Acute patella tendon impact injury - The Ultrasound Site

Ultrasound Case Study

Acute patella tendon impact injury

Niek Vink, Physiotherapist and MSK Sonographer((Dutch National Training Centre for Ultrasound,

This interesting case gives insight into the sonographic appearance of an acute patella tendon direct impact injury and the visible changes still present 4 1/2 months after the injury. This patient was in his early 30’s and sustained direct trauma from a hockeyball impacting against the distal patella tendon. The patient presented with direct tenderness over the patella tendon.

Ultrasound images at five weeks post trauma show a superficial hypo-echoic area in the medial-distal  part of the patellar tendon.  Focal areas with loss of collagen continuity.

Ultrasound images at 4 1/2 months post trauma show an increasing reflectivity of the tendon and a return of the collagen bundle patterns in the longitudinal scan. Doppler imaging shows still one active vessel in the lesion. There is a complete return to sports at this stage.


1 Comment

  1. Hi mi name is Yvonne Rengel, MD, rheumatologist with special interest in musculoskeletal ultrasound. Totally grateful for your post, very value for daily practice. Who can yo difference trauma vs rupture in this scenario How to explain this hipoecogenic change and lost o fibrilar aspect


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