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Leg/Knee Case 7 History/Physical Exam

Patellar/Quadriceps Tendon Rupture

History and Physical Exam

These injuries occur when the patient is contracting their quads and flexing their knee, while falling or landing from a jumping position. Many are predisposed to rupture from chronic tendon inflammation. Patients will complain of immediate pain and often hear a tear or pop. They will be unable to bear weight on that leg.

The anterior knee will often be swollen. The key finding is that patients will be unable to actively extend their knee. You can often palpate or visualize a high riding patella in patients with patellar tendon ruptures. In quadriceps tendon ruptures a palpable defect in the tendon may be present. The patellar tendon reflex will be lost and quadriceps strength decreased.