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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 36

post #1051 of 10802



Hi Everyone! Hope you all had a good Easter .Very many thanks for all your replies: it's been a great help & support. After reading the posts again I realise there is a wide range of injuries/repairs & I should heed my consultants & your advice.  Perhaps there are different procedures etc here in England?? I'll be trying those exercises Bulldog as soon as I'm able.  Wanasail, you are so right : & I've plenty of time to count my blessings! I've much to be thankful for,especially as at 59 it may take a 'little' longer  for  my recovery! Like Munchkin I'm very grateful for this site & for all your support.  It is difficult for friends, relatives etc. to understand the extent of my injury: I'm sure they're expecting me to be running around anytime now....I wish!!! Tomorrow it's forecast to be the sunniest day of the year so far, so hopefully I'll be wandering on my crutches around the garden & enjoying Springtime!

Many thanks again & very Best Wishes to you all.


post #1052 of 10802

Questions from a Newby who is 4 weeks post-op


I started reading these posts a few days after my injury, and I feel certain there is more collective real-world experience with Quad tear injuries represented on this site than anywhere else on the web.  So I'm going to pose a question to you about my course of rehab.  


My orthopedic surgeon is ADAMANT that complete immobility of the knee is required for six to eight weeks post operatively in order to prevent the sutures from pulling loose.  I cannot imagine the extent of my despondency if that were to happen.   


However, as I lose my mental equalibrium and as my left leg literally wastes away, I am considering a scheme to get some aerobic exercise in a way that I think follows the spirit of my doctor's advice.  My plan is to keep a knee immobilizer on (I have a spare), put a float (pull bouy) between my legs, strap my ankles together and start swimming some laps.


In theory this would not flex my knee, but even within the brace some motion occurs.  Are these sutures so sensitive that there is a likelihood of ripping them loose while wearing a brace and mucking about in a pool?  Have I overlooked any posts related to post surgical tears due to small amounts of flex in the knee? 


My OS really freaked when I showed him that my brace was allowing a few degrees of motion and he threatened to put me in a cast, so I know he's really serious about this.

What does the collective wisdom of the group say?


My relevant biography is this:  55 year old lifetime cyclist, 5,000 plus miles per year and less enthusiastic 2x per week lap swimmer.  On March 12, 2009 I stepped in a hole with my right foot, shifting the left quadraceps into emergency contraction mode and (as we say down south) snatchin' that sucker clean off, right at the kneecap.   I also sprained my right foot going in the hole, rendering both of my legs useless.  Although it sounds unremarkable, my story has an interesting twist in that I was on my roof at the time and had to be rescued by my extremely competent and professional local  fire department.  Of course, all the kids in the area rode their bikes over to watch, and my Wife took a picture of the whole proceeding and posted it on her facebook page.  Not the 15 minutes of fame I would have hoped for.   

post #1053 of 10802



I am 15 weeks post op.  My OS was similar to yours.  I was not allowed out of the immobilizer until after 6 weeks.  Then only for a few minutes each day to start moving my knee.  The immobilizer was removed for good at 8 weeks post op and PT began.  I now have full ROM and am rebuilding the strength in my quad.  I was mostly worried about getting my ROM back after being in the immobilizer for so long.  Thanks to an aggressive PT, the ROM came back rather quickly.  I was surprized at how much strength I lost.  I was doing leg raises all during those 8 weeks.  I'm sure it helped.  My PT has told me that it will take a while to rebuild the strength in my leg.  Strength is coming back.  I'm already doing twice as much weight as when I started.  Still a long way to go though.


My point in all this is listen to your OS.  They know a whole lot more than we do.  But push within the bounds he has given you.  Be patient, you will get there.

post #1054 of 10802

Hi Pedaler,

I'm about 7 weeks post-op and also an avid cyclist, as well as a racing sailor.   One thing I've learned is that this is even more of a mental test than a physical test.   Its hard to accept six or eight weeks of restriction and watching the muscles on your injured leg shrink down to nothing.  Its hard to start back on the road to rehab and struggle to exercise at a level that wouldn't have even been decent recovery before your accident.  Its hard to face spending an entire spring and summer to maybe return to something close to normal activity. Its hard to be indoors on a trainer trying to push 100 watts when I'd otherwise be outside training trying to hit 1,000 watts on a climbing sprint.   Facing up to the reality of this injury, at least for me, is much harder than the physical pain.  But -- this is a race that we all have to win.  You win by listening to the OS and PT and pushing hard only within the boundaries they set for you. You win each time you celebrate a small step forward.   Each case is different.  The pros have seen a lot of them - and have also seen your knee from the inside.  You lose when you do something you shouldn't and set yourself back by damaging your surgical repair or inducing a new injury by a movement that strains the very weak and stiff soft tissues around your joint. 


