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Quadriceps Tendon Repair

What is Quadriceps Tendon Rupture?

Quadriceps tendon is a thick tissue located at the top of the kneecap. The quadriceps tendon works together with the quadriceps muscles to allow us to straighten our leg. The quadriceps muscles are the muscles located in front of the thigh.

Diagnosis of Quadriceps Tendon Rupture

To identify quadriceps tendon tear, your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical examination of your knee. Some imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI scan may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis. X-ray of the knee is taken to know the position of the kneecap and MRI scan to know the extent and location of the tear.

Treatment of Quadriceps Tendon Rupture

Quadriceps tendon tear can be treated by non-surgical and surgical methods.

Non-surgical Treatment of Quadriceps Tendon Rupture

Non-surgical treatment involves use of knee braces to immobilize the knee. Crutches may be needed to prevent the joint from bearing weight. Physical therapy may be recommended to restore the strength and increase range of motion of the knee.

Surgical Treatment of Quadriceps Tendon Rupture

Quadriceps tendon repair is a surgical procedure to repair a ruptured quadriceps tendon. Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis as it cannot be repaired arthroscopically since the tendon is outside the joint. The goal of the surgery is to re-attach the torn tendon to kneecap and to restore the normal function of the knee. Sutures are placed in the torn tendon which is then passed through the holes drilled in the kneecap. The sutures are tied at the bottom of the kneecap to pull the torn edge of the tendon back to its normal position.

Surgical complications include weakness and loss of motion. In some cases, the tendon which is re-attached may detach from the kneecap or tears may also recur. Other complications such as pain, infection and blood clot may be observed.

Following surgery, a brace may be needed to protect the healing tendon. Complete healing of the tendon will take about 4 months.