About Quadriceps Tendon Tears

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is a Quadriceps Tendon Tear?

The four quadriceps muscles meet just above the kneecap (patella) to form the quadriceps tendon. The quadriceps tendon attaches the quadriceps muscles to the patella. The patella is attached to the shinbone (tibia) by the patellar tendon. Working together, the quadriceps muscles, quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon straighten the knee. Tendons are strong cords of fibrous tissue that attach muscles to bones. The quadriceps tendon works with the muscles in the front of your thigh to straighten your leg. Quadriceps tendon tears are rare but can occur.

Common Causes:

  • Direct force to the front of the knee
  • Tendinitis
  • Chronic disease. Weakened tendons can also be caused by diseases that disrupt blood supply

Symptoms of a Quadriceps Tendon Tear may include:

  • An indentation at the top of your kneecap where the tendon tore
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Cramping
  • Your kneecap may sag or droop because the tendon is torn
  • Difficulty walking due to the knee buckling or giving way

When you arrive for your initial consultation, Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) team of hip 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 Quadriceps Tendon Tear, the OPA specialist will provide:

  • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
  • A physical examination
  • Multiple view x-rays ( to rule out a fracture) or MRI

Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible.

Common Treatments:

Medical treatment for muscle strains is designed to relieve pain and restore range of motion and strength. The majority of Quadriceps Tendon Tears are treated nonsurgically.

RICE Method

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

Oral medications decrease nerve inflammation and pain

Physical Therapy

An OPA approved onsite physical therapist can help you maintain your motion and function

If you have a complete tear or a partial tear associated with tendon degeneration you will require surgery to repair the torn tendon. This will likely depend upon your age, your activities, and your previous level of function. Surgical repair re-attaches the torn tendon to the top of the kneecap.

At OPA, our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained team hip specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating Quadriceps Tendon Tears.

If you are experiencing hip pain and would like a treatment solution you should contact OPA to schedule an appointment at any of our convenient locations 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


(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

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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