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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 43

post #1261 of 10802
April 1, 2009 injury
April 10, surgery
13wks out

 Hey All,
Some technical difficulty was preventing me from repying for awhile and then I was traveling again. 
Thank you for the pt balancing on a towel exercise...that works where ever I am!

The traveling has interupted my formal pt but I am working out just by walking and getting in and out of various forms of transportation. I got a bit down this last trip because I was getting tired of being slow! LOL. Escalators are sometimes scary and seem to move faster now. Too funny - I feel old! Compassion comes from every experience.

I forget how thankful I should be and am- that they actually can repair an injury like this. It is really quite amazing. 

I still benefit big time from elevating my legs mid - day. This Wednsday I am taking someone to Cooper Clinic and will check out the Vibration Machine :). They said they can not count on people with pace makers to stay off of it and they put it in a private room. So, right now I don't know how much experience they have had with it but I'll check it out.

...A shower without assistance IS one of lifes little pleasures...

Take care!
post #1262 of 10802
Hi all -
I've hit my 5 months post-op.  I saw my OS who gave me full-clearance to resume sports.   I still have a lot of work to do to rebuild the strength in my injured leg.  The OS figures that I've reached the point where I'm more likely to find some new way of damaging my body than I am to reinjure the quad tendon repair --  LOL.  I made my goal of doing a 50 mile bike ride this weekend.  My OS and PT will continue to work with me until I have a full recovery, although I'm not sure exactly what that means.  Graceella - I'm doing squats on the balance platform, walking lunges, side lunges, step-ups to balance, side-steps to balance and step-backs to build the VMO. I'm also starting impact exercises.  I do 3 days a week PT exercises alternating with 3 days a week of bicycle training. 

Its great to read about so much progress on the Forum.  I can't imagine what it must be like to have a bilateral QTR, or a broken ankle on the opposite leg or have to travel for your job during the first few months of recovery.  There is a lot of courage and inspiration in these postings.   
post #1263 of 10802
5 mos, 7 days post-surgery

Howdy folks,

Congrats to all on the recovery/rehab stories. Most inspiring -- esp. the showers for those who've gone without . I can't imagine tearing the right quad, much less a bilateral QTR. Just having to do without driving for as long as y'all have done would've driven me bonkers. I made it 4 weeks, and even that was dramatically affecting my sense of self-sufficiency.

JeeKnee, I found that you can do a lot of PT work on the road. I travelled with ankle weights and did my flexibility exercises when I needed to go places for work. It's not as good as sessions with your PT, but it's not bad if you like doing some work on your own. Later on, if you're travelling to bike-friendly places, it might be worth looking into bike rentals if you can find out about some good bike trails. That's highly location-dependent, though.

Gracella, I talked to my PT (in my penultimate PT session this morning) about ways to build up the VMO. My surgeon's only wish was that I needed to gain more muscle mass in that area. He said that the best ways to isolate it are the inside/crossover leg raises, one-leg extensions, and the leg press machine that he started me on today. The leg presses were fun -- even though I now know how puny I am with all the buff guys looking at me with no weights on the press machine ...  

Onto more fun things, I ran/jogged for the first time since my injury today. I started off walking on the treadmill for 3 minutes to get the rhythm going and then bumped up the pace and jogged for 3 minutes holding the rail to partially alleviate my anxiety about the process. Walked for 2 minutes and then jogged for 2 more without holding onto the rail. Immediately afterwards was probably as loose as I've felt since the injury. A little tender now, but I feel like I did something worth a little bit of pain ... A little bit of a limp at first, but it sort of smoothed itself out by the end. I sort of feel like I can envision playing tennis again now ...

Keep up the good work folks.
post #1264 of 10802
40 days post surgery
The last two posts were certainly encouraging for me. I have so far to go, that it is great to know that there will be a point where I will get back to some basic activities. Other posts I have read suggest that some time after the returning to activity, people often comment “now I don’t even think about it”. Wishing everyone eventually being able to say that! 
Had a pretty good week, and am pleased to report a few highlights;
- Made dinner for my family last Sunday, giving my wife a much needed break.  I used to complain that our galley kitchen was too small, but it worked to my advantage this time. 
- Toured the yard and garden with the kids a little bit every day
- Last week I could get out of the bed by myself, and this week I can get back IN on my own, effectively freeing my wife to leave me on my own. 
- A masseuse came to the house, and that felt fantastic! I have always thought of massage being for pleasure, not health. She also had training in reflexology and eastern medicine, and she worked her magic. I was hurting a bit that night, but felt much stronger and better the next day. I am on a two week cycle with the OS, and will work with her on the opposite two weeks. 
-Generally, I am covering more ground, and am faster and more stable on my feet.
And finally a question for the group; Any good tips on how to handle the inflammation other than ice packs?
post #1265 of 10802

I have had a prescription for 800 mg Ibuprofen for a long time, I find that works well with the inflammation.  I would suspect you can use over the counter but you will not get that dosage.  After a day of walking the leg and knee is puffy so I take one of them and it works.
Works best with beer!
Also, elevate the leg.

