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Patella Tendon

Patella tendon rupture is the rupture of the tendon that connects the patella (kneecap) to the top portion of the tibia (shinbone). The patellar tendon works together with the quadriceps muscle and the quadriceps tendon to allow your knee to straighten out. Patellar tendon tear most commonly occurs in middle-aged people who participate in sports which involve jumping and running. Patellar tendon can be ruptured due to several reasons such as by a fall, direct blow to the knee, or landing on the foot awkwardly from a jump. Other causes include patellar tendonitis (inflammation of patellar tendon), diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, infection, and chronic renal failure. Use of medications such as steroids can cause increased muscle and tendon weakness. When the patellar tendon tears, the patella may lose its anchoring support to the tibia, as a result, when the quadriceps muscle contracts the patella may move up into the thigh. You are unable to straighten your knee and upon standing the knee buckles upon itself. In addition to this you may have pain, swelling, tenderness, a tearing or popping sensation, bruising and cramping. Patellar tendon tears can be partial or complete. To identify a patellar 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 magnetic resonance imaging (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.

Non-surgical treatment involves the use of braces or splints to immobilize the knee. Physical therapy may be recommended to restore the strength and increase range of motion of the knee. Surgery may be indicated if conservative treatment fails. The goal of the surgery is to reattach the torn tendon to the kneecap and to restore the normal function in the affected leg. Holes are made in the patella and strong sutures are tied to the tendon and then threaded through these holes. These sutures are tied in place to pull the torn edge of the tendon back to its normal position on the kneecap. Severe damage can make the patellar tendon very short, and in such cases, reattachment will be difficult. Your surgeon may attach a tissue taken from a donor (allograft) to lengthen the tendon.

Post operative care

Rehab protocol

Quadriceps

The 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. Quadriceps tendon rupture most commonly occurs in middle-aged people who participate in sports which involve jumping and running. Quadriceps tear occur by fall, direct blow to the leg and when you land on your leg awkwardly from a jump. Other causes include tendonitis (inflammation of quadriceps tendon), diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, infection, and chronic renal failure which weakens the quadriceps tendon. Use of medications such as steroids and some antibiotics also weakens the quadriceps tendon. When the quadriceps tendon tears, the patella may lose its anchoring support in the thigh as a result the patella moves towards the foot. You will be unable to straighten your knee and upon standing the knee buckles upon itself. To identify a 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.

Quadriceps tendon tear can be treated by non-surgical and surgical methods. Non-surgical treatment involves the 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.  Surgery may be indicated if conservative treatment fails. The goal of the surgery is to re-attach the torn tendon to knee cap 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 knee cap. The sutures are tied at the bottom of the knee cap to pull the torn edge of the tendon back to its normal position.

Post operative care

Rehab protocol