• Matt Nguyen

Victor Oladipo to Have Surgery For Torn Quadriceps Tendon

USA Today

What a sad night in the Association. The Indiana Pacers’ Victor Oladipo had a fall while chasing down Pascal Siakum. What seemed like a harmless spill turned out to be a sad sight indeed. Oladipo had his knee covered and was stretchered off the court.

This morning, an MRI was performed and revealed a torn quadriceps tendon.

As we discuss what this injury is and his road back, let’s continue to keep Victor Oladipo in our minds. He’s a widely respected player in the NBA, as many players offered and continue to offer their condolences over the Twitterverse.

What's interesting is that Oladipo had been dealing with knee swelling and soreness in the same knee early this season. There's no direct correlation to the quad rupture, but seeing that he already had issues with the knee may have exposed him to higher risk. The Pacers had never revealed exactly what was going on with the knee, but I'm speculating that it was some type of tendonitis of either the quad or patella tendon. If not taken care of, the risk for further injury is always higher.

The injury occurred in the second quarter of the game against the Raptors. As Oladipo was trying to slow down under the basket, his right knee gave way. As he planted a bent right leg, the eccentric forces put upon the quadricep muscle was too much, causing the tendon to tear away from the patella, or the kneecap. As seen in the picture below, the quad tendon attaches to the patella and make the pulley system that acts to straighten the knee. Without the tendinous attachment from quad to patella, the knee cannot straighten.

The Pacers have already announced that Oladipo will undergo surgery to repair the rupture. Doctors will work to suture the tendon back onto the patella. Patient are put into a brace that can control how much range of motion the knee can be moved. That brace is worn to protect the surgery and can be weaned off 8-10 weeks post surgery depending on the surgeon.

Complete recovery of the surgery is usually 4 months. Plyometric and sport specific drills can start beginning at the 5-6 month mark. Full return to sport can range from 6-12 months.

The quad tendon rupture is a rare one in the NBA. Historically, the only players that come to mind with the injury are Tony Parker and Charles Barkley.Parker suffered his in the 2017 playoffs and made his return about 6 months after. Barkley never returned.

What Oladipo has going for him is that he’s young. Both Parker and Barkley were near or at the end of their careers. I have no qualms about Oladipo returning. It’s long road ahead, but someone with his grit and determination will be back.

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