Ginocchio del saltatore: cos'è e trattamenti

Jumper's knee: what it is and treatments

Jumper's knee is a lesion located at the point of insertion of the patellar tendon, caused by excessive strain on the same, which causes overload and therefore inflammation of the knee. The patellar tendon connects the kneecap to the tibia, is extremely strong, and allows the quadriceps muscle group to straighten the leg. During the jump, this group of muscles actively straightens the knee joint to induce lift off the ground and, later, stabilize the landing, by braking the associated horizontal acceleration movement.

Patellar tendon inflammation is commonly seen in those who play basketball, volleyball, or other activities that involve jumping, changing direction frequently, and causing repetitive loading of the inferior patellar tendon, such as athletics. It should be distinguished from Osgood-Schlatter syndrome, a condition typical of young people in the development phase, which causes inflammation of the tibial tuberosity and, in most cases, resolves spontaneously within one to two years. Jumper's knee, on the other hand, requires specific treatment and preventive action.

Causes and symptoms of jumper's knee

Repetitive jumping, frequent changes of direction, and heavy lifting are all common causes of patellar tendon overload in athletes between the ages of 15 and 35. In all these cases, due to repeated efforts, micro-lesions can occur in the tendon, up to the degeneration of the collagen. Other factors are shortened quadriceps muscles and being overweight, as well as insufficient flexibility of the thigh and quadriceps muscles or bad alignment (knock knee or flat feet).

The first symptom of patellar tendinopathy to present is pain in the anterior part of the knee, which is triggered in an initial phase at the beginning and at the end of the sporting activity, while, with the persistence of the symptoms, it can also appear during training and even at rest, accompanied by stiffness. Pain and local sensitivity increase during activities that place greater load on the patellar area (knee bending, running, jumping, etc.) and in case of contraction of the quadriceps muscles. Local swelling and pain on palpation may also be present.

Treatment of jumper's knee

When treating jumper's knee, surgery is usually recommended as a last resort, reserved for more severe cases. To date, there is little convincing scientific data in favor of the use of surgery over conservative treatment, which is instead adaptable according to the extent or degree of the lesion:

  • Grade 1. It is possible to continue training, but applying ice to the lesion after each training session or game, preferably combined with massage on the painful point and the use of a patellar tendon bandage or a patella stabilizer;
  • Grade 2: You need to modify your training activities to reduce the load on the tendon, for example by replacing jumping and sprinting with steady running, swimming or water jogging, or by avoiding repeated bending and straightening movements of the knee;
  • Grade 3: Stop all physical activity involving overload and replace it with swimming or running in the water. It can be helpful to consult a sports doctor or sports physiotherapist for other suggestions regarding rehabilitation;
  • Grade 4: Rest for at least 3 months is essential, accompanied by specialist visits from a sports doctor or a sports physiotherapist and possibly consulting an orthopedic surgeon to evaluate the surgery following an MRI.

Prevention of jumper's knee

Considering that at the basis of this type of inflammation there is an overload mechanism that creates micro-injuries, acting in prevention means starting from reducing the risk of onset as much as possible. This involves:

  • Strengthening exercises of the hip adductors, such as the abdominal, thigh and calf muscles;
  • Stretching exercises of the quadriceps and thigh muscles;
  • Use of good quality sports shoes with arch support;
  • Before each workout, warm up session with stretching of the quadriceps and calf muscles;
  • Proper nutrition, hydration and rest.

FLOKY Jumper: technical stockings to prevent micro-traumas to the tendons

FLOKY's Jumper biomechanical socks are tailor-made for those who practice sports in which jumping is predominant, such as basketball, volleyball and handball. Thanks to their special structure they reduce vibrations, protect muscles and tendons and protect the athlete from injuries. They exploit the principles of biomechanics to improve functions related to the foot and muscle thrust, protecting the athlete from injuries and wear and reducing vibrations that cause microtraumas and inflammation. Its action is composed:

  • Plantar compression: the band screen-printed on the sole of the foot optimizes venous return, favors the exchange of metabolic waste, increases muscle oxygenation and speeds up recovery;
  • Jumping effect: the Tape System positioned above the heel facilitates the return of the foot to the extended position, favoring unloading, cushioning the impact with the ground and guaranteeing a sense of push;
  • Metatarsal supports: the lateral screen-printed applications are designed to protect the foot arch and metatarsal heads from falling, thus preventing injuries;
  • Modulated non-slip: the non-slip print increases adherence to the shoe, transmitting maximum stability to the athlete, even during sudden changes of direction and leaps.


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