Background: Jumper’s knee-patellar tendinopathy is well known to be a common and difficult injury in volleyball. There is sparse knowledge about the aetiology and patogenesis.
Objective: To prospectively follow clinical status, tendon structure and vascularity in elite junior volleyball players.
Methods: 44 patellar tendons (22 volleyball players)starting first grade at the Swedish National Centre for high school volleyball were continuously evaluated clinically and by ultrasound (US) and Power Doppler (PD)over the 3 school years.
Results: At inclusion: There were 44 tendons. Jumper’s knee was diagnosed clinically in eight patellar tendons(7/8 had structural changes and vascularity on US+PD). There were 27 normal (clinical and US+PD) tendons. At 3-years: There were 36 tendons. Four individuals (8 tendons) had been excluded. In 2/25 (2 were excluded)tendons that were normal (clinical and US+PD) at inclusion, Jumper's knee had developed. There was Jumper’s knee (clinical and US+PD) in six tendons.
Conclusions: Normal clinical tests and ultrasound findings at start, indicated a low risk for these elite junior volleyball players to sustain Jumper’s knee during 3 school years with intensive training and playing.
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