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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 11

post #301 of 10802
hello everyone
hey tiger did you say you had both quads done like i did, if so, man does your back hurt when you walk. plus my knees,,if i stand for a time like walking in the store they get still,or if i sit for a time they get stiff i am on my third tube of bengay sence the time i lost my braces.is anybody dealing with this ,if so please give me so tips on keeping my knees limber ,or do i just have to live with it .thanks everyboby have a great day!
post #302 of 10802

New Injury

Hey Everyone,

New guy here. I've been reading about all your injuries for about 6 weeks now and figured I would finally join in and tell you about mine.

April 5th, back yard, tripped over a cleanout pipe to my septic tank and landed on some cinder blocks that I had just laid up against the house. Never thought they would be in the way and I was going to move them shortly. Shortly wasn't soon enough!! I came down hard on the edge of one of the cinder blocks and ruptured my right quad tendon just above the knee cap. I almost blacked out from the pain and got sick to my stomach. Yelled and screamed for my wife to come out of the house and help me because I could not get up. She finally came out, thinking I was joking around. She soon realized I was not joking. I was not able to stand up and rolled around on the ground in pain for about 10 minutes before rolling over to my good side and managed to get up onto a pair of crutches.

Made it to the car and had to have my wife lift my leg into the car as I was unable to lift it by myself. Thinking I had fractured my knee cap or femur, we finally made it to the hospital emergency room. They x-rayed the leg with great difficulty because of the pain I was in and found no broken or fractured bones. Suspecting I had torn a muscle or tendon I asked for an MRI, but it was a Sat. night and they had no one there qualified to give me one. They sent me home in a full leg brace and said I should see the OS first thing Monday morning. I got home from the hospital and wanted to take a shower. Everything went fine until I went to get out of the shower. I must have put some weight on the injured leg without realizing it. I felt a loud POP and I went down like a ton of bricks with my leg folded up underneath me!! My head hit the back of the shower and my right foot flew up and smashed into the shower door. The pain was very intense and I just screamed and moaned with my wife ready to call the ambulance. I told her to just let me sit there for a few minutes. I finally got dried and got the leg brace back on and she helped me up and I was fine, but I knew I had done more damage to the leg. I had a big knot on the upper leg. Went through the rest of the week-end with no pain. Did not take another shower until Monday morning when I was able to see the OS. Needless to say I was very careful about being in the shower this time.

The OS told me to get up on the exam table and I was able to hop up and sit, but not lift my leg. They had to lift my leg for me. He took one look at my leg, looked at the x-rays from the hospital and told me right away that I had severed my quad tendon. He could tell I had ruptured the tendon because he could feel how it had seperated from the knee cap. There was a big gap at the knee cap where the tendon should have been attached. He scheduled surgery for Wednesday morning.

Wednesday morning, April 9th, four days after the injury. They x-rayed my foot to make sure it was not broken. It was about the size of a small football and they determined that I had a severe sprain - not enough to keep me from having the surgery. They gave me a spinal and the surgery lasted about an hour and a half, maybe less. When I came to I felt great. No pain at all and no after affects from the anesthesia. I thought I would be in excruciating pain. About 4 hours after the surgery I had to get up to use the bathroom. I was standing by the edge of the bed with one nurse and my wife in the room with me. All of a sudden I started to feel light headed. I told my wife I was feeling woozy and I sat down on the edge of the bed. Next thing I know I'm waking up on the floor with about 6 people trying to help me up off the floor. Due to the anesthesia, my blood pressure had dropped suddenly and I passed out. Apparently the nurse had tried to stop me from falling. She grabbed me as I went down and I guess I pulled her right down to the floor with me. That probably helped to break the fall a little bit. My first thought was what did I hit my head on? The second thought was what damage did I do to the surgery. Oh yeah, the surgery. The OS explained to me how they did it. He drilled 3 metal bone anchors into the knee cap, countersunk them, sutured onto the tendon and pulled it down to the bone anchors and tied it off somehow. My leg was in a split fiberglass cast when I passed out and hit the floor. The OS did not think I had done any damage because he said it was pretty tight in there. He ordered an x-ray of the knee just to be sure and everything looked okay. After they got me back into the bed the pain hit big time. I was shaking uncontrollably and just moaning out load, almost in tears. My wife was holding my hand at the time and they started me on morphine. The morphine didn't seem to touch the pain and they gave me percoset. Finally, after about 3 hours the pain subsided. Got some sleep about midnight that night and they released me to go home about 5pm the next day.

Well, it is 10:00 pm so I'll sign off for tonight and finish this tomorrow.
post #303 of 10802

New Injury, cont'd

I will continue with my story after having signed off last night. Before they released me from the hospital the PT guy visited me and showed me how to adjust the crutches so they fit right and had me walk the halls and climb some stairs to make sure I knew what I was doing. I was also instructed on how to give myself shots in the stomach with a medication that would prevent blood clotting. I had to do this every day for 2 weeks after I got home from the hospital.

I took 2 weeks off from work at first, although I was able to do some work from home. Finally went back to work full time after the first 2 weeks. I work for a federal land managing agency and I am in the field a lot. However, I cannot drive and am office bound for I don't know how long. Its starting to drive me crazy being in the office for so long and not being able to get out in the field.

Two weeks after the surgery I went back to OS and they pulled the staples from the surgery. I am now in a full length brace which is adjustable for ROM. It has velcro straps so I am able to open it up to wash the leg. The brace is currently set a 0 degrees ROM so my leg is locked in a straight position. I will return to the OS on May 29 and I hope he will get me going on PT and tell me I can start putting some weight on the leg. I have now been in a brace and on crutches for 7 weeks and it is getting pretty old.

