Quadriceps Tendon Rupture

///Quadriceps Tendon Rupture

Quadriceps Tendon Rupture Specialist

Sports Medicine Physician

Are you experiencing instability in your knee? If so, you may have a a quadriceps tendon injury. Injury can occur during an activity with forced flexion of the knee, an awkward landing during sports activities, or tendon degeneration or weakness. Quadriceps tendon specialist, Dr. Mark Getelman provides diagnosis and both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for patients in Los Angeles who have developed quadriceps tendon injury. Contact Dr. Getelman’s team today!

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What to Know About a Quadriceps Tendon Rupture and Patellar Tendon Tear

The quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon connect the thigh muscle (quadriceps) to the kneecap (patella) and the leg. The quadriceps tendon is responsible for connecting the quadriceps muscle to the patella, while the patellar tendon is responsible for connecting the bottom of the patella to the top of the tibia (shinbone). The patella is attached to the quadriceps muscle by the quadriceps tendon. The knee joint has the ability to straighten because of the quadriceps muscle and both tendons working in unison.

Both tendons work together to provide knee extension for everyday and athletic activities, including walking, kicking, running and walking. When one of these structures tear, even a small partial tear, patients may have pain, difficulty walking and engaging in other daily activities. A complete quadriceps tendon rupture or patellar tendon tear prevents knee function and the injured patient cannot walk or bear weight on the limb. Surgical repair is required to restore knee function. Van Nuys, Thousand Oaks and Los Angeles, California area orthopedic knee specialist, Dr. Mark Getelman is an expert in treating tears of the patellar and quadriceps tendons.

A complete patellar tendon tear or quadriceps tendon rupture is a relatively uncommon knee injury. Injury can occur during an activity with forced flexion of the knee (falling down stairs), an awkward landing during sports activities, or tendon degeneration or weakness.

Quadriceps Tendon Rupture and Patellar Tendon Tear Symptoms

Patients who experience complete quadriceps tendon rupture or a patellar tendon tear often report a tearing or popping sensation followed by pain and swelling.  Patients then experience the inability to straighten the leg, bruising, tenderness, cramping, kneecap deformity and cannot walk without the knee buckling.

Quadriceps Tendon Rupture and Patellar Tendon Tear Diagnosis

Dr. Getelman will perform a complete medical review and physical examination if a patient believes they experienced a torn tendon. During the examination, Dr. Getelman will test the affected knee joint’s ability to straighten (extend). He will also perform a variety of x-rays and often an MRI scan to gain a better view of each tendon in order to diagnose the severity, location and pattern of the tear.

Have you sustained a quadriceps tendon rupture or patellar tendon tear?

Schedule an office consultation with Dr. Getelman today.

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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture and Patellar Tendon Tear Treatment

Dr. Getelman will consider the severity of the tear,  and the patient’s age and activity level when planning the appropriate treatment plan.

Non-Surgical

Many patients with a small partial quadriceps tendon or patellar tendon tear respond well to non-operative measures. Dr. Getelman may prescribe a knee brace to immobile the affected leg and keep it straight so the tendon can heal properly. Patients can expect to wear a brace for approximately 3-6 weeks. Physical therapy will begin once the initial swelling and pain subsides. The physical therapy program is aimed at restoring range of motion and strength to the knee joint.

Surgical

Patients who have experienced a complete quadriceps tendon rupture or a patellar tendon tear require a surgical procedure to repair the torn tendon and return knee function.  Repairs to both the quadriceps and patellar tendons are performed in a similar technique.

During the procedure, Dr. Getelman commonly places sutures in the torn tendon and then threads the sutures through drill holes in the patella. The sutures are then tied at the kneecap to obtain the correct tension. He may also utilize a technique that uses suture anchors. With this technique, he will attach the tendon to the bone using suture anchors instead of drill holes in the patella. If undiagnosed immediately, the patient’s tendon may shorten, making it hard to re-attach it to the kneecap. In these cases, Dr. Getelman may need to add a tissue graft to lengthen the tendon. This is often the case if more than four to six weeks has passed since the tendon injury.

Following surgery, Dr. Getelman will prescribe a knee brace to immobile the affected leg in extension and keep the knee straight so the tendon can heal properly. Patients can expect to wear a brace for approximately 6 weeks while walking. Physical therapy will begin once the initial swelling and pain subsides. The physical therapy program is aimed at first restoring range of motion and then strength to the knee joint once the repaired tendon has healed to the bone.

For additional resources on a quadriceps tendon rupture or a patellar tendon tear, please contact the orthopedic office of Dr. Mark Getelman, knee specialist located in the Van Nuys, Thousand Oaks and Los Angeles, California area.