How Long Do Knee Tendons Take To Heal?
Torn knee tendons are common among athletes, active individuals, and those who engage in high-impact, repetitive activities. While most people notice that tendon tears occur from a sudden event, the reality is that the “sudden event” that causes the tear is often preceded by long-term knee stress.
Tendons are the bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. In the knee, they help to keep the knee in its proper alignment. Tears happen when the knee is put into a position that stresses the tendon too far. This can include high-impact actions like jumping and quick turns, as well as impacts and falls. When your tendon tears, you will feel pain right away.
How Do I Know If My Tendon Is Torn?
If you suspect that you’re suffering from a torn tendon in your knee, it’s essential that you schedule an appointment with an orthopedic specialist to confirm the nature of your injury. If you are tempted to “self-diagnose” or “tough it out,” don’t. The knees have numerous components, and different knee injuries can exhibit similar symptoms: pain, swelling, redness, and an inability to put weight on your knee. If you fail to get a professional opinion and treat it superficially, you may risk more severe damage to your knee. In some tendon tears, the injury may require surgery; without it, you may experience increased pain and loss of mobility and range of motion.
If you receive a diagnosis that you are suffering from a full or partial tear of your tendon, your knee doctor will prescribe treatment and a recovery protocol that will ensure ultimate healing. Only after appropriate care can you resume your normal activities without experiencing pain.
Be patient: a partial or complete tendon tear typically takes six to twelve months for complete healing. As with most injuries, recovery time will vary from one patient to the next depending on how bad the tear is and how carefully the patient cares for the knee. Some patients experience minor tears that may only require resting and immobilizing the area for a given period to achieve total healing. Others who experience complete or near-complete tears may need surgery.
How Can I Accelerate the Healing Process?
If you have a minor tear that doesn’t require surgery, following your physician’s exact treatment recommendations is the best way to accelerate the healing process. These instructions will include things like:
- Avoid weight-bearing activities
- Ice your knee periodically to reduce any swelling
- Take pain medications as necessary, and do not mix them with alcohol or other drugs
- Rest the knee so that it can heal, and elevate it when possible
- Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water
- Complete any physical therapy and follow your therapist’s recommendations
- Attend all follow-up appointments
- Don’t try to jump back into your everyday activities too soon
By focusing on living the healthiest lifestyle possible, your body will have everything it needs to heal and repair the tendon so you can get back to an active life.
If you believe you have torn a knee tendon and live in Ventura County or anywhere else in the Los Angeles metro area, visit the “LA Knee Guy” at Tchejeyan Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. We can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and move you toward full healing and recovery. By assessing your particular injury, we can give you a more precise estimate of how long it will take your knee tendon to recover. Contact Tchejeyan Ortho today to schedule an appointment.