The diagnosis of jumpers knee, or patellar tendinitis, typically involves a combination of a physical examination and a review of your medical history. Here are some common steps involved in diagnosing this condition:
1. Medical history: Your healthcare provider will ask you questions about your symptoms, their onset, and any activities or sports that may have contributed to your knee pain. They may inquire about your training routine, previous injuries, and any relevant medical conditions.
2. Physical examination: Your healthcare provider will perform a thorough physical examination of your knee. This may involve palpating the patellar tendon to assess for tenderness, checking for swelling or inflammation, and evaluating your knee’s range of motion and strength.
3. Imaging tests: In some cases, imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans may be ordered. These tests can help rule out other conditions and provide a more detailed view of the patellar tendon, identifying any abnormalities or signs of tendon damage.
4. Functional assessment: Your healthcare provider may assess your movement patterns and biomechanics to identify any contributing factors to your knee pain. This may involve observing your jumping, landing, or squatting techniques.
The treatment for jumpers knee, or patellar tendinitis, typically involves a combination of conservative measures aimed at reducing pain, promoting healing, and preventing further damage to the patellar tendon. Here are some common treatment options:
1. Rest and activity modification: Resting the affected knee is essential to allow the tendon to heal. Avoid activities that exacerbate your symptoms, such as jumping or running. Your healthcare provider may recommend modifying your training routine to reduce stress on the patellar tendon.
2. Ice therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation. It is generally recommended to apply ice for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
3. Physical therapy: A physical therapist can guide you through exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles around the knee, including the quadriceps and hamstrings. These exercises help to improve the stability of the knee joint and relieve stress on the patellar tendon.
4. Medications: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, may be recommended to help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. However, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medication.
5. Bracing or taping: Wearing a patellar tendon strap or using kinesiology tape can provide additional support to the patellar tendon and help relieve symptoms during activity.
6. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT): In some cases, ESWT may be recommended. This non-invasive procedure uses high-energy sound waves to stimulate healing in the affected tendon.
7. Corticosteroid injections: In certain cases, your healthcare provider may suggest a corticosteroid injection to reduce inflammation and pain. However, this is typically used as a short-term solution and may not be suitable for everyone.
8. Surgery: In rare cases where conservative measures fail to provide relief, surgical intervention may be considered. Surgery aims to remove damaged tissue or repair the patellar tendon.