The surgical reattachment of the quadricep tendon, the large tendon that attaches the four quadricep muscles in the thigh to the top of the kneecap.
The quadricep tendon is a large tendon that attaches the four quadricep muscles in the thigh to the top of the kneecap (patella). An injury to this large tendon will leave you unable to straighten your leg at the knee making it very difficult to walk. Classifying the extent of the tear is an important step when diagnosing this particular injury. A partial tear means that there are some fibers still connected to their points of origin. A complete tear, or rupture, of the quadricep tendon is a disabling injury where the tendon is split into two pieces. A thorough physical exam is often all that is necessary to make this diagnosis, however your doctor may order an x-ray to observe the location of the patella or an MRI to evaluate the extent of the tear directly. Very small partial 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 top of the kneecap. This procedure can be performed in either an ambulatory surgical center or a hospital setting and should be scheduled as close the initial injury as possible. Your surgeon will locate the torn tendon and place a row of very strong suturing material at the torn end. The sutures are then threaded through a series of holes drilling through the kneecap where the tendon is reattached. Patients who undergo this surgical treatment can expect a period of immobilization in either a brace or cast to prevent the knee from bending. After some time, your surgeon and physical therapist will begin a gradual exercise program slowly allowing for more flexion in the knee. Eventually, strength training exercises will be added to the physical therapy program to strengthen the quadricep muscles. Recovery time for this type of injury can take approximately 6 months, and up to 1 year for more severe injuries, before patients regain full function and mobility of the affected leg.
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.