Thanks for joining the site and sharing your story -- and best wishes for a successful rehab.

post #1055 of 10802
Thread Starter 

Pedaler:  I empathize with you.  I am also an avid cyclist and am now just starting to be "myself" again on a bike after 14 months - I have spent a LOT of time on the bike over the last year, but it has taken a long, long time to rehab this blasted knee to the point where I can sprint and climb with total abandon again (I'm still not there yet, but it's comin'!)


I'll echo the others in that my OS also insisted that I not bend my knee myself for a while (don't know if it was as long as yours, but the concept was the same).  However, my OS had no problem with somebody else passively working my knee for me.  So, my wife and teen-age kids spent a half hour every night helping me keep my knee and quads at least flexible and moving, although not keeping any muscle tone - I believe this was very helpful to my strength and agility rehab later.  Additionally, I kept after my OS - when can I bear partial weight?  When can I ride an exercise bike?  When can I get in the pool?  When can I ride a real bike?  Etc. etc. ad nauseum.  When your OS lets you bear 1/2 weight, go get in the pool and walk.  It is absolutely the best thing I did for my early rehab and it kept me sane while I wasn't able to do anything else - the pool is bouyant to your weight, provides very easy passive resistance to any and all movement, keeps a kind of a "sheath" around your leg while out of the brace through consistent water pressure, and gives you at least the ability to "take a stroll".  I can't emphasize enough how important walking in the pool was to my recovery - you will get some strange looks, but do it anyway.


Otherwise, good luck - we all know how you feel.  This too will pass, friend.

post #1056 of 10802

Pedaler, this forum may well be the greatest pool of patient-based QTR info in the world. I started my swim here not far behind Idaho Guy, just as the pool was starting to fill. If you search the archives for all posts by me, you'll find that I was essentially a "bad" patient in terms of doctorial obedience.


I don't want to encourage you to do the same, by any means.  I'm just saying that whatever I did worked very well, for me. I rode my ass off, on and off the road, starting very soon after my surgery (I don't remember exactly how many weeks, but you can look that up). And I've been riding hard ever since and having a blast. I also got to ski and snowboard the same ass off all winter, hard and fast, with no issues at all. Deep pow, hard icy bumps, overloaded high-G carves on groomies - you name it. Non-stop runs always, top to bottom, over and over (why I go by myself most of the time). Plenty tele and XC too.


And as happened with my first QTR 8 or so years ago (other knee), the knee pain that I'd had all my life is completely gone in the more recent knee as well. So if anything, I'm better off now than I ever was. My only regret is that I had to wait 52 years to get to this place.

post #1057 of 10802



I am new here. I do not ski AT ALL, but had a quad tendon rupture 4 weeks ago, and found you guys!! So wonderful to find others who have been through this!


I'll write more later, but I stepped on my cat on the top step of some stairs, lept onto my left foot, which then slid/stumbled down a couple of the carpted steps...and the rest is history. Surgery 3.5 weeks ago, still in a brace immobilized, of course, but I am limping around slowly OK. Car is manual transmission, so can't drive.


I live alone, so losing some of my independence has been hard, as well as not having someone around to take care of me very often. But I live near lots of public transportation, and take the subway to work anyway. A neighbor has been getting me groceries, but I may sign up for the delivery service.


Started PT last week, but not a whole lot they can do with leg straight. We did bend it to 45 degrees, while I was lying down...I was terrified! But no pain!! :) The doc said she doesn't ned to see me again for another couple of weeks (4 weeks from last visit), so I think I have to keep the leg immobilized this whole time. (The brace does allow for maybe 10 degrees of flexation, which the PT said was OK.


Like all of you, I had no idea at first what a serious, slow-to-recover injury this is! I get down sometimes, but it has alaso been a time to slow down and reflect. Getting back to the office this week has helped some too.


It was just a couple of months ago that I started a new part-time job as ...get this...a PERSONAL TRAINER. :\  (At my late age, too...48.) I am an AVID weightlifter and competitive bodybuilder. The doc did give me the green light to do almost anything I wanted in the gym, as long as the leg stayed immobilized and stable.Worked out for the first time over the weekend, and it was ORGASMIC!


Bye for now,


post #1058 of 10802



I stayled locked straight for 4 weeks then got a little bit of motion between there and 8 weeks, still wthin the brace.  Part of the challenge is knowing yourself -- like a lot of the guys here, you sound like a pretty dedicated athete, and we have a way of overdoing things when we try to recover, especially as we move into our late 40s and 50s.  So, I did push things, but in a very systematic way -- I'd put weight on my leg for a couple of steps,  and worked my way up to it.  I followed my Dr.'s orders pretty closely until 6 weeks and then did more and more.  My leg isn't 100% yet (11 months out) but be patient and you'll get there.

post #1059 of 10802



I am about the same point you are at (give or take a few days). I'll also have the knee locked for 6 to 8 weeks total. However, my PT and doc are OK with a little mobility within the brace at this point...like a few degrees.I think at 6 weeks they plan to allow for some real motion.


