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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 55

post #1621 of 10807
To all --

After my injury, I got a lot out of this site and would like to give back.

It was a long time before I was confident enough to take a shower standing up.  When I was ready, I needed to figure out a way to do it with the immobilizer brace on.  Here's what worked for me.

- Get an extra large garbage bag.  The yard leaves bags work.
- Poke a hole in the bottom of the bag.
- Take the brace off and put your leg thru the hole.
- Pull the bag up and bunch it up around your crotch.  Bunch it up until the hole in the bag is just below the bottom of where your brace would be.
- Put the brace on top of the bag and connect your straps, etc.  Note that the bulk of the bag is still bunched up around your crotch.
- Pull the bulk that's at your crotch back down over the brace.

Now, all water outside the brace will fall outside the bag and all water that runs down your leg will run between your leg and the bag.

Hope this helps someone.  Best regards to all.

Lane in Illinois
Full rupture playing beach volleyball on a Florida vacation
post #1622 of 10807
47 Yr old M
right QTR Jan 31, 2009; surgery Feb 13 2009

Hello all,

It's been some time since I've posted, but I thought I'd check in as I've recently come to the one-year anniversary of my injury.  At a year out, I've got full ROM, but seem to be able to do most of what I'd done prior to the injury.  I haven't yet skied, but plan to give it a try later this month.  I did, however, get up on waterskis back in August and was a bit shaky.  For the past several months I've been doing full squats in the gym (5 sets of 12 reps at 135-185 lbs.), and that seems to have strengthened the leg.  I don't seem to have much explosive power, however, and the leg often feels tight and somewhat sore--particularly after running or working out.  I've decided to try "Chi-running" as I enjoy running, and several people I know claim it is easy on the joints.  Would be interested to know what people do for residual tightness this far out and whether people think it's possible to make further strength / function gains.

Thanks and best to all,
post #1623 of 10807
 Good Morning all,
Bank and Crank,
Patellar mobes are using manual traction (gentle) to try and mobilize the kneecap. Basically, gentle pressure lateral to medial, vice versa and superior//inferior.
I am cautious about superior/inferior but do the lateral/medial and have started to notice a bit of "give" and less tenderness.
Makes sense that that knee cap needs to be able to move a bit:)

Bballwall, as a medical professional, I have to caution you about considering the Grafton technique without consulting with your OS or without using a trained PT...that is hardcore from what I understand....more for scar tissue/myofascial release later on if necessary.
I think you are still pretty early on if I am not mistaken.

I am surprised that I have heard of leg lifts being done (straight leg raises). My understanding is that is a no-no for at least 8 weeks as that caused stress immediately on that repair and may weaken, although it appears you are working the muscle.
I was told absolutely no leg lifts (unassisted) for at least 6 more weeks and I am almost at week 6.
I am off crutches in the house finally but still use them going in and out and getting to PT, more for security.
Tomorrow see OS and hopefully brace will be adjusted to allow for more flexion and I can start walking more normally without this lovely, attractive hitch and low back pain.

ONe thing for sure, we all are doing slightly different things...trying to get to that one wonderful goal.
FYI, I am in New England. MY OS has cared for approximately 8 of these (hard to tell our group this is a rare injury!).
He cautions about re-rupture, had a patient rupture 9-10 weeks post op, so I am going along with his conservative nature.
I know some of you have had this happen and I am so in awe of your strength and perseverance.
Honestly at this point if I had to do this over again, I don't think I could keep a smile on my face and a positive attitude.
Best wishes everyone and please be careful. If a pain feels unusual, back off from what you are doing and consult your OS.
post #1624 of 10807
 PS for those of you who have done pool walking etc, how do you do getting in and out of the pool. I am at this stage eager to start that but worried about being braceless...to get in and out.
thanks for info
post #1625 of 10807
As i explained in my previous post, I am one of the unlucky ones who reruptured my tendon (during rehab when the stairmaster I was using broke).  I am 11 months after my second surgery and am continuing to progress, but I have still quite a ways to go on strength (going downstairs is still problematic), although my flexibility appears to be fully recovered.  Unfortunately, my OS has told me that because I had a second rupture, I may not have a 100% recovery.  Anyway, I have a couple words of advice for those who are about to, or have just undergone surgery.

1.  Please talk to your OS about blood clots.  I did not, and when I got them they nearly killed me.  There are very simple steps you can take to lesson the likelihood of blood clots, so please find about them.

2.  To find the incredibly small silver lining in having two ruptures, I knew a lot more about wearing a leg brace the second time I had to wear it.  After my first surgery, I had a constant problem with my leg brace sliding down my leg, no matter how tightly I velcroed the brace.  After my second surgery, I was aware of that problem, so I wore an ankle weight vest, that allows you to add ankle weights from .5 pounds to 10 pounds.  I wore that ankle vest constantly (WITH NO WEIGHT in the vest) directly below my knee brace.  The ankle vest then kept the brace from slipping at all, so it was always directly centered over the knee.  If you are having trouble with keeping your brace from slipping, I highly recommend putting an empty ankle vest below it.

Best of luck to everyone here.
post #1626 of 10807
 Twice ruptured,
I am so sorry to hear that you unfortunately endured this twice but am happy to hear you are doing well less than a year later.
Thank you very much for the advice about the ankle weight...great idea.
I have recently had more difficulty with this...I think because everything is less swollen than previously so this is going to be a huge help given that this contraption will be my best friend for at least another 5-6 weeks.
Sweet dreams everyone...and good healing
post #1627 of 10807
 Interesting idea about the brace... I have to say that I hate mine.

I'm on my second one... same model.  The first one got too loose so the doc gave me a new one last week. The nurse who "adjusted" it for me looked like she had no clue what she was doing... the fit is terrible.  I have to futz with it all the time and it always slides down. 

I'm so frustrated, thinking about buying one online even though I'll only use it for (hopefully) 6 more weeks.  

The one I have now is the Ossur Innovator Premium.  Yeah, Premium... right


Was thinking about this one:


any opinions/experience with this or other braces?

post #1628 of 10807
 7 weeks post op

PT is coming along. After 4 weeks post op ROM was at 37.At week 7 ROM is at 73 degrees after 3 weeks of PT. it seems to be giving about 10 to 15 degrees per week. Doing home therapy 3 times a day with basic stretches. Starting to walk easier with brace, started straight leg lifts but still feel slight numbness in knee with lifts and step ups.
wish everyone luck and patience.

post #1629 of 10807
 Life changed for the better for me yesterday....I was quite surprised upon seeing my OS who I was pretty confident was going to keep me down for another 2 weeks after his initial long speech about "solid 8 weeks"
He told me to stop using my 36 incher and gave me a 12" hinged neoprene jobber that I was convinced would not hold me.
Guess again. PT had me up and down my hosp hallways with almost a normal gait and using a cane if necessary. I weeped in the hallway with my therapist when I realized the road to freedom was closer and closer.
We got to 50 degrees yesterday (6 weeks post on the button).
WOw, painful. Anyone have great ideas for getting that ROM to increase....I am doing wall slides with me lying down and my leg up on the wall, good foot behind the calf of affected leg.
post #1630 of 10807
Hi All,

charnsophie, thats great news about your bace!  I discarded mine at 6 weeks, but for the first week or so I was very wobbly and it probably wasn't advisable.  Wish they had given me a mini like yours.  For ROM, my PT used a ball (beach ball size)...Lying on my back with both ankles on the ball and rolling back towards butt.  This seemed to be easier than heel slides as my hamstring would get tired and sore doing heel slides.  Also, as I mentioned, the stationary bicycle, initially just rocking forwards and backwards, but eventually progressing over the top/ both directions.  Then you can lower the seat to expand ROM.  Now that you have started walking around, your strength an mobility will come faster than you expect!!  I thought Id still be limping in April, but Ive had a normal gait since about week 8. (week 12 now) 
post #1631 of 10807
6 weeks post op

Greetings from Canada:
Saw my OS yesterday and he was very happy on my progress. Had a small scab on my knee that he removed. OUCH! Anyways he bent my knee to 20 degrees and it felt good but painfull. He advised me to "ditch" the immobliser which I have done. It is amazing how much of a security blanket it can be. I am using an Ace knee support sleeve and am doing OK around the house. He advised me use the brace only for going outside for added stability for another week or two. He encouraged me to put as much weight as possible on the leg and he was confident the tendon was healing well. I start PT next Tuesday and am looking foward to stengthing my knee and getting more ROM. Like bballwal it does feel wobbly, but that will lessen as my knee gets stronger and I gain confidence.
Edited by Canuckman - 2/11/10 at 7:47am
post #1632 of 10807
Looks like we are about same in terms of time frame. Great wishes starting PT!
It will be painful, but it is a pain I sort of look forward to because it means I am getting somewhere.

Bballwall, thank you so much for your encouraging words. Yes, I even felt a bit wobbly with the new brace yesterday...but I can guarantee it was more a mental thing.
That damn immobilizing brace absolutely gives you a sense of security..love/hate relationship.
Thank you so much for your advice about the beach ball and the bike.
I am going to talk that over with the gastapo (my PT)

To those of you in the wings, take note that life will and does get better...I would not wish the past 6 weeks on anyone and I know I still have a long road...especially the next 6 weeks trying to get all that mobility back.
Put your head in the right place....the rest will follow I believe.
And my best best advice...get sleep and heed your body...if you are having a bad day, lay off a bit...
post #1633 of 10807
Garland and Jakster,

Thanks for the updates and good luck with the continued recovery.   Its nice to hear what the future might hold.  Great job losing 65lbs Garland - in my case I can't help think that leaner/stronger/limber might have offset the extent of my injury.  Good incentive - you are a inspiration to this fatboy.

My biggest issue seems to be my head and confidence while stepping it up outside the gym.   XC skiing has been a great recovery tool but I am still a babe while skiing lift served.  Headed up to the hill for date night tonight - will see what happens.

Thanks to everybody for the news.  It does get better but its slow process..........(my attitude is a bit poor right now - just wanna be whole.)

Speedy healing to all.  

post #1634 of 10807
Thread Starter 
Hello all: 

I hope your recoveries are all doing well - just keep in mind that this WILL pass, and that you WILL get better.  It has been just over two years since my injury and surgery, and I was having a great year alpine and nordic skiing on my way to a spring break trip to Montana with my 17 y.o. son to ski the steeps of Bridger, Big Sky, Moonlight and Discovery.  I say "was" because last night while skiing at Bogus Basin, I had a "little setback."  I was skiing GS turns through moderate bumps, when, while turning on the left (QTR) leg, I felt something pop, and had some immediate, sharp pain under the kneecap.  Needless to say, I became extremely concerned and although I was still able to use the leg to some extent, it felt like my brain simply shut down my left leg.  As I was only 1/3 of the way down the backside, I had to sideslip the remainder of the way to the lift using only my right leg, ride it up,  and then sideslip/right side snowplow over to the frontside and the car.  (as a sidenote, I was skiing with the same guy whom I was with when I did my QTR, and before that, my ACL - - he's starting to feel like a bad luck charm).

When I got to the car, I was literally shaking from the effort and with fear of damage to the leg.  I stopped by my PT friend's house on the way down to my house - she manipulated the knee and said she thought it was either cartilage damage, or the breaking of scar tissue.  I went home to gain my wife's sympathy and iced it.  Last night, the knee swelled pretty substantially, and this morning it was difficult to walk - painful and unstable.  So, I'm icing today in my office, knowing that before I go to the orthopod, he will want the swelling to have gone down.  I don't think it was any re-injury to the repair, but the connection between my mind and my knee sure thought so, and simply cut out my ability to use it.  Hoping and praying this is just a temporary set back.

Good luck to all of you - rehab is a continuous journey - stay on it for the rest of your lives!

post #1635 of 10807
Thank IDG...  I just found the site last night and have been spending a lot of time reading the post to know what I am going to be getting into.  I tore my QT back on Jan 14th. stepping off the boat where I work in FL and hit a patch of ice.  Yes...  ICE!   I was til 4 days ago that I was able to get into surgery.  I was mad about the time that it took for doctors to  figure out but after hearing some of the stories that ya'll have told I feel better.  

I am still pretty fresh into this journey, but I am already fight an uphill battle.  My wife, who has been great through out this entire injury so far.  I know that we haven't been together very long, but she is the one...  Now how do I walk on crutches???  I have done it many times in the past when I played football, but all of the sudden, I can't pull my right leg forward.  It must have been averaging a foot a minute with my wife pulling my bad leg forward.  I just turned around and went back to bed being that she is pregnant and did need to be doing that.    Any advise on getting the leg moving?  Is this all in my head???  Also, when I did stand up the rush of blood to my leg was extreme!!!  Is there any way to control that or will it just go away with time?  

Well keep the advise coming...  And I am to head off to PT in 4 days so I need to figure out this dead leg thing.

post #1636 of 10807

I had the same issue when I was first in crutches... I couldn't lift the leg with my hip muscles without it causing a lot of pain... so I just dragged the bad leg along the floor, sort of "towing it" behind me.

It took about a week for me to be able to pick up the bad leg with hip muscles to use crutches "normally".  To be honest... at that point I started walking around without the crutches... first short distances, then adding distance/time walking.  Within a few days I didn't need crutches at all and could even manage to get up/down stairs. I think early weight bearing for this injury helps speed recovery... just make sure your OS clears you to do so.
post #1637 of 10807
 First setback this week.. albeit minor.

Second week of PT, got 45 degrees the first week with ease... first appointment this week (tues) got to 60 degrees with ease.  Then, I had hellish week at work (18 hour day Wednesday) and didn't do any exercises plus I stressed the knee with how much time I was sitting in a less than ideal position at my desk/etc.  

Friday woke up stiff and a bit sore.... PT was at 9:00.  Could only get to 52 degrees before it got tight... they then had to stretch me back to 60.  a bit painful, but they did it.

Next week is supposed to be 75... yikes.  I'm a bit nervous about attaining that.

sore today... going to take ibu and then do my excercises in a little bit.

did anyone else have more difficulty attaining ROM when in the brace vs out of it?  My brace seems to exert a lot of pressure on the tendon when I am doing the bending vs. when it's not in there.
post #1638 of 10807
 IDG:  Sorry to hear about your incident.  Hopefully it's nothing!

Maybe it's time to skip the bumps?
post #1639 of 10807
IDG - Hope there is nothing serious with your knee.  Please post after you see your OS.  You have a lot of people pulling for you.

I've passed my one year post injury and coming up on one year post surgery.  For the newcomers - your body only heals so fast.  Most of the time you'll get away with pushing too hard -- it doesn't really speed your recovery but nothing bad happens.   Then there are the other times where you overdo it and get set back.  It's not just the quad tendon repair, your whole body is weakened and susceptible to injury. Its going to take some time and a lot of work.  As hateful as the brace and crutches may be - they are protecting you.  Listen to your OS and PT.  Take the long view - if you stick to the program you should be about 80% in six months and 90-95% in a year.   Sorry for the lecture - best to all.
post #1640 of 10807
Hi Everyone:
IDG - Hope everything goes OK and it nothing serious.
A couple of firsts. First shower this morning in 43 days. Ahh! It felt good to wash my hair thoroughly. Last night I slept for the 1st time without the brace. I wraped my knee in an Ace bandage to give some support. It felt good and I got a solid 7.5 hours. No real soreness. My OS told me to dump the brace so I am only using the ace bandage. Start PT on Tuesday and looking forward to it. I was able to sit on the edge of the bed today and bend my knee about 25 degrees.
post #1641 of 10807
Thanks on the ol' "tow it" idea. I Really understand that Idea working on tugboats. I got up earlier today and just drag that leg behind. I noticed that it started dragging less and less. I know I wasn't really moving it, but it seemed to be keeping up by the time my trip to the restroom ended back at the bed. I felt like I had finished a race that I had been training for the last couple of years. SO small but so big to me. Thanks for the advise.

Well now that I am getting around some, when will the blood "rush" stop? I fell that I would be able to make longer trips if there wasn't a feeling that my knee and foot are growing in size. It is getting better being that the 1st time I stood up 4 day post-op I thought my knee was going to explode. I couldn't take the feeling for more than a minute or so. I guess I am wondering if anyone else has even had this problem being that I don't think I have even read the same problem with anyone else. Oh well.

Good luck to all.
post #1642 of 10807
As I explained in first post  I did not find this site until 11 months after I ruptured my quad. tendon for a second time while I was in rehab.  My second surgery was very scary because I developed blood clots that got into my lungs and sent me to the ICU.  (The whole story is in my first post on p.54).  I fairly quickly recovered my full ROM (took about 90 days) and was released from PT.  But my strength lagged tremendously.  So, a little before six months, I began to do leg extensions.  Initially, I could only do four pounds, and my knee would seriously buckle for about 24 hours after my exercise (I fell flat on my face once).  But I stayed with it, and now after six months of extensions, my quad is much stronger.  I am currently doing 3 sets * 12 at 33, 44 and 55 pounds.  I have still only got about half my strength back in my knee (my good leg can do over 100 pound extensions) and the bad quad. muscle is MUCH smaller than the good quad.  I had planned on continuing to do the extensions until 1) my bad leg was as strong as my good leg, or 2) I stopped having strength increase in the bad leg.  However, as I have been reading through this cite for the last week (so far, I have read about 1200 of of the 1600 posts), I have seen that most OSs seem to strongly discourage leg extensions.  So I have two questions:

1.  Does anyone have an opinion on whether I should continue to do the leg extensions.  I definitely want to because it is absolutely increasing my strength and the exercies my PT gave me didn't seem to be doing much for my strength.  But I am also scared to death that if I keep doing them, I might have to change my name to THRICEruptured.  My OS has not been terribly helpful, when I discussed exercises with him -- I don't recall whether I discussed leg extensions -- his answer was always "Don't do too much."  Plus, I am not seeing him until May and if they are relatively safe, I don't want to stop doing leg extensions until then.

2.  As I am coming up on 1 year post-op, did any of the old-timers here continue to do strength exercises after 1 year, and did you see additional knee strength?  If you did, could you please tell me what exercises you were doing.

Thx, and best of luck to all as we recover from this awful injury.
post #1643 of 10807
Hey TwiceRuptured,

Alot of PT's frown on open chain exercises, and prefer closed chain.  The difference is that with closed chain you are supporting weight in a natural position on your feet (foot). Seated quad leg raises can increase the shear force in your knee cause pain, and may not be as effective.  Below is a pic from a website that I found that shows a terminal leg extension using a theraband while standing.  Another good exercises is lateral step ups/downs

from http://www.elitefts.com/documents/knee_pain2.htm#
Edited by bballwal - 2/15/10 at 9:05am
post #1644 of 10807

Did you get to your Ortho yet?  Hope its not serious!
post #1645 of 10807
Hi twiceruptured -
There were a series of posts a couple pages back discussing leg extensions.  If I recall correctly, the majority (but not all) said that their PT and/or OS recommended against them.   Reasons were the high level of stress on the QT repair site and the imbalance created with the other muscle groups in the leg by too much of a focus on the quads.  My PT/OS recommended I stick with a variety of squats, lunges, bicycling, elliptical and non-weight plyometrics.  I'm almost one year post-op and I'm continuing to do the strengthening exercises (core and upper body as well as legs) 3 days per week and bicycle training 3 days per week.  Good luck - you've clearly suffered enough!!
post #1646 of 10807

Hello Everyone,

It took about 2 weeks to read through this whole thread but I wanted to get all the info I could about this injury. As I tell my story you'll understand my screen name. I'll try to keep it short.

41 yo male. 6 foot 230 before QTR. In general good health with a little bit of a beer belly. Very strong legs from bicycling my whole life.

Nov 15th a buddy of mine bought me and my wife Metallica tickets as payback for helping him with something. We're there for about 4 songs and we had floor "seats". A mellow song came on and I left the mosh pit to go find my wife in the back. The floor was soaking wet and my right foot slips, then catches and the next thing I know I'm on the ground. I'm not sure if it popped when it caught or if it popped when I fell on it bent back with my full weight. Needless to say I couldn't hear any pop since I was at a concert. Of course it would be a much better story if it happened in the mosh pit, but instead it happened when I was just walking and doing nothing.

When I fell, immediately two guys picked me up and I stood there for half a second before my knee buckled and I hit the floor again like a sack of potatoes. That's when I realized that something was very wrong. The pain hadn't even hit me yet. An EMT saw me, said that structurally it looked OK but I should get it looked at and gave me ice. I told my wife and the other 2 people that were with us to go enjoy the show, the tickets were expensive and an hour sitting there in pain would be the same as an hour at home in pain, plus I might as well see the concert!

After the show was over they were nice enough to wheel me to the door in a wheelchair but once at the door they wished me luck. We were at Madison Square garden in NYC so we carefully went down the stairs to the RR station and took the train home. I fell a few times on the way but I quickly figured out that if I kept my leg locked I could walk. Next day found an OS and he asked me to put my leg up on the table. As soon as he saw me lock my other leg under the ankle to lift, he knew it was a QTR. he looked at the x-rays and saw 1/2 of a "calcification" by the knee and the other 1/2 a few inches up my leg. Then he stuck his finger where the tendon used to be but wasn't anymore. It was pretty scary watching the finger go more than an inch into my leg. Surgery was scheduled for 2 days later 11/18/09. He gave me an Ossur brace locked straight and said I could bear weight on it. He also gave me crutches.

Thinking back about 15 years I remember injuring my right leg and feeling an indentation across the quad in the same spot. That time I just wrapped it in an ace bandage and it healed up on it's own, it must have just been a partial tear. Looks like that came back to bite me in the a**.

Surgery went well and I was locked straight for "at least" a month. Staples came out at 2 weeks and everything was going great. Here comes the reason for the name. 4 days before my next OS visit when I was supposed to be unlocked, I had an accident at work. Because of my leg, they let me use the golf cart they have to get around the HUGE warehouse. Well, I was rushing trying to finish up something before the end of the day and the golf cart didn't quite make a turn and wound up hitting full speed into a rack. My leg was up on the dashboard because I couldn't bend it, so when I hit, the leg took the full brunt of impact. Ripped open the straps of the brace, bent the leg (for the first time) and I immediately knew something was wrong. I waited 4 days until the appointment and the OS said he had to go back in and do it again 2 days later.

Surgery went well again, OS said the sutures broke, no additional damage to the tendon. 2nd surgery was 12/23/09 - 2 days before Christmas!

The next 5 weeks were very depressing. I had been SOOOO close to getting started with the bending but I was back at square one. Ever see the movie Groundhog day? I lived it. The fog of depression finally lifted when I was able to start bending and was further along than the first time.

Now I am almost 8 weeks out from the second surgery and everything is going great. OS asked me at 4 weeks if I had a PT. I told him I had $50 copays and asked if I could rehab on my own. He told me to do quad sets and start opening it up. 20 degrees to start, after a week go to 30 and start moving the kneecap around. I was bending it while laying on the couch and I would get it to the tight point and let it sit for 30 seconds. Kind of like leg slides but on the couch. By the time I went back for the next visit he told me to hang my leg off the table. He said I was at 60! Then he asked me to lift the leg and I was able to so he was happy with my progress. Again he asked about PT and gave me a prescription for it.

At about that time I found this site and started reading. I was somewhat inspired by sinrider and his take no prisoner approach to rehab. I'm being careful (no sudden shocking movements) but pushing myself as much as possible. I'm rubbing the crap out of the knee all day at work and that has helped a lot. I've even been using a pair of pliers to do my own "Graston" technique. For ROM I sit in my chair and slide forward until it gets tight and hold it there. I am currently at the limit of the brace (120) and I'm 2 days short of 8 weeks. I started on the stationary bike last week and I'm starting to rebuild the leg. I'm also starting to do stairs. Up is getting good but down has a long way to go.

A few things I wanted to add about my experience that might help others. Some will call me crazy (I am) and hopefully it will help some people. Remember that every injury is different so you decide what you will or won't do along with your OS and PT.

I was full weight bearing on the leg before and after surgery. No structural damage, just the tendon rip.
I was back at work both times about 10 days after surgery.
After 1st surgery I used crutches at work for a week. I dumped them after that, it was harder walking with them than without them.
I stayed active as much as possible which kept the rest of my body in good shape. In fact we moved 3 days after the 1st surgery and my wife yelled at me the whole time because I was helping carry things (no stairs). I'm sure it was interesting watching "peg leg" carry a couch!
I was driving a few days after both surgeries. I have a small pickup truck with a bench seat so I get in on the passenger side, leave leg across seat and drive with the left leg. I practiced before hitting the road and it came naturally after a few minutes. As soon as I hit 60 degrees I started driving normally. Being able to function and get around kept me sane.
This was my 1st (and 2nd) surgery so I did not know what to expect. Friends told me to take the pills and stay ahead of the pain so I was actually on percocet for about 11 weeks. I was about to stop taking them the first time until I re-injured myself. I hated the zombie feeling but if I hadn't been taking them I probably would have pushed too hard and hurt myself. Now that I'm off them I have to stop myself from doing too much.

