Jumpers Knee: What It Is and How to Treat It

If you’ve ever played volleyball, basketball or been a runner, you’ve probably heard of something called “jumper’s knee.” People commonly use the term “jumper’s knee” to refer to two distinct conditions: patellar tendonitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.

What is Jumper’s Knee?
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a general term for pain in the front of the knee and around the kneecap. Patellar tendinitis is inflammation of the patellar tendon.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is most often caused by abnormal contact and movement patterns of the kneecap on the thighbone, which causes pain in the front of or below the kneecap. Irregular patellar movement can be caused by defects or a person’s gait. Other causes include poor flexibility, excessive weight, weakness in the thighs, tight hamstrings or Achilles tendons, injury or excessive training.

Patellar tendinitis is often caused by overuse or stress on the tendon from a bad landing. Symptoms of patellar tendinitis include swelling and pain. When tendinitis flares up, the pain and stiffness it causes can make climbing stairs, kneeling down and average daily movement painful.

How is Jumper’s Knee Treated?
Before you engage in any treatment protocol, see a doctor to accurately confirm the diagnosis and discuss what treatment options are best for you.

Icing the knee after exercise
Taping to reduce pain
Supportive braces
Rehabilitation strength training & stretching

Strengthening your hips, quadriceps and hamstrings can help get your knees back to optimal health and prevent further irritation and injury. Substituting low-impact options like yoga, cycling or swimming to improve strength, endurance and flexibility. A doctor may also recommend a patellar tendon strap, a kind of exercise band tailored to alleviate knee pain.

Medical measures
A doctor may recommend physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and, in some cases, other procedures such as steroid injections or surgery may be medically indicated.

If you’re suffering from chronic joint pain, you may be wondering what you can do about it. Aside from over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medicine and physical therapy, most people only see two options: pain management and joint replacement surgery. There is an alternative. Joint replacement surgery should never be your first choice. At Advanced Regenerative Orthopedics (ARO), our skilled physicians and surgeons use a unique combination of minimally invasive arthroscopy, regenerative medicine and denervation to preserve your natural joint and get you back to your active lifestyle. Contact us to learn more!