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Jumpers Knee (Patella Tendinopathy)

What is Jumpers Knee (Patella Tendinopathy)?

Patella Tendinopathy (commonly known as Jumpers Knee) is the medical name for a condition that causes pain in the tendon underneath the knee cap.  The patella tendon attaches the thigh muscle (quadriceps) to the top of the shin (tibia) and is an incredibly strong tendon taking the load of squatting, kicking, running, landing and of course, jumping. This knee problem can occur in all age groups. Pain usually comes from within the tendon and is often due to overload of the tendon causing changes to occur within its structure. Jumpers knee can also occur due to biomechanics (lower limb alignment) and poor technique. These factors can be easily assessed and managed by our practitioners as The Sports Injury Clinic.

How long will it last?

Patella Tendinopathy can be slow to progress as it essentially is a process that has resulted in tendon changes (within the tendon). This can take up to 12 weeks to respond and in some cases in older more chronic knees, there may be modification of sport for a longer period of time. 

Symptoms

The signs & symptoms of Jumpers Knee are:

  • Pain underneath the knee cap with loading, push off, jumping, lunging.
  • You may have pain at rest or on prolonged sitting.
  • Pain may initially ‘warm up’ and then return.
  • The appearance of swelling underneath the knee (in the advances stages).
  • Muscle wasting at the front of the thigh (the quadriceps) in cases of prolonged pain in the Patella Tendon.

Suggestions for managing Patella Tendinopathy

  • We recommend a Physiotherapy assessment to assist in diagnosing your Jumpers Knee.
  • Taping your Patella Tendon as advised by one of our practitioners to help manage pain in the tendon.
  • Commencing immediate pain free quadriceps exercises, specifically the inner quadriceps (VMO) which will assist in improving strength and decreasing pain associated with Jumpers Knee.
  • Teaching you improved techniques for landing, lunging, running. You may be requested to have a biomechanical assessment or a running assessment.
  • Rebuilding your global leg muscles (hip/quads/calf) is imperative for a full return to activity or sport. Do not assume that your muscles automatically return after experiencing Patella Tendon pain. 
  • There are often contributing factors such as foot mechanics (pronation or flat feet) that contribute and you may be referred to a Podiatrist for assistance for your recovery.
  • Never ignore Jumpers Knee in a young person, be assessed by one of our professionals for the best program

Professional treatment options

Contact us now for immediate advice regarding Patella Tendinopathy (Jumpers Knee).