Faculty Advisor(s)

Michael Fillyaw

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2014 Michael Kilgas


Background/Purpose: Patellar tendon tears often occur in patients less than 40 years old during physical activity with forced flexion of the knee. Surgical repair of the tendon is often the treatment following a tear; additionally, performing surgery to repair the tendon in a timely fashion is an important prognostic factor. The purpose of this case report is to outline the deficits following surgical repair of a left patellar tendon rupture, describe specific physical therapy interventions used during 12 weeks of outpatient rehabilitation, and report the outcomes of physical therapy. Case Description: Patient DH presented to physical therapy with restricted range of motion, pain, weakness, and swelling to his left knee following surgical repair of a left patellar tendon rupture. DH was originally diagnosed with a lateral patellar dislocation; therefore his surgery was delayed 6 weeks due to the false diagnosis. He began physical therapy 8 weeks following surgery. Outcomes: DH displayed exceptional results in 12 weeks of PT including increasing knee flexion range of motion by 55 degrees and nearly normalizing his gait pattern. Although he failed to meet several of his goals, he had a strong likelihood of a full recovery. Discussion: There is little available evidence regarding physical therapy and prognosis of a patient following delayed surgery of a torn patellar tendon. Evidence will become available when future errors are made regarding the diagnosis of a torn patellar tendon, subsequently delaying surgery. If available, future studies should be performed to assess outcomes obtained greater than 12 weeks following the beginning of therapy to further gauge the patient’s potential recovery.


The case report poster for this paper can be found here: http://dune.une.edu/pt_studcrposter/2.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.