About Patella Tendon Tears

What is it and what are my treatment options?

Patella Tendon Tear Overview

The patella tendon connects the knee cap (patella) to the shin bone (tibia). The patella tendon is important because it works with the quadriceps tendon to straighten the leg. A patella tendon tear occurs when the patella tendon is partially or completely torn. Patients who experience patella tendon tear symptoms should make an appointment with a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) knee specialist.

Symptoms & Causes

Patella tendon tear symptoms include:

  • An audible snap or pop
  • An indentation on the bottom of the patella
  • Cramps
  • Difficulty walking or bearing weight
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Common patella tendon tear causes are:

  • Falls
  • Running and jumping sports
  • Tendon weakness from tendonitis or steroid use

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options treat many partial tears. After a thorough evaluation, a CONA knee specialist may recommend:

  • Immobilization in a cast or removable knee brace
  • Pain and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy

Surgery may be recommended to treat complete tears. During a patella tendon repair, a CONA specialist repairs the torn tendon and attaches it to the bone.


  • A CONA specialist asks questions to find out exactly how the injury occurred and what symptoms presented.
  • A medical history including previous injuries is obtained.
  • A physical examination of the knee is performed.
  • X-rays and an MRI are viewed.

An accurate diagnosis is made and appropriate treatment plan is prescribed. Most treatment plans are customized and contain multiple treatment options.

Make an Appointment
with A Knee Specialist

A patella tendon tear should be treated as soon as possible. Please make an appointment with a CONA knee specialist at the first sign of symptoms.

what Our Patients Are Saying

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I am happy with this practice all my questions are answered within 24 hours. Dr. Hoenig is great, his bedside manner is wonderful, he is very thorough, and makes personal calls after surgery to check on patients. I would definitely recommend to family and friends!

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Dr. Hoenig

This has been one of my most positive experiences at a Dr's office. I was treated with respect and love. They made my surgical procedure less stressful and very positive.

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General Practice

These are the best group of doctors that myself & my family have ever been treated by in this field of medicine. They listen to how you feel instead of telling you how you feel. Thank you all for your caring & kindness.

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General Practice

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3 Convenient Locations


1330 Boiling Springs Rd, Ste 1600
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Directions to Spartanburg


115 Deacon Tiller Ct.
Duncan, SC 29334
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Directions to Duncan

Greenville Office

220 Roper Mountain Road Ext
Greenville, SC 29615
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Directions To Greenville

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