The patellar tendon is the broad tendon under the kneecap, joining it to the tibia (shin).

Page updated November 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

patellar tendon within extensor mechanism


The patellar tendon is the lower part of a chain of structures known as the extensor mechanism, which reach from the hip to the shin and function to straighten the knee.

patellar tendon


The patellar tendon itself attaches the patella to the tibia at a point called the tibial tubercle.


Patellar tendon problems

The patellar tendon is really important as it is the tether for the extensor mechanism. Problems that can arise here include:

Back to top


Patellar tendon as a graft material

In patients who have damage to their cruciate ligaments, part of the big patellar tendon may be 'harvested' by a surgeon and used as a graft material for a new cruciate ligament.

Back to top


Back to top


Forum discussions

Back to top


Peer-reviewed papers

  • Quote:

    "The management of this condition has continued to challenge health care professionals as the pathology and risk factors have not been fully elucidated...effective conservative intervention includes relative rest, addressing biomechanical issues, eccentric exercise, stretching, and movement retraining...other options for treatment include injectables (platelet-rich plasma, whole blood, aprotinin), glyceryl trinitrate patch, extracoprporeal shock wave therapy, and surgery."

    Citation: Reinking MF. CURRENT CONCEPTS IN THE TREATMENT OF PATELLAR TENDINOPATHY. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2016 Dec;11(6):854-866. PMID: 27904789; PMCID: PMC5095939.

Back to top


Patellar ligament

There is currently no content classified with this term.