Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Knee News

Anchors Hold Fast in Tendinous Storms

After every operation, the surgeon describes a step-by-step report of what was done and how it was done. This operative report is typed up and placed in the patient's file. Most patients never see this report. Sometimes, the insurance company requests a copy.

Some doctors share their surgery methods with other doctors. This is called a technical note. They do this by putting the information in a magazine article or medical journal.

Two doctors from Texas described how they repair a rupture of the quadriceps tendon in the knee. This tendon connects the large muscle on the front of the thigh, the quadriceps muscle, to the knee cap. The tendon continues from the knee cap to the lower leg bone (tibia) by way of the patellar tendon.

Quadriceps tendon ruptures don't happen very often, so there aren't many technical reports on how to repair them. Most operations to repair this problem involve drilling holes through the kneecap. Stitches are sewn through the ruptured tendon and then passed through these holes to hold the tendon to the bone.

These doctors tried a different method. Instead of using stitches to hold the tendon to the bone, they used suture anchors. These are premade stitches (called sutures) that are made of polyester and braided for strength. The anchor sutures are inserted into the holes with a needle and then sewn into the tendon.

Using suture anchors to repair the quadriceps tendon has been reported for the first time. This type of repair is stronger than the stitches used before. The muscle can accept a greater load earlier after surgery. The patient returns to full function faster.

David P. Richards, MD, and F. Alan Barber, MD. Technical Note: Repair of Quadriceps Tendon Ruptures Using Suture Anchors. In Arthroscopy. May/June 2002. Vol. 18. No. 5. Pp. 556-559.


*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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