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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 48

post #1411 of 10802
Hi MV Coach and RCM111 - Thanks so much for your practical advice - sometimes just knowing what to expect makes a situation more manageable / bearable. What is so great about this forum is that it gives you a realistic perspective on the injury from a number of different situation. The news isn't always good, but then again you know what the best and worse case scenario might be.

Speaking of worse case, RCM111, I've been re-reading your story. Holy crap - I don't know how you can be so positive after blowing both quads - I can't even imagine it. Your outlook is inspirational, though I'm not sure how you manage it!

MVCoach - funny how lives are parallel - it's hockey season up here and being a hockey dad is a full time job, so now I've got a big target in trying to get to the "Bledsoe" brace so I can get back to life and working on that ROM.

In my job I work with top notch orthopaedic surgeons and sports med docs - guys who work with NHL players and Olympics athletes - I'm going to phone one today and get a couple of opinions on the mobility vs keeping still approach to managing this injury.

Like you guys though, I'm on the page of doing whatever the doc tells me until maybe another doc tells me something else. I'm also going to buy some ice!

Thanks guys
post #1412 of 10802
Injury April 9th, 5 months since surgery

Saw the Ortho surgeon today.  It has been a few months.  He said that all is doing well, measured the left quad at 2.5 CM less than the right and suggested more bike riding less power pressing with for the quad.  Continue the squats like getting ready for ski season to keep the tendon stretched.

He also said the ache across the top and down to the lower side of the knee cap is normal.  This is due to the fact the tendon has to re-attach to the bone.  After 5 months it is not complete.

1 year until full recovery is what he said is normal considering I am 60 years old and not exactly at my best weight (nice way of saying lay off the Bud and exercise more). I know I need that but it is tough when you cannot walk fast or for an hour period.

I like the bike idea.  He says it is great exercise for this type of injury.

That is it for now!
post #1413 of 10802
Hi all,
     14 weeks post op left quad tendon.  rom at pt is now 103 degrees !!   painful, but i'm pushing through it !!   My knee is still swollen and stiff, they say it's normal for this time frame.
     dbrow :   i also saw my os yesterday...heard the same  as you did..left quad is 2 cm smaller than my right.  need more stationary biking.  They say  the aching and throbbing at times is normal and is part of the healing process. ( 9 months to a year )
  good luck to all
post #1414 of 10802
Hi everyone,
I've been busy working and trying to enjoy the last remnants of summer here in Wisconsin.
This past weekend I went swimming in my lake for the 1st time all year(all 3 days) and boating
on a new pontoon that I've been unable to use(large hill to get to boat) Best weekend since
before the injury(surgery 7/14, accident 6/30)
To my surprise after a long, arduous PT session my rom was actually at 115.  Starting weights
(only 2 lbs) and balancing exercises too.  The strength and balance have a long long way to go.
DBrow... glad to hear your you weren't seriously hurt in the fall.  I'm sure all of us are aware
of the possibilities of going down those evil stairs(thats how I got hurt too)
MVCoach and Rocky... coaching is what we do now, I was hoping to coach my sons fall base
ball team, but decided it was to soon.  I am hoping to coach the basketball team.
RCM... you keep up the good work.  It's great to hear from someone so positive
 Gonna try those Dark and Stormies Wanasail recommended this weekend ,
post #1415 of 10802

Good to see eveyone is still hanging in there. This forum has given me a lot of inspiration in my rehab.  

Just over 12 weeks in recovery and Im at about 125 degrees and have just started jogging, deffinately still iffy for any more time over 10-15 mins.  Its hard to stop the limp in my gait and I have to make a conscious decission.  But hell Im just glad to be where I'm at already in this arduous recovery.  The ROM, as it seems for most,  is what really takes discipline.   I have purpously put self in pain every time I try progress a little further.  Just gritting my teeth and going to my happy place!! 

Chris007- Thanks for the input!  Good to hear from someone well into the recovery process
RCM-  Your my hero!  You sound like a tough dude! Your positive attitude in this recovery has really inspired me and Im sure many others. 
Kamakazee-  Yeah getting out is as theraputic as the actual PT,  good to seem ya getting back to your normal laife again

Another quick thing:  Does anyone know anything about the functionability of rubber plugs in the knee?  Along with this full tear of the quad tendon & and a partial tear of the LCL I had to have both meniscuses replaced.  Just wanted to know how well this fake cartalige works. 

And I may sound crazy when I ask this, BUT to the ones further along with this rehab(chris007)   whats the chances that I can still go out there and take the impact of drops on a snowboard........Im only 23 mabye.  Mabye in the future???


post #1416 of 10802
Hi squirmmingcoil -
I'd say your chance of doing drops on your board again is pretty high, maybe close to certain if you do it right.  Based on my experience, you'll want to be at least 6 months post-op, which may even put you into this coming season.   Make sure to talk this over with your PT and OS.  You'll want your OS to check-off before you try it, especially with the extent of all the work they did on your knee.  Your PT can give you exercises to build your tolerance to the impact and help rebuild your balance, which you'll find is more screwed up than you might realize.  Sounds like you're on your way -- good luck!!
post #1417 of 10802
I am now almost 9 weeks post-op and almost 10 weeks post-injury.  My range of motion in my brace is 90 degrees with a little push; My ROM in the passive motion motion gets up to 110 degrees.  (I am told this discrepancy is typical.)  I can go up four stairs with a little push from a cane.  I would not try going down stairs without doing one stair at a time.  With my brace on, set 90 degrees, I can walk two miles without much problem.  While my knee appears swollen, it generally does not hurt unless I am working on ROM.

I am now set to have another surgery on my rotator cuff (dominant arm) for a "massive" tear of the supraspinatus (largest should muscle) in 2 weeks!!  That is, I have two weeks to get strong enought to be able to function with just one arm for at least 6 weeks?

Any thoughts?
post #1418 of 10802
Injury April 9th, 5 months since surgery

Fallguy: Common feelings of the OS.  I have been told more than once that biking is the best for this injury.  Gets the tendons going, builds the quad tissue.  I think a year is a fair assessment for full recovery.  I am still tight sometimes and the smaller quad confirms the weakness I still have.  But all in all the recovery is doing well.  Just taking it slow.

I tried the treadmill today, but level 1 bogs down the machine, and level 2 is almost too fast!  I use to go level 5-6 on a real fast trot, not any more.

I guess the best I can tell you is really do not push the down stairs.  Like I said I got cocky after doing some stairs going down at the medical clinic and tried it at home to the basement. BAD CHOICE.  I almost did not catch myself.  Everything held when the strain was on the repaired knee, but I almost hit the floor again.

If you are more unstable with the shoulder being repaired and a bad leg, you really need to stay at one stair at a time going down. 

Your ROM seems pretty good for your time frame. 

Here is something you can do.  In a sitting position in a chair slide the repaired leg back to +90 deg. position as much as you can.  Then leaning forward kind of pushing the repaired knee down, put a stretch into the upper leg tendons and quad.  Do that till you get the burn.  It loosens up the leg.  You can do that if your laid up with the shoulder repair as you do not have to get on the floor or anything.  I do that when ever I have been walking and the leg tightens up.  It works. 
post #1419 of 10802
dbrow: thanks for the good advice.
post #1420 of 10802
13 weeks
Hey Xerxers,
Sounds like the recovery is coming along just in time to get the shoulder fixed. Hang in there and good luck with that. Hopefully you can crank up the heat on your pool and you can rehab them both at the same time.
Fallguy, I have fallen a few degrees behind you. I am thirteen weeks tomorrow, and I am bout 91/94 degrees. What is frustrating is that I get bent by the PT three times a week, I am swimming 2000 yards three times a week, beating the hell out of a few machines at the club, and I am walking around nearly all day. I just can’t bend my knees on a bet.  
Dbrow16, you are a thrill seeker! Working on stairs and treadmills is impressive.  
post #1421 of 10802
7 days since injury, 2 days since surgery

I'm new to this forum and never dreamed I'd be on it before my accident last week. I was walking down a slick hill last Saturday night at a family reunion in Ellicottville, N.Y. (right next to Holiday Valley ski area, as a matter of fact) when I slipped and landed directly on my right knee. To make a long story short, got back to Florida on Tuesday, saw my new OS on Wednesday, had the injury diagnosed as a torn right quad tendon and had surgery Thursday. After a long, painful night, was released yesterday and am happy to report the pain has mostly subsided.

