Patellar tendon straps decrease pre-landing quadriceps activation in males with patellar tendinopathy

Adam B. Rosen, Jupil Ko, Kathy J. Simpson, Cathleen N. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective To determine if patellar tendon straps altered quadriceps’ muscle activity during a drop-jump landing in males with and without patellar tendinopathy. Design Case-control. Settings Biomechanics Research Laboratory. Participants Twenty recreationally-active males participated: ten (age = 21.3 ± 2.4 years, height = 182.8 ± 5.3 cm, mass = 81.7 ± 8.6 kg) with patellar tendinopathy; ten (age = 22.0 ± 1.6 years, height = 185.7 ± 4.5 cm, mass = 82.2 ± 9.8 kg) were healthy with no history of tendinopathy. Main outcome measures Electromyography (EMG) data for the vastus medialis (VM), rectus femoris (RF), and vastus lateralis (VL) muscles were collected. Five 2-legged 40 cm drop-jumps were performed wearing a patellar tendon strap and 5 with no-strap in a counterbalanced order. Root-mean square EMG (REMG) values of the VM, RF, and VL were averaged for a pre-landing and post-landing interval. Multiple mixed-model two-way ANOVAs were performed to determine the effect of tendinopathy and strapping condition on REMG values for each muscle. Results For the pre-landing interval, all participants displayed lesser VL EMG activation (0.44 ± 0.19%, 0.53 ± 0.27%, respectively; p = 0.007, d = 0.39) in the no-strap compared with the strap condition. Conclusions When wearing a strap, all participants demonstrated lower VL activation prior to landing which may be helpful in reducing tensile stress at the tendon. These effects may be clinically important in modulating pain in those with patellar tendinopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Therapy in Sport
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Bracing
  • EMG
  • Jumper's knee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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