Table 2

Main outcome measures at 12 and 24 weeks in the progressive tendon-loading exercise (PTLE) and eccentric exercise therapy (EET) groups

PTLE group
(n=38)
EET group
(n=38)
Adjusted mean between-group difference
Primary Outcome Measure
VISA-P score, estimated mean (95% CI)*
 12 weeks72.1 (67.0 to 77.2)70.7 (65.0 to 76.3)1.4 (-5.5 to 8.3)
 24 weeks84.0 (79.3 to 88.6)75.2 (69.0 to 81.5)8.7 (1.2 to 16.2)
VISA-P score, unadjusted mean (SD) PTLE group
(n=38)
EET group
(n=38)
Unadjusted mean between-group difference
Baseline55.0±13.155.6±13.2−0.6
 12 weeks71.2±13.867.7±15.43.5
 24 weeks82.8±13.173.7±17.39.1
Secondary outcome measures
Return to sports, n (%)† PTLE group
(n=38)
EET group
(n=38)
 No return to sports2 (6)3 (10)
 Return to sport, but not in the desired sports6 (16)3 (10)
 Return to desired sports, but not at preinjury level13 (35)16 (53)
 Return in the desired sports at preinjury level16 (43)8 (27)
Subjective patient satisfaction, n (%)‡
 Poor1 (3)1 (3)
 Moderate6 (16)4 (13)
 Good16 (43)22 (73)
 Excellent13 (38)3 (10)
Adherence (%), tendon-specific exercises, estimated mean (95% CI)*PTLE group
(n=38)
EET group
(n=38)
Adjusted mean between-group difference
 0–12 weeks47.0 (32.7 to 61.2)53.1 (41.3 to 64.8)−6.1 (−25.8 to 13.6)
 0–24 weeks40.2 (29.2 to 51.1)48.6 (36.2 to 60.9)−8.4 (−25.1 to 8.3)
Adherence (%), exercises targeting risk factors, estimated mean (95% CI)*
 0–12 weeks27.5 (19.4 to 35.6)28.2 (17.8 to 38.5)−0.7 (−13.1 to 11.7)
 0–24 weeks21.4 (12.2 to 30.5)21.6 (10.1 to 33.2)−0.3 (−14.3 to 13.7)
  • *The mean estimated VISA-P score (95% CI) and mean estimated adherence to tendon-specific exercises and exercises targeting risk factors are denoted for the PTLE and EET group. These scores and the adjusted mean between-group differences were calculated using Generalised Estimating Equations with adjustments for the following predefined baseline variables: age, sex, BMI, symptom duration and Cincinnati Sports Activity Scale. Positive mean adjusted between-group differences favour the PTLE group. A statistical significant adjusted mean between-group difference was found after 24 weeks (p=0.023). No significant adjusted mean between-group differences were found for adherence to tendon-specific exercises after 12 weeks (p=0.54) and 24 weeks (p=0.33) and for adherence to exercises targeting risk factors after 12 weeks (p=0.91) and 24 weeks (p=0.97).

  • †The number of patients (%) is denoted for the PTLE and EET group. For analysis purposes, return to sports was dichotomised into ‘return to desired sports at preinjury level’ and ‘no return to desired sports at preinjury level’. No statistically significant differences were found between both treatment groups after 12 (p=0.13) and 24 weeks (p=0.16).

  • ‡The number of patients (%) is denoted for the PTLE and EET group. For analysis purposes, subjective patient satisfaction was dichotomised into ‘satisfied’ and ‘dissatisfied’. No statistically significant differences were found between both treatment groups after 12 weeks (p=0.18) and 24 weeks (p=0.81).

  • BMI, body mass index; VISA-P, Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment questionnaire for patellar tendons.;