Jumper's Knee Follow-up

Updated: Mar 11, 2019
  • Author: Garrett Scott Hyman, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Return to Play

Return to play for those recovering from jumper's knee (patellar tendinopathy, patellar tendinosis, patellar tendinitis) should be based on an athlete's ability to safely and skillfully perform sport-specific activities. When symptoms persist despite exhaustive conservative or even surgical treatment, the athlete must weigh the benefits and the consequences of playing in pain.

Functional testing at the end of the recovery phase of rehabilitation, administered by a physical therapist, athletic trainer, or physician, is helpful in determining the athlete's readiness to return to his or her sport.

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Complications

The most common complication of jumper's knee is persistent pain during jumping that may result in activity avoidance.

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Prevention

Sport-specific training and physical fitness before competition may help prevent jumper's knee. To the author's knowledge, no research validates any particular preventive training regimen more so than any other.

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Prognosis

The prognosis for jumper's knee stage I or II is typically excellent with conservative treatment. Stage III carries a guarded prognosis for a full-recovery, whereas those few with stage IV injury (complete tendon rupture) require surgical repair of the tendon and are least likely to return to competitive play.

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Education

Jumper's knee affects jumping athletes. It is nearly always amenable to conservative treatment with a comprehensive rehabilitation program. The persistence of pain during and after play guides the staging and treatment of this disorder. Judicious use of relative rest, reducing pain and inflammation, and alternative conditioning methods help to expedite an athlete's return to competition.

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