The patellar tendon and the quadriceps tendon are part of the extensor mechanism that works to straighten the knee. The Quadriceps tendon is the insertion of the Quadriceps muscle on to the patella while the patella tendon connects the patella to the tibia.
How does the injury happen?
When you fall on to a bent knee, the quadriceps contracts violently. At times, the contraction of the Quadriceps is so strong that the Quadriceps tendon or the patella tendoncan’t withstand the pulling force and ruptures. The injury is most common in young athletes and part-time “weekend warriors.”
How does quadriceps or patella ligament tear feel like?
- An immediate “pop” or tearing sensation at the time of injury
- Inability to straighten the leg
- Pain and swelling in the knee
- Difficulty walking due to weakness in the knee
How is the condition treated?
If the tear is partial, wearing an immobilizer or brace to keep the knee straight will help the tendons heal. Once the initial pain and swelling subside, exercises are started to stretch and strengthen the joint. Complete tears require surgery to repair the torn tendon.