Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper's Knee)
Jumper's knee is caused by overuse of your knee joint, such as frequent jumping on hard surfaces. It's usually a sports-related injury, linked to leg muscle contraction and the force of hitting the ground.
The most common knee tendonitis is irritation of the patellar tendon. Commonly called "jumper’s knee," patellar tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon that attaches the patella (kneecap) to the tibia (shin bone).
Department of Medicine
Rheumatology Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Program
The Massachusetts General Hospital Rheumatology Musculoskeletal (MSK) Ultrasound Program offers diagnosis and treatment for musculoskeletal pain and disorders such as arthritis and gout.
Sports Medicine Service
Our Sports Medicine specialists provide treatment and rehabilitation for sports-related injuries from recreational, amateur and professional sports. Our faculty specialize in sports injuries in athletes and non-athletes.
Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper's Knee)
What is jumper's knee?
Jumper's knee, also known as patellar tendonitis, is a condition characterized by inflammation of your patellar tendon. This connects your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone (tibia). Jumper’s knee weakens your tendon, and, if untreated, can lead to tears in your tendon.
What causes jumper’s knee?
Jumper’s knee is caused by overuse of your knee joint, such as frequent jumping on hard surfaces.
It’s usually a sports-related injury, linked to leg muscle contraction and the force of hitting the ground. This strains your tendon. With repeated stress, your tendon may become inflamed.
What are the symptoms of jumper's knee?
Following are the most common symptoms of jumper's knee:
Pain and tenderness around your patellar tendon
Pain with jumping, running, or walking
Pain when bending or straightening your leg
Tenderness behind the lower part of your kneecap
The symptoms of jumper's knee may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is jumper's knee diagnosed?
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, your healthcare provider may use an X-ray to help diagnose jumper's knee.
How is jumper's knee treated?
The best treatment for jumper's knee is to stop any activity that’s causing the problem until the injury is healed. Other treatment may include:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen
Elevating your knee
Ice packs to your knee to help reduce swelling
Stretching and strengthening exercises
Key points about jumper's knee
Jumper’s knee is inflammation of your patellar tendon, the tendon that connects your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone (tibia).
Jumper’s knee is often a sports-related injury caused by overuse of your knee joint.
You may need an X-ray to help diagnose jumper’s knee.
The best treatment for jumper's knee is to stop any activity that’s causing the problem until the injury is healed.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.
News & Publications
Quantity and Characteristics of Waste at a Level I Trauma Center
The purpose of this study was to quantify and describe the amount of waste generated by an Emergency Department, identify deviations from waste policy and explore areas for waste reduction.
The Climate-Smart Emergency Department: A Primer
Our publication keeps health care professionals up to date on the latest research and clinical advances from Mass General.
Research Institute Blog
News and notes from the largest hospital-based research program in the United States
A podcast devoted to uncovering the stories of Mass General's relentless pursuit to break boundaries and provide exceptional care
The Patient Gateway provides secure online access to your health information whenever you need it. Check upcoming appointments, communicate with your doctor’s office, review medications and pay medical bills—all seamlessly online 24/7.