What happens if you keep playing on jumper’s knee?

Answered by Michael Wilson

If you continue playing with jumper’s knee without seeking treatment, it can have serious consequences on your performance and overall knee health. The repetitive stress and strain on the patellar tendon can lead to various complications.

1. Prolonged Pain: One of the primary consequences of playing with jumper’s knee is the persistence of pain. Initially, you may experience mild discomfort during physical activity, but as the condition progresses, the pain can become more intense and last longer. This pain can occur both during and after the activity, making it difficult for you to perform at your best.

2. Decreased Performance: Jumper’s knee can significantly impact your performance in sports or any physical activity that involves jumping, running, or bending of the knee. The pain and discomfort can limit your ability to move freely, jump explosively, or change directions quickly. As a result, your overall performance may suffer, and you may find it challenging to compete at a high level.

3. Micro-tears: The repetitive stress on the patellar tendon can lead to the development of micro-tears. These small tears in the tendon fibers can cause further pain and inflammation. If left untreated, these micro-tears can worsen over time, leading to a more severe condition.

4. Tendon Rupture: In severe cases, the continued strain on the patellar tendon can result in a complete rupture. A tendon rupture is a more serious injury that requires surgical intervention to repair. This not only prolongs your recovery time but also increases the risk of long-term complications such as decreased knee stability and limited range of motion.

5. Chronic Tendinopathy: If you keep playing with jumper’s knee without proper treatment, the condition can progress to chronic tendinopathy. Chronic tendinopathy is characterized by degeneration and weakening of the patellar tendon. This can lead to persistent pain, decreased function, and a higher risk of future injuries.

It is crucial to seek appropriate treatment for jumper’s knee to prevent these potential complications. Rest, ice, physical therapy, and targeted exercises can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing. If conservative measures fail to provide relief, your healthcare provider may recommend more advanced treatment options such as corticosteroid injections or, in severe cases, surgery.

Personal experience: I have seen firsthand the consequences of playing with jumper’s knee without seeking proper treatment. A close friend of mine, who was a basketball player, ignored the initial signs of knee pain and continued playing through the discomfort. Over time, the pain became more severe, affecting his performance and overall quality of life. Eventually, he had to undergo surgery to repair a ruptured patellar tendon, which sidelined him for several months. This experience highlighted the importance of early intervention and the potential consequences of neglecting jumper’s knee.