Lindsey Watson, PT, DPT, CSCS
The knee joint is one of the most frequently injured areas in the human body, especially for those involved in any type of athletics. Jumper's Knee, also called Patellar Tendonitis and Quadriceps Tendonitis, is an overuse condition that is frequently associated movements such as jumping and landing repetitively, activities common in sports such as basketball, track and field (high jump), gymnastics, soccer and volleyball.
The tendon above the knee is known as the quadriceps tendon and the one below as the patellar tendon. In conjunction with the quadriceps muscle, these tendons play an integral part in walking, running, jumping, and climbing stairs.
Patients most commonly complain of pain with stair climbing, squatting, kneeling, jumping, running, and walking. Ascending stairs is usually more painful than descending stairs.
Treatment consists of immediate reduction of the inflammation via cryotherapy (ice), medication, and rest. It is important to rest from the activity that is causing increased pain or adapt a training schedule that prevents excessive jumping or impact to the involved leg.
Physical therapy should begin as soon as the pain has diminished. After a thorough evaluation by a physical therapist, an appropriate treatment specific to the injury will be implemented. A skilled therapist will prescribe a program consisting of modalities, manual techniques, and therapeutic exercises to control pain, reduce inflammation, and increase strength, flexibility, and muscle endurance of the injured area. Stretching and strengthening the quadriceps muscle is the key to successful rehabilitation of Jumper's Knee. Those individuals at risk for developing Jumper's Knee can benefit from a preventive program to help avoid this injury, as well as other common knee problems.
Physical therapy at Johns Hopkins All Children's is provided with one on one care tailored to the active teenager. An emphasis is placed on positive attitude, hard work, along with engaging activities for teen athletes. ACH Sports Rehab helps get athletes back in the game!