What is Patella Tendon Repair?
Patella tendon repair is a surgical procedure that repairs a completely torn patella tendon. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient or inpatient basis. After a board-certified anesthesiologist administers general anesthesia and pain medications, the procedure is carried out as follows:
- An incision is made and the torn tendon is exposed
- Tiny holes are drilled in the bottom section of the patella bone (knee cap)
- Sutures are passed through the holes and then through the torn tendon
- Sutures are gently tightened to bring the tendon and bone together and then tied to secure it
The incision is carefully closed and sterilely dressed to prevent infection and ensure proper healing. The knee is placed in a comfortable knee immobilizer set to a locked position. Physical therapy begins 1-2 weeks after surgery and continues throughout the recovery process. Total recovery time is usually about 6 months.
What Does a Patella Tendon Repair Treat?
The patella tendon connects the patella to the tibia (shin bone) and is very important because it works in unison with the quadriceps tendon to straighten the leg and stabilize the knee. Forceful jumps and falls and sometimes lacerations cause patella tendon tears. Tears may be partial or complete. Partial tears are usually treated non-surgically and complete tears usually require a patella tendon repair. Torn patella tendon symptoms patients should be aware of include the following:
- Anatomical deformity (indention on the patella)
- Difficulty walking
Patients may also notice that their kneecap moves a great deal when they walk. Patients who injure their knee and experience torn patella tendon symptoms are advised to make an appointment with an Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey (OICJ) Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained Orthopaedic knee specialists Dr. Michael Sclafani, Dr. Anthony Petrosini and Dr. Toby Husserl as soon as possible.