Eccentric Treatment for Patellar Tendinopathy: A Prospective Randomised Short-Term Pilot Study of Two Rehabilitation Protocols

Br J Sports Med. 2007 Jul;41(7):e7. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2006.032599. Epub 2007 Feb 8.


Objective: To compare the efficacy and safety of two eccentric rehabilitation protocols for patients with symptomatic patellar tendinopathy. A new eccentric overload training device was compared with the present standard eccentric rehabilitation programme on a decline board.

Design: Prospective, randomised clinical trial.

Setting: Sports rehabilitation clinic, university sports laboratory, supplemented with home exercises.

Patients: 20 competitive and recreational athletes, all with clinical diagnosis of patellar tendinopathy, verified by MRI or ultrasound imaging.

Interventions: A 12-week rehabilitation period, either with bilateral eccentric overload strength training using the Bromsman device twice a week or with unilateral eccentric body load training using a decline board twice a week, supplemented with daily home exercises.

Outcome measures: The primary outcome was pain and function, assessed by the Swedish Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment for Patella (VISA-P) score. Secondary outcome measures were isokinetic muscle torque, dynamic function and muscle flexibility, as well as pain level estimations using visual analogue scale (VAS). Side effects were registered.

Results: Both treatment groups improved in the short term according to the VISA-P scores during the 12-week rehabilitation period. However, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of pain and function. After a 3-month rehabilitation period, most patients could be regarded as improved enough to be able to return to training and sports. No serious side effects were detected in either group.

Conclusion: In patients with patellar tendinopathy pain, two-legged eccentric overload training twice per week, using the new device (Bromsman), was as efficient and safe as the present standard daily eccentric one-legged rehabilitation-training regimen using a decline board.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise Therapy / adverse effects
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / rehabilitation
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patellar Ligament / injuries*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Safety Management
  • Tendinopathy / rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome