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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 50

post #1471 of 10808
Injured 7/21/09
Surgery 7/28/09


Based on how things have gone so far, I also believe that regaining ROM will be my toughest hurdle, always one step forward and half a step back.  It actually sounds like you are making steady progress (8 degrees in the last 10 days) and are obviously working hard.

I made some progress of my own in PT (up to 105 in ROM) last week, but, on an even happier note, was able to drive my car and take a shower for the first time in 9 weeks!

Good luck everyone!

post #1472 of 10808
AHHHH.   The first Shower!   Right up there with the first drive.  Another good one is sleeping on one's side again, or when you can hang your legs over the edge of the bed for the first time.

They say the last 10 degrees are like losing the last 10 pounds in a diet.  They are the hard ones.  MVCoach, you are moving along, and it sounds like you will get there! Good luck.
post #1473 of 10808
Injury April 9th, 5 months 26 days since surgery

I think I am really getting there.

Went Pronghorn hunting this past weekend.   While stalking had no problems with the repaired leg.

Got a nice buck, and after pulling it out to field dress, dressing it out, I realized I was not even thinking of the leg problem.
I was moving a 115 lb animal, bending down to the knees, doing the dressing job, and standing up, tossing it into the pickup...ALL WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS.
Did not even need somthing to help me stand.  It was great!

So basically what I am saying here is if I can go hunting right at the 6 month mark after this injury, you all can do agressive activity too at about that time frame.
Edited by dbrow16 - 10/5/09 at 9:15pm
post #1474 of 10808
Injured 9/6/09
Surgery 9/10/09

Haven't checked in since a couple of days after my surgery. Got fitted with a Bronson knee brace two weeks ago (set at O degrees ROM) and saw my OS for the first time since then this morning. I'm pretty excited about how I'm progressing, but having read these posts know I have a long way to go.

I was fully expecting him to order me to PT, but instead he told me to open my brace to 45 degrees, do a couple of quad strengthening exercises every chance I get and see him again next Monday. His response when I asked him about starting PT: "You're looking at about a $50 co-pay for those sessions and about all they'll be doing is bending the leg anyway. You can do that on your own." Anybody else find that a little unusual?

He figures I'll be out of the brace at about six weeks, which means another two-and-a-half to go. My legs have always been the strongest part of my body and I can feel the strength returning, so I'm optimistic the worst is behind me. Having said that, tomorrow is the one-month anniversary of my injury, and it's been as difficult a month as I've ever had, just from the standpoint of being dependent on others and unable to do so many of the things we take for granted.

One big help in my recovery is we don't have any hills in Florida and I live in a one-story house with no stairs. I also have a pool in the back and look forward to doing some walking in it in another week or two. The OS also gave me the OK to travel on business at the end of the month. Hope I'm not rushing things, but so far, so good.
post #1475 of 10808
Hi All from England,  joined the QTR club 6 weeks ago 24 Aug , whilst cleaning the inside of my conservatory windows my foot slipped off the windowcill and my knee hit the edge of tiled cill with full force slicing my knee open,(saved OS a job). about 8 inch wound and severing tendon about 80% according to OS.4 day spell in hospital
Progress to date.2 weeks straight immobilizing brace, full weight bearing from day 1. Week 2-4 full length hinged leg brace 30%.
Week 4-6 hinged leg brace 60%, on crutches throughout but mainly when outside.for stability in case of slipping.
3rd visit to hospital today and first time since op i have seen OS, (previously registrars who couldn't answer any questions i had).
Thanks to this forum and reading all pages i went armed with a good knowledge of the problems of the injury and lots of questions for him.He seemed quite impressed answering all my questions. I left, being booked in for physio within next week or so,some basic exercizes, leg raises etc, do not neeed to use crutches unless on rough or steep terrain,pool walking o.k, no stationary bike for another week, 90%flexion on the brace, off in 2 weeks time,will be celebrating that one, maybe with a dark and stormy or three.
So a good day today, feeling much more upbeat even though i know there is a long slog ahead to get back on that golf course with my bag on my back. Thanks to all contributors to this forum whose posts gave me the confidence to ask what i would have been ignorant and unaware of and making me realize the severity of my injury and acknowledgement of the realistic recovery time.
At 51 years old i don't think i will start skiing if these are the sort of injuries you get |||||||||||||||| Once again many thanks.
post #1476 of 10808
Hey folks... Glad to find a message board with so many people with so much experience with this... I injured my leg playing football 12 days ago...Basically ran full speed into a guy's knee that was planted in the ground, hit it at a funny angle about 4 inches up from my knee, and flew about 6 feet.  Had a lot of swelling that's gone down some since.  First thought was it was a hematoma, but I still can't lift my leg, and now that the swelling has gone down, the orthopedist has said he cannot feel the tendon and diagnosed me with a Distal Quad Tendon Tear!   I'm 25 and otherwise completely healthy, lift a lot of weights, etc... Given that and the way I was hit, it seems like sort of a freak thing.  Anyway, my surgery is scheduled for Oct 17th, so we'll see how it goes.
post #1477 of 10808
Hi all,

