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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 2

post #31 of 10808
Great to hear that you got to bury yourself in deep snow VTSoldier, and that you're still alive and don't need another surgery since heaven forbid! you fell down. I was hoping to have the same problem, but we only got 4" yesterday, another couple last night. Obviously we can't do much with the snow, but it's hard to turn off the thrill that comes with a new dump.

IdahoGuy - I'm not quite understanding your situation at this point. They've got you locked in a straight brace for three more weeks, saying only "passive range-of-motion". And yet your PT is painfully crushing you to 90 degrees, soon to 120? That doesn't seem to be what I'd call "passive". Am I misunderstanding something?
post #32 of 10808
Thread Starter 

"Passive" Range of Motion

Sinrider: by "passive", they mean I am not supposed to bend the knee using the muscles one would normally use to bend it. So, my PT does it for me, my kids do it for me, and my wife does it for me - I just let it flop there, and they bend it (now past 90 degrees).

They way it has been explained to me is that the injury requires a conservative approach because they really are just sticking a chopped-off tendon onto a piece of bone (the patella), and hoping it re-establishes a connection - the contraption of strings and stitches they have created to keep it there for the meantime really isn't worth a sh#t when it comes down to your quad firing away and creating tremendous stress while skiing. Is that the understanding that you guys all have? What do your docs say about why they want to take a conservative approach?

So, this morning, I was puttering around the kitchen with the straight-legged brace on, but without the crutches. I caught the foot on something and stumbled a little, and felt the knee completely collapse as I unexpectedly put weight on it - was more appreciative of the Orthopod's insistence that I wear it after that - although I am not wearing it in bed anymore.

Hope you guys are healing well - I am headed into a swimming pool today for some walking - looking forward to some real activity after 6 weeks off.
post #33 of 10808

Diet during the healing

Has anyone followed any special diet to help the healing process? I'm three weeks out of surgery, still in a full leg cast, and have been really watching it in terms of keeping my portions small so the pounds don't pile on. I do eat a couple of banana's a day to keep the potassium up. Otherwise, nothing special. Does anyone have a special diet?
post #34 of 10808
In addition to balanced diet, I take a vitamin supplement called Life Force Multiple, 1000 I.U. of Vitamin D, 200 mg of coenzyme Q10 and eat lots of whey protein shakes. Oh, yeah and cocktails to keep the HDL's up.
post #35 of 10808
Thread Starter 

Swimming Pool

Spent some time in the pool this weekend. In 4-5 feet of water. I walked 800 yards yesterday and 1200 yards today. Then just did some standing leg raises in every direction while in the pool. I was absolutely thrashed last night, but it felt great - It is awesome to finally be able to do something - ANYthing! The leg can easily be moved to 90 degrees now. Rehab is progressing . . . . Life is good. Hope the best for all of you.
post #36 of 10808
Hola IdahoGuy - sorry to hear about the kitchen knee collapse. Did it make you crash, or were you able to save yourself without waking up everybody in the house (with the resulting sheepish explanations)?

I had a few of those seven years ago the first time around. Downright terrifying. This time however, I've been completely devoid of that effect, with the exception of the first time out of the brace when I finally got to climb into the shower (yeeeehaaaw!) - I had just enough collapse to remind me what it felt like. I was hanging on for dear life with my hands at the same time, so it was no big deal.

But other than that - not once. I like to think it's due to the one-legged mini-squats I've been doing, and possibly the leg extensions. Without any exercise at all of the extension mechanish, I think the quad temporarily loses its automatic recovery mode, leading to the feeling of collapse. The muscles just forget what they're supposed to do in that situation, after so much time off.

And at this point, though as we know "every repair is different", I don't see what possible damage I could do by letting myself down slowly, one or both hands and the other leg poised to rescue, to an angle from which I can easily and comfortably push myself back up (about 60 degrees today). Repeat til bored or weary.

It's done wonders for my mobility - I've been walking about a mile a day (slowly - the kids run in circles around me). And I'm 1000 percent more comfortable moving around the house and office than I was seven years ago. I don't freak out when a small moving creature tries to clean me out from behind at knee level - my body just deals with it.