This site has been a blessing. I feel like I know as much about this as my OS (if not more) and I have not gone to PT. I think I'm way ahead of schedule and I will continue pushing myself carefully. My coworkers all tell me I'm walking normally and as strength returns to my leg I will return to the things I love to do. I can't wait to get out on my mountain bike! I also have a goal of running the 5k in my town in July.

Everyone keep your spirits up and whatever you do - don't go near a golf cart until you're healed - LOL!

Sorry this was so long but after reading 1646 posts I built up a lot of things I wanted to say.


post #1647 of 10807
bbalwal and wanasail,

Thanks for the advice.  Bbalwal, I especially like the lateral step ups/down.  My PT did not having me doing step ups laterally, so after each step up, I had to turn my body 180 to step down, which really slowed down the exercise.  The lateral step ups are much faster because there is no turning involved.  Although I will be adding the lateral step ups to my work out, I am probably going to continue with the leg extensions.  However, I think I will  cut back to no more than twice per week.  BTW, I also do leg curls so there is at least some balance between the quads and the hamstring.  Although I will be stopping the curls shortly, because my bad hamstring is about 90% of the good hamstring, once it is equal I will stop the curls.  Pain in the knee doesn't concern me, and the extensions don't cause me much pain, anyway.  I think the tendon is probably strong enough that leg extensions won't rip it.  Now that being said, I was probably taking a much greater risk than I realized when I started doing the leg extensions and could only extend with 4 pounds, but fortunately the tendon held up.  (If I had discovered this site then, I probably never would have started with the leg extensions.)

Hi Doover,

Welcome to the extremely limited club of two ruptures of the same tendon.  I think you and I are the only members, although as bad as this club is, I prefer it to the bilateral quad rupturers, that club seems to have more members with around 5 or 6 (I think).  What I find very interesting is that I also had a partial tear of the quadricep tendon about 8 years ago.  I think it is just coincidence because your second injury and mine, both seem like fluke occurances.  But it is highly coincidental that the only two people who ruptured the same tendon twice, also had an earlier partial tear of that tendon.  Best of luck in your recovery.
post #1648 of 10807
Hello all!!

Well I made it to the OS today.  I am exactly one week post op and just got my brace unlocked to 30 degrees.  The OS was impressed by my questions and the info that I knew about the injury being that I had never really heard of something like this happening.  He told me, "where ever your getting your info from, its pretty good".  So this thread is OS approved now.    

I found out that after the surgery, my OS was able to bend me to 60 degrees when I was still on the table.  He said that was a good sign of what may to come.  All in all, I felt very good after leaving his office.  Between this site and his words I felt that I would be walking soon and back at work.  Then he mention PT...  

I am sitting in bed now about to take some pain meds to get me ready.  I am going to be a week and a day post op and going in for PT.  I still get the small post op pains and  someone is going to be working on me tomorrow.  And I have heard that the first day is the worst day. 

twiceruptured>>  You were talking about a blood clot...  I am worried about that being that my calf muscle on my injured is very tender and  hurts when I walk on it.  I had the pain the last couple of days, it seemed to go away while I was at the OS office, but after getting home I was even worst.  I know you said yours started in you upper leg, but can you tell me a little more about what you felt and how it felt when it was on the move?  How long was the feeling beginning to the notice of it time to go to the ER?

DoOver>>  I hope to follow your path in recovery.  I love the time frame that you are moving at and the fact that your doing all of this with home PT.  I wish I had a chair with wheels so that I could start doing that idea.  Also did you have any problem when you decided to come off your meds after 11 weeks?  I was thinking about not taking any more unless I was going to PT until hearing your story and how your think it might have helped you in your PT at home.  I might just double up when I go in for PT and just keep a little in my system for when I am home and trying to work myself some.  Thanks for the idea. 

