knee joint itself, where it attaches to the outer side of the femur.In doing so, it runs behind the lateral meniscus and in close proximity to it.
Acute pain experienced behind the knee immediately after the injury strikes.
This is often accompanied by redness and swelling.
The pain may prohibit successful walking, especially soon after the injury is sustained.
However, in some cases the pain can be less pronounced or even unnoticeable to start with.
The area around the popliteus tendon is likely to be tender to touch.
Symptoms worsen over time, thus if you have experienced the above symptoms but not yet sought medical attention, the inflammation may become exacerbated and leg training can become extremely problematic, causing severe pain.
hen the knee is examined, tenderness is found in the area below the lateral epicondyle and above the line of the knee joint. The pain seems located deep in the knee. Bending the knee to a right angle and resting the ankle of the affected leg on the opposite shin can reproduce the pain.
Along with any medical advice, you should primarily take a break from all strenuous physical activities involving the legs until the symptoms have subsided, which may take around 6 weeks.
Ice the area to reduce pain and swelling, and take anti-inflammatory pain medication if necessary. If the tendinitis is severe then the doctor might recommend taping the area of the injury or appropriate surgery if the condition is extreme.
When the pain has diminished, incremental physical therapy can help to build up strength and maintain movement in the area. The doctor or therapist can suggest appropriate alternatives to running, such as cycling.