Thursday, May 23, 2024
HomeEditor PicksWhat Is Jumper's Knee

What Is Jumper’s Knee

Symptoms Of Jumpers Knee / Osgood Schlatters

What is Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)?

Osgood Schlatters normally presents as a painful lump under the knee cap of teenage boys. You may notice that the bone is more prominent than the less painful knee. The pain in the knee may get worse after sport & ease when you start running.

As the condition progresses, pain may come on while running & eventually will last between training sessions. At this stage, playing sport will become difficult. This is often where the young athlete begins to seek physiotherapy advice.

For some, with milder irritation of the tendon, as with Jumpers Knee, the pain is relatively mild. In other cases where the bone is affected to a greater degree, the pain is more extreme and long-lasting. In most cases of;tendon;pain, the pain is present in one knee only or, if both sides, it is generally a lot worse on one side.

Symptoms related to Osgood-Schlatter have been reported to last up to 2 years in many cases, indicating the importance of education and long-term management strategies. The pain may last until the athlete is finished their growth.

How Is Jumper’s Knee Treated

Treatment for jumper’s knee includes:

  • rest and taking a break from sports
  • ice
  • taping or wearing a knee support or strap just under the patella
  • sitting with the leg raised
  • ibuprofen to help with pain and swelling
  • massage therapy
  • strengthening and stretching muscles through physical therapy or an at-home exercise program

If someone with jumper’s knee does not rest the knee, the tendon can become more damaged. Although it is not common, surgery may be needed if:

  • the pain does not go away
  • the patellar tendon is more damaged than is typical with jumper’s knee

Do These Name Differences Matter

Receiving an accurate medical diagnosis, such as patellar tendonitis, is more important than the informal name used to describe the pain. Moreover, many times more than one problem is presentfor example, a person whose kneecap is not tracking properly may also develop patellar tendinitis.

While the treatments for runners knee and jumpers knee are similar, several differences do exist. Fortunately, they rarely require surgery.

See Treatment of Runners Knee

Read Also: Can I Have Both Knees Replaced At The Same Time

Key Points About Jumper’s Knee

  • Jumpers knee is inflammation of your patellar tendon, the tendon that connects your kneecap to your shinbone .
  • Jumpers knee is often a sports-related injury caused by overuse of your knee joint.
  • You may need an X-ray to help diagnose jumpers knee.
  • The best treatment for jumper’s knee is to stop any activity thats causing the problem until the injury is healed.

The Pain Of Tendinopathy

What is Jumper

If the player ignores the painfully, and purposefully, swollen knee and continues to play, the repeatedly damaged and healed tissue will regenerate imperfectly creating tissue scar tissue. This scar is characterised by a poorer alignment of muscle and collagen fibres, limiting its functionality. It also becomes highly vascularised with new blood vessels characterised by thick vessel walls laden with nerve endings. Its thought that the nerve endings within the new thick-walled blood vessels and the scar tissue are responsible for the pain associated with tendinopathies. The poor functionality of the scar tissue makes it more susceptible to damage, and the high-density nerve endings in the blood vessels and scar tissue act to make your nervous system aware of the damage, triggering the pain response.

Recommended Reading: How To Stop Limping After Knee Surgery

The Development Of Tendinosis

In both acute and chronic overload situations, if the player continues to play, the damaged tendon will be prevented from fully healing and returning to pre-injury strength levels. Subsequently, every session thereon the damaged tendon will sustain further damage and become progressively weaker in a downward spiral.

How Long Does Patellar Tendonitis Take To Heal

Patients must follow proper treatment measures in order to heal their injury accordingly. Generally, with appropriate patellar tendonitis treatment, an injury can be resolved in about six weeks. But full recovery takes anywhere from six to 12 months after physical therapy. Knee pain may subdue in about three weeks, but a full recovery will be noticeable in six weeks.

With time and physical therapy, stiffness will decrease, and pain will become less intense.

Don’t Miss: Which Knee Brace To Buy

How Is Jumper’s Knee Diagnosed

A health care provider will examine your knee to see if you have tenderness at the patellar tendon. They may have you run, jump or squat to see if this causes pain. Also, your feet should be examined to see if you have a problem with overpronation . In many cases an X-ray or MRI will be ordered for your knee.

