How to Treat a Patellar Tendon Tear

The patellar tendon is a thick, fibrous band of tissue that connects the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia). This tendon helps extend your leg so that you can kick or jump, which is why patellar tendon issues are most often found in those who play basketball or volleyball. A patellar tendon tear is a serious injury that can cause immense pain and interfere with your ability to walk or even put weight on your leg. While this type of tear used to mean your sports career was over, with the help of physical therapy, you won’t have to hang up your cleats. From Peak Physical Therapy, physical therapist Hanover MA, here’s how to treat a patellar tendon tear.

Initial Treatment

If you have suffered a patellar tendon tear, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor will be able to give you a diagnosis and put together a treatment plan. The initial treatment for a patellar tendon tear usually includes ice, rest, and elevation. You may also be prescribed anti-inflammatory medication to help reduce pain and swelling. If your symptoms are severe or if you have suffered a complete patellar tendon tear, you may need to wear a splint or brace to immobilize your knee. Surgery may also be recommended in severe cases. However, most patellar tendon tears can be treated without surgery.

Physical Therapy

Once your pain and swelling have decreased, your doctor or physical therapist will likely recommend physical therapy as part of your patellar tendon tear treatment plan. Physical therapy exercises will help improve the knee’s range of motion and strength. It is important to follow your physical therapist’s recommendations and not push yourself too hard too soon. Exercising too much too soon can worsen your symptoms and delay healing. Your physical therapist may also recommend other treatments such as electrical stimulation, massage, and hot/cold therapy. They may also fit you for a knee sleeve or brace which can help stabilize your knee joint and reduce pain.

Returning to Activity

We understand you’re eager to get back on the field, but after a patellar tendon tear,  it’s important to start slow. Your doctor or physical therapist Hanover MA will likely give you specific guidelines on when you can start exercising again and how much you can do. They may also recommend working with a coach or trainer who can help you safely return to your sport or activity. Whatever the recommendations, remember, slow and steady wins the race.

Peak Physical Therapy | Patellar Tendon Tear

If you think you have a patellar tendon tear, it's important to see a doctor or physical therapist right away for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. A complete patellar tendon tear will require surgery, but partial tears may be treated with therapy. With proper treatment, most people make a full recovery and are able to return to their previous level of activity. Looking for sports therapy near me? Peak Physical Therapy can help. Our board-certified physical therapists see a range of players who have been injured in-game. If you’re ready to get your body on the road to recovery and off the bench, contact our physical therapist Hanover MA today!

close icon
Physical Therapy
Sports Therapy
Aquatic Therapy
Pelvic Health
Contact Us