Patellar Tendonitis Exercises & Stretches for Pain Relief – Ask Doctor Jo

oh hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo and Kali
and, yeah you got some secrets to tell me, today we’re going to show you some
stretches and exercises for patellar tendonitis or jumpers knee ohh you ready
to get started. so if you haven’t subscribed already,
make sure and click on the button down there. a great way easy way to know if
you have that patellar tendonitis or jumpers knee cuz a lot can be going on
with your knee, is usually the pain point tenderness is right up under the kneecap.
so a lot of times you have to push the kneecap up, and then if I pushed in that
space on my patient it would be really really tender, and they’d be like ooh I
want you to stop after pushing that kneecap up, but then if I bend their knee
and push the kneecap up and then just press on that area, usually it’s not very
tender. so that’s kind of a good way to know if it’s that patellar tendonitis
right up in there. so a pretty easy way to check that out. so to start off just
doing some patellar mobs or kneecap mobs, is a great way to kind of help get
everything loosened up because that patellar tendon is connected to that
kneecap. so with the patellar mobs, you want to be completely relaxed if your
muscles are tight like if you’re having to stress your body to go over and do it,
you’re not going to be able to move that kneecap. so even if you have some
irritation or inflammation in there you should be able to move that kneecap. so
to start off, I like to do the side to side because that’s usually the easiest
one. I know this is really kind of creeps some people out doing this and having
the movement, but if you can tolerate it and get through it,
it really helps loosen up that whole joint in there. so just a little
side-to-side. you don’t have to go too crazy with it, but you’re pushing in
medially you’re pushing out laterally, and just getting some good movement in
there. it might not move as much as mine, but I don’t have any knee issues, so my
moves pretty freely. and then after you do some side to side just maybe a minute
or two, then you can kind of grab it and then go up and down. so same kind of
thing, if you can tolerate doing it yourself
nice and relaxed that’s great, but if this movement just doesn’t feel good for
you or it gives you that icky kind of feeling, maybe you can get somebody else
to do it for you. but you’re not pushing down in that
kneecap and moving it, you’re really trying to kind of open up that space and
go straight up this way back and forth, instead of pushing your pressure
downward because and that’s just going to put more pressure in that groove in
there. so little up and down, little side side, a minute of each and that should
get it nice and loosened up for you. so after you do those patellar moves then
we’re going to start doing some stretching because a lot of times with
that patellar tendonitis it comes from tight quads, tight hamstring, and tight
calves, and then weak gluts in the back. so we’ll do some strengthening at the
end for that as well. so the easiest way I like to stretch quads is doing it on
your stomach and prone because then you don’t have to worry about keeping your
upper thigh in a position because the floor just kind of helps stabilize it. so
if you take a strap, if you don’t have a strap you can use dog leash, you can use
a belt, but if you want it to be something solid. so I’m gonna do this on
my left side when I roll over just so it’s closer to the camera, but you want
to stretch out whatever side is the one that’s painful for you. so put the strap
around your ankle and then you’re going to roll over onto your stomach and bring
the strap up and around your shoulder. so you’re in this position. you want to be
comfortable you don’t want to stress out the rest of your body. so if you want to
lie all the way down you can certainly do that, but what if you just take that
strap and start pulling your knee towards your bottom until you feel a
good stretch. you should feel that stretch in that quad right there, and you
might feel it at your knee if you have that patellar tendonitis. so you want it
to be a comfortable stretch. you don’t want it to be painful, so if you’re
barely able to tolerate ten seconds you need to back off it a little bit. you
just want to feel some tension, you don’t want to feel pain, but the further you
can go without pain will get a better stretch. so you’re going to hold that stretch for
30 seconds, and then do that a total of three times. a lot of times people will
ask me should I do both sides. I would say yes, do both sides if you have time
because most likely if you have a side that’s injured, you’re compensating so
the other side is getting overworked and it needs to be stretched out as well. so
the next stretch is a hamstring stretch. there’s a whole lot of different ways
you can stretch the hamstring as well, just like the quads, but an easy one to
do where you don’t have to have any equipment it’s just to put one leg
straight out. you can curl this one out to the side you can do them both at the
same time if you want to, I feel like you can get a little bit more of a stretch
doing just one at a time .you want to keep your knee down as straight as you
can, and you want to keep your back straight too. so you’re not curling
trying to touch your toes, I’m barely getting a stretch, you want to keep your
back straight and just bend forward at your hips because I’m getting more of a
stretch here on my hamstrings underneath then actually curling down and wrapping
around my feet. so keep that back nice and straight, bend forward, try and keep
that knee straight as well. if you pull your toes up towards you like that,
that’ll give you a little more stretch because that’ll activate your calves as
well. so again holding for 30 seconds, doing that three times both sides if you
have time for it. so then the next one is going to be a calf stretch. so if you
can’t quite get your toes to get that calf stretch while you’re doing your
hamstring, you can just do a calf stretch with a strap. so same kind of concept
where you want to use the strap to do all the work. so take the strap kind of
put it where the ball of your foot is and relax your foot. so you’re not
