The Knee Diaries: Jumper's Knee

A professional Basketball player came in for evaluation and treatment; complaining of knee pain mostly below the level of knee cap. Patient has been experiencing the pain now for sometimes mostly during playing the game specifically while jumping. He is otherwise very healthy and strong, does not smoke or drink alcohol. He takes Glucosamine daily.

Discussion: A very common condition seen in basketball players is Patellar tendonitis or jumper's knee. The patellar tendon connects the kneecap (the patella) to the shin bone (tibia). The blood flow to tendons is generally at a low level which make self healing difficult. Patellar tendonitis is the condition that arises when the tendon and the tissues that surround it, become inflamed and irritated. Typically caused by overuse, especially from jumping activities hence forth the name "jumper's knee." Not limited to Basketball it could be seen in any sports. Usually the pain is concentrated at a single point below the knee cap. The best treatment is avoid activities that aggravate the problem, an infrapatellar strap as well as physical therapy and acupuncture may play a role.

Case Study Date: 7/20/2007