Imaging the infrapatellar tendon in the elite athlete

Clin Radiol. 2006 Jul;61(7):570-8. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2006.02.005.


Extensor mechanism injuries constitute a major cause of anterior knee pain in the elite athlete. Sonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are the imaging methods of choice when assessing the infrapatellar tendon. A comprehensive imaging review of infrapatellar tendon normal anatomy, tendinopathy, and partial/full-thickness tendon tears is provided. The value of imaging the infrapatellar tendon in clinical practice, including whether sonography can predict symptoms in asymptomatic athletes, is discussed. Acute avulsion fractures, including periosteal sleeve avulsion, and chronic avulsion injuries, including Sinding-Larsen-Johansson and Osgood-Schlatter syndromes, are shown. Mimics of infrapatellar tendon pathology, including infrapatellar plica injury, patellar tendon-lateral femoral condyle friction syndrome, and Hoffa's syndrome, are illustrated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Patellar Ligament / injuries
  • Patellar Ligament / pathology*
  • Rupture
  • Sports*
  • Syndrome
  • Tendinopathy / diagnosis*