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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 67

post #1981 of 10805

Howard. welcome.  Annie, sorry to hear about your dad --- bqtr is incomprehensible to me.  China Girl's advice to read this whole thread is the way to go.  There's a lot of collective wisdom here.  I agree with China Girl that there are definitely two schools of thought --- passive and aggressive.  If you are going to follow the aggressive school of thought you need to keep in mind that your tendon needs to heal to your patella and in the early stages you can not put undue pressure on that healing connection.  To overly stress the healing connection of tendon to patella does not seem like a wise thing to do.  That being said, I think it is wise to push the envelope a little bit with, walking, quad flexes, weight bearing, message and icing because these things do not seem to put pressure on the healing process but they do help to keep your leg as a functioning appendage.  Excessive attention to increasing range of motion at the early stages, in my opinion, is unwise as it puts stress on the healing process.  I am now 3.5 weeks post surgery.  I am 55 years old and in good shape.  I have been weight bearing since I injured myself on 7/16.  I was given a brace when I first saw the md. I just started walking around the house without the brace.  When I walk without the brace around the house I concentrate on my walking motion --- that is, I try not to walk with a peg leg motion.  My rom is about 30 degrees and when I put my injured leg forward when I'm walking I try to land on it with my leg flexed -- not straight.  For the last few days I have walked outside, brace on and with a one treking pole, about a half mile.  My condition is improving and I am optimistic.  I am trying to follow the recovery process of Sinrider whose posts you find on pages 1 -7 of this blog.  In the end, each of us has to determine the best route to take to obtain the quickest and most optimum recovery.  It's a journey.  It's not fun but I believe there are positive things to be taken from the experience.  Thanks for sharing your experiences.  It has been so helpful to me.  Best to all.  Brian.


post #1982 of 10805

Hello again fellow patient with patience. I haven't checked in for awhile because I've been pretty busy (for a 71 yr old codger). It's now been 5 & 1/2 months since my surgery for complete QTR and I saw my OS yesterday and was discharged as his poster child for recovery and rehab. Full ROM (135*) and 95% strength returned. The  knee feels better than my uninjured (albeit arthritic) right knee.
I've been playing golf (walking of course for about two months). I have a little residual stiffness after heavy hiking, biking or working out on the elliptical or treadmill. I've lost the lost surgical weight gain and am actively lifting weights and using strength machines, etc.


The biggest help in rehabbing/therapy was the leg squats (back to the wall with a ball between my knees and bending knees to 90* X30 reps). My advice is too be patient patients and exercise your quads every day (leg lifts, flexes, stretching). I walked out of the hospital on crutches and moved around as much as possible. One caveat: when (or if) you decide to remove your brace at night to sleep better-- I suggest you get a bottle or other container and use it rather than attempting to get up and go pee-- a friend of mine with our injury got up sleepily, stumbled, fell and re- tore his quad tendon; six weeks down the drain with a new surgical repair!


A last remark: My worst indignity occurred a few days after coming home home from the hospital. The general anesthesia, as usual, caused constipation; my lack of mobility was very obvious when my wife came at me armed with suppositories and enemas. As you all know it ain't easy to go potty and worse under duress.


My very best wishes to all for a speedy and complete recovery and my thanks to IDG and his followers for the enlightenment and commiseration this site has provided.



post #1983 of 10805

HI All. I didn't’t make it as far as the the ski field, slipped and fell on stairs on the way to the Airport and ripped all four quads off the tendon (distal to patella), ripped the VMO of the patella and fractured and splintered the patella. The only upside is the ACL's survived and the tibia insertion tendon was not affected.


I’m 48 at the moment and surgery was 6 weeks ago. Typical ROM brace is now at 90 degrees. No metal used at all in the surgery, the surgeon used dissolving stitches in everything.  The scans show this guy should have been a suit maker, he makes these lovely fine stitches and they are everywhere in the patella and fringes.  I have been using a lot of the therapy tips off this blog and they have been great. I didn't’t realise just how slow rehab is and will be until I read of your experiences.


I have eased off a lot as a result (now more conservative) and have settled down for the long haul. I have problems with a really shortened vastus lateralis as it really was shredded in the fall and the surgeon had to take a lot off it to get a good graft.


With a weak VMO and short lateralis the patella likes to slide laterally which is not pleasant at all. Any way since so much has been damaged physical therapy is always a challenge (Hurts like hell). However I am getting results and I look forward to getting on a spin bike at 110 degrees so I can get some cardio under my belt. 

Edited by Auscoach - 9/17/10 at 3:33am
post #1984 of 10805

Hi all. I've been out of town a bunch. My wife is having double knee replacement at the end of Sept and I wanted to entertain her with some trips before they grounded her. RedRock....do NOT sell that wonderful Maule! You will figure out a way to get into the cockpit. An LSA is dull. If you must have one check out "Super Cub Texas". They are making all new cubs. Just for insurance sake I took my flight physical and my 78 year old body actually passed! I told the doc all the knee history. He had me do a little range of motion and had me extend against his hand....I asked him if he wanted me to kick him in the 'a--'. I have good flexability, but the operated leg is still only about 60% as strong the the other one. I have the muscle definition of Mother Theressa. (sp)

I went up again in the SNJ (T-6) with an instructor in the back. I had problems getting into the cockpit, but no problems flying. We even did some mild acrobatics....limiting it to 3G. I had problems getting out of the cockpit and the instructor said, "If you have to bail out, what the heck are you going to do?" I replied go inverted and release the seat belt and straps. He just shook his head.

The bike has been giving me problems especially if I have to stand up to pedal up hills. I just bought a Townie bike. The pedals are somewhat forward....not as much as a recumbant, but there is less pressure on the knee. To go up hills you pull back on the handlebars for leverage....no standing on the pedals.

Timothy Dorato...thanks for you comments....life is indeed interesting if you just push the envelope a little. I will surely keep you posted. I have discovered I can't dance like I used to. The new "tribal fertility dances" the kids do put too much torque on the operated knee.

Cheers and best wishes to all!

post #1985 of 10805

10 weeks post op


Today I had my last PT session and started to ride my bicycle aroud a flat area I have near my house. It feel great to be back riding again and I can see that it will be a big help in my rehab along with the many stairs I get to climb up and down every day. Also, the health rider machine (a bit like a rowing machine) that I have borrowed from a neighbor seems to loosen up my knee as well as make my quads stronger.  My ROM is now 120 up from 100 two weeks ago. I still have a lot of stiffness but that will take more time as will total ROM. The physical therapist thought it could take another month at least for total ROM. 


Along with the above exercise I do a 2 mile walk up and down hills (on a road ) which I can now do without cane or crutches. Downhill is hard and I need to concentrate but it is OK. Uphill feels good. I try not to limp and try to be aware of my gait as much as I can.


 As  many of you have written here, I think it is a matter of slow but sure and listening to your own body as to what feels like the right amount of exercise for the knee. If it feels too sore it is time to stop and ice.  Every day I try to push a bit more or try something I haven't been able to do.


I hope all of you are progressing well through recouperation and will be able to do the activities that you want as soon as possible..

post #1986 of 10805

It's been awhile since I've replied, but I've been reading the blogs daily.  I just turned 60, and am 6 mos. out from my 2nd QTR repair.  For those of you who don't know me, I re-tore my 1st repair about 4 wks. out when, while getting out of the shower without the brace, my knee buckled.  The OS had to do the 2nd repair behind the original, since the bone from the 1st was too damaged, which made the lever arm tighter and extension more difficult.


I have virtually have no pain or swelling with almost dasily 35 mi. biking on moderate hills, moderate hiking, and climbing the 242 stairs in the new tower after work.  I step up 2 steps with my injured leg, bring the good leg up next to it, and continue, thereby doing the whole climb with my injured leg.  I, of course, descend the normal way.  It's a lot less boring than going up and down a single step like I did during PT.


