Jumper's knee is an injury of the patellar tendon. The patellar tendon is the cord-like
tissue that joins the patella (kneecap) to the tibia (shinbone).
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Jumper's Knee?
Common symptoms of jumper's knee include:
pain below the kneecap, especially during sports, climbing stairs, and bending
a swollen knee joint
What Causes Jumper's Knee?
Jumper's knee is an overuse
injury (when repeated movements injure a part of the body). It happens when frequent
jumping, running, and changing direction damages the patellar tendon. It's also called
Who Gets Jumper's Knee?
Jumper's knee usually affects people who play sports
where there is a lot of jumping and running, such as track and field, basketball,
volleyball, gymnastics, running, and soccer.
How Is Jumper's Knee Diagnosed?
To diagnose jumper's knee, health care providers:
ask about symptoms
do a physical exam
order imaging tests such as an X-ray
or MRI, if needed
How Is Jumper's Knee Treated?
Treatment for jumper's knee includes:
rest and taking a break from sports
taping or wearing a knee support or strap just under the patella
sitting with the leg raised
ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin,
or store brand) to help with pain and swelling
strengthening and stretching muscles through physical
therapy or an at-home exercise program
If someone with jumper's knee does not rest the knee, the tendon can become more
damaged. Although it is not common, surgery may be needed if:
the pain does not go away
the patellar tendon is more damaged than is typical with jumper's knee
It will probably take a few weeks to months for your child to recover from jumper's
To help your child heal as quickly as possible, follow your health care provider's
which activities to avoid
which activities are OK (for example, swimming may be fine while your child is
making and keeping all follow-up doctor visits
After recovery, your child should always stretch before and after sports, and avoid
overtraining. This can help prevent jumper's knee and other sports injuries too.