I have no intention of putting any kind of load on my knee, such as when skiing, for a long long time. I can certainly wait for that. But it sure is nice to be able to move around like a normal person.
post #37 of 10808
Thread Starter 

Glad you are doing great,

Sinrider. Your progress is inspirational to me! I have stopped using my crutches around home, and have even started taking a few steps without the brace when it is convenient to do so. The knee was very swollen this morning when I went to PT - I'm sure I overdid it a little bit in the swimming pool this weekend. But, it is just great to start being active again. Can't wait 'til it is time to get on a bike. I'll probably try a few of the squats you are doing, and maybe even some extensions.

take care
post #38 of 10808

Great work gents!

Your individual recoveries are very inspirational for sure! Sinrider, when you say you are walking a mile, this is without your brace? If that is the case you get the prize for having the most guts for sure. At this point in time, I have dumped the crutches for the most part but I am very nervous about being without the brace. Ultimately it is nothing more than a crutch for sure. I purchased a small velcro knee only brace that is assistive for sleeping and the shower.

When I read about both of your progress tracks,I have to say that I am inspired and somewhat jealous. I am truely feeling like my orthopod is retarding the progress I could have made over the last few weeks. I see him on the 11th for follow up.

I will solve the transportation issue this week. My mechanic pulled the slide stops in the drivers seat of my car so I have another 3" or so of leg room. Looking forward to that. I have been renting cars with automatics to get to work.

My best to all. Keep up the great work!
post #39 of 10808
Howdy folks,

Yep, this morning's walk was indeed without brace. I had been wearing it previously when out walking, but for the life of me I can't keep the damn thing from slipping down my leg, unless the straps are so tight they're painful. And with the hinge in the wrong place it's really hard to walk right, and uncomfortable to boot. So I figger no brace is safer than awkward brace.

My driveway was a sheet of ice this morning, so it was a tad scary walking down to the road. But my ski pole tips are nice and sharp, and it was kinda fun testing my recovery mechanism on slippery footing. Slow going, sure, but a nice confidence boost.

I feel lucky to have bought a Saab 9-5 not long before I hurt myself. The seat slides waaaaaay back (tall Swedes), making it easy to get in (still a contortion, so I wear the brace for that activity - I never know what sketchy surface I might have to climb out onto). And then I can just push a memory button to put the seat back to where I can reach everything but still work the clutch with the bad foot. It helps that the steering wheel pulls way back too, so it's actually a pretty reasonable driving position.

Good luck all y'alls, and keep it up! At this point it's just about quality of life, and ease of existence.
post #40 of 10808


GOOD LUCK walking with the conditions we had today Sinrider. What a mess. My hat is off to you for having the stones to make the attempt. I just cant do that yet. Agreed on the 9-5, we have a new model that has a 5 speed but that is Mommas car and no adjustments will be made. At 6'4" it is fine under normal conditions but not with this brace. Are you in the Valley or near there? We are in Windsor/Mt Ascutney region.

Idahoguy, your pool progress is amazing! The thought of it gets me jazzed for sure. I am going to demand pool PT at my next f/u with ortho on 11 March.

Have a great rest of the week gents.
post #41 of 10808
Thread Starter 

For a sobering thought about walking on ice,

go read the second post in this thread by Johnny's Zoo - YIKES! Please be careful walking in bad conditions Sinrider.

Further progress on my front - the PT got me to 105* today - she believes I'll be able to ride a bike (indoors only) as soon as I see the Orthopod again - 1 1/2 weeks from today - says you need to be able to flex to 110* to ride a bike. The pool really is incredible - I'm doing the squats that Sinrider does in the water, walking, leg extensions, high leg raises, etc. (all against Dr's orders, I might add - but I am starting to feel a little bit more like myself again - plus its nice to be with other athletes again). Still in a straight-legged brace, but taking it off for longer and longer periods and doing more and more without it.

Vermont Soldier - get in the pool with or without your Orthopod's ok - at about chest level, all of your weight is born by the water - you are risking nothing by doing it -but be careful getting in and out! Have somebody there help you until you are comfortable doing it.

Keep after it guys, ski season is coming sooon!
post #42 of 10808

thanks for the sobering thought

I love the spontaneous patellar explosion part. Fear not - every step outside is still in the no-fall zone. Extreme focus.

My morning walk gets easier every day. This beautiful weather helps (our dog is WAY less edgy now that somebody is taking her our for walks again). My gait is still not completely normal, but if I focus on symmetry, it's close. Though I've got about 80 degrees of flexion now, only about half of that is completely free-moving. The other half seems to have a progressive stiffening effect to it, like it's hydraulically damped. Until you get an injury like this, you don't really think of your knee bending that much just walking.

