About Patella Tendon Tears

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907) 782-4729
Wasilla: (907) 885-2559
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What is a Patella Tendon Tear?

The patellar tendon attaches the bottom of the kneecap (patella) to the top of the shinbone (tibia). It is actually a ligament that connects to two different bones, the patella and the tibia. The patella is attached to the quadriceps muscles by the quadriceps tendon. Working together, the quadriceps muscles, quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon straighten the knee. The patella tendon can be partially or completely torn.

Common Causes:

  • A strong force to the knee
  • Direct impact to the front of the knee from a fall or jump

Symptoms of a Patella Tendon Tear may Include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty walking
  • A visible indentation
  • An audible snap may be heard when the tendon tears.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms immediately seek treatment by making an appointment with the Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) team of knee specialists.

When you arrive for your initial consultation, Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) team of knee specialists will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care.

When diagnosing a Patella Tendon Tear, the OPA specialist will provide:

  • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
  • A physical examination
  • Multiple view x-rays or MRI

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options may be used to treat partial patella tendons tears. The following are included in an OPA specialist’s treatment plan:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

Decrease inflammation and pain.

Physical Therapy

OPA approved physical therapist will provide exercises strengthen the tendon and surrounding muscles, ligaments and tendons.


A brace and crutches take the weight off the knee.

Activity Modification

Slowing down or stopping activities that caused the injury or cause symptom flare-ups.

Complete tendon tear usually requires surgical intervention. During a tendon repair, an OPA knee specialists drill small holes in the patella and use sutures to repair the tendon and connect it to the bone Physical therapy is prescribed after surgery. Stretching and strengthening exercises are prescribed by an OPA approved physical therapist. Patients fully recover and return to normal activities.

At OPA, our Board-Certified and Fellowship Trained Knee Specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating Patella Tendon Tears.

If you are experiencing pain in your knee, contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists that are conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Knee Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Adam Ellison, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Robert Hall, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Christopher Manion, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Jeff Moore, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Eli Powell, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Michael Reyes, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Greg Schweiger, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.


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