Sixteen quadricepsplasties performed for severe extension contractures of the knee were reviewed. Preoperatively all cases showed a severe extension contracture with an average of 23 degrees flexion. Only two patients had more than 30 degrees flexion preoperatively. The average improvement in knee flexion at follow-up was 69 degrees with 11 (68.7%) patients achieving a final flexion of 90 degrees or more. In four cases there was a 15 degrees loss of terminal active extension. In one case a rapid recurrence of the contracture was seen during the initial postoperative weeks. One patient developed a deep infection, and another an acute compartment syndrome.