I have not been online in quite a while.  It looks there are several new members to this forum since I was last here, so welcome to you all.  Ouch I enjoyed your humorous recounting of your experiences however I know there is nothing funny about this injury.  It simply sucks!  I am a 38 year old female who fell down two steps helping my husband take out the trash.  As a result of that fall I had a complete rupture of my left quad tendon and I broke my right ankle, not fun!  The one good thing that came out of this injury is that several doctors told my husband I am never again allowed to take out the trash, I definitely plan to ride that train as long as I can.  Although my husband is just as motivated to keep me on my legs because he worked constantly to care for the house, the kids, me and go to work.  I think the broken right ankle complicated my rehab a bit but in the end all is good.  I was injured on March 30th of this year and had surgery on April 7th.  I believe I have blocked out many of the details but I do know I finished rehab on July 10th.  Rehab hurt a lot at times but I tend to be very pig headed so I did every single thing I was told to do and pushed through the pain as much as I could.  In the end, I get around great.  My biggest regret is that I was discharged from PT before they could get me running again.  I am able to run a little if you can call it that.  My gait is really off and uncomfortable.  I think it may be a mental thing and I am simply favoring my left leg.  The only complication that I continue to experience day to day is steps.  My leg can be very stiff going up and down steps and if my muscle is tired, my injured leg will continue to buckle, not so much that I fall but it can still be unsettling.  I believe it was wanasail who talked about the strengthening the quad and improving balance and that is something I think that I will be working on for a while.  When I was discharged from PT, I had full range of motion and at 6 months post op, I feel great except when I try to run or go up and down stairs. 
Welcome again to all the new folks, use this forum for what it can offer you, it really is a great way to learn about your injury and get support from people who really do understand the emotional and physical pain of this injury.

post #1478 of 10808
Greetings to all qtr forum members,
This will be my last post as it is almost a year since my surgery for my left quad tendon rupture (from a sudden fall on a slippery stone in my backyard last Oct 21)  fyi, I am a 58 year old man in good physical shape, who was quite physically active before my injury. Since the surgery last Oct 23,  I have come very far- I have  snow skied (on intermediate slopes in Snowmass, Co. 5 months post surgery and am now ready for the steeps and bumps this season), did a 100 mile cycling trip in Cal. this summer (8 months post surgery), water skiied 10 months post surgery, resumed singles tennis playing 7 months post surgery, am now running about 15 miles/wk and weight training 2-3 x a week. I have full rom and the leg that was injured is very strong.  When friends ask if I have completely recovered, I tell them I am at a 95% recovery - on rainy days, the tendon feels tight and after an hour or so sitting in a theater or at a restaurant, I still have to stretch it. Obviously, this is all minor stuff compared to how I felt during and for months after my surgery. I am completely grateful that I have recovered so completely from this awful injury and credit it to the following: A great os who operated on me two days after the tear, a tough and caring pt who worked with me 2 x week for 6 months, my discipline of doing every possible exercise at home and at the pt's every day for 6 months after the surgery (many knee slides!)  and a positive attitude that was encouraged by the members of this forum, friends and family. The last is the most important, I believe, because for active people like many of us on this forum, it is very depressing to be disabled so suddenly - thinking positive thoughts about recovery, and receiving the support of this forum, friends, family and faith, carried me through. I am grateful to all on the forum for your support. To those who have recently been struck by this horrendous injury, before you know it, you too will be back doing all those things you loved to do before the injury. (And, as Susan said in her post,  you will have an excuse for not doing things you never liked to do!) 
Be positive, and I know you will heal real soon

post #1479 of 10808

55yo active male

surgery 7-16

now six weeks out of the brace

(is it just me, or does the immobilizer make my knee look fat? )

in my 5th week of PT and while I am probably more cynical than most I think the PT is a bit of a scam. The exercises that I do there I also do at home, I can rub my knee myself for 10 minutes and can bend my leg back til it hurts myself I don’t need to go there to ride the stationary bike or to ice up. I think the point of PT should be to give one the tools necessary to get better and in five weeks we have not really done anything new. Having said that, we as a group seem to be motivated big time and that may not be the case for others where the PT is a coach or Dutch uncle.

Last week I told him that I was generally quite pleased by my progress (145 ROM but the left quad is not responding as quickly to my strength building regimen) but that I was disappointed in that I still had to put my trouser on one leg at a time. He didn’t get it. I could see him trying to conjure up some exotic exercise to help me through this short coming.

Kamikazee we had our surgery at the same time so hope you are coming along. Jost Van Dyke is where I learned that there is a difference between scuba fins and snorkeling fins. We has anchored about a half mile out from the soggy dollar bar and I decided to swim in and thought the scuba fins would speed things up. I’m sure my mates were doubled over.

Floridagimp My OS was not particularly keen on PT but did give me an Rx and said it would hasten the recovery but I don’t find what your doc said to be strange given my experience.

dbrow, you really know how to vacation.

Marine 70 My goal is to be above ground at your age. I too struggled a bit with the "why me" thing, I missed out on a trip to Tanzania and the wedding of a dear friend of mine in NY. Having a positive attitude is key and there are silver linings along the way. It gets better and some depression is an aspect of most debilitating injuries.


Susan, I too am anxious to get back to running. I feel like I probably could but it just isn’t

fluid, sort of the same thing as going down the stairs. I plan to start to put in a few jog steps along the way and keep going down the stairs a lot.

Spinner I did the same thing 30 years ago on a first date with an attractive, fit and athletic woman. Soon as I got on the bike, flop. Fortunately all I got was a skinned knee.

I continue to appreciate you comments and support best to all for a speedy recovery


post #1480 of 10808


upon reflection, I may have been a bit harsh on the PT btw sorry about the typos I thought my editor would pick them up. Its challenging to type with this injury. Just got back from PT and it is helpful if disrupt full


For irony, the night my QT failed, I had just finished reading The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion. The following is copyright so don’t tell anyone you saw it here:

"Didion's husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, died of a heart attack, just after they had returned from the hospital where their only child, Quintana, was lying in a coma. This book is a memoir of Dunne's death, Quintana's illness, and Didion's efforts to make sense of a time when nothing made sense. "She's a pretty cool customer," one hospital worker says of her, and, certainly, coolness was always part of the addictive appeal of Didion's writing. The other part was the dark side of cool, the hyper-nervous awareness of the tendency of things to go bad. In 2004, Didion had her own disasters to deal with, and she did not, she feels, deal with them coolly, or even sanely. This book is about getting a grip and getting on; it's also a tribute to an extraordinary marriage.


JGD was sitting down and he gave out a great sigh and appeared to die. Joan’s first reaction was that he was commenting on the day’s events. One of the themes of the book was how everything is fine then all of a sudden everything in your life is different. I not trying to turn this forum into a book club but I do recommend this book for qtr victims. The review above captures it— get a grip and get on


someone asked a question about ice and none of my providers told me to ice the knee after surgery and I didn’t for the 4-6 weeks in the brace to do over again, I would have iced a lot during that time. I am not sure why the knee has so much fluid in there my guess is that there are spaces in the knee that did not exist before the rupture and the surgery later

post #1481 of 10808
injured Aug 31,
surgery Sept 4
44 yo male, previously pretty active.

Hey all - thanks again for taking the time to post. Hearing your stories really is inspirational and motivational ... I am still, unbelievably still not cleared for weight bearing, or moving. I'm still hopping around on these blasted crutches with a leg immobilizer, while my leg shrivels to the size of mother Theresa's.

Catfish I am so sick of relying on other people to get around that I'm contemplating your left leg out the window idea - even though it snowed here in Calgary last night!

I'm seeing the OS next week and I better get the all clear to get cracking, cause this can't go on.

Spinner, I enjoyed your story about trying to work out on the bike. I've been creating bodyweight workouts (pushups, pullups etc) so I can at least do something, but I think I'll try to hop up on the spin bike and see if I can try your patented one leg workout (I'll keep the crutches handy for backup though!)

Like Catfish, I'm lucky that I've got a desk job - but my other job is being a professional musician. I've had a "sub" in my band for the last month or so, but I've committed to returning starting October 17th, after that we average at least a couple of shows a week until Christmas... Not really sure how I'm going to play for 2 - 4 hours a night yet - I'm thinking I'll try a bar stool (although that doesn't really 'rock') but I don't see many options. I guess if I fall over a lot, people will just think it's typical musician behaviour!

Trying to stay on the positive, but as we all know some days are better than others. Ouch thanks for the book suggestion, I'm going to order it from Amazon today.

I went to the funeral of an old work colleague of mine this week, about our age, who died of cancer leaving four young children. That certainly gives you the perspective that in comparison, I don't have a care in the world.

Thanks all -
post #1482 of 10808
Injured 7/21/09
Surgery 7/28/09


I was in an immobilizer and non-weight bearing for 7 weeks after surgery, and didn't start PT until 8 weeks.  Every doctor seems to have a different degree of being "conservative" in their approach, mine being one of the most conservative, at least when compared to the experiences of most of the others in this group.  I am finally driving - the regular way - after 10 weeks...and yes, it did seem like an eternity.  With mine being a right leg injury, what I am discovering is that with the still-limited ROM that I currently have, I can JUST bend my right leg enough to get my foot where it has to go to work the gas and brake pedals (I am 6'5" and drive a Nissan Versa hatchback, so that doesn't make things any easier!).  My point is, I don't think I could have driven my car any earlier in the process, even if the OS or PT had approved it.  Hang in there...you will be moving around and driving again soon, hopefully and probably much sooner than I was. 

On a brighter note, it is puck season again...GO BRUINS!

Good luck to everyone!

post #1483 of 10808
 injured 22/08 0700h
surgery 22/08 1500h

morning rupture kings and queens...rockymtnlimp, ouch,mv 

just a comment ....I am amazed at how many fellow QTR'ers have been injured and diagnosis and subsequent surgery is days if not longer after the accident!!!! Pretty rough on the patient!!
It does  appear that there is a link between the longer the delay to surgery and a slower the rate of return to weight bearing and the start of partial passive flexion (notwithstanding a conservative approach ).  ICING is a great way of helping to reduce swelling and speeding up healing...frequent icing 3x plus times a day for 15 mins or so I have found to be really beneficial(good for all types of muscular, ligament/tendon pains esp after exercise)... this site with hands on real time experiences has helped me curb my natural tendency to push past early stage frontiers of pain in favour of a more conservative approach(well almost!)
Limp...there are no short cuts mate... slow and steady  will win.The frustration of lack of exercise;  the fear of that roll around the midriff growing and the knowledge that extra work will be required to get rid of it ; the ratty temperament and inability to get anywhere cos we can't drive ...... in fact we are pretty bloody useless for the first 6 weeks or so. I am into 7 weeks now... just passed 50 deg ROM (no big deal when I think of where I have to go... 130-140 deg whew......it hurts already!!) am sneaking in a bit of wet eared cardio exercise but my fitness has already committed suicide and jumped out the window so now I am just trying  to maintain my level one legged spinning and working out at the gym upper body and leg presses / extensions for good leg where I can use a machine whilst my other legged locked in zero movement brace...note of caution here.. there is an aspect that we need to be aware of exercising particularly the good leg before the ruptured tendon has passed the at least the 6 week mark.The way I understand it (apologies to any purist out there!!) with cycling for e.g... ..... the body transfers muscle contraction subconsciously to the opposing leg  (the injured one) even if you are resting it on a nearby stool (guess who does this!!??  ) especially if you up the  resistance/effort .. the same with leg press etc....SO BE VERY SURE YOU ARE ABLE TO PASSIVE FLEX YOUR QUAD MUSCLES WITHOUT PAIN OR DISCOMFORT  AND THERE IS FULL PATELLA MOTILITY PRIOR TO STARTING ANY SIMILAR ONE SIDED EXERCISE!! None of us want to go thru  this pain and frustration again... my wife would not stay married to me any longer if I repeated this little saga because of my over zealous desire to return in search of my endorphin fix!!!!

I have started  setting my brace with a bit of flex 30 deg when walking albeit in a controlled environment ..nice flat area ..not stairs etc (please don't let my physio see this... I get repeated lectures about slowly slowly catchee monkee)... must confess that I  have tossed my crutches though cos they're hard work and I have good static standing stability  in my injured leg and can walk ok for some distance with brace locked.I find the straight legged gait causes me hell for my back.
 I find the longer I have my leg down...walking around , seated at my desk whatever the more swollen the knee becomes.... passive quad flexes help to move fluid but nothing beats getting the leg up. Limp.....dunno about a 2-4 hr band do mate....I sure wouldn't be able to do much stomping let alone standing for that time.. (don't mention age!!!!! )

MV... like I said... I have just got to the stage of using the brace with a bit of flex permitted.....tried to get in the car yesterday(we're right hand driving over here!) and I am also QTR right leg.I can get on to the passenger side injured leg first... no problem but on the driver side you have to enter with your left leg first and then bring the QTR special in - so no can do..NO BIG DEAL I reckoned .....so I reclined the car seat flat back and managed to slide in putting my bum on the seat first and then pulling myself thru the car until my legs made it into the foot/pedal part... VICTORY..SEATED READY TO DRIVE!!!!!!!!! or so I thought...don't have much (for that read ANY!) lift power in my leg so altho I have  about 30 deg bend I am battling to get off the accelerator  and onto the brake (Automatic shift)altho I l have the left left on standby....then I tried to get out.. took me about 10 minutes to extricate myself...thought I was going to have to call the wife to come and help and that might have led to an early divorce   as she and the physio believe that I should be "quiet" and not attempt things before I die of old age !!!!  Well can't follow that ....too much !!!.. but maybe driving will have to wait another week...........

Cheers to all. Have a good weekend.Take care of that leg and remain positive!!!!
post #1484 of 10808
I am writing this 3 days short of my one year anniversary after a complete quad tendon tear on my left leg.  I guess I am one of the lucky ones as I had suregery 27 hours after I tore it.  Rehab is still on going but no longer seeing a physiotherapist, although I probably should to continue to increase strength in the knee area. I am pretty much pain free although every once in a while it lets me know I did it.  My range of motion is about 99% of an undamaged knee which I feel good about, although still not as good as my right knee.  I can kneel down and bend back with my leg beneath me and get back pretty far, I am guessing to about 140 degrees.  I had set two goals for the first year, my Physiotherapist said was an aggressive goal but I set it anyways, one was to play golf after six months and two was to be back on ice skates in time for coaching my son this year in hockey.  Well with aid of a Tensor Velcro wrapped knee brace I was able to achieve both my goals.  Played several rounds of golf since the six month mark, although using a golf cart, but that is more out of fact that I am fat and lazy and dont want to walk several miles chasing a stupid white ball.  I have now been on the ice three times coaching my sons hockey team and working the leg more and more each time, for me it is all about little goals and baby steps.  Set a goal, achieve it, feel good about it, raise the bar, achieve it, feel good about it etc etc.  I dont think my leg will ever be 100% of what it was before I tore it apart but I am far further ahead of where I thought I would be at this point in time.

For those of you that see nothing but dark days, or think that things will never get better or you will never be the same, take it from someone that has been there, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is NOT the train.  Go slow, baby steps, goals, achievements, celebrations and a commitment to allow yourself to heal at YOU'RE own pace, not a pace set by anyone else. Give yourself time, go slow, the last thing you want to do is tear apart again...commit to physio therapy, dont try and be a hero all the time, sometimes it is best to say, "hey I cant do that because"  People do not pity you, they understand, they do not think any less of you, they admire you for the fact you are trying!

So my new goal for this next 12 month period is to ride my 18 speed bicycle around an 8 mile nature trail which includes several steep hills both up and down, without my knee brace and without stopping...but I will be the first one to say..."Hey I cant do that becasue" if I feel I cannot complete that goal the first time around. 
Good Healing to all!
post #1485 of 10808

Hey Everyone,

I have not posted for about a week or so and would like to report much progress.  I have advanced from 68 degrees to 82 degrees over a 10 day period and my leg is getting stronger.  I have to go in for a second surgery next Wednesday to removed damaged cartilage and other resulting from the impact in the diving board accident that ruptured my right quad.  My doctor says that the arthroscopic procedure will be much less evasive to remove the torn meniscus/cartilage than it was to reattach my ruptured quad.  I should be back in PT within a few days of the surgery.

I think my routine in PT is becoming more effective each session.  I spend about 20 to 30 minutes warming up and strengthening the knee before getting into the heavy bending exercises and then a combination of assisted/unassisted heal slides laying flat and vertical leg hanging exercises are really stretching it out good.   The scar tissue tearing pain has subsided as well the past 10 days from warming up better and improving the techniques for stretchning.  I have not had the same pain I previously experienced to gain a few degrees of additional ROM.

Rockymtnlimp......If there is some way to disguise your left leg when it is sticking out the window you may be ok.  Possibly put a box over it so it looks like you are carrying a package or maybe a dog costume so it looks like you have a dog on your lap.. may work.  The freedom of driving is a great sanity boost but we have to do it carefully with this injury.  

My motivation to get back into my kayaks and go touring and kayak fishing in central Tennessee is certainly within reach now.  I think by mid November, I will be comfortable enough to start again.  My kayak weigh around 60 pounds, so I want to allow further strengthening and healing prior to carrying it around.

For everyone feeling down, it will get better.  Some aspects of the recovery come back faster than others.  My last 2 weeks have been a great improvement and my independence, morale and hope are on the rise!

post #1486 of 10808
Greetings All! This is the QTR formally known as Vermont Soldier. I think that I was one of the founding members of this thread. I have been out of the loop for a while. This thread was an amazing support system during the time that i needed it and Idaho Guy gets all the credit for initiating this. My injury was a complete QTR left side in Jan 2008, surgery, NO PT interventions. I am happy to say that a complete recovery is in everyones future! I am back to running, working out, hiking, skiing etc. I even did a 120 century ride thru the mountains of vermont this summer. I still have a little bit of rubber band tightness every now and again. Otherwise, business as usual. My best to all of you all in your recoveries. VS
post #1487 of 10808
Injured 7/21/09
Surgery 7/28/09


Your update is very encouraging!  I remember reading your posts when I first found my way to this discussion and am very happy to hear that you are doing so well.  Best of luck to you!

post #1488 of 10808
 VS ...thanks... good news to hear that recovery is so complete. Looking forward to that stage!!
post #1489 of 10808
 Injured 9/6/09
Surgery 9/10/09

A little more than five weeks since my injury and I've been progressing well, and wanted to give some reasons behind it. My Bronson brace is now open to 60 degrees and my OS says he'll make it 75 when I see him Monday, and 90 one week later. The swelling has gone down significantly and I believe I'll lose the brace in two weeks.

