Quadriceps Tendon Ruptures

Quadriceps Tendon Ruptures

What Is A Quadriceps Tendon Rupture?

The quadriceps tendon connects the top of the patella (kneecap) quadriceps muscle. The quadriceps muscle is the large muscle in the front of the thigh. The quadriceps tendon works with the patellar tendon to extend and straighten the knee. Quadriceps tendon ruptures typically occur from a sudden direct trauma or an eccentric load such as the downstroke of a heavy squat exercise. 

What Are The Symptoms?

A patient may hear or feel a pop at the time of the injury. Patients will experience sudden pain, swelling and bruising in the front of the knee. Many patients experience significant instability and are unable to straighten or bear weight on the injured knee. Some patients may notice the patella is positioned lower than normal.

How Is It Treated?

The majority of patients with quadriceps tendon ruptures will require surgery. Initial treatment is usually provided in an ER or Urgent care setting and the knee is placed in a knee immobilizer. Patients are encouraged to use ice and NSAIDs to control pain and swelling. 

When Is Surgery Recommended? 

Surgery is recommended for quadriceps tendon ruptures to restore the patient’s ability to fully extend and straighten the leg. It is an outpatient surgery that requires an open incision to visualize and repair the two torn ends of the tendon back together. Patients are required to wear a hinged knee brace and attend physical therapy following surgery. 

This is a procedure regularly seen by Drs. Frush, Bak and Silas, including complex and revision repairs sent to us from other parts of the Midwest.