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.

Getting Ready

The week before your surgery:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.

  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.

  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.

  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.

  • You may need blood or urine tests before your surgery. You may also need x-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI of your knee. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The night before your surgery:

  • You may be given medicine to help you sleep.

  • Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your surgery:

  • Ask your caregiver before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Caregivers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.

  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.

  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

Treatment

What will happen:

  • 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.

Contact a caregiver if

  • You cannot make it to your surgery.

  • You have a fever.

  • You get a cold or the flu.

  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • Your symptoms get worse.

  • You have severe pain or trouble moving around.

© 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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