My wife tells me there's was a testimonial awhile back on this thread about the benefits of electrical stimulation and Ultrasound. I've been seeing my chiropractor three times a week for the past two weeks and she's been doing both - two 10-minute stim sessions and a four-minute Ultrasound - and we're really seeing the quadricep muscle respond.

With the warm weather sticking around in Florida - it's been 90 or above almost every day in October, though a cool front is expected to cool it off to the mid-70s tomorrow - I've also started doing some pool work the past three days with the brace off (obviously). The first day I just walked back and forth in the shallow end holding the edge of the pool. The second I walked back and forth in the shallow end and sat on a buoyant "noodle" for about 15 minutes kicking in the deep end. Today I kicked for about 30 minutes. My OS is ambivalent about this exercise but my chiropractor is strongly encouraging it. She feels it will loosen up the fluid in the knee and speed the healing process.

Feel like the muscles are getting close to being strong enough now to get out of the brace and back to driving. My goal for both is Nov. 1, which would be 71/2 weeks post-op. 
post #1490 of 10808
8 months, 10 days post-injury
8 months, 4 days post-surgery

Howdy folks,

I hope everyone on the forum is as well as possible considering the circumstances of why we're all here. I haven't been posting much lately, as things have been pretty steady-state for a while. Progress continues to come slowly, but it is always coming. That's the nice thing about this injury -- it heals. It takes a phenomenally long time to heal and gives your patience a run for its money, but it does heal. Right now, I'm finding that I need to keep up a couple of my PT exercises more than I have been. I feel like my VMO is not recovering as quickly as the rest of my quad muscles, and the best way to push it seems to have been my straight leg raises and cross-leg raises with ankle weights. My estimate of the moment is that my left leg (injured) is now about 80% of the strength in my right leg. I'm doing leg workouts in the gym 2-3 days per week right now. Cycling is still possible up here in Mass, but diminishing daylight means that I'm riding outside 2x per week and on the trainer in the basement on my other day. Exercise is still fun and makes me feel like things are approaching normality.

Today was a milestone for me -- I played my first competitive tennis match since the injury. I played hard, moved well, stopped hard, and generally played a real tennis match without favoring my left leg one bit. I was aware of it -- it doesn't feel like my right knee any longer, but it does work and hold up to the pounding of hard court tennis. For those who don't know, I ripped by quad playing tennis. My goal post-surgery was always to get back on the court and be as close to the level that I was pre-injury as I could be. In all honesty, I wasn't sure how far back I would make it. I've been working at tennis again since late July. I'd been hitting only about once per week to insure that I didn't overdo it on the court at the expense of the strength build-up that's required for recovery. Over the past 3-4 weeks, I thought I was making real progress in how I felt moving around the court and had been hitting with some tougher players.

Still, I hadn't played more than a set at a time. Our winter league started this week. My original plan had been to go back to playing in Dec. or January. The past couple of weeks convinced me that I might be ready to try it earlier than that. I had worked it out with my team captain/club owner that I'd come back by playing second doubles to give me a chance to test it out and probably not be pushed quite as hard. Needless to say, the best plans of mice and men ..... Anyway, I found out this morning that I was going to come back to tennis by playing first doubles. It was against a middle of the pack team from last year, but I was definitely getting antsy about playing -- esp. at playing first doubles in my first week back on the court. I'll admit it. I asked my wife to come and watch me play -- in the back of my mind I thought that it'd be cheaper than another ambulance ride to the hospital :).

To tie this up, the knee held together wonderfully. As I said earlier, I played a real tennis match. I moved to cut off volleys, jumped for overheads, pushed off on my injured leg to serve, and actually sprinted in to retrieve a couple of drop volleys that I don't think I would've gotten pre-injury. My wife said that she was scared by how I was chasing balls down. That comment made my day, 'cause it means that I was really playing without thinking about my knee. I felt it when I served -- pushing off and landing on my serve is still a little uncomfortable. At the end of the match, I started to feel some fatigue in my VMO area and along the inside of my knee.

The anti-climax to all of this is that we won the match, 6-3, 6-3. I served out the match on four first serves for my first day back playing competitive tennis. It wasn't the prettiest match that I've ever played, but it felt so insanely good to be back out there that I wanted to share it with the group. This forum has been a godsend through the months of recovery. I want to thank all of you for providing a real sense of community when I've needed it. The recovery is still ongoing and will be for a while. Still, today was a real step toward making me feel like getting back to at least where I was before is going to be a reality.

post #1491 of 10808
Injured 7/21/09
Surgery 7/28/09


Great to hear the QTR recovery/return to tennis update!  It is obvious that you share the same passion for one game (tennis) that I do for another (hockey).  At almost 12 weeks post-op (4 weeks since starting PT), I am making slow, steady progress as well.  I can now go hard on the bike and treadmill, and am up to 115 deg. ROM.  Still a long way to go, but progress all the same.  I, too, have been wondering when I will be able to skate, and at this point am unsure as to whether it will be this coaching season or not.  I am prepared for either scenario, but I desparately hope I can get out this winter.  My PT says it should be the doctor's decision, but I am also (hopefully!) old enough and wise enough to know when it feels right for me and listen to that voice.

