Management of a quadriceps tendon rupture

The quadriceps tendon is a large-sized tendon positioned above the kneecap. A partial injury can occur during sports or those who engage in active lifestyles. The signs of the injury might cause steadily increasing knee pain.

A full quadriceps tendon rupture is unusual. Furthermore, it often occurs among individuals over 40 years of age and among those who have systemic conditions that lead to the weakening of the tendon.

If the tendon completely ruptures, the individual could not straighten the knee without assistance and he/she could not perform the straight leg raise.

In most cases, the doctor can feel the tendon right above the kneecap if there is swelling in the knee. In addition, the doctor requests an X-ray to check if there is impairment to the kneecap.

quadriceps tendon rupture

The signs of the injury might cause steadily increasing knee pain.

Treatment for a quadriceps tendon rupture

For a partial quadriceps tendon rupture, conservative treatment is necessary. The treatment options might include the following:

  • Knee brace or immobilizer
  • Application of ice
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Adequate rest
  • Physical therapy

Generally, a complete quadriceps tendon rupture necessitate surgery to restore strength to the extremity. In addition, the doctor performs surgery a few weeks after the injury.

The procedure involves suturing of the torn tendon back into its attachment point on the kneecap. Furthermore, the doctor creates holes in the kneecap and insert loop sutures via these holes to pull the tendon to the bone.

After surgery, the doctor suggests a brace to shield the area. The individual uses crutches but there is the application of weight on the leg if the knee is in a straight position. Many doctors will allow early range of movement exercises but must be done under the supervision of a physical therapist.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on quadriceps tendon rupture is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn how the injury is treated, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.

FACT CHECK–conditions/quadriceps-tendon-tear/


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