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Thigh Muscle Injuries: Tendon Avulsion and Complete Tears

Quadriceps Tendon Tear

Tendons are strong cords of fibrous tissue that attach muscles to bones. The quadriceps tendon works with the muscles in the front of your thigh to straighten your leg.

Small tears of the tendon can make it difficult to walk and participate in other daily activities. A large tear of the quadriceps tendon is a disabling injury. It usually requires surgery and physical therapy to regain full knee function.

Quadriceps tendon tears are not common. They most often occur among middle-aged people who play running or jumping sports.

Symptoms

When a quadriceps tendon tears, there is often a tearing or popping sensation. Pain and swelling typically follow, and you may not be able to straighten your knee. Additional symptoms include:

  • An indentation at the top of your kneecap where the tendon tore
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Cramping
  • Your kneecap may sag or droop because the tendon is torn
  • Difficulty walking due to the knee buckling or giving way