Jumpers knee pain syndrome

Jumpers knee pain syndrome

Jumper`s knee is an overuse syndrome in the knee joint region. It is an accumulation of mikro damages in the patelar or quadricepsa muscle tendons which with time causes pain and creates difficulties and problems during sports or daily activities.

Jumper`s knee is the most common overuse syndrome of the human movement system and it is a common occurence in sports which require a great deal of jumping, landing, running, ie. explosive movements that put a lot of load on the knee joint, specifically on the patellar and quadriceps tendons and other structures of the knee joint. Recreational as well as professional athletes in sports such as basketball, volleyball, football, handball, cycling, etc. can experience this syndrome. Pain or overuse syndromes such as this one are caused due to constatnt repetition of a single move or movement pattern that through time overloads the knee joint and its structures.

Symptoms include pain righ above or bellow the knee cap, ie. patella, the bone situated at the front of the knee whose use is to protect the knee and slide up and down during the activity of the quadriceps muscle. Patella is at its proximal part laid under tendon tissue of the quadriceps muscle tendon and at its distal part under the patellar tendon which is connected to the tuberositas tibiae on the shin bone. The forces that affect the knee joint and its tendons during different activities, in this case during knee extension or flexion, can put excesive loads on the tendons and the joint and sometimes when they get too strong they cause micro damages in the tendon tissue, mainly during the influence of traction force where the tendon gets elongated and with loads its fibers start to tear. Forces like that are mainly created in jumps, landings, accelerations or simply while running for long periods of time but direct blows or falling on the knee can also cause degenereative changes in the tendon tissue which with time accumulate and cause overload and pain. Earlier it was thought that the origin of jumper`s knee pain lays in an inflammation process in the tendon tissue, but newer studies have shiow that the underlaying cause of this overuse syndromes are degenereative changes in the tendon tissue which accumulate over time. Jumper`s knee can have two form, the  form where the pain occurs above the patella and the quadriceps tendon is affected and the form where the pain is situated bellow the patella bone, the patellar tendon is affected, which is the more common occurence.

Jumper's knee phases:

  1. Pain only after activity
  2. Pain at the beginning of the activity which stops after the warm up and starts again after the activity
  3. Pain at the beginning of activity which lasts during and after the activity and stops with rest
  4. Constant pain in the tendon, in resting, before, during and after the activity

Treatment is mainly done through a conseravtive approach, with use of RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) in the acute phase in order to relieve pain, swelling and possible knee joint motion limitations. Finctionla phase, which follows later on should implement different quadriceps muscle stretching techniques in ordre to obtain better flexibility and elasticity of not only the muscle tissue, but tendon tissue as well. Progressive eccentric strenghtening of the quadriceps muscle should be used, ie. muscle activity during which the muscle and tendon fibers get elongated. Better blood flow in the tendon should also be a therapy goal and it is commonly achieved through massage or use of shock wave therapy.

Prevention: proper pre activity warm up and post activity stretching routines, correct performance of those movement patterns which are done constantly and which can over time cause overuse in the tendons, such as jumping, landing, running, acceleration, etc. Proper treatment of earlier degenerative changes or injuries of the knee joint, etc.


Professor Saša Janković, MD PhD, orthopaedic surgery consultant
Rehabilitation program author

Professor Saša Janković, MD PhD, orthopaedic surgery consultant

Professor Saša Janković, MD PhD , orthopaedic surgery consultant. Head of orthopaedic department at the Clinical hospital "Sveti Duh" in Zagreb.

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30 days

Program duration is 30 days. If you start today on 07.05.2021., the completion of the rehabilitation program will be on 06.06.2021.


US $45.00

Total price is US $45.00 or US $1.50 per program day