Jumper’s knee, also known as patellar tendonitis or Sinding- Larsen-Johansson disease, is a condition characterized by inflammation of the patellar tendon. This tendon connects the kneecap (patella) to the shin bone (tibia).
Jumper’s knee weakens the tendon, and, if untreated, can lead to tears in the tendon.
It is caused by the overuse of the knee joint, such as frequent jumping on hard surfaces. Usually, it is a sports-related injury, linked to leg muscle contraction and the force of hitting the ground which strains the patellar tendon. The repeated stress on the tendon makes it inflamed which causes pain and difficulty in the leg movements.
The most common symptoms are:
- Pain and tenderness around the patellar tendon
- Swelling around the knee joint
- Pain with jumping, running or walking
- Pain while bending or straightening the leg
- Tenderness behind the lower part of the kneecap
Treatment for jumper’s knee includes:
- Taping of the knee joint or wearing a knee support
- Correction of body mechanics
- Joint mobilization/manipulation
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Stretching/flexibility exercises
- Muscular strengthening and endurance exercises
- Rest and take a break from sports
When caused by overpronation of the foot, the pathology can be treated by custom foot orthotics.