Good luck to everyone!

post #1492 of 10808
Hello to the veterans and welcome the newcomers alike.

I havent written in for a while because i havent much to tell. However, I have made a slow but steady improvement over the past few weeks, noticeably my walking. I no longer  limp walk with the injured leg in full lock out position. I can do a little more in the gym, especially swimming where during the frog leg style movement during breast stroke, i dont feel any sideways pain. Gym session generally includes cross trainer, rowing machine, static bike and some v. light weights, say 15kg. This still gives me considerable pain to the injured leg which is massively over compensated by the good leg. Do any of the veterans have advice on this?.....This one for Garland as you are nearly all the way there.....well done!

For any of the newcomers, especially those who live in England and therefore recieve NHS treatment (unless you are private).....How did you find PT? My views are that you only recieve the bare bones of treatment and that the only intention of the NHS is to tick boxes!!  My advice to those of you who unfortunately get this raw deal is to continue PT privately by yourself. I did and found the 1st session very informative, especially with regard to extra massaging and walking techniques. If anything, I think this is the catalyst in my walking improvement.

Who knows? jogging next, then sprinting, then bunjee jumping!!!!

Good luck to all.


Westlakes (England)
post #1493 of 10808
post #1494 of 10808
 I found this website and also found it to be horribly depressing, I was hiking in the mountains around Las Vegas and slipped on loose gravel with my right leg, when my left leg tried to stop the fall it hit just right (more like just wrong!) and resulted in a complete quad rupture in that leg. This occurred on Aug 22 of 2009, since I was out of town I went to the emergency room and then had to drive back to Venice, Ca. where I live. I found a doctor from a well known sports medicine group who happened to take my insurance and had surgery on Aug 28.  
Today 7.5 weeks after surgery the doctor saw me said I was doing great and only needed to see him again if I had any unforseen problems which he doubted.  I can return to work in 3 weeks as I do get tired from standing too long. 
      1) at one and a half weeks the steel pole wrap around was removed and replaced by a nylon and velcro adjustable brace set at 30 degrees.
      2) Passive range of motion was begun at this time
      3) 3.5 weeks the brace was opened completely and active range of motion began
      4) Crutches and Brace were gone at 6 weeks; I began active walking, beginning on a stationary bike along with all the squats, balance exercises etc.. from PT.
      5) Also at 6 weeks I had 140 degrees of flexibility
      6) By 7 weeks I was playing frisbee with my dog on the sand on the beach without problems and could both ascend and descend stairs without holding the handrail and landing each foot normally on the stair one lower than the one my other foot was on.  had returned to the gym for upper body strength training around 5 weeks and by 7 weeks was also using the gym for lower body (legs; including quads)
      7) was able to run around the block today but very slowly....I'll be there in a week.

I was in very good shape at the time of my fall, I am a 52 year old male and am very driven to get over this as quickly and completely as I can.   I told my doctor how hard I was pushing and he never seemed to think anything wrong with what I was doing (in fact he was surprised that I hadn't started short hikes yet!)
      I PUSHED MYSELF HARD...if my legs did not ache at night I figured that I was slacking, I always pushed harder than the PT said often adding weights to exercises without telling her. My first walk was one mile, not around the block as she had suggested.  There was a week period when I first started AROM when between my three daily sets it took about two hours for me to actually move my stiff painful knee sometimes I just wanted to give up but I kept going and the Doctor never said "slow down" so I didn't.  Now I have more of a ache than actual pain and am going to continue to push hard till I reach my goals.

       I DID NOT WRITE THIS TO BRAG BUT SO OTHERS COULD READ A STORY OF RELATIVELY RAPID RECOVERY; as i said at the beginning I found the whole forum to be so depressing when I read of the slow recovery rates most people had.  
post #1495 of 10808
Injury 9/6/09
Surgery 9/10/09

It's only 3 days since my last post but I got some very positive news on my latest OS visit yesterday and wanted to pass it along.

I recounted last time how I was feeling the electrical stim, Ultrasound and pool work seemed to be reducing the swelling and speeding my ROM. I had my brace off when the OS walked into the room and he couldn't stop staring at the knee. I was scheduled to open the brace from 60 to 75 degrees, but when I flexed the leg he said, "You're already past 75. We'll go to 90, and the brace comes off next week. You're ahead of schedule." I could have jumped up and kissed him, but that wouldn't be a good idea.

Was back in the pool today for 20 minutes, then (carefully) took my first shower in seven weeks without a Hefty bag wrapped around my leg. Six days and I can't wait.

