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Patellar Tendon Surgery in 2024

Dr. Pamela Mehta, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon, San Jose

Everything You Need To Know About Patellar Tendon Surgery

A patellar tendon tear is where the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone ruptures. This tendon is a fibrous band that can tear during a knee injury or during sports. Your patellar tendon can tear partially or completely. Most cases need knee surgery to repair the tendon.

In this article, we will discuss the surgical treatment for this condition, known as “patella tendon repair”.

If you want to know more about patella tendon rupture, check out our page on patellar tendon tears. You can also check out our information on the recovery timeline from patellar tendon surgery and how to speed it up.

What is Patellar Tendon Repair Surgery?

Patella tendon repair surgery is an operation on the patellar tendon. The patellar tendon usually connects the kneecap (patella) and shinbone (tibia). When this is torn, your surgeon will reconnect these two bones.

It’s likely that you’ll need surgery to regain knee function if you have a complete patellar tendon. People who need surgery do better if the repair is performed soon after the injury. Early repair may prevent the tendon from scarring and tightening.

There are two main types of patellar tendon surgery:

Transosseous Repair

In transosseous repair, the surgeon attaches sutures to the ruptured tendon. They then drill small holes in the kneecap and thread these through the holes to reattach the end of the tendon to the patella.

Suture Anchor Repair

In suture anchor repair, the surgeon uses small implants, known as “suture anchors” – small metal screws with a loop on the end. These anchors are implanted into the patella. Sutures from the tendon are then threaded through the loops. This helps to reattach the patellar tendon in a similar way to a transosseous repair.

Patellar Tendon Repair Open

The type of tendon repair that is used will depend on the location and severity of the tear. In general, we use transosseous repair for tears that are close to the kneecap. We use suture anchor repair for tears that are further away from the kneecap. This may be more complicated if there are other associated knee injuries.

After surgery, your knee will be immobilized in a brace or cast. You will generally stay in the hospital for one to two days, though day-case procedures are possible. The recovery time after surgery is typically six to twelve weeks.

Anesthetic for Patellar Tendon Surgery

For this surgical procedure, you will need to have an anesthetic. Options include:

  • Spinal anesthetic – numbing you from the waist down
  • Regional anesthetic – just numbing the affected leg
  • General anesthetic – putting you to sleep

These anesthetics will affect the recovery time, discomfort, and the procedure’s length. Dr. Meta will discuss with you the best anesthetic for your procedure.

Patellar Tendon Repair Scalpel

Surgical Complications

Potential surgical complications of patellar tendon surgery vary depending on how the procedure is performed and risk factors specific to your medical background and demographics (such as age, sex, mobility etc.). Some complications of patellar tendon repair include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Persistent knee pain

Book a Consultation with Dr. Pamela Mehta, MD

The Best Orthopedic Surgeon in San Jose

Dr. Mehta is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who can help you recover from your joint condition. If you:

  • Are Suffering From Pain and Mobility Issues
  • Need Orthopedic Assessment and Advice
  • Want Treatment From a Top Orthopedic Doctor

We Can Help

Patellar Tendon Surgery Cost

The cost of patellar tendon surgery varies depending on the location and other factors, such as:

  • The doctor you see
  • The reason for the surgery
  • Type of anesthesia used
  • Length of stay in hospital
  • Your individual healthcare needs
  • Whether you have healthcare insurance

At Resilience Orthopedics we offer concierge care that is personalized to your needs. We understand that your treatment needs are unique, physically and emotionally. This individualized approach means that the cost of patellar tendon surgery can vary.

If you are considering patellar tendon surgery, you can discuss the cost with our team to find out how your insurance can cover it. To get an estimate for your situation, please contact our office.

Outcomes of Patellar Tendon Surgery

There will always be a small difference in your knee after your procedure. However, outcomes of patellar tendon tear surgery are generally very good. With proper rehabilitation, most people can return to their previous level of activity.

However, there are occasionally complications of this procedure, such as:

  • Re-tear: This is the most common complication. Re-tears are more likely to occur in people who do not follow their rehabilitation program carefully.
  • Strength loss: The repaired patellar tendon may not regain its full strength. This can lead to weakness and difficulty with activities that require a lot of force, such as running and jumping.
  • Loss of motion: The knee joint may not regain its full range of motion, which can make it difficult to bend and straighten the knee.
  • Pain: Some people may experience pain in their knee after surgery, even after they have fully recovered.

The risk of these complications can be reduced by following your doctor’s instructions carefully and participating in a comprehensive rehabilitation program.

What Knee Services Do We Offer?

Knee Pain Assessment

Knee pain can make moving around incredibly frustrating, interrupting your daily activities and making your life difficult. Dr. Mehta is a knee doctor and can offer various knee pain treatments.

Knee Surgery

If your knee condition is severe, or nothing you have tried has helped, Dr. Mehta can advise you on the options for surgery. She is a knee specialist and can offer expert opinion and care.​

Treatment of Knee Conditions


ACL Tear

ACL tears are usually the result of sports injuries and may require surgery.​

Patellar Tendon Tear

The patellar tendon connects your patella to your shinbone, and tears of this make movement difficult.

Meniscus Tear

A meniscus tear is a rupture of the cartilage in your knee joint causes difficulty moving.​

Knee Arthritis

Knee arthritis is a common and painful condition that often requires a knee replacement.

And Many More!

Dr. Mehta offers diagnosis and treatment of all knee conditions and can offer her specialist opinion as an expert knee doctor.

Expert Advice For Knee Problems