Pes Anserinus Tendonitis: Symptoms and Treatment

Pes anserinus tendonitis is a condition that affects the knee. The inflammation of these tendons can impede the exercise of habitual runners and even become chronic.
Pes Anserinus Tendonitis: Symptoms and Treatment
Elisa Martin Cano

Written and verified by the doctor Elisa Martin Cano.

Last update: 11 June, 2022

Pes anserinus tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons that make of the structure the anatomic structure pes anserinus. It’s located in the inner part of the knee, just below it. Runners are the population group that most suffers from this condition.

Are you a runner? Have you ever dealt with this issue?

Discover more about how it occurs and what you can do to treat it in the article below.

What is pes anserinus tendonitis?

The term tendonitis refers to an inflammation of the tendons. In this particular case, it affects the anatomical structure of the inner knee, just below the joint. This structure consists of the insertion of three muscles that come from below, making up a part of the leg. These are the following:

  • Semitendinous is part of the back part of the thigh and participates in the flexing and extending of the knee.
  • Straight internal is located in the internal part of the thigh. It’s responsible for bringing the knee close and for the flexing of the extremity.
  • Sartorius: The muscle goes by this name because it starts in the hip, goes over the knee, and reaches the tibia. In participates in the mobility of the hip joint, as well.

To summarize, pes anserinus tendonitis consists of irritation and inflammation of the tendons of these three muscles and the area of their insertion. In short, it’s an illness of the knee joint.

A runner with goose foot tendinitis.

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Who does pes anserinus tendonitis affect?

While this condition can affect anyone, certain groups are more at risk. We’re referring to those whose habits or characteristics make them more prone to developing this condition.

For example:

  • Runners: People who run often have a greater tendency toward developing this type of condition. That’s because running is a sport that has a great impact on the joints. These efforts irritate the cartilage and tendons, as well as the muscles themselves.
  • People who are overweight: In this case, the joints are constantly making an extra effort, especially those of the lower limbs. Each movement overloads the joints with the person’s excess weight, damaging the skeletal points of the supporting muscle. This affects their knees, ankles, and hips.
  • Those with anatomical problems. Here, we’re referring to things like flat feet, pelvic malformations, or bone prominences. The consequences of these issues are that the knee is unable to perform its normal movement or that it’s overloaded. The result is wear and tear on the tendons.

What’s more, certain bad habits can prevent muscles from relaxing as they should when you’re done exercising. For example, not stretching when you finish or the use of improper footwear. Continued tension makes it easier for these injuries to take place.

The symptoms of pes anserinus tendonitis

The most common symptom is pain. This is the result of the inflammation of the tendons in a reduced space. Since they don’t have room to expand, the liquid that accumulates from the injury has nowhere to go. Therefore, it creates uncomfortable pressure.

The characteristics of the pain vary from one person to another, as well as the intensity and duration. What’s more, the moments in which it appears are also variable. However, in most common for individuals to experience continuous pain that’s hard to calm. In fact, pain can even persist during the night.

Sometimes, while performing exercises or warming up, the pain may decrease. However, once physical activity is over, the pain comes back. This has to do with muscular metabolism and the way that it distributes chemical substances within the cells.

How can you treat it?

A man icing his knee.

The correct treatment of these kinds of injuries is very important, as complications can lead this condition to become chronic. The first thing you should do, of course, is see a specialist confirm or rule out this type of tendonitis.

Then, therapy will be based on a combination of different measures:

  • Rest: Resting the joint and the affected muscles is fundamental to resolve the irritation and inflammation. It’s best to elevate your leg with a pillow under your knee, if possible, so the area can rest.
  • Cold and anti-inflammatory medications: Massages with ice are beneficial when it comes to reducing inflammation. What’s more, in moments of very acute pain, you can take anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Physiotherapy: A physiotherapist will be the one to decide on the best treatment for each case. Most often, it will consist of a combination of different approaches, including massage, cryotherapy, ultrasound therapy, and bandaging.

Don’t neglect your knees

Pes anserinus tendonitis is a fairly common condition that can affect anyone. However, runners and people that are overweight are more prone to develop this type of injury.

Maintain good habits when it comes to exercising, stretching, and using necessary equipment. These measures are fundamental when it comes to prevention. At the same time, people who are overweight should modify their lifestyles to control this risk factor.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.