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Relationship between landing strategy and patellar tendinopathy in volleyball
  1. Rob W Bisseling1,
  2. At L Hof1,
  3. Steef W Bredeweg2,
  4. Johannes Zwerver2,
  5. Theo Mulder3
  1. 1Center for Human Movement Sciences, University Center for Sport, Movement and Health, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  2. 2Center for Sports Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  3. 3Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
 MsR W Bisseling
 Center for Human Movement Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen 9713 AV, The Netherlands; r.w.bisseling{at}


Objective: The aetiology of patellar tendinopathy (jumper’s knee) remains unclear. To see whether landing strategy might be a risk factor for the development of this injury, this study examined whether landing dynamics from drop jumps differed among healthy volleyball players (CON) and volleyball players with a jumper’s knee. The patients with jumper’s knee were divided into an asymptomatic group with a previous jumper’s knee (PJK) and a symptomatic group with a recent jumper’s knee (RJK).

Methods: Inverse dynamics analyses were used to estimate lower extremity joint dynamics from 30, 50 and 70 cm drop jumps in the three groups (CON, n = 8; PJK, n = 7; RJK, n = 9). A univariate repeated measures analysis of variance was used to compare the different landing techniques.

Results: Data analysis of the landing dynamics revealed that PJK showed higher knee angular velocities (p<0.01), and higher ankle plantar flexion moment loading rate (p<0.01). Furthermore, strong tendencies of higher loading rate of vertical ground reaction force (p = 0.05) and higher knee extensor moment loading rate (p = 0.08) were found compared with CON. Higher values for peak knee moment, peak knee power and knee work (all p<0.01) were found for CON compared with RJK. The comparison of the two jumper’s knee groups yielded higher knee angular velocities (p<0.01), together with higher ankle plantar flexion and knee extensor moment loading rate (p<0.01 and p<0.05, respectively).

Conclusion: Where RJK used a landing technique to avoid high patellar tendon loading, PJK used a stiffer landing strategy, which may be a risk factor in the development of patellar tendinopathy.

  • CON, control group
  • LR, loading rate
  • RJK, recent jumper’s knee
  • PJK, previous jumper’s knee
  • VGRF, vertical ground reaction force
  • VISA, Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment

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  • Competing interests: None.