Patellar tendon rupture

Case contributed by Craig Hacking
Diagnosis certain


Sports injury, landed from jumping and felt a pop.

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Male

Patella alta, prepatellar soft tissue swelling and irregular contour of the patellar tendon shadow, suggests injury to the extensor mechanism. The tibiofemoral articulation is congruent with no appreciable joint effusion. No displaced fracture identified.


The patellar tendon is completely ruptured at its proximal attachment on the lower pole of the patella. No bony avulsion fracture. The tendon is retracted distally by approximately 2.5 cm. The patella is now high-riding (patella alta) as result.

Moderate effusion. No Baker's cyst. Moderate subcutaneous edema surrounding the knee joint.

The PCL and ACL are intact. The medial and lateral menisci are intact. The medial and lateral collateral ligaments and posterolateral corner structures are intact. No significant chondropathy detected.

A 2 cm ganglion around the tibial insertion of semimembranosus tendon.


Complete rupture of the proximal attachment of the patellar tendon.

Case Discussion

The patient was surgically treated and recovered without complication.

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