Best wishes to all,
Edited by TugboatTony - 2/16/10 at 12:30am
post #1649 of 10807
Wow, Tug, are you full weight bearing with it unlocked to 30 deg?  I was weight bearing 4 hours after the operation, but never without the brace until I was allowed to shower around week 3-4 [that was scarey].  I never used the crutches, which I thought were more dangerous than not!  The brace was dangerous as well negotiating steps when I took a header down our basement steps around week 5.  I had a little too much beer (hehe) and forgot about my injury/brace!!.  I discarded the brace at 6 weeks when I started PT, now I'm on week 13 and almost full ROM (140 deg) and am considering doing PT on my own from here on out.  I was taking Naproxin (one daily) up until last week, but I was worried that it might start masking some of the pain and that I might be over-doing it.  It definitely took the edge off and made PT easier.  I was even running on the treadmill for 1 minute intervals at 8-10 MPH the last couple of weeks, but decided today to wait a little longer as the pain (in both knees) was lingering into the next day...esp without the Naproxin

Whatever you guys and ladies do, be careful and listen to your knee(s), because the phrase "no pain no gain" is not always applicable to rehab!!
post #1650 of 10807

Hi Tugboat,

I would strongly recommend you IMMEDIATELY call your doctor and if that isn't possible go to an ER.  Hopefully, if you go to the ER you will have wasted your time and money, but that's a lot better than not going to the  ER and then having the blood clots go to your lungs.  The huge problem with blood clots is that many times they have few symptoms and those symptoms mimic others and (I don't want to be alarmist) can progress to death quickly.  The reason why I am very concerned about your symptoms, isn't the symptoms per se, although they certainly can be symptoms of blood clots, but when they are occuring, seven days post op.  Blood clots are most likely to occur within 14 days of surgery, but the chart over those 14 days is a bell curve, with the most likely day, being day 7

I did not have any tenderness or pain in my calf, but from my subsequent reading, that is a common symptom of blood clots.  I believe I first started having pain that I am pretty sure was related to the blood clots, Friday evening (six days post-op) around midnight.  But I can't be sure because on Thursday I stopped taking Percocet because I hated the side effects (constipation mostly) and I switched to aspirin.  I had a lot of pain after stopping Percocet which I assumed was because aspirin was not as effective.  That is also why I was not terribly concerned when I started having stong pain in my upper leg/lower back on Friday night.  The pain ebbed and flowed through the night, but was tolerable and then Saturday morning (7 days post-op) the pain was lessoned.  Over the day it was increasing a little bit, and appeared to be moving up my back.  I decided I would go to the ER that night, if it was as bad as the previous night.  On Saturday at 3 P.M., I begain to get pain in my right chest, so I left a message for my doctor because the pain was increasing and I thought maybe I should go to the E.R.  Within 5 minutes of calling him, I could not breathe.  With each breathe I took, I felt like I was being stabbed in my right chest.  The only way I could breathe at all was extremely short, shallow breaths.  I decided I didn't want to wait for an ambulance, so I had my wife drive me to the ER (about 10 minutes away).  Before testing me for blood clots, they immediately put me on blood thinner (heparin) because evey second counted for getting treatment.  The blood clots were later confirmed by a ct scan.  I had literally hundreds of blood clots, but most were little pinpoints of clotted blood (I had always assumed that when you got a blood clot, you just got one, but apparently once your blood starts thickening, you throw off large numbers of clots, most small, some large).  The killer blood clot (and I mean that literally), however, was 2 inches long and an inch wide.  I was very fortunate that it didn't completley block a main artery and kill me before I got to the ER.  (Although they chose there words carefully, the ER docs made it very clear that I was close to death when I got to the ER.)    BTW, several hours after I got to the ER, it appears that one of the large blood clots moved because I couldn't breath and my vitals dropped.  So, I am in extreme pain for several minutes until the docs got two doses of the heavy artillary pain meds from some where else in the hospital, and then I just had a bunch of drs. staring at me to wait and see if they would have to do emergency surgery immediately to remove the blood clot, or if the problem would resolve itself.  Fortunately, it resovled itself.  I spent one night in the ICU and then 3 more days in the hospital and was then on blood thinners for six months and I have had no clotting issues since.  I was quite lucky, in that 1) I was able to survive with a one inch thick clot in an artery  and 2) I do not appear to have any permanent damage, which can be quite common when dealing with a clot that large.

The reason why I wrote this much detail is to show how much danger there is once a large blood clot gets to the lungs, you only have minutes to get treatment.  I would strongly encourage anyone that has new pain around day 7 post-op, to have it immediately checked, because once a large clot enters the lungs, things deterioate very quickly

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