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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 72

post #2131 of 10803



Man, that is all very normal.  PT should help a LOT with all of that because they can definitely help with the tightness and swelling.  They generally start with a hot pad above and below the knee with an electronic stimulation device to warm it up and get the quad firing after all of those weeks of inactivity.  My guy also does a deep tissue massage with biofreeze (deep heat/bengay type stuff) and then will ice at the end of all of the activities.  My swelling started going down immediately and was very noticeable even to my wife.  I continually ice my leg throughout the day to further help but the swelling you feel is completely normal.


The kneecap thing was a tough one for me too.I would do heel slides or really anything that increased my range of motion and once I would get past about 60 degrees, I would feel what I characterized as a "catch" with my kneecap.  It just felt like it was off-track and instead of sliding up and down as I'd curl and extend my leg, it would hang up in a spot and unless I put pressure to hold it up higher during the "release phase" to where it should move, it was EXTREMELY painful.  I mentioned it to my PT and he said it could be some abnormality below the cap that is causing the discomfort but it didn't feel like that and I'd never had a problem previously with knee pain of any sort.  I asked if it could just be the fact that my quad was so weak that it wasn't holding it high enough and the patella tendon was stronger and pulling it down, because that's what it felt like and he looked at me oddly and said "I guess".  That wasn't a ringing endorsement of my diagnosis but it has been spot on.  As my quads have gotten stronger and are doing their part in holding the kneecap up, it doesn't do it any longer and I have no pain in that area.


The leg still gets really tight and is tight both above and below the kneecap but I'm waaaaay  better today than I was two and a half weeks ago when I started PT.  I've been able to do the elliptical for 15 minutes, can spin freely on the stationary bike for an hour, doing leg presses with both legs with 160, single leg with 80, do squats with just my bodyweight until my butt touches a bench and stand back up, and do a slide board used by ice skaters.  Now, I sucked doing the slide board for the first time because my left leg has no strength to push off to get to the right, but it's kinda fun and I could feel my muscle working.


So, basically what I'm saying is everything you are feeling is normal and within three weeks from today, you will be doing all of the fun stuff I'm doing and feel way better about your recovery than the very normal anxiety you feel right now.  Hang in there brother because you are about to start the real road to getting back to normal.



post #2132 of 10803

6 weeks post surgery, 7 weeks since injury #2 post for today.


TD thanks for the information.  As I had hoped for and expected, I was increased to 90 degrees ROM today and told I could start doing some very light physical therapy.  My doctor is trying to move a little slow with my recovery based on the fact that I just finished a little battle with the big C for the second time and finished my chemo just weeks before this happened.  I did very well with the chemo and obviously felt well enough to play basketball.  So I did get mostly everything I wanted today.  The doctor told me it is possible I could get back to full work schedule by mid December-music to my ears.  I am so happy to hear I will be exercising soon.  I'm certain as soon as I begin to build strength in my quad, the injury will improve in leaps and bounds.  I believe as TD said, it is the real road to recovery. 

post #2133 of 10803

O.K.  I have a buddy who I use to ride motorcycles with.  Unfortunately, he was involved in two seperate crashes and barely survived the first one.  Now days, he has taken up bicycling.  He has lost about 75 pounds and is a health nut.  After escaping the grip of death twice, he has a great attitude and is trying to help me now.  My doctor released me to 90 degrees ROM and has allowed me to do light physical therapy.  This includes riding a bicycle with no resistance.  He just wants me to get the motion in, and not bending my knee any more than 90 degrees.  So my friend brings over this bicycle and has equipment to make it stationary.  I rode for about 8 minutes and am exhausted.  Is this normal?  My knee feels weak.  I'll ride it again more later, but I just wanted to know if this is a normal kind of beginning p/t??  I'm excited to be doing something.  I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing.



post #2134 of 10803



Good to hear you've gotten the go ahead to get some exercise in.  Definitely a boost to the spirits.  I think its pretty normal to get tired doing things after the inactivity for so long.  I certainly was tired just standing and walking around in my braces once I started doing that.  I've had to build up my exercise even though I was in great shape before my accident.  It'll come fast once you get active.  I thought I was dying on my first swim....got 50 yards and was gasping.  I'm now up to 800 yard intervals and feeling pretty good in 3 weeks. 


