Quadriceps Tendon Rupture


The quadriceps are the anterior thigh muscles that straighten the knee (extend the knee).

The quadriceps tendon inserts into the upper pole of the kneecap (patella).

Quadriceps Tendon Rupture

The quadriceps tendon can rupture. This is a rare occurrence but can be debilitating and painful when it occurs.

Quadriceps tendon ruptures are associated with:

  1. Chronic renal failure patients.
  2. People with alkaptonuria (Alkaptonuria is a rare inherited genetic disorder in which the body cannot process the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine, which occur in protein.)
  3. Trauma e.g. falls.
  4. Diabetes.
  5. Gout.
  6. Steroids use.
  7. Fluoroquinolone use (a type of antibiotics).
  8. Post-surgery or post-patella dislocation.


MRI scan of the knee joint will usually show the ruptured tendon.


In complete quadriceps tendon ruptures with loss of knee extension, surgery to repair the torn tendon  back to the patella (kneecap bone) is necessary.

Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon as seen during surgery to repair it.