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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 63

post #1861 of 10802

Hello to All - my injury happened May 27; diagnosed as a full thickness tear of the distal quad tendon on the left leg on June 1.  I began researching sites and came across this really terrific site and really appreciate the depth of experience and detail associated with this living nightmare.  


Some history; I am a 60 year old male; pretty active all my life (alpine ski coach, National Academy w/ PSIA, soccer through 40s, considerable hard court activity - racquetball, squash, basketball; slowed the activity down in the last 10 years, although still use elliptical almost daily, basic crossfit programming, and walk at least 18 5 of 7 days.  Generally in good shape - quad injury most traumatic since big burn at 30 (85%) so this is (as docs keep calling it) truly a life changing event.


The surgery seems to be similar to the ones I read about here; spinal block, femoral block and sedation; vertical cut of about 12 inches, baseball stitch with fiberwire drawn through three holes drilled in kneecap, tightened and tied, then stapled closed.  The knee was then wrapped to prevent flexion; I will see surgeon on June 23 for removal of staples and either a cast or brace to prevent flexion (its a little fuzzy here - I don't know if the knee will be bent to 20 degrees or not) for another 6 weeks or so.  I expect a slow, prescribed rehab, which I understand will include considerable pool rehab.


My more immediate questions are:  1.  How easy is it to pull the knots back through the kneecap in error - I am particularly fearful of having to redo the surgery because of a mistake in using the leg too early or doing an unintended leg lift:  2.  Is anyone modifying diet and/or supplements to manage inflammation and healing?


I am very grateful to IDG for starting the thread, and for all of the inspirational posts that have been written - this is an extraordinary injury that has happened; while I am trying to stay positive and busy, this has as much of an effect on those close to us as to ourselves - I thank God often for my incredible wife, understanding children and caring friends!!


Continued best wishes to all who are working their way through !!

post #1862 of 10802

Hi PawPaw,


My injury happened May 28th, about 9:45 p.m.  Complete tear of the quadriceps tendon. This was 3 days before a scheduled vacation to FL, where we were to celebrate our granddaughters' 1st and 3rd birthdays.  Yes, it is a life-changing injury.  I am praying that after a long rehab, eventually the knee will be close to 100%.

I am also 60, even though I don't feel that old.  I wonder after all is said and done, how much I will trust the knee, in the future.  My wife says I shouldn't do crazy things, like purposely slide on the snowy sidewalk.  I expect that I will be more tentative.

My surgery was on Sunday, May 30th.  The length of the opening is about 6 inches, and no staples were used.  I stayed in the hospital for one night, after the surgery.  I think I just had general anestesia, no spinal block.  Visited the OS on Friday, June 4th, where he said it was healing nicely.  They fitted me with a Breg velcro brace, set for 30 degrees.  I lock it in straight for standing.  I go back this Friday, the 18th, and the OS said they will set it for 40 degrees.  I thought I would already start PT, but he told me to be patient, and PT would start in July.  Nothing mentioned about rehab in a pool.  I have not changed diet, but do take vitamins.  Good luck,    Tim 

post #1863 of 10802

Aloha Tim,

My left quad did well, but didn't come back 100%, more like 90%. I also tore my medial and lateral colateral ligaments and dislocated my patella at the same time, so the repair was good, but the injury was significant. I still was able to do most everything I wanted to include running the Army 10 miler twice, once that fall, 7 months after the injury and then the next year in 2004. I passed my APFT every year from the fall 2003 till 2008. I deployed to Iraq in 2005 with no difficulty humping all my gear for the job I was there for. Since I retired last year, it was doing great till that fateful basketball game two weeks ago! But, my philosphy is to work hard, play hard and this will cause my retirement from basketball, but start my rowing and flying fishing career with some skiing here and there.


I went back to work last Wednesday about 5 days after surgery. I don't really have much pain. I use Tylenol Ex Strength and an ice wrap alot during the day. Since I have something to compare it too, this time around is alot less difficult. My wife has been great too, mowing the lawn (we have 1.36 acres) and helping with the driving and all the little things. She like you is a retired Reservist and can't wait to draw her pension is a few years.


I've been doing those exercises recommended earlier in the string and the ones from my PT which included quad sets with electrical stimuation, straight leg raises in the brace in all directions, supported if there is any extension lag at the knee. My wife the PT makes sure I do them. I find if I ice alot, do some retrograde massage around my knee, keep moving my foot, my discomfort is less. I try to move around alot with my crutches too so at night I can get to sleep. If I am not active enough in the day, the night is loonnnnggg!