IdG - I'm very psyched your PT has got you to 105 degrees. After PT is done, do you still have that full range, or does it creep back down with time? Is the process painful, or simply stiff?

VtS - We're in Jericho, about 20 miles east of Burlington. That last wintery event brought us about an inch of snow before the freezing rain. So our driveway surface actually improved dramatically, from slick ice to an excellent crunchy texture. We'll see what this next storm brings.
post #43 of 10808

I am amazed

Man, everytime I read about your (collective) progress I get jazzed. I have been doing some passive work on my own and getting to about 45 degrees (validated by my calibrated eyes) and it hurts. Quad is definately resisting which is its job.

Sinrider, I know Jericho well. My sister has a home on the Lee River rd.

I am going off to the pool I think.
post #44 of 10808
Greetings to you all from London - when I had this injury almost a year ago, there were very few references I could find to it on the web, and boy did I have time to look for them. Now contemplating my role on the upcoming family ski holiday (certainly driver, but will it be cook or will it be very gentle slope skiing to get back on the horse?). To those of you with a way to go, if someone as unfit as me can be running up stairs again, there's hope for you all - though looking back, going on the dance floor three weeks into the first cast was probably pushing it.
post #45 of 10808
Thread Starter 


SE27: I hope you go skiing - I imagine we will all be disappointed if you don't. We all need a little more inspiration here. A DANCE FLOOR - are you nuts??? Hope so.

My PT bent my leg to 114* this morning. I keep the full range, even though it is stiff and sore, because I'll go walk in the pool tonight, and have my family bend it just as far as it goes afterwards. My PT seems to think the orthopod will release me to ride a stationary bike next Tuesday when I visit him. If so, I plan on spending HOURS on it every week.

VS: Did you get in the pool? How'd it go?

Sinrider: Do you have your family bend your leg for you every night? That has really helped me.

Keep at it fellas, I'm thinkin' 'bout ya'.
post #46 of 10808

2nd Ortho followup

Gents, I had my 2nd post surgery followup today with ortho. Well, Dr NO was not listening to much I had to say. No PT, no pool, no ****. He adjusted the brace to about 40 degrees to ease walking but nixed any additional activities. He had me do some leg lifts and bend to about 45 degrees on my own with no pain. With sort of a wink and a nod he said that i was really doing the work that he wanted me to do but explained that he has seen enough of these go bad with early flexion above the limits of what the repair can stand. So... off to the pool I will go. We have a local ski area that has an olymic size that is heated to about 96 degrees. Way to warm to swim laps but perfect for walking in the fashion described by Idahoguy. Perhaps I can drag my 6 yo with me. All in all, i wish ortho was more aggressive but has not stepped on what I have been doing up until now.

We had about 50 degrees and bright sunshine today. Spring conditions for sure. I am missing turning the boards. Great work all. Regards
post #47 of 10808
VermontSoldier---I can tell you're frustrated, but don't forget: he was in there and saw what shape your injury was in and knows what he had to do to repair it. Patience my friend---you don't want to screw this up, because if they have to try to fix it a second time, I'd bet it wouldn't be as easy and the chances for full recovery would be diminished. Hang in there---I'm sending you all my good vibe mojo get better quickly thoughts!
post #48 of 10808
Thread Starter 

Hey Vermont Soldier:

Hang in there, man. In some ways, your Orthopod is not as conservative as mine. Yours has given you a hinged brace - although I haven't seen my ortho guy for almost four weeks, he wouldn't give me a hinged brace - maybe Tuesday, though. My ortho guy does not want me to actively bend my leg myself - yours apparently lets you do so. What my ortho guy has done, though is he sets parameters (3/4 of my weight on the leg, up to 120* passive bending) and allows my PT to set up a program for me - fortunately, she is a friend, has worked w/me before, and knows me pretty well - that all helps.

Regardless, I go to the Orthopod on Tuesday, March 18, and he may very well tell me that I have another month on crutches and another month of no active bending of the knee. On the other hand (fingers crossed), he may tell me I can get on a stationary bike.

