Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size

Ruptured Tendon

Ruptured Tendon Treatment continued...




  • Quadriceps

    • Unless the doctor is sure that the injury is a partial tear, surgery will be done to repair the tendon.

    • After your operation, you will be placed in a cast or immobilizer as if you had a partial tear.

    • With physical therapy, your injured leg should be up to speed with your noninjured leg in 6 months.

  • Achilles tendon

    • Surgery to repair your Achilles tendon is recommended for active people who desire near normal strength and power in plantarflexion. An additional advantage with surgical correction is a lower rerupture rate of the tendon.

    • After your operation, your foot will be immobilized with your toes pointing downward for 3-4 weeks and then progressively brought into neutral position over 2-3 weeks before weightbearing is started. Surgery carries with it a higher risk of infection than closed treatment.

  • Rotator cuff

    • Many surgeons will not attempt surgical repair until nonoperative treatment has failed, even in cases of larger tears.

    • Surgical treatment is usually reserved for a severe tear in a young person or in an older person (aged 60-70 years) who is suddenly unable to externally rotate their arm.

    • Acromioplasty, removal of the coracoacromial ligament and repair of the rotator cuff tendon, usually results in near full rotator cuff strength.

  • Biceps

    • In young people unwilling to accept the loss of function and mild deformity involved with this injury, surgery is performed to repair the tendon.

    • Surgery is also considered for the middle-aged person who requires full supination strength in their line of work.

    • You should leave your arm in a sling for a few days after surgery and then begin to use the affected arm as tolerated. After surgery, your elbow flexion and arm supination is near normal in about 12 weeks.


Next Steps


To prevent future tears, avoid the cause of the ruptured tendon or treat the problem that led to the tear.


The prognosis for both surgery and nonsurgical treatment varies with the location and severity of the rupture.

Surgical repair, in concert with additional physical therapy, can result in return to normal strength. Nonoperative repair has also shown promise in tendon ruptures.

Nonoperative treatment is most effective in partial tendon ruptures. The drawback of nonoperative treatment is that strength is not as reliably returned to baseline with this type of treatment. The benefits include a decreased risk of infection and generally shorter recovery time.

Synonyms and Keywords

patellar tendon rupture, Achilles tendon rupture, rotator cuff rupture, biceps tendon rupture, ruptured tendon

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed on August 10, 2005

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

Wet feet on shower floor tile
Flat Abs
Build a Better Butt Slideshow
woman using ice pack

man exercising
7 most effective exercises
Man looking at watch before workout
Overweight man sitting on park bench
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

pilates instructor
jogger running among flowering plants
Teen girl jogging
Taylor Lautner