Knee extensor mechanism repairs: Standard suture repair and novel augmentation technique

Zachary Meyer, William M. Ricci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Patellar and quadriceps tendon ruptures are relatively common injuries. Rupture of the knee extensor mechanism may occur because of a forceful eccentric contraction of the quadriceps against a resisted flexed knee, though atraumatic cases have also been described. Patients at higher than normal risk for knee extensor mechanism rupture include those with systemic co-morbidities, fluoroquinolone use, and chronic tendinopathy. Early operative treatment and mobilization of acute extensor mechanism ruptures has proven effective, and numerous techniques have been described. A 46-year-old male on anastrozole therapy simultaneously ruptured his left patellar and right quadriceps tendons during a deadlift attempt. Diagnosis was by history and physical examination. Repair of both injuries was performed 5 days after injury. Described within and shown in the accompanying video is a standard technique for primary repair using Krackow stitches through the ruptured tendon that are passed through patellar bone tunnels and tied over a bone bridge. The finer points of this technique are emphasized. Also included is a technique to augment the standard repair with a figure-of-8 stitch passed through additional oblique patellar bone tunnels. The mechanical advantage of the adjuvant figure-of-8 stitch provides additional compression, which nicely reapproximates the tendon edges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S30-S31
JournalJournal of orthopaedic trauma
StatePublished - 2016


  • Extensor mechanism
  • Knee
  • Patellar tendon
  • Quadriceps tendon


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