I think if you get in the pool, it will improve your outlook immensely - and will also improve your progress. Hang in there VS. Look at all the good things in life you have.

post #49 of 10808

Quad Tendon Rupture/Rehab

I read with interest IDG and Vsoldier's progress. Perhaps I can give you some ideas with my experience.

56 yo male. Runner, now forced to treadmill due to knee pain, highly active outdoors.

On Oct 27, 2007, I was visiting friends in the mountains of NM. Just having arrived, I brought my suitcase to their 2nd floor bedroom. On the way down in leather -soled shoes, I started to "slide/ski" down the last 4 wooden stairs. When I stopped, I thought I had broken my leg. Realizing I didnt, but in tremendous pain, I noticed a gap above my right kneecap. I spent the next 3 days on 16 Advil a day (4 at a time) and wine! Returning to MN (tough trip thru airports) the following Tuesday I tried to get an appt with Ortho surgeon. When none was available for weeks, I scheduled an appt with an intern for Wed (Halloween). I knew I needed an MRI and that was my goal. She "diagnosed" ACL and meniscus tears/ruptures and scheduled an MRI. I coulda have had one Friday Nov 2 but business took me to PA Thurs, returning Friday, tough trip. MRI Mon Nov 5 showed Quad Tendon Rupture (rt leg). I managed to get into my surgeon of choice Friday Nov 9. He said classic QTR, have you eaten today? We can do surgery this afternoon, or Monday afternoon, your choice. I selected Monday as he said outcome would not be different and I had to reschedule work.

I had surgery Mon Nov 12, about 2pm. I was lucky, the surgeon could perform tendon-tendon sutures so I did not have to have my kneecap drilled. In the recovery room the nurse kept asking my pain level and administering morphine, 3 doses, then to Percocet. I was immobilized in surgery and finally sent home at 7:30 that nite. I had been told by Physician's Assistant I would be on crutches 4-6 weeks but I (and I asked) was told I didnt need them. I took last of Percocet the following Saturday. During this initial period, I was given 2 exercises, quad flex and leg raises. I couldn't do a leg raise until Saturday, unless I used my good leg.

I returned to Dr. (actually PA) Nov 26 and had the stitches out. He asked where are your crutches? ! He asked where are you doing your rehab? So I was a little disappointed in the communication end!

I began PT Monday Dec 3, 3 weeks post-surgery. I still was immobilized, only taking it off to shower every other day or every 3rd day (the first time I took it off, I almost passed out trying to maneuver into the shower!). Initial PT existed of isometric exercises (immobilizer on) which I did 3x/day at home, in between visits. December 10 the PT took my brace off and did electro-stimulation of quad while I flexed, and I did my isometrics with the brace off. I also had begun heel slides to regain flexion, not to exceed 45 deg. My first visit back I could do 54 deg, and the PT said great, but follow the protocol! I stuck with the 45 deg. I was highly motivated and determined to do what I was told to return to "normal". i continued with home exercises and PT e-stim/isometrics. On Dec 20 I received a hinged brace! Christmas! On about Dec 27 I achieved 90 deg (doing this from memory).

I returned to work on Jan 2, 2008. On Jan 17 I reached 120 deg flexion, but my quad strength was still very poor. I saw my surgeon on Jan 18, he was pleased with my progress, and explained that the inner most quad muscle "turns to mush" in this type of injury and takes time to come back. He told me to anticipate minimum 6 months to recover and more liely 12 months. At this time I was experiencing pain on the inside portion of my right leg, explained by the weakness of my interior quad muscle which helps keep the patella from staying properly in place. I used Aleve, 2x/day and watched my exercises to reduce the pain.

On Jan 23 I had my last PT, 124 deg. Stationary bike was most helpful to get there. I was on vacation the last week in Jan and spent 1 hr 2x/day in the gym, mostly on stationary bike.

On Feb 6 I began PT at our local retirment complex for the primary purpose of gaining quad strength. I did therapy pool (98F) exercises, warm pool exercises, some limited weights (curls, leg presses) and still on home isometrics. I had my last PT there on Mar 6, was evaluated as 80% strength of myleft leg, and 130 deg flexion.

Today i continue to do circuit training at a local club where a program was set for me. I do 10# leg extensions, 15# leg curls, elliptical 10 min, Wave 5 min, and 10 min treadmill. I have tried to eliminate Aleve twice. Last Thurs - Sun I went to the club each day. Monday I had pretty good swelling on the outside of my knee, and interior pain. I am now back on Aleve 1/day and have backed off leg exercises at the club until Fri of this week.

