The patella tendon runs from the patella (kneecap) to the tibia (lower leg bone) to provide the distal (end) attachment of the quadriceps muscle to the tibia (lower leg bone). The patellar tendon is stressed with repetitive explosive movements, such as sprinting and jumping. Overtime, the tendon degenerates or becomes edematous (swollen) in reaction to the repetitive forces. This condition is known as patellar tendinosis. Symptoms from patellar tendinosis typically can resolve with conservative treatment such as medication and ice to relieve the pain, stretching and eccentric strengthening exercises to encourage tendon remodeling and temporary avoidance of aggravating activities. If the patient fails all conservative treatment, surgery is indicated to debride (remove) degenerated tendon tissue, stimulate a healing response, and repair any grossly torn tendon.
The goal of the surgery is to debride the painful non-healing degenerative patellar tendon tissue, stimulate a healing the response in less degenerative tissue that has healing capacity and repair any grossly torn tendon. Through a mini-open incision, Dr. Chudik identifies and opens the patellar tendon longitudinally to examine the depth of the tendon. He debrides (removes) any obvious degenerative tissue and repairs the torn portion of the tendon with sutures. Following surgery, the tendon repair may require bracing, a slow progression of physical therapy, and up to four to six months to allow the tendon to gradually remodel and accommodate/tolerate increasing forces. Otherwise, the tendon may not completely recover and may not be able to resume strenuous activities without recurrence of symptoms.