Patellar Tendonitis "Jumper's Knee"

What is it?

Patellar Tendinitis is a condition characterised by the presence of pain, inflammation, weakness, and in severe cases, microscopic tears of the patellar tendon and is often caused by repetitive use. Recent studies have highlighted the prevalence of this condition in sports requiring frequent jumping such as basketball and volleyball; however, it can manifest itself in athletes of all ages and levels of experience. While patellar tendinitis is commonly thought of as an overuse injury, other risk factors include age, obesity, limited flexibility, poor quadricep/hamstring strength, and muscle imbalances. Studies have also shown that sport specialisation and poor training technique increases one’s likelihood of developing this condition. As symptoms of patellar tendinitis develop, proper management is crucial to recovery and the prevention of a patellar tendon rupture.



Mechanism of Injury

Patella tendinitis is a common overuse injury, caused by repeated stress on your patellar tendon. The stress results in tiny tears in the tendon, which your body attempts to repair. But as the tears in the tendon multiply, they cause pain from inflammation and weakening of the tendon. When this tendon damage persists for more than a few weeks, it's called tendinopathy.


A combination of factors may contribute to the development of patellar tendinitis, including:


Common Management Techniques

Surgery – in severe cases, your Doctor may suggest debridement of the damaged tendon to promote healing. 


Due to the nature of athletics and the patient’s desire to return to competition, rest is not the answer that any athlete desires to hear. However, when combined with eccentric muscle strengthening and icing, rest allows for decreased inflammation and the opportunity for the tendon to heal. If immediate relief is needed, many athletes turn to knee braces and patellar bands which provide support and reduce the severity of the associated pain.


To reduce your risk of developing patellar tendinitis, take these steps: