How Torn Quadricep Tendons Can Affect Your Knee Health 

Despite having covered a lot of different knee injuries, today our consultant knee surgeon outlines how torn quadriceps tendons can affect the general balance and function of your knee joint. The quadriceps is an intrinsic muscle to the function of the knee joint, with four separate muscle groups which have their distinctive names.

The rectus femoris is in the middle of the thigh and lies on top of the other three quadriceps muscles. These other three groups are the vastus lateralis (on the outside of the thigh), vastus medialis (on the inner part of the thigh), and the vastus intermedius (which lies between the lateralis and medialis, and underneath the rectus femoris.

While there are a few other muscles, important in knee function, a consultant knee surgeon will know, these four are called the quadriceps muscle. They play an important role in stabilising the knee joint.

How Torn Quadricep Tendons Can Affect Your Knee Health 

Despite having covered a lot of different knee injuries, today our consultant knee surgeon outlines how torn quadriceps tendons can affect the general balance and function of your knee joint. The quadriceps is an intrinsic muscle to the function of the knee joint, with four separate muscle groups which have their distinctive names.

The rectus femoris is in the middle of the thigh and lies on top of the other three quadriceps muscles. These other three groups are the vastus lateralis (on the outside of the thigh), vastus medialis (on the inner part of the thigh), and the vastus intermedius (which lies between the lateralis and medialis, and underneath the rectus femoris.

While there are a few other muscles, important in knee function, a consultant knee surgeon will know, these four are called the quadriceps muscle. They play an important role in stabilising the knee joint.

How the Quadricep and Knee Joint Interact

As powerful extensors of the knee joint, your quadriceps muscles are necessary for any walking, running or jumping type activity. While the rectus femoris is front and centre of the quadriceps.

The vastus medialis (teardrop shaped muscle on the inner side) that aids in the extension and lockout of the knee joint. The vastus intermedius aids in the extension of the knee, with the vastus lateralis also playing a crucial part in extension and stabilisation of the knee and leg. These muscles act together in a synchronised way. When any one of these four muscles become weak after injury or lack of exercise it can affect the knee joint leading to pain and cracking particularly at the front behind the knee cap.

Quadricep Injuries and the Knee Joint

A consultant knee surgeon will know that even slight quadricep injuries can have an impact on knee pain and health because of their interconnected nature. Having strong quadriceps helps reduce the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis and other aches and having adequate strength in the muscles is essential when recovering from any knee or hip replacement surgery.

Any small tears in the quadriceps tendon will make it difficult for the quadriceps muscle to tense and extend the kneecap joint to straighten your leg. This is why a partial or complete tear will drastically reduce your leg’s motor abilities and function.

Partial and Complete Tears of the Quadricep

Tears in the quadriceps will either be partial (not completely disrupting the soft tissue or tearing completely) or a complete tear, where the soft tissue will be split into two separate pieces. In cases of a complete tear, the quadriceps muscle is no longer attached to the kneecap, making it impossible for the knee to straighten when the muscle contracts (this will usually need urgent surgery to repair the tear).

Even a partial tear in the quadriceps will result in severe tenderness, cramping and difficulty walking and just supporting oneself. In some cases, you’ll be able to see an indentation above the kneecap where the tear occurred, with the kneecap also sometimes having moved because of the tendons not pulling on it like before.

Contact A Consultant Knee Surgeon Today

Here at My Knee Doc, we’re always looking to educate you through our blog posts and help our clients with any possible pain or discomfort they’re experiencing. Call us today at 0161 464 6399 to speak with a consultant knee surgeon about knee injuries and any other concerns you might have.