Repair of Patellar Tendon Rupture With Suture Anchors

Published:February 16, 2007DOI:


      Repair of a ruptured patellar tendon is usually performed with the use of sutures that are passed through intraosseous tunnels within the patella. However, a number of caveats pertain to this method. The Beath pin may penetrate the articular surface or may unduly injure the quadriceps through multiple passes. The already injured patellar tendon may be overly shortened after debridement and insertion into bony tunnels, and loosening through the tunnels may occur. Obliquely oriented bony tunnels may cause abnormal patellar tilt, leading to uneven force distribution. This technical note reports the details of an alternative repair with 3 suture anchors that is incorporated into a 6-stranded Krackow technique, with additional mattress sutures as needed. Because of the low-profile nature of the anchors, this technique more accurately re-creates the footprint at the inferior pole of the patella and avoids articular cartilage penetration and injury to the surrounding soft tissue. The possibility of loosening through bony tunnels or creation of abnormal stresses is eliminated. A smaller incision is used, and operative (tourniquet) time is diminished. Although pullout of the anchors may be a logical concern, previous studies have suggested that this construct is more than sufficient to withstand the forces to which it is subjected.

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