Knee Pain

Also Known As:

  • Patellar Tendinopathy

  • Patella tendonitis

  • Jumpers Knee

What is it?

Patellar tendinopathy in the past has been frequently referred to as ‘Jumper’s Knee’ or ‘Patella tendonitis’. 

It involves degeneration of the patellar tendon, a process termed tendinosis. 

 

Common signs and symptoms

  • Pain and tenderness directly below the patella

  • Aggravated by jumping, hopping, changing direction, and squatting

  • Pain occurs at the beginning of exercise, decreases with warming-up, and return post-exercise

  • Wasting of quadriceps muscles

 

What causes it?

  • Tightness in quadriceps and hamstrings and calves

  • Abnormal lower limb biomechanics

  • Increased pronation

  • Weakness of the lower limb muscles

 

How can I self-manage it?

  • Ice application initially

  • Activity/training modification

  • Increasing stretching of leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, calves)

  • Strengthen lower limb muscles (quads, glutes, calves)

  • Trial a patellar strap to decrease the load on the tendon

  • See a physiotherapist for further assessment and an eccentric loading program.

What your physiotherapist can do to help 

  • Assess the patellar tendon to determine if it is the source of pain

  • Biomechanical review

  • Muscle imbalance correction

  • Eccentric loading program for the patellar tendon

  • Prescription of a brace to offload the patellar tendon

  • Deep transverse frictions

  • Stretching of hamstrings, calves, ITB, and calf muscles

  • Strengthening of quadriceps, glutes and calves

  • Neural mobilisation

 

Further Management

Return to sport time varies between 3-12 months depending on how chronic the injury is at the time of initial management.

Ultrasound or MRI investigation may be used for diagnosis purposes.

Surgery is an option which can reduce time taken to return back to elite sport, whereby scraping of the tendon takes place.

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