Dr. Kevin Yip

Dr Kevin Yip
Orthopaedic Surgeon
MBBS(UK), FRCS(EDIN), FAM(SING), FHKCOS(ORTHO)

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Patella Tendon Rupture

SYMPTOMS

Acute sharp pain to the anterior part of the knee and inability to walk and extend the knee. Patella tendon ruptures are rare.

AETIOLOGY

This is an injury that typically occurs after previous cortisone injections to the area or when using anabolic steroids, which weaken the tendon. Long-term use of corticosteroids in rheumatic or other systemic ailments are also common backgrounds.

CLINICAL FINDINGS

Inability to elicit force on knee extension. There is a palpable gap in the patella tendon, swelling and bruising and haemarthrosis.

INVESTIGATIONS

Clinical examination is the most important tool for diagnosis and should include tests for all ligaments and other structures in the knee. MRI or ultrasound can verify the tear.

TREATMENT

An athlete with suspected patella tendon tear should be seen by an orthopaedic surgeon for surgery.

REFERRALS

Refer to Dr Kevin Yip (+65 9724 1219) consultant senior orthopaedic surgeon for further investigations to verify the extent of the injury. Physiotherapists will be involved in close collaboration with the surgeon.

EXERCISE PRESCRIPTION

After surgery, a braces is applied. After wound healing, cycling and swimming are good alternatives to keep up general fitness. Rehabilitation back to full sport usually takes around six months.

EVALUATION OF TREATMENT OUTCOMES

Monitor clinical symptoms and signs. Different functional knee scores for different sports are available to measure when the knee allows a return to full sport.

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSES

This is a straight – forward but rare diagnosis. Because of haemarthrosis and give-way, it is sometimes mistaken for multiligament injury.

PROGNOSIS

Good-Fair. The risk of re-rupture is very low but the long convalescence may sideline profesional athletes.

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