My current goal is to be able to crutch about a 1 1/2 miles so I can go with my wife to walk our 10 year old weimaraner, Kai, who still needs a lot of exercise. I suspect I'll reach that in about 10 days. Take care all and keep the rehab going!


Bill - OT in Motion

post #1864 of 10802

I'm a doctor with my second qtr. I didn't know nor did my OS stock the Breg T-Scope knee brace--they just had the "one size fits all" that really doesn't fit all. The t-scope has an adjustable upper and lower that would have made my life a lot easier, since as your quad atrophies it gets harder and harder to keep the damn thing in place. Buy one on eBay for about 25% the office price if your OS doesn't know about them.


Then look at LLBean or on eBay for the pants that have the zip off legs that let you convert one leg to short length. Putting a Breg brace on over a pant's leg means constant adjustments.


14 weeks out this Tuesday. No more PT. Walked about 5 miles this morning--walk four minutes try a jog for a minute and repeat. Little pain in the knee--back was most unomfortable, but nerve block scheduled for the 24th. Your goal with PT after you're done with the brace is primarily to get your ROM back--you can strengthen on your own. Just be careful.

post #1865 of 10802

Hi OT in Motion,


Wow, sounds like your left knee injury sure was extensive, but it is impressive that you ran in a 10 mile race just 7 months after the injury.  I hope that my OS made sure that I did not do any damage to other ligaments and such.  The only injury I know of is my quad tendon.  Looks like you and I got injured on the same day, Friday, May 28th, but my surgery was done 2 days later, May 30th.

Your first rehab must of went well, especially since you did a tour in Irag, and by the way, thank you for your service.

Sounds like you have a very active life style, and your attitude is a good one, if you can no longer play basketball, start something new, like fly fishing.

Can't believe you went back to work only 5 days after surgery!  I have not been doing very much.  Maybe I should try to walk around on the crutches more than I have been.  Big project today is I am going to help make supper by grilling.

I went to a car cruise on Saturday, and kind of overdid it, and had a hard time sleeping, with the knee hurting.  Have not used ice on it, but maybe I should start.  I have been afraid to try to lift the leg, not knowing how much the new repair can take, don't want to rip the stitches out. I will have to ask the OS when I see him this Friday, just what I can and cannot do. 

Boy, you have a lot of grass to take care of, and it is great that your wife cut it!  I have a postage stamp yard, and my wife has never, in almost 32 years, attempted to cut it. It has always been "my job."  I have some great neighbors, and one cut it last week.

Reading some entries on this site, sounds like some are having success with exercising in a pool.  The PT office that I will eventually be going to, does not have any type water exercises.  Also, the electrical stimulation sounds interesting.

Keep the good work up,  Tim 

post #1866 of 10802

Hi All


Yep, I'm one of the group.  First post after lurking for a long time.  It took me a while to read all 63 pages of horror and inspiration.  I can't express how freaked out I was when I got to the page where Idaho Guy blew his tendon a second time!!  


I'll be 64 this year.  Never had a broken bone.  Never been hospitalized until last year.  Now I'm recovering some of my health insurance premiums.  My incident happened Christmas Eve, '09, hiking in Zion NP.  I read somewhere that this injury orbits around ice and stairs.  Mine was ice.  Of course it happened on the trail at the furthest point from the car, right after I said let's head back. It was nothing dramatic.  One foot slipped and one didn't. As I did a deep knee bend on my left leg, there was a POP on the way down.  The kind of sound that is so horrible that it is immediately relegated to the subconscious and there is a 3-5 second period of amnesia surrounding it.  My butt barely touched the ground, my hands were on the slickrock as ourtriggers and my clothes didn't even get dirty.  But, when I tried to stand up with my left leg bent, it was accompanied by just-short-of-puke pain and I knew whatever it was that had happened was not good.  I found I could peg leg after a while and, with help from my son and a ranger, was able to carefully make my way along the narrow, icy trail and down some precarious, off camber steps without falling into the canyon.  


