Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

During the physical exam, your doctor may apply pressure to different parts of your knee to determine exactly where you're experiencing pain. Pain associated with patellar tendinitis usually concentrates on the front part of your knee, just below your kneecap.

Imaging tests

Your doctor may also suggest one or more of the following imaging tests:

  • X-rays. X-rays don't show the patellar tendon, but they do help to exclude other bone problems that could contribute to knee pain.
  • Ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create an image of your knee, revealing the location of tears in your patellar tendon.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create images that are more detailed than ultrasound images. MRI can reveal more-subtle changes in the patellar tendon.
Mar. 07, 2012