If you participate in sports that require jumping, like basketball, you could acquire jumper's knee. This condition can make playing your favorite sport painful and affect your performance. However, you can do things to prevent or reduce the problem, and your sports medicine orthopedist can help. Learn more about jumper's knee and its treatments with this article.
What Is Jumper's Knee?
Jumper's knee is also known as patellar tendonitis. It's the inflammation and irritation of the tendon that connects your kneecap to your tibia or shin bone. The main cause is an activity that puts extra stress on these areas, usually through jumping. Weight lifters may also have this problem. You will likely feel pain around the knee cap or upper shin when you hit the ground after a jump.
Over time, this injury can progress to more serious symptoms. You may notice pain during normal activities like walking or trying to bend your leg. You may also notice swelling around your knee. Redness and bruising are also common.
Who Is At Risk for Jumper's Knee?
People who are heavier than average are at an increased risk for jumper's knee. They put more pressure on the knee joint when they jump. Also, not warming up before strenuous activity could also increase the risk. In addition, failure to rest after an injury increases the chance of re-injury.
What Can Prevent Jumper's Knee?
Like other exercise types, try to work up to the desired intensity. Make sure you do your warm-ups and cool-downs before engaging in your sport. If you are a part of an organized team, your coach should direct you on exercises that strengthen your muscles and tendons. Rest when you show signs of injury, and return to the sport slowly.
How Does an Orthopedist Treat Jumper's Knee?
If you injure your patellar tendon, the first treatment steps are the traditional ice and rest until healed. Your orthopedist may prescribe physical therapy and braces before you head back to playing your sport. More invasive treatments include minimally invasive therapies with needles, heat, and shockwave therapy. Surgery to remove torn tissue is usually the last result.
If you play a sport that requires jumping, you will likely have a joint problem, most likely in the knee. Don't continue to play on injured or sore joints. You could end up making a temporary problem permanent. If you are experiencing a joint problem like jumper's knee, see a sports medicine orthopedist before it affects your performance.