Neovascularization and pain in abnormal patellar tendons of active jumping athletes

Clin J Sport Med. 2004 Sep;14(5):296-9. doi: 10.1097/00042752-200409000-00008.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / complications*
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / complications*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patella*
  • Reference Values
  • Tendons / blood supply*
  • Tendons / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography