A view of the hospital.
A frequent and possibly serious condition involving the patellar tendon of the knee joint is patellar tendinopathy, often known as jumper's knee.
The patellar tendon attaches the patella (kneecap) and the front of the tibia by extending downward from the quadriceps muscle. In order to perform actions like kicking, running, or walking, the quadriceps muscles must contract in order to pull the tendon and straighten the leg.
Jumper's knee is a common injury in athletes whose activities requires jumping or stopping from high speed, and it affects men more often than women.
Jumper's Knee Predisposing Factors
Jumper's knee is a condition that can develop in athletes who stress their knees to repeated, demanding workouts. An athlete's risk of developing jumper's knee might be influenced by additional factors, such as:
â€” Insufficient preparation before training:
The sudden change of intense workouts increases the risk of jumper's knee in athletes who do not take the appropriate time to build up to it.
â€” Individuals who are overweight apply more force to their knees. In order to lessen the strain and impact placed on the patellar tendon during physical activity, it can be helpful to maintain a healthy body weight.
â€” Prior injury: Jumper's knee may become more likely to become chronic if the patellar tendon is not given sufficient time to heal after the initial symptoms.
Jumper's Knee: Symptoms and Diagnosis
Jumper's knee can result from an abrupt, unanticipated overexertion of the patellar tendon (acute jumper's knee), although chronic jumper's knee is more prevalent. The following signs and symptoms of patellar tendinopathy may be present in some or all patients:
â€” Discomfort when performing an athletic movement. During a training or competition, an athlete with patellar tendinopathy could experience a sudden, excruciating pain beneath their kneecap. At first, discomfort may get worse with exercise and get better with rest.
If untreated, the pain could become continuous and bother you even when you're trying to relax. Running, kicking, or bending the knee will cause the most discomfort since these motions engage the patellar tendon.
â€” Swelling. Jumper's knee can result in a mild knee swelling, like the majority of patellar injuries. The range of motion in an athlete's knee may be decreased.
â€” Redness or bruising. Discoloration of the knee joint may also be apparent in extreme circumstances or right away following an acute injury.
â€” Discomfort when performing normal tasks. During regular movements like kicking, climbing stairs, or bending over, the patellar tendon assists in extending the knee to straighten the leg. Athletes with severe patellar tendinopathy may experience higher knee pain during normal activity.
Despite the early symptoms of patellar tendinopathy, athletes may find that they can still compete in sports. Even though it may be tempting, it's crucial to stop all athletic activity and have the player get a medical checkup before they resume the physically demanding nature of sports. Jumper's knee might get worse if you compete or train while you still have the initial symptoms.
How to Diagnose Knee Pain Correctly?
â€” Evaluation of the patient's medical history:Â An athlete's risk of getting a knee injury can increase due to previous injuries. In light of this, a doctor will probably assess an athlete's medical background to ascertain whether a past illness enhanced the risk that a specific injury would be present.
â€” Physical examination: A doctor may examine the knee to see whether there is any swelling, restricted range of motion, bruises, abrasions, or other typical symptoms of a knee injury. The doctor will probably ask questions about the athlete's level of pain, how the injury occurred, and any symptoms that have been noticed along the exercise.
â€” An X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can assist in forming a definitive diagnosis once a doctor has finished examining the athlete's knee.
Jumper's knee treatment
Jumper's knee treatment can start as soon as the injury occurs and continue through doctor-recommended measures and, if required, surgery.
The following are typical first-response therapies for jumper's knee:
medicines for pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may enable athletes who are suffering from the pain and inflammation brought on by jumper's knee to feel better. Ibuprofen and naproxen are typical NSAIDs. In addition, by following the R.I.C.E. protocol (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) it is possible to lessen the swelling and discomfort around the affected area.
Recommendations for Jumper's Knee Treatment
An athlete may need to undergo additional therapies to protect the health of his or her patellar tendon in addition to suspending exercising until the symptoms of jumper's knee start to go away. A doctor will be able to suggest a course of treatment after doing a medical evaluation. The following are typical jumper's knee treatments:
â€” Exercise coaching: To strengthen the patellar tendon and lessen jumper's knee symptoms, a doctor or physical therapist may advise exercise training and bracing. This procedure frequently entails having the athlete perform many knee-strengthening exercises.
-Bracing. To keep the patella in place during exercise training, a doctor may advise supporting it with a brace or athletic tape.
â€” Steroid injections: In more severe cases of patellar tendinopathy, doctors frequently suggest steroid injections. In these procedures, an athlete receives an injection to lessen inflammation and hasten the repair of the patellar tendon.
-Platelet-rich Plasma: In order to hasten healing, this procedure, also known as PRP, involves injecting the injured area with the patient's own platelet-rich plasma.
Operative Treatments for Jumper's Knee
An orthopedic surgeon may advise surgery to assist treat the issue if the injury is significant and noninvasive treatments have failed to provide relief. The surgery includes arthroscopic removal of the inferior patellar surface (Osteoplasty) and debriding (Refreshing) the inflammed patellar tendon.
Loiy Alkhatib, MD
Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery Consultant
Dr. Sulieman AlHabib Hospital, Dubai Health Care City (DHCC)
German Board of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery (Facharzt)
Upper Limb Reconstruction and Sports Medicine Fellowship, Canada
Orthopedic Trauma Fellowship, Canada
Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Fellowship, United Kingdom