The hardest things I have had to deal with are as follows:

1. The OS told me I should never ski again because I cannot risk tearing the tendon. That was a real hard one for me to accept because I love to ski, both downhill and cross country. I was looking forward to going skiing with my grandkids, but now that will not happen, even though I will still take them and get them interested in the sport. I'll just watch from the bottom of the hill I guess. May start snowshoeing.

2. Bathing is a real pain!! Since I cannot take a shower I have to stand in front of the bathroom sink and wash up using a wash cloth. It takes much longer then a shower. Have to go the kitchen sink to wash my hair because we have a removable spray nozzle that makes it easier to bend over and wash your hair. Tried doing it in the bathroom sink and it just did not work as well.

3. Before the injury I had already had arthritis, missing cartlige and bone on bone in both shoulders. However, I have been on arthritis supplements for several years and my shoulders were feeling pretty good. After being on crutches for 3 weeks, my shoulders really started to bother me. The OS prescribed 600 mg Ibuprofen 4 times a day to keep down the inflammation. Said that is all we could do right now since I have to be on crutches. I have only been taking it 3 times a day after every meal. My shoulders still hurt, but they might be worse if I stopped taking it. Do not like taking so much Ibuprofen, but it has not bothered me so far and hope I can get off it pretty soon. Concerned I will need shoulder surgery after my leg is healed up and rehabbed.

4. Have noticed recently that my hip is starting to hurt. I attribute that to putting all my weight on one leg and twisting and turning funny when I do things like bathing, shaving, washing dishes, sitting at the computer, etc. Hope it is not causing damage to my hip joints and that it is just muscles that are being strained and that it will clear up when I get back to walking normal again.

5. There are times when I get really down and wonder if I will ever be "normal" again. It is not so bad anymore, but right after the surgery for a few weeks I was getting depressed at times, especially when I was laid up on the livingroom sofa watching TV on a nice spring day and I was looking out the window and seeing people walking, jogging and riding bikes by my house. I try not to think about not being able to ski anymore because it gets me down. Tried watching some Warren Miller ski movies on TV and while it was neat to watch the skiing and snowboarding and the beautiful country that they were doing it in, I found that it just bummed me out because I will never be able to do that again. So, gave up watching those.

The physcological effect of this injury is every bit as bad as the injury itself, if not worse, and you have to be on guard and keep your head up not to let yourself wallow in self pity. You have to keep a positive attitude and fight to get back to "normal" again. Your life will never be the same. There will be some limitations on what you can and cannot do and you have to accept that. This injury is literally a life changing event. You will be very cautious about slipping on ice, walking down a bank, just twisting the wrong way while you are doing whatever, and afraid that you may tear that tendon again. Maybe it isn't as bad as all that, but I know I will be extremely cautious about what I do from now on because I do not want to re-injure this leg and have to go through this again!!!!!!!! At the same time I want to be active and do as much as I have always done. I guess I'll have to wait and see what the OS and PT guy tell me.

In an effort to take some pressure off my shoulders I borrowed a wheel chair which I keep at work. When I have to move around the office I get in the chair and take my crutches with me. I cannot tell if it is helping my shoulders any because instead of an up and down pounding like I get with the crutches, you have a foward and backward motion on the shoulder joint when you wheel the chair around. Its funny though, I'll be wheeling myself down the hall and someone will come up from behind and just start pushing me to where I need to go. Some of the guys are starting to call me "crip". "Hey crip, where are you headed? I'll give you a push".

One last thing before I sign off. My wife has had to pick up the slack around the house because of all the things I am unable to do like wash the dishes, help clean the house, take out the trash, cut and trim the grass, etc. If it was not for her and the help of other family members, friends and co-workers I don't know what I would do. I have some co-workers who are picking me up for work and dropping me off after work. Hopefully I can drive in another couple of weeks. Have been tempted to try it before now, but have not. I did hire a guy to cut the grass and do the trimming just to give my wife a break.

I know this has been a long post and I went through this pretty fast. By the way, I turned 59 3 days after I had my surgery. Not sure, but from the ages I have heard on these posts, I am probably the oldest guy here which should make rehab pretty interesting. I will be glad to answer any questions and hope to continue hearing from all of you. Talk to you later and take care!!! Hang in there!!!
post #304 of 10802
Hey -

russ50: Yes, I had both quads done. BQTR like you! I haven't had any knee, leg or lower back pain and my walking stamina is getting better. It's been a couple of weeks since I've had that feeling of stepping in a hole, so I hope I'm past that. My legs are getting stronger, but I can't go all day yet and I still have that elastic band feeling around my knees, but that's getting better, too.

WyoPapa: Im very sorry about your injury, but I'm glad you joined us. I read your story through and know it is difficult to deal with what has happened. It may be hard not to feel sorry for yourself right now, but we all had to put those first seven weeks in before we started really getting better. You will see amazing accomplishments in the weeks to come, but it's up to you to push yourself and keep a positive attitude.

I found working in the pool helped me the most. If there is a way to get yourself to one I think it will really help you, if you are not already.

When I stood for the first time at 7 weeks, I could hardly move. Now I am really happy with my progress. I believe with hard work, we all can get to where we were before our injuries.

You seem concerned about your age. I've talked to two men in their early 60's who had BQTR's and they have now returned to playing golf and tennis after a little over a year and a half.

A man came into rehab the other day with two metal legs. That made me thankful that my injury was not worse, and was able to be repaired. What happened happened and we have to deal with it the best way we can and move on. Just keep working hard and it will come...
post #305 of 10802

6mo 2 wks today

Greetings All:

Hope you all had a nice Memorial day, especially VS or any other vets out there. Thanks Guys!

