Jumper’s Knee, also known as patellar tendonitis, presents as a sharp or persistent dull pain just inferior to the knee patella. The patellar “tendon” or ligament connects the inferior pole of the patella to the tibial tuberosity as the insertion point of the quadriceps muscles (rectus femoris, vastus medialis, and vastus lateralis). Pain over the tendon or ligament is often felt with activity but can persist after the period of activity as it worsens.
Jumper’s Knee is an overuse injury caused by repeated stress being placed on the tendon with eccentric loading and deceleration activities. The overuse is a mismatch between the stresses placed on the structure and the ability of the structure to dissipate the stress and forces. The result of the increased stress is inflammatory changes and microscopic tears in the tendon. The most common causes of patellar tendonitis are high intensity activity, high frequency of activity, being overweight, decreased lower extremity flexibility, and lower extremity muscular imbalance.
Treatment of Jumper’s Knee includes rest, stretching, eccentric strengthening, and possible bracing. It is essential to limit the chronic inflammation and degeneration of the tendon, by resting, and to maximize tissue strength through proper technique and training. In addition, it is necessary to allow for adequate healing time by modifying activity for a period of time before returning to sport.
A physical therapy evaluation will identify areas of lower extremity tightness and weakness and provide a plan of care to address any deficits. The therapist will also educate the patient on proper rest and activity modifications, while allowing time for healing.
If you are experiencing any kind of knee pain or have been diagnosed with Jumper’s Knee or patellar tendonitis, contact us for a free consultation. To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022