Jumper’s Knee – Patellar Ligament tendonitis
Knee injuries are perhaps the most common among volleyball players. They can be acute and fatigue, the second – more frequent. The most common knee fatigue injury in volleyball players is the patellar tendonitis, which is also called the “jumper’s knee”. At first, it is characterized by pain on the insertion site or in the quadriceps tendon in the region of the superior or at the lower pole of the patella, as an option – in the area of the tibial tuberosity (see figure). Then there is persistent severe pain, which is the reason for stopping sports activities, otherwise a complete rupture of the patella tendon may occur. With the “jumper’s knee”, pain can occur after physical activity, immediately with the start of the training, or immediately, but disappear as soon as the muscles warm up.
Injury of a knee in volleyball “Jumper’s Knee” is observed in almost half of male volleyball players. The reason is degenerate phenomena, some degeneration, the presence of microscopic scars in the tissues of the tendons, especially where the tendon connects to the bone. Also among the causes of the disease can be called a disorganization of collagen strands and a change in the morphology of tenocytes, but until the end the mechanism of occurrence of tendonitis is still not reliably known.
In women, the “jumper’s knee” is much less common, in addition, injury more often occurs when playing in the gym than on the beach in the sand. Tendonitis more often also occurs more often in those athletes who play volleyball regularly, at least once a week. Often, the disease also occurs with a sharp increase in physical activity, for example, when moving from a junior level to a professional game with daily training. Some experts believe that the “jumper’s knee” is more common in those athletes who jump higher and then squat more deeply when landing, so the knee joint is significantly bent. In addition, the disease is more common in athletes with greater body weight and body volumes, or rather, the ratio of volumes to each other.
The normal technique of the game is the “correct” coordination of opposing muscles around the joint, and a balance must be maintained between strength and muscle stretch.
Another study of this problem showed that the “jumper’s knee” can be caused by an imbalance in the extensor leg muscles. The more often an athlete jumps and lands, the more fatigue in the joints increases because the knee joints begin to retract. The reason for this is the resulting imbalance in the strength and flexibility of those muscles that control the movement of the hip joints, and this imbalance became more pronounced as training or games continued.
Pulling the knee back during a game or training leads to the following problems. This can be a lateral shift of the patella or deformation (most often a stretching) of the medial components of the joint, as well as an asymmetric load on the tendon of the patella or the quadriceps muscle, especially in the insertion sites. The first and second are likely to lead to chondropathy and chondromalacia, the third – to the development of the “jumper’s knee” in its classic version.
The abduction load on the knee during jumps and touchdowns can occur not only due to improper technique of the game, but also as a result of the anatomical features of the athlete – valgus of the hindfoot sector, varus of its anterior sector, as well as excessive pronation of the ankle joint.
How to treat a jumper’s knee injury? First, conservative treatment is needed – rest and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. Lack of physical activity is a prerequisite for treatment, otherwise the disease will go into the chronic stage, which can only be cured by surgery.
Damage to the PCS – anterior cruciate ligament
Rupture of the PKC – the anterior cruciate ligament in volleyball is rare compared to other sports. PKC limits the displacement of the front of the tibia and provides almost 85% of the total effort in the knee joint. Poor work of this ligament leads to the development of deforming arthrosis, and the athlete can not engage in sports at a professional level. The treatment is of a surgical nature, and an athlete after surgery cannot be engaged in sports for at least six months – eight months.
The high frequency of volleyball jumps and touchdowns can lead to trauma to the anterior cruciate ligament. Both women and men are equally injured, although some studies show a different distribution: in about 15% of cases, men are injured versus 85% of female injuries. If we talk about the number of PCS injuries in the total number of volleyball injuries, then this is 4% among male injuries and 8% among female ones.