Patella Tendon Tear

OPA treats a wide variety of knee conditions and offers comprehensive treatment options — including many non-surgical solutions.

What is a Patella Tendon Tear?

The patellar tendon attaches the bottom of the kneecap (patella) to the top of the shinbone (tibia). It is actually a ligament that connects to two different bones, the patella and the tibia. The patella is attached to the quadriceps muscles by the quadriceps tendon. Working together, the quadriceps muscles, quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon straighten the knee. The patella tendon can be partially or completely torn.

Common Causes:

    • A strong force to the knee
    • Direct impact to the front of the knee from a fall or jump

Symptoms of a Patella Tendon Tear may Include:

    • Pain
    • Swelling
    • Bruising
    • Tenderness
    • Difficulty walking
    • A visible indentation
    • An audible snap may be heard when the tendon tears.

When you arrive for your initial consultation, Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) team of knee specialists will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care.

When diagnosing a Patella Tendon Tear, the OPA specialist will provide:

    • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
    • A physical examination
    • Multiple view x-rays or MRI

Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options may be used to treat partial patella tendons tears. The following are included in an OPA specialist’s treatment plan:

Decrease inflammation and pain.

A brace and crutches take the weight off the knee.

Physical Therapy
OPA approved physical therapist will provide exercises to strengthen the collateral ligament and surrounding muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Complete tendon tear usually requires surgical intervention. During a tendon repair, an OPA knee specialists drill small holes in the patella and use sutures to repair the tendon and connect it to the bone Physical therapy is prescribed after surgery. Stretching and strengthening exercises are prescribed by an OPA approved physical therapist. Patients fully recover and return to normal activities.

Schedule Appointment with Our Knee Team


The OPA team includes Alaska’s leading specialists and offers some of the latest, most advanced treatment procedures available today.

OPA treats a wide variety of conditions and offers comprehensive treatment options — including many non-surgical solutions, minimally invasive arthroscopies (repairs) and total joint replacement.

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