Quadriceps Tendonitis Recovery Time

Vector illustration of a healthy knee joint and an unhealthy knee with a quadriceps tendon rupture problem. Anatomy, front view of the human knee.

Can a torn quad heal on its own?

A torn quadriceps may heal on its own if the tear is partial, the individual is young, and the usual activities that the individual engages in are not too strenuous; however, the initial stages of healing may be painful and the chances of getting back its usual function are slim.

Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment are best to ensure complete healing, faster recovery, and for the muscle to regain as much of its original function as possible. If a torn quadriceps is not treated early, it may become difficult for the healthcare provider to repair it and it may take longer to rehabilitate.

How long does quad tendonitis take to heal with treatment?

A partially torn quad that requires non-surgical treatment usually heals in a few weeks with adequate physiotherapy. But if the injury is not treated immediately, healing may take up to 12 weeks depending on the severity. Meanwhile, a partially or completely torn quad tendon that requires surgical intervention will heal within 6 to 9 months.

After surgery, the knee will be in a brace and should not bear weight for 1 to 2 weeks except during physiotherapy. Four months after surgery, provided that the knee has adequate strength and range of motion, light running may be allowed. Usual activities can be done gradually after about 7 months.

What is the fastest way to heal tendonitis in the knee?

The fastest way to heal tendonitis is to seek professional help immediately. This will ensure that the injury is properly diagnosed, there are no other complications, and the correct treatment is given.

What else helps?

Providing adequate rest for the injured knee will allow for swelling to subside and for the tendon to heal properly while preventing other injuries from occurring.

An X-ray or an MRI may help your doctor in visualizing the injury to ensure that no other structures are damaged. Listening to the advice of your healthcare provider and strictly adhering to the treatment protocol will help you recover faster and go back to your daily activities.

Is physio worth a try?

Physiotherapy can help to speed up recovery and prevent complications as the muscle heals. Rehabilitation is usually given for a partially torn quad that does not require surgery and is required after surgical repair of a fully torn quad.

Rehabilitation involves pain management during the initial or acute phase of injury, range of motion exercises, strengthening and balance exercises and functional exercises. Physiotherapy can help athletes return to their sports sooner by helping them regain the strength of the quad muscle and prevent the same or other injuries from occurring. 

What if the quad does not fully heal?

Individuals who received treatment for a torn quad usually have a good long-term prognosis. After adequate care and correct rehabilitation protocol, there is almost a sure chance of recovery and return to normal activities.

However, if the injury seems to be getting worse or is not getting better after a few weeks, your doctor may need to reevaluate your injury to check if other complications are present.

You may be required to undergo different evaluation tests and procedures for the doctor to properly assess why the injury is not responding to the given treatment. Based on the results of the reevaluation, a new treatment protocol may be given.  

Can you walk on a torn quad?

You may be able to walk with a partially torn quad and perform daily activities but it may be difficult due to pain and swelling. You may also feel that the muscle is weak and that the knee is unstable. In some cases of a torn quad, the individual may not be able to straighten their knee, and thus, may not be able to walk even with partial tears.

In a completely torn tendon, the quad muscle will be very sensitive and you may experience cramping. The patella or the kneecap of the affected knee may sag and the knee will be highly unstable, making it extremely difficult to stand and walk.

Can I still run with quadriceps tendonitis?

Walking with quadriceps tendonitis may be possible for some with partial tear but running will be difficult and is not advisable. Quadriceps tendonitis is usually due to overuse and overexertion of the knee that commonly occurs during frequent running, jumping, or sudden increase in the intensity of physical activity.

Attempting to run with quadriceps tendonitis may result in a more severe injury which will require more complicated treatment and a longer healing time. If you suspect that you have quadriceps tendinitis, it is best to suspend any activity that places stress on the quadriceps, rest the injured knee, and seek immediate medical attention for proper treatment.

Leave a Comment