From here, the story gets long and involved, so here's the summary:

  • Went to ER
  • On call OS didn't appear but  had X-rays taken, no broken bones, diagnosis: sprained knee.
  • Went home in a brace.  Made ortho appointment after Christmas.
  • At appointment, the PA (didn't get to see OS) looked at my knee and said it was too swollen to tell anything.  I asked for an MRI, but he said it would just show a lot of noise.  He asked me lift my leg and I said that was going to be hard, but after 3 deep breaths, I gave it all I had.  He felt directly above my patella and said, "Yep,  there's the tendon."  So come back in 3 weeks and we'll have  a look.
  • Decided I wasn't happy with this line of BS and made an appointment with a different OS, a sports medicine guy, but it was maybe 10 days to get an appointment to see him.  
  • New doc ordered an MRI that afternoon and sho' nuf, there's my tendon hanging in space above my patella.
  • Had surgery two days later.  He was pleasantly surprised that there was enough tendon that he could do a primary repair; just rough up the bone and the end of the tendon and do the standard drilling/lashing of the tendon to the patella.  
  • I had a tidy 10-12 in incision with a knot at both ends and a hidden string of sutures like a sack of dog food beneath the skin.  
  • Unfortunately, while I was sorting out the proper OS, my body had taken matters into its own hands and decided to start growing a fake knee by anchoring everything to whatever it could find, filling the joint capsule with fibrosis.  Apparently, this is like filling the joint with velcro so surfaces that are supposed to glide over each other become locked together instead.  This would be a battle for another day.
  • Went through Hell Week like everyone else who has posted here, although, I was able to shower after just 3 days.
  • Skip ahead several weeks.  I did PT starting after 10 days, but my ROM stuck at 40*.  At 50*, water started coming out of my eyes.  
  • My OS decided we needed to clean up the scar tissue arthroscopically and, while we were in there, do an MUA, a manipulation under anesthesia, to break everything loose and get past the 40* barrier.
  • On Cinco de Mayo we performed the operation. After clearing away the scar tissue and while they were monitoring on the arthroscope, they forcefully bent my leg and watched as my quad tendon TORE AGAIN!!  
  • Instead of a 20 minute procedure, they had to fillet my knee again and perform a much more involved V-Y quadricepsplasty with a tissue graft that they wrapped around the tendon like a taco shell.  


So here I sit today, coming up on 5 hours in the CPM, a little more than a month post op #2, wondering if I am going to be paralyzed for the rest of my time at bat.


I take great comfort in reading all your posts saying it gets better... just wait...do all the exercises...  But I can't deny a bit of envy for the guys who are already touching their butt with their heel and riding a bike.   I would LOVE to hike again through some of the beautiful canyons here in Utah, but it's still scary for me to try to walk down our long, steep driveway.


Yes, every injury is unique.  I'm hoping mine will become a memory and not a permanent companion.



post #1867 of 10802


Sounds like a long journey and it has been for you for sure, but you have found a true community of fellow rehabbers! I had my sutures removed today and I sit here with an e-stim on my knee. This is my second quad repair (L-17 Feb 2003, R- 28 May 10) and I wish this forum had been around back in2003. Hang in there. I detect a great spirited attitude in your prose, one who always has been active. Start thinking about the goals you want to achieve in the next 3-6 months based on your rehab schedule and the things that area important to you and keep at it like all the folks in forum. Take care and have a great rest of the week.


Bill OTin Motion

post #1868 of 10802



Sutures out is a definite milestone.  My first go around was one giant, mega suture that the nurse pulled out along the axis of the incision.  The more she pulled out the more the nylon stretched until it seemed she was down by my ankle and it felt like it was attached to the back of my navel.  On the second lap, they used staples - a whole box of 'em.  I counted 24 staples when we changed the dressing.  It looked horrible, like some Hollywood makeup job for Frankenstein.  I was really glad to see them go in the bin.


One thing becomes obvious when you read through these pages:  no matter what your favorite activity, this injury is a definite buzz killer.  I am a private pilot.  I am used to getting in my little plane, flying into remote mountain grass strips, setting up the tent and heating up the beans.  Now I can't even climb into the plane.  I can't even ride as a passenger since my unbendable leg might interfere with the controls and you need both feet to operate the pedals.  It's time to let go and find the next great thing.  


I'm glad I found this community.  I need to focus on this rehab and get all this behind me.  



post #1869 of 10802

Hi RR,


It sounds like you have gone through so much BS that you should not have had to go through!  Compare my situation with yours:  After my fall, Friday, May 28th, my wife took me to the ER.  ER doctor knew it was a quad tendon, cause there was an indentation at the top of my knee cap, and I could not lift my leg at all.  He told me to contact the OS office on Tuesday, the day after Memorial day, to set up surgery.  He sent me home on crutches and a brace.  My wife called our family doctor Saturday morning, who was angry that the ER doctor did not call the OS to see me immediately.  He sent me back to the hospital, Saturday afternoon, and I had surgery the next day, Sunday.  I came home on Memorial Day.  Went to OS on Friday, June 4th, where he gave me a new Breg brace, set at 30 degrees.  Went back to his office, Friday, June 18th, where brace was adjusted to 50 degrees.  He wants me back in 3 weeks, and at that time we will talk about PT.