My only concern is a persistent 20 deg extension lag, which probably won't resolve, althogh I don't seem to have much in the way of limitations, but I haven't tried skiing yet.  My plan is to get a repeat MRI in the fall, with the possibility of a revision and tightening of the tendon after the bone has had a time to heal, depending on what the MRI shows.  Have any of you had any experience with this situation?



post #1987 of 10805

Hi everyone, I've just come across this forum even though I had my QT rupture (complete) in December 2009 and surgery 19 days later.  I've found reading about everybody's experiences really helpful and just wish I'd found the site sooner.


I'm just coming to my 6th month out of plaster and I've got pretty well a full ROM back but regaining the strength in the injured leg seems to be a tougher proposition.  For example, when walking down stairs I tend to lower myself down normally on the uninjured leg but, when it comes to the end of 'lowering down' movement on the repaired leg there's a bit of a 'clump' as though the strength's not there at the end of the movement.  On the flat I'm doing pretty well and I'm even back to hiking 10 miles plus, with a couple of thousand feet of ascent, without using trekking poles but there's been no follow-up from the surgeon since I was discharged after coming out of plaster and I don't honestly know whether I'm on schedule or not.


If anybody could let me know if they've had a similar experience I'd be really interested to know.



post #1988 of 10805

Week 7


I now have brace off completely and walk with the aid of one crutch for stability on uneven surfaces. My gate initially deteriorated as I no longer had the brace to hold my knee steady laterally.  At the end of the week the medial ligaments etc had strengthened and I had lateral control (The VMO weakness still remains a limiting factor)


Now 110 Degrees and I can now work on a stationary exercise bike.


One tip I picked up from the therapist is to engage your glutes (squeeze your butt checks together) before you attempt any sort of squat. It brings on the VMO and Lateral vastas which stabilises the patella and engages the Quads before loading.


Walking up the stairs using the injured knee is difficult to master. I found that you tend to instinctively lean back a little and this loads up the knee (unsupported open chain) and its just too much. Lean forward onto the knee as you ascend (closes the chain) and it works better, though not much fun.


The therapist talks about limit of pain being less than tissue tolerance. Both seem to be very close, after some sessions I can feel some muscle sprain/micro tears in the body of the muscle, but they heal quickly and we push on.  Ligament/muscle repair interface feels good and no longer heats & swells up during training.


Unfortunately back at work next week so I will not have as much time to devote to training so it will interesting to see if I keep seeing the level of improvement I have.

Edited by Auscoach - 9/17/10 at 3:33am
post #1989 of 10805

Not Doing So Well


Bruce, you are my role model.  Good on 'ya for getting the medical renewed and getting back on that SNJ horse!!  I still have the Maule. Turns out selling is only half of the equation; you also need a BUYER.    Anyway, we have had a lot of quality time together, spent months in Baja, months in Alaska and months on an epic coast to coast and back again camping safari.  If all good things must come to an end, then I have no regrets.  I am the poster child for "do it while you can".


AusCoach:  Holy crap!  OUCH!!  I never even contemplated a tendon being ripped out of the muscle.  Sounds like you are making the best of it though.  Keep up the great progress.


Unfortunately, my progress is less than zero.  Three months after my second repair due to my quad tendon ripping again under MUA, I am stuck at 40 deg flexion.  My OS has given up.  This is only the second QTR he has ever seen and never with the complication of arthrofibrosis.  My joint cartilage and ligaments are all fine, but there is so much crazy scar tissue gumming up the works that nothing moves.  After 3 months of PT 3 times a week, swimming in the aqua therapy pool and working hard at home, nothing seems to be progressing.  My last visit to the OS consisted of each of us revealing to the other that we wanted someone else to get involved.   So, I am off to the Steadman-Hawkins clinic in Vail, CO after Labor Day to see Dr. Millett.  I found several success stories on the arthrofibrosis thread of KneeGuru.co.uk.  Millett was associated with a majority of the successes, so I am hoping he will be able to salvage enough from my condition to allow me to hike and ride a bike again.  I'm bummed that this will probably mean more blade work and starting over AGAIN.  Good thing I remember where I put those suppositories Bruce was talking about.  Hopefully this time we won't have to hack the tendon and can go directly to getting all the hardware stretching and recovering some muscle mass to my thigh.  My left leg looks like a twig stuck through a grapefruit.  


