Depending on the type of tear (partial or complete), the complete healing process for a torn patellar tendon may look like the following:
- Complete patellar tendon tear recovery: since the patellar tendon breaks into two pieces, it will require surgery, which can take about six months to recover along with extensive rehabilitation. Some patients have reported a period of about 12 months before complete recovery.
- Partial patellar tendon tear recovery: since the patellar tendon is not disrupted completely (some fragments may fray like fragments on a rope) and is still in one piece, treatment requires wearing a brace and physical therapy for three to six weeks while you recover.
You should note that the recovery rate may vary between patients, since everyone heals at different speeds. Significant factors that also may affect your recovery include your overall health and the amount of effort you put towards recovering faster.
What causes a patellar tendon tear?
Patellar tendon ruptures are often caused by indulging in high-impact sports and activities, particularly football, basketball and volleyball. These sports involve lots of jumping that may weaken the patellar tendon over time, making it more likely to rupture. Volleyball players are especially prone to patellar tendonitis, a condition popularly known as “jumper’s knee.”
Activities that result in a sudden, blunt smack to the front of the knee may result in a torn patellar tendon, which includes jumping on the knee from a height and, sometimes, even in car accidents.
Some chronic conditions can weaken the patellar tendon and make it more likely to get torn, such as:
- Chronic renal failure
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
- Diabetes mellitus
- Metabolic diseases, such as gout, hyperparathyroidism
The long-term use of steroids has also been linked with the weakening of the patellar tendon.
Can you walk on a torn patellar tendon?
It is difficult to walk and participate in daily activities if you have developed small or partial tears in the patellar tendon. Going even further, a complete tear may even result in disability.
When the patellar tendon ruptures, you most likely sensed the tear or heard a pop, however additional symptoms may include:
Can a torn patellar tendon heal itself?
A torn patellar tendon cannot heal itself unless specific measures are taken depending on the type of injury. For a complete patellar tendon tear, surgery and physical therapy are required to regain full knee function. For partial tears, physical therapy and braces are typically necessary.
Effective treatment of a torn patellar tendon improves your chances of restoring your range of motion and helps strengthen the surrounding tissues that support the knee joint.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Patellar Tendon Tear. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/patellar-tendon-tear/
Top Recover Time For a Torn Patella Tendon Related Articles
How Do I Know If My Knee Pain Is Serious?Some knee pain may subside with adequate rest and other physical therapies, which can be done at home; however, knee pain that doesn’t dissolve easily with rest should be considered serious and requires medical attention. Knee pain is the most common complaint of the musculoskeletal system.
How Do You Know You Have Tendonitis?Tendonitis occurs when a tendon becomes inflamed and causes pain from repetitive movement. Learn the types of tendonitis, how it happens, and how to treat it.
How Do You Relieve Pain In The Back Of Your Knee?Learn what medical treatments can help relieve pain in the back of your knee and help you manage pain in the back of your knee.
Knee InjuryKnee injuries, especially meniscus tears, are common in contact sports. Symptoms and signs of a torn meniscus include knee pain, swelling, a popping sound, and difficulty bending the leg. Treatment may involve resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the knee, in addition to wearing a knee brace, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and stretching the knee.
Knee Joint PictureThe knee joint has three parts. See a picture of Knee Joint and learn more about the health topic.
Knee Pain: 8 Exercises to Help Your KneesGetting over a knee injury? WebMD shows you moves that can help make you stronger, so you're less likely to get re-injured.
Knee PainAcute injuries, medical conditions, and chronic use conditions are causes of knee pain. Symptoms and signs that accompany knee pain include redness, swelling, difficulty walking, and locking of the knee. To diagnose knee pain, a physician will perform a physical exam and also may order X-rays, arthrocentesis, blood tests, or a CT scan or MRI. Treatment of knee pain depends upon the cause of the pain.
Pain Management: All About Your KneesThey do their job so well that you might take them for granted. Learn how they're put together, what can go wrong with them, and what you can do about it when something does.
Tendinitis and Tendon Injuries: How It's Diagnosed?Tendons are flexible bands of thick tissue that connect your muscles to bones. They help to move the muscles or bones of your shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle joints.
What Can Cause Pain Behind the Knee?What causes pain behind the knee? Learn about Baker's cyst and other causes of pain behind the knee and what to do about them.
What Is Tendon Transfer Surgery?Tendon transfer surgery is a type of hand surgery that is performed to improve the lost function of the hand. In this surgery, a functioning tendon is shifted from its original attachment to another site in the hand for restoring the lost action. Complications include infection, pain, repair failure, tendon adhesion (tendons become stuck to the surrounding tissue and lose their range of movement), hand deformity, bleeding, injury to nearby nerves, tendons or blood vessels; hand stiffness, hand weakness, swelling, rupture of the transferred tendon, and the need for another corrective surgery.
What Is the Best Treatment for Knee Tendonitis?Learn what medical treatments can help ease your knee tendonitis symptoms and speed up your recovery.
What Is the Best Treatment for Tendonitis?If you have tendonitis/tendinitis symptoms, the best treatment is RICE protocol. It means that you should immediately follow rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
What Is the Home Remedy for Knee Pain? 10 Effective MeasuresKnee pain can be a recent malady—due to an injury or may be occurring for several years due to a joint condition such as osteoarthritis. Whatever be the reason, some home remedies will often work for both types of knee pain.