I can't believe they "forced" your knee to bend, and they tore the tendon.  My OS said he is making sure I am healed before PT, so I won't get hurt.  My knee is still swollen, and I usually take Advil at night.  I can put my weight on my bad leg, when I have my brace locked.

Wow, you have a 10 to 12 inch incision!  Mine is about 5 to 6 inches.  I hope your rehab goes well.

I am sure you really miss flying.  I retired from the Air Guard, where I was a crew chief on the KC-135 Tanker.  My son flies, and he is an air traffic controller in FL.

Take care, Tim

post #1870 of 10802

It's been awhile, so I thought I would chime in.  I'll try to be brief.  My repair was performed back in November 2009.  After months of not developing strength and having a swollen knee, I had an MRI .  The MRI indicated that there was not a complete reattachment.  My Dr did not agree and prescribed more PT and ice for the swelling.  My PT would look at my large knee puzzled and say that something was not right.

In May, a cist/boil formed on the surface of my knee.  I was given an oral antibiotic and it was thought to be a surface infection.  Turns out my knee had been infected for months which eventually spread and ended up being a trip to the ER. 

At this point I flew to Atlanta to fixed.  I'm currently on IV antibiotics and am in a brace from where they opened up the knee and flushed it.  They have not yet done anything to repair the knee and my current DR says that he doubts they will do additional surgery at this point.  He says that he is afraid the infection comprimised the repair and we will have to see at this point.

post #1871 of 10802

Hi Aggie96,


Wow, talk about a bummer!!  Your case is a real shame, all that time spent, and your knee is still not right.  Didn't your OS notice that something was wrong, that your knee stayed swollen and weak, after all that time?  Do they know how and when your knee got infected?  I know that after my operation, I was receiving an antibiotic via the tube in my hand.  My knee is still swollen, but it has only been 24 days since the operation.  I go back to the OS on July 9th, and at that time we will talk about PT.

When you were receiving PT, your knee must of really hurt, since you had an infection going on.


I hope they get you straightened out, and your original repair is sufficient so that you do not have to get it redone.



post #1872 of 10802

Hello Everone, I have been reading this thread for about a week and wish I had found it sooner. I slipped on a Schnauzer while coming down the stairs in the dark and tore my quadriceps tendon. That was on April 23. On the 28 of April I had my surgery. Then 8 weeks in a locked straight leg brace. Bummer. I have been sleeping in a easy chair since the 23rd. Foot rest out and a couple of pillows under my legs. That has worked out good. Today was my first in PT. I have 50* ROM. My quad muscles are kinda puny but the PT guy did'nt think they were too bad. They sure feel stiff. I came home and ditched the leg brace. PT guy wanted to open it up to 60* but was afraid to without docs ok. Idaho guy, God bless him, talked about pool work so this afternoon I grabbed one of the grandkids floaty tube things and jumped in the pond. I spent about an hour paddling around and treading water. I highly recommend water work if you can. It felt good to work the leg. So anyway, I'm glad you guys are here but I'm sorry for your trials. I know what you're going through. You're in my prayers. 

post #1873 of 10802

Hi Meigscoboy,


Reading these entries, I find It is amazing how many different treatments there are for this type of injury.  I guess each one is unique, and every OS has his/her own way of attacking them.  You say that you just started PT and your brace was at 50 degrees.  My brace was adjusted to 50 degrees, 20 days after the operation.  You say you were in a locked brace for 8 weeks, didn't your Dr. adjust it each visit so that you would have ever-increasing flexion of the knee?

My operation was May 30th, and I go back to the OS July 9th.  I think at that time, we will schedule for PT.  I am going to ask him about water therapy.  I may join the YMCA for pool access.  So you "ditched" the brace, was it scary to go without it?  Do you still use crutches?  I see you have grand children, I have two granddaughters.  I am 60.