Glad to hear you are up and around.

I am up to 125 lb on the leg press with the injured leg lifting by itself.
I can do around 205 with the good leg, so that should give a perspective of where I am.

Went to the Rockies game tonight, had no real problem with the stairs or sitting for a few hours, Just took the stairs one at a time. 

Rocks won, 8 to 2 so four taco's for a buck at Taco Bell tomorrow!

Take care!

post #1266 of 10802

28 Weeks Post-Op - Rgt Leg QTR

Hey All,

Not much change hear - steady, slow progress being made in strength but leg remains stiff, swollen & numb! Tender & really sore knee cap can now be added to the list as when I push the bending, the response is not good! I'm backing off the bending for a bit. I see my OS again on Wednesday.

Rcm, delighted to hear you are doing well. I concur with dbrow. Add compression - R.I.C.E. - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate - buy a couple compression knee braces to use a couple hours a day. They will help you get around later too. Don't give up on the Ice. Anti-inflamms can be hard on the gut so I try to use them sparingly. You can buy as high as 400 mg over the counter. We have 200, 300 & 400 mg in our current supply! lol Don't work overly well for me but it might be because I'm not taking a high enough dose. If you have access to a pool & can get in & out - get in the deep end - the cooler the water the better - just hang your legs while hanging onto a pool noodle - the compression of the water & the cool water feels great & has helped my swelling.

Dbrow - lol regarding the beer & Ibuprofen  - couldn't agree more!   Try a beer with the Percs or Tylenol 3 - kidding!    Good to hear things are progressing well for you too. 

Continued success & progress to all!


post #1267 of 10802
Actually one perc and a Bud Lite in my house is said to be Dennis' happy pill combo.
I think that Rcm111 should wait a bit on the knee compression.  I did that after about 6 weeks, and it does help.  I am 15 weeks out since surgery and progressing OK.  However I agree with you on knee ache.  Cap aches where the attach was done, quad is still weaker than the right leg, and I am working it twice a week at least.  And the whole knee joint still just feels loose.  Just taking longer than I suspected.  

I missed a good fare to Hawaii, because the wife said we are not going until I can scuba again.  Nice carrot for getting better, but it takes time.  There is NO way I could scuba right now as I could not trust walking in tank and weights to enter or exit the water.  Way too risky. We have a trip to Italy coming up in 7 weeks and I know I need to get a lot better before that trip. 

Rcm111, you can try the real long compression stockings.  The kind I had come just to below the knee, but they make them for higher up the leg.
Tigger is correct, try to avoid the anti-inflamms, and do take them with food.  Also, limit the Percs to ONLY when you need them, as you don't want to go Rush Limbaugh on them!  I take an Ibuprofen only when it is puffy from working around the yard.
post #1268 of 10802
Hi - Leg compression was the rage to assist recovery in this year's Tour de France.   A company put out compression pants that the riders could sleep in, although they didn't look very comfortable.   Another option was full leg compression socks - word was that this was Lance Armstrong's choice.    Cheers!
post #1269 of 10802

The happy pills do not agree with me at all so I have been doubleing up on the beer! LOL. 

I wish. I still have to work during the day, and I have lost about 15 lbs. It is amazing what not being able to get up and go to the fridge on your own will do for you.  I am fully aware that I will need to be fit and trim to recover, so I am pretty committed to keeping the weight off.  I will have to try the larger doses of ibuprofen, and will take your advice and use them when neccessary.


The compression socks are worth a try even if for a little bit.  They make also soak up the sweat that comes when the braces are on, and they may also help with the crazy sensativity on the skin.  The skin on my legs periodicall tingles, or itches, or feels like something is crawling on it.  Sometimes the surgical site is sensative to a blanket too. 

