Patella Tendon Repair

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Patella tendon repair is surgery to fix your torn patellar tendon. The patellar tendon attaches the bottom of your kneecap to your shin bone. The tendon works together with your muscles and ligaments to bend and extend your leg.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your knee function may not return to the way it was before surgery. You may get a blood clot in your leg. This may become life-threatening.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

  • Anesthesia is medicine to make you comfortable during the surgery. Healthcare providers will work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.

    • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.

    • Spinal or epidural anesthesia numbs the area and dulls the pain. You may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery.

During your surgery:

  • An incision will be made in the front of your knee. Your surgeon will find the torn ends of the tendon and trim them. He will sew the ends back together. If the tendon is not attached to bone, your surgeon will drill small holes in the end of your thigh bone. He will sew stitches onto the tendon, insert the stitches through the holes, and tie them. A tendon from another part of your body may be used. This tendon may be added to your patellar tendon so it reaches the bone where it will be attached. Wires or medical tape will also be passed through the drilled holes to add strength to the tendon.

  • If a large piece of bone broke off with the tendon during the injury, it may be reattached with screws. Your surgeon will compare your knees to make sure the repaired knee is in the correct position. Your incision will be closed with stitches and wrapped with a bandage. A brace, splint, or cast will be placed on your knee to keep it from moving while it heals.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.

  • You may need to walk around the same day of surgery or the day after. Movement will help prevent blood clots. You may also be given exercises to do in bed. Do not get out of bed on your own until your healthcare provider says you can. Talk to healthcare providers before you get up the first time. They may need to help you stand up safely. When you are able to get up on your own, sit or lie down right away if you feel weak or dizzy. Then press the call light button to let healthcare providers know you need help.

  • You may need physical therapy. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength and to decrease pain.

  • Use assistive devices as directed. You may need to use crutches or a cane so you do not put any weight on your knee. Your healthcare provider will tell you when you can walk on your injured leg again.

  • Medicines:

    • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

    • Antibiotics help prevent infection caused by bacteria.

    • Antinausea medicine helps calm your stomach and prevents vomiting.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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