I like your idea of using the recliner with the pillows.  I may try it, because I have trouble sleeping at night, always turning and trying to get comfortable.  Take care and good luck!  Tim

post #1874 of 10802

Hey Tim, I only saw my OS nine days after surgery. He felt my knee and said everything was still attached. I had to stay in a locked straight brace for eight weeks. He took off and went to Southeast Asia after my nine day visit (he is in the reserves) so after eight weeks I saw another Doc who cleared me for PT. He was kind of foggy about the whole situation. So after reading all the posts I figured I was ready for PT. It's kind of scary as you all know. When I went in today my ROM was 20 degrees. After working out it was 50 but I had to stay in a locked brace. I put it on and walked to the car, took it off and drove home. I have left it off all day but am very careful. If they open it up I will probably wear it as I don't want to mess up. It gets old, always sliding down then if you tighten it up it cuts off circulation. This is the first day that my foot did'nt swell up. I have three grandchildren and am about ready to turn 55. I have been active and in good shape so this has been a trial. This forum has been a Godsend. About the recliner. I have sleep apnea and use a CPAP. I think I sleep and feel better in the easy chair. I haven't used the CPAP since my injury. I will try it again but might end up in the ole easy chair for good. I was in the pond twice today and the quad is stiff. It's hard to believe my leg will ever bend again but progress will be slow I guess. My PT said I could do the exercises at home but not to overdo it. It's hard not to be impatient but probably good advice. Stay positive, Dave

post #1875 of 10802

WVCPA, I was reading your post from 5/9. I also slipped on a step/schnauzer and tore my left quadricep. Like you I had pain in that knee for over a year. It was located at the top of my kneecap. It especially bothered me to ride in a vehicle with my leg bent or riding my mountain bike. Running did'nt seem to bother it. So yes I think it was partially torn but I did'nt get it checked out. I dismissed it as arthritis. That was dumb as I take Flexicose and that takes care of my other joint pains.

post #1876 of 10802

Hi Dave,


So, at PT, do they take your brace off while they work with your knee?  What exercises did they have you do at your first visit?  I think that first visit will be kind of scary.  I have been "babying" my knee, afraid to reinjure it and having to start from square one again.

Dave, did you just slip on the steps April 23, 2010, or did this happen over a year ago?  I was reading your posting to WVVCPA, and you say that your knee has been hurting for over a year.

We also had a Schnauzer, back in 1992.  Our son was almost 13 when we bought the dog.  Since our son was allergic to dandra, I thought that since a Schnauzer does not shed, it may be o.k.  Well, it did not work out.  We had the dog for about a month, when my son started wheezing.  I had to sell the dog to a coworker.  That dog was so smart!  I had him house-trained and doing a few tricks, and it just killed us to have to sell him.  He had a good home for over fourteen years.

When were you released to drive?  I can't wait to drive again!  What brand of brace do you have?  Mine is a Breg, velcro type brace.  Mine hardly slides, and it does not bother me too much.  Do you still use the crutches to get to your car?  Did they tell you how long you will have to visit the PT?

You are lucky that you have access to a pond, is it on your property? Take care & stay strong, Tim

post #1877 of 10802

Hey Tim, Just got back from my second PT. They worked me harder today. I was on the exercise bike rocking my leg back and forth. I can't do anyway near a whole revolution. I was stretching it kind of hard and in the back of my head I kept hearing don't overdo it. Mostly a lot of stretching work and leg lifts. They did the electrical stimulation again. The stand in Doc never called back so the PT guy opened my brace to 60* He said I could go without it in the house but wear it outside. That's ok cause I can tell that the knee would buckle easy and that would probably be a bad thing. It is getting better though. I have slept without the brace the last two nights but have to be careful when I get up at night. I tore my tendon when I slipped on the stairs but I think it was already partially torn because of the pain the previous year. We have three schnauzers and they are like kids. They call them the dog with the human brain. I don't know about that but they are smart. My brace is a Bledsloe. It has velcro straps and is adjustable. When I got home I tried it and 60* was too much. I moved it to 40 and that felt better. I cleared myself to drive cause it's my left leg and my wifes car is a automatic. My truck is a standard and that's a different story. I don't know when I'll be up to that. I don't use the crutches anymore but I'm real careful outside and using stairs. It's going to take a while but small improvements are a big deal. I'm going back to the pond today. It is right here beside the house. We live on 50 acres on a dead end road. It's nice to float around with with dragonflies, red wing blackbirds, and cattails and just look at God's beautiful sky. I have been really blessed so I should'nt complain about this small setback. A lot of people have it a lot worse. Oh yeah, my PT guy said the first 12 weeks were the "protection phase" so that movitated me not to overdo it. Well, sorry I drug this out. Take care, Dave.    

post #1878 of 10802

Hey Tim,

Hope recovery is treating you well.  It sounds like you are on the right track.  I never got antibiotics after my surgery, so maybe that's where it started to go wrong.  They've never indicated what caused the infection, but my latest OS cleaned it all out and also took out the old sutures incase they were part of the problem.

