Jumper's knee

Case contributed by Domenico Nicoletti
Diagnosis certain


Volleyball player with anterior knee pain and swelling.

Patient Data

Age: 50 years
Gender: Male

Right knee


A sagittal fat-saturated (FS) proton density (PD) - weighted image shows thickened and edematous upper third of the patellar tendon with partial tear of the patellar tendon at the proximal insertion, at the articular surface. There’s also edema of the Hoffa's fat pad and bone marrow edema at the inferior pole of the patella. Are normal cruciate ligaments, collateral ligaments, morphology and meniscal signal. No joint effusion.

Case Discussion

Running, and jumping lead to repetitive traction and overload of the extensor mechanism, including the quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon. Intense quadriceps contractions, as in the jumping and landing, place a high mechanical load upon the patellar tendon with occurs increased incidence of chronic patellar tendinopathy. The mechanism of disease in Jumper’s Knee is that of degenerative tendinopathy (tendinosis). Sometimes, an avulsion fracture at the apical patellar enthesis may be found.

Case courtesy Dr.ssa Laura Braccaioli

Radiographer: TSRM Fabio Imola

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