I'd be careful about swimming...I don't think the immobilizers were designed for that, and water is a powerful force. There is also getting in and out of the pool, etc. Sounds like a great thing for next month, though.


What about weight training for upper body? There is lots you can do with the brace on, and that is something my doc has cleared me to do at this point.

post #1060 of 10802

Injury:  12/30/08

Surgery:  1/5/09


Pedaler, one thing to be aware of, at least according to my PT, one benefit of my having kept my knee religiously braced and straight for the 6 weeks post-surgery (as per my surgeon) was that once the brace was removed, my leg was very straight.  Apparently, the PT says they "waste" a week or two with many patients getting their leg to straight before beginning to address ROM.


And yes, this is a HUGE mental thing.  The ups-and-downs, especially for us tough guys, is hard.  I saw my surgeon on Tuesday and he said I was at or even a little ahead of where he hoped I'd be.  The good news:  yay, I like being ahead.  The bad news:  steps are still hard, and I have to give them a lot of thought.


Other bad news:  I was walking a ton in DC Wednesday and Thursday and by the time I got home late last night, my knee had swollen to near-grapefruit size.  I had to take it easy in PT today but a little advil and a lot of ice, it's down to more like orange size.  At least it wasn't painful.  The most painful thing I did was sit in a cab for about 15 minutes.  Bent at probably 100 degrees, it got uncomfortable.  Then again, a few weeks ago, bending 100 degrees period would have been cause for celebration.


To me, the biggest milestone was probably around 110 degrees...when I could use a regular toilet seat.  Other milestones:  shedding the walker for a cane.  Shedding a device altogether for any kind of walking around, braced or unbraced.  Doing a complete revolution on the bike.  Increasing weights.  ROM milestones.


I think that if I had some interim milestones established up front, it would have seemed more manageable than looking at something far (a year or more) away, and indistinct:  recovered.  What other milestones were big for you guys?

post #1061 of 10802

80% Right QTR - 1/31/09

Surgery - 2/13/09


Hello all,


Glad to hear that all seem to be making good progress.  Today marks nine weeks from date of surgery.  The last two weeks have seen continued good recovery, with ROM now only less than 15 deg less than the normal leg--measured 129 deg at the PT this morning.  Last weekend, overdid it a bit with a hike up and down a small mountain, followed by 30 minutes on an exercise bike, and some light leg presses and partial squats.  Leg ached all night, despite icing and anti-inflammatories.  At PT today, began some strengthening exercises.  I particularly liked putting 8 lbs of weight on the ankle, putting the knee over a foam cylinder and doing sets of 30 leg extensions from 20 deg to 0 flexion.  According to PT, this isolates and strengthens the VMO (innner head of quadriceps).  Soreness after exercise / activity continues to be an issue, but not a huge one.


On the subject of whether to keep the leg in full extension for a long period of time post-surgery, there seem to be mixed views.  My surgeon initially said 8 weeks in extension and threatened to put me in a cast if I wasn't compliant.  However, he had me in a CPM machine by day 7  post op with 0-30 deg flexion, and out of the brace entirely 6 weeks post surgery.  The fact that my QTR wasn't complete may have been a mitigating factor here.  I did, however, note that the Stone Clinic, which has an athletic clientele and was kind enough to share their QTR rehab protocol with me ( I was an ACL patient there 10 yrs ago), takes a relatively aggressive approach with respect to rehab.  See below.  I had my QTR surgery and rehab done elsewhere, but feel I have benefitted from taking a relatively active approach.  Of course, each injury is different and other collateral damage may be present that needs to be taken into account.  That said, my view is that the sutures, etc. that any good OS put in place shouldn't be prone to breakage with controlled ROM exercise and the primary purpose of the brace after a relatively short period of time is to prevent a sudden twist or turn from causing reinjury.  The U of Delaware PT Rehab department also has a rehab protocol you can find via google.  For those that want to move more and have physicians that take a more conservative approach, I'd suggest finding and printing some of these rehab protocols and having an honest conversation with the doctor about why your case is different such that it justifies conservative treatment.


Hope this is helpful and best to all.




•    The surgical leg will be weight bearing as tolerated, using crutches post-operatively
•    The surgical leg will be in a brace locked in extension for 4 weeks post-operatively (“out-of-brace” range of motion 2x/day within parameters set by surgeon)
•    Emphasis on VMO recruitment will begin in the early stages of rehabilitation
•    Muscle stimulation may be necessary to decrease pain/swelling and increase VMO recruitment
•    Maintaining upper extremity, trunk, and cardiovascular fitness will be of significant help in the recovery process
•    No resisted knee extension machines at any point
•    Core and cardio training daily