Hope to be out there with the rest of you in a year or so.  Meanwhile, keep your fingers crossed for me, OK?



post #1990 of 10805



Now 9 weeks since surgery. 6 weeks in a cast non-load bearing on crutches and three weeks to date in a brace. Currently at 60 degrees moving to 90 friday. Then back to my specialist on the18th. So far so good but watched the summer drift by, cancelled holidays, but managed to get better seats at Cricket and Soccer games so not all doom and gloom. Only doing simple exercises to date but getting dependant on the brace. Felt me knee go a few times whilst turning and know if the brace wasn' t on I would have stumbled. So unsure how I will feel once it's no longer there for support


Aiming to play golf again on the 1st October and ski by March. Know there is a load of rehab to do once I have 90 degree movment and the brace can be removed.


Business suit trousers really tight over the brace. Can't wear shorts to work for much longer.


Staying positive and read the posts for moral support




post #1991 of 10805

Week 10 (since surgery and 8 weeks since starting rehabilitation)


  • 120 degrees of flexion and I feel confident enough to walk without a crutch. (Having said that stairs remain a challenge, down hill is scary and I break into a cold sweat of fear on uneven ground and I am weaker than I would like)
  • The therapist is not happy with my VMO engagement and how I am handling stairs, I have been scolded roundly by him and I have been given extra work to do for both. In one week he expects me to exhibit significant improvement (Which is easy for him to say I might add).
  • Scar adhesion and cross scaring of the muscle fibers is becoming less of a problem.  The therapist uses massage & manipulation and the simple process of stretching the muscle until the adhesion's rip and free up.  They then seem to lay down in the correct direction of muscle fibre and this increases range of movement, so all is well.
  • RedRocks I hope you find a way around the fibrosis. My limited experience with adhesion has been less than pleasant so I hope you can get a medical break through and regain you best.
  • I had hoped to progress quicker than this but the surgeon flat out refuses to allow the therapist to start  seriously working to achieve full range of motion for at least another three weeks. It’s all very frustrating. 





Edited by Auscoach - 9/17/10 at 3:35am
post #1992 of 10805

Hi everyone, have read most of the posts on this great blog over the last couple of weeks, thought it was time to join up and tell my story.  I am a 48 year old firefighter from Canada, a month ago I stepped onto a wet sloped lawn in my bare feet, slipped awkwardly, and heard the infamous double pop while landing. A trip to the E.R. for an x ray and ultrasound resulted in a diagnosis of a quad tear, but the extent of the damage would only be told by a MRI- This is the weak link in the Canadian health system, MRIs are hard to come by, took me another week and a half, and this was by getting lucky off of the cancellation list. Anyway, mri reveals complete rupture, had surgery August 27.  Used crutches for the first day, spent the rest of my first week in immobilizer splint, trying to walk around as much as possible. Was given set of basic exercises to start, basically just stretching the calf and hamstrings, and thankfully can set the immobilizer to 30 degrees and work at bending the knee. I am hoping I can achieve the success of many others on this blog, It is truely amazing the different paths that are taken to the land of recovery. Well I expect to be off work for quite a while (didnt even ask the doc for an estimate, thought it would be too depressing). I snapped my achilles tendon (other leg) 6 years ago, and so far I feel that injury and its recovery was worse, but time will tell. I have my first follow up with my OS this coming Tuesday, and look forward to finding out  exactly what he had to do... eg drill the patella, etc, and what plans he has for physio.