Here's my question: My OS seems ambivalent about it, but my chiropractor feels I should wear some sort of supportive sleeve on the leg for at least a few days after the brace comes off, and definitely when I travel to NYC on Halloween weekend. Anyone else have experience with this? It does seem daunting to go from that much support to nothing.
post #1496 of 10808
Hey floridagimp, I did not get out of my brace until I was eight weeks post op and at that time I asked my OS if I should wear a brace of any type my knee and he said that I could if I wanted to but that it wasn't necessary.  I learned that he was correct.  At that time my leg was strong enough that I did not need any additional support.  So if your doctor does not think you need the support then it sounds like you should give it a try without. I did have my crutch with me for the first few days but then realized that I did not need it.  Good Luck with things!
post #1497 of 10808
Injury April 9th, 6 months 11 days since surgery

I am getting good progress, so my message is, there is a light at the end of this rocky tunnel.

Basically full ROM but slight bend on leg lift.  Still weak Quad muscle (my own fault due to not doing all the exercises) and intermittent ache on the knee cap outer side where the repair was made.  Slight limp and favor of the repaired leg.

However, I took a 10 day vacation with long flights and lots of walking.  No real problems.
Went Pronghorn hunting, walked and hauled stuff back and forth to the truck.  No problems.
Went Deer hunting Sunday, walked & hauled stuff back and forth to the truck.  No problems.
Going Elk hunting this coming weekend with same story on walking and hauling.

I am doing good guys.  It is not as it was on April 8th, gets a little stiff in the evening.  But I am functioning well.

Keep progressing and do not give up as it gets better.   I am just out of the tunnel looking back at where I once was, and things get better every day!
Edited by dbrow16 - 10/21/09 at 5:12am
post #1498 of 10808
77 year old male
three months post surgery
I was very active--ski--bike--racquet ball--race walk--weights etc. I had a stress test once a year and consistently scored superior.

I was on a river bank in Maine photographing my wife who was in a Kayak. I stepped sidewise---hit a slick spot and fell with my leg folded under me. Bingo goes the quad! They wouldn't let me fly out (I live in Dallas) due to fear of blood clots wandering around in my body. I had the surgery in New Hampshire. I took pot luck with a surgeon. Apparently he did a good job because I've had no major problems. I am being followed by an OS in Dallas but since he didn't do the surgery, he has little to say.

It seems that I am considerably older than most on this site. Thus, I am not sure if I will heal at the same rate. I do follow the PT sugestions---I admit I cheat a little. 

I have fair range of motion and my quad is getting stronger day by day. (It is looking less like Mother Thersia's quad!!) I am also working on balance by standing on one leg for ten seconds at a time. This is key to recovery. The injured leg has to re-learn balance. The PT said I had about 12 months to get to "function"  whatever that means. I plan to ski (carefully) in late 2010. The hardest part has been accepting the slow progress with this type of injury. I am learning many new "life lessons."


post #1499 of 10808
Hey Bruce and all fellow QTRérs ...you've made good progress... few people manage to rehab rapidly.Clumsyhiker seems to have been really fortunate..lucky guy.. but for the rest of us ...apparently according to most OS (mine included who is ultra conservative btw!)and various internet sites ..it takes the tendon 12 weeks before it is able to reach its maximum level of tensile strength - so prior to this all exercises should be returning range of motion and stability to the joint.The risk of another rupture is always there and the old adage of slowly catchee monkee is prudent(of course it also depends a huge amount on how the tendon tore and what other ancillary damage was done to the retinaculum , cruciate ligaments etc)...However, once you've passed the magic 12 week mark they say it is time to start seriously conditioning the muscles and ligaments in the gym. With reference to your seniority ...tendons don't really change too much in their characteristic but of course returning muscle strength is more and more difficult as we grow older as testosterone etc necessary for muscle development are vastly diminished.Keep working at it!! I am 8 weeks down the road.. range of motion is begrudgingly arriving around 80 deg but improving every day..lots of icing after passive bends & isometric strength contractions because of swelling .Have just started assisted leg extensions from the knee and about to attempt starting some straight leg raises :-( ...going to be lots of fun!!! To all out there ..keep up the exercising it's great to get encouragement from guys and dolls that have reached full recovery...boy oh boy..don't we all look forward to that day!!! Cheers from South Africa. Spinner
post #1500 of 10808
Injured 7/21/09
Surgery 7/28/09
Started PT 9/21/09

Just a quick progress update:

Strength and balance are improving rapidly in the last 2 weeks.  ROM as of today is 128 degrees.  I am guessing that my "good" left leg (2 previous surgeries) probably has about 140 degrees ROM, so I'm getting there.  The best way for me to describe this recovery is that I feel a tiny bit of progress each and every day.  When this is all over, not only will my recovered leg be stronger (hopefully!) but my patience will definitely have grown dramatically.

Good luck to everyone!

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