actively moving your toes towards you, you’re using the strap to pull pull that
those toes towards you. so I feel that stretch in my calf area. now if your knee
is bothering you, a lot you might feel it in the knee because those calf muscles
cross that knee joint just like the hamstrings cross that knee joint, so if
those muscles are tight that’s a lot of times why you have that pain in the knee.
so again same thing holding it for 30 seconds and then doing that three times
and then doing both sides if you have time and you can. so now we’re going to
go into some strengthening exercises. so the first one that I like to do is a
simple straight leg raise. so with the straight leg raise, it’s just like it
sounds, you want to keep your leg as straight as possible. so pulling up your
toes kind of helps lock out the leg, and I like to bend the other one just
because that takes some pressure off of your back, and then just nice and slow
come up to about level of the knee that’s propped up, and then slowly come
back down. so you want to go slow and controlled with this motion. you’re not
going fast and just using momentum, you’re really kind of squeezing that leg
tight getting those quads working, getting those hip flexors working, and
getting some strengthening in there. that nice controlled especially going back
down. don’t let it just plot back down. so I would say start off with about 10 to
15 of those and then you can bump up the sets and the reps as you feel stronger,
and then add some weights if you need to. so then you’re going to roll over onto
your side. so now this one would be the one that you’re working. I’m just rolling
over so I can see you. so this is going to be an abduction in sidelying, and what
you want to do with this one again, get comfortable. so if you want to lie all
the way down you can make sure that your hips are perpendicular to the, excuse me,
perpendicular to the floor. you want to keep those toes tight again to keep that
leg nice and straight, and when you come up you want to go back just a little bit.
so it’s not coming straight up, it’s going up and back and leading with that
heel. so it’s not coming up this way, but it’s coming back leading with that heel
and then coming back down. and that’s really gonna work that glute med right
there. so keeping your whole body in a pretty
straight line, going back just a little bit, but keeping those hips perpendicular.
so you’re not rolling back with those hips as you go up, you’re really just
kicking it back, leading with that heel. so same thing 10 to 15 and just kind of
working your way up from there. and then you’re going to roll over on to your
stomach. and then you again now your glute max working a
little bit. so whatever is comfortable for you you, lie all the way down if
that’s comfortable, I’m just going to prop up a little bit so I can see you a
little bit better. but keep that leg nice and straight. so it’s this one we’re
working on and then pull those toes to get that leg staying straight and then
just lifting up. now on your stomach when you’re lifting up you’re not going to go
very high .your knee might Bend just a little bit. that’s okay but try and keep
it as straight as you can, but keep your hips on the floor. so it’s not coming up
like that, it’s really just lifting it. so if you don’t feel like you’re going
high, that’s okay that’s still working the muscle. and then after you do those,
bend your knee and then just lift your foot up towards the ceiling. so now
you’re doing this motion and again that’s working those glutes in the back
to help that strengthening. so again 10 to 15 of those work your way up if you
have time to do both sides and definitely do both. so now you’re gonna
do some bridging. so this is again going to work those glutes and those
hamstrings as well. with bridging I really like to tell people go slow and
do one segment at a time. so when you come up, you’re gonna go up nice and slow
and then as you come down really one segment of your back at a time. so you
don’t have to do it like one piece at a time, it can still be smooth but really
come down with the upper part of your back first going down to your lower back.
so that really just kind of works everything out, and then it’s making you
control that movement to get some better strengthening going on in there. so same
kind of thing 10 to 15, if that becomes really easy then you can do two sets of
10 20 15 as you go. and so the last exercise is probably one of my favorite
exercises because it looks really easy but it’s harder than it looks and
they’re called the clam shells. so same thing I’m propped up on my elbow
but you know get in a comfortable position because you don’t want to
irritate anything else while you’re working it. so the leg that you’re
working is up on top, but again you probably want to do both
sides. so you’re going to bend your knees bring them up a little bit, and then have
your knees on top of each other and your feet on top of each other. your feet are
gonna stay together, your hips are going to be perpendicular to the floor, again
so they’re not rolling back. if you feel like they’re rolling back you might need
to scoot up against the wall because if they’re rolling back
you’re not working the muscles that you need to be working which is the glute
med here. so the top knee just comes up a little bit off of the other one, but
you can see my hips are really staying in one spot, so it’s not this, it’s not
coming up like that, it’s really keeping that in one spot and just lifting that
knee keeping those feet together. so again this looks simple, but if you’re
doing it correctly when you get to about four or five you’re really gonna start
feeling it the first couple times you do it. but if you can get to 20 25 easily, and
there’s no problem, you can add an ankle weight to the top leg or you can add a
resistive band all the way around over your thighs and then still do that same
motion and get some extra resistance. so those were your stretches and exercises
for patellar tendonitis or jumpers knee. if you’d like to help support my channel,
make sure and click on the link up here, and don’t forget to subscribe by
clicking over there. and remember be safe, yeah, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

