Quadriceps Tendon Rupture

Quadriceps Tendon Anatomy

The quadriceps tendon is a thick tissue located at the top of the kneecap. It 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.

What is a Quadriceps Tendon Rupture?

The quadriceps can rupture after a fall, direct blow to the leg and when you land on your leg awkwardly from a jump. Quadriceps tendon rupture most commonly occurs in middle-aged people who participate in sports that involve jumping and running. Other causes include tendonitis (inflammation of quadriceps tendon), diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, infection and chronic renal failure, which weaken the quadriceps tendon. Use of medications such as steroids and some antibiotics also weakens the quadriceps tendon.

Consequences of Quadriceps Tendon Rupture

When the quadriceps tendon tears, 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 Rupture

To identify a quadriceps tendon tear,  will involve examination of the knee.  Some imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI scan, may be requested to confirm the diagnosis. An X-ray of the knee is taken to determine the position of the kneecap and MRI scan to know the extent and location of the tear.

Treatment of Quadriceps Tendon Rupture

Treatment usually involves surgery . The goal of the surgery is to re-attach the torn tendon to the kneecap and restore the normal function of the knee. Sutures are placed in the torn tendon which are then anchored to the knee cap , through holes drilled in the kneecap or using fixation anchors. 

Postsurgical Care

Following surgery, you will be in a brace for some time to  protect the healing tendon. Complete healing of the tendon will take about 3-4 months.

If you are undergoing surgery, Mr Taneja will discuss the surgical procedure with you in detail, including the benefits and risks. He will closely liaise with physiotherapists following your surgery to ensure your recovery is quick .