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Quadriceps tendon rupture

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 



During my high school reunion in las vegas I had a awkerd fall and rupture my right quadriceps tendon on June 10, 2011.  I am having surgery tomorrow Monday 20th.  Hope all goes well.  


post #2 of 7

Hi.  There was an entire "thread" on your injury.  I tore my quad tendon on Feb. 28, had surgery to reattach it on March 20, was back on my roadbike on July 4, and just completed an 80 mile ride yesterday.  The first 6 weeks after surgery are the worst; lots of pain and your muscles will atrophy something terrible.  PT is crucial to your recovery, most importantly regaining range of motion.  No matter how painful, you need to get to 90 degrees fast and then press through the pain to 130 degrees.  Unless you attain 90 degrees, the PT folks cannot expedite your recovery.  Then even after you are done with PT, join a good gym a develop an routine of progressive weights in the form of leg extensions, knee curls, abductions/adductions, etc. to get back to reasonable shape and then hire a trainer to regain full use of your leg.  By full use, I mean the ability to climb and descend steps at pace, jog or even run if that is your sport, etc.  Don't let the naysayers (or the pain) hold you down; this injury doesn't need to cripple you.

post #3 of 7

Hey Virginiacyclist,

  i'm pretty new here to this site and i've read your article about your tendon tear. On Dec 1 2011, had a bilateral quadricep tendon tear. Yep, both of them at the same time!.. i have a thread here where I explain the whole story. I would like to hear your feed back on my situation. I would appreciate the input, as to date, no one has replied to me. My name is Jonathan81, and my thread is titled Bilateral Quadricep Tendon Tears. Thanks man.


God bless and i hope you are staying healthy! :o)

post #4 of 7

Hi, Jonathan 81:


I don't know much about bilateral quad tears, as mine was only my right leg.  Your situation is likely more serious than mine was, and so I'm reluctant to chime in and give advice or counsel that could be misleading or inaccurate. 


All I know is that the first 6 weeks are the worst, then you get better fast, but sometime around 4 months I peaked on my recovery pace, and so improvements have been slow and steady.  By 9 months out (I'm at month 11 almost), people with one tear are about 90 - 95 percent recovered.  It's pretty amazing, beyond all expectations you could ever have, actually.  But the key is to develop a sense of the pain involved, ignore it, and work hard to get your ROM back as soon as possible.  If you don't, you could face an incomplete recovery and there are long term VERY negative consequences for that. 


One thing to remember is to ignore the naysayers, who could be anyone from co-workers to friends to family members.  PT and related exercises, especially to regain ROM and rebuild muscle strength, are painful and protracted, and many of these folks, primarily out of kindness, will advise you to slow down and not do so much.  No one wants to see someone they care for in pain, but at the same time, you need to gut check through it to fully recover.  I had friends who, out of kindness, advised me that using a walker "for life at your age" was fine and who assumed--wrongly--I would never bike or run again.  You want to prove them wrong, but you need to understand they mean well.  The best thing is to stick to your recovery program religiously and even go a little beyond what you ought to be doing in order to ensure you don't get stuck at a low level of performance. 



Write me anytime if you need encouragement or whatever, but the payoffs, as far as I can see, is a nearly full recovery.  I can easily see the day within 5 - 8 months where this whole thing will be entirely a distant nightmare. 


Ernie (Virginia Cyclist)

post #5 of 7

Hey Ernie:


I just read your full response above. Thanks bro. My beginning stages of therapy has been difficult, but i made the total amount of degress allowed by my surgeon on the second day-that being 30 degrees. Now i have one cast and one brace. The second cast comes off January 30th. Yesterday, i was helped to my feet and i used the walker to walk. Granted my legs felt like 2 tons of lead, but I was standing with no pain and i was walking..Well, i was dragging my legs..buthey man, i was up and moving.. lol.. That's the latest update of my progress.. Since i'm progressing at this rate, if I continue like that, do you think i could be recovered DEFINITELY in 5 to 6months? What do you think?


Thanks for your thoughts. And I appreciate the open invitation to ask you what I will regarding this issue.


Again, thank you.



post #6 of 7

Jonathan -


I am no expert, so please understand my answers are based on my experience. 


I think your aim of being completely recovered in 5 - 6 months is laudible, but not realistic. The reason I say this is the extent of your injury.  30 degrees indicates your surgeon is being cautious.  That's a good thing.  You should aim for regaining your ROM slowly and surely, with the interim goal being 90 degrees (ultimately you want to get to 140), at which point they will put you on the exercise bike to do gentle pedaling.  That's the precursor--or was in my case--for more active PT.  Your PT folks will know when you are ready for more progressive exercises.  From what I recall, it took, seemingly, the longest time before they even allowed me to extend my injured leg with any kind of weight at all, or to do moderate standing exercises without a brace on.


The thing to remember is to not lose heart.  Regaining your mobility is a one-step-at-a-time thing.  It's sort of like progressive weightlifting--if you've ever done that before--to restore not just ROM but, eventually, to restore the muscles which atrophy badly with inactivity.  You will get there, but with time, gutsiness, and patience.  No one who has those attributes doesn't "get there," but you will need them in abundance.


And the thing I tell everyone is that other people, in trying to be helpful, sometimes aren't.  They will ask you when you are going to be well; or they will assume you will never get well and/or will begin to write your physical abilities off; or worst of all, they will disempower you.  They don't mean to be unhelpful, but they don't understand what you are going through.  But you need to ignore them, stick to the program, and, oh, yes, you can, if you need to, take the time to make lifestyle changes.


In fact, I used the entire process as a way of reassessing my workout routine, which before had consisted entirely of road biking and related gym exercises, and realized it had not been sufficient to control my weight during the colder months, such that my weight gain contributed mightily to instability in my right knee, leading to my accident and injury.  As result of the injury, I resolved that when I recovered, I would lose the darned weight and get in the best cardio fitness shape of my life, which I have done.  I am proud to say I weigh as much as I did at age 25, I have a resting heart rate of 46 bpm, and my lipid and cholesterol panels are amazing.  Out of a negative experience, some good can come.  Just keep the faith, keep up your program, and you'll do fine.



post #7 of 7

Hey Ernie:

  Thanks man. I appreciate it. I guess sometimes i just get a bit anxious about progress and set backs. I just want to be free from this prison of immobility and dependence on others for simple tasks. I just want to be better. It's as if my mind is racing and my body is dragging and lagging. I'm still trying to get these two forces to sync. I'm 30 years old and I have to use a walker! I've got to get up from here!!!



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