Skip to main content

Knee Injuries in Volleyball


The knee is the most frequent site of injury in volleyball players. More than 40% of high level players suffer overuse injuries during this activity; this particularly painful syndrome is caused by the amount of jumping typical in volleyball play, and in its training which aims at strengthening the quadriceps muscle. In volleyball players the extensor apparatus is subject to continuously high stress and the bone tendon junction, being the weakest point, is susceptible to lesion.

The prevention and treatment of ‘jumper’s knee’ requires a high degree of cooperation among trainers, doctors and athletes. Although volleyball is a sport without contact between players, traumatic acute injuries are more frequent and more serious than would be expected. It is therefore important to emphasise that volleyball must be considered among the high risk sports that expose the knee not only to twisting, but also to contact with other players.

Generally, the lesions are caused by frequent jumps with loss of balance and a consequent ‘one-footed’ landing.

There is no specific method of preventing knee instability. Accurate diagnoses, rest and rapid surgical treatment after the first injury are recommended in order to avoid chronic knee instability with subsequent meniscal lesions and post-traumatic osteoarth-ritis.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Blazina ME, Karlan RK, Jobe FW, Jumper’s knee. Orthopaedic Clinics of North America 4: 665–673, 1973.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Clarke KS, Buckley WE. Women’s injuries in collegiate sports. American Journal of Sports Medicine 8: 187, 1980.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ferretti A, Di Rosa S. Traumatologia nella pallavolo, p. 10, Società Stampa Sportiva, Rome, 1980.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ferretti A, Ippolito E, Mariani PP, Puddu G. Jumper’s knee, American Journal of Sports Medicine 11: 58–62, 1983.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ferretti A, Papandrea P, Conteduca F, Mariani PP, Puddu G. Le lesioni capsulo — legamentose del ginocchio nei pallavolisti. Italian Journal of Sports Traumatology 10: 41–54, 1988.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ferretti A, Puddu G, Mariani PP, Neri M. Jumper’s knee: an epidemiological study of volleyball players. Physician and Sportsmedicine 12: 97–106, 1984

    Google Scholar 

  • Ferretti A, Puddu G, Mariani PP, Neri M. The natural history of jumper’s knee. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) 8: 239–242, 1985.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hughston JC, Andrews JR, Cross MI, Moschi A. Classification of knee ligament instabilities. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 58a: 159, 1976.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hughston JC, Walsh WM, Puddu G. Patellar subluxation and dislocation, Saunders, Philadelphia, 1984.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ismail AM, Balakrishman R, Rajakamur MK. Rupture of patellar ligament after steroid infiltration. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 51B: 503–505, 1969.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kulund DN, McCue FC, Rockwell DA, Gieck JH. Tennis injuries: prevention and treatment. American Journal of Sports Medicine 7: 249–253, 1979.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Maurizio E. La tendinite rotulea nei giocatori di pallavolo. Archivi Societa Tosco-Umbra di Chirurgia 24: 443–452, 1963.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mollica A, Ardito S, Gangitano R. Eziopatogenesis e profilassi delle lesioni traumatiche tipiche della pallavolo. Giornale Italiano di Ortopedia e Traumatologia 5(Suppl.): 63–74, 1979.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nigg BM, Segesser B. The influence of playing surface on the load on the locomotor system and on football and tennis injuries. Sports Medicine 5: 375–385, 1988.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Perugia L, Ippolito E, Postacchini F. I tendini, p. 125, Masson, Milano, 1981.

  • Puddu G. Method of reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament using the semitendinosus tendon. American Journal of Sports Medicine 8: 402, 1980.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Roels J, Martens M, Mulier JC, Burssens A. Patellar tendinitis (jumper’s knee). American Journal of Sports Medicine 6: 362–368, 1978.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ferretti, A., Papandrea, P. & Conteduca, F. Knee Injuries in Volleyball. Sports Medicine 10, 132–138 (1990).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament
  • Patellar Tendon
  • Extensor Mechanism
  • Knee Ligament
  • Volleyball Player