“I heard it pop,” Deondre Francois, rising star Quarterback for the Florida State Seminoles said when describing the injury. Out for the season. These words are feared by athletes across the country and Patella tendon ruptures are a major reason for that.
But it’s not just professional athletes that suffer the injury. When orthopedic surgeon Bashir Zikria challenged a group of twenty-somethings to a basketball dunking contest he slipped and fell. Just like Francois he felt the “pop” and knew exactly what he’d done: patella tendon rupture. Here we take a look at what a patella tendon is and how you would know if it’s torn.
The patella tendon is a piece of the ligament that attaches bone to bone. These bones are the patella (also known as your kneecap) and the tibia (your shinbone). The patella then connects to the quadriceps muscles of your upper leg via the quadriceps tendon. A rupture of this (the patella tendon) can be partial (a partial patellar tendon tear) or complete. Recovery and treatment will vary, dependent on how bad the tear is.
There are some key features your doctor will be looking for to indicate a torn patella tendon. Below are some of them:
Patients that have any of the above symptoms, or suspect they may have a patella tendon rupture, should seek medical advice promptly. Treatment can include reparative surgery or newer exciting techniques like ultrasound guided injections of stem cells, depending on the clinic.
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