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Author Topic: How do you know if you ruptured your patellar tendon???  (Read 12424 times)

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Offline lil_momma

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How do you know if you ruptured your patellar tendon???
« on: April 28, 2005, 09:37:26 PM »
Hello~  I had surgery last July for a discoid meniscus with a tear.  Recovery took longer than PT had anticipated.  Took nearly 6 months to get my full ROM back (156). Got most of my muscle back in my leg.  But, NOW I'm suffering with this horrible pain in my patellar tendon and also around the medial side of the patella.  I'm starting to lose my quads again, due to limping.  I'm pretty much limited to all exercises because everything hurts.  Hurts more than anything in the patellar tendon.  I'm thinking its the patellar tendon, because what else is there? 

I can't go up or down steps what-so-ever.  The Dr. says that it's "just" runner's knee.  I am not convinced of that anymore.  I'm thinking I "tore" or "ruptured" the tendon....  ???

Here's how it started....I was at therapy a couple months ago and we were doing a ROM test.  PT wanted me to bend it as far as I could, so I bent it as far as I could (wanting to get a good score...Ha ha) and all of a sudden I felt this jolt of pain around the medial part of the patella....kinda felt like I tore or seriously strained something. ???  I ignored it and kept exercising through it.  Now the pain worked it's way to the patellar tendon.  When I do legs lifts I "CAN" lift my leg, but IF it's bent the "slightest bit" I'll have killer pain in the patellar tendon and in the medial part of patella. 

Anyone have this happen to you??  I would appreciate comments from anyone who's had similar patellar symptoms. 

~Thank You~


Offline imnotpunk

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Re: How do you know if you ruptured your patellar tendon???
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2005, 10:30:16 PM »
Stacey --

I advise you to check out the "Ruptured Patellar Tendon" thread in this forum -- . There are quite a few people, including myself, who have suffered from ruptured tendons, and you would definitely be able to find a lot of insight in regards to your situation.

If your patellar tendon is ruptured, you would be unable to straighten your leg against restistance. In some cases it is possible, but this is only true of people who have developed scar tissue around the ruptured tendon, which acts as somewhat of a guard in lifting the leg.

You will also notice somewhat of a divot underneath your patella, where the tendon would be, along with patella alta -- your patella may look like it is "higher" in positioning than your other kneecap. Significant quadriceps weakness is not uncommon with a ruptured patellar tendon.

Furthermore, swelling and pain may be present around the area of the patellar tendon. It is possible that this can be due to chronic tendonitis (or small tears in the tendon), but the pain nonetheless can lead to decreased extension in ROM. Also, it may be difficult or even impossible to bear weight on the injured leg in a single leg stance.

A simple x-ray can diagnose the patella alta, which should be a good indication of a partial or complete patellar tendon ruptupre. Your next step would be to get an MRI done of the knee in question. While MRIs can produce false negatives, a ruptured patellar tendon is not commonly missed.

I advise you to get your knee checked out as soon as possible -- push for an x-ray or an MRI if possible, and if your doctor refuses, you should look into a second opinion. The reason I stress this is because delayed diagnosis and treatment of a ruptured patellar tendon can lead to many complications. I speak from personal experience here. Because my ex-OS had been negligant and failed to diagnose a complete rupture of my patellar tendon, I had to endure three surgeries (six total!) to reconstruct my knee. I had been walking on a severely damaged knee for up to a year!

Best of luck with everything and if you have any questions, feel free to PM or email me. I'd be happy to help you out. I also suggest checking out the above link, there are a lot of knowledgeable people on the subject of RPTs -- unfortunately we have a little too much personal experience with this particular injury. :P

Best wishes,
R knee:
08/03-meniscal repair, LR
01/04-MUA, LOA
08/04-patellar tendon reconstruct. w/hamstring, menisci repairs, lateral/medial releases
10/04-MUA, LOA, debride., marsupialization, lateral release
12/04-MUA, LOA, meniscectomy
L knee:
09/05-meniscectomy, chondroplasty, microfracture