To answer your questions:  My original OS had ordered the MRI to see what was wrong but then didn't agree with the report.   At that point I knew I needed another opinion.  I was posting on here alot during that time and asking questions.  Other posters like ERdoc had some good info.

Yes physical therapy was painful, but I kept thinking that it was part of the process and that I wasn't pushing myself enough and that is why my knee wasn't getting stronger.

Well, sounds like you are under good care.  My best advice would be to take it slow and don't do weighted excercises till several, several  months out. 

post #1879 of 10802

Hi Dave,


Congratulations.....you got your 2nd PT under your belt, or should I say, "under your brace".  So you did a lot stretching and leg lifts.  I am scared to do leg lifts, because those really use the quad muscles, and I make sure my brace is locked when I lift my leg, like when I get into bed.  What does the electrical stimulation do?  Since you no longer use crutches, is it hard to go up and down stairs?  Can you walk without a limp?  It must of been great for you when you started driving your wife's car, giving you some independence!  My wife's car is also an automatic.  It is my right knee, and I forgot to ask the doctor when he thought I would be able to drive, but it will probably be after I get rid of the brace.

Wow, 50 acres, that sounds great!  I live in town and have a tiny yard, in fact, it is so small that when I retired this past April, I gave my power mower to my sister-in-law and I bought a new reel type push mower!  I would get a work-out each time I cut the grass, till this injury!  I have a great neighbor who has  been cutting it.  I wish I had a place with some privacy.  Some day we would like to purchase a ranch style home.  Do you have a paddle boat for your pond?  That might give you some good exercise!  Yes, a lot of people have it a lot worse than us, and I thank God for what we do have.  Keep that PT going, and I am looking forward to the day that I start mine!  Tim

post #1880 of 10802

Hi Aggie96,


I see you are "Online", and that is the first time I have seen someone online, while I was on this site.  I hope they get everything straight for you, you surely deserve it, after all you have been through!  I will take your advice and do things slowly, especially when it comes to using weights.

So you said you had to fly to Atlanta, how far was that for you?  My neice and her family live there. 

Good luck and you are in my prayers, Tim

post #1881 of 10802

Tim, I was scared to do leg lifts too. But once you start it is suprising how fast you start to build back up. The electrical stim. is supposed to get the muscle used to firing I think. It isn't hard to go up and down stairs. When you go up you lead with your good leg and lead with the bad one going down. Just hang on to the rail and go slow. I am practicing walking now that I can bend my leg a little but it's hard. I took the dogs around the field tonight and I have a big concrete drive thats level so that is a good place to practice. I got back in the pond this evening without the noodle floatie and dog paddled around the edge then treaded water for a long time. I think the water work will help a lot. I wish the thing would bend but I'm afraid to force it too much. It's almost like all the tightness is in the knee/scar area. My incision was 8" and had 28 staples. I have been mowing my yard since my surgery. I can prop my foot up and go cause all the controls are on the right side. It takes me an hour to mow so thats not too bad. My yard isnt too big cause I like wildlife habitat. I don't have a pole light so I can see the stars and right now there are lots of lighting bugs. The frogs are singing in the pond. If your brace is set to 50* and your incision is "only" 5-6 inches, you may have a better time of it. Time to wind down. Later, Dave. 

post #1882 of 10802

Hi troops!! 78 year old male 11 months post surgery. If I do too much the knee gets stiff, hot and swells. Maybe us old "poops" just heal more slowly. I bought a Townie bike. The pedals are further forward....not like a recumbant, but not directly under you like a regular bike. You don't stand up for hills you pull back on the handle bars. I felt like this might be easier on the knee/quad. However, I darned near fell off the thing and now I am worried about riding it. I REALLY do not want to fall and land on the bad knee! I spoke with the surgical nurse shortly after my surgey and she said I was a real challenge. She said the medial head of the quad was like hamburger and the lateral was worse. This required a lot of tissue debredment (ripping out of muscle). I was also on Plavix and bled like a pig. I can't feel the medial head of the quad and the lateral starts abut halfway up my thigh. On the leg press the injured quad is about 40% as strong as the other one. I intend to go ahead and push the quad. I plan a few heavy weight days/low reps alternating with low weight/high reps. If it gets stiff, hot and swells---so be it. I'll try this for a month or two and if I can't regain strength----I guess I need to move into acceptance. I really miss racquet ball, skiing, volley ball and running. I bought a punching bag to blow off steam. My wife says it rattles the house too much!

