Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)
Patellar tendonitis, commonly known as “jumper’s knee,” is the inflammation and irritation of the patellar tendon. The chronic condition, called patellar tendinosis, develops gradually and is characterized by microscopic tears and thickening of the tendon.
Jumper’s knee is an overuse injury. Repeated movements, including squatting and jumping, cause damage or irritation to the patellar tendon. Sports such as basketball and volleyball, which involve constant jumping, landing, and changing direction, can cause strains, tears, and damage to the patellar tendon.
Patellar tendon conditions usually cause pain directly over the patellar tendon. The tendon is usually tender and swollen. A “crunching” sensation may be felt directly over the tendon. Jumping or kneeling will commonly be painful
Treatment usually focuses on relieving inflammation, including rest from aggravating activities, icing and stretching. In some cases, a support strap or brace may be helpful. Chronic tendonosis requires therapy with a focus on strengthening.