Self-reported jumpers’ knee is common in elite basketball athletes – But is it all patellar tendinopathy? Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES:To describe the prevalence and pain location of self-reported patellar tendinopathy and patellar tendon abnormality in a male elite basketball population. DESIGN:Cross-sectional. SETTING:Pre-season tournament. PARTICIPANTS:Sixty male athletes from the Australian National Basketball League. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Self-reported patellar tendinopathy (PT) using the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre Overuse Questionnaire (OSTRC). Pain location using pain mapping (dichotomised: focal/diffuse) and severity during the single leg decline squat. Ultrasound tissue characterisation scans of both patellar tendons. RESULTS:Thirteen participants (22.7%) self-reported PT. Only 3 who reported PT had localised inferior pole pain. Thirty athletes reported pain during the decline squat, 15 described focal pain; 10 diffuse pain (5 missing data). Those with diffuse pain had greater years played [Md = 21 (13-24), n = 10 than focal pain (Md = 12 (7-26), n = 15), p = 0.042, r = 0.3]. Bilateral tendon abnormality was found in 45% of athletes and 15% had unilateral tendon abnormality. CONCLUSION:Elite male basketball athletes self-reporting PT had heterogeneity in pain location. When focal pain with loading was used as a primary definition of PT, 'jumpers' knee' was not common in this cohort. This study found that abnormality of the patellar tendon was common and did not correlate with symptoms.

publication date

  • 2020