Knee Problems From Volleyball

Volleyball can be demanding on the body and players are always at risk for injury. Because the sport involves both jumping and diving on the ground to get the ball, there are several different volleyball knee injuries players may face on the court. If you experience knee pain while playing volleyball, you should stop playing and consult a physician for help on determining the cause.

People playing volleyball outside. (Image: Geribody/iStock/Getty Images)

Jumpers Knee

This condition occurs when the extreme stresses of jumping cause the patella tendon to experience a partial rupture. This tendon connects your tibia bone to your kneecap. The rupture may result in degeneration and inflammation. Inflammation may also occur from overuse. Symptoms may include stiffness and aching after exertion, pain at the lower area of the kneecap, specifically when you apply pressure, and pain upon contracting your quadriceps muscles. Treatment includes anti-inflammatory medication, friction massage, laser or ultrasound treatment, rehabilitation and, in some cases, surgery.

Chondromalacia Patella

This condition may result from injury or overuse. You may experience pain when squatting or kneeling, when using the stairs and when bending your knee and sitting for prolonged periods of time. Treatment includes anti-inflammatory medications, icing the affected knee, using a supportive brace, taping the affected knee and rehabilitation. In some cases, surgery is necessary.

ACL Injury

When playing volleyball, there is a risk of tearing or over-stretching your ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament. You may completely or partially tear this ligament. The ACL is in the middle of your knee and allows the knee to rotate in a stable manner. Symptoms may include pain, swelling and hearing a "popping" noise. The knee may also seem unstable. Treatment includes icing and elevating the affected knee, resting, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and, in some cases, surgery.

Meniscus Tears

The meniscus is a small piece of cartilage that is located between your shinbone and your thighbone that provides shock absorption. A tear in the meniscus may occur as a result of twisting the knee when squatting or after a direct blow to the knee. Symptoms may include pain, the knee locking or catching, limited range of motion, swelling and stiffness, and the knee seeming to want to give away, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Treatment begins with resting, icing, elevating and compressing the affected knee. Anti-inflammatory drugs often are recommended. If your symptoms persist, surgery may be necessary. Rehabilitation can begin once you start to heal.

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