Dr. Jonathan Mulford, Orthopaedic Surgeon, NSW Australia Total Knee Replacement, NSW Australia
Sports Knee Ligament Reconstruction, NSW Australia
Knee Arthroscopy, NSW Australia

Patella and Qudriceps Rupture

The patellar tendon attaches your knee cap to your shin bone. It is the extension of the quadriceps muscle that straightens your knee.

Rupture of the patella tendon is commonest amongst middle aged sportsmen playing running or jumping sports.

A complete tear of the tendon will require surgery to repair the tendon. The knee cap is on an Xray will usually be higher than normal. There is often a palpable defect in the front of the knee. The commonest place to tear is off the patella bone.

Some people have a weakened patella or quads tendon. This can be be due to patella tendonitis (Commonly referred to as jumpers knee), Chronic disease (e.g. Chronic renal failure, Hyper betalipoproteinemia, Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic lupus erythmatosus (SLE), Diabetes mellitus, Infection, Metabolic disease), Steroid use or previous surgery (e.g. a total knee replacement or anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction)


  • The patient oftenhas a tearing or popping sensation. Pain and swelling typically follow
  • Unable to straight leg raise


X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

Surgical Treatment

Most people require surgery to regain the most function in their leg. Surgical repair reattaches the torn tendon to the kneecap. It is best performed early after the injury.

Usually the patient can go home after 1-2 days.

You will require a spint for 6 weeks. You can usually put weight down through the leg as long as the splint is on.

Often the repair must be protected with a wire. This wire usually will need to be removed at a later date. It will often break in the future.

Complications. The most common complications of patellar tendon repair include weakness and loss of motion. Re-tears sometimes occur, and the repaired tendon can detach from the kneecap. In addition, the position of your kneecap may be different after surgery.

As with any surgery, the other possible complications include infection, wound breakdown, a blood clot, or anesthesia complications.

Rehabilitation. After surgery you will require some type of pain management, including ice and medications. About 2 weeks after surgery, your skin sutures will be removed in the surgeon's office.

Your repair will be protected with a splint. You may be allowed to put your weight on

Complete recovery takes about 6 - 12 months.

Most people are able to return to their previous occupations.

Some patient have ongoing stiffness in the knee.

X-Ray with high patella Soft tissue defect Torn tendon
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Knee Replacement Surgery, NSW Australia
Sydney Orthopaedic Surgeon, NSW Australia

I am a orthopaedic surgeon that specialises in all aspects of Hip and Knee surgery...

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Dr Mulford was awarded a Diploma in Clinical Trials from the University of London in 2008.
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