I'm scheduled to see my OS again in nine days and have been told the leg will remain immobilized for five weeks. Beyond that, I don't have much info, which is why I'm here. I know I need to get lined up with a good PT. I've got a pool in the back of the house that will be excellent for water walking, and I'm reading on these forums that bike riding will be excellent therapy down the road. Any other tips on what to avoid or what to expect? I've been in good health, working out three days a week for years, so I believe I'm a good candidate for rehab. I also played college soccer when I was younger, so I know what it means to push my body hard. Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome.
post #1422 of 10802
 Fl Gimp-
Welcome to the forum!  You best bet right now would be to just lounge around and ICE IT ON AND OFF ALL DAY!!  I had some major work done to my right knee and staying NON-weight bearring for as long as your OS tells ya is a must.  As soon as you're able to start PT just learn to push through the pain,  doing at least one exercise a day has really sped up the process of my recovery.  Deffinately gotta know your limits.  Getting you ROM back will be tough, but along with having your PT yanking back that leg you really have to do it on you own time as well.  This, as for others, is probably one the hardest parts.  Just learn to purpously put yourself in pain and the progression will be WELL worth it!!

Wanasail- Yeah no doubt on the balance, its definnately taken some work!  Doin the "four square"  while hopping from square to square is still a lil 'iff'.  But 6 months sounds good, so thats what I'll shoot for!

Went for about a 6 mile walk along the river yesterday, leg feels decent.  

post #1423 of 10802
Hey Florida Gimp - We're in the same boat, I'm two weeks since injury, a week and a half since surgery. As I mentioned in an earlier post I work with sports med physicians and I asked them about the quad rupture, here's what they told me:

1) The good news:
If you do what the your surgeon tells you, and then do what your PT tells you the prognosis for this injury is quite good. In fact the surgeons say that this is one of the few injuries where you can expect nearly complete recovery.

2) Weight bearing vs. non- weight bearing -
you'll notice on this forum that there is a little debate about how much weight / movement to put on the injured leg. The docs here say you should listen to your surgeon, because they will know the relative strength of your repair. In some cases not an issue, in other cases it's a big issue. The big fear is stretching that tendon before it's healed will mean that when you have recovered, you'll never be able to generate the kind force that you could before surgery with that leg. I know in some places - like England - they even use a hard cast, rather than a Zimmer to keep the leg completely immobilized.

3) Icing etc.
I asked about icing and the surgeons were kind of non-plussed about it. They don't say there's anything wrong with it, however they say what is more important is preventing the venous blood from pooling. To do that they say elevate the foot above the heart as much as possible and wiggle those toes / ankle. Having said that I got my hands on "cryo-cuff" which feels great.

Medical opinions obviously vary wildly, however I will say that these guys look after gold medal Olympians and NHL hockey stars, so I'm listening closely.  Welcome to the forum, I find people's stories and courage here very heartening at the start of what one member described to me as a "very long hill..." hope all goes well with you.
post #1424 of 10802
Thread Starter 
Hello all:  It has been a looooooong time since I've been by here to check out the new posts.  I'm sorry for all the new injuries I see here, but am glad you are able to find help and support through this thread.  I am 48 y.o, had a full QTR on January 13, 2008 (the most intense pain and injury of my life), and had surgery on Feb. 1, 2008.  So, it is about 1 year and 7 months since my surgery, and I thought I'd post about my condition now.  

I still feel it - I know it is there, and it is simply not as strong as the other knee/leg.  However, it continues to get stronger and better ever so slowly.  My athletic performance is not up to what it was prior to the accident.  I have cycled, nordic skiied, hiked, lifted weights, walked to work, done PT exercises - all of them a LOT!  Despite this, I am not the cyclist I once was - I don't seem to have a sprint anymore, and when climbing I am much, much slower than I used to be - this is with both road and mountain biking.  However, I did a 400 mile ride over six days with my family in July of this year, and have done many, many long, hard rides both on roads and on single tracks. 

-Nordic skiing - we'll see how it goes this winter, but last winter I was glad just to be able to do anything outside - I could do long distances, but not very fast - longest day on nordic skis was about 35K last winter - again, not fast, but I could do it. 

-I still have some trouble going downstairs and hiking down hills - did a couple of 35 mile backpacking trips over the past month and a half, and with the weight of the backpack on my shoulders, I need hiking poles to help lower myself down steep slopes.  I have a little trouble getting up and down mountains that I climb as well (without a pack in this case) - my troubles scrambling lead me to believe that I will certainly have trouble actually doing some roped climbing. 