I've now lost the braces, I think for good.  Having to remember how to walk properly, but its coming back pretty fast. 


Heal fast! 

post #2135 of 10803

Dear All


I came across this site a couple of days ago. While I am sorry for everybody who has suffered this injury (including myself), it is wonderful to see that I am not the only one at the party.


At 51, I had been a skier for some 48 years (most recent years extreme) and a tennis player pretty much the same time (and earlier this year the oldest winner of the White City Mens Open singles title). (And I normally cycle daily for fitness).


My two tanks had taken me through almost 50 years of sport without a single leg injury of any kind.


Needless to say, I thought the two of them would be the last part of my body to fail and were pretty much indestructible.


But after getting off a plane from Europe to Sydney (Australia) six weeks ago, I organised a training hit with a few friends. My partner left a lob which dropped in and I went to retrieve what was a completely routine ball and then found myself on my back wondering whether I was actually injured.


Well I certainly was - full tear with all the classic symptoms outlined above but not really a lot of pain (my leg was straight) (I thought I had just hit my knee cap with the tennis racket).


Fortunately through family and a cheque book, surgery was carried out the next day and here I am 6 weeks later reading your range of experiences with great interest.


I have just come out of the brace with only a limited ROM but after just one day I am nevertheless pretty pleased with both stability and strength. Having climbed to the ridge, there seems to be an even bigger one behind it!!


I am not sure that my experiences will be any different to yours, but I certainly wish to say "thanks" for all the great information you have provided.






post #2136 of 10803

I am new to this link, your stories have not only inspired me but I have received a wealth of info from you all. I was weightlifting, doing deadlifts, and I pulled the quad as I exploded with the weight.

In the ER they xrayed the area and it was negative for breaks. they wanted to operate on me that night with no MRI or ultrasound, only by the fact I could not straighten the leg. I was reluctant and

 it has been 11 days since the injury. It is somewhat difficult walking, but with stretching and stationary bike riding at the lowest resistance and highest seat to avoid bending the knee too much, the flexibility is coming back . I am using the hotub and alternate with ice. i know I should have stayed in the brace, with crutches, and not done anything, but I am one of these morons who can't sit still. My foot had a lot of bruising also and was swollen, it has subsided quite a bit. I am unsure if I hurt it at the same time or it is a by-product of the quad. I am using the elliptical trainer which puts almost no pressure on the knee, and something that looks like a t bar you stand on and rest your arms on arm rests. you then raise you legs to form a 90 degree bend. if works the abs but also stretches and works the quads. I hope I can ski this year, it looks epic in Canada. All the best to you and thanks for all your ideas and hope. You are all an inspiration! PS I will start going to physio this week!

post #2137 of 10803

Quadfraud I think I'm a little confused.  Did you tear the quadriceps tendon or did you figure out it was just a pulled muscle.  I know when I tore mine, there was no doubt about what had happened.  I did have an x-ray but had no other exams.  Given the things I could not do (lift my leg) and the noticeable distortion above my kneecap along with the quad muscle rolling up in my leg, the doctor diagnosed my injury.  If in fact you have a torn quadriceps tendon, I would not wait in getting the proper medical attention.


7 weeks post surgery


I start my physical therapy tomorrow.  My range of motion is a little better than 90 degrees.  I am motivated to get out of this brace.  I went to the pet store tonight and I chose for the first time to go out without my brace.  I was extremely careful not to fall.  I know some of the guys on this thread have credited their progress towards becoming normal to getting out of the brace.  Of course I know for a fact that early on, the brace is an absolute must and I followed that rule without exception.  But now I am eager to get to moving forward and I am so eager to get to therapy tomorrow morning, I feel like a kid headed into Christmas morning.  Ha! 

post #2138 of 10803

Dear Quadfraud


I would strongly recommend going to an OS and getting it fully checked out.


