Expert Interview Jumpers Knee Rehab
Premiership Physiotherapist Neal Reynolds talks about rehabilitation of patella tendonitis or jumpers knee.
Jumpers knee rehabilitation advice
Probably a week or two after injury the knee starts to look normal again to the naked eye. That is when you need to start to put some load through the tendon very very gradually so it gets used to it.
Over time it gets stronger and stronger and gets more tensile strength into the tendon to be able to withstand the activities you need it to do.
So to start with you are going to do all cross training and non weight bearing activities such as exercise bikes and swimming. Then over a period of time you will put more and more load through the tendon so you will be using steppers and cross trainers and eventually running.
Then you become more and more dynamic including stopping and changing direction, twisting, turning and jumping. It is known as jumpers knee and the reason being it is the explosive element of jumping and in particular the landing that causes jumpers knee. It is the sudden stopping that gives you most of the problems as opposed to jumping in the air. It is the landing phase that we need to work on when it comes to rehabilitation and getting that tendon used to being able to stop.
So in terms of rehabilitation thats what you would gradually do; build and build in terms of the load through the tendon. Then after a period of time move outside to do the more functional or sports specific type rehabilitation. All the time you are looking for pain and swelling. If either of those are evident then you have to go back a level and back a stage.