•    M.D. office visit post-op Day 1 for dressing change, review of medications, and instruction on a home exercise program (i.e. ankle pumps, quad sets, bridging on ball with legs in extension, hip abduction, hip adduction, etc.)
•    Gait training with crutches, pain and edema control, and muscle stimulation to improve quadriceps recruitment
•    Extensive soft tissue work for edema reduction and gentle tissue molding
•    Stretching to hamstrings, calf, and lateral musculature to maintain extension range of motion
•    Passive knee flexion to 40° with Physical Therapist only
•    Well-leg stationary cycling and/or UBE; upper body/trunk exercises
•    Passive/active knee flexion 40-60° (patient can begin ROM exercises at home)
•    Active open chain hip extension, hip adduction, hip abduction, and hip flexion (in standing) progressing to resistive band exercises as strength improves

•    M.D. visit at one-month post-op
•    Move to functional brace with ROM limits- max 20° of flexion progressed by 10° per week
•    Regular patellar and scar mobilization with appropriate intensity to allow healing
•    Passive/active knee flexion 60-100° in physical therapy
•    Continued gait training as needed
•    Closed chain exercises (i.e. proprioceptive training- 4-way leg pulls, balance boards)

•    Continue to increase flexion in brace by 10° degrees/week
•    Passive/active  knee flexion 90-120°
•    Begin two-legged bicycling with minimal resistance
•    Begin partial squats if good quad control
•    Small step-up beginning week 7 if good quad control
•    Low-level eccentric training (i.e. leg press with low resistance with slow return)

WEEKS 8-12
**Must have good quad control to progress through this phase.

•    Full passive and active knee flexion by week 12
•    Additional lateral exercises (i.e. lateral stepping, lateral step-ups, etc)
•    Continue all exercises with emphasis on functional and proprioceptive program
•    Increase resistance to all exercises (single leg squats by week 12)
•    Increase eccentric challenges (i.e. small step-downs)
•    Increase resistance on biking to moderate level by week 10


WEEKS 12-16
•    Conditioning is emphasized in this phase
•    M.D. visit at 3 months
•    Can come out of brace if good strength
•    Functional test
•    Begin low-level jumping exercises
•    Aggressive cycling by week 16 if good strength
•    Continue to progress resistance, eccentric challenges, and proprioceptive difficulty as tolerated
•    Single leg squat test for 1 minute should be 80% of uninvolved leg. 

**Patient should be independent in exercise program to progress to the next phase.


•    M.D. visit at 6 months
•    Functional test
•    Progression of program by increasing intensity of strengthening, higher level plyometrics, hopping exercises
•    Should have appropriate training and instruction in safest progression to sport activities (i.e. skiing, running, tennis, soccer)

**Patient must pass M.D. exam and functional test before being released to full athletics.

post #1062 of 10802

the primary purpose of the brace after a relatively short period of time is to prevent a sudden twist or turn from causing reinjury.

Absolutely. My doc and PTs have been emphasizing this. They said that after a point, the brace is mainly to catch me if the knee buckles and/or, for lack of a better term, collapses. They are not too worried about a little flexation when walking with the brace (even it's supposedly locked), or a little passive movement on my own when the brace is off (e.g., when changing clothes).

post #1063 of 10802

Should we send an invitation to SEN Jay Rockefeller (WV)? It sounds like he had our injury recently although his press office will only say that he had surgery to repair a tendon above the knee that was injured when he slipped on wet steps.  No confirmation that it was a QTR but it sure sounds like it.

post #1064 of 10802

14 Weeks Post Op Today - Rgt Leg QTR


Good Morning All,


The last few days have been delightfully warm and sunny here. My leg still doesn't want to co-operate thus I can't really enjoy a good hike! Unfortunately, not all of us are making good progress here. Soft tissue injuries really do suck.   


Leg remains swollen, stiff, numb with limited increase in ROM and virtually no functional ROM, which means a straight leg walk. The knee really swells up when I walk any distance or work it at the club in any way, shape or form.


Met with my OS this past Wed and he shares my concerns as to what might be going on in there? He says it can be one of many things or all of them put together. Not good! I continue to accept that it might also just be my time line? To be sure, MRI has been ordered and will take place this coming Friday. Start with my new PT this Tuesday. When I asked the Dr. if maybe I was overdoing it, he suggested I continue with my daily routine at the club and see if the MRI indicates I am overdoing it. I am "listening" to my knee as it seems to get quite angry when I work it and taking it easy every other day by just doing the aqua therapy, limited bike and cross trainer, with some upper body work.  


Welcome to the club pedaler and gymdude. Go for it with care pedaler. Not sure about the brace, the buoy and strapping of the ankles together though, I have visions of a "merman", not good! You are now into your 6th week, any aqua therapy and swimming is excellent for the leg, the body and the mind. Gymdude, is your cat o.k.? Ours likes to get under foot too! Those dang cats!


Soccer starts in a couple of weeks. The girls will be laughing at me or feeling sorry for me if I don't get some function going before we start.  Can't have the coach unable to keep up!