I must say that therapists have been tremendous. I am not a patient person, I want results, and as you know, they don't necessarily come quickly with this rehab. I am told all along I am progressing fine, be patient, it will come back.

Today, if my leg is rested, not sore, I can walk normally to an outside observer. To me, I feel a "hitch". My knee feels "full" which I attribute to remaining inflammation, primarily at the suture site. This past Monday I was 17 weeks post surgery.

My Ortho Rhab protocol calls for "light running" beginning week 16. I cannot run on the treadmill without a serious hitch in my gait, a severe limp. My PT recommended I do not run until I can do so with a normal gait. I continue to do pool therapy (walking/"running") post circuit training.

I can now begin to see the return of some definition of my right quad muscles. When I do leg extensions, I do them 1 leg at a time, and I see significant difference in quad definition between the 2 legs, but I see progress.

I too have a long icy driveway and until about Feb 23 used my brace to walk outside. I no longer wear the brace.

I am encouraged by all those health care workers who tell me I will "get there, be patient". But I am on my own to judge how to progress, and will use pain/swelling/fatigue to judge.

Best of luck to you who are going thru this!
post #50 of 10808

Web Link

www.pfats.com/pfatsinfo/membership/newsletters/pdf/PFATSWinter2002Newsletter.pdf -

in case you haven't seen this, check out this one. NFL offensive lineman had QTR in September and returned to training camp the following year.

of course, we don't have the benefit of continuous professional trainers but this article has given me hope and incentive to get where i (we) need to get to.

post #51 of 10808
Thread Starter 

Update - 03-14-08

A quick update. Saw the PT yesterday. She bent my knee to 121* - some stiffness and pain, but not too much. I am close to running in the pool now - did 1400 yards last night - interesting pool - it is 25 yards long, saltwater, and ranges in depth from 3' at both ends to 5' in the middle. It is perfect for walking. While in the pool, I am doing increasing amounts of squats (w/increasing flexion added in), calf raises, leg extensions, and straight-legged hip strengthening exercises. At home, I do at least two sets of 40 isometric quad sets each day, straight-legged hip exercises, and attempt to increase my passive ROM as much as possible. I plan on trying to ride my bike on a trainer with my right leg only this weekend. I see the orthopod on Tuesday, and hopefully he releases me to at least ride a stationary bike.

Vermont Soldier: I spoke to my PT about you - she cautioned me that she is 2000 miles away from you and has never seen your knee, but she does not see how walking in a pool as I have described above could possibly harm you and does not see how it could fail to help you. She says that sometimes orthopods are reluctant to prescribe PT for one or more reasons - they aren't educated as to what PTs can do, they don't trust the PT in their town, etc. I add in my own exhortation - walking in the pool has bee great for my physical recovery, and for my emotional and mental health.

Chichibulldog: appreciate you telling your story. I think the more information we all have, the better we can progress through rehab ourselfes. Thanks also for the article by the Cleveland Browns PT - sounds like the athlete was much younger than most of us, but the PT thought it was a very bad injury and the guy came through with flying colors.

I wish the best for all who have suffered this injury.

