Quadriceps Tendon Rupture; Causes, Treatment

Quadriceps tendon refers to the band of tissues that allow the four quadriceps femoris muscles (vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, rectus femoris and vastus intermedius) to converge above the patella. This tendon, in association with the quadriceps muscles, enables the extension of the knee joint. Excessive stretching and tearing of this tendon is referred to as the Quadriceps Tendon Rupture. The condition most commonly affects people above the age of 40 years. The rupture is generally preceded by the degeneration of the structure due to other factors. This injury may result in physical disabilities and in some cases a part of the patella also breaks along with the tendon attached to it.


  • The predisposing factors that may cause Quadriceps Tendon Rupture are as follows
  • Medical conditions like Obesity, Diabetes, Gout, Renal failure, Hyperparathyroidism etc.
  • Prolonged immobilization of the lower extremities
  • Falling on a flexed knee
  • Direct trauma to the kneecap during sports or vehicular accident
  • Laceration
  • Overuse injuries due to excessive jumping or running
  • Inflammation of the quadriceps tendon


  • Severe Pain
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • The joint becomes unstable and the patient may fall or stumble while walking
  • A popping sensation at the time of injury
  • The pain increases with physical activity
  • Change in color of the skin around the knee


  • the orthopedic doctor may peform thorough clinical evaluation of the injured leg
  • The patient’s medical history, mode of injury and lifestyle details may be taken into consideration
  • X-ray imaging may help to reveal the bone structure and fractures if any
  • MRI and CT scan may help to evaluate the extent of damage to the soft tissue structures
  • The range of motion may be analyzed


Partial tears can be treated through conservative methods while the complete tears require surgical treatment. These may include the following procedures.

  • The knee may be immobilized for a period of 3-5 weeks
  • Physical therapy may be recommended to improve range of motion
  • Exercises focused on strengthening the hamstring muscles must be performed
  • Lifestyle modifications may be recommended
  • Rest the injured leg by keeping it elevated at chest level
  • Compression may be done using soft bandage
  • Use of ice packs during the first 24-72 hours of injury may be helpful
  • Plasma injections that have a rich platelet count may promote healing of the tendon
  • Wires, screws and pins may be used to secure the tendon in place

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