Idahoguy- as always thanks for this valuable blog, and best wishes on your 2nd go round, may it be your last.

post #1993 of 10805

Hello all.  Been reading this forum for a week or so and I must say its great to read many of these stories of recovery.  I'm 56 and coach and race nordic skiing as well as a lot of other sports.  I'm 4+ weeks into my recovery, post double quad ruptures.  Fortunately, when it happened I knew exactly what had happened since I had been in for an MRI not 3 weeks before and was told I have some damage to my tendons.  Dr didn't seem overly alarmed and off I went on my usual hiking vaction in the White Mts.  Fortunately, I didn't hurt myself on some mountain, but fell just walking in the woods after breakfast on 8/4/10 and slipped on a wet rock, like so many on this forum and ruptured my left quad.  In the process of using my camera tripod as a crutch to get a couple hundred yards to the place I was staying, I toppled over and ruptured the right tendon. I guess they were ready to go! Then I butt slid myself backwards up a short hill to get where people could help me and call the ambulance.  Not much pain after the initial event and the swearing.  By 1pm that day I was in surgery.  Things are going well and I feel good, but I'm more than ready to start PT, but the OS I was handed off to wants me immobile for  2 more weeks.  I'm in braces that are locked out for no movement, but can walk around the house fairly well,  lurching around like Frankenstein and have crutches for stability outside so I can ditch the walker.  I get out every day in a wheelchair for some exercise and fresh air.  But, damn, with both legs gone its hard to do much of anything!  I can't even begin to get to work as I take the train to Boston and walk or take the subway.  So for now, working at home as much as I can. 


Just waiting to heal up enough to start PT.  Annie, I'd be interested in how your dad is doing. 

post #1994 of 10805

OMG Nordicracer I cant imagine rupturing both quadriceps!


The good news is that they will come good again and like all of us I think you will find this blog a great help in working out where you should be in rehab.  I think thats the one thing everyone agrees with is that the surgeons simply tell you it will take time to heal and dont give you an idea of milestones and when they should occur, this blog does.


Best of luck with the rehab!!

post #1995 of 10805

RedRocks, my wife and I just returned today  from a week in Vail. While there I visited the Steadman Hawkins Research Clinic. Steaman says he is retiring. The "go to guy" is Dr. Millett. I didn't get to meet him, but he has been with Steadman for a long time. His reputation is world-wide. You can't go wrong with him. If I ever---God forbid--have another knee problem I going to Vail. Besides, they have some great restaurants! I took my Alpine poles with me on the trip, but didn't need them too much except when we hiked around the top of the ski lifts. Mostly I leaned on them to breath at 10,000!. The quad was more sore than the knee after walking. I resorted to the frozen pea "ice packs" and that helped. A regular bike is still a challege to me. I  have raised my seat so my knee won't bend so much. This might be an answer. I'll keep you posted on this. Seeing the ski runs we used to do as we rode up the lift made me drool in an embarassing way. Man, I'd love to fly down a few blues just once more! Anyway, good luck in Vail. I believe they are the very best.




While in Vail be sure and visit Beaver Creek. This is a totally posh place. They even have esculators to take you up to the lifts!!!

post #1996 of 10805

numbness 12 plus weeks post op


I'm wondering if any of you have experienced numbness on the outside of the knee and patella. My OS said this could happen and might not go away. It seems that he had to cut through some of the nerve endings during the surgery. At this point I'm guessing the numbness will be with me permanently. Am I the only one with this situation?

post #1997 of 10805

Chinagirl, I've slso got some numbness on the outside of my knee and patella on one leg.  My other one seems fine.  However, I'm only 4.5 weeks post-op so hopefully it will decrease somewhat and its not a huge area.

post #1998 of 10805



This is Annie's dad writing.  I guess we had our accidents within a day of each other.  I am currently in a subacute rehab center after spending 16 days in an acute rehab center.  I learned how to transfer from my bed to a wheel chair (and vice versa), on and off the commode (which I could not use with my legs straight our in front of me so have had to compromise a bit in order to use the commode comfortably) and from my wheel chair to my walker and vice versa.  I have physical therapy every day, mainly strengtheing other muscles in my legs and doing a lot of walking.  I am in the same kind of braces you have for the same lengtth of time.  I find that these braces don't really keep my knees absolutely straight.  Sometimes there is a bit of bend in my knees in spite of my best efforts to keep them straight.  My surgeon says I shouldn't worry about that.  In two weeks I will be fitted with new adjustable braces and start with 30 degrees of flexion for two weeks, then 60 degrees for two weeks, and then 90 degrees for two weeks.  At the end of that period, I guess I won't need braces.  I have had issues with constipation due to the drugs I've been taking for pain.  I don't have much of an appetite and have lost 25 pounds (I wanted to lose some weight though I don't recommend having an accident as a way of losing weight).  Aside from the healing process, I battle depression.  It's pretty boring here at the rehab center and there are few options for activities that are managelable when one is pretty immobile.


