Patellar Tendon Rupture


What is the Patellar Tendon?

The patella tendon (or patella ligament) connects the patella (kneecap) to the front of the tibia (shin bone) at a protrusion called the tibial tuberosity. Its function is to act as a lever arm for the quadriceps muscles. The quadriceps themselves insert into the upper surface of the patella and when contracted pull on the patella, and thus the patellar tendon, to straighten the knee joint.

What is a Patellar Tendon Rupture?

The patellar tendon is prone to rupturing in individuals with a history of patellar tendon injury such as jumpers knee or degeneration due to age. Injuries of this type serve to weaken the patellar tendon and in the event of strong eccentric quadriceps contraction (contraction during lengthening of the muscle), such as landing from jump, the patella tendon may snap or rupture most commonly at the lower end of the patella.

Corticosteroid injections given to address the inflammation seen in patellar tendonopathies (i.e. jumpers knee) are also known to predispose the individual to ruptures.

Signs and Symptoms of patellar tendon rupture:

  • Patellar tendon ruptures are extremely painful and may be accompanied with an audible ‘pop’ at the time of injury
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Inability to weight-bear
  • Inability to straighten the knee or hold it in a straightened position

Treatment for Patella Tendon Rupture

What can the athlete do?

  • Apply RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elivation) technique as soon as possible.
  • Take NSAID’s (e.g. Ibuprofen) for pain relief and to help decrease swelling.
  • Seek professional medical assistance immediately.

Treatment & Rehabilitation

  • In most cases the patellar tendon becomes completely ruptured across its width and thus surgical intervention is required to repair the damage. This involves suturing (stitching) the torn tendon.
  • Following surgery the patient will be advised on a specific rehabilitation plan which normally involves little or no weight-bearing on the affected knee and wearing a knee brace to prevent the knee from bending. This may be required for more than 6 weeks.
  • Once the knee brace has been removed exercises to regain full range of movement and build up the strength of the quadriceps muscle group should be carried out.

Rehabilitation from a patellar tendon rupture is extremely slow and it may take between 6 and 12 months before the patient is able to return to sports

My healing well yes, I ruptured my patella tendon, I got surgery on Nov. 14 and it has been quite the journey to recovery yesterday I rode my Mt. bike and I don’t know how long but it felt good, I’m still compensating and using my right leg more than I should but it’s much better than having to keep my leg in a brace for the first 6 weeks, so things and healing are moving fast.. I’m so glad I have stayed positive, motivated, and constantly focused on my healing efforts. Utilizing hypnosis, Training knowledge, infrared therapy, massage, Nutrition, and a few other secret modalities.. I’m still not 100% though have practically regained all my flexibility in my tendon and will reach the last little bit here soon..

This surgery/ injury is a doozy was glad I went through it, made me appreciate my body even more and recovery, rest, and rejuvenation… the importance of rest and taking care of your body from that aspect.. we all got lessons to learn from my experience this was what I took away… pamper yourself more and allow the body to recover if your the type to run it into the ground physically, mentally, or chemically… 

Train hard and recover hard as well.. life is all about balance. 

Patella Tendon
in great health and happiness
Scott White
Personal Power Training
Professional Fitness Trainer
[email protected]