Quadriceps Tendon Repair

What is Quadriceps Tendon?

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 during middle-age , often in individuals who may be involved in jumping and running activities. Quadriceps tear occurs by a fall, direct blow to the leg and when you land on your leg awkwardly from a jump. Other predisposing factors  include tendonitis (inflammation of quadriceps tendon), diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, and infection which weakens the quadriceps tendon. Use of medications such as steroids and some antibiotics may also weaken the quadriceps tendon.

Symptoms of Quadriceps Tendon

When the quadriceps tendon tear, the patella may lose its anchoring support in the thigh. You will be unable to straighten your knee and upon standing the knee buckles upon itself.

Diagnosis of quadriceps Tendon

This will involve taking a medical history and performing a physical examination of your knee. Some imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI scan may be requested 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

Treatment is usually surgical . 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.

 The goal of the surgery is to re-attach the torn tendon to the knee cap and to restore the normal function of the knee. Sutures are placed in the torn tendon which are then anchored to the knee cap , thus restoring the tendon to its original position.  

After the Surgery

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