Are you at home?  If so, how do you manage yourself? My wife said she' couldn't take care of me so we decided that I would stay in a rehab center.  Also, we are in Wisconsin (we were here on vacation visiting friends when the accident happened), and we live in Washington so being at home was not really an option.  My goal is to have enough flexion that I can ride an an airplane and get to Seatttle which is still two hours from my home in Port Townsend.  Our home is two stories so we'd have to equip our downstairs den with a hospital bed so I could sleep there until I'm able to negotiate stairs.


Hope to hear from you about how you are doing.





post #1999 of 10805



First of all, I'm sorry this had to happen to you and especially that you couldn't get home!  I was very fortunate that while I was on vacation, I was only a 3 hour drive from home and we just put down the back seat in the station wagon we have and I rode in the back to get home.  It was important to me to get home and begin to get some normalcy in my life.  In addition, I'm lucky that my daughter just graduated and is living at home while she looks for a real job, so she can get me outdoors for my wheelchair roll exercise every day while my wife is at her job.  Plus, I can do some work from home and conference calls, etc.  The other thing that has been lucky for me is that being a cross country ski racer my upper body is strong and I was able to learn to transfer from bed to wheelchair and wheelchair to walker, and wheelchair to the back of the car a couple days after surgery.  My house was set up with a hospital bed in the living room, but now I'm capable of getting into my own bed (on the same floor) so hopefully we'll get that out of the house in the next few days and get the living room back to normal.  I can now negotiate the two small stairs into my family room, get into my lounge chair with the foot rest and also get out on my deck and sit in the sun and read.  Small things that mean a lot!!  I now have crutches for use outdoors and can walk (lurch?) around the house ok, do the dishes, etc.  I've been reading a lot, having read 5 books so far, among other things. Just finished a great book about climbing K2.  Nothing like a good disaster book when you are down and out! I've got my laptop, have cleaned cupboards, filed photos,etc. to keep occupied. 


I too will hopefully start my PT in 1.5 weeks.  My knees feel like they are pretty well locked up right now, so I'm sure it won't be enjoyable at first, but its time to get started!  Fortunately, I have no pain whatsoever.  I've managed to stay positive about this turn of events and am focused on going forward and not bemoaning the fact that its Labor Day, gorgeous out and here I sit.  At least I can sit outdoors!  That is huge for me. 


After reading through this forum, don't be surprised if you will need those braces for quite a while even as you gain ROM and strength.  No one has given me a clear idea how long this will all take, but with both legs out of commission it will be a good bit of time before full functionality returns.  I'm planning out what I can try to do once I get some ROM and strength back, such as swim, water walk, bike machines, ellipticals, canoing, etc.  The toughest thing for me is that I'm a serious athlete who works out every day, race 15 times a winter, canoe race in the summer, coach high school kids in skiing all year, etc.  So I now wheelchair myself around for 45 min. every day and have started with a ski double pole machine and some arm weights as well as those leg exercises. Guess I won't be ski racing this winter and maybe not even skiing at all.   


Good luck with your recovery.  I hope your progress is fast!  And, thanks to this forum, we aren't alone!

post #2000 of 10805


I am a 52 year old nurse who was volunteering in Haiti when I slipped walking down a hill and suffered a QTR in my right leg on June 7. I had the repair on June 10. I am 12 weeks post and I have numbness as well that is not improving at all. I know that with other kinds of surgeries numbness does occur because of damage to nerves. Sometimes the feeling returns sometimes it doesn't. I do know that nerves grow really slowly so that it does take a long while for feeling to return if it is going to.



post #2001 of 10805

1) Nerves grow about 1mm/week, if I recall.


