Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Orthopedic Associates' Blog

What is Jumper’s Knee?
What is Jumper’s Knee?

By: Dr. Nogalski

You hop down from the last few rungs of a ladder and immediately wince in pain. Your left knee gives a sharp twinge. It hasn’t been the same since your pickup basketball game at the gym last week. You may be suffering from jumper’s knee, or patellar tendonitis according to its official name.

The patellar tendon connects your kneecap to your shinbone and is designed to work with the range of the knee joint. The patellar tendon helps your knee flex, bend, and absorb impact, like jumping. Overuse of the patellar tendon can occur during activities that require repetitive jumping, like gymnastics, football, basketball, and even everyday activities.

Symptoms of jumper’s knee

The most telltale sign of jumper’s knee (patellar tendonitis) is a sharp pain between your kneecap and the top of your shinbone. Difficulty bending your knee or doing a small jump can also be a sign of patellar tendonitis. If you are experiencing any noticeable swelling or redness, you should immediately contact your primary care physician.

Self-care treatment of jumper’s knee

Thankfully, overuse injuries can often heal themselves with the proper self-care treatment. Adjust your activity for less jumping or squatting for the next two to four weeks and monitor results. If you notice an improvement, be careful in slowly working back into full-range jumping. Apply ice for 20 minutes up to six times per day to reduce swelling and encourage healing.

Physical therapy can also help strengthen the muscles around the knee region. Proper stretching before and after any jumping activity is recommended. This will help bring more blood to the patella area in advance of high-impact activity.

Did you injure your patella but you’re not sure how extensive it may be? Our board-certified physicians at Orthopedic Associates can help test and evaluate the health of your patella region. Whether it’s overuse due to jumping or an actual injury to the patella, our expert staff will help you know which treatment options may be best. Your first step is to schedule your next appointment with our staff. Click here to schedule an appointment at Orthopedic Associates.

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