I was operated on within 24 hours with the availability of a full diagnosis.


From what you describe it does not appear to be a FT or maybe not even a PT of the quadriceps tendon but as my OS said, if you delay the tendons will shrink back in to your quadriceps and we will have to graft tendons from elsewhere. It was enough advice!!




Aussie Ace  


post #2139 of 10803

MyQuad- Congrats on your progress without the brace, be careful, obviously, but count each day as a small victory.


12 weeks post op this week, met with my OS today, and am a little bummed out, not going to return me to regular work (firefighter) just yet. I had hoped to get the clearance, but honestly, despite all my work and progress, I have to admit that I am yet not quite as strong as I need to be. It is a testiment to this terrible injury, the recovery simply takes longer than we would like, often despite our vows that "I'll be as good as new in no time".


My O.S. brought up something else that I think is important to share. Told me that I am certainly at risk of rupturing my other QT, that for all sports and althletic involvement I need to make sure I stretch and warm up the quads first. Said that the QT is a big, strong tendon and typically there is a predisposition/weakness that is in place prior to this injury. Food for thought, it definitely got my attention because I really dont want to go through this again.

















post #2140 of 10803

Firefaller, your message speaks direcctly to me.  I have counted on the calendar and I know December 22nd marks the 12th week out of surgery for me.  My doctor told me the other day that he would release me to go back to work whenever "I" felt I was ready.  I guess I was hoping in my mind that shortly after the start of physical therapy (now), I could return to work.  We even talked about me going back to work in early to mid December.  That put me at 9-11 weeks.  And If I'm gonna be honest with myself, I probably know I shouldn't.  You and I are siblings in our professions.  You'll probably know what that means.  I was hoping that with the beginning on physical therapy means it is ok to "push it"-something I may have to do at work.  I will continue to push hard as my p/t starts a little later today and we'll see what happens.  I truly appreciate firefaller's and TD"s posts.  Truly they have helped me beyond what you could imagine.  You guys have shined the light down a dark road for me.  Thanks for the input!


Firefaller, I also wanted to say I'm sorry you didn't get the news you had hoped for-clearance to go back to work.  And I hope that none of us has to go through this madness again. 



post #2141 of 10803

Dear All


Reading through the various blogs, I had some experiences which may be a little different from the others and may be worth noting.


Prior to the accident, my leg was absolutely rock solid so this may not apply to all of you.


From the start my leg was fully weight bearing and I also had the challenge of being in a 3 level house which meant a lot of stair climbing from the beginning - good leg first up, bad leg first down. Good leg actually developed some extra muscles due this unusual activity. 


My family were not overly sympathetic so not too many breaks on household duties either - house dad and remote boss on email and phone to my staff! 


After 5 1/2 weeks in the straight leg brace, I basically through it off 3 days ago as I want to return to the office next week and thought I got to test it.


At first delicate steps, but pretty much a normal walk after two days with a slight limp - no wobbles. 


ROM is up to 80% but as I am a bit of a pansy with pain, I increased the movement slowly and without too much discomfort by using a hand held and fairly strong massager with infra red capacity. I must say that this worked extremely well and the leg felt great.


Today, I attempted and succeeded following a good session with the massage and infra-red with quarter revolution turns on the exercise bike at about 70% ROM with very gentle resistance which worked the quads just slightly. Important to start somewhere but hey on a bike and it felt good.