Does This Patient Have Jumper’s Knee


Jumpers knee, or patellar tendinopathy, is an inflammatory condition of the patella tendon that causes pain in the front of the knee. It is usually caused by repetitive overloading activities such as jumping.


Patients usually have a history of sporting activities that overload the extensor mechanism of the knee such as basketball, volleyball, soccer and distance running.

They complain of pain in the front of the knee, just below the patella. In the early stages, patients do not have pain during their activities, but they have pain after them. As the condition becomes worse, they may have pain throughout activities as well.

Jumpers knee can be classified in 4 stages:

Stage 1: Pain only after activities.

Stage 2: Pain during activities, but still able to perform without limitations.

Stage 3: Pain that limits activities.

Stage 4: Complete rupture of the patellar tendon that requires surgical repair.

Physical exam

Tenderness to palpation of the patellar tendon, just inferior to the patella, is the hallmark of the diagnosis. A clinical pearl is to palpate the tendon with the knee in extension as opposed to flexion. Palpation in flexion may mask a subtle jumpers knee.

Patient may also have swelling of the tendon, and crepitus of the tendon with motion. Patients will also have pain with resisted knee extension.

Differential diagnosis
Patellar tendon rupture
Patella fracture
Patella chondromalacia
Meniscus tears
Fat pad syndrome
Bone lesions

Recommended Reading: What To Do For Sore Knees

Signs And Symptoms Of Runners Knee And Jumpers Knee

Even though runner’s knee and jumpers knee are similar conditions, the symptoms associated with the two differ somewhat. Runners knee symptoms are somewhat more subdued when compared to the symptoms for jumper’s knee. The primary symptoms associated with runner’s knee include:

  • Dull pain towards the front of your knee
  • Grating or grinding sensation that occurs whenever you bend your knee
  • Sharper knee pain whenever you squat, kneel, or climb the stairs
  • Your kneecap will be tender to the touch

The symptoms that develop when you experience jumpers knee are typically more noticeable and may lead to more pain when you place undue amounts of weight on your knee. The primary symptoms of jumper’s knee include:

  • Sharp pain that occurs right below your kneecap
  • Swelling in your knee
  • Pain whenever you straighten or bend your leg
  • Pain when you place weight on your leg

Being able to differentiate these symptoms will help you determine which condition you’re suffering from, which will allow you to obtain the right treatment.

What Is The Evidence

Filardo, G, Kon, E, Della Villa, S, Vincentelli, F, Fornasari, PM, Marcacci, M. Use of platelet-rich plasma for the treatment of refractory jumper’s knee. Int Orthop.. vol. 34. 2010 Aug. pp. 909-15.

Jonsson, P, Alfredson, H. Superior results with eccentric compared to concentric quadriceps training in patients with jumper’s knee: a prospective randomised study. Br J Sports Med.. vol. 39. 2005 Nov. pp. 847-50.

Peers, KH, Lysens, RJ. Patellar tendinopathy in athletes: current diagnostic and therapeutic recommendations. Sports Med.. vol. 35. 2005. pp. 71-87.

Panni, AS, Tartarone, M, Maffulli, N. Patellar tendinopathy in athletes: outcome of nonoperative and operative management. Am J Sports Med.. vol. 28. 2000. pp. 392-7.

No sponsor or advertiser has participated in, approved or paid for the content provided by Decision Support in Medicine LLC. The Licensed Content is the property of and copyrighted by DSM.

You May Like: What Can I Take For Inflammation Of The Knee

Jumpers Knee / Osgood Schlatters

Jumpers Knee or patellar tendonitis;is traditionally thought to be caused by overuse or injury to the patellar tendon.;

If;the;patella tendon is chronically irritated it can cause a;prominence to develop at the point where it inserts into the bone. This is referred to as Osgood Schlatters Disease which ;affects 1 in 10 adolescents.

In adolescents the patella tendon can be stronger than the unfused bone it inserts into and therefore it can become overloaded from sporting activity. Once the tendon is chronically overloaded then it becomes load intolerant.;

More recent research comparing the the level of physical activity of adolescent males with patella tendon pain with an asymptomatic group found that physical activity was similar in both groups. This brings into question the overactivity hypothesis of patella tendon pain. Differences in landing mechanics were evident, however, between those with tendon pain and those without. Movement quality may therefore play a role in the development of the condition.

Patella Tendon Anatomy

The patellar ligament is a large strong ligament that runs from the top of the kneecap & runs down over the kneecap to insert into the top of the shin bone. The patella tendon is a continuation of the the quadriceps muscle that runs along the front of the thigh.

Is Heat Good For Jumpers Knee


It is much better to apply ice for 3 to 5 minutes a couple of time an hour, than not at all. During the first 24 to 72 hours after an injury, be sure to avoid any form of heat at the injury site. This includes heat lamps, heat creams, spas, Jacuzzis and saunas. Avoid all movement and massage of the injured area.

Read Also: Can You Get Arthritis In Your Knee

How To Get An Accurate Knee Pain Diagnosis

Athletes who suspect they have sustained knee injuries should seek a medical consultations. The diagnosis for a knee injury often include:

  • Physical examination. A doctor may evaluate the affected part of the knee to determine the presence of swelling, a limited range of motion, abrasions, bruising, or other common signs of a knee injury. Throughout the process, the physician is likely to inquire as to how the injury was sustained, the level of pain the athlete is in, and what symptoms have been identified.
  • Consideration of patient medical history. Prior injury can elevate an athletes risk of sustaining an injury to the knee. With this in mind, a physician will likely evaluate an athletes medical history in order to determine if a former condition has increased the likelihood of a given injury being present.
  • Medical imaging. Once a physician has completed the physical examination of an athletes knee, medical imaging such as an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging can help to form a final diagnosis.

A comprehensive evaluation of the athletes knee allows the physician to eliminate various possibilities, arrive at a diagnosis, and recommend a treatment plan.

Treatment Of Jumpers Knee / Osgood Schlatters

The first step in addressing Jumpers Knee is activity modification. This requires an analysis of the current activity levels & a reduction of total load to minimise knee pain & swelling. In most cases a reduction in sprinting & jumping activities is required. Physiotherapy interventions will look at addressing tightness & poor muscle control around the trunk and legs.

Rehabilitation of the lower limb muscles along with specific exercises to address movement patterns that may be creating overload at the knee joint is vital. This requires a specifically tailored rehabilitation programme based on analysis of the athlete & identification of potential flaws in their movement patterns.

The difficult part is cutting back on activities that cause the symptoms. Continuing to load a knee that is already irritated & painful will only make symptoms worse & may require a more prolonged period of rest in order to settle down.

What does the research show regarding recovery time?

In one study, 16% of participants were able to return to sport at 3 months. This increased to 67% at 6 months. However, at one-year follow up, 43% of participants said they would not be satisfied to continue to live with their current symptoms. This shows the long-term pattern of Osgood Schlatters disease and the importance of early intervention to avoid long-term worsening of the condition.

Key Points:

To find out more, contact Naas Physio Clinic on:

Read Also: Why Do My Knees Get Stiff After Sitting

What Are The Methods Of Pain Relief Or Treatment For Jumpers Knee

Pain Relief

The popular R.I.C.E. method can be used as a treatment for Jumpers Knee as well. It will help you ease the pain and inflammation in the injured area. R.I.C.E. method comprises steps of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. You can easily follow through these steps by resting on your back wearing a bandage to apply pressure on your knee and lifting your leg up with a Leg Elevating Splint to decrease the flow of blood. Wear a brace or a strapping when you arent lying down and resting to apply pressure on the sore area. A topical pain reliever will always comfort the pain more. Make sure you consult a doctor for further instructions if the pain lingers.

