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Jumper's Knee

TREATMENT continued...

Consultations

Consultation with a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist or an orthopedic specialist is recommended, particularly for Stage I cases that do not respond to conservative treatment or more severe cases (Stages II, III, IV).

Surgical Intervention

Surgical intervention is indicated for stage IV, and refractory stage III tendinopathy as noted above.

Maintenance Phase 

Rehabilitation Program  

Physical Therapy

An in-depth, stage-specific description of a conservative therapy program is described above (see Acute Phase). Briefly, once in the maintenance phase, the athlete should complete a sport-specific training program before returning to competition. The physician and physical therapist can assist the athlete in determining when to return to competition based on the patient's symptoms, current physical examination findings, and functional test results. Once the athlete returns to play, he or she must work to maintain gains in flexibility and strength.  

Consultations

Consultation with a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist or an orthopedic specialist is recommended, particularly for Stage I cases that do not respond to conservative treatment or more severe cases (Stages II, III, IV).

Surgical Intervention

Surgical intervention is indicated for stage IV disease. See Acute Phase above.

MEDICATION

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often used for pain and inflammation control.  Drugs in this category include naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and others. These should be used per the doctor’s instruction and according to label directions. People with certain conditions should not use these medications.  Your doctor will help you know if these drugs are right for you.

FOLLOW-UP

Return to Play

Return to play should be based on an athlete's ability to safely and skillfully perform sport-specific activities. When symptoms persist despite conservative or surgical treatment, the athlete must weigh the benefits and the consequences of playing in pain or chances of re-injury.

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.

The doctor will help to determine whether it is safe or not to resume to activities.

Complications

The most common complication is persistent pain during jumping.  Reinjury or worsening of the problem is also possible.

Prevention

Sport-specific training and physical fitness prior to competition may help prevent jumper's knee.

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, while those few with stage IV injury (complete tendon rupture) require surgical repair of the tendon and are least likely to return to competitive play.

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  problem Use of relative rest, reducing pain and inflammation, and alternative conditioning methods help to improve the chances of an athlete's return to competition.  The doctor will help in deciding what activities are appropriate.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference from Medscape

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 25, 2013

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