Cheers Aussie Ace


post #2142 of 10803

Good morning everyone,


I'm at 15 weeks post-injury/op today for my BQTR. I've been on a conservative course due to trashing both legs. Last weekend I threw off the shackles of the braces and haven't worn them since, meeting my goal of having them off when my son gets home today from New Zealand.  I had a cross country ski coaching clinic to do on Saturday and really didn't want to be stumping around in those things any longer. It was tough not being able to demonstrate technique on rollerskis, but that will come.  Also got out for a long canoe paddle with paddling friend....excercise outdoors!  What a concept after the pool and indoor bike.  The last couple days my walking has improved tremendously and I'm not locking my knees any more on each step and I can feel my legs getting stronger. Legs and knees feel great! They do get tired after a 30 min. walk though.  What was taking me 30 min to do a few days ago only took 22 min yesterday.  I'm still bringing my hiking poles along as insurance, but I haven't had any of those knee collapse feelings in a couple days.  Getting back to proper walking gait has taken less time than I'd imagined after everything else taking way longer, so I'm quite pleased with my recent progress.  In addition, I'm back up to being able to crank out a straight mile swim in the pool, so my fitness is returning too.  Now I need to get stronger for going up and down stairs, but even that has improved a ton in just a few days.  While I still don't plan on being able to race this winter I will certainly be out there skiing a bit with the kids I coach.


Hang in there everyone! 

post #2143 of 10803

Nordicracer, do you believe your gait improved because you took off the braces?  I am 7 weeks out and have began to walk without it.  I had my first physical therapy session today and it wasn't really very taxing.  I'm wondering if the best rehab foir me might just be a nice walk around the neighborhood without the brace.



post #2144 of 10803

9 weeks post surgery tomorrow


Howdy guys and gals!  I was going to wait and post tomorrow after PT today and a ROM check to see where I am but I can update that later.  Lot's of good posts confirming some progress and I just had to comment:


quadfraud - Dude your post is scaring me.  I've always been one to delay going to the doctor unless it's necessary and I'm suggesting you get an MRI.  Since you have a range of motion, it's clear you haven't completely torn your quad but it could be a partial tear and that could range from 1% to 99%.  Delaying what will ultimately fix you up is not advisable.  Get with the doc, see what they recommend, and go with it.  Don't delay and hope it just gets better because a lot of them won't.  Even the tears that allow you for mobility, could tear due to the fact you don't have full use of your quads and could affect you later in life.  Don't delay brother!


ff - That is a demanding job and I can see why you would need to take it slow.  I'm lucky to have an office job and was able to work from home two days after my surgery.  I eventually started crutching it in to work and now am walking normally without the brace.  I'm amazed at how ignorant people are about general things.  Quads are pretty much the largest muscles in the human body and I've had people asking me if I'm able to squat like I was before the accident simply because they see me walking without a limp.  I'm like, "Dude!  My leg muscles ripped completely in two 9 weeks ago, I was on crutches 4 weeks ago and have just been walking without the brace for 2 weeks, do you really think I can squat 350 for 4 sets of 12 reps like I was the day of the accident?"  He said, "Well, when you put it that way."  There are others that treat me like a complete invalid as if I could shatter with any touch.  I'm amazed how little thought people put into their comments.


myquad - Push the pt but don't push getting back to work in a profession that needs you to be responsive and physical.  I'm a million times better than I was just a few weeks ago but I tried to "hustle" up a hill at a light jog and didn't make it more than a couple of feet.  The leg just has no strength.  One of the exercises my PT has me doing is on a slide board simulating ice skating.  It's about 4 feet from end to where the stop is set up and it is a struggle to get that old left leg to push my 215 lbs all the way to the right.  I can rocket back to the left but old lefty is just not there.  It's really cool to see the progression from session to session because I couldn't push all the way to the right the first time and was able to get there this last time so I cold extend the stop one more notch.  Stairs are taking less effort and I must be really careful because I have yet to have the leg buckle and have felt pretty sure footed.  I obviously know the leg is injured with limited strength so I'm not bounding down the steps but I keep thinking I'm going to buckle and haven't ever come close.


AA - Sounds like you are making out pretty well.  My wife was very caring and supportive the first few weeks but I could tell it was grating on her nerves by about week 4 and knew I needed to be as self-sufficient as I could.  I feel your pain on that one.


Nordiracer - Tearing both legs had to be brutal and I don't envy the recovery process for you but it sounds like you are a real trooper.  Keep after it and it's good to read how much better you are getting.