idaho guy
post #52 of 10808

The Boeing Guy

I have been reading everyone’s replies and it has helped me realize I am not the only guy going through this and it is going to last a while. I have spent a lot of time researching my injury and this web page has some of the best stuff to read. I just turned 55 and my work keeps me on my feet most of the time, luckily not to much time at a desk. I am a test engineer for the Boeing Co. in Seattle. Exercise average amount and about 15 pounds over ideal weight. For me luckily the new 787 is late and I should be recovered by test time, June 1. I ruptured by quadriceps tendon on Jan. 30 while on the Big Island, Hawaii - slipping on the stairs. No pop but a hell of lot of pain. I was holding my knee before I landed on the floor. First stop was the Hilo emergency room, on-call Dr. thought I had a dislocated knee and tried to relocate, that was more painful then the rupture. After 60 seconds of tears he decided it was not dislocated and finally gives me some pain relief. After a few x-rays he gave me a cheap brace and sent me back to the hotel. Dr. told everything maybe ok or maybe damaged, but might as well stay and finish my vacation, 10 more days. I figured why not, my Dr. probably would not do anything till the swelling went down. Purchased crutches and toured around the island sitting in the back seat with leg straight. Returned to Seattle Sunday Feb 10 and had an appointment with my family doctor. He looked at my leg and thought I had a ruptured patella tendon and got me over the Ortho Surgeon in the next hour. The surgeon spent about 3 minutes and said lets do surgery this week and told me to schedule with the lady in the front. I had the surgery on Feb. 14 and after opening up the knee determined it was a quadriceps rupture, Dr said it is the better instead of the patella. Dr said that was a little easier to repair. Surgery was out patient and went well, Dr. gave me pain pills and I was out of it for 5 days. No pain. Dr said no one should have any pain following surgery and he was correct. Then I got off that and switched to Advil for another 3 days then after that a few aspirins each day. After surgery Dr said to have zero load on the leg, no movement for 5 days, then start 30 degree passive movement, using brace, at 2 weeks start PT of 2 times a week. Mostly he (PT) bends my leg and stretching. Feels great, plus gets me out. The best part is the electronic simulation on the quadriceps, really seems to keep the muscle from disappearing. At 2 week my passive motion increased to 45 degrees and at four weeks to 60 degrees. At 2 weeks I also started walking around the house without crutches (not per Dr.). I did read somewhere applying loads will help the healing process. One thing I do follow is keep the brace on 24 hours a day except for PT. So far no pain doing that passive motion exercises, but very little strength to lift or bend the leg. Mar. 27 is six weeks and I hope I can set my brace at 60 degrees and start diving and go back to work.

Good luck to all and a successful recovery. Please keep sharing your experiences.
post #53 of 10808
Idaho Guy and VermontSoldier

sounds as though you are progressing very well. my initial PT took me slow on ROM. Again my surgery was 11/12 and i made siginficant improvement between Christmas and New Years. PT said it will be incremental (slow) from here on but I progressed rapidly to 120 deg. I no longer can have PT (got to 80% of good leg and insurance cut me off there) but i had a PT measure me yesterday and I am at 129...think reality is higher, maybe 132.

I too am doing pool exercises but mostly walking/running, all on my own. It is my "cool down" after circuit training. After a set back (pain, swelling) last weekend I am not doing machine curls/extensions every day but every other day, but doing elliptical, wave, tmill and presses + upper body. I am interested in your pool exercises ID Guy. Can you elaborate?

My surgeon told me he has never done the same knee twice, but had a weight lifter who did one knee and the next year fell one step off a step ladder and had to do the other knee. Everyone tells me patience...tough! I wouldnt wish this on anyone. Actually, I had a friend who had ACL, and we had the "which is worst?" argument. I asked my surgeon, who didn't want to commit, but said, if he had too, he would have ACL injury.

Best of luck!

post #54 of 10808
IdahoG, your thread has really taken wings! Thanks for starting this up! For those contributors, I cant tell you how helpful this is for me. Early on I think i mentioned that misery loves company and it seems that is a true statement. Pool action this afternoon. I have to agree that this modality has no bad implications on my progress. We will make this a family affair and who knows what great outcomes are possible. The pool has 2 lap lanes established and I will try to swim without using a kick for some upper body work. It is all good. Comments appreciated on my level of frustration. My wife has noted on 3 or 4 occasions that my frustration is extreeme. She is right as are all of you. I have to curb that as it has some real impact on attitude. My adjustable knee flexion brace is really helpful in letting practice walking. I can drive much better as well. Amazing how unstable this knee is still. Much work to do. I have been working like a madman lately. Some of the youngsters in the office are now sad as the party is over to some extent. The old man is back. He just doesnt move as fast. My best to all. VS
post #55 of 10808

Hang in there! Yes, there is a lot of frustration in rehab, and much progress occurs early. I think I mentioned I made a lot of progress between Christmas and New Years (weeks 6-7 post surgery), and then it tailed for a week and then another spurt. But once reaching 120 deg flexion (Jan 17, 9.5 weeks post) it slowed. But that is nearing normal, so it should be expected.

I still feel instability in the knee when exerting but it is getting better. I will be 18 weeks post on Mar 17. I haven't worn my flexible brace for almost a month and I actually slipped on some ice yesterday and didn't have this enormous "fear" that I had previously.