I have by braces set at 50 degrees, and try and manipulate the legs twice a day, and have been stuck at 40+ degrees for almost a week!   I totally know what other posters mean by "the band"

post #1270 of 10802
Dbrow16 -- I'm really curious about something in your post above. You said that the knee feels loose. That's never been something I would've said about my knee since the surgery, and I'm curious about what you mean. My knee has always felt surprisingly solid -- no play in any direction, though I would guess that the brace helped that sensation along for many weeks early on. Still, when I first started doing exercises without the brace, the knee itself never really felt loose. Even now, there's a qualitative difference between my knees. The left (injured) one doesn't feel quite as loose and easy as my right one. It moves cleanly and the quad muscles are coming back, but it's still not a comparison to the uninjured knee. If you have a chance, could you elaborate on that just a bit?

As for inflammation -- I find that ice packs work best. I still apply them religiously after every exercise/therapy session. One of the best things I did was to break down and buy a few Col-Pac ice packs. My PT used them, and I thought they were more effective than the homemade ice packs I'd been using. I like that they're flexible enough to wrap around my knee and can hit both the quads and my patellar tendon (where I had a LOT of early inflammation that has moderated -- leg lifts were painful for a while ... ). I did some ibuprofen but try to shy away as I don't want to miss any sensations that I need to be aware of. I dropped the Percosets 2 days post-surgery. My need for a clear head outweighed my pain -- I had to finish playing Uncharted on the PS3 that week :).
post #1271 of 10802
Healthy and fit 60 yo male, Fell and tore left quad tendon. Surgery performed may 28th, 2009. Tendon to tendon sutured repair. OS gave ok to start PT after 6 weeks. I'm two weeks into PT and my ROM is at 60 degrees. It seems to be difficult to get past 60. My knee seems hard, i'm assuming scar tissue... Can anyone relate to this and offer any advise to help me get past the 60 degrees ?

Thanks, Ralph
post #1272 of 10802
Hi fallguy -
Sorry to hear about your injury, but it sounds like you've had successful surgery and are on your way to recovery.  If you read through the back posts on this Forum you'll see that people move through the ROM stage at different rates with different levels of difficulty.  Some people seem to get stuck at a particular place for awhile and then work through it. The good news is that ultimately the vast majority of us fully regain ROM.  You'll also read that some have a particularly difficult time and a couple had scar tissue so severe it required a second surgery.  There is also a split in the field between starting PT almost immediately and starting it about 6 weeks down the road.  The medical literature and the posts on the forum suggest that the outcome is the same.   I was fortunate that I moved through the ROM stage relatively quickly, so others may have more useful information for you.

You'll want to discuss your progress with both your PT and OS.  Given the wide variability, they might want to modify your PT program or just counsel patience.   If you do have a real problem with scar tissue, they will have to decide on the appropriate therapy.  I think its good advice to be proactive in discussing your concerns with them and you should expect them to react thoughtfully and explain their treatment strategy.

In my case, the early stage PT had me massaging the incision and moving the patella around multiple times each day to help prevent the growth of scar tissue.  My PT showed me how to do it - and checked each week to see that I was doing it properly.   There are a couple of different exercises they use to build ROM.   As I progressed, the PT showed me how to incrementally force increases.  Forcing the joint was painfull.  I was impatient and pushed as hard as I could.  It got me through the ROM stage and onto the stationary bike sooner, but others on the forum didn't push as hard - avoided the pain - and ultimately ended up in the same place.  Again, something to talk about with your PT.  I found it helpful to discuss my goals with both the OS and PT and gain their support.  Do you have sports that you want to return to - or will you be happy to just resume your normal life?  If so, which sports or activities?   Another factor will be what your insurance will provide.   The posts on this forum indicate there can be some big differences between providers.