For some texture on my progress:

Injured: September 12th, 2010

Surgery: September 16th, 2010

Cleared to bear weight: October 20th, 2010

Started PT: October 22, 2010

Tossed the brace: November 1st, 2010


I've had 11 PT sessions (3 per week) that started with a bunch of stretching and limited strengthening.  Now I am in more of a strengthening phase and less stretching.  The PT has me ride a stationary bike for 5 minutes at the lowest level but must be between 80-100 RPM's.  After the 5 minutes, I do 10 minutes where I alternate every other minute between level one and then the highest level I can do but still keep my RPM's above 80.  Last session had me able to maintain above 80 on level 8 so I'm shooting for level 9 today.  After the bike, I will get on the elliptical for 10 minutes at the lowest level.  I then will do board slides that simulate ice skating and do 5 sets of 45 seconds.  Next are one legged hack squats at a 45 degree angle using only my body weight and do 4 sets of 12 followed by single leg calf raises on the same machine.  I then go to the leg press using both legs at 160 poinds for 4 sets of 12.  Step ups are next, focusing on using only the bad leg to step up and hold the weight as the good leg touches back to the ground.  I really do these as slowly as I can to make the quad shake through the full range of motion.  I use that term loosely because I don't have enough leg strength to go all the way down but will go as slow as I can until the controlled fall begins prior to the foot on the good leg touches down.  Then I do an exercise that has a strechy rope that ties behind the knee of my bad leg and will bend my knee and then straighten it back out so that my foot goes from my heel being off of the ground to being fully on the ground.  This exercise surprised me because I really try to go as slowly and controlled as I possibly can but the quad will shake and tremble like I'm in a mini earthquake.  I then get a rubdown of the repaired area with some biofreeze and then get ice for 10 minutes.


I'm fully sweating during the majority of my time there and really enjoy any time that allows me to get closer to normal.  My PT said I'm a lot of fun to have around because I try to encourage the other people in there and will chastize them a bit for half-assing it.


Keep after it guys and gals so we can all enjoy being normal again.


Coveryour6, we haven't heard from you in a while and I'd like an update if you get time...




post #2145 of 10803

Thanks to you all. In Canada it can take weeks to get an MRI, and too late to operated. I decided I was not going for surgery with just a OS twisting my knee to diagnose the need for surgery.

I will have to count on rehab and hard work. Many of the surgery stories are horrid, and many of you had to have additional surgeries such at utahguy. I am going to physio and doing my best.

I hope all of you heal and all the best!

post #2146 of 10803


Quadfraud, I am stunned by the idea that you could have a serious injury and the month long wait for an MRI could cause you to suffer any long term damage.  I'd like to tell you that I only had an x-ray and no other tests were done to diagnose my injury.  If it helps, I'll explain my symptoms and you can see if it sounds like what you have.  After I tore my quadriceps tendon playing basketball, I had a distinct deformation just above my kneecap.  It was obvious that whatever was supposed to be under the skin right there was not there.  Additionally, after I pushed my leg out straight (I may have used my good leg to get that done, I don't really recall) the pain was greatly diminished.  But if I attempted to bend my knee, I got a very intense sensation of a muscle cramp in my thigh.  The muscle had also rolled up into my thigh.  Also, as I lay on my back, I could not raise my leg up off the bed.  Given those symptoms, my doctor correctly diagnosed my injury as a torn quadriceps tendon.  If you do in fact need surgery, it should happen sooner than later.  I hope that helps.   


post #2147 of 10803



I completely concur with TD and Myquad.  It isn't going to repair itself and it will tear completely at some point.   Myquad describes my experience (times 2) perfectly.  No MRI or X ray was even needed, although I think they did x ray me before the surgery.  Hell, I knew exactly what had happened.  The sooner you fix it, the sooner you'll be whole again.


Myquad, I think my gait improved when I took my braces off after about a week.  I had them off for a week at home and in the office, but not outdoors.  When I finally removed them to walk outdoors  I really had to think about not locking my knees each step and that took about 3 days until I started to do it right.  Certainly your muscles start working a lot harder without the braces supporting you.  I'd also been riding the bike at the gym for a few weeks to build up strength.  I also have one advantage....I toasted both legs, so no limp because I didn't have a good leg to depend on!  I think I surprised PT today when I walked in without them!  He had me stepping over obstacles about 6 or 8 inches high today and I was swinging my foot out to the side because I still need more ROM.  With a little stretching by PT I gained 10 degrees!  Obviously I need to work on that. 