-Finally, alpine skiing - the sport that I love the most, to which I have always been highly devoted (last year was the first winter in 40+ years that I didn't alpine ski once), and at which I always thought I was highly skilled.  It also happens to be the sport that led to this horrible injury - if you are interested in that story, read the first few posts of this thread.  I'm going to try to alpine ski this winter, but I know that it will be difficult - I'll start very slowly - with a progression - wedge turns to wide track parallel, etc.  It is simply not strong enough right now to stand on and conduct a high speed turn with it.  It is my hope that I'll be able to do that by the end of the upcoming season, and that I'll be back to skiing at the level at which I am accustomed by the winter of 2010 - 2011.

So, that is where it sits.  I hope that all of you can move through recovery a little quicker than I  - although I got back to skiing and walking VERY quickly - it is just getting back to the level of performance to which I am accustomed that is taking time.  I think it will happen - as I said earlier, I am continuously improving - slowly.  There is hope for all of you out there as well.  Good luck!

Idaho Guy
post #1425 of 10802
Hi, my name is Brad and I ruptured my quad tendon 2 weeks ago while playing basketball. I am 37 years old and very active in many sports. I was operated on 1 day after my injury and was told that everything went great. My question is about what people were told to do for the first few weeks. I am in a locked knee brace and my doctor said he will see me in 1 month and we will start rehab then, but that was pretty much it. I am able to put weight on it and I walk around a decent amount without crutches with very little pain. Is this normal, or am I doing too much, I have a tendency to push too hard.
post #1426 of 10802

I would strongly (!!!) suggest that you do NOT walk without crutches or cain during the first 4 weeks.  Your absolute first priority is to not rip out the repair while it's weak and healing.  If you loose balance and fall, you could do this easily.  The purpose of the crutch or cain is to provide support and balance in case you loose your footing.  (You don't need to actually put weight on the crutch, just have it with ground contact in case you need it).  It is quite normal to walk, straight legged with the bad leg, immediately after the surgery.  Rehab in 1 month is early.  I was not allowed to bend the leg until 6 weeks.  For the first four weeks, elevate, ice, walk straight legged, and take it very easy.  Do not take risks with the surgical attachement, which will not be complete until about 8 weeks.  Beginning at 4-6 weeks, your priorities are: 1) safeguard the repair; 2) get back range of motion (which will be limited do to swelling and scarr tissue); 3) Last, regain strength.  This is the order of priorities.  Be very carefully decending stairs; go one at a time.  At first this will apply to going up stairs also.  I wish you the very best
post #1427 of 10802
Injury :19Feb. 2009
Hi to ALL!
It's been some time since I last wrote in, although I read your posts every week: they are the biggest source of information about this injury I have.
I was very interested in your last post Rockymtnlimp: I'm from England & my consultant did not recommend physiotherapy.  I have an exercise bike, & am gradually building up the time I can ride.  I have just bought a mini-stepper(it's not electric) as I thought it may also exercise the knee: I would be grateful for all your thoughts about using this.,please.  I am 30 weeks post sugery, & my knee feels as dbrow16 describes, along with 'pins & needles' sensation on occassions. I agree with you dbrow16: I'm also caught up in the vivious circle of needing the exercise but am unable to spend the hour or so doing it!!
Like squirmmingcoil, I'm very, very grateful to this forum.  It's the only place I've been able to find out what to expect along this long road to recovery.  When I look back to February I've made great progress, albeit slowly, & sometimes painfully! But the forum is always here ready to encourage & inspire!
Grateful thanks to all, & Very Best Wishes
post #1428 of 10802
Injured 7/21/09
Surgery 7/28/09

7 weeks post-op.  I got cleared today by my OS start physical therapy, also to get rid of my brace (full-length hinged "Bledsoe" adjustable ROM brace).  Like the "tough love" moments described by many of you, as uncomfortable as I found this brace to be, I am somewhat paranoid about giving it up!  Crazy stuff.  I think I will try to wean myself off the brace by looking for a more lightweight model as I mentioned in an earlier post.

When the OS tested my ROM today for the first time, it was almost 90 deg., which I found encouraging.  He also asked me to try a straight leg lift, which I did (with some pain) to about 8".For the first time in awhile, I felt like I was making some progress.

