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Patella Tendon Repair


What do I need to know about patella tendon repair?

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.

How do I prepare for surgery?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.

What will happen during 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.

What are the risks of surgery?

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.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.