To learn more about knee tendon injuries, please read this article: Tendons in the Knee.
You are sitting in your doctor’s office after hurting your knee while playing basketball, and they tell you that you have torn your patellar tendon.. now what? What is the patellar tendon rupture recovery like? To learn more about the anatomy of the knee, go to this video.
The patellar tendon is a strong tendon that extends down from the thigh muscle (quadriceps) and attaches the knee cap (patella) to the shin bone (tibia). Its main function is to help straighten the knee. This tendon can be torn by a forceful contraction of the quadriceps while performing running or jumping activities. It also can be torn by falling directly on the knee. In both cases, the patellar tendon can be partially torn or completely ruptured (torn fully). Read this article about tendonitis of the knee
As with any injury, the severity greatly impacts the timetable for recovery. A partial tear can be treated with immobilization and physical therapy. In more severe cases with a ruptured tendon, the best intervention course is a surgical repair performed by an orthopedic surgeon. Recovery time will also vary based on the individual surgeon's rehabilitation protocol.
Surgery to repair the patellar tendon involves re-attaching the tendon that was torn by either suturing the two torn ends together or using a different structure to bridge the gap. Following surgery, it is essential to limit how far the knee is bent to heal. Gradually this will be increased to allow the new surgically repaired tendon to lengthen safely. Here are a few things to keep in mind with patellar tendon rupture recovery:
Not everyone that has this injury is an athlete and may not be looking to get back to sports activities. For those people not returning to sports activities, here are some functional things to think about.
Quick answer, recovery from a patellar tendon rupture is a lengthy process following this surgery because of the tendon's time to heal. Patience and hard work will pay off during your road to recovery. Your rehab team from JOI will be with you each step of the way to ensure you properly recover and regain your strength and mobility.
Physical therapy is vital for patellar tendon rupture recovery. It is imperative to regain the knee's normal range of motion and decrease the pain and swelling. The swelling will cause the quad muscle to shut down and atrophy. The VMO or vastus medialis muscle will need special strengthening exercises to ensure that he can stabilize the patella in the center of the knee. Often, the vastus lateralis is too strong and well as the knee's lateral structures, which may actually cause subluxation or dislocation. Read this article about patella dislocation. JOI Rehab has specialty-trained clinicians to provide physical therapy for your knee.
Related Articles: Patellar Tendonitis Rehab and Patellar Tendon Pain.
To schedule an appointment for physical therapy at one of the 12 JOI Rehab Centers please call 904-858-7045.
If you need to see an Orthopaedic Knee Specialist, please call 904-JOI-2000, schedule online, or follow the link below.