How to treat a torn patellar tendon – DeMya Walker



how-treat-patellar-tendon-photoI don’t think I’ve gotten into the WNBA. With a limited amount of time, and other sports to watch, I think I’ve seen maybe part of one or two WNBA games. Still, these women are professional athletes, and their injuries hurt just as much.

For instance, DeMya Walker of the Sacramento Monarchs is out for the season following a patellar tendon tear. This is nasty injury, and one that sidelines many basketball players. The report indicates she suffered from a sprain in her right knee prior to this. I am not sure if they are related, but it’s not too much to think they are.

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What is a torn patellar tendon? The patellar tendon is a large tendon that runs from the bottom of your quadriceps to the top of your shin bone. Yep, the knee is between the two. The patellar tendon’s function is to allow your knee to flex open and close. This is called knee extension.

What are the symptoms of a torn patellar tendon? Pain is a big one with swelling. The biggest tip off that you’ve torn your patellar tendon is you inability to extend you knee. If you can extend your knee with a torn patellar tendon you’ll be in agony. An MRI or xray can confirm the injury. In most torn patellar tendon injuries the actual tendon rips apart from the bone anchor. Yeah, it’s not a pleasant thought.

xray-torn-patellar-tendon-photoWhat is the treatment for a torn patellar tendon? Surgery. If you’r elucky enough to have a very small partial tear you can heal with rest and limiting stress on the tendon. Most people, though, will require surgery to reattach the patellar tendon. Since it’s such a large tendon this surgery cannot be done arthroscopically. You have to be opened up.

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How long does it take a torn patellar tendon to heal? If it’s a partial tear it may take one to two months depending on the damage. If you  have surgery you’re looking at a six month timeframe. You’ll need to allow the patellar tendon to recover, and then you start physical therapy to increase strength and flexibility.

8 thoughts on “How to treat a torn patellar tendon – DeMya Walker”

  1. Hi, febuary 28th I managed to rupture my patellar tendon across my knee whilst playing football!! It wasn’t a pleasant injury as you might of guessed! A week later I had surgery to repair my tendon. 4 months later I’ve started physio therapy! I guess my question will be will I ever be able to play football again??

  2. I WAS TOLD BY MY DR THAT I HAVE A TORN PATELLA TENDON AND THAT THERE WASN’T SURGERY TO FIX IT. NOW I AM FINDING OUT DIFFERENTLY. MY BIG!!! QUESTION IS IS THERE A PROBLEM IN FIXING A TORN PATELLA TENDON IF I HAVE HAD A TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT IN THE SAME KNEE?. I CANNOT HAVE AN MRI TO DIAGNOSE THE PROBLEM BUT THAT IS WAHT HE REALLY THINKS IT IS. IT HAPPENED A YR AGO. I CAN LIFT MY LEG FROM A 90 DEGREE ANGLE TO ABOUT A 55 DEGREE ANGLE SO THE RUPTURE ISN’T COMPLETE. I HAVE GREAT QUAD STRENGTH AND HAVE BEEN DOING QUAD EXERCISES FOREVER TO KEEP STRENGTH UP. ANY ANSWERS OUT THERE??

  3. One thing that I would add to this discussion is that whether you have surgery or do not, you should make sure to gain flexibility of the entire quadricep complex (especially rectus femoris), to take stress off of the tendon lesion. Rehab through strengthening alone would be incomplete. Get a physio to help you.

  4. i tore my patellar tendon july 30th while playing soccer. its been two and a half months and i still have a week left before i can play soccer or any sport again. its been a long proccess with follow ups every couple weeks, MRI’s and intense physical therapy 3 times a week. I might need surgery but the doctors dont know yet is surgery would be right for my kind of tear. they also said i might never play sports again due to tendonitis i recently developed after tearing the tendon. will i ever be able to play sports again??

  5. I tore my patella tendon 4 months ago.It is a long process.I still dont have full bend yet.Has anyone got any ideas of the best exercises in order to get full bend?Thanks.