TD - Thanks.  Things are going so well that the PT was talking to me about using the slide board to simulate skate skiing next so I can get out there on snow this winter. 

post #2148 of 10803

Thanks Texas Diesel


To be fair to my wife, she is very busy in her dental practice and I am pretty much used to fending for myself.


The remote work (as a corporate lawyer with a bunch of ecclectic duties) has worked well but largely because I have a great bunch of staff who actual do what I ask or do what is correct without me asking.


If I can get anywhere near your position in 3 weeks, I will be pleased.


Cheers AA  

post #2149 of 10803
Quadfraud - I agree the surgery stories can be horrid but let's compare that to someone who potentially needs surgery because they've torn 80% of their quad but chooses therapy instead, strengthens the leg to being able to normally function, then places stress on the leg while skiing, or whatever else, completely tears the quad and still has to have the horrid surgery. It's all up to you and I don't want to push you to do anything you don't want but why not get the MRI? You being on this site indicates a desire to have information so use the MRI to see how bad it is. If it's nothing major, you are just out a couple of bucks. If you need surgery, you can get it now and be 100% in 6 months.

Ok, my ROM on my initial visit to the pt at the 5 week mark on October 22nd was 70 degrees and today I measured 125. The good leg is 142 so I have a little ways to go but am progressing nicely. Thanks for all of the support and kind words and I look forward to all of your success stories in the coming months.
post #2150 of 10803



Thanks for collectively putting together this wonderful resource.  It has helped so much to date, I just have to stop lurking and “join the club”


I’m now 6 weeks post op from a bqtr.  The weather is warming up (Sydney) and my full leg casts are going to start causing social problems if I don’t flush them out.  I have another two weeks in casts and then into braces.  I’ve been weight bearing since day 2 post op and can negotiate all but the most narrow stairways.  I’m working from home at about 50% capacity and really looking forward to getting on with some real PT once I am no longer immobilised.


I wanted to comment on some advice I had from my PT (who’s been helping to make sure I don’t stuff up my back while relatively immobile).  She done a number of QTR recoveries and seems very concerned about gait and “relearning” to walk in a way that won’t cause trouble later..  She actually suggested having BQTR provided an advantage in that there are fewer problems with asymmetry as you start walking again (a real blessing, eh?). Anyone with flow-on effects (hips, back) during recovery?  I ask because I’m very strongly right-handed and my strength and muscle wastage is very different in the two legs.


Thanks for everything!



post #2151 of 10803



Welcome to the club where it's nice to have support and meet some cool people but in being a group of people you never want to have to meet.  Like you, I've used this site for a wealth of information and have read every single page even though it probably took 6 weeks. 


Somewhere in there, there were a few people that had back issues already and the weakened gait caused them pain and issues.  Reading that really made me realize the need to get as smooth of a gait as I possibly can as early as I can.  I wasn't allowed to weight bear until 5 weeks post surgery so that eliminated any walking issues and then I was allowed to weight bear for a very cumbersome gait while wearing the brace.  Once I was given the green light to not wear the brace around the house a week later, I really tried to walk as much as I could and focused on not limping and being as normal as possible.  Another week after that and I felt weak but normal and haven't worn the brace since.  I did this because of the posts talking about a natural strengthening and normalization ocurring better once the brace came off.  I've made sure to put myself in the safest positions possible so I could maximize walking without the brace and looking as normal as possible and it helped me never deal with back issues.


