The quadriceps tendons are very resistant fibrous tissues, but in some cases they may suffer injuries. According to the extent of the damage, the type of physical activity performed by the patient and his age, it will be possible to evaluate a different type of intervention, including surgical options, with a different rehabilitation path. We discuss the topic with Dr. Barbara Baroni, Humanitas Orthopedic Rehabilitation Physician.
Be careful when racing and jumping
Along with the quadriceps muscles, the thigh muscles, and the patellar tendon, work to ensure the extension of the knee. An injury in this area may be partial, small, or in rare cases completely damaging.
Runners or jumpers are most at risk among athletes. The reason for this is because you can suffer a tendonitis of the quadriceps while running, which in turn weakens the tendon fibers. Moreover, jumping and hitting the ground with the knee bent can cause a rupture of the tendon. Even a fall with a direct trauma can cause injury to quadriceps tendons since weakened quadriceps muscles can increase the likelihood of injury.
A conservative treatment can be used for quadriceps tendinopathy: “Conservative treatment – explains Dr. Baroni – means all the treatments and therapeutic methods suitable for treating a pathology without the need for a surgical intervention. In the specific case of tendon pathology, the aim of the treatment is to cure the ongoing inflammatory process, control and monitor the healing process in case of tendon injury and restore its function”.
“One of the therapeutic methods – continues the specialist – includes anti-inflammatory physical therapies, especially tecar therapy, ultrasound and laser therapy. Additionally, manual treatments by the physiotherapist are performed with mobilization of the joint involved, strengthening exercises especially in eccentric mode, muscle stretching exercises and massage therapy “.
A recovery in five phases
When is surgery necessary? “The surgery is necessary when there is a partial or complete injury of tendon fibers or when there is a tendon avulsion, with a detachment of the tendon at the level of its bone insertion,” responds Dr. Baroni.
How can rehabilitation be done to recover the lower limb movement? “First and foremost, it aims to restore the function while respecting the biological time of tissue healing. It is important to respect the stages of transition from one phase of rehabilitation to another with particular attention to load progression”.
Therefore, after the injury, the patient will undergo a recovery process in five phases: “One phase with the reduction of pain and inflammation; phase two with the recovery of articularity and flexibility; phase three with the recovery of strength and muscle endurance; phase four with the recovery of coordination and, finally, phase five with the recovery of gesticulating”, concludes Dr. Baroni.