I will do my regular circuit training today including leg curls and extensions, followed by pool walking and try pool "running" again. When I do the treadmill, I try to jog but haven't been able to get a good rhthym yet, but I do feel it is coming.

Everyone says, patience is the key, don't overdo it! Easier said than done.

Best of luck, hold on!

post #56 of 10808
It's been interesting reading your thread. I'll chime in here with my story on Quad Tendon Rupture. Mine is a partial tear.

I'm a 43 year old, 30 year old, recreational skier whose sole objective has been to enjoy skiing with my kids (12, 9, 7 and 5). I'm pretty solid intermediate and don't really aspire to skiing the extremes. Honestly after reading the thread here, I've got a little bit of trepidation about skiing at all, but I will get through my healing and deal with that next year.

My kids and I have had a great time skiing this year. We had night passes to Windham Mountain in NY and probably got out about 15 times. It wasn't the best snow season because we had a lot of freeze thaw cycles that tended to make the snow thin and hard.

Our last night out was Saturday, March 1, and we probably had the best snow of the season with nearly a foot having fallen in the previous week. We skiied until the kids were tired out and then headed for the car.

On the way to the car I was carrying my 5 year old, who was sleepy. I planted my right foot and as I picked up my left it slipped out behind me on the icy parking lot. I fell backwards, with my left leg folded up directly underneath me. My knee gave that sickening pop (twice I think) and I lay on the ground writhing in pain. I couldn't get up unaided, so after I talked the ski patrol out of carrying me on a back board across the icy parking lot, they helped me into my van and drove me up to the infirmary, where I iced and filled out paper work. The next day was Sunday and the Ortho was closed, so I went to the ER to get checked out. They too XRAYS and determined that nothing was broken and recommended I follow up with the ortho.

Saw the ortho on Tuesday and he sent me for an MRI on Wednesday morning. Less than an hour later, the ortho's office called me back to come in later that day as I had a partial quad tendon rupture.

When I went back that afternoon they outfitted me with a knee brace and crutches. One week of no weight bearing. One week of 50% weight bearing. I don't have to wear it to bed.

I didn't get to talk to the ortho for long because he was on his way out of town, so I don't know the exact extent and nature of my injury. I know its torn a third of the way in some respect, but is that a third of the way across, a third of the way all across the surface or in some other way.

I go back to the ortho on Monday when I'll ask some more questions and hopefully be set free from the crutches and they'll adjust the brace so that I can walk with limited range of motion. The swelling and bruising has gone down considerably, although my circulation seems to be a little off. I did a lot of walking (crutches) over the past few days and aside from being sore from the crutches, my left foot has swelled a bit.

Since I don't have to wear the brace to bed, I probably have the most pain there as I sleep and move around. I'm having a lot of muscle pain above the knee on all sides. my kneecap is tender and so is my LCL area.

I sprained both MCL's two years ago in an awkward fall hopping off the lift. I remember feeling worse with that, so I don't think my sprain this time around is as bad. I think I've got a low grade sprain of my LCL.
post #57 of 10808
Wow. Very glad I managed to find my password and find even more comrades under the knife. And I can assure those of you who are adopting such professional and disciplined approaches to your PT and exercise regimes that you will get the benefit in terms of accelerated recovery. But I can't help - selfishly - noting a few similarities between many of us:

- skiing is relatively safe. It's everything around it that's dangerous (car parks, stairs, carrying your wife's skis as well as your own down a bumpy hill in skiboots (my own speciality))

- diagnosis is difficult, not just because of the inflammation immediately post-injury but because clinicians don't seem to think about QTR very readily. After I had made it home on the plane (and driven home from the airport, though I should have realised there was an issue when I had to lift the left leg in), my local surgery pronounced "muscle inflammation" and gave me extra strong Tylenol (well, its local equivalent). It was my wife who told me to go back and get a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon - though also made me walk there...;-)

- during recovery, there's a tendency to little spasms of weakness as the quads momentarily buckle. In fact, you can track your recovery by how these spasms feel and how often they happen

- when you're fresh out of the plaster or even the brace, going down stairs is like standing at the top of a black run. It really looks quite menacing down there

- there is nothing quite like a shower or a bath without plastic covering

Now able to run up stairs two and a time and jog heavily towards the local pub. I think it's time to ski carefully. And make my wife carry her own skis at all times.