Thanks again to everyone for their info. and support.

post #1429 of 10802
MVCoach and all other QTR's,
Like you  I was paranoid when my OS told me( at 5 weeks) to get rid of my brace.
The PT was started the same day I got clearence and I was at 47 degrees rom... 4 weeks
later I am at 115 degrees( surgery 7/14)and can straighten with no problem..  Just go slow and bring your cane to assist when your not sure... I still use a cane to make sure I don't rip anything when I go down an extrme hill.
Like Dbrow and others have stated the walking is getting much better this week.
All of us have to remember to be patient
BKLetter...as others have said, Do Nothing the 1st 5 weeks this will be difficult if you've been active, but the tendon has to heal to the bone,
All  has been great the last 2 weeks  with swimming and boating.  In Wisconsin we've had the best wather all summer.
Wanasail.... the wife loved the "Dark and Stormies", thanks for the idea
Good luck to all
post #1430 of 10802
Injury 23rd May 2009
Surgery 4th June 2009

Hello everyone and welcome (regretfully) to the new comers.

I got the all clear from my PT on Friday and from my OS yesterday. Having finally got the correct information about the surgery yesterday I can now confirm that I had the outer and inner 2 QT's total rupture in my left leg (the one behind this remained intact). The repair was carried out using suture wires threaded through 3 drill holes in my patellar. I can walk with a limp, cycle and drive so all things considered I am not doing too badly. My OS tells me that their job is now complete and that it is now down to me. I can accept this. however, I do find the thought of not having any more repeat check ups a bit daunting. For example, going down the stairs is impossible at the minute. It feels like my leg will buckle from under me and that I run the risk of rupturing it again. I get the same sensation if I tried to run. 

I notice that some of you that are a bit further on with this are experiencing a pins and needles like sensation. I am also getting this. Its like it becomes cold beneath the skin. Does anyone know why? Also, yesterday, the OS said to me that there wasnt really anything that I should avoid doing but given the current state of my leg, is this wise advice? My concern is that I may try to push it all too quickly which results in me damaging the repair.

I am also told that arthritis is likely later in life due to this injury. Does anyone have any advice as to how to either prevent or reduce the effects of this? Of course these are all questions which I should have asked at the time but hind sight of course is a wonderful thing which I do not possess!

Kind Regards,

post #1431 of 10802
Hi Westlakes, Nabo19 and everyone else.

The bad news is that with a 'catastrophic' injury like this (not my words, the sports med doc's description) arthritis is almost inevitable. Of course it's nearly inevitable anyway, but with this kind of injury it's almost certain.

Exercise doesn't prevent it osteoarthritis, but most research shows it's one of the most effective ways of alleviating the symptoms, pain and maintaining range of motion. Luckily most people on this forum seem to be on that page.

Nabo19, I'm surprised physio wasn't recommended. Reading through everyone else's posts though, I'm guessing that it might be due to differences in injury. It seems like everyone is given slightly different advice, but that may be due to the surgeon's assessment of the specific injury. In my case, as in a handful of others, I was told no weight bearing, no bending, brace-on 100% of the time, for 4 - 6 weeks... this I'm told will be followed by lengthy, incremental physio to return range of motion. The fact that you're cycling already, sounds like you've already got pretty good range - congratulations.

Thanks to everyone for your posts and inspiration - Idaho Guy, as the guy who started this, it was nice to hear how you are currently doing!
post #1432 of 10802
Oops one more thing - nabo you asked about the mini stepper, the sports med docs didn't have much of a thought on that (other than be careful!) but they do say that "damaged knees like bikes" so your'e on the right track there. Several guys on this forum also swear by swimming, and pool walking - which I'm going to do as soon as I can start bending my leg again!
post #1433 of 10802

15 weeks post op, left quad tendon.  surgery May 28  2009
  hey all, 
 rcm111 : hey dude, how's it going ? hope you're doing well, hang in there....

 westlakes : , congrats,  it sounds like you're doing real good, what is your rom at ?  I'm still around 104 degrees, and  still very painful.  Possibly the severity of the injury and the repair (  tendon to tendon suture repair)  has something to do with my knee being tight. It's still like trying to bend a 2x4 .  Maybe my tendon has been shortened more than others leading to my painful rom program.                                                                                                                                I'm  suprised that they released you from the os and pt  visits already.    As far as the stairs go, just be very careful, in our time frame the muscles have a long way to go to get much stronger. I'm very fit and used to run up and down stairs everyday, now it's one step at a time ..but it's getting better . I can go up easily using the handrail.   
   best of  luck to all

post #1434 of 10802
Surgery June 15th

Hey Fallguy,  I am doing great!  I keep getting stronger and stronger every day.  I am still swimming and started working the leg machines for 30 minutes before my PT.  I came as close to crying as I have since my injury yesterday.  Since I am doing so much strength work on my own, my PT spends the hour bending and working the ROM.  It is excruciating.  I am about 98 left and 94 right, so like you, I am improving about 1-2 degrees a day, and earning every single one of them.   You keep up the good work too!  