Wyopapa: sorry to hear of your injury....rough one...you shoulda been fitted with a helmet in addition to the brace! My pain PS was high, when I woke in recovery, they gave me 3 morphine hits and finally the percocet which worked. Yes, the mental aspect of this injury is tough, but you have read how so many of us have progressed and it does get better. I can do most anything I want now, but still feel that "elastic band" around the knee. Glad you got to surgery so quickly. Yes, I think you are the Senior of the group, I turned 57 in Feb.

Spent much of the long weekend doing heavy yard work. Knee is tired tonite. And, I slipped down some damp outdoor stairs I built ("skied" on edges, just like my injury!) and survived but it was deja vue for a few seconds! But things are good.

In2Falling: I hear you! Never too late! Thanks!

All, keep the positive attitudes going!

TBait: great progress!

Duncan: glad you are moving forward.

All: stairs going down is the toughest. Then once that is ok, outdoor reverse inclines are kinda scary, but it all comes back.

Have a safe week Gents!

post #306 of 10802


chihibulldog: Sorry to hear you had the amount of pain you did after surgery. I thought I would have the same kind of pain you did. They had given me a spinal and I think I did not have any pain because I was numb from the waist down for several hours afterwards (until I hit the floor that is). Did you have a spinal?

Got a laugh about being fitted with a helmet in addition to the brace. The ironic thing about it is that I am a very careful and safety conscious person and I am the safety officer where I work. You can imagine the comments I have gotten at work about what happened. I guess none of us are immune from accidents.

What is the "elastic band around the knee" feeling that you describe? I know when my wife removes the brace and we wash the leg, she lifts my leg by the ankle and the knee feels extremely weak, like it is going to collapse on me. Guess that is to be expected at this point in time. I'll ask the Doctor on Thurs. about that.

Tiger Bait: You and others have mentioned how helpful a pool is during rehab. I am fortunate that we have a fairly new and very good rehab center right here in the town in which I live in central Wyoming. They have state of the art equipment and very good PT's and I am looking forward to using the pool and getting started in rehab. Hopefully, when I see the Doctor this Thurs. he will get me going on rehab.

Your words of encouragement are greatly appreciated and I agree with everything you say. What happened happened and we just have to deal with it. I know I will be okay and I also know that there are others out there in worse shape, like the two guys you spoke of in their early 60's who had BQTR and the guy who came in the other day with 2 metal legs. I also remind myself of the guys coming back from Iraq with very serious physical injuries that have changed their lives forever. They are incredibly brave!! I just keep reminding myself that this is something we all will recover from and there are other less fortunate folks out there.

I'll keep you guys posted when I find out what the Doctor tells me on Thursday. Everyone, have a great week. Talk to you later.
post #307 of 10802
Wyopapa - sorry to hear of your injury but gald you're able to join us. Your injury sounds all too familiar to most of us. Except the falling again part. As if once wasn't enough. Sorry you went through 2 falls. All of your symptoms sound like what many of us experienced. I too had hip pain which we figure was from walking so funny and adjusting weight while I was in a brace and on crutches. I had it checked out thought just to be safe. I also had the ankle pain which turned out to be torn muscles and a sprain. But hopefully you'll recover from all your various injuries soon.

When I was back on my feet and mobile, I went to the jewelry store and bought my wife a diamond pendant and gold chain to say thanks for lppoing after me and running the house while I was off my feet. Don't forget to say thanks to your better half for all she does for you.

PT said today that I have maintained full ROM for over a month now, so I guess that part is healed. Today she gave me a tough exercise as I have mastered all the other ones she gave me. When going down stairs, when the "bad" leg is on the higher stair, I need to put my good foot slowly down on the next stair as I have been walking down hard. Wow, this is a challenging one. I will let you know how it goes.

Best wishes everyone.
post #308 of 10802
WyoPaPa: I forgot to mention on my last visit to the OS (which was at 14 weeks, last Feb 18) he said I could ski...then he hestitated and said not downhill but x-country, or skating...the "sliding/gliding" exercises. Actually at that point in recovery the thought of ice and snow activity scared th bejeebers out of me. But my point is I think you should ask about skiing, I think you should be able to. All here seem to have been told the repair is pretty solid after healing. Also, you have probably read about the "elastic band". I used to call it "tightness" or "fullness" in the knee when describing to others. But someone, I would have to look back (was it you Anksign?) used the term. And it means to me a lack of elasticity at the repair and over the patella. Yes, perhaps the spinal cut some pain, I had general anesthesia. (interesting side bar: prior to injury I would drink a pot of coffee a day in the am. since, was down to 2-3 cups, didnt taste good anymore which I think was anesthesia).

TigerBait: great job!

Anksign: will you marry me?

post #309 of 10802
chihibulldog: Yeah, I know what you mean about snow activities scaring the bejeebers out of you. Right now, about any kind of activity scares me because I know the knee is still very weak. The only thing making it feel somewhat stable is the brace and not walking on it. I think that is about to change as I am assuming the Dr. will get me going on PT pretty soon.

I'll keep an eye out for the tightness or fullness you talk about in the knee. My surgery was 7 weeks ago and my knee is still pretty swollen, but then maybe it only looks so swollen because the rest of my leg has atrophed (spelled wrong I know) to the point where I look like a pow from a German prison camp.

Interesting note about the coffee not tasting good anymore.

ankhsign: Glad to hear from you. It is interesting to know that you also had hip pain. I'm sure, like you said, that it is from walking funny and adjusting your weight. I assume it has cleared up by now. Noticed today that my left knee is giving me a little pain, not bad, but I hope it is not going to start giving me fits because if it goes out on me I won't be able to even use crutches. Funny (or not) how one injury can cause other parts of the body to start hurting. Oh well, what can you do?

