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Patellar Tendon Repair
Dr. James Chen, M.D. - In San Francisco, CA

Dr. Chen's presentation on patellar tendon repair:

A surgical procedure performed to repair a torn patellar tendon. An incision is made in the center of the knee between the patella (kneecap) and the tendon attachment on the tibia. The torn tendon is exposed and inspected. Several sutures are passed through free ends of the tendon. Small holes can be drilled in the patella for suture passage to reinforce a repair of a tear near the kneecap. The free ends of the tendon are brought together and secured by tying together sutures from either end of the torn tendon. If the tear occurs near or at the tibial attachment of the tendon, holes can be drilled in the bone and the tendon secured to its attachment with absorbable anchors.

Common Questions about Patellar Tendon Repair

What is the patellar tendon?

The patellar tendon connects the patella (kneecap) to the tibia and helps straighten the knee.

What are the types of patellar tendon tears?

A partial tear of the patellar tendon involves stretching and fraying. A full tear completely separates the patellar tendon.

How is a patellar tendon diagnosed?

When the patellar tendon is torn, a tearing or popping sensation is often felt. Following the tear, the patient will be unable to straighten the knee from a bent position.

What is the rehabilitation process following a patellar tendon repair?

A brace should be kept on for two weeks following the procedure. After two weeks, physical therapy should be started to regain range of motion. After six weeks, the brace may be removed as tolerated. Twelve weeks following the procedure, an elliptical may be used. Return to full activity is allowed as tolerated after twenty weeks.

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