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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture

What Is a Quadriceps Tendon Rupture?

The quadriceps tendon is made up of four muscles of the quadriceps along the front of the thigh. It connects the muscles to the kneecap (patella). The quadriceps tendon and muscles work together to help straighten the knee. The quadriceps tendon can become ruptured from:

  • Sudden impact
  • A fall from a standing position


Symptoms of a quadriceps tendon rupture include:

  • Sudden, intense pain at the knee or just above the knee
  • Inability to straighten leg
  • Difficulty walking on injured leg

Treatment Options

There are two types of a rupture of quadriceps tendon:

  • Bracing – The injury will need to be immobilized in a brace, and all weight will be kept off injured leg for anywhere from three to 12 weeks.
  • Medication – Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain medicine can help manage symptoms while your body recovers from the injury. Your provider may also prescribe medication to better manage pain and swelling.
  • Physical therapy – A physical therapist can recommend exercises to help strengthen the quadriceps once the injury begins to heal.
  • Surgery – A complete quadriceps tendon tear, and some partial tears, will require surgery. An incision will be made at the kneecap and small sutures will connect the tendon to the top of the kneecap.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of a quadriceps tendon rupture, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat a quadriceps tendon rupture.