Very good idea about getting the wife some jewelry or some other type of gift to say thank you. I will definitely have to do that. She has been very good to me and I would be in a pickle if it wasn't for her helping me out around here.

The stair exercise sounds challanging and somewhat scary. I am now used to going up and down stairs with crutches and it will be wierd to try them without crutches. However, that is probably a ways down the road.

Let you guys know how the Doctors appointment went this Friday. Take care and keep up the good work with the PT. Sounds like eveyone is making good progress.
post #310 of 10802
Thread Starter 

16 1/2 weeks out

Hi gang! Hope all are well. WyoPapa: Sorry for your injury, but welcome to "the gang." My injury resulted in tremendous pain as well - both immediately post-injury, and post-surgery. But, it is over now. I echo TigerBait's pool advice - it was the best thing I did early.

Ankh: Funny about the coffee. While I was on drugs immediately post-surgery, I kicked my very bad coffee/caffeine habit - didn't even feel the "addict's headache" I had always gotten before (cuz of the drugs!).

Seems like my "setback" is over. My "pop" resulted in weakness and a setback of about 3-4 weeks. But, this weekend I cycled 100 miles (no hills though) and had a great time with my 15 y.o. son. He rocks and rolls on the bike, and I was able to draft off him for a couple of hours -fun! Thought I might never be able to do that again - I am so very relieved and happy! WyoPapa and others, this will happen for you too. Just hang in there! My thoughts and prayers are with and for all of you.

Idaho Guy
post #311 of 10802

16 weeks and my first serious tweak

Interesting note on the coffee. It seems that I'm drinking more of it. Plus, I finally had my first beer in 3 months this weekend. Ummmmm. . . beer.

Not sure if the beer had anything to do with this :-), but I've been working on doing steps, about 4 inch steps, in PT and at home. I've increased resistance on the bike, too. So yesterday, just before I'm supposed to go to PT, I decide to see if I can do actual stairs. Well, holding onto the rail, I made it up 10 steps. It seemed pretty easy. But when I got to the top and tried to walk on a flat surface, WOW, it felt like someone stuck a knife into the top inside part of the knee whenever I extended it forward.

I walked into PT on crutches. There was swelling. She had me try the basic exercises. No problem. I could even stand on one leg for a while. She didn't think I injured the repair. But I've been icing it pretty regularly.

This morning, it wasn't any better - maybe a bit worse. It was pretty puffy, too. So, I will be seeing the OS Friday. And I'm still on crutches.

I was wondering if anyone else might have experienced this. The pain isn't where the tendon was repaired - it's off to the left, just above where the joint flexes. And it only happens when I extend the leg forward while walking and putting weight on it. I can sit in a chair and do leg lifts with no problem. And if I massage it, the pain momentarily subsides.

Thoughts? IG, anything close to yours?

WyoPapa - Welcome. As you can see, we have our ups and downs - even deep into recovery. Good luck with yours.

post #312 of 10802
Thread Starter 

Pain in the . . . . knee

Brewman: Your description of pain does sound similar to mine - which was a result of (I am convinced) a little too much agression in PT - both mine and hers - we got a little ahead of ourselves on this injury. The pain location was very similar to where you described - except mine was on the inside of the knee. I didn't go on crutches, but I iced and laid off agressive rehab for a couple of weeks. Did NOT go to see the OS - maybe I should have - but the problem seems to have resolved itself. Swelling is down, pain gone, back to rehab again. My PT is convinced that it was scar tissue underneath and around the kneecap (maybe a result of the holes in the bone) that needed to be pushed away anyway. I guess I agree with her given the results of the past week or so. I hope yours is as simple and as easily resolved.

post #313 of 10802
Brewman - I've had similar tweaks, though not as severe. Have you been doing scar massage? Perhaps there is scar tissue build up which needs to be knocked out. I had a similar occurrence during a PT session, and she said she noticed an adhesion, and deep massaged it out of place. My PT recommends daily kneecap manipulation and scar tissue massage.
post #314 of 10802
IG and Uncle Crunch,

Thanks for the update. It's hard to imagine that something came apart in there. I'm icing and massaging. I decided to check with the OS more for my wife's benefit. The look on her face when I came out in crutches . . . well, you can imagine, especially after all she has had to put up with.

post #315 of 10802

6 Weeks Six Days Post OP


I injured my right knee on April 5th as well, when I missed the last step on a flight of stairs and took a dive. I also heard the dreaded popping sound that many have related here in this forum.

Like you, I had surgery that next week. My surgery took place on Thurs the 10th of April. I had a total rupture of the QT, with additional cartilage damage to boot. All of this was on top of a surgically repaired ACL in that same knee about 20 years prior. The cartilage problem is something that will need to be handled later, separately from the QTR repair. More fun later on down the road I guess.

My pain after the surgical was immediate. Due to the type of anesthesia that I had selected, I could have no additional pain medicine for a period of 24 hours after the procedure. It was one of the worst days I have ever been through.

Somehow I made it through it. I was lucky to find this forum some time after my surgery and I began to see that there is hope. I, like you, have had a lot of feelings that this terrible injury will never be overcome. Prior to my injury I had a very active life and courtesy of this accident it has now been changed forever.

Unlike you, my OS seems to be fairly aggressive in my post surgical PT. I started passive bending 3.5 weeks after surgery, and active bending and PT therapy a week later. I now have 100+ degrees of ROM, and it seems to be getting stronger everyday. I am not yet allowed to walk with the brace unlocked or ride a stationary bike. Maybe next week after another OS visit.