2) Nordiccracer...What is the name of the K2 book? 



post #2002 of 10805

The K2 book is "K2, Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain"  by Ed Viesturs with David Roberts.

post #2003 of 10805

Hi there, here's my story...  I have a knee that I have injured a couple times starting with an ACL rupture and repair back in 1996 which also had significant damage to the cartilage - instant arthritis.  Since then I have had 9 surgeries including several arthroscopics and one Oxford Partial and the latest on July 3rd was a Patella/Femoral arthroplasty resurfacing... recovery was going very well, no brace, weight bearing as tolerated - no crutches or walker.  Three weeks post surgery I slipped - my good leg slid forward putting me in a lunge position with the injured knee bent and bearing all weight rupturing the quadriceps tendon and all layers of sutures ruptured.  This was EXTREMELY painful.  I had surgery within a week to repair it.  I was put in a brace with some flex not much and was allowed weight bearing as tolerated again...  two days after the staples were removed once again I ruptured it again but not to the extreme as the previous tear simply by lifting up my leg to take a step but too quickly...  Back in for surgery for another repair and this time I was put in a brace locked down with no flex - immobile - non-weight bearing and on crutches...  5 days post surgery while I was simply walking across the room my crutch hit a wet spot while I was in mid air and well down I went HARD my leg kind of folded behind me.  I have never had anything so freaking painful happen to me in my entire life it was unbelievable.  I completely tore my quad apart destroyed any tendon that was left and this time injuring the belly of my quad clear up to the top of my leg.  I went to the ER this time, got an MRI again right away.  It's bad people, REALLY bad. In three days  I am going for my third re-repair to the 1st original surgery - that's 4 surgeries back to back.  This time they will be using cadaver parts to repair the rupture and then they will cast it as well, non weight bearing using a walker and crutches as fit.  People I am scared to death that I will be handicapped for the rest of my life and I am afraid that if I slip or fall this time I will rip my hip apart.   People, I am SCARED. 

post #2004 of 10805

Week 11


Around 130 degrees of flexion.  Which I thought was a good thing.


It seems otherwise. According to my OT my range of motion now exceeds the ability of available muscle to control the leg.


I hate it when he is right. I have had a couple of episodes where I have been striding out and the knee collapses at long range of motion.  Thankfully the muscle finally pulls the fall up.

But when it contracts it trys to pull the patella up an over the knee joint or trys to dislocate it due to the weak vmo. You can imagine what this feel likes, every thing and I mean everything is sore irritated and just not happy.


So I am not working any more on ROM but on muscle engagment and bulk.


This is may not  be journey of my choice but it is turning into a one of self discovery where you test and learn of your limits in response to the adversity thrown at you.


I  hope everyone is doing well

post #2005 of 10805
Thread Starter 

Hi all:  I haven't checked in for a while . . . .


I'm sorry to see new additions to the forum, but a hearty "welcome" to all of you now that you are here.  A quick report on my progress . . . .  After my second QTR surgery (due to the failure of the first two years afterwards), I am starting to feel like I'm getting there.  Did my first backpacking trip over Labor Day, and climbed my first peak in almost three years - I was sore afterwards, and a little weak in the knee, but it is coming back.  This weekend, I was able to stand up in the saddle and hammer up a hill on my bike for as long as I wished - much better than the "ten pedal strokes" at a time approach of the past couple of years.  In short, it is happening for me - albeit more than 2 1/2 years after the original injury.  It will for all of you as well - just stay with it.


Riperella:  Please take care of yourself - that is a hard and horrible story - caution and care should be your buzzwords for at least a year!  Good luck!



post #2006 of 10805

Auscoach, I think you bring up a very important point for tendon rupture recovery. Both strength in the quad muscles and flexibility are important to regain.

A combination of stretching, bike riding , using a machine like a rowing machine, walking up and down stairs and walking has worked for me so far. If my knee gets too painful doing a particular exercise I stop that one for a while and do other things that don't cause pain. For example, last week (week 13) I got a sharp pain in my knee going down stairs so I stopped going down stairs correctly for a while, but continued walking and doing stretching exercises and bike riding. This week I am back to walking downstairs correctly with no pain.  Basically for me if I listen to my body it seem to work out.

post #2007 of 10805

Hi IDG -

Glad to hear that your recovery is coming along so well for you.  Here is a question - and it assumes that hindsight is always 20/20!