In having a BQTR, I can see how both legs will create a jacked up gait and would worry about your back/hips.  You definitely won't want to get out of the braces too early since you won't have a stronger leg to rely on, so take advantage of the range of motion you can use with the braces on and try your best to normalize.  I'd walk while looking in the mirror and try to keep my head from bobbing up and down.  I noticed that when I limped, my head would go to one side and then the other because of the big weight shift.  If you can walk with a steady head, the weight shift isn't there to impact the back and hips.  I'd also recommend doing a lot of core work to strengthen the mid section.  The leg lifts you will have to do will help a lot of that but one of the best back injury prvention techniques is to have an extremely strong mid-section.


Good luck with your recovery.  I look forward to reading of your success and I hope anything I've said has helped.





post #2152 of 10803

Week 29 (5 Months 3 weeks but who's counting)


It seems that the ranks of the Quad-Rippers grows daily.  A common theme seems to be that the doctors don't really explain the difference between a partical tear of a muscle and a complete rupture. You also need to know the anatomy of your quadriceps. You need to ask your surgeon just exactly what is damaged. The Rectus Femoris is the surface muscle and the deeper muscles are the Vastas intermedius, Vastus lateralis & Vastas medialis and thrown into this equation is a secondary muscle the Sartourus which often gets damaged in the injury. Your knee cap or Patella will also usually be damaged.


If you have ripped a muscle beyond tolerances they will cut it and stitch it back together, if you have ruptured (torn) the muscle they will stitch it and sew it back together.  The muscle might also be torn off the ligament and they will stitch those together. The ligament might be torn of the patella and you will see staples etc used to reattach it. You will see combinations of torn muscle in some of the quads and others stitched back to the ligament. And you can guarantee you have shattered your patella.


The point is guys the more that's ripped apart, the more invasive the surgery and the longer the rehab. I read in horror some of the stories of guys removing braces early. Your are really at risk of major secondary damage. The brace is there to hold your leg together because the muscles can no longer do the job. They need time to heal and grow strong. If you push it too early all you will do is wear out your cartilage and minicus or rip the muscles again.


Now I ruptured (tore apart) all four quads, satoris, patella and to add to the fun the the medial and lateral Collateral Ligament. I am now in excess of 5 months out and the other day I was actually able to jog but I still struggle to walk correctly etc.   The thing I have found is that the muscles are slow in regaining strength and irrespective of how much you train they just take their own freaking time. At least the injury has inspired me to get fit and at 48 I am now benching what I did at 35 so lets see if I can get back to lifting what I did in my late 20's.


So my advice to our new members is find out which muscles are involved and if they were sprained or ruptured and how much ligament and patella damage you did. The more muscles involved the more ligaments torn the longer your rehab will be.  Get used to having patience! 


post #2153 of 10803

10/17 Injury – left leg

10/29 Surgery

11/12 First PT

11/18 Fourth PT session – hey, that’s today!

Greetings All,

At four and a half weeks into this and things are improving. I haven’t needed pain meds in a while, and I’m sleeping better. Now I’m doing two PT sessions a week and slowly increasing isometric exercises.  This week my PT has added leg lifts with the brace on and repetitive knee bends to 35 degrees. Most of the swelling is gone and the incision is healing nicely.  


My PT said she gets about one QTR a year – she’s been in the business for a while and seems to know her stuff. Last week, she and my OS got a chance to talk on the phone and discuss treatment. She was actually surprised, in a good way, that he wanted to take an active role in my PT protocol. Apparently, most other OSs just hand patients off to her with little more that the University Hospital protocol sheet.  


One thing this site has taught me is I have a long road ahead of me. Which actually took a load off my PT – she normally has a fight on her hands explaining to QTR patients what they are in for.  