The good news is that from reading the posts in this forum, as well as personally knowing another poor soul that had the pleasure of having both his QTR's done, this is an injury that can be overcome. It just takes a lot of time, patience, and a ton of hard work and PT. Finding a good PT that has experience in this injury is key. My first PT did not, so I went and found another with the help of my OS and insurance company. My PT seems to know what we can push, and what we cannot.

Hang in there - it will get better

Thanks to all that post here - it really helps to in keeping my hopes and spirits up
post #316 of 10802

6 Weeks Post Op

Think I have finally turned the corner this last week. I ditched the crutch/crutches a few days ago, can fit into my Toyota truck and drive with one foot! Still fighting swelling, stiffness and my ROM still sucks :. Still using the frankenstein brace for my travels outside the house and managed to walk up the stairs in my house. Decided a week ago that going to stop babying it and treat it as much as a can handle as a normal knee.

Had my second PT session the yesterday and she broke out the plastic massage tools on my knee : and bent the hell out of it at the end :, don't know what she bent it too but it was quite painful ! No PAIN no GAIN!
post #317 of 10802

Hello Ladies!!!!!!!

Man, miss a week and take an hour to catch up on reading.

Wyo- Your description of your days were too funny, not really but it reads well. Dude, you not only need a helmet but probably 4 way restraints !!!! I hope that you are calmly moving forward. You are absolutely correct with the the psych part of this injury. There were days that were pretty dark. Take solice in the fact that it gets better for a lot of reasons but it is all in the attitude. I have a couple of guys that i work with who have had MUCH worse injuries overseas and have overcome even though they have no where near the level of function that I have. I am lucky because I will see 100%, they will not. Do not let the OS tell you that you wont ski again. If I have learned anything from this injury and this thread, the OS is truely "practicing medicine" because they dont see the QTR often and the treatment modalities and outcomes are all over the map. It will get better Crip!

I am feeling great over the last few weeks. Running (if you call it that) again. This retraining of the entire leg is extreme. I have been riding my mountain bike some short hilly circuts (Vermont is great for that) and that feels really good from an arobic and muscle pushing prospective. Trying to stay in a higher gear up easy hills, i stood up on the peddles to pump and almost bought the farm!!! It took me several more attempts to do this with any dignity. It is muscle and mind retraining but you have got to do it. Still some opposite hip pain.

In2, my OS told me to do leg lifts with 3 lbs for lower body. I was doing that week 3 post surgery. Do what is comfortable and dont do what hurts. You will know when enough is enough.

Train, give us an update pal!

The best of days gents! VS
post #318 of 10802

3-plus months and counting

Hello gents,

My injury occurred on Feb 20 and my surgery was the next day. I began PT seven weeks after surgery. Have been doing PT for a couple of months now, staying on top of all the stretching and strengthening exercises. My ROM reached 115 degrees yesterday when my therapist got behind the leg and flexed it under pressure (compared with 130 degrees in my good leg without anybody's help). I started doing full rotations on the stationary bicycle this week.

But here's the good news that I want to share with all of you - and this confirms Tiger Bait's comment above: the best thing I have done so far to speed along my rehab is exercising in a swimming pool. I went yesterday - the pool had steps that allowed me to get in and out easily, thank goodness - and spent 1/2 hour hanging on to the side, floating on my stomach, and kicking my legs. It is simply the best exercise that I've tried for loosening up the scar tissue and getting my knee moving again without feeling quite so tight. I am walking better already, after just one visit to the pool. I will be a regular there for the rest of the summer. If you have access to a pool, go and use it as soon as your PT allows you to do so.

brewman - about the tightness at the side of the knee: I also experience that, especially on the stationary bicycle. My PT says its because part of the quad muscle runs down to the side of the knee, as well as down the front of the thigh to the top of the knee.

Since my surgery, like some of you, I have cut back on both caffeine and alcohol. I have only one cup of coffee a day now and almost no alcohol. My diet consists almost entirely of fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, tofu and fish. Drink only water with meals and a glass of sugar-free fruit juice at breakfast. I was training for a marathon at the time of my injury, which exercise helped me keep trim. Haven't been able to exercise much for three months now (though I have gone outdoors for 45-min walks daily since the 5th week after surgery), but I haven't gained any weight either. If this injury as taught me anything, it is self-discipline in my diet - and constant awareness of my body's motion and what lies in its path. I had always thought that diet and exercise were the keys to good health, but I overlooked the third key - ALWAYS watch where you're going.

Congratulations to all of you on making progress and keeping you spirits up. Recovery is as much in our heads as it is in our legs.


post #319 of 10802

Week 15 Today

Hey -

I got rid of my cane this past week, and I'm walking pretty well now. I feel like my legs are about 45% of waht they were, and gaining about 5% a week since week 7, which is slow but steady progress. The way I figure it, at that pace, with no setbacks and a lot of hard work, I should be pretty close to where I was when I reach the 6 month mark. With such a long way to go, I don't know it that's wishful thinking, but that's what I'm hoping for.

VS: I think you're right about the OS. The first few times I saw my OS, I had a million questions, of which he answered only a few. When I saw him Wednesday, I really didn't have any for him. I think I get more answers from this forum. Instead of asking him what to do, I just push myself a little more every day without over doing it. You know how you feel.

RE: coffee...I went from about 10 cups a day before the injury to about 2 cups now. But, it still tastes good~

Everybody: Sounds like we're all doing what we have to do. Keep it up!

Tiger Bait
post #320 of 10802
Bulldog - sorry, already married.

Great to see everyone making good progress this week. Keep mup the good work everyone.