100 Replies to “Patellar Tendonitis Exercises & Stretches for Pain Relief – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. I have been searching for 7 months for this and thank u for this video….i just knew my condition i am suffering from

  2. First time seeing your Channel…I've been looking for good research on Jumper's knee and this has been the most professional video I've seen. I'm only half way through the video but thought I'd share!

    Also was diagnosed with jumper knee when I was a junior in high school and I just worked out through the pain but now the pain is unbearable…

    I added this video to my watch later and I'm excited to these stretches at the gym tomorrow!

  3. (I commented ealier) What's your thoughts on heat and ice on the knee? I'm experiencing ALOT of swelling after I play basketball

    I went 2 years of not being very active and now I'm getting back on the court and in the weight room…but my knee is hold me back BIG time.

  4. hi i felt this pain lasy year and it was very severe now its goten very bettter and i havent had any treatment just excerise and streches and sports . i checked with hospital they all so confirmed it was a small patella tear but i still feel a little pain if i press on it , how long wil it take till its fully recovered.i am aslo 15 years old a very sportif person

  5. I got pt at work i build boeing airplanes and i work on my knees lots of stair climbing so on and its been 5 months with the pain i just started physical therapy 2 weeks ago. I do all the things instructed and showed to me at home but my knees and hips still hurt. to today more then ever! and a few of these things in the video are in my sessions. But i afraid i wont heal. And im looking into plasma shots as this has affected all aspects of my life and hobbies. Any advice ? Im all ears

  6. Hi, is it normal to feel weird movement in your knee in the first stretch? I’ve had this injury for 2.5 months now and I’m not getting any better, I’ve been doing physical therapy twice a week and they are having me work only on strengthening, not stretching so I am doing stretching on my own. Im 27 and very active but have been on light duty, still no signs of improvement. I’m able to pull my foot to my butt and barely feel a stretch but definitely feel things shifting around in my knee and it’s not normal! Any advice for getting a deeper stretch of this one isn’t doing it for me?

  7. Hi Dr Jo! Thanks for this upload. Ive been going to the gym to loose weight for 6 months now, when i started i was 370lb and ive managed to get to 284lbs. Around 4 months ago my tendonitis started in my right leg and just recently it has started in the other. Is my weight a factor? I also train fairly intense for an hour of cardio each day and take a day off every 3 days…could overuse be another factor? Im going to add your routine into my workout, im hoping the tendonitis will stop because its starting to affect my weight loss goals. How often should i do the routine, daily? Thanks again.

  8. I noticed you only checked for tenderness below the kneecap. What about if it’s above? Mine kicked in out of the blue on Thursday and it’s gotten slightly better but it feels like my knee cap doesn’t track properly and like I need to pop it. Going downstairs is painful. Lying down and then bending my knee up while letting my foot slide on the ground is painful and vice versa when going from bent to flat. It’s not painful when I walk because my knee doesn’t flex a lot plus it’s not weight bearing when it’s fully flexed.

