How to tape a knee

Updated April 17, 2017

Taping is effective technique for reducing knee pain during sports or after an injury, to help it heal and allow you to continue activities in the meantime. The knee can be taped for patella, anterior or medial ligament issues. The anterior cruciate ligament is a common site for injury. It is relatively simple to tape the knee for this condition, and it does not take much time, after you learn how to do it.

Remove hair with a razor to create a better surface for the elastic bandage tape to adhere to. Use underwrap, if you do not wish to shave.

Start above the knee cap about six inches and wrap the material behind and around the knee. Continue to wrap, until you have wrapped the entire knee area and below it about two to three inches.

Add anchors above and below the knee. Use elastic adhesive bandages at least two inches in width. Start above the knee, so that the bottom of the tape is about two inches above the kneecap. Wrap the anchor tape at least once around the knee, but twice is better. Then apply an anchor below the knee. Apply the tape so the top of it is about two inches below the kneecap. Wrap at least once around, if not more.

Create an X with the tape. To support the anterior cruciate ligament, you need to apply two strips on the medial side of the kneecap. First, take a six- to eight-inch strip of elastic bandage and apply it from the bottom up. Start from just below the middle of the knee cap on the lower anchor tape and attach it to the medial side of the upper anchor tape.

Apply another strip, starting at the medial side of the bottom anchor tape, to the lateral side of the upper anchor tape. The tape will create an X on the medial side of the knee. Use several strips of zinc oxide tape over the bandage to reinforce. .

Starting from the lower anchor, apply a four to six inch strip of zinc oxide tape in an upward motion -- from the lowest point of the bottom anchor -- to the top part of the lower anchor. Stretch and apply pressure from the medial side of the knee to the lateral side. Then apply another piece of zinc oxide tape from the lowest part of the upper anchor to the highest part of the upper anchor.

Reinforce the original tape anchors. To complete the taping, add another layer of elastic adhesive bandage over the original upper and lower anchors to secure all taping and finish it off. Wrap around at least once, but perhaps two or three times to secure all taping to the anchors.


The exact placement of tape depends on your anatomical landmarks and the nature of your injury. Consult a sports medicine specialist or medical professional for advice.

Things You'll Need

  • Elastic bandage
  • Non-stretch zinc oxide tape
  • Razor or under-wrapping
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About the Author

Based in Colorado Springs, Vanessa Newman writes for "Women's Edition" magazine and has been published in "Rocky Mountain Sports," "IDEA" magazine and "The Teaching Professor." She has been writing professionally for over 10 years and holds a master's degree in sports medicine. She has written online courses for companies such as Anheuser-Busch and Chevron, but prefers creative writing.