Best of luck to you and everyone else struggling through this.
post #1273 of 10802
Thanks wanasail,   i have read many of the posts, but not  all of them yet.   Yes,  i  did notice what you mentioned about the timing of the pt, depending on the os.  My pt has been massaging the scar and the whole patellar area, trying to break up the tissue.  It seems like they do the same as most.....hot blankets then flexing the quad and leg muscles, massaging the area and then bending off  the edge ogf the table, ( sometimes leg up on the wall ) followed by electro stim and icing.  My knee feels very hard and stiff..Only seems to get 60 degrees.  I have taken an aleve pill before therapy but the pain is severe. I do tolerate the pain and want desperatly to get past this " locked knee feeling  ".    At home i continue the leg flexing and hang my leg off the table trying to get it to loosen up.  I'm hoping they don't have to go back in to remove scarring tissue.  I go back to the os next week  and will ask him what he thinks. 
   Before the slip and fall i was active at water skiing, snow skiing, offshore sport fishing and basketball..i'm planning on resuming them as soon i can get this knee to bend !!
post #1274 of 10802
Welcome Fallguy! I am about three weeks behind you, with surgery on 6/17. I had kind of hit the same wall as you have, with range of motion not improving this week. I also hit the wall this week with being stuck in the house with limited mobility. This injury sucks. 
Wanasail has a future as a counselor for QTR patients! I think he summarizes it well for all of us.   I have read most of the posts over the last five weeks (stuck here in my recliner of course!) and I only recall one previous poster who mentioned the need for follow up surgery to remove scar tissue. Hopefully it is an uncommon procedure.  As Wanasail says, most seem to work it out.
Today I had my six week appointment with the OS, and thought I would share what I heard from him. Confirms what has been said here, and perhaps adds a bit.
He said something to me that no one has said to me since my freshman year in college when I played rugby; “Time to get moving, and don’t be a pussy about it”.   He said it was time to walk, time to drop the walker or crutches, time to open the braces up full, and time to begin getting rid of those as well. Totally free to get moving.   I was shocked.  But then again, no one here has accused their OS of having any personality or bedside manner to speak of.
He explained that there is a fine line between healing and waiting too long to work on the ROM. He said start now, and he prescribed 3 days a week of PT, and as much hot tub and swimming as I could stand. Figure out how to walk. Don’t hurt yourself, but be prepared to be hurting. Apply heat to warm up the muscles, ice and anti inflammatory to recover.  
Interesting perspective not necessarily supported by the literature of course.  But I think experience counts here. He is a knee specialist and has been doing it for 30 years.  He is kind of middle of the road in terms of how aggressive to treat the injury;
-        Bearing weight one day after surgery
-        Immobilized in casts for two weeks
-        Braces with 15 degrees for two weeks - but full extension when walking 
-        Braces with 50 degrees for two weeks - but full extension when walking 
-        Green light for PT and rehab at six weeks
post #1275 of 10802
Hi all and welcome to fall guy,

I am now about 16 weeks post surgery and doing really great!  I have been done with PT for about three weeks now.  Things are going well, although I have not been doing as much strength training with my leg as I should.  My knee does buckle a little bit, but at this point it is more of a nuissance.   I feel confident that my leg buckling is because I am not working it as much as I should. 
All in all though, I have had a great recovery.  I was weight bearing after one day and doing 60 degree ROM bending three times per day from the day after surgery but in locked extension at all other times.  Four weeks post op, my brace was opened up to 60 degree ROM all the time.  Eight weeks post op, I was told to ditch my brace and start PT three times per week.  ROM seemed to be gained slowly at first but then it seemed like It just took off after about three or four weeks of PT.
Garland, I also continue to notice that my knee definitly does not feel loose.  I struggle a bit with the best way to describe it but I guess it just takes more conscious thought to bend my affected knee than it does my other knee. 
This coming weekend will be 16 weeks since my surgery and it is the payback weekend for my husband.  He is off to a Nascar race this weekend while I hold down the fort with my two young daughters.  We definitly won't be doing any hiking like I used to do with them, my knee still doesn't do too well on uneven terrain, but hopefully soon I will be able to do that.
Wanasail, how was your bike race??

Good Luck all, I hope you all continue to heal and numb your pain with beer.  I personally prefer vodka but beer will do in a pinch!

post #1276 of 10802
Howdy folks,

Welcome to Fallguy. Do you look anything like Lee Majors? Sorry to hear that you're now in the club, but at least it's a good club to be in if you have to do this to yourself. I remember 60 degrees -- actually it was 70 in my brace. It took a little bit of effort and some pain to get there after the jump from 40 degrees, but it did come after a few days. Reading your last note, I think your pain sounds more severe than what I felt. I would definitely ask the surgeon when you see him next week. I will say that my knee has softened up a lot since I first checked it out post-surgery. There's still a band on the top of it where the scar tissue is breaking up more slowly. The swelling there never seemed to worry my OS or his PA when they saw me.

Graceella, glad to hear that the recovery proceeds apace. How's it feel to be mobile enough to play with the kids again? That's been the best part of my last two months without the. I hated being laid up when it meant that I couldn't do much to help out with our youngest, who just turned one last week. I remember my first time with both kids post-injury. That may have been the most uncertain that I'd felt since the day after the injury.

