The quadriceps tendon is a strong tendon which groups the four muscles that extend the knee. These four muscles are the: rectus femoris, vastus intermedius (under rectus femoris), vastus medialis, and vastus lateralis. The quadriceps extends the knee. A quadriceps tendon rupture is a rupture of the tendon that inserts into the top of the patella. The tear usually occurs just above the superior pole of the patella. Injuries to the quadriceps tendon can be very disabling and usually occurs in patients older than 40 years old. The quadriceps tendon rupture is usually associated with intense pain.
Predisposing factors of the Quadriceps Tendon Rupture are:
Symptoms of a quadriceps tendon rupture include: pain, swelling, and difficulty walking. During the examination, there will be swelling at or above the knee. A palpable defect will be apparent above the knee cap and the patient will be unable to actively extend the knee. An x-ray may show the knee cap moving distally, due to the pull of the patellar tendon. If the defect is present and the patient is still able to extend the knee, then the extensor retinaculum is intact. Surgery is usually done to treat these injuries, suturing the tendon to the bone. After surgery, the patient is placed in a knee immobilizer for 4-6 weeks.
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