Today's News

Saturday, March 18, 2000

Study finds 'jumpers knee' in pro basketball

In a seven-year study of professional basketball players (25 men and one woman) conventional radiographs revealed a high prevalence of intratendinous ossifications in the distal quadriceps tendon and at the insertions of the patellar tendon in 20 knees. This condition often is referred to "jumper's knee," a cause of pain in athletes and is seen most commonly in basketball players.

Results of conventional radiographs and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the players' knees, which presented with nonspecific knee pain, were described in poster exhibit 282 by co-author Kevin R. Math, MD, section chief of musculoskeletal imaging, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York,.

All MR studies revealed signal abnormalities, focal ossification or segmental thickening of the quadriceps or patellar tendons. Intratendinous calcification or ossification was grouped into three locations: the patellar insertion of the quadriceps tendon and the patellar and tibial tubercle insertions of the patellar tendon. Patellar height on conventional radiographs was assessed by the Insall-Salvati method.

There was a total of 31 conventional radiographic studies of the knee (five players had bilateral studies) and 13 MR examinations. Nine players had ossification solely in the quadriceps tendon, seven players had ossification only in the patellar tendon and four players had ossification in both tendons. Of the 11 patients with patellar tendon ossification, six occurred near the tibial tubercle insertion, three near the lower pole of the patella and two at both sites. All 13 players who had MR studies had extensor mechanism abnormalities: seven showed intratendinous ossification, which was always associated with tendon thickening and/or abnonnal signal and six had isolated hyperintense signal on T2-weighted images within the affected tendon segment without ossification. The signal intensity of those patients without intratendinous ossification tended to be brighter than their ossified counterparts. Five of the 31 knees had patella alta.

Co-authors of the study with Dr. Math, all from Beth Israel Medical Center are W. Norman Scott, MD, FACS, chairman, department of orthopaedic surgery and director of the Insall Scott Kelly In-stitute for Sports Medicine; Fred D. Cushner, MD; attending orthopaedic surgeon; and Steve Sharon, MD, radiology resident. Drs. Math, Cushner and Scott also are professors at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshira University, Bronx, N.Y.

Previous Page
2000 Academy News March 18 Index B

Last modified 18/March/2000 by IS