I am a pilot and for those of you who don't fly....when you add pover for take off a lot of right rudder is needed to counteract the torque of the prop. I went up with an instructor and (flying an SNJ/T-6)) my right injured quad is not strong enough to push the rudder pedal.

Idahoguy you are indeed an inspiration. One of the last times I skiied out west was Bogus Basin!! I usually ski Beaver Creek CO. I just read over this and I think I sound like "poor me." It's just hard to accept that in one split second my whole life changed.

Anyway I love and respect all of you guys. Thanks for all of you postings! They are encouraging.

post #1883 of 10802

Hi Bruce and welcome to the "Poor Me" community.  It seems everyone here had to give up so  much so quickly and enter a phase of being dependent on others as well as having to face so many long duration physical restrictions.  I'm really glad to have found this forum.  I don't feel so alone.  For  a while I felt like I might as well have been struck by lightning and so very isolated that even "ordinary" life would be a blessing.  


Well, I can definitely identify with you.  I'm also on Plavix and I suspect the inside of my leg looked like a pulled pork sandwich when they got in there.  The  post-op notes hint at having to slice the quads away from the femur, clean up a lot of fibrosis and scar tissue and then repair the tendon (second time) by cutting a V-Y flap to extend the tendon.  They wrapped the whole thing in a regenerative tissue matrix called Graftjacket Extreme which, from what I have read, is like living Kevlar for tendon repairs.  I hope so.  I'm ready to start trying to recover.  I'm 7 weeks post op #2.  My leg feels weaker than it ever has, but is starting to feel better at times.  I have been driving since about 2 weeks post op and have driven as long as several hours.  The leg hates it and I have to caress it and talk to it near the end of the trip, but all seems fine the next morning.  


I can't walk very far before the muscles seem to spasm and everything starts to tighten up.  My IT band usually feels like an iron bar.  I've lost the crutches and can gimp around, up and down stairs pretty well.  I even can do some yard work like shoveling pea gravel or running the weed whacker.  I have to be extremely careful on uneven ground and our long, steep-ish driveway is still a bit terrifying with its loose sandy gravel road base.  But each day seems to come with a slightly longer period of OK leg so I'm feeling positive.  I try to bend it as I walk and concentrate on heel/toe and no limp.  Amazing how much it slows you down to concentrate on each and every step you take.  


I take renewed inspiration from you flying a T-6 or even trying to.  I have a Maule and it is next to impossible to get into the pilot's seat.  My leg won't bend enough to give me full stroke on the left rudder so even to taxi would be a challenge.  Acceptance comes hard and I have decided I have to sell the plane because it is just not fair to her to keep her locked up in a hangar while I get repaired.  There is always LSA down the road if everything actually DOES get better.  


Thanks for your post. 



post #1884 of 10802

Hello everyone

Today is seven weeks post op and I was allowed to ditch the brace on Monday and started PT on Wednesday.  I was really pleased that my ROM was 90 degrees right out of the brace.  I was told by my OS to either use the brace or a crutch when I am out simply to prevent the leg from buckling until the quad strength comes back.  Meigscoboy, I appreciate the confirmation that someone else had experienced the same symptoms that I had before this injury.  I am very active and fit and could not believe that simply missing a step would take out a knee, so I knew there must have been prior damage.  I don't think the OS would admit that since I had seen him last year for the symptoms and he didn't feel it was necessary to do an MRI at that time.  RR, I started driving 2 weeks post op myself.  Since my injury was on the left leg, I simply slid the seat all the way back to swing my straight leg in, and then slid the seat up with my straight left leg on the footrest on the side.  At two weeks, I was no longer taking pain killers, so I felt comfortable driving with no compromise of safety.  Bruce, hang in there, I am sure you will get back to flying again.  Just be patient and don't do too much to re-injure yourself.  You don't want to start back over.  I have actually ditched my crutches for walking around the office and home, but I don't negotiate too many steps.  The quads are very weak, and that is the challenge.  I was given exercises to do at home by the therapist, which I have been doing everyday.  I have vacation at the beach scheduled at the end of July and plan on being comfortable walking by then.  Have to have goals!  Everyone keep up the good work, and God Bless you all.


post #1885 of 10802

Hi Dave,






Thanks for the info.  Yes, I agree that you probably should not force your knee to bend too far, slow and easy...like the tortoise.  It sounds like you are progressing well, going up and down stairs, and cutting grass.  I'll bet your water exercise is really helping your recovery.  I read about all these knee surgeries where the scars are 8 to 12 inches long, I feel fortunate that mine is less than 6 inches, and no staples.  I wonder why the huge differences?  I had a total severance of the quad tendon, and I believe the repair is basically the same: drill 3 holes in the knee cap and using wire sutures, tie the tendon to knee cap and tie them behind it.