  9. Awesome vid thanks Doc.
    Slightly shredded my patella doing weighted hip thrusts 3 weeks ago. Scared to bend my knee still waiting for MRI result. It felt better after a few weeks but then went on errands driving all around town on my motorbike and that set me back again. Liking the kneecap massage thanks again

  10. Hi Dr Jo I am a badminton player and as u know badminton is a game all about foot work I have to mostly use my right leg as I am right handed player I had pain in my knee .I have done these excercises for about 2 weeks and my knee pain is all gone but I feel that my bone under the knee has some thing grown under the skin it seems to be a part of bone . You pls tell me that is it safe???

  11. My patellar tendon has been hurting for awhile now from basketball after I jumped and felt a pop and warm sensation and has been bruising my knee bad and I’m incapable of jumping on it , it even hurts bad when I straighten out my leg and flex my thigh … I can’t even squat down anymore without horrible pain. I hope these work I’ve been trying everything. Thanks for the stretches

  12. Super great vid. My knee pain is dead center of the right knee cap. The pain is a 7-8 on pain scale, and only hurts when I make a sudden stop going forward. No pain going upstairs, but very uncomfortable going down. Until my insurance kicks in I was thinking of a knee brace that will maybe stabilize the cap or help with tracking. Have not had any x rays or mri yet, but will soon. What would you possible recommend as a brace. My job is 90% walking at a dealership here in Dallas, Tx, Any help is great. Thanks

  13. Thanks for the video. On my knee which has the pain when I move the knee down in the direction towards my shin it has a creaky feeling.

  14. Hi Doctor, nice information! I have pain in gracilis tendons due to over workout and cycling. Though I lost 24lbs but I feel stiffness and sweet pain when I sit on floor with folded knees. Got some rotor ultrasound massage but in vain. Any streching advise please. Thanks?

  15. They mri’d my knee and said I had patellar tendinitis but it seems the pain is all around my knee and not just at the bottom by the tendon.. is that unheard of for the pain to migrate across the whole knee?

  16. I noticed you didn't include squats on a 25 degree board like all the other sites recommend. By their omission do you not recommend them? I don't want to do anything that will make the problem worse and it seems like squats are very similar to the exercise that caused my knee pain to begin with ( running up a steep hill). Thank you.

  17. hi dr. Jo. I think I have a patellar tendonitis, but my knee is making a popping sound, every 5 to 10 minutes of driving, or even just sitting in a car. Especially when straightening my knee after bending it about 90 degrees. You didn't mention anything about popping knees in this video. Would the stretches and the exercises work for those with popping knees as well?

  18. Hi Dr Jo, thanks for the wonderful video. I just finished my first session. I am having patella issues due to overuse and weight training. While I’m having these problems, should I not do any exercises like walking on treadmill, bike, etc? If not what would you suggest I do for cardio?
    Your response would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks ?

  19. I can report that after watching this video and doing the exercises, I have experienced immediate relief for my knee. I have stretched and used a massage tool on trigger points which only achieved some relief. Not being able to do the bridge without knee pain, or walk upstairs without pain and been my problem for several months now. Simply sitting in a chair and alternate raising my knees has been a wonderful exercise for relief. I will now incorporate your exercises in my normal twice weekly gym routine. I am 77 years old and have this problem for nearly two years. Thank you so much.

  20. Hi doctor jo, my dr told me I might have tendonits but my knee isn’t tender at the bottom it’s really tender on my left knee on the top left side when I push on that side of the knee cap and it hurts most when doing some kind of squatting motion or a workout that involves some kind of strain on my knee thank you

  21. Hi Doctor Jo, if I have burning sensations around the knees that go from the knee trough VMO and up, that shouldn't be patellar tendonitis? I visited orthopedic and he said that my patella should be only painful not "under fire" …after that he manipulated with both my kneecaps, and after a while, diagnosed me with chondromalacia of patella (both knees). But he seemed very insecure when he said that. Since then I have been working exercises for pattelas but that only aggravates my condition. What could that be, just tendonitis or smth?

