The surgical reattachment of the patella tendon to the bottom of the kneecap.
The patella tendon is a large tendon that attaches to the bottom of the kneecap (patella) and the top of the shinbone (tibia); it works with the muscles and other tendons in the front of the thigh to straighten your leg. A tear to this large tendon can be debilitating rendering you unable to walk or straighten your leg. Very small partial patella tendon tears are good candidates for a nonsurgical treatment approach. This is accomplished by a period of immobilization to allow the tendon to heal, followed by a period of physical therapy to restore strength and range of motion of the knee. If the partial tear is large or the tendon is completely ruptured, surgery is necessary to reattach the torn tendon to the kneecap. Timing is also important as people tend to do better if the repair is performed soon after the initial injury. The repair is done by using very strong suture through the tendon and threading these sutures through a series of holes in the kneecap, subsequently securing the tendon back to the kneecap. Immobilization of the knee in either a brace or a cast and weight bearing restriction are put in place for an extended period of time post-operatively to allow the tendon repair to heal. With time, your surgeon and physical therapist will begin a gradual increase in flexion of the knee and weight bearing restriction. This is a step-wise process and recovery time for this type of injury can take approximately 6 months, or more for severe tendon injuries, to regain normal function and mobility.
Every patient receives an in-depth consultation to devise a treatment plan that is right for their problem. Our specialists prefer non-operative and non-invasive treatments whenever possible, including physical therapy, medications, and/or injections. When we require surgery, we will then use minimally invasive surgical techniques to fix your problem, whether it is fixing a broken bone or repairing a tendon. Our goal is always to get you back to living your life normally as soon as possible.
With proper treatment, Dr. DeNoble can treat and fix even complete tears. He is an expert in the current minimally invasive standard of arthroscopic repair, avoiding the need for large incisions, and ensuring you can get back to your life in tip-top form.