Contact Us Menu

The patellar tendon attaches the bottom of the kneecap (patella) to the top of the shinbone. The patellar tendon is attached to the quadriceps muscles by the quadriceps tendon. These muscles straighten the knee and kick the lower leg. 

The thick, fibrous tissue that makes up these tendons is very resilient to injuries. However, falling on a partially bent knee can cause a tendon rupture, either partial or complete. In a partial tear, some of the fibers in the tendon are damaged, but the soft tissue is not torn. In a complete tear, the soft tissues are separated into two pieces.

Tendon rupture causes kneecap dislocation, the inability to walk or raise your leg straight, the knee buckling in upon itself when you stand, pain, swelling, tenderness, a tearing or popping sensation, bruising and cramping.

Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics

Non-surgical treatments for tendon rupture

Patellar tendon rupture can be treated by non-surgical methods if the damage is not too severe. A brace or splint can be used to immobilize the knee. Medications of various types can be used to help reduce swelling and pain. Physical therapy is also effective in restoring the strength and range of motion of your knee.

If the tendon rupture and soft tissue damage are severe enough, the most ideal option is usually a surgical repair.

Surgical repair

Surgery for a tendon rupture re-attaches the torn tendon to the kneecap to restore normal function in the affected leg. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, it may be performed under local or general anesthesia.

During the procedure, an incision is made on the front of the knee to expose the tendon rupture. Holes are made in the knee cap and strong sutures are tied to the tendon, then threaded through these holes to pull the torn edge of the tendon back to its normal position on the kneecap. Alternatively, the surgeon may use screws instead of sutures to hold the tendon in place against the bone. 

This type of surgery usually takes about an hour. As this is a detailed surgery that will affect your ability to properly walk and maintain your active lifestyle, it’s important to work with an experienced orthopedic surgeon who has successfully performed many of these procedures.

Recovery after surgery

After your procedure, expect swelling and stiffness in your knee. You will wear a brace to keep the knee from bending. This keeps the repair stable and is needed for 6 to 12 weeks after surgery. It will take a few weeks until you’re able to put weight on your affected leg. Complete recovery typically takes 4-6 months and will include physical therapy or occupational therapy to achieve your strength and movement again gradually and safely.

Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics

Why choose Dr. David Porter?

As a board-certified, experienced orthopedic surgeon, Dr. David Porter understands how important your active lifestyle is and how hard it can be to experience an injury like a tendon rupture. Dr. Porter specializes in sports medicine, with a background as a doctor to pro sports teams of the NHL, NFL, and NBA. He is highly qualified to treat your ruptured tendon, from non-surgical healing to delicate and complex surgical procedures.

Read More About Dr. Porter

Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics

If you are suffering from back or neck pain, it is crucial for you to receive a professional diagnosis as soon as possible. Dr. Rovner is one of the best spine surgeons in NJ who has the experience and expertise necessary to help patients actualize successful outcomes with orthopedic spine surgery.

© Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics. All Rights Reserved. Web Design & Internet Marketing by Studio III

Privacy Policy

Contact Us