Jumper’s knee or patellar tendonitis is defined as an overuse injury that results to front knee pain, usually at a site at the base of the kneecap. Repeated strain from excessive running or jumping leads to inflammation or deterioration of the patella tendon.
Aside from overuse, other factors that increases the risk for the injury includes poor foot biomechanics, incorrect training practices and weak quadriceps muscles.
What are the signs?
The indications of jumper’s knee typically include the following:
- Knee pain at the anterior base of the kneecap
- Base of the patella is significantly tender if pressed and might appear thicker or large than the unaffected side
- Stiffness and achiness after physical activity
- Pain or discomfort during the contraction of the quadriceps muscles in acute cases
Remember that activities that involves jumping are likely to trigger pain or discomfort.
Management of jumper’s knee
The treatment for jumper’s knee is aimed on reducing the initial pain and inflammation with adequate rest and application of ice that is a followed by a rehabilitation program that includes eccentric strengthening exercises.
- Apply the PRICE method (protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation). Use cold therapy regularly especially during the initial 24-48 hours and after exercise. Use a taping technique to help lessen the strain on the tendon.
- The doctor prescribes an anti-inflammatory medications.
- The doctor might suggest electrotherapy by a therapist, specifically ultrasound or laser treatment to lessen the pain and inflammation as well as promote healing. In some cases, cross friction massage is also beneficial especially for chronic cases.
- The doctor might prescribe aprotinin injections for tendinopathies by restoring the balance of the enzymes in the tendon.
In case the affected knee does not respond to the conservative measures, surgical intervention might be necessary.