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Repair of Quadriceps Tendon


It makes headlines when a torn quadriceps muscle ends a professional athlete’s career. While it is a season-ending injury for the rest of us, too, there is good news: Early medical intervention and expert surgical care can put you back in the game of life sooner than you think.


Because the quadriceps tendon is outside the knee joint, it’s repaired through an open surgical technique, rather than arthroscopically. Usually done an outpatient basis under general anesthesia (a sleep-like condition with no pain), surgical repair of a quadriceps tendon rupture may require a short hospital stay, depending on the patient’s overall health and medical needs.

During open repair of the quadriceps tendon, the surgeon re-attaches the torn tendon to the kneecap to restore normal knee function. Tiny holes drilled into the kneecap are used to suture the tendon to the bone and pull the quadriceps tendon back into normal position.

Most surgeons prescribe a post-surgical regimen of rest, ice, pain-relieving medication and immobilization of the knee. Once initial swelling goes down, usually in about 2 weeks, the patient begins rehabilitation, which may include a weight-bearing cast or brace with walker, physical therapy and at-home strengthening exercises.

Healing takes an average of 4 months, with complete recovery ranging from 6 to 12 months. Most surgeons consider complete recovery as having 85 to 90 percent strength in the injured leg compared to the non-injured leg.


Watch this to learn more about open repair of the quadriceps tendon:

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