Wanasail, how'd the ride go? did you make it the entire distance? I just got back from a nice 25 mile loop tonight. It felt really nice out on the road. I'm sort of in limbo about standing on my pedals at this point. Have you done it yet? My PT said that I could try it, but I'm hesitant. I did try it briefly tonight, but it felt like I was pedaling with a limp. I think I was too leery, and my mental state took over. I think that if I can jog without a limp I should be able to pedal without one .

I was discharged from PT on Monday night. The last visit was a fun one. I got to pick my exercises and spent a good hour out in the gym. Perhaps the most telling part was that I biked to my PT session -- it was my last day of vacation, so I hated not to spend some time riding. I'm definitely going to miss the sessions. I really had a good time there with the exercises. It gave me an excuse to spend some time working out and learning how to do the exercises that will eventually get my knee back to where it was. The final ROM was 125 degrees sitting and 115 degrees on my stomach. I have about 10 more degrees to get back over the next few weeks. Measurements on the left thigh were equivalent or a little larger than the right thigh. The strength is not equal, though. I'm guessing that it's about 75% strength at this point.

Wish me luck, folks. I plan to hit tennis balls for the first time this weekend. It will be a short, gentle session, but I must admit to looking forward to it immensely ....
post #1277 of 10802
Hi all -
Its great to hear from everyone.  Graceella and Garland, thanks for remembering my bike ride.  I did my first tough ride two weeks ago (5 months postop) - a 50 mile moderately hilly charity ride for the local Boys and Girls Club.  I did the route without a rest break in 2 hours and 49 minutes, making my goal of under 3 hours.  It felt really good and I can honestly say it was one of the hardest goals I've ever worked to achieve.  Last weekend I did my first bicycle club group ride.  It was a 65 miler with hills and a headwind building for the last 35 miles.  The best part was being out with the group again.  I couldn't begin to keep up with the people I rode with last year, but one of the guys insisted on riding back with me and spent about 80% of the time breaking the wind and having me draft off of his wheel.   I've had to change my riding style to pedaling faster in easier gears - basically Lance Armstrong's riding style.  This weekend I'm planning on doing another club ride, a hilly 65 miler.  Garland, I got the clearance from my OS two weeks ago to drop all restrictions including standing on the pedals.  It's taken me two weeks to relearn the rhythm and cadence for doing it effectively.  I don't have pain or swelling in the knee, but its definitely still weaker and feels different - hard to describe.   I'm looking forward to hearing about how you do with tennis!

Fallguy, it looks like you'll be wanting to get back to sports as soon as you can.  There are mutliple challenges, the injured knee is the biggest.  But - you'll also have to rebuild other muscles and relearn balance and coordination that get messed up over the weeks when you have limited motion.  Also, you'll lose aerobic fitness and probably gain weight.  One thing you can do is look for core (especially important) and upper body strengthening exercises that you can do with your brace on.  You have to use your imagination and your PT may be able to help.  Remember, doing anything is better than doing nothing.  You won't be able to do anything aerobic until you can do full revolutions on the stationary bike, which requires about 110 degrees of ROM.  Once I was comfortable on the bike I started trying to spin fast with virtually no resistance - a combination that increases your heart rate.  Make sure your PT and OS understand your goals and get their commitment to helping you.  Most important, work hard but be patient.  Its going to take several months at best and you lose big if you reinjure the repair or strain the surrounding muscles.

Graceella - I'll need to introduce you to Dark and Stormies!

Best to all.
post #1278 of 10802
Hello to all.. and thank you for the encouraging words..
At PT today i got to  70 degrees !!.  The leg still feels like trying to bend a 2x4.   The pain is still severe while trying to get my leg to bend, but i know i have to endure it..and i do..along with a couple of aleve pills !    At home i hang my leg off the table and bed , stretching and flexing the muscles ..this seems to help. Also  at home, i don't wear my brace ..it seems to restrict my flexibility and i feel comfortable with out it.  I massage my knee and the scar quite a bit to loosen up the scarring tissue...this also seems to help.  
   Rcm111...my pt advises  me against hot tubs..she says they can cause swelling..but she says i can soak in hot water for short periods in the bathtub to loosen the knee .
   graceella..my knee also feels tight..i think i would rather have it feel tight than loose..i sometimes get that buckling feeling, but my muscles are getting stronger and it happens less.
who are the favorite nascar drivers in your house ?  I like  dale jr., stewart , gordon,and johnson. !!
   garland, actually i have  been told i do look like lee majors  and kurt russel !!  congrats on finishing up with the pt !!!
   wanasail.. it's true, you could be a counselor..  lol..thank you !!   i have managed to loose a few pounds..eating lots of vegtables and fruits..thanks to my terrific daughter..she has been great helping me.. before i could get around. ( and she happened to move back home a month before my fall !!..some blessing there !! )   I get around  well..i don't like to sit..and being able to drive helps tremondesly !!
post #1279 of 10802