Re the coffee. I "lived" on coffee a few years ago when I was working full-time and doing my Masters degree. Then I had to have my gall bladder out. Since then I can't drink coffee. It makes me quite ill when I try. Can't tell you why, its just the way it is.

My knee really doesn't like that step exercise PT gave me. Knee constantly feels weak and like it is going to give out on me. Not sure if thie is a good thing or not.
post #321 of 10802

6mo 3 wks


Tomorrow is 6.3 for me. I have had tremendous improvement but again, I feel a plateau. I have that elastic band, stronger feeling than previous, and what I would say is more numbness. Now, this may be in part to the fact that I have not had a good May for my exercises due to work, travel etc, but I have been very active outdoors. So I guess my message to all is, keep plugging, there are down times even at my stage...hopefully you guys will do better. On the same note, I can do anyting I want....this weekend I carried up our deck furniture to our second level deck...(had to have neighbor bring it down and store for me last November)...so that to me is significant.

Tiger Bait: Great! Keep it up!

Anksign: your step exercise...is it walking stairs or is it the "stand on stair repaired leg and lower good leg"? That was difficult but I found it very helpful in building strength..and helpful for my France trip when I had prolonged sitting or standing, seemed to help loosen things up...maybe I should take my own advice!

I wonder how TrainBuff is doing? Thought he would have his laptop by now and talk to us...hope you are improving TBuff!

Best to all!

post #322 of 10802

Back Again

Hey Guys,

Vt.Soldier: Like you I have been gone a few days and took a few minutes to catch up with everyone's comments. Got a laugh about needing 4 way restraints. I'm usually a pretty careful and safe individual, but I guess we all have a stretch of bad luck now and then.

You mentioned some of the guys you work with who have much worse injuries than you from overseas. I know, we are fortunate that we do not have to deal with some of the horrendous injuries that our soldiers are coming home with. I was in the Navy during Viet Nam, but never saw combat. I cannot imagine what these guys are having to deal with.

Hope I will be able to ski again to some extent anyway. Maybe just cross country, not downhill. There is always snowshoes. Anything to get out in the woods during the winter.

Everyone: I went back to see my OS this past Thurs. He took some X-rays to make sure everything was intact after 7 weeks post surgery. Had me get on the table and lay down and told me to lift my leg. I tried, it would not. I said "I can't". He held his hand about 12" above my foot and said "lift it". I tried again and could feel it move a little. I strained and was able to get it to move some more. He said "lift it, lift it, lift it" until I finally was able to hit his hand. I then lowered my leg with a sigh of relief and surprisingly no pain. Gave myself a "YEAH" and a 2 thumbs up. Doctor said the repair was good to go because if it had not been I would not have been able to lift my leg. Showed me the x-rays and the 3 bone anchors in the knee. Set me up with PT the next day.

My first day at PT they had my do some passive knee bends to see how much ROM I had without pain. I was able to get it to 50. My good leg is at 133. My Pt gave me 4 different exercises to do and then after I did those he hooked me up to the electrode machine, or whatever they call it, and I was able to adjust the charge as much as I could stand it. Got the thing up to 41 and could feel the tingles and impulses flowing through the leg. Wierd feeling, but kind of neat at the same time. They iced my leg at the same time. When I left about an hour later, my leg felt really good. I had taken a Percoset about 30 minutes before Pt, but really didn't need it. They were gentle with me that first day. My Pt said they would try to stretch the scar tissue slowly so it would stretch and not tear. That way the pain should be minimized.

Did the exercises at home Sat. and Sun. and will be going to PT on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I am able to put weight on the leg now and walk on it, but still using the brace and crutches. However, they set the brace from 0 degrees to 90 degrees, so I am able to bend the leg a lot more then before. Glad to be making progress. I'll keep you guys informed.

DavidM: That is ironic that your accident happened the same day as mine and you had surgery the day after I did. I'm sorry to hear you had so much pain. I feel for you man because the pain I had for about 4 hours after my fall at the hospital was almost unbearable. I can't imagine having to deal with that for 24 hours. Like you, and I'm sure most of the other guys, we all had very active lives before this happened to us. Yes, in some ways our lives have changed forever and we do not yet know how this will affect what we can and cannot do from here on out. Only time will tell. Maybe I won't be able to ski again, or shouldn't, but I hope to be able to play golf and do just about everything else. There will always be the fear of re-injuring that tendon again. We all have to hang in there and try to keep a positve outlook and take joy in the progress we are making. I think the most depressing time for me was the first month after surgery. Things looked pretty bleak at times, but now that I can see some progress things are looking up. I may even be able to take my first shower in 2 months tonight. My wife is buying me a bench so I can sit down in the shower. No more standing in front of the bathroom sink with a wash cloth and standing on one leg.

Sounds like your ROM after 3.5 weeks is great. 100 is a great number. Like I said, mine is only at 50 and I wonder if that is because my OS had me wait for 7 weeks post op before starting PT. That is okay, I know he wanted to make sure it had healed properly before starting me on PT. He has been a good Doctor and I trust him. The old knee if pretty stiff right now, but I'm sure it will get better over the next month or so.

PhillyBuster: Am looking forward to using the pool. All you guys seem to agree that it has really helped. By the way, if you don't mind me asking, do you live in the Philadelphia area? I ask because I am originally from suburban Philly. Born and raised in Media, PA.

in2falling: Congrats on ditching the crutches. Can't wait till I can do the same. At least being able to put weight on the leg and walking with it has helped take some of the pressure off the shoulders. Hip hurts like heck sometimes. Hope that goes away soon.