Treatment For Jumpers Knee

Once you have gone through the steps of the R.I.C.E. method, then your knee has to be recovered from the injury. In order to do so, you should steer clear from activities such as jumping, running, and explosive exercises. Give as much as possible rest to your knees before starting to work out again step by step. Start with lower intensity activities such as cycling or swimming that will help you in your rehabilitation process. If any kind of pain occurs while being active, you should stop immediately to prevent further injury. Consulting with a Physical Therapist will surely aid you not only to recover but also to escape any surgical procedure.


Am I At Risk For Jumper’s Knee

Jumper’s knee? What is patellar tendinitis???

As we mentioned above, an increase in activity or returning back to activity without proper progression places you at risk for jumpers knee. Studies have shown several risk factors that are associated with jumpers knee.

Here are a list of these risk factors:;

  • Increased activity volume/frequency or intensity
  • Increased jumping ability due to increased values of ground reaction forces during landing
  • Don’t Miss: How To Prevent Knee Injuries

    Risk Factors And Biomechanics

    Jumper’s knee is believed to be caused by repetitive stress placed on the patellar or quadriceps tendon during jumping. It is an injury specific to athletes, particularly those participating in jumping sports such as basketball, volleyball, or high or long jumping. Jumper’s knee is occasionally found in soccer players, and in rare cases, it may be seen in athletes in nonjumping sports, such as weight lifting and cycling.

    Investigators have implicated sex, greater body weight, genu varum and genu valgum, an increased Q angle, patella alta and patella baja, and limb-length inequality as intrinsic risk factors. However, the only biomechanical impairment prospectively linked to jumper’s knee is poor quadriceps and hamstring flexibility.

    Vertical jump ability, as well as jumping and landing technique, are believed to influence tendon loading. Volleyball players with a natural ability for jumping high are at increased risk for developing jumper’s knee.

    Overtraining and playing on hard surfaces have been implicated as extrinsic risk factors.

    Interestingly, the patellar tendon experiences greater mechanical load during landing than during jumping because of the eccentric muscle contraction of the quadriceps. Therefore, eccentric muscle action during landing, rather than concentric muscle contraction during jumping, may exert the tensile loads that lead to injury.

  • Ferretti A, Ippolito E, Mariani P, Puddu G. Jumper’s knee. Am J Sports Med. 1983 Mar-Apr. 11:58-62. .

  • What Do You Wear To Jumpers Knee

    Using a Jumpers Knee Strap

    A Jumpers Knee Strap will help to ease the strain on the patellar tendon and the LP Dual Patella Strap is recommended for this. This strap includes an innovative compression system which reduces the muscle contraction of the quadriceps tendon that extends to the patellar tendon.

    You May Like: How To Put On Above Knee Prosthesis

    What Is The Jumpers Knee Treatment Triangle

    The treatment triangle will help you address the three most common causes for patellar tendonitis. I came up with the idea for the triangle during the research for my book Beating Patellar Tendonitis and while I deal with many other causes of this knee injury in the book, the three causes addressed with the treatment triangle are the most important.

    The triangle provides the foundation for a successful recovery from jumpers knee. If you want to make sure you stay pain-free in the future, this is where you need to start. Heres what the triangle looks like:

    Lets talk about why its parts are important for healing this stubborn knee injury and determine how you can take care of them.

    Jumpers Knee Risk Factors

    Patellar Tendonitis Jumper

    Jumpers knee is one of the more common tendon injuries among athletes, especially among those whose sports involve jumping, such as basketball, volleyball or some track and field events. But there are some other factors that increase your risk of suffering from jumpers knee. These include:

    • Overtraining or training on hard surfaces
    • Unusually high, low or angled kneecap
    • Uneven limb length

    Also Check: How To Reduce Knee Pain While Walking

    What Is Runner’s Knee

    Runner’s knee is a more commonly used name for a condition known as patellofemoral pain syndrome. This particular condition occurs as a result of femur and patella having abnormal movement patterns and contact. The femur is your thigh bone, while the patella is your kneecap.

    In the event that you develop runner’s knee, you’ll likely experience pain and discomfort beneath and in front of your kneecap. The amount of pain that you experience depends on the severity of the condition. As you can tell from the name, runner’s knee is common among individuals who tend to run frequently while exercising or playing sports.


    Popular Articles