This is an extremely severe sports injury, typically affecting younger athletes and those with degenerative tendinitis.
Tears can be partial, or total, although all are accompanied by severe knee pain, swelling and difficulties in extending the joint.
We treat partial tears conservatively, first by reducing pain and swelling, then increasing muscle strength, before finally restoring the patient’s full range of motion.
Again, in surgical cases, our Sports Medicine doctors can plan an effective post-surgery rehabilitation plan to get you back on your feet.
This surgery is required following an acute event such as a traumatic or degenerative tear of the quadriceps tendon, or patellar tendon – whether it be partial or complete.
The technique involves suturing the tear with non-absorbable thread as well as reinforcement with autologous biological tissue (usually a transplant taken either from the distal part of the ileum-tibial band or from the quadriceps tendon), and is also often associated with patellar cerclage to protect the sutures.
The surgery is complex and if it is not performed correctly, can leave the patella higher than normal, leading to a deficit in knee flexion.
The first 2 months after surgery is a critical period, and we must be very careful when trying to recover flexion and in strengthening the quadriceps. The goal of post-surgical rehabilitation here is to recover correct gait after 2 months, restore the ability to walk up stairs after 3 months, and get back to running after 4 months. With regards to the patient’s return to sport, it is difficult to make generalisations here as every patient and every injury are different.