Sports or activities that require a lot of jumping, hopping, deceleration from running, and stairs can place a lot of stress on the knees. Over time, if the demands of the activity are too high for what your body can handle, you may start to develop irritation and inflammation in the tendon on the front of your knee. This is known as a Jumper’s knee.
Jumper’s knee is also referred to as patellar tendinitis. Symptoms include pain and/or swelling in the front of the knee that worsens with:
•Stairs, especially going down
•Standing from a chair
•Bending and straightening the knee
If you suspect that you have jumper’s knee, follow up with your physician. Your physician will perform a physical examination and may use diagnostic testing, including x-rays, to rule out more serious pathology. If your physician determines you have Jumper’s knee, initial treatments include:
•Resting from the painful activity
•Cold pack for pain management
•Physical Therapy for stretching and strengthening
Physical Therapy will help to restore your mobility, educate on ways to reduce pain levels, and introduce low to no pain strengthening exercises. Over the course of treatment, low impact activities such as bending your knee and walking should be less painful. As tendon inflammation and pain decreases, your therapist will introduce exercises to prepare you for your higher impact activities such as stairs, running, and jumping.
In most cases, you can expect recovery in 6-8 weeks. Your personal experience will depend on many factors including age, how long you dealt with pain before receiving treatment, compliance with resting from painful activities, and other underlying medical issues. At DGA, we have the experience to help guide you through your injury and get you back on track with the activities you love to do!