What is a quadriceps tendon tear?
The quadriceps tendon is the strong tendon that inserts on the top of the patella (kneecap) that functions to extend the knee and leg. The quadriceps tendon is important, and if injured or torn, the patient will not be able to extend their knee. Ruptures are typically seen in patients older than 40 years old, and most commonly occur in the setting of a traumatic injury or history of prior tendon weakness.
What does the surgery involve for a quadriceps tendon repair?
Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, but cannot be repaired arthroscopically since the tendon is outside of the joint. The goal of surgery is to re-attach the torn tendon back to the patella to and to restore the normal function of the knee. Sutures are placed in the torn tendon which is then passed through the holes drilled into the kneecap. The sutures are tied at the bottom of the patella to pull the torn edge of the tendon back to its normal position. Early surgical intervention is preferable in order to accomplish end-to-end repair of the tendon as well as tendon to bone anchorage, without any scarring or shortening of the tendon.