Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo suffered a torn quadriceps tendon in his right knee and will miss the remainder of the NBA season, the team announced Thursday. Surgery will be required to repair the tendon.
Dr. Adam Yanke, a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, and head team physician for the Windy City Bulls answers three questions about the injury and expected recovery.
Q: What exactly is a ruptured quadriceps tendon?
A: The quadriceps tendon attaches the entire quad muscle to the kneecap or the patella and allows you to straighten your leg. This tendon can commonly have inflammation in it that causes pain but it can occasionally also rupture. This injury is more common in individuals over 50 years of age but can happen in younger, athletic patients as well. Typically this happens from the tendon being overloaded but can also be due to some underlying tendon disease that weakens the tissue before injury.
Q: How do you repair a torn quadriceps tendon?
A: There are multiple ways to fix a quadriceps tendon tear with regards to specific surgical technique. Regardless of the specifics, they all involve an open approach to directly visualize the tendon. Once you can see the tear directly sutures are placed through the tendon and they are either brought through drill tunnels or anchors in the patella to perform the repair. Typically the soft tissue adjacent to the tendon called the retinaculum is also torn and this requires repair as well.
Q: What is the rehab and recovery process?
A: The recovery after quadriceps tendon repair typically involves a period of immobilization in a brace for 4-6 weeks. After this time, we work aggressively on range of motion try to eliminate any stiffness. There is always a balance between healing and motion and it is important to have both be successful for return to play. Some patients do get back to full activity without pain or restrictions, however there is a subset that still have discomfort in that area or have issues with building up muscle strength. In general its a successful procedure with good outcomes but can take up to 6 months for complete recovery.
Dr. Adam Yanke’s clinical interests include advanced arthroscopy, shoulder replacement, and a special focus on patellofemoral dysfunction and cartilage restoration. Dr. Yanke is a team physician for the Chicago Bulls, Windy City Bulls, Chicago White Sox and DePaul Blue Demons.