Comradely greetings from South London to all.
post #58 of 10808
Eagle: good to hear of progress...I have done 2 stairs at a time but not smoothly.

Boeing Guy: glad to hear you got the proper diagnosis. My surgeon, and what I have seen on the web, states very impt for QTR to be repaired asap. In fact, at my last visit with the surgeon (2/18) he had just done a repair on a fellow who waited 4 weeks, and the surgeon indicated he did not predict a good long term outcome.

Eagle, you hit on some good similarities. Some of mine:

1. Do what is asked from rehab point of view religiously.

2. Patience is a key

3. Do not baby the knee, but do practice caution

4. Believe, it will come back!

Today is 18 weeks post surgery for me. I am able to navigate most situations, but at times, stairs and long sitting in the same position are difficult. I am aware of my knee 24/7, but it is feeling much more stable compared to week 14 even. I continue to do exercises both at home and on machines, but I am careful (1/2 weight of good leg) on curls and extensions. Pool exercise is great therapy.

Best of luck to all....hang tough!

post #59 of 10808

March 5th blowout

Walking my canines 'round the pasture, heading to the walkout door when my left foot slipped on a sliver of snow. Trying to catch myself, my right leg buckled, and 'Pop!'...quite audible...and down in a heap. Having experienced a complete achilles rupture in '89', I knew what this was...serious stuff! No diagnosis necessary! Acute pain at the time. Yelling always gets my wife's attention. Hustled out, some quick comfort, and back in the house for necessary ID for ER. In the interim, dragged myself backwards toward the car. She exited the front door just in time to shutter in horror as she witness the carnage of me trying to stand up. 'I just about threw up!' I learned later from the unwitting witness.

Funny, the lower leg needs some kind of connective tissue in order not to dangle. With this injury, there is none.

To Missoula for an ER visit. EMT visited me in the car and informed him, "I'm not movin' till you immobilize this thing!" He obliged.

Self-administered ice during the trip kept the swelling and pain at bay. ER doc sent me for some pics. Within 45 minutes, prepping for surgery. OS explained the procedure, drill holes, sutures threaded, tied off.

Little over an hour in surgery, straight-leg velcro brace, post op. observation, Lortab prescrip in hand, and crutches...home sweet home.

Couple of rough nights. Note to self, stay ahead of the meds! No desire to even move from bed the first few days...self-pity, angst.

Adapted to crutches, axed the meds after about 4 days, getting 'round much better at almost 2 weeks out.

First post op visit this week with OS. Forum has helped me jot down questions to ask. Like to ask as many as possible. Any suggestions?

Achilles rehab was tough. This will be a challenge!
post #60 of 10808
BitterRooter: Yes, ask as many questions as you can.

For me, there was a communication snafu out of surgery and I was not on crutches, just the velcro immobilizer. My injury was "skiing" down 4 stairs, similar to Boeing Guy, and I did not hear a "pop", but that may have been due to the stair noise and my sudden scream!

My first visit to Dr post surgery were around the surgeon's report, what they saw, what they did, prognosis, etc. Most of the answers were what you would anticipate. They have a specific rehab protocol for QTR and answers generally referred to that.

Again, surgery 11/12, first PT 11/27, hinged brace 12/4, 90 deg 12/19, 120 deg 1/17, final Dr visit 2/18.

It seems VT Soldier and ID Guy have more conservative surgeons, but we don't know what the exact injury looked like, and we all are different.

I would have more questions for PT than Dr. I brought all mysurgery information with me to PT for background. I asked if she had ever done a QTR rehab. At second visit I asked if she had checked it out on the web. I asked if ultrasound therapy was appropriate (it wasn't). I had E-Stim which was helpful to fire the quad. I asked her to push me, not let me be passive. I asked for flexible brace asap (Dr. approved it), great Christmas present!

On my last Dr visit I asked:
weight lifting (outdoor work, eg wood cutting) limits
exercise restrictions (bike the best he always said)
treadmill restrictions (he didn't want any incline)
timing of recovery (12 months, but he mentioned noone has ever come back to tell him)

Most PT answers are around "whatever you can tolerate", "if it hurts, cut back", "don't overdo it", "your knee will tell you". I felt very comfortable with my PT and surgeon, but most answers to my questions were what I would expect, it is just nice to have direction and confirmation of what we all are trying to accomplish.

Best of luck!

Idaho Guy: how did Dr visit go?

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