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Am J Sports Med. 1991 Jul-Aug;19(4):403-8.

Partial rupture of the patellar ligament. Results after operative treatment.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, East Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.


Partial rupture of the patellar ligament, also known as jumper's knee, is defined as a repetitive overload lesion at the bone-ligament junction at the lower patellar pole. It is found mainly in athletes and is caused either by microruptures or partial macroruptures of the proximal part of the ligament. The abnormal anatomical lesion is focal degeneration, microruptures and macroruptures, and devitalized tissue at the insertion of the patellar ligament. Proliferation and neovascularization are often found, as well as degeneration and incomplete tissue healing. Surgical treatment is indicated only if a prolonged and well-supervised conservative treatment program fails. We operated on 78 patients with jumper's knee, by carefully removing the abnormal tissue from the ligament. At follow-up examination, 71 of 78 patients had excellent or good functional results and complete resumption of sports activities. Objective measurements of thigh muscle strength using a Cybex II dynamometer correlated with the functional results at a low angular velocity.

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