Patellar Tendon Rupture

It is generally accepted that healthy, “normal” patellar tendons do not rupture. That is, there is an underlying degeneration in the tendon prior to complete rupture. The usual circumstance surrounding a patellar tendon rupture is when a person suddenly contracts the quadriceps muscle when the knee is in a flexed position. A common example is running up a flight of stairs or when a running back stops running quickly to change direction.

An athlete that has a patellar tendon rupture has immediate pain and swelling in the knee. He or she will often say they felt a “rip” or “tear” sensation and will be unable to ambulate because of weakness and pain.

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