The Quadriceps tendon is the large tendon just above your knee cap. A tendon is strong fibrous collagen tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone. The quadriceps tendon attaches the quadriceps muscle (large muscle at the front of the thigh) to the patella (knee cap). If you look at this image of a knee MRI, the arrow directly above the patella indicates where the quadriceps tendon is torn. The quadriceps tendon works with the quadriceps muscle to straighten your leg. When the quadriceps tendon completely tears the muscle is no longer anchored to the knee. Patients complain of a “pulling” sensation in the front of their thigh, swelling, bruising and muscle tenderness. Also they may experience pain and/or loss of strength with knee extension. It often occurs in running and jumping sports, when the leg is fully weighted with the foot planted and the knee slightly bent. A knee MRI (image) is a useful imaging tool to identify the severity of the quadriceps tendon tear and the exact location. In this case arthroscopic surgery is recommended to regain full mobility of the knee. To repair the tendon the surgeon will drill holes in the kneecap and thread sutures through the holes to re-attach the tendon. They carefully tie the sutures to get the correct amount of tension in the tendon paying particular attention to the position of the knee cap, closely matching to your uninjured knee. Missoula Bone & Joint offers comprehensive care for all orthopedic injuries. Click here to see our knee specialists.