Jumper’s knee– likewise known as patellar tendonitis or patellar tendinopathy– is a swelling or injury of the patellar tendon, the cord-like tissue that signs up with the patella (kneecap) to the tibia (shin bone). Jumper’s knee is an overuse injury (when repeated movements cause tissue damage or inflammation to a specific area of the body).
Continuous leaping, landing, and changing instructions can cause stress, tears, and damage to the patellar tendon. So kids who regularly play sports that include a great deal of repetitive jumping– like track and field (particularly high-jumping), basketball, beach ball, gymnastics, running, and soccer– can put a great deal of strain on their knees.
Jumper’s knee can appear like a minor injury that isn’t truly that serious. Due to the fact that of this, lots of professional athletes keep training and completing and tend to overlook the injury or effort to treat it themselves. But it is very important to know that jumper’s knee is a major condition that can worsen gradually and ultimately require surgery. Early medical attention and treatment can assist avoid ongoing damage to the knee.
Jumper’s knee affects the patellar tendon. The patellar tendon links the large and effective quadriceps muscle in the front of the thigh to the tibia (shinbone). The patellar tendon covers over the front of the patella (kneecap). The upper end of the patellar tendon links to the bottom suggestion of the patella. This area is called the inferior pole of the patella. The lower end of the patellar tendon connects to a small bump of bone on the front surface area of the tibia. This bump is called the tibial tuberosity.
How the Knee Works
To understand how jumper’s knee takes place, it assists to comprehend how the knee works. The knee, which is the largest joint in the body, provides stability to the leg and enables it to flex, swivel, and straighten. Numerous parts of the body engage to allow the knee to operate correctly:
- Bones like the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shinbone), and the patella (kneecap) offer the knee the strength had to support the weight of the body. The bones that meet at the knee allow it to bend efficiently.
- Muscles provide the yank on the bones needed to flex, straighten, and assistance joints. The muscles around the knee consist of the quadriceps (at the front of the thigh) and the hamstring (on the back of the thigh). The quadriceps muscle assists correct the alignment of and extend the leg, and the hamstring assists flex the knee.
- Tendons are strong bands of tissue that link muscles to bones. The tendons in the front of the knee are the quadriceps tendon and the patellar tendon. The quadriceps tendon links to the top of the patella and permits the leg to extend. The patellar tendon connects to the bottom of the kneecap and attaches to the top of the tibia.
- Just like tendons, ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bones to other bones.
By working together, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments allow the knee to move, flex, align, provide strength to jump, and stabilize the leg for landing.
About Jumper’s Knee
When the knee is extended, the quadriceps muscle pulls on the quadriceps tendon, which in turn pulls on the patella. Then, the patella pulls on the patellar tendon and the tibia and permits the knee to correct the alignment of. On the other hand, when bending the knee, the hamstring muscle pulls on the tibia, which causes the knee to flex.
In jumper’s knee, the patellar tendon is damaged. Considering that this tendon is vital to correcting the knee, damage to it causes the patella to lose any assistance or anchoring. This causes pain and weakness in the knee, and results in difficulty in correcting the alignment of the leg.
Symptoms of Jumper’s Knee
Common symptoms of jumper’s knee include:
- pain directly over the patellar tendon (or more specifically, listed below the kneecap).
- stiffness of the knee, particularly while leaping, kneeling, crouching, sitting, or climbing stairs.
- pain when bending the knee.
- pain in the quadriceps muscle.
- leg or calf weakness.
Less common symptoms include:
- balance problems.
- warmth, inflammation, or swelling around the lower knee.
Treatment for Jumper’s Knee
Jumper’s knee is first evaluated by a grading system that measures the degree of the injury (grades range from 1 to 5, with grade 1 being pain only after intense activity and grade 5 being daily constant pain and the inability to take part in any sporting activities).
While examining the knee, a doctor or doctor will ask the patient to run, leap, kneel, or squat to determine the level of pain. In addition, an X-ray or MRI may be suggested. Depending on the grade of the injury, treatment can vary from rest and icepacks to surgery.
For mild to moderate jumper’s knee, treatment consists of:
- resting from activity or adapting a training regimen that significantly decreases any jumping or effect.
- icing the knee to decrease pain and swelling.
- using a knee assistance or strap (called an intrapatellar strap or a Chopat strap) to assist support the knee and patella. The strap is worn over the patellar tendon, simply beneath the kneecap. A knee assistance or strap can help lessen pain and ease strain on the patellar tendon.
- elevating the knee when it injures (for example, positioning a pillow under the leg).
- anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen, to minimize pain and swelling.
- massage therapy.
- minimum-impact exercises to assist reinforce the knee.
- rehabilitation programs that include muscle strengthening, concentrating on weight-bearing muscle groups like the quadriceps and calf muscles.
- specialized injections to desensitize nerve endings and lower swelling.
On rare occasions, such as when there’s consistent pain or the patellar tendon is seriously damaged, jumper’s knee needs surgery. Surgery consists of getting rid of the damaged part of the patellar tendon, removing inflammatory tissue from the lower area (or bottom pole) of the patella, or making small cuts on the sides of the patellar tendon to eliminate pressure from the middle area.
After surgery, a rehab program involving enhancing exercises and massage is followed for several months to a year.
Recuperating from jumper’s knee can take a few weeks to a number of months. It’s best to stay away from any sport or activity that can worsen the knee and make conditions worse.
Nevertheless, recovering from jumper’s knee does not suggest that somebody can’t participate in any sports or activities. Depending upon the extent of the injury, low-impact sports or activities can be substituted (for example, substituting swimming for running). Your doctor will let you understand what sports and activities are off-limits during the healing process.
Preventing Jumper’s Knee
The most essential consider preventing jumper’s knee is stretching. A great warm-up routine that includes extending the quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles can help prevent jumper’s knee. It’s constantly a great idea to extend after exercising, too.