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Quadriceps / Patella Tendon Rupture

Quadriceps / Patella Tendon Rupture

A patella or quadriceps tendon rupture is a serious injury that occurs when the tendon that attaches the patella or quadriceps muscle to the shinbone (tibia) tears. To understand patella and quadriceps tendon ruptures, it is important to first discuss the anatomy of the knee.




The patella (kneecap) is a small, triangular bone that sits over the front of the knee joint. It is held in place by the quadriceps tendon, which is a thick band of tissue that connects the quadriceps muscles to the patella. The quadriceps muscles are located in the front of the thigh and are responsible for extending the knee.


A patella or quadriceps tendon rupture occurs when the tendon tears, causing the patella to move out of position. This can cause significant pain and weakness in the knee. 


Mechanism of Injury 


The most common mechanism of injury for patella and quadriceps tendon ruptures is a sudden, forceful contraction of the quadriceps muscle, such as during a fall or landing from a jump. Other risk factors may include chronic tendinitis, steroid use, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes.




Treatment options for patella and quadriceps tendon ruptures depend on the severity of the injury and the specific tendon affected. 


Surgery is typically indicated, however in certain rare instances non operative management may be indicated.  

Non-operative management may include:

  1. Immobilization: A cast or brace may be used to immobilize the knee and allow the tendon to heal.

  2. Physical therapy: Exercises to improve strength and flexibility can help support the knee and prevent further injury.

Surgery is the gold standard treatment for the majority of patients.

Surgical options may include:


  1. Tendon repair: In moar cases a torn tendon can be repaired using sutures or other techniques.

  2. Tendon reconstruction: For chronic cases or revision surgeries; this procedure involves replacing the torn tendon with a graft taken from another part of the body or a donor.


Recovery and rehabilitation from patella and quadriceps tendon ruptures can take several months and may involve physical therapy to regain strength and mobility in the knee. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment plan based on the specific needs and goals of the patient. In some cases, long-term follow-up and monitoring may be necessary to prevent further injury.

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