  22. a bit cringy…lol (you remind me of my wives sister whose a 32 yr old dr.) but gosh you are one of the best most concise PT on youtube hands down. thank you

  23. Dr. Jo,
    I’ve been really bad about treating my patellar tendinitis. I got hurt about a year ago playing soccer and every time I went to PT I feel like my therapist would just keep adding aggravation to my knee. I’ve gained a ton of weight since and I want to know, how long should I do these stretches/workouts and what would be the next step? I tried the straight leg raise as I was watching and immediately felt the stretch in the patellar area. I just want to be able to run and meet lose all this weight again.

  24. Great video. Question though, most of the time I feel my knee pain right after I work out, that caused me to stop working out for a couple of months now, but if I do any working out, like an elliptical workout, my knee hurts again right after I’m done working out. I did these workouts and I felt some pain in my knee afterwards. Is that supposed to happen? The pain is mostly felt when I go up and down the stairs.

  25. I'm not sure if I have tendinitis or not because I have pain in the top of the tibia where the patella tendon ends and I'm not sure if these can help

  26. Have a son w/ patellar tendinitis from pitching (baseball). Can he start doing these now or does he need to rest awhile before starting? His PT is suggesting 100% rest before even starting to stretch/strengthen

  27. I have had Patellar Tendinitis for 3 years. My doctor said I should take 3 weeks off of soccer. Because I do it all year long. Nope not doing that. I hope this works. Thanks. Also I have it on both knees

  28. This video was insanely helpful Dr. Jo. Also I love your dog haha. I just started noticing pain in my right knee to the point where it hurts when I run/play sports. I suspect tendinitis but I’d appreciate your help/input on if my suspicions have any truth to them.

    I noticed that when I walk/run or just stand around my feet do not mirror each other. One of them is slanted outwards or just off. Is it possible that I developed pt due to improper movement which caused my knee to take on more pressure? Also I realized I often sleep on my side with one knee raised up and the other leg straight. Would that cause some sort of hip imbalance which causes the pain? The pain is in my right knee by the way. I’m not able to afford seeing a doctor right now so any help would be amazing. Again, great video and thanks for all you do for this platform and the people on it!

  29. Hey I have a question, I have runners knee and it doesn’t hurt terrible but if I feel around my knee I can feel my patellar tendon but it’s not like that on the other knee. Great video btw ??

  30. When I move his knee it Doesnt hurt right there. He says it hurts towards the outside of his knees but not really tender to touch. Its a burning, and he can't run. Jump or go side to side without it hurting or even when he gets off the floor it'll hurt. But only hurts with activity. Can that still be tendonitis?

  31. Ive been so stuck with my quad tendonitis. It's miserable. I stretch and try to do light weight body exercises but can't seem to kick the constant throbbing pain. Where do you suggest I get started to fix the pain in my left quad/patellar?

  32. Hey doctor jo
    I have recently been diagnosed with patella tendonitis and i have started doing your exercises. I can manage to complete them with some effort but next day feel little knotlike pain in quads and glute region. Should i continue doing these exercises thru pain or should i give muscles 48 hours rest between exercises? I dont feel pain during the exercises. I feel it 2-3 hours after i have done them.

  33. Great videos and info. In regards to moving the knee cap i can move my left knee cap around but not my right knee cap because of a loss of range of motion from surgery years ago. I saw on other websites that they they recommend pushing the the knee cap around hard to breakup any adhesion'sscar tissue. Your thoughts on this and should I got to a PT for this or try this at home till it becomes loose. Not sure if i have knee tendinitis or bursitis but I ll need to go a PT soon. Thank you.

  34. Thank you for the exercises! My question rather than exercise, during your recovering phase which exercises you shouldn't do, I'm subscribed now 😉 great channel

  35. What amount of time do you recommend to sit out from running or any sport when dealing with patellar tendinitis? When I sit out for a week it feels great but if I run for a bit the pain comes back again. What do you suggest I do? How long should I sit out?

  36. Thanks for the video, recommend putting an affiliate link to the strap you used as i'm looking to get one after watching the video

  37. Purchase a stretching strap like the one I used in the video here: (affiliate link)

  38. Dear Dr. Jo ,,,, jumper's knee same as runner's knee? what kind of tendonitis is that for runner's knee then ??
    I am not able to figure out what type I have, but each time I want to run I am feeling sourness of my knee and I am not able to continue running.
    Do these exercises apply also for my case ?
    Thanks from FRANCE!

