Quadriceps Tendon Tears

Quadriceps Tendon Tears

Four quadricep muscles come together to form the quadriceps tendon, which is just above your kneecap. This tendon works as a big lever on the knee. It works to extend the knee, attaching to the top part of the patella (kneecap). After certain injuries, it is possible to tear the quadriceps tendon off of the patella.

The most common cause of this injury is during sporting trauma, such as jumping or landing with force in an extended position. The quadriceps tendon can be reattached back to the patella through minimally invasive surgery using a small incision.

Quadriceps Tendon TearsSymptoms

  • Bruising, swelling, and cramping of the quadriceps
  • Deformity at or above the patella
  • Knee buckling or collapsing in during weight-bearing movements
  • Tenderness to the touch over the top of the patella and quadriceps


Imaging using a combination of x-ray and MRI will be used to diagnose the extent of tissue damage. The x-ray will examine the patella alignment at the knee joint, and the MRI will explore the surrounding muscle and tendon damage.


Depending on the size and type of the tendon tear, treatment may be conservative, using a combination of immobilization and physical therapy. If the tendon is completely torn, surgical intervention is required to reattach the tendon to the patella for the proper functioning of the knee joint. Once healing has occurred, it will be essential to regain mobility and strength of the quadriceps tendon for appropriate recovery.