Primary repair of patellar tendon rupture without augmentation

Richard A Marder, Laura A. Timmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Repair of patellar tendon ruptures has often relied on cerclage augmentation and prolonged immobilization in extension. We are reporting our experience with avulsion injuries as well as midsubstance ruptures, both treated with primary repair without augmentation, allowing early mobilization in the athlete less than 40 years of age. Repairs were performed to allow knee flexion to more than 60°. Rehabilitation was performed with heel slides, allowing flexion to 45°for the first 3 weeks, increasing to 90°at 3 to 6 weeks, and thereafter without restriction. An accelerated weightbearing and muscle strengthening program was adopted. At a mean follow- up of 2.6 years (range, 20 to 61 months), 12 patients had returned to their previous levels of activity. No loss of extension or extensor lag was noted; mean flexion loss was 5°. Patellofemoral symptoms and signs were present in five patients, but activity was limited in only two. Mean peak torque at 60 deg/sec was 92% (range, 73% to 105%). Mean Lysholm score was 94 ± 2.5 points. Primary repair with immediate, protected range of motion resulted in uniformly excellent results and obviated the need for manipulation or subsequent hardware removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-307
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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