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J Biomech. 2008;41(9):2042-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.03.005.

What are causes and treatment strategies for patellar-tendinopathy in female runners?

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Department of Sports Medicine, University of Tübingen, Silcherstrasse 5, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.


Patellar-tendinopathy (PT) is a common overuse injury in long distance runners, especially in women. Until today, no definite combinations of clinical, biomechanical, or training variables, or causative factors in the development of PT have been found. This study focused on assessing the differences in biomechanical characteristics between healthy runners (CO) and runners with PT only. We examined a total of 42 women. 21 CO and 21 PT. 3D kinematics of barefoot running was used in the biomechanical setup. Both groups were matched with respect to height and weight. After determining dropouts due to forefoot running, poor quality of data and lack of matching subjects in CO in terms of body height and weight, the final population comprised 24 subjects (CO=12, PT=12). Biomechanical evaluations indicate eccentric overloading of the quadriceps muscle group (knee extensors), increased pronation velocity as well as a lack of joint coordination as major etiological factors in the development of PT. We assume that eccentric strengthening of the knee extensors, as well as reduction of pronation velocity through orthotics, proper running shoes, and balance training will help treat and possibly prevent PT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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