2 disclaimers to what I'm about to say:
1) I'm not a doctor (just a PhD :))
2) Everyone has different tolerances for/experiences of pain

I don't remember any part of my experience with this injury being severely painful -- except for the first 2 minutes post-injury and first 2 days post-surgery. I've had moments of pain but nothing that I would call severe. That description warrants an extended conversation with your surgeon, IMHO. There are others on the list who have described their PT sessions in this way, so I don't think it's out of the ordinary. I just think it's worth bringing to the surgeon's attention and having them check it out.

Are you doing exercises to stretch your hamstring, calf, and achilles? For me, trying to loosen up those areas was crucial to being comfortable. Full extension was just excruciating.

My experience with hot tubs is that they do induce swelling for my knee, so I try to limit my time in if I do it to 10 minutes or less. I hate swelling in/around that knee now.
post #1280 of 10802
Well by loose, I mean that when I stand, the right knee comes to a halt normally, but the left one continues to move towards the back.  Feels like it can go about another half inch compared to the right knee.  Just a sloppy feeling...hard to describe.  I might be dealing with numbness and just not recognizing it.

When descending stairs, if I try to get the left knee to hold the weight by stepping down with the right foot, it feels like the quad in the left leg tenses, knotting like in a 4 inch square just up from the knee, much more than the right knee.  Also, the left knee  wants to snap forward rather than gradually move as the right good knee does. That is why when I do the PT exercise where I get on a box, support weight with the left knee and try to lift and lower the right foot and touch the floor, I have to first move out my left knee.  Otherwise I feel like it will snap out and I will go down.

Often  the left knee feels great, but like this afternoon, around 6PM, it felt, when walking late in the day, that it was bone on bone and was really tender. But now at 10PM after giving it a rest, it is OK.

If the tightness you are describing is akin to the tighness of the tendons that need to be stretched, I have had that feeling and am basically over that.  Just did bending of the knees to take care of that.

I am pretty much at normal range of motion just 9 days shy of 4 months since the accident and have been that way for about two months.  I think that is pretty good.

BTW, at the rec center on the stack leg press machine, I am up to pushing 255lb with both legs, and around 125lb with the left repaired leg/knee.  Getting better every day...

Edited by dbrow16 - 8/1/2009 at 02:13 pm GMT
post #1281 of 10802

dbrow 16,


Congratulations on making it to full ROM.  That is good news in 4 months!  Hopefully natural-normal function and feeling come next.  I am reading your email with an eye to my future, so I am curious as to that "sloppy" feeling.  I totally have that, and It has wrecked my confidence as I try to shed the braces once and for all and start walking.  Do you think that there is no muscle memory any more?  Or is it the system trying to tell you that the tendon is still healing?  


My experiences regarding pain have been like Garlands.  I have had very little pain throughout this ordeal up until recently.  The injury didn't hurt much, and aside for the 24-26 hours post surgery, it hasn't hurt afterwards.   The most pain I have had has been this week as I try to increase the ROM.  I am slowly pushing the legs off the bed or recliner, until the knees just won't go any more.  Ouch!  I have also increased time on my feet during the day to the point where I run out of gas in the evening. But I am committed, and have started the ice and Alleve regimen in earnest. 

I would agree with Garland's comment about being laid out and laid up as being extremly uncomfortable.  I think most people here were pretty active. This injury brought my life from full speed to full stop in two seconds.  The inactivity has been brutal on the feet, ankles, hamstring, calves, hips and lower back. But unlike working the knees, working these areas feels good!  

Thanks also for several tips on the hot tub.  I will be careful in there. 