Keep plugging away everyone,



post #1065 of 10802



Hang in there! I'm sure they'll get to the bottom of what's wrong.


The cat is fine...the whole tim ein the mergency room I was worried about her! She actually didn't DO anything, was just lying there on the step, so it's hard to blame her.


I'm feeling stronger / more normal than even a week ago, despite the continued presence of the brace. Have actually been working out upper body at the gym (not quite my normal routine, but figured out how to work each muscle group (except legs of course) with a stiff leg. I know there is much work ahead, though.



post #1066 of 10802



Agree.  Hang in there.  You might try cutting back a bit to every other day at the gym at just stretching on the days you're not in the gym.  R.I.C.E after exercise, although inconvenient, might also help if you're not already doing.  Am sure you and your team will sort it out.


Good luck.


post #1067 of 10802

Hey all -

Tomorrow is my 8 week anniversary post-op.  It seems like my progress is close to jakster.   I had my weekly PT appointment. My ROM is in the 120's and I'm cleared to ditch the leg brace at home and open it up to -10 to 60 degrees when I wear it, open far enough not to restrict walking but protect me if I should fall.  I have a bunch of new exercises, although still doing the heel slides and quad stretches (like jakster described); the entire routine twice a day.  Of course, I still have the stiffness that everyone describes and some days are better than others.   My PT tells me I'm still a week (or two) away from climbing steps normally.   The important thing is that I back off if I begin to feel any unusual stiffness, soreness or expecially pain - and most of all don't get anxious and do something stupid.


All of the "non-PT" work I did to try to maintain my core and legs is starting to pay off.  My good leg and non-quad muscles are able to provide a strong foundation and help me move through the stages in the protocol.   For the newbies, they tell you that you can do this stuff but don't include it as a "formal" part of the PT - but it will pay off.  Just don't do anything that stresses the knee that will set you back.  Jakster is right on with R.I.C.E.  I know I wouldn't be doing this protocol without a minimum of 20 min. icing after every session.


I'm a road cycler and have put a lot of focus on that part of the PT.  My PT let me start bicycling during week 6 when my ROM hit 110 degress, the minimum required for a full revolution.  I started on my mountain bike and transitioned to my road bike after a week.  I've put a lot of work into getting the proper fit on the road bike and it felt instantly better.  I didn't change anything from my usual riding position and used my clipless pedals and shoes.  My PT has me doing the bike twice a day.  I've worked up to as long as 30 min in the morning and 20 min in the evening.  I find the knee is stiff for about the first 5 minutes and then loosens up.  I ride until I hit my time limit or the knee begins to feel sore or tired.  I'm at a low resistance but cycling a normal cadence of 80-85 rpm. An added bonus is that I can get my heart rate up into a low aerobic range of 120-140 bpm.  My PT said I can try short one-legged pedaling intervals using the injured leg as long as I don't push the intensity and back-off with any soreness or pain.   If everything goes well, I'll be able to start more intense bicycle training after my May 7 appointment with the OS.


I'm reading this thread every day and hope my experiences are helpful - I know I've gotten a lot out of reading what others have shared.  Most of all, I'm hoping to read some good news from those who are having a hard spot in their recovery.  Best!! 

post #1068 of 10802

Injury: 02.19.09


Hi,again.  It's been good to read all the posts: I do find them a great encouragement.  This is the 9th week post op & I was able to bend the knee just enough to get into the passenger seat of the car, for a long awaited 'expedition' into town. After a morning around the supermarkets etc , walking with the support of the trolley, I was glad to get home.  Later in the evening my knee & foot really swelled & throbbed. Today it's not been as bad, but I've noticed the knee 'cracks' occasionally. 

Jon: I'd be really grateful if you would give the number of weeks after your op when you 'crossed' your milestones: it would give me some guidance when I could expect to reach these milestones as you are about 6 weeks post op ahead!

It was good to read Idaho Guys last post : I'm really grateful to him for starting this forum. Like wanasail I read this thread most days, &  often re-read all the posts for moral support!  Many, many thanks!

Have a good week-end!

nabo 19 


Edited by nabo19 - 4/24/2009 at 09:41 pm GMT
post #1069 of 10802

Injury:  12/30/08

Surgery:  1/5/09

PT began:  2/19/09 or so


Nabo, here's the approximate time to the milestones I've mentioned.  Note that I had a complete tear all the way around, and took a piece of the kneecap with it, so mine was on the severe end of the injury.  (I don't know that I've mentioned it but I also fractured the ankle on the opposite leg and for the first month, it was dicey in terms of the extra stress on the "good" leg.


To me, the biggest milestone was probably around 110 degrees...when I could use a regular toilet seat.  This was about a month after beginning PT.

Other milestones:  shedding the walker for a cane.  Three weeks after beginning PT.  I used the walker after this in public settings more because it kept other people away than because I needed that level of support.

