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Knee News

Jumper's Knee in Athletes: How Common is It?

At least one out of every five top athletes is affected by jumper's knee sometime during his or her athletic career. These are the new findings of a study from the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education.

Jumper's knee is another name for patellar tendonitis. It's an inflammation in the tendon that connects the patella (kneecap) to the tibia (shinbone) caused by forceful jumping or running.

Players often compete with painful symptoms. This may go on for months to years. Jumper's knee can threaten a promising athletic career. Some sports are affected more than others. According to this study, volleyball and basketball players are affected most often. These are sports that emphasize weight and jump training.

Men have jumper's knee more often than women in the same sport. It does not appear that training level accounts for this difference. It's more likely that men are able to generate more force through the knee and tendon when jumping. This is true even when men and women are playing the same sport.

This is the first study to report on how often jumper's knee occurs in a broad range of sports. The authors suggest that the 20 percent rate of jumper's knee across nine different sports is actually a low number. It's likely that many other athletes are affected but weren't included because they were too disabled to train or compete.


Øystein B. Lian, MD, et al. Prevalence of Jumper's Knee among Elite Athletes from Different Sports: A Cross-Sectional Study. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. April 2005. Vol. 33. No. 4. Pp. 561-567.

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