Jumper's knee or lander's knee? A systematic review of the relation between jump biomechanics and patellar tendinopathy

Int J Sports Med. 2014 Jul;35(8):714-22. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1358674. Epub 2014 Feb 27.


Patellar tendinopathy (jumper's knee) is a common injury in sports that comprise jump actions. This article systematically reviews the literature examining the relation between patellar tendinopathy and take-off and landing kinematics in order to uncover risk factors and potential prevention strategies. A systematic search of the Pubmed, Embase and Amed databases was performed to identify studies that reported kinematics of sport specific jumps in relation to patellar tendinopathy. A quantitative analysis was performed on 4 indentified studies. Differences were found only between controls and asymptomatic subjects with patellar tendon abnormalities. Most differences were found during horizontal landing after forward acceleration. A synthesis of the literature suggests that horizontal landing poses the greatest threat for developing patellar tendinopathy. A stiff movement pattern with a small post-touchdown range of motion and short landing time is associated with the onset of patellar tendinopathy. Accordingly, employing a flexible landing pattern seems to be an expedient strategy for reducing the risk for (re-) developing patellar tendinopathy. Together, these findings indicate that improving kinetic chain functioning, performing eccentric exercises and changing landing patterns are potential tools for preventive and/or therapeutic purposes.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Patellar Ligament / injuries*
  • Patellar Ligament / physiopathology*
  • Plyometric Exercise*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tendinopathy / etiology
  • Tendinopathy / physiopathology*