I am covering more and more ground everyday.  I started walking the stairs at home (w/handrail) and can do it pretty well, with care.  I spent three hours this evening on my feet walking around chasing kids at the back to school Bar B Que, and I even have my first flight for work scheduled next week.  so life here is slowly getting back to normal. 

Best of luck to all for a speedy recovery.
post #1435 of 10802
Thanks for your response. i suppose the message is to keep as active as possible. That wont do me any harm at all. It seems that this injury is most common amongst skiers. I discussed this with my OS 2 days ago and he suggested that I give it a miss for another year. However, ROM is pretty good, almost 120 and just slightly behind the good leg. I have been told that the amount of ROM depends on the amount of shortening on the tendon repair as the damaged ends have to be trimmed. Therefore, I must have been lucky and had a fairly clean rupture. Also the reputation of the OS proceeds him which has been good for me.

That info you sent me was great. This enabled me to get the answers I required when I got the all clear from the OS and PT, so thanks V. much. NB; Was it you that recommended the dark and stormies then? Well done, I am hooked on them.

Anyway just a quick note to all. Please keep writing in. Every time I read this forum, I discover something else that can I relate to. As from previous entries by you all, it appears that the healing process is partly different for all of us. I personally have not really known what to expect with the exception of reading this forum.

Good luck and recover well to all!

Best Regards,

post #1436 of 10802
injury 7-11-09 left Quad tendon
surgery 7-16 
55 year old male no health issues

It was a dark and stormy night. OK, so it wasn't stormy.  I was on my last day of holiday in Tresure Island Florida which is a beautiful barrier island off the coast ot Tampa St Pete.  My partner and I were walking back from the Ka Tiki bar which is a mile up from our apartment.  As we got close to the apt we left the beach for the street and were holding hands when one of her feet went out  from under her. So I was half twisted around and pulling on the arm that was attached to the hand I ws holding to try to break the fall.  She had gotten out of a cast on her right arm 2 weeks before this so that was flasing in my head.  Just before her bum made contact with the earth and coincidentally with my greatest pull, she let go. Kind of like when the tug of war oppenent lets go.  Because of my odd angle I did a 180 and don't know if the injury happened before I fell or when I fell on my knee. As we all know, the pain was intense and immediate.  The really scary part was that I could not get up.  Went to ER diagnosed with a "femur" tendon tear, which was sort of correct.  It was obvious to me what the problem was because of the huge dent above my knee.  They gave me a short imobilizer and told me the injury would require surgery to repair.  Came home (Northern Virgina) the next day which was Sunday and was able to the OS the next day.  He opined that I had a QTR and drew a sketch of the repair on the paper that covered the examining table  3 holes in the knee.  He said the surgery would be painfull. As we know, he was correct. He also said I would not feel much like working for several days after the procedure.  I half jokingly said that would not be an issue because I did not feel much like working before the injury.  I thought I was going to able to finish this incredibly interesting story this evening but I had to go to rehab, I mean PT and the phone keeps ringing.  TO BE CONTINUED....  I cannot believe what a cool group of folks make up this thing, I wish you all the best and thank you so much for your insights and my attitude and recovery have been greatly enhacences by yall (that a southern term the plural of which is ether yalls, or all yall again thanks so much to each and all of you  Rob  
post #1437 of 10802
Injured 7/21/09
Surgery 7/28/09

Rcm111 and others,

I went to my first PT appt. today and unfortunately I must concur with many of you regarding the pain of having your leg bent by the PT (in this case for the first time).  I was, at times, literally yelling at the top of my lungs.  On the positive side, the 2 hours of hard work did result in some noticable improvement in my ROM (measured at one point at 95 degrees) and in how much more flexible and comfortable the leg felt after the appt.

