Physical Therapy And Rupture Of The Patellar Tendon

A patellar tendon tear is a painful injury that can affect your ability to run, walk, and participate in normal and recreational activities. A physical therapy program may be helpful for this injury. A physical therapist will assist you in the rehabilitation process by performing several key components of a program. These will allow you to increase range of motion, strength, decrease pain and regain functional mobility.

Anatomy and Function of the Patellar Tendon

It’s a ligament connecting to the shin bone above our kneecap. In medical terms, a ligament is a connective tissue that binds our bones together.

Though it links two bones, the patellar tendon is still called a tendon. It is an extension of the quadriceps muscles. This large muscle is located in front of your thigh. It crosses your Patella as the quad tendon and then the patellar tendon. It then attaches to the quads at the front of your shin, which are responsible for strengthening and extending the knee joint.


If you feel your patellar tendon has ruptured, you should immediately seek medical attention. Your doctor or physical therapist will examine you and diagnose the injury.

  • You feel excessive pain in your knees
  • You can swell in front of your name
  • Walking and other activities involving the lower extremities can be difficult
  • It is difficult to extend your knee joint fully.

A physical therapist or healthcare provider will diagnose a patellar tendon injury. They will then perform an X-ray, mirror resonance imaging, or MRI to confirm the damage to your knee. Depending on the severity of the injury, a decision will be made about whether to perform surgery or to immobilize the knee to allow it to heal naturally.

Patellar tendon physical therapy

Your physical therapist will first treat the patellar tendon by allowing you to rest, apply ice packs, compress the injury with pneumatic compression, and elevate it. You may then be fitted with a cast or splint to cover your knee.

After a few weeks of rehabilitation, your physical therapist will begin gently moving your knee. These motions can be active or passive. Next, your physical therapist will perform several exercises to increase your flexibility and range of motion.

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