Partial patellar tendon tears in athletes: a systematic review of treatment options, outcomes, and return to sport

Review written by Dr Seth O’Neill info

Key Points

  1. Surgery has a role in managing partial patellar tendon tears.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Partial Patellar tendon tears (PPTTs) are a progression of chronic patellar tendinopathy (1) and can be multifactorial and complex in nature to manage (2). Previous research has approximated 14% of elite athletes to be affected across several sports, with higher rates in elite volleyball and basketball players (3).

There is literature examining different treatment options ranging from surgery to injections and conservative management. However, there is currently little consensus on what is the “right” approach.

The objectives of this study were to systematically review the literature to determine current best management for PPTTs.

14% of elite athletes are affected by partial patellar tendon tears across several sports, with higher rates in elite volleyball and basketball players.
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Clinically, if a patient presented with sudden onset pain and loss of function and had a scan in keeping with a PPTT, I would certainly be considering surgical opinion.

METHODS

  • The authors reviewed PubMed, Embase and Cochrane through 1st of May 2023.
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