Patellar tendinopathy, a common condition in sport, can be recurrent and resistant to treatment, Risk factors include the level of training, biomechanics, and genetic factors. This review discusses several programs based on eccentric exercise and suggests principles for nonoperative treatment including improving shock absorption, load modification, and adaptation of the tendon to sporting stress. The level of pain that patients are asked to tolerate during tendon-exercise programs varies among programs, and it is unclear what level is optimal to stimulate tendon recovery. Rehabilitation presents several challenges: It can take a long time (3-12 months), exercise prescription in an athlete who is continuing to compete is not straightforward, and guidelines for treatment progression are poor, Nonoperative treatment can fail because of inappropriate exercise prescription and poor athlete compliance. If this occurs and surgical intervention is required, the athlete might still have an unpredictable outcome. Solutions to these problems require additional clinical research.
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