Knowing what you know now -- is there anything that might have tipped you off that you had reinjured your QTR prior to learning the hard way when you were skiing?  I'm doing fine at 18 months, but just curious.  


All the best!


post #2008 of 10805

Hi all,


At 6 weeks post-op and injury of both of my legs I finally got cleared for PT.  Finally!  Good news is that I had no problem with 40 degrees of flex in my knees, my kneecaps are freeing up and I can fire my quad tendons gently.  After 6 weeks of no mobility I had to think about firing those now mushy muscles!  Since I trashed both legs at the same time I'm on a very conservative course and will have to keep my braces locked out for weeks to come unless I'm doing PT, but am doing well and walking around as much as possible stiff legged and with crutches except in the house where I don't need them.  Legs feel fine and the swelling in my knees has diminished a lot in the last 2 weeks.  Hopefully the pace of rehabilitation will increase over time.


Progress is progress! 


Riparella, take good care of yourself and give yourself lots of time to heal. 


Wanasail, that's a great question. 

post #2009 of 10805
Thread Starter 

Hi Wanasail:


Here is what I know now about reinjuring oneself that I didn't know then . . . .


1.  Any time you feel a "twang" or a "pop" of any kind - that is a bad sign.  I felt one of those about 4 months after my first QTR, and should have had an MRI done immediately.

2.  A "soft spot" in the tendon that you can manually feel is also a bad sign.  I had what could almost be termed a hole in my tendon that I could feel with my fingers.

3.  Constant weakness with very little or very slow improvement is bad.  After almost two years, I still could not do a full lunge with my bad leg in back - even with tons of working out specifically in an attempt to increase that particular strength skill.



None of these do I have this time.  What a relief!



post #2010 of 10805

Week 12


Range of motion is now well in excess of 130 degrees and the OT has stopped using a protractor to measure angle. They now have a steel ruler against the wall and you see how far out from the wall you have to be to  enable you to bend ankle and knee to touch the wall with your knee.


I don't get it at all but the difference between my good leg and bad leg is about 1.5 cm..


My regular OT and buddy has gone on holidays and handed me over to one of his work partners. I don't know what he has told her about me but it must have been bad becasue she is sure punishing me. She has lots of seemingly innocent exercises, that you can do a little off easily but with sets at near 20minutes and reps on top of that it becomes an ultra marathon where the only thing that keeps you going is utter focus on the task at hand. Yep I like her a lot!


The big difference this week is that the muscles are no longer angry and inflamed and burning and I dont finish sessions shaking with pain and physically ill. Sure the muscles are absolutely exhausted and I can barely crawl out of the OT or gym session at home but at least nothing burns or rips like it used to, I am simply tired : ) and only a little bit sore.


I spend lots of time happily riding my stationary exercise bike to nowhere. My gait is now more times correct than not. I can walk up stairs and down only by holding on the rails and well it really is not pretty. When I mention this to the OT she just laughs at me (hmmm not too sure about the professional bed side manner here) and tells me not to expect to master stairs for a couple of months until I have full quad strength.  I also mentioned running at which point she broke down laughing completely and could not speak.  Hmmmmmm! I really must find out what my regular OT told her before he left.  Time will tell, but I will do my best to prove her wrong.


I have been uncompromising in my rehabilitation and I am relatively happy in my progress to date. I have had to harden up a lot mentally to accept the OT regime I have been under and I am glad it is easing off in terms of pain levels because I do not think I could tolerate pushing it any harder. However I have to say from reading peoples experiences in this blog I think I have also been very very lucky in the healing process as my body has held up under the training and I hope that luck holds.


IDG I was curious about you second rupture?  I am fearful of doing that myself as I have come very close on a couple of occasions.  What happened?


Keep the faith everyone, you will get better!

Edited by Auscoach - 9/17/10 at 3:24pm
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