So your place must have a lot of woods, which sounds great.  You mention about listening to the frogs, while I usually listen to other people's noise and music. I think it would be great to have "a little space."  

I will definitely ask about the electrical stimulation when I get started with the PT.  Keep up the water exercises!  Tim 

post #1886 of 10802

Hi Bruce,


Hey you don't sound like you are doing a "poor-me" posting, you are an inspiration, a 78 year old with a zest for life!  It sounds to me like you have had a very interesting life, a pilot and a skier, and doing all those sports.  To top it off, you say you now bought a punching bag!!  Reading what you have done, I feel like I have led a pretty dull life!  I was thinking that at 60, I will probably take a little longer to heal, but I look up to you!  I think you have the right idea about pushing your rehab, just don't over do it!  Keep up the good work and keep us all posted on your progress!  Tim

post #1887 of 10802

Hey RR,


For all you have been through, it sounds like you are making a lot of progress!  Only 7 weeks out and you got rid of the crutches!  Sounds good to me.  And it is amazing that you have been driving since week two.  Maybe you should rethink selling your plane, because with your progress, it may not be all that long till you could be in the skies again!  It reminds me of the guys who sold their old muscle cars, only to regret it later.  Hang in there, Tim

post #1888 of 10802

Hi Rob,


It was great to read your posting, cause you are exactly where I want to get to when I am 7 weeks out.  Today is exactly 4 weeks from my injury.  I slipped while stepping off my back porch, which is only about 14 inches high, landing weirdly on my right foot, when I felt my right knee rip.  I go back to the OS on Friday, July 9th, which will be 6 weeks post injury.  He said something about getting rid of the brace at that time, which sounds scary to me.  When you took off the brace, did the OS have you bend the knee as far as you could, because you said it was 90 degrees.  Did your PT mention anything about water therapy?  How about electrical stimulation?  Meigscoboy does a lot of water workouts, and I want to ask the PT about that, when I finally start PT.  Looking forward to hearing about your progress, Tim

post #1889 of 10802

Fellow Warriors, Yes Warriors I say. Fighters. Not the kind of people to be comfortably settled into a downward spiral. People who don't give up no matter what. People not afraid to set goals and work to achieve them. I'm proud to be associated with you all. Reading all your posts. Your trials. Your own personal battles, and victories, gives me a feeling of belonging to a special group. What a blessing. I have the attitude that I'm going to do what I have to do to get better and relish the challenge. If they have to cut the dang leg off and give me a peg leg, so be it. I'm going to run, hike, and ride my mountain bike again. God bless you all. Dave B.

post #1890 of 10802
Originally Posted by Timothy Doratio View Post

Hi Annelise


I have been doing the exercises on both feet, and I must say they feel better.  Yesterday, I think I overdid it, as far as activity goes, and last night I paid for it, up with pain and discomfort.  I really don't know how much activity one should do, 12 days post surgery.  When I say "activity", I mean just being off the couch for a large part of the day.  My neighbor, who is on vacation this week, has been such a great help.  Tuesday, he told me to "put the white hat on", sit on a lawn chair, and supervise as he detailed my '72 Mach 1.  He knew that I wanted to take it to the VFW car cruise this Saturday.  Anyway, just being up and about, made the knee hurt that night.  Yesterday he washed and waxed my '05 Mustang, then we went for a ride, and I had more discomfort last night.  I wonder if I should use ice on the knee?  I have been taking Advil.

Do you enjoy Yoga?  Once my knee heals, I would like to become more active, and do more exercises.  Hopefully, it will help prevent future injuries.


Thanks, Tim    P.S.  What is the Sacrum?

Hi Tim,


Great to hear that you've been practicing the tendon exercises and that your knee is feeling better! 

I have plenty more where those came from ;-)


Yes, I do enjoy Yoga, I started doing it regularly last summer and I can say, with confidence, that I am stronger, more flexible and better balanced then I ever have been.  I am thoroughly impressed.


The scarum is a triangular bone at the base of the spine that basically connects the pelvis and allows for communication to happen up and down the spine and throughout the body.   To be aware of your sacrum position is a really good thing - great base.


Any other questions?


Hope the healing is going well. 

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