Everyone - Take care and keep up the good work. Talk to you guys later. Have a great week!!
post #323 of 10802

tomorrow is 10 weeks post op

Hey Guys,

Glad to see everyone is coming along nicely. I still have that rubber band feeling around my knee, although that is getting better, too. 90 degrees ROM, 95 if I push it! Pt is happy with my progress. I was able to get completely around on the stationary bike on Friday ( a milestone) and also able to get into the bathtub/shower by myself. Still slow on the stairs, going up and down 1 at a time. Practically no limp when I walk, although its kinda tough starting out when sitting down for a while. I agree that the pool exercises seem to be the best for me, too.

Congrats to everyone on their progress, I'll try to be more in touch.

post #324 of 10802

8 1/2 Weeks Since Surgery

I saw my OS for the third follow-up appointment today. He wrote a new PT script with no restrictions. He also approved each of the activities I proposed in the coming weeks: weightless squats, elliptical trainer, upper-body dumbbell exercises, stairs, driving, and swimming. The good thing about the elliptical trainer is that you only need about 90 degrees ROM to use it as opposed to the roughly 110 that you need with a bike. My ROM is currently about 75 degrees. My next OS appointment will be in six weeks.
post #325 of 10802

Wish I had found this site earlier

All interested....

Ruptured my quad tendon over Labor Day 07. Now month 8 of the recovery. Dr. told me 12-18 months before the day comes that I end the day and say to myself "I did not think about my knee today".

At 55, recovery is taking longer. Am riding the bicycle now that decent weather has hit the Pac NW. Was able to stand in the pedals just a few days ago...but hills are still a formidable threat. Bicycling seems to be the ticket for improvement for me. No pain, just a little swelling if I overdo it. Working my way up to 20 mile rides...next goal is the 30 ride.

Never had a serious injury before...and as a college rugby player, I considered my self invincible - even as I approached retirement age. But this injury knocked me to the ground.

Living alone, with a dog that needed walking 3-4 times a day and living in a 3 story townhouse forced me onto the stairs early on. Still herky jerky on the down trip, but improving weekly.

Proud to say I only missed 6 days of work.

I do not ever, ever want to go through anything like this again.

post #326 of 10802
Hi bulldog - exercise is standing on one stair with bad leg and slowly lowering the good leg. PT said any height will do, even a couple of inches. I have no problems walking outside and can walk forever. However I do have some problems going down slopes. Up is ok, just down is a little weak.. PT says this stair exercise will help with that. PT said that the muscles on the outside of the leg are recoving faster than inside, so she suggested that when I do leg raises (use 5 lb weights now) I need to turn my foot out when I lift. She is right, it does help the inside of the leg. Guess that's why I'm paying her the big bucks, and I'm the patient not the PT. :-)

Talked with PT and she explained recent x-ray. I still have a lot of swelling below the patella. The bone chips I have are above the knee, and the pain I have is below. So she does not think it is the chips that are causing the pain. She suspects that pain will go away when the swelling does.

Fishbike - welcome to the site. Sorry about your injury. Great to have you here. Where in the NW are you? I am in the Vancouver Canada area. You're right, this injury knocks you to the ground. But hand in there and you'll make a complete recovery just like we all will. I concur though, I don't want to go through this ever again.

Stay well everyone. I am back in the air for the next week so may not be on-line. Dang airport ramps!
post #327 of 10802
Anksign: that is the exact exercise I have referred to. Initially my PT had me start with standing on a dictionary and then increase height. That exercise gave me as much pain as any, but now I use it when I stand, sit or do anything for long periods of time (such as my France trip, planes, buses, etc) and it seems to give me relief. I have gotten very good at slopes, even down, although 6-8 weeks ago that was not the case for down. I even handle those jetways fine, but it was interesting prior to surgery post-injury going down jetways pulling a rollaboard!

Fishbike: sorry to hear of your injury, hope things are progressing! You are the furthest into recovery of the thread, my injury was 10/26 with surgery 11/12, so 6mo 3wks. As you have read, virtually all of the group has led a very active life until the "big pop", and we plan on getting back. It will be interesting to hear your progress...best to you!

Keep plugging away Guys at the ROM and those stairs!

post #328 of 10802
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys

Hope all are getting better quickly. I have a question for all of you. As you have progressed, do you find that the knee buckles every once in a while for no apparent reason? It seems that mine buckles when it is bearing weight, and is VERY slightly bent from 180 ROM. Went for my first "real" hike last night, and it was unnerving, to say the least. Fortunately, I had hiking poles (thanks to the good common sense of my lovely wife), so the consequences were not great. Regardless, it is apparent that certain activities that I am used to doing such as hiking, rock climbing and most of all, skiing, are not really conducive to participation with this type of problem. If you have had it, how are you dealing with it?
We really need to hear from TRAINBUFF - are you out there TB? LET US KNOW HOW YOU ARE!!!

ChiChi: Did you ever get a new bike?
FishBike: Sorry for your injury, but welcome. Hope the info here helps you - it certainly has helped me to know others are out there who have had the same injury, and are going through the same sh&t as I.

One thing I notice about this forum: You all have the greatest attitudes - it is infectious! Thanks, and keep it up.

My best to you all.

Idaho Guy
post #329 of 10802

To all, and Idaho Guy

I feel well on my way....compared to where I have been. Finally, I think I can say there is a light at the end of my tunnel. As an avid telemarker and bicycler over the years, I think that the strength of my quads somehow contributed to my injury.

I noticed this week that I no longer feel the need to descend the stairs one step at a time in my townhouse. I am getting so I can almost normally stand up in the pedals and crank up short hills on the bike. A month ago a 15 foot hill sent me on an alternate route. Now I look forward to tackling a few small hills.

