Outcome of Surgery for Chronic Patellar Tendinopathy: A Systematic Review

Acta Orthop Belg. 2016 Sep;82(3):610-326.


There is no consensus on how to best surgically treat chronic patellar tendinopathy. This systematic review investigates the surgical treatment for chronic patellar tendinopathy, and the outcomes. A database search was performed to identify all relevant articles, to which exclusion criteria were then applied. Data was extracted from 24 studies, and the outcomes were then systematically reviewed. The results showed that the success rate of surgery for patellar tendinopathy is generally over 77%. Return to sports rates are better for proximal tendon patients who undergo bony procedures. Patients return to sports faster if they undergo arthroscopic procedures, and fewer complications are described. Studies that did not involve any procedure on the proximal tendon did not produce a different result to studies where the tendon was operated on. We found no effect of post-operative immobilisation on outcome. Based on the included studies, surgery gives satisfactory results in the treatment of patellar tendinopathy. There is a lack of high-quality evidence on the effects of surgery and post-operative rehabilitation regime on chronic patellar tendinopathy, as well as lack of objective outcome measures.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Patellar Ligament / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Return to Sport
  • Tendinopathy / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome