Objective: To compare the effectiveness of an exercise programme, pulsed ultrasound and transverse friction in the treatment of chronic patellar tendinopathy.
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Centre.
Subjects: This study was carried out with 30 patients who had chronic patellar tendinopathy. They were randomized into three groups.
Interventions: Group A (n = 10) was treated with exercise programme. Pulsed ultrasound was given to group B (n = 10). Group C (n = 10) received transverse friction. All patients received three treatments per week for four weeks.
Outcomes: Patients' pain was evaluated at the end of the four-week course of treatment (week 4), one month (week 8) and three months (week 16) after the end of treatment.
Results: The exercise programme was statistically significantly better than the other two treatments at the end of treatment (chi2 = 12.21, p < 0.01), one month (chi2 = 23.2, p < 0.001) and three months (chi2 = 23.2, p < 0.001) after the end of the treatment.
Conclusion: Although the results suggested that the exercise programme was more effective treatment than ultrasound and transverse friction at the end of the treatment as well as at the follow-ups, future controlled studies are needed to establish the relative and absolute effectiveness of each of the three treatment interventions.