Home / Conditions Treated / Knee / Knee Tendon Disorders

Knee Anatomy

The bones of the knee are the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone) and patella (kneecap). view 

Knee Fracture

Knee fractures may involve the lower end of the thigh bone (femur), upper end of the shin bone (tibia), the kneecap (patella), or any combination of the three. view

Leg Fractures

The main bone in the leg (tibia) breaks into two or more pieces depending on how bad the injury. view 

Knee Dislocation

Knee dislocations are true orthopedic emergencies. In addition to the knee joint being out of place, the nerves and blood vessels that supply the leg are at risk for injury and can threaten the viability. view 

Leg Compartment Syndrome

Leg compartment syndrome occurs when the pressure within the front, back, or outer leg compartments rises above the blood pressure needed for the heart to pump blood to the thigh. view 

Knee Ligament Injury

A knee ligament injury can be a sprain in which a ligament around the knee gets stretched or the ligament can be partially or completely torn. view 

Knee Meniscus Tear

The menisci are two C-shaped cartilage disks that sit between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia) and provide stability, support, and cushioning for the knee. view

Patellofemoral Syndrome

Patellofemoral syndrome encompasses a spectrum of conditions that can involve the kneecap (patella), quadriceps muscle group, iliotibial band (ITB), hamstrings, as well as the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia). view

Knee Arthritis

Knee arthritis is the loss of the cartilage cushion in the joint contact surfaces that normally allows for smooth, pain-free gliding during knee range of motion.  view

Knee Tendon Disorders

The common tendon disorders about the knee include bursitis, tendonitis, quadriceps, and patellar tendon tears. view

Stiff Joints: Stiff Knee

Stiff knee, also referred to as arthrofibrosis, is a condition that is associated with moderate to severe pain with knee motion. view

Knee Infection

The knee is one of the most well-perfused (good blood supply) areas of the human body and because of this ample blood supply to the knee, circulating white blood cells offer excellent protection against infection. view



The common tendon disorders about the knee include bursitis, tendonitis, quadriceps, and patellar tendon tears. Symptoms associated with tendon disorders about the knee include limited motion due to pain, localized swelling and variable amounts of muscle weakness.

Bursitis is the inflammation of the tendon lining, called the bursa, in the knee which functions as a cellular layer for smooth tendon gliding. These bursa lie above the kneecap (patella) called the pre-patellar bursa, and at the insertion of the hamstring tendons on the upper part of the shin bone (tibia), called the pes anserine bursa. When a bursa is inflamed from a traumatic injury or repetitive activities, localized swelling, pain, and sometimes redness can be present.

When the tendon that connects the thigh bone to the knee cap, quadriceps tendon, or the tendon that attaches the kneecap to the leg bone, patellar tendon, is inflamed it is called quadriceps or patellar tendonitis, respectively. Tendonitis may cause localized pain, swelling, and difficulty performing certain activities or sports.

Quadriceps and patellar tendon tears can occur in patients of any age. These injuries usually occur from a sudden jumping and landing activity or as a result of a fall. These injuries commonly occur while playing sports. X-rays usually show the kneecap either too high or too low based on which tendon has torn. An MRI is sometimes obtained to determine if the tendon is completely torn or partially torn. A physical examination is important to check for injuries to other structures, such as muscles or nerves.



Quadriceps and patellar tendon tears can be complete or incomplete. Incomplete tears can often be treated with the use of a brace and physical therapy. Therapists can help with exercises to improve motion and strength around the knee, and to get the patient back to walking normally. Complete tears of the quadriceps or patellar tendon require surgery. Surgery ensures that the tendon is repaired back to the kneecap. After surgery, therapists work with the patient to start bending and straightening the knee, to start strengthening the muscles of the thigh and around the knee, and to put weight on the leg immediately. Once the tendon has healed, most patients are able to return to their usual activities.