Patellar tendon rupture

Patellar tendon rupture is an rupture of the tendon that connects the patella to the tibia. The patellar tendon attaches to the tibial tubercle on the front of the tibia just below the front of the knee, and is connected to the bottom of the patella, above which are attached to the quadriceps tendon, followed by the quadriceps muscle, large muscles on the front of the thigh.

 

This structure allows the knee to flex and extend, allowing use of basic functions such as walking and running.

When rupture occurs, the patella loses support from the tibia and moves toward the hip when the quadriceps muscle contract, hindering the leg’s ability to extend. This means that those affected cannot stand, as their knee buckles and gives way when they attempt to.

Patellar tendon rupture can usually be diagnosed by physical examination and X-Ray. Partial tears may be visualized using MRI scans. Patellar tendon rupture is diagnosed by recognising that the patella has moved upward along the thigh.

 

Patellar tendon rupture showing a marked distance between the tibial tuberosity and the bottom of the patella.

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