Hope everyone has a nice weekend and keeps making progress.  

post #1282 of 10802
5.75 months post-surgery

howdy folks,

tonight is nice. I'm physically pooped! I love it. I've waited so long for a Saturday like this ... I took my son to the club with me for tennis and playtime with a teammate's 4 year old. The boys got along great, I played tennis for the first time since the dreaded injury date and discovered that I stink. That part hasn't changed too much :). Still, nearly 6 months of rust was obvious off the ground. There were moments where I could feel the vestiges of my game lingering -- moments where my instincts too over and I hit the ball as I should. In general, I was VERY happy for my first day back on the court. I hit groundstrokes and a few volleys. My original plan was just to stand still and hit, but I soon tossed that out the window and started doing some limited side to side movement on the baseline. Not surprisingly, it's easier to move to my right (forehand) than my left (backhand, also injured leg). I wasn't consistently driving through the ball like I need to. This was more true on the backhand than the forehand because I needed to push off my left leg to drive through the shot. When I wasn't thinking about it, I did get down and drive through. Still, there were a couple of points where I felt like I was moving well and showed glimpses of playing real tennis again -- driving a backhand down the line, taking the short reply and coming to net for a finishing volley. I was happy -- it felt better than I thought it could on the first day -- and there was no pain or moments when I thought I would fall or the knee would buckle. All in all, I think it was a promising beginning to getting back on the court. I need to work on strengthening my quads more and have the confidence to get down and drive through the ball properly. Now, I can feel like I can really come back to play tennis again. I think it'll be months before I play a competitive match, but it felt nice to be out there again.

Post-tennis, it was time to come home and let Mike (my 4 y.o.) cool off in his pool while I graded some topsoil in the back yard. I mowed the rest of the back yard and then went for a 10 mile bike ride with my wife. It was a really nice day! 

Dbrow16, thanks for the clarification and description. I remember similar sensations on the stairs. I think Graceella's description hits closest to the mark for me. She talked about it taking more conscious thought. I remember feeling like the knee might buckle on the stairs just after getting rid o' the brace and not feeling like I could trust the knee to hold up. One stair at a time for a few weeks. Now, the muscles just don't fire as instinctively as they do in the right leg. Esp. on the first step, it's like I have to think about making the step instead of just doing it without thinking. Your description of the snap moment sounds like quad strength that will improve. The bone on bone pain sounds awful. I hope it doesn't continue for you. You're doing better than me on the leg press, so keep up the good work.

Wannasail, I've done the same thing to my pedaling style. My cadence is 25-30% higher now than pre-injury. I like off-loading the work to my cardiovascular system, and I do now have a better sense of how an injury can re-shape your mechanics. I was able to stand on the pedals tonight, and it felt much better than it did the first time I tried it on Wed. Less like a limp in my pedal stroke. Glad to hear that you're doing the group rides again. I think I've missed my tennis friends more than tennis itself, so getting back to the group has to feel great. Having a couple of the guys step out of the playing rotation to hit with me today meant a lot.

Have a good night, y'all. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and keep up the excellent work.
post #1283 of 10802
I guess I can say the sloppy feeling is also like a rubbery feeling. Actually, with the small neoprene brace, it does feel much more secure, but we all have to make the break to just skin!
Steps are one at a time down for sure, going up I can lift if I have rails on both sides.

The tense feeling I talk about is really there, and I suspect it is the tendon telling me it is not totally healed yet.  I agree, the snapping of the knee is basically tone, or lack of tone from not using fully.  The front and rear leg muscles do balance, and with the quad weak, that will happen.  Iwill say this, when I leg press the knee and quad really does feel good after the workout.  I suspect it is do to pumping up the quad.

Hey guy, do not be discouraged, your recovery might be different and/or coming out of braces you are going to be weak, and you more than likely will get that muscle out of balance leg snapping feeling.

EXACTLY! The muscles are not firing instinctiely, but rather feel like they clinch.  It is not smooth muscle movement.

The bone on bone feeling comes and goes, so really do not understand that.  Happens after a lot of walking, so that is related.  Rest the knee it goes away.

Guys, when you read that recovery is 8-13 weeks, I think tham means you can get up and walk again.  At almost age 60 for me I suspect the better part of a year is more the norm.

