Quadriceps tendon rupture

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 years
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 severe disability. 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.

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.