Good luck to everyone!

post #1438 of 10802
so the os schedules surgery fo Thursday and tells me to go get an MRI.  I appreciated the surgeon someone had who said he didn't need no stinkin MRI.  So I tell the OS office on Tues that I can't get one scheduled until the next week, and assume that the surgery would have to be postponed.  Unbeknownst to me the OS is trying to find someone who can do it before then and they call me at 5 o'clock and tell me to be there at 9 pm.  I was thrilled.  The MRI looked like spaghetti to me but the report decribed an "almost complete tear of the QT"  and was otherwise remarkable for extensive tendenosis and I forget the terminology but there was also a loose chunk of something in there.  OK so surgery scheduled for 7am Thurs.  OS calls me at 4 on Wed and says I need blood work.  I asked how was I going to do that?  He said no problem, they are open til 6.  So I leave my office at 4:45 to go the 4 miles to the lab.  I then remember why I never leave my office at that time, it takes an hour plus to get there and they tel me they have an hour and a half backlog.  A little while later they tell me they don't have the Doctor's order.  I go home and go to bed.  Arrive at the hospital at 6am and there are two counters on either side of set of double doors.  One counter has a sign that says in big letters go to the other counter first which I do.  I wait there a while as the people behind the counter are having a non hospital related conversation and they tell me I need to go to the other counter first. OK
I get through the double doors and meet a nurse who tells me she will see me on the other side.  Then I meet the anesthesiologist, then the nurse anethesiologist and several other people who I am not sure who they were.  I put on OK on my left knee and the OS comes in and initials it.  Everyone except the OS asks me my name and birthday and looks at my bracelet.  Then I get to put on the gown that I am sure we all love.  Next thing I remember is waking up in intense pain with the heretofore so described Frankenstein brace and being told I can't leave recovery b/c ^ blood pressure.  Next I am moved to the "short stay unit" where I immediately discover that my roomate is demented. I am told that I am too late for lunch but that they could bring me a snack.  Lunch does arrive and so does a snack.  You know how hungry you get undergoing surgery.  So my partner's in there and really I am about to cry because of the pain and I'm no macho, but not that big of a wimp either.  In walks my sistere with my 9yo neice who wants to jump all over me.  My partner's concerned about my attire... I'm still in the gown.  This does save me from crying and I appreciated the visit but....   So I know that you need to 12yo to visit a patient so I call security to remove her. Not really. at dinner time comes a really yummy dinner.  Not really.  I have never been a hospital patient before and never want to be one again.  At some point there is an alarm that goes off and after a while I figure out that its comming from my IV.  I press the nurse call button and someone answers "how may I direct your call?"   My roomate, who is in there for some tests comes over (runs around the curtain) to chat and asks how I "broke my leg."  He is supposed to be drinking that awful stuff you drink for some imaging test and around midnight he decides that he has had about enough of it when he has a gallon left to drink and starts yelling at the nurse with coarse and offensive language.  I grab the nurse and beg her to get me out of there. She says she can't.  Around 3am they move me to another room because some one needs my space. Next morning I ask the nurse if she can move the foot of the bed (so I can better manuever) .  So she grabs the foot attached to my bad leg.  After screaming, I explained the difference between my foot and the foot of the bed.  She laughs and tells me she is a foreigner (Czech Republic) and that she has had a long night.  I believe her.  My OS and his intern come in and ask if he used a chain saw to make the incision.  The intern says no, we used a dull ax. OS says I don't need to see him for 2 weeks unless I "do something stupid" I failed to ask what he had in mind.             

I get home and my partner says she'll throw a couple of steaks on the barbee.  I think to myself,  I just got out of the hospital, I didn't just get out of jail. I still have no appetite at this time.  So like others the pain waws pretty bad for two days and then moderated.  I walked around pretty well.  Did not sleep well in the brace, it caused back spasms.  I switched to the short brace which helped a little.  Saw the OS 2 weeks later to get the 18 staples removed.  He says I need the big brace for 6 weeks.  Then I found this site and was intriged by the poster who was going through this for the second time and was pushing the recovery with warning to all to not try this themselves.  In the same vein, follow your doctor's orders!  At four weeks I took off the brace around the house, and bent my knee but did not extend it (use the quad) I did not move the leg in any way that caused pain. I took the brace off to sleep as well, I did not think my leg would take it upon itself to move so that it would hurt.  After six weeks I got released from the brace and the OS looked at my ROM 90 degrees and opined that I had cheated.  While I had been flexing the knee In his office after six weeks was the first time I extended the knee.  It was painful but I could do it.  He said to ride the stationary bike and gave me an Rx for PT.  He said that the PT would probably hasten the recovery.

Another thing that I don't think I have heard anyone talk about is the kind of being a bit off for a while not having the mental edge.  I deal with a lot of people who have been injured in various accidents and depression seems to go along with being debilitated.  Everyone here seems to have a great attitude which I atribute to probably being in pretty physical shape to begin with. I have read this entire thread and it is remarkable how many times someone has said that they were really lucky because of one thing or another.   I was, at one point, starting to feel really sorry for myself, why me?... Then I picked up the Washing Post and on the front page were two soldiers back from Iraq each missing a leg.  They had great attitudes.  Their favorite restaurant was IHOP.  Talk about keeping it real.  The same day I saw a guy in the distance crossing the Street on crutches.  As I got closer, he was missing the entire right leg, I mean to thigh at all.  