Gotta hit the sack, I am on the road to Orlando tomorrow for a few days.

post #1284 of 10802
Garland - way to go!!!  Its great to hear that your back on the court hitting balls. 
post #1285 of 10802
 Hi garland,  
     yes, i'm doing lots of leg exercises to strengthen the muscles. ,at home and at pt . and  they have me doing the ( injured) leg step up and on the little box ( about 5 " ) and back off.. which is not really a problem.     i don't really have pain..only took 3 pills after surgery !! 
    I had the surgery done at the VA hospital (  self employed with no insurance ) and my os has since  left to return to his main hospital( not really sure how it works )  I have a new young dr. at the VA .. very nice.. but he doesn't seem to know alot about quad tendon repair/rehab !!  the last visit 3 1/2 weeks ago , he didn't seem to know what to do when i went in...the  original os  dr. knew enough to feel the knee,  check the incision , check the swelling , check the calf and foot, etc. After thinking this new  dr. wasn't up to speed, i asked if another os was around, he said .."good idea " and soon returned to the room  with another dr.   That dr. went right to the knee..doing all the checking they usually do and said it looked good and i  was ready for PT. !!    
  At pt ,  warm blankets,  i stretch and loosen up, massage etc..   then comes the pain.. whith my leg hanging off the table  they  really push hard  to get more rom...the pain is above the knee cap.. the repair area...it just feels really tight..but i think it is stretching, ever so little  ...and i expect the pain. i just wish it wasn't so painful !!   lol..
  thanks again !!
post #1286 of 10802
Wannasail, thanks for the congrats. It felt good to be back on the court. More swelling today than I've seen in a while, so I must've been working it harder than I realized at the time. No pain, though.

Fallguy, I'm sure that it will come around and the pain will subside as the tendons stretch back out and the scar tissue breaks up more. That's the great thing about this injury -- it does heal and we do recover almost regardless of the various protocols. I'm sorry that you've got a less than ideal situation for check-ins at the VA. Fortunately, this is generally a straightforward repair. Any good OS should be able to check on you as the recovery progresses, unless there's a complication that needs additional intervention. Just push the VA to give you the level of care that you need.

If there's anything I can do to help, let me know. If you're in Rhode Island (as your location tag suggests), I'm just over the border in SE Mass and would be happy to help out in any way that I can. Plus, I haven't been to Providence in a bit and could use an excuse to come over that way :).
post #1287 of 10802

Congratulations Garland on a day of near normalcy!  That sounded terrific.  I can't wait.  My five your old asked me with a straightface this morning why I won't teach him how to moonwalk like Michael Jackson.


Fallguy, you are scaring me.  I start my PT on Tuesday, and I know they are going to give both knees the business.   It sounds like the first guy did it right though, and now it is in your hands and the PT to finish the job.  Good luck to you.   



post #1288 of 10802

 Hi  All,   
   garland,      yes, the VA does a great job, i hope it didn't sound as though i was putting them down, they are terrific.    I guess i'm expecting the tendon to stretch faster than it is !!  lol      And i know i have to get the muscles stronger..big importance .

    I get around really well so if you want to meet up, grab lunch , ..compare scars and grab a beer ( maybe we could call it the  " tendon summit " !!  lol ) ?   i 'm probably closer than you think...i'm just over the line near seekonk /attleboro .  
  Rcm111... don't be scared  PT will take good care of you..they do a wonderful job.

    i'm confident that my repair was done correctly...i do have unusual redness in my injured leg, from the incision down to the foot...this is mostly when my leg is down.  Also I did dislotate my great toe and tore a big gash in the bottom of my foot when i slipped and fell..those repairs seem fine now and i don't think they are connected to the  redness in my lower leg.  I'm thinking the capillarys will break loose and allow the blood to flow sometime. I will ask my Dr. wednesday at my check-up.
Good Luck at your pt sessions..again, don't be scared !!

 Good Luck with your PT

post #1289 of 10802
For you guys in the painful ROM stage of the PT -

A couple of years ago I skied the Mary Jane terrain area at Winter Park.  I picked up a small poster that said "No Pain - No Jane."   I thought it was kind of catchy and captured the mental, more than the physical, challenge of pushing myself to do the bumps on a steep run (make no mistake - I'm not a great skiier).   I stuck the poster up and gave it a look before every home PT session where I pushed the ROM.  It helped me to embrace the pain as a part of achieving my goal of full ROM as a milestone toward the bigger goal of fully rebuilding my body.

Think about something meaningful to you - something you don't want to lose.   It's going to hurt, but that makes your ultimate achievement all the better!!!

Good news is that the ROM stage seems to be the most painful part of the rehab.  Get past it and your on your way to better things.
post #1290 of 10802

Welcome to the thread, sorry you had to join!

I too had tendon to tendon repair, I think we are fortunate in that way. My surgery was 11/12/07.  Review my posts for more info.  I was frustrated with my progress which led me to this forum.  Do your rehab, and trust me, you will get back.

BTW, I still am totally aware of my repair, although no pain or limitations.

Keep Pluggin'

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