Patellar Tendon Repair

Treatment of a torn patellar tendon will depend on the severity of the injury. A slight, partial tear may be able to be treated with the use of a brace or splint and physical therapy. if the tendon is significantly or completely torn (ruptured), surgery is recommended to restore functionality.

A patellar tendon injury should be treated as soon as possible. Immediate treatment can prevent further damage to the tendon and the surrounding area. Surgery should be done as soon as possible to prevent the tendon from tightening into a shorter position and to prevent scarring.

Surgery for a Torn Patellar Tendon

During surgery the patella is positioned properly, and the torn tendon is attached to the bottom of the patella with suture anchors. If the damaged tendon is too short, an orthopedic surgeon will use a tissue graft. A tendon can shorten as the result of an underlying disease or from waiting too long to have surgery. If a graft is needed, your surgeon will make you aware of that before the procedure. This surgical procedure may be done as on an outpatient basis.

After surgery, the use of a brace or cast will be required to allow the tendon to heal properly. Physical therapy will be need to restore functionality, flexibility and strength. Recovery can take up to 6 months.

Symptoms of Patellar Tendon Tear

The first symptom of a Patellar Tendon Tear is a popping sensation that is heard and felt by the injured party.

Pain, swelling, tenderness and bruising are all symptoms that occur following the popping sensation. A person with a ruptured (completely ton) patellar tendon will not be able to bear weight on knee when it is bent or straighten the knee.

The patellar tendon can be injured by direct trauma, running, and jumping. The overload placed on the patellar tendon during any of these actions can cause it to tear. A patellar tendon tear is more likely to occur to an athlete or active individual. This injury can also occur in patients who have a weakened patellar tendon, which is usually caused by patellar tendintis, chronic overuse or a chronic disease.


An orthopedic doctor will review your medical history and physically exam your knee. Imaging test will be ordered. An X-ray and an MRI will be used to accurately diagnose the type, location and severity of the injury. A doctor will discuss your treatment options with your injury has been diagnosed and evaluated.

Do You Need To See An Orthopedist?

If you have suffered a knee injury, it’s very important to have it diagnosed right away to prevent further or possibly permanent damage. Most slight to mild knee injuries can be treated without surgery. If your injury is severe or your very active, surgery may be the best way to restore functionality and reduce pain.

The orthopedic knee doctors, surgeons and providers at The Center For Musculoskeletal Disorders works as a team to provide advanced and individualized patient care.