What Is Jumper's Knee? Jumper's knee is an injury of the patellar tendon. The patellar tendon is the cord-like tissue that joins the patella (kneecap) to the tibia (shinbone). What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Jumper's Knee? Common symptoms of jumper's knee include: pain below the kneecap, especially during sports, climbing stairs, and bending the knee a swollen knee joint knee stiffness What Causes Jumper's Knee? Jumper's knee is an overuse injury (when repeated movements injure a part of the body). It happens when frequent jumping, running, and changing direction damages the patellar tendon. It's also called patellar tendonitis. Who Gets Jumper's Knee? Jumper's knee usually affects people who play sports where there is a lot of jumping and running, such as track and field, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, running, and soccer. How Is Jumper's Knee Diagnosed? To diagnose jumper's knee, health care providers: ask about symptoms do a physical exam order imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI, if needed How Is Jumper's Knee Treated? Treatment for jumper's knee includes: rest and taking a break from sports ice taping or wearing a knee support or strap just under the patella sitting with the leg raised ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, or store brand) to help with pain and swelling massage therapy strengthening and stretching muscles through physical therapy or an at-home exercise program If someone with jumper's knee does not rest the knee, the tendon can become more damaged. Although it is not common, surgery may be needed if: the pain does not go away the patellar tendon is more damaged than is typical with jumper's knee Looking Ahead It usually takes a few weeks to months to recover from jumper's knee. To heal as quickly as possible, follow your health care provider's instructions about: which activities to avoid which activities are OK (for example, swimming may be fine while you heal) strengthening exercises making and keeping all follow-up doctor visits After recovery, always stretch before and after sports, and avoid overtraining. This can help prevent jumper's knee and other sports injuries too. Back to Articles Related Articles Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears ACL injuries can happen in active and athletic kids when excessive pressure is put on the knee joint, resulting in a torn ligament. Read More Bursitis Bursitis, an irritation of the small fluid sacs that provide cushioning in some joints, is often caused by sports-related injuries or repeated use of a particular joint. Read More Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injuries MCL injuries happen when excessive pressure is put on the knee joint, causing a torn ligament. Read More Meniscus Tears The key to healing meniscus tears is not to get back into play too quickly. Find out what meniscus tears are and how to treat them. Read More Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner's Knee) Patellofemoral pain syndrome (or runner's knee) is the most common overuse injury among runners, but it can also happen to other athletes who do activities that require a lot of knee bending. Read More Safety Tips: Soccer Soccer is easy to learn at a young age, and it's great exercise. But it's also a contact sport, and injuries are bound to happen. To help prevent mishaps, follow these safety tips. Read More Safety Tips: Basketball It's fun to play and great exercise, but basketball is also a contact sport, and injuries happen. To stay safe on the basketball court, follow these safety tips. Read More Knee Injuries Healthy knees are needed for many activities and sports and getting hurt can mean some time sitting on the sidelines. Read More Overuse Injuries Overuse (or repetitive stress) injuries happen when too much stress is placed on a part of the body, causing problems like swelling, pain, muscle strain, and tissue damage. Read More Sports and Exercise Safety Playing hard doesn't have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how. Read More Osgood-Schlatter Disease Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is an overuse injury that can cause knee pain in teens, especially during growth spurts. Learn more. Read More 5 Ways to Prepare for Your Sports Season How can you get ready to play your best season ever? Read these tips for teen athletes. Read More Choosing the Right Sport for You If you're having trouble choosing a sport, this article can help! Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.