McKinney, B., Cherney, S. & Penna, J. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthr (2008) 16: 633. doi:10.1007/s00167-008-0516-z
The knee extensor mechanism is composed of the quadriceps tendon, patella and patellar tendon. Rupture of either the quadriceps tendon or patella tendon is a rare but significant injury. The purpose of our study is to determine if there are any associated injuries with these ruptures necessitating the need for further evaluation such as MRI or arthroscopy. We retrospectively reviewed all patients with ruptures of the knee extensor mechanism who required operative repair at our institution over the last 10 years. We reviewed the chart for any documented associated injury. The type and incidence of associated injuries were recorded. We further divided these patients into two groups: low energy indirect mechanism or high-energy direct impact mechanism. Sixty-four patients met our requirements for inclusion in this study. Thirty-three patients with patellar tendon ruptures and thirty-one patients with quadriceps tendon ruptures were included. Ten out of 33 (30%) patients with a patellar tendon rupture had an associated injury. Four out of 25 (16%) patients with patellar tendon ruptures in the low energy mechanism category had an associated injury. Six out of 8 (75%) patients with a high-energy direct impact patellar tendon rupture had an associated injury. Three out of 31 (10%) patients with quadriceps tendon rupture had an associated injury. The most common associated injuries in the patellar tendon rupture patients were anterior cruciate ligament tears (18%) and medial meniscus tears (18%). We found almost one-third of all patients with a patellar tendon rupture had an associated intra-articular knee injury. We found 10% of patients with quadriceps tendon rupture had an associated intra-articular knee injury. We also found an even higher incidence of associated injuries in patients with high-energy direct impact mechanism patellar tendon ruptures (75%). The most common associated injuries in patients with patellar tendon ruptures were tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (18%) and medial meniscus (18%). We recommend that consideration be given in obtaining a MRI or diagnostic arthroscopy in patients with patellar tendon ruptures especially those with high-energy direct impact mechanism. To our knowledge this has not previously been documented in the literature.
Patellar tendon ruptureQuadriceps tendon ruptureRupture of the knee extensor mechanismAssociated injury