Complete quadriceps tendon tear

Case contributed by Dr Chris O'Donnell


Fell 1 week ago. Instant pain and swelling with inability to extend the knee

Patient Data

Age: 75
Gender: Male

Complete disruption to the quadriceps tendon with retraction distally and a large gap filled with fluid.  Marked edema in vastus lateralis muscle belly.

Case Discussion

Complete quadriceps tendon rupture is rare and usually occurs in older patients.  Quadriceps is the major knee extensor such that rupture causes a severe disablity.  On that basis treatment is usually surgical.  The tears can occur either at the insertion onto the upper pole of the patella or more proximally as in this case.  Given that the tendon is made up of several components (based on the muscle bundle contributing to the quadriceps - i.e. 4 in number), tears can also be partial.

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Case information

rID: 43540
Published: 18th Mar 2016
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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