Shedding a device altogether for any kind of walking around, braced or unbraced.  I started that about three weeks ago.  I still use a cane when I'm anticipating walking on uneven surfaces or significant steps down, and in large public settings.

Doing a complete revolution on the bike.  That was about a month ago.

Increasing weights.  I've been increasing weights to my leg exercises about every other week.

ROM milestones.  I could be off here but my progression was along these lines:

  • At 6 weeks, when the doctor removed the brace, I could only get about 12 degrees.
  • Within a week at PT, I was up to about 50 degrees.
  • Going to PT 3 times a week, I added about 10 degrees/week for each of the next 2 weeks.
  • After 70, things really picked up and I added about 10 degrees per visit until I got to around 120.
  • We haven't measured recently but my sense is I've probably added another 5-10 degrees which is what the surgeon expects to be (near) final.  Not as good as the good knee but he said the only way the difference would matter is if I were an NFL running back.  Not many 53 year old ones of those.
post #1070 of 10802

10 Weeks Post-Op (2/13)

11 Weeks Post-Injury (2/7)


Okay guys, it sounds like everyone is making progress. Keep it up.


This week, the Dr. opened up my brace to 90 degrees. The first day and a half after that were the first time that I felt any discomfort after getting the brace adjusted (okay, that sounds like I'm a teenager talking about the trips to the orthodontist again). It feels consistently looser and closer to normal in my stride each time it gets opened further.


He also gave me permission to start taking the brace off around the house just a bit and while sleeping. Much more comfortable to sleep now. I'm glad that I can have it off in the house. I feel like I'm getting more feedback from my knee without the brace on. The numb spot feels more pronounced, the rubber band-y feeling is no longer masked by the brace's support, and I feel the ROM limit (pretty close to 90 degrees)


I did get out for a good walk with my wife and boys (4 yo and 9 mos) while wearing the brace. The knee didn't feel bad at all. My left quads did start to feel fatigued after about a mile, though. Even the downhill felt pretty good.


I'm starting to wonder about my internal June 01 goal of being out on my bicycle. Right now, I can sort of do a full rotation on the stationary bikes at my tennis club and at PT. I have to cheat just a tad with my hip to finish the first 2 or 3 rotations, then I can do it normally. It still feels like there's a slight hitch at the top of the pedal stroke. It doesn't feel like I'm forcing it, but there is a moment of hesitation there. On my trainer at home, I'm getting closer but still can't do a full rotation. I'm not 100% sure if the limitation is physical or mental. I can get to the top of the pedal stroke going backwards but can't quite bring it through.

post #1071 of 10802

I'm new to this site too. Well, not totally new. You see, I've been reading these posts since February 12, 2009....that's the day I had my QTR surgery. But new in the sense that this is the first post I've made. As you all well know, there's a lot of "down time" just staying off your leg, in bed, etc., and that's when I found this site and started reading about others who'd faced the same calamity as I did. I especially have liked IdahoGuy's posts. They've been inspirational and motivating.  I basicallt stayed in bed from Feb 12 until April 3 and don't know how I kept my sanity. Maybe I didn't, I don't know.