My Doc said bicycling would be one of the best things for rehab and I think he was spot on.

I think much of the improvement is from development of the vastus lateralis muscle from riding. I feel a healthy kind of background pain and constant tightness on the outside of my thigh above the knee. Since I started bicycling (about 200 miles in 3 weeks) I have had substantial improvement in balance, confidence, and improvement in my gait.

The worst part of my injury (other than the first two months) is that I am an Occupational Safety and Industrial Hygiene Manager. I am the guy that preaches to the workforce about safety and injury prevention "wear your Personal Protective Equipment, always follow safe practices, do not take risks, etc". I ate a lot of humble pie as I limped around for several months.

Idaho Guy:

I had one instance of knee buckling, but it was several months ago. It was after the first time out on the bike - I foolishly rode 12 miles - and it buckled on me several times that evening. I do not think about it buckling anymore, but I am awfully careful and use the handrail every time I descend steps and stairs.

Take care all. Again, I wish I had found this forum sooner.
post #330 of 10802

New quad rupture injury 5/28, surgery 6/5

Hey all,
Just by luck I found this forum. Now I won't be surprised as to what to expect after surgery.

I'm in California, age 48, and was walking to my front door after work. I was 10 feet from the door, ready to get my mail at the mailbox, when I stepped, not in a hole, but just a little uneven patch in the grass. I didn't slip or trip, I had flat rubber soled shoes on. I tensed up my muscles in my leg, and the next thing I know I feel the dreaded pop and I'm on the ground screaming and crying. I knew it was a serious injury and I couldn't move that leg if I wanted to!

Thankfully, I live in a condo and neighbors called 911 and my Dad and sister and the paramedics came and took me to ER (it was 6:30pm at that time). That is the first time I've been in an ambulance, what a rough ride!

I wish I had an exciting story as to how it happened. I was so mad. Maybe it was good I was screaming and crying, it got more oxygen into my head and I didn't pass out. I'm not one for passing out, and never have. However, I understand this injury as caused people to black out.

I was in ER for about 5 hours and it took forever to get an Xray, but what I really needed was an MRI. I knew I didn't break a bone. I even told them the pain was above the knee, not the knee. They gave me no pain medicine, I had to request a bed pan because I thought my kidneys were going to explode. I had nothing to eat or drink. I actually used self-hypnosis to take my mind off the pain. Finally, an Xray and then a nurse came in to splint the leg (that soft brace with the velcro straps and metal rods). She didn't know how to do it! Then, they didn't have the right size crutches for me.

Thankfully, my Dad got to ER and sat next to me for those lonely hours. They didn't have a TV or anything for distraction and the poor old Alzheimers lady next to me (we were separated by a curtain) kept vomiting and pulling out her IV.

I've been through my Dad's hip replacement surgery and rehab, so know he is here for me. My Mom passed away in 1997. My sister is just a few miles away, but the day after my surgery, she is having a biopsy so she will be under general and out of commission. I'm divorced, so if Dad didn't help me, I don't know what I would do!

I'm lucky I got in to see an ortho doctor and an ortho medical group and rehab center. As luck would have it, it is the same place my Dad went to rehab and he thought it was really good there. I have no dought. I was able to see a PA, get MRIs, bring the film back, and by then the MD was back from surgery, so I got my MRI, saw the doctor, got the diagnosis, set up pre-op blood work, and surgery all in one day! I also got my doctor notes putting me out, my DMV form for a temporary disability permit, and was able to take that permit to AAA office and get the permit already.

I'm just taking one day at a time. I also don't like to be drugged up, so I will be using a self-hypnosis CD for pain management. It really does work. I used it one other time I had to have surgery and I actually had no pain the next day and was able to walk around quite a bit. I found a morphine drip is nice, but if you hit that button too many times you will get sick to your stomach. So, I used my hypnosis CD and spaced out the med time further and further apart.

I also have a two-story condo with only one bathroom --upstairs! Thankfully, due to Dad's various medical experiences, we had a good pair of adjustable crutches at his house, so he brought them over and we adjusted them. I'm thinking of having him bring over the "portapotty" as I don't know how bad that pain will be the first day or two after surgery.
I've ordered "No Rinse Moisterizing Body Wash". It is even used by NASA astronauts on all space shuttle flights! I couldn't find this stuff at my local large chain pharmacy. So, I ordered it online at www.drugstore.com where even the shipping was free with a purchase over $25. I also got "Comfort Bath Value Size Personal Cleansing, Ultra-Thick Disposable Washcloths". These things will come in handy for cleaning up while I'm stuck in the straight leg brace.

I'm doing alright getting up the stairs (they are carpeted) with one crutch on one side and holding onto the rail with the other hand. The first night I came home from ER, I scooted up the stairs and down the stairs to show Dad I could do it. It was 2 am and we got situated and he was falling asleep and I had nowhere for him to stay!

Well, this will be a journey and I will be checking in from time to time to see how everyone is doing and post my recovery stories.

I'm always so careful, it just seems like such a freak accident.

In my past I have run marathons, did weight training, etc. So, I know how to push myself. But I'm not going to do anything except what the doctor and therapist tell me to do. I don't want to re-injure myself.

I'll be happy to be able to bend my leg, support myself with the quad muscle, and do fast walking, stationary biking, light weights, and maybe step classes.

I don't know how I'll get to work even if I'm cleared to work part-time. My new car hardly has leg room, and as a two-door car, it is just about impossible to get into in the carport as there is no room to lift a straight leg into position. I could take the bus and train, but after I get off the bus, it is a long walk to get to the office and I don't think I can make crutching that long a distance.
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