  39. From what I’ve researched, this condition develops from some kind of physical activity, but about a week ago I randomly woke up with this sore pain that seems to be tendonitis, I don’t know what could’ve caused it if I was just sleeping 🙁

  40. Hey DocJo, I have quadriceps and patellar tendonitis and I have a couple questions. 1. My quads (IT band, inside of quad near knee cap) are quite tender to massaging, but it subsides after about 10 minutes, is this normal ? 2. I can still do my activities without to much pain, but want to start the exercises without adding additional irritation to the tendons, when is it safe to start the exercises ?

  41. Can you recommend where to get a neck/head rest such as the one you use in your video? I’ve been looking, but haven’t had much success. Thank you.

  42. Hey doc im 13 and I go too jiu jitsu which has a lot of squating and leg workouts non of them hurt my patellar and I'm pretty sure that my pateallar tendonitis isn't that bad as it only hurts when I try and walk on my knees but i can still squat, run, jump, and even battle in jiu jitsu just fine so I was wondering if I'm causing my patellar tendonitis too become a chronic problem in anyway? And btw AWESOME VIDEO I REALLY LIKED IT!

  43. Hello i had patellar tendonitis since 1.5 years
    I had 3 prp injections and the final injection was 5 weeks ago but it feels still the same..i started to physical th. 1 week ago but im not sure … what should i do Thx

  44. Should we do all these exercises together in one routine or can we split them? I sometimes find it hard to do all these exercises because of fatigue and my leg starts shaking.

  45. Hi doc, I’m scared that I can’t run anymore. Because I have patellar tendinitis. Hope I can have my lifestyle back by walking and taking my son out. Do you think it’s cure because I can stretch my leg?

  46. thank you for the exercise,i had suddenly knee pain on the side on my kneecap from a was gone after few minutes but i still wanted to treat it and that video helped

  47. Doctor Jo, please tell me where I can get that pillow and whats is called?? .. BTW thank you for all your videos!

  48. DOG! I was just surfing around downloading videos for later and then I saw your dog. I still don’t know what this is all about but I hit subscribe, download and now I’m commenting. Because of the — you know — dog.

  49. Hi I’m 12 and I just started school a few days ago after 2 months of summer break. I had PE on Monday and half way of running 1 lap my under my knee it started hurting for some reason? It’s my first time? It hurts when I stand up from sitting down or bending down. It doesn’t hurt to the point I cry but what do I have and what should I do? It is a little bit better since yesterday (Monday) could it have been sudden change of activity? Edit: both of my knees

  50. Hello i had prp injections 3 times the last injection was about 9 weeks before. And i went to physical therapy for 20 sessions the doctor told me that i can returning to football but slowly. I run 15 minutes at day 1./ 20 mins at day 2./ And today day 3 25 minutes. And i felt a little bit force today. Should i keep this program or what is better for me i will increase the volume day by. Have you any tips for me to do it better? Is it right what i do now? Edit: I make 25-30 minutes massage to my tendon and quads. Should i keep this? THX

  51. This has truly helped me, I just got diagnosed with jumpers knee about 6 months ago and after trying these I’ve experienced instant relief. Thank you so much!

  52. My knee is popping when I did the leg lifts and side lifts. The pain originally started in the knee but has worked it’s way up to my thigh and hip area. Do you think I’ve been misdiagnosed if I can’t do these?

  53. I have patellar tendon since 2 years. My brother has also the same. I play football and he is doing fitness. I still play football. I had 3 prp injections and 20 sessions of Physical Therapy. My knees are worse than before. Is that genetic? Im doing the slanted board exercises and stretches every single day but also im playing football at the same time. What should we do? Is there any way to treat that without surgery? Thx.

  54. When i touch the knee cap i feel weird ,Like something is moving inside the knee cap, more like beats and vibration.*I dont need to pull lot of pressure on the knee cap in order to feel those beats .I have been told that i have jumper's knee but i dont understand why i have weird beats.
    Maybe it could be water?

  55. Thank you ?? so much ?
    I had this injury for 1 year and since I started these exercises I’m seeing the difference Nd the pain is almost gone ?
    I just have a question , how many times should I do that per a week?

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