My injury probably takes the cake, when contrasted with all the skiers, biking enthusiasts, hikers and other jocks. I'm a 60 year old attorney. I've never biked or gone skiing...although my buddy and his wife love to ski so my wife and I used to go along with them to places like Whistler, Pico and Killington, Jackson Hole and Squaw in Tahoe. I love the atmosphere at those places but have never been on skis  in my life. Also, don't bike or climb mountains. I'm just a 60 year old...somewhat out of shape guy. Go to the gym in spirts but only to do the trend mill but not as much as I should. So, if any of you think that you had your QTR b/c your quads were "too stong", don't believe it...Anyway,herre goes: On Feb 10 I was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at a five star resort. My wife didn't want to come as she doesn't like Mexico. I had a free airline voucher on American Airlines and it was going to expire. I'm a sun and beach lover so Mexico seemed pretty good. I'd been really busy at work but was coming out of the busy time so just planned to go to PV, Mex for like 6 days of R & R.  My wife hates to travel and I love it so I sometimes do this type of thing.Flight from Florida to Mexico was fine..no problems. Got to the resort Okay and it was really nice. Had a great dinner that first night. Next day, first full day...February 10, 2009. Went to the beachside cafe for breakfast and since it was right on the beach, just went right to the beach after eating. Spent the whole day relaxing in the sun, reading, listening to my i-pod. Very nice day. At a little before 3, I got bored and decided to go back to the room...there was a ramp going up from the beach to the elevators returning to the room. The ramp was steep and half way up, I noticed that at the top was a chain preventing guests from going down with a sign in spanish that said Do not use...but nothing at the bottom telling you not to go up. So, anyway, I said to myself, oh, I guess they don't want you using this ramp so I turned around to go down. Took one step and fell and that's it...You all know the rest. Since its Mexico, its different that the US. I had to lie there for over an hour until they did anything for me. And you all know the pain, etc. The "pool boys" were nice but they just kept asking me in broken English if I was okay and if I needed help. I kept saying yes, I need help, yes, I need help. After about an hour of lying there,in hell, the hotel doctor finally came. Well, they claim he was a doctor, but I think he was an idiot. Long story short, He says I'll take you to the hospital. Do you have cash and credit cards, you'll need them. The pool boys had to lift me into a wheel chair and the "Doctor" took me in his car to this hospital. It was not the closest one to the hotel but about 45 min away from the hotel. Actually, the OS at the Mexican hospital was, in retrospect, pretty good b/c everything he told me turned out to be true. They did an X-Ray...no fracture. Then he did an MRI and told that I had a total rupture of the right quad and that I needed surgery AT ONCE...which medically, in retrospect, is correct. OKay, I'm all alone in a foreign country (which if you watch the news, you know is like in chaos) and I'm thinking, no way I'm having surgery here. I probably don't even really need it...So, I went back to hotel...in total pain... and the next day flew back to FL on an emergency basis...American Airlines has no medical emergency policy so I had to pay a fortune to change the flight. Landed at 2 and saw the OS here in Florida at 5 and was in surgery the next day. That was February 12. You know the rest. Full knee brace, lots of pain and percocets. Crutches. No weight bearing for 6 weeks. Was told to stay in bed for 6 weeks then return to OS. Returuned on April 3 and got "good report" and then PT started.  Its been great. PT has not been painful and I'm making a great recovery. At first PT, my ROM was 85 degrees which shocked my PT. Next week, I was at 95. Next week I was at 110. Next week I was at 122 and then I stalled a bit. Now I'm at 132 with the "normal knee" being at 136, so in essence, I've got full ROM back, although its still somewaht painful and stiff...but, hell, I'm only at 9 weeks.... I still go to PT and still limp. I see OS next week and my therapist told me that I'll probably need another few weeks of PT and that's it...But is that realistic??? . I mean IdahoGuy is a big jock and much younger than me and in much better shape than me and he's still not 100 % at 14 weeks. So, I don't know what to think.


A few other items: Physically, I'm on the mend, obviously, but emotionally, this has been a bear and has changed my life. I'm still in shock from the whole thing, obsess about it, cannot stop thinking about it, cannot believe it happened, etc. I guess I do look at life differently now too, as many of you seem to. I just cannot believe how fragile the human body is. I guess for a 60 y/o out of shape guy, I'm lucky I've done as well as I have, but WOW, this has been the worst..

post #1072 of 10802

Sorry, IdahoGuy, I meant to say 14 months, not 14 weeks.

post #1073 of 10802

Hi FloridaGuy,


Welcome to the forum. It's scary enough when this happens 10 minutes from home. I can't imagine flying to be able to have the operation.


After reading your post, I keep thinking about what it means to be recovered from this injury. The real question might be what we consider 100%. I'm sort of struggling with that these days. My doc seems really conservative in what he wants me to do in PT. I can't argue with his plan so far. It's making slow and steady progress without any real setbacks. If it keeps up, I'll have full range of motion in another month or so. For me, at least, 100% will not equate with equal range of motion. At that point, I'll probably have some more strength and can do most of what's required of me day to day -- except for keeping up with my 4 yo :). I want to be able to play tennis again at or near the level I was at the moment I was injured and not be wondering if I should do something due to the quad/knee. I want to play and not think about the injury. For me, that would be 100% recovery. Right now, that goal seems so far away that I'm not even planning for it. Hitting tennis will be the first goal -- and even that will be months away as I try to rebuild my left leg muscles and regain some explosive strength to move to the ball.


Even before all of that, I just want to ride my bike without stiffness and discomfort. I made a full revolution on my mountain bike tonight. Said that way, it sounds trite but feels so far from it to me. It's the first step toward getting on the road for the rest of the summer.

post #1074 of 10802

Hey all, I have gotten a lot of great info from everyones posts so I want to start off by thanking everyone for that.  I am a 38 year old mother of two young kids and am in moderatly good shape, but am not able to hit the gym as often as I would like because of the two kids and a crazy schedule.  Four weeks ago, helping my husband take out the trash, somehow I missed a step and fell down a few steps.  I broke my right ankle and and tore my quad tendon on my left leg.  QTR  was not diagnosed until a week later though after an MRI.  I had surgery the next day and am now about 2.5 weeks post op and am about to lose my mind.

Because of the broken right ankle, OS put me in a  locked full extension brace, allowing me to put full weight on left leg.  He has me bend the knee to 60 degrees several times per day.  I have not started PT yet but am so anxious to do so.   OS has not said how long I will have leg immobilized, he did say that when I see him in a week he may increase my bending from the current 60 degree leg bends.   I am looking for any thoughts or tips on how to speed up the recovery of this leg.  Until I am cleared to bear some weight on the broken right ankle there isn't too much I can do but I want to do anything I can to speed this process along. 