ABOUT PT I am lucky in that there is a PT next door to my office.  As soon as I got the brace off I got on the stationary bike at the gym.  The next week I went to PT and have been going 2x a week for 3 weeks now.  The exercises are squats, and the step, and he puts a band around my knees and my ankles for squats and side steps.  I also do clams where you bend your legs and on your side pull your knee up.  With some resistance, it works the glutes pretty hard.  He advised that my "hips" were generally weak.  He is giving me exercises to improve my balance.  I cannot do a one legged stand for very long at all.  He also messages my knee and puts ice on it. He does the bending thing also, but I do that at home by kneeling and when I am in the car I try to push that leg as far as it will go. Two weeks out of the brace the pain was gone unless I try to run which I was doing about 22 miles a week before the injury.  I also played basketball with my niece and tennis and but that is about it for atheletics.  At the gym now I do the leg press with one leg, glutes and quad and hamstring, and also the leg extension with one leg which I think works only the quad.  My ROM is 132.  I asked the PT what it should be and he said "same as the other leg." My guess is that its about another 10 degrees.   

While still in the brace I started doing upper body exercises.  I think I am going to be done with PT this week because I can do everthing that they are doing with me and it is really expensive with a $40 co-pay and even though its right next door its kind of disruptive (my perfect day has me in the gym by 5am. and the PT hours don't really seem to work well for me).   I would guess that my  muscle mass in the left leg decreased by 20% and the strength by more than that.  I can go upstairs great, downstairs can be done but its not a smooth movement, slight catch.

Let me say something about wannasail.  He is a trooper.  Also, I used to really enjoy sailing in the VIs. Sir Frances Drake Channel is like a bathtub, and you can see just about every Island each a half a day sail away or less.  Anegada on the other hand is off in the distance a bit and you don't really go there unless you know what you are doing because of the reefs.  In fact the last time I was down there I nixed a sail over because I thought it was too dangerous for my skills.  I was called a sissy.  While we were down there a cat with a chartered Captain split itself in 2 on the way in. Very ugly, but not as ugly as a torn Quad. 

I was lucky in that my partner has a car with an automatic transmission and she did not mind driving my stick for a while; the PT was right next door saving me tons of time; I will come out of this in better shape than I was in before; my recovery seems to be relatively swift even though I have a ways to go; I found this site which assisted me tremendously and I appreciate each and everyone who contributed. Best of luck to all of you 

CHEERS, Rob     



post #1439 of 10802
Injured 7/21/09
Surgery 7/28/09

PT appt. #2 today.  Another "first" that most of you probably remember:  Getting around the top of the pedal rotation on the stationary bike for the first time.  Not fun.  I am already in complete agreement with many of you that success in this process will be based on committment, hard work, and how hard one wants to push themselves through the pain.

Good luck to everyone!

post #1440 of 10802

Hi all

I am from the UK and started researching quad ruptures after a holiday accident (24th August).  While there was plenty of medical pages about what a quad rupture is there was nothing to tell you what it was actually going to be like dealing with it.  This forum is the only place I have found on the internet that has people with first hand experience (albeit US experiences) sharing.  Needless to say I have been following it since the accident and been inspired to contribute. 

To start with though I should mention I am not a skier, my injury occured slipping, straight legged, off a small rock on a beach.  I was rescused by the local lifeguards who did an amazing job (although Baywatch they were not). 

After 3 miss diagnoses an orthodepadic specialist diagnosed a torn quad above the knee and operated on it 10th September.  I am in a straight leg brace until I return to him on 3rd October and it is here I would welcome your experiences on what happens next...

At the moment I can flex the knee to a very very small degree before I feel stiffness above and below the knee - is this normal ?  I am expecting to be referred for physiotheraphy after the 3rd - what is the frequency and duration of these sessions ?  what is likely to happen to them (will PT involve moving the knee through this stiffness !)?  And finally, how many weeks after the physio is anything like normal walking and driving achievable ?

Lots of questions I know, but one of the benefits I have found from reading this discussion is that knowledge really is power with this injury - the more you know about it the more realistic you can be about your recovery. 

Appreciate your time all

Regards from the UK 

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