The OS is keeping me out of work (I’m an engineering manager (cat herder)) until the 29th – by then I’ll be chomping at the bit to get back in the saddle.

post #2154 of 10803

Double Snap,


First of all, sorry to hear about your injuries.  I'm a ways ahead of you on recovery.  I too have BQTR.  I'm at 15 weeks and started walking two weeks ago without braces at home and work and 1 week ago brace free all the time.  When I was in braces and they were locked, walking around really caused my back to get pretty stiff.  That happens because normally your knees are shock absorbers but with locked out legs your hips and back take all the stress.  As soon as I started walking with unlocked braces my back started to feel much better and since I've had the braces off I haven't had any back issues related to walking (swimming has tightened it up some).  I also am not walking with any limp caused by the injury.  While the musculature in my thighs has always been a bit different in each leg, they seem to be coming back at the same pace.  I have tried to walk properly and get in at least a mile each day since I started walking confidently in braces in addition to swimming or riding a recumbent bike at the gym.  So, I have not had any gait problems and my PT person seemed very pleased.  I do need to work more on ROM though.  Still between 115 - 125 depending on how much stretching has been done for my knees.  You will need to focus on proper walking when you get started and it will take some time and practice.  I was locking my knees but finally got over that. 


When the time comes, if you can walk in a pool that is ideal to both practice proper walking, but also its safe and strengthens your legs.  With summer coming down under that would work well!


Good luck,

post #2155 of 10803

Nordic and TD - thanks for your thoughts.


Another rehab question.  I have easy access to a couple of olympic pools and expect to be swimming and walking regularly (I have always been an ocean/lap swimmer).


I can't find any comments or thoughts on the list about using (or not!) fins for rehab.  Any comments?  I'll be asking my PT, of course.



post #2156 of 10803

Doublesnap,  I'm almost 4 months post surgery and early on (starting 10 days post surgery) I spent a lot of time in the pool.  Initially I just walked forward, sideways and backwards in the pool.  Then I graduated to running forward, sideways and backwards in the pool. Then I graduated to doing the same on a treadmill and have gradually increased the speed and incline of the treadmill.  My pt recommended this approach and I found it worked really well to gain strength and confidence in my healing leg.  I didn't use fins or swim but that certainly may be worth trying.  Heal up.

post #2157 of 10803

Double Snap,


For now I'm swimming laps with a pull-buoy between my legs and not kicking.  Kicking is not particularly comfortable yet.  I'm pushing off the wall more and more, but nothing like I would normally and not doing flip turns.  I expect I'll start kicking sometime soon.  I have done some very gentle kicking floating along on my back and sitting on the edge of the pool.  My main goal is to get the exercise.  Walking in the pool is very helpful as Brianfay notes.  Helps a lot with gaining confidence in your legs. 

post #2158 of 10803

So let me get this right guys: You're exercising in the pool without your brace? If so how are you getting in and out? How long did you need to wait until the incision healed?  The thought of getting in a pool is very appealing!

post #2159 of 10803



I didn't get in the pool until about 10 weeks post-op so the incision was long healed.  I was walking with braces unlocked.  Took them off on the seats at the pool, got down on the floor and slid into the pool at first until I could walk without the braces.  It was a pain, but well worth it.  

post #2160 of 10803


7 Weeks post op, 8 Weeks since the injury


Despite some solid arguments that I should be wearing my brace, I have been doing without it for the most part.  I do believe it is a good way to build up the strength in my leg which I have definitely lost.  I know everyone’s treatment is different; some of you have had numerous sessions of physical therapy which have allowed you to see progress from one session to another.  I have had only one very conservative physical therapy session.  For my physical therapy, they want me to do leg raises and some other very simple exercises.  One thing that actually hurts is when I’m sitting in a chair and I raise my leg (no weight).  I feel a painful sensation on the bottom side of my kneecap when I do that particular exercise.  I am not inclined to “work through the pain”.  For now I think I’ll do the exercises that don’t hurt and ask about this at my next therapy session.  I have also noticed a lot of talk on here about using the pool to assist in therapy.  I have no idea where I could get access to one but it sounds like a great idea.  I’m going find a pool and try to work with it.  I went to my parent’s house tonight and I went up and down the stairs.  This did not go very well.  TD, you mentioned that you were at 9 weeks and you were doing ok with the stairs-not great but ok.  What did you do to improve your ability to work them?  Should I just practice it or so some particular exercises to help with it?  Going up is easier than coming down.  I think it has a lot to do with the ROM and a little to do with the strength.  Enough chatter for now.  You all enjoy your weekends and stay strong!

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