Jumper’s knee, also known as patellar tendinitis is an inflammation of the patellar tendon that connects your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone (tibia). This tendon helps in extension of the knee.
Jumper’s knee usually results from repetitive trauma or overuse, particularly from sports involving jumping such as basketball or volleyball. This condition may also occur after an acute injury to the tendon that has not healed properly.
Pain over the patellar tendon is the first symptom of Jumper’s knee. You may also have pain during activities, especially jumping or kneeling. Less commonly, swelling around the tendon may be seen.
X-ray of the knee may be taken to ensure there is no problem involving the bones around the knee. An MRI can reveal inflammation or degenerative changes in the patellar tendon.
- Rest the injured knee and avoid activities such as running and jumping that aggravate your symptoms.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to provide relief from pain and swelling associated with patellar tendinitis.
- Stretching before exercise is important to prevent recurrence of patellar tendinitis. Exercises can also help strengthen the patellar tendon and nearby muscles such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles.
- Application of ice to the affected area helps to control the inflammation and reduce swelling.
- A knee support or strap (called an intrapatellar strap or a Chopat strap) can be worn to relieve pain by directing the force away from your tendon and into the strap.
- Corticosteroid injection may be given directly into the sheath around the affected patellar tendon. This helps to relieve pain and perform strength exercises with less discomfort.
In rare cases such as when there is persistent pain despite of the other treatment options, surgery may be considered. Surgery involves removal of severely damaged parts of your tendon and repair of any tears in the tendon.