Conservative treatment for jumper's knee includes strengthening the quadriceps muscle and stretching the hamstrings, the muscles at the back of the thigh. Pain medications, cryotherapy, and massage have also been found to be useful. Cryotherapy involves freezing, usually using liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide, to destroy tissue. Most doctors warn that good training in the preseason is a good way to prevent this injury. After the injury occurs, however, it is important to rest the muscle.
"[Once the injury occurs,] prevention is then the cure. Before getting to the stage when they do warrant an operation, they should reduce their training habits both in terms of intensity and time period of training in order to give the tendon a chance to recover," Maffulli tells WebMD.
Basketball forward Jackson, however, is currently undergoing another new form of treatment in Canada. The treatment, called extracorporeal sound wave therapy (ESWT), involves focusing sound blasts to the area of pain. The treatment is being used in Canada and Europe to treat chronic pain or pain over a small area, particularly near a bone. The joint pain treated by this system includes the shoulder, elbow, ankle, and, as in Jackson's case, the knee.
ESWT or Sonocur is not approved for use in the U.S. or Japan. It has minimal side effects and does not require anesthesia or pain medication.
- Jumper's knee, or patellar tendinitis, is a common injury among athletes where a tendon of the quadriceps develops a series of small tears.
- For most people, a conservative treatment including muscle strengthening and stretching is effective, but in some cases surgery is necessary.
- Another treatment, which is not approved in the U.S., is called extracorporeal sound wave therapy and focuses sound blasts to the area of pain.