Thanks all,



post #1075 of 10802

15 Weeks Post Op - Rgt Leg QTR


It's been an interesting week but not much has changed. Leg remains swollen, stiff and numb with the Frankenstein walk still required. MRI was done Friday morning to determine if anything unwanted is going on in there, results will be available sometime this week.


New PT was good, he believes my issue is scar tissue around the repair and that I will be able to resolve it with continued effort. He says to continue focusing on ROM at the club, worry about strength later, which is what I have been doing along with my upper body efforts and aqua therapy. Quad control has not yet returned. Stability remains an issue. Deep water pool efforts and just hanging the leg in the water while holding onto a pool noodle at the end of my routine seems to help with the swelling. Feels great when I leave the club but still stiff and tight.


Thanks for the feedback gymdude & jakster. Our cat does the same thing - lies on the steps, seems to be hiding (!!), stairs require great care, esp. in the dark, as she doesn't move! J, yes, I R.I.C.E. after my club time and at night, I also listen closely to my knee to ensure I'm not overdoing it. Aqua therapy is gentle and my gym efforts are mostly machine assisted ROM related. 


Welcome to the club Floridaguy - you're doing great, not the R&R you were looking for - and Graceella. Passive ROM, quad sets, heal glides, moving the toes and ankle flexes on the good ankle might be a good start. R.I.C.E. as well. We all have a long road ahead of us to that allusive "100%" recovery, whatever that might be?


Keep plugging away,



post #1076 of 10802

Welcome FloridaGuy and Gracella:


Me Surgery 11/12/07.  Total activity but still feel the "band", although that seems to be easing off in the last month, which gives me hope it may disappear at some point.


Gracella--me too!!! simply slid down 4 stairs with a large ending POP!! we all know the rest. Tigger's recommendations on in home PT would have been mine, but be cautious. At some point if you can get into a pool, that is very helpful!


FloridaGuy--I consider myself an athlete, even at 58 yrs.  I too was traveling, in NM (live in MN) on vacation. Happened first day, a Sat, and I flew home alone on Oct 30, even carried my suitcase down a flight of stairs at the home I was visiting! HOW???  The airport ramps were a killer. The following Thu I had to fly to Pittsburgh for biz..another killer. Why???? Oh well, I survived when one of my customers gave me 2000 mg of Advil at noon!  But my real reason for posting now is to say I still "obsess" and I always think about the knee, especially on stairs or slopes. I was working in the yard last week and slipped a little on a damp incline and the first thought was of my good knee!  I think those thoughts will always be with us. But, the good news is I can do what I want activity wise.  So try to keep the mental aspect under control and follow your rehab religiously.


Best to All!


Keep pluggin' !



post #1077 of 10802

Thanks Bulldog.  What do you mean when you say that you still feel the band? Sounds like you are fully recovered, however, other than the periodic "thinking about it" as you describe.

post #1078 of 10802

Thanks Steve. Everybody's case is different and everybody's recovery is different. You'll be fine.

post #1079 of 10802

Tigger, thanks for the advice on what I can be doing at home.  Bulldog, I do want to get into a pool as soon as I can.  In regards to your suggestion to be cautious, I guess that is why i have not done anything yet.  I am worried that I might do more damage, or slow the recovery.  I am waiting to see my OS so that i can explore this issue with him a bit.  What is the risk (or potential damage) of overworking things at this point?  The most difficult thing for me with this injury is the mental anguish of wanting my old life back.  I never thought I could hurt myself like this by missing a couple steps.  Oh well, what can you do.


Thanks again,



post #1080 of 10802

Welcome Floridaguy and Graceella.  Thanks for sharing your stories.  It's amazing all the varied ways that we have managed to do this horrible injury.  Graceella, you're doing great with 60 degrees ROM only 2 1/2 weeks out of surgery - and also having to deal with the broken ankle.  The physical part of this injury is bad enough, dealing with the mental part is far worse.  It's a long, slow rehab.  Someone on this thread said you can achieve 90% recovery in about 6 months and 95% in 12 months.  You have to get your head around that and celebrate each small win along the way.  If you do too much - or the wrong things - you set yourself back (Do as I say - not as I do, I heard the warnings loud and clear from my PT this mornig).


It's great that you want to climb back out of the injury and get back to normal as quickly as possible.  Each case is different, but you also have to deal with the broken ankle.  I think the most important thing for you to do is to have a heart-to-heart talk with both your surgeon and PT.  Talk about your goals and how much work/time you can devote to PT.  Sometimes they can be less than responsive, but do your best.  Another thing to ask about is general strengthening and fitness that you can do without stressing your knee or ankle, e.g. upper body and core.  It's a great mental boost to be doing something and it will pay off a couple of months down the road as you begin to strengthen the knee.


Most of all, best wishes and remember you have a lot of company!

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