The impact of physically demanding work of basketball and volleyball players on the risk for patellar tendinopathy and on work limitations

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2011;24(1):49-55. doi: 10.3233/BMR-2011-0274.


Patellar tendinopathy is a common injury in jumping athletes. Little is known about work-related etiological factors for patellar tendinopathy and related work limitations. The aim of this study was to identify work-related etiological factors for patellar tendinopathy and to determine the relation between patellar tendinopathy and work limitations. Basketball and volleyball players between 18 and 35 years were invited to complete an online-questionnaire concerning knee complaints, etiological risk factors for patellar tendinopathy and related work limitations. A total of 1505 subjects were included in the analysis. Risk factors for patellar tendinopathy were gender and heavy physically demanding work. The odds for having patellar tendinopathy were significantly higher for heavy physically demanding occupations compared to mentally demanding occupations. 30% of subjects with patellar tendinopathy with a physically demanding job reported to be impaired in their work and 17% reported to be less productive. Basketball and volleyball players with heavy physically demanding work seem to have an increased risk for developing patellar tendinopathy. This finding has important clinical relevance in the treatment of this injury. Working activities should be adjusted in order to reduce the total load on the patellar tendon and help prevention and recovery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletes
  • Basketball / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Patellar Ligament / physiopathology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Tendinopathy / epidemiology*
  • Volleyball / physiology*
  • Work / physiology*
  • Workload*
  • Young Adult