Neovascularization and pain in abnormal patellar tendons of active jumping athletes

Jill L. Cook, Peter Malliaras, Jason De Luca, Ronald Ptasznik, Meg E. Morris, Patricia Goldie

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Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate tendon pain in abnormal patellar tendons with and without neovascularization. Study design: Comparative design. Setting: Multidisciplinary tendon study group at a competitive volleyball venue. Participants: One hundred eleven volleyball players volunteered to participate in the study. Main Outcome Measures: Subjects' patellar tendons were imaged with ultrasound, with and without Doppler. Tendons that were imaging abnormal were categorized according the presence of tendon neovascularization. Subjects completed 3 pain scales that examined function (Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment score, 100-point maximum), pain with tendon load (decline squat, visual analogue scale, 100-mm maximum), and maximum pain for the previous week (visual analogue scale, 100-mm maximum). A 1-tailed Mann-Whitney U test compared pain scores in abnormal tendons without neovascularization to abnormal tendons with neovascularization. Results: Functional scores were lower (Victorian Institute of Sport score, median, 78; P = 0.045) and pain scores under tendon load were greater (decline squat pain, median, 19; P = 0.048) in subjects with abnormal tendons with neovascularization than subjects with abnormal tendons without neovascularization (Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment score, median, 87; decline squat pain, median, 0). Conclusions: This study indicates that the presence of neovascularization in abnormal patellar tendons is associated with greater tendon pain compared with abnormal tendons without neovascularization in active jumping athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-299
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Journal of Sport Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2004


  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Neovascularization
  • Pain
  • Patellar tendinopathy

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