Duminy's knee injury – what you should know

JP Duminy, AFP
JP Duminy, AFP

JP Duminy's injury and withdrawal from the Protea cricket team could not have come at a worse time. 

Sport24 reports
that the all-rounder, recently appointed T20 captain for the Proteas in their three match series against Australia, picked up the knee injury which had bothered him as far back as the Tri-series against Zimbabwe in September.

According to the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Facebook page, Duminy was withdrawn from the ODI cricket series against Australia “due to a chronic patella tendinopathy to his left knee”.

Team management said on Sunday that Duminy would be out for a six week period of rest and rehabilitation

What does patella tendinopathy mean for the cricketer?

Patella tendinopathy, also known as "Jumper’s knee", refers to a injury where micro-tears of the tendon attaching the kneecap (patella) to the shin bone cause pain and inflammation.

This injury is often caused by intensive training or overuse of the knee, putting excessive strain on the tendon, according to NYU Medical Centre.

Patella tendinopathy can be difficult to properly treat. Often, the patient will be required to rest the joint for some time before undergoing proper rehabilitation and physiotherapy. In certain situations, corrective surgery may be required.

shutterstock 75045415

Symptoms of patella tendinopathy

Symptoms of the injury may vary significantly depending on the severity of the injury. Typical symptoms include:

•    Tenderness and discomfort in the kneecap
•    Pain and/or stiffness in the knee while straightening the leg, bending or squatting
•    Knee pain when physically active, especially when walking, jumping, climbing stairs or running

Read: Have you tried exercise for your knee pain?

There are 4 different grades of Jumper's knee injury, according to Sports Injury Clinic. Each grade indicates a more severe form of the injury.

Grade 1: Pain after training
Grade 2: Pain before and after training but it eases after a warm-up
Grade 3: Pain experienced when training, limiting your ability to perform
Grade 4: Pain during every day activities

In the case of JP Duminy, the cricketer's injury was diagnosed as chronic and thus could be placed between grade 3 and 4.

So, what can Duminy do to improve his knee during his 6 week resting period?

Read: Jumper's knee common in elite soccer players

Treatment options for Jumper's knee

Treatment of Jumper's knee depends on the grade of the injury, and a more serious sufferer like Duminy might need longer periods of rest and maybe even surgery, according to Sports Clinic.

Taking breaks from the training regime in these cases, and adapting the exercises to lower the impact and eliminate jumping activities is recommended.

Applying cold packs can also ease pain and inflammation. This is particularly beneficial for the first day or two after the injury occurred - a period known as the acute phase.

Read: Is your knee pain caused by osteoarthritis?

Ice can be applied for 10 minutes every hour reducing the time as the injury improves. Alternatively, wearing a knee guard or knee strap could ease the pain and the strain on the tendon.

Regular stretching of the quadriceps muscles can also be beneficial.

It is important to consult a sports specialist such as a physiotherapist who will be able to advise on the appropriate rest period and will be able to make recommendations on how to correctly rehabilitate the joint.

Read More:
Knee replacement may go poorly for people who think life isn't fair
Tips for treating joint degeneration
More about Jumper's knee

Image: Jumper's knee anatomy from Shutterstock, JP Duminy AFP.

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