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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 111

post #3301 of 11206

One thing is certain with this injury.....everyone rehabs and heals on their own time frame. With the athletic 'victims', healing seems to be quicker at the onset and basic catch-up is with those of us who simply injured ourselves for no-good-reason!! I'm 7.5 weeks into recovery and am apalled at the incredible loss of muscle and strength!  I admit to being a female in her late 50's (which is the new late 40's), but for years, as a REALTOR, going up steps, down stairs, on and off decks, in and out of a porch tore my left quad tendon and threw me into this realm of the netherworld!


I'm still at 60 ROM without the brace with PT helping, and only 30 ROM locked with the brace. Of course it slips down past my knee, driving me insane while I try walking... then tighten it up only to have my leg turn purple, as people watch my futile attempts to loosen it under my pant leg! It's been a real journey. One I have no intention of ever repeating should the opportunity arise again, and I can say with 100% absolution that my biggest fear of heights has been replaced in no uncertain terms by 'slip and fall!"  There is nothing that scares me more now than re-injuring this poor, poor pitiful leg!


As I'd stated in my past post, if it hadn't of been for my husband and his unending support, caring and understanding, I would not have made it to this point! Who knew he could wash hair from a hospital bed (in my family room) and cook dinner like a world renowned chef! Nobody can prepare a fried egg sandwich that looks and tastes as well as his!! 


Keep posting. I love reading how well everyone is doing---and the setbacks as well.  Especially those of us who still have no real reason for having suffered the victim-ology of this injury! The athletes are incredible and put themselves through so much--it's a wonder they have any tendons or ligaments left!


Happy Day to you all! 

post #3302 of 11206

I am at 17 weeks and my progress of 2 steps forward always seem to be replaced by 1 back and 2 forward! What a roller coaster of a ride. ROM is 145, with strength and balancing being my concerns. Today I walked 2 kilometers which I am pleased with but now I am in a lot of pain which will stay with me until physio tomorrow. Haven't had a good sleep since the injury. Too much pain at night. Everyday is a step closer to being back to normal. Hoping that will be in another 2 months.

post #3303 of 11206

Yesterday was nine weeks post injury and eight weeks post surgery. At PT yesterday I hit 68 for ROM. I am starting to work a bit on strength for stairs. The straight leg lift has come back fully from before the injury. I have noticed real muscle fatigue with the muscles on both sides of the knee if I am on my feet too much. Along with the QTR I tore both those muscles, one fully and the other partially. I am a couple weeks away from driving I think. I finally was able to sit in the front seat of the car this past week. I am 6'2" so I just can't bend my leg enough yet to get in the driver's side. I am curious how long others took to be able to start driving. The other big challenge is to be able to take stairs the normal way. The good news is that I have had little pain. I have fought through a nasty case of contact dermatitis though that kicked in after I took the brace off. That finally seems to be waning. 

post #3304 of 11206

I havent posted here for a few months now, here is an update....now 7 months post QTR injury.  Im a 56 y.o. avid cyclist and outdoor lover.  Surgery was on July 8th.  My right quad was ruptured while chasing my dog down to keep him from running across a busy street to check out a female dog on the other side... all is fair in love and war as they say...  He made it across the street safely (i hope he got her number) but I wasnt so lucky!  The injury was devastating because of the instantaneous level of disability it caused and the difficulty in accepting that fact...plus it happened while I was doing something that I easily performed almost every day of my life...running.  The pavement was unlevel and i tripped because i was frantically trying to catch my dog before he got to the street.   I also tore my left achilles tendon in the same fall!  That surgery is coming soon and from what ive been reading online, its not a pleasant experience either!


But as for the QTR, all I can say is to hang in there because things will get better.  I went for a 5 mile bike ride the other day...couldve gone 10.  The feeling was fantastic to say the least.... to be mobile and active once again and back amongst the living!  Im walking on that leg fine now after months of PT and home excercises, stretching and lots of ice.  Im at the point where I can push myself up a 10inch stair with that leg fairly easy now.  The tendons are strong and getting stronger every day.  It takes a good year IMO to fully recover from this injury and we all recover eventually.  This isn't (thank God!) a permanent injury so rest assured that you will get better.  When I look at my wheel chair  now, I find it hard to believe how dependent I was on it for months... so keep the faith, you will be just fine:)

post #3305 of 11206

i started driving 2 weeks after surgery to get to PT.   once you get in just loosen the velcro brace and you will be fine.   went in the garage day before my first PT and took it around the block.   wife thought i was nuts.   i am 60 and had surgery december 2011.  doing great.  jogging, bball (where it happened), bike, etc.    good luck

post #3306 of 11206

50 yr old Male

LQTR - Full Avulsion

290 lbs.


Hi folks,


It's been 10 months since my injury and quite a while since I posted.   Just wanted to give an update and my simple two cents.  


I'm a competitive powerlifter and experienced my rupture in a below parellel training squat with 525 pounds.   Un-fun as y'all well know.    Successful surgery the next day (baseball stiches through 4 holes in the patella).    My surgeon was ultra-conservative.   Although I ventured a little from his advice - It was slow.   I only put weight on the left leg at 6 weeks as worked active ROM at 8 weeks.    I was in the freakin' brace for 9 entire weeks.  

But.... through pool walking and active ROM and stationary bike (after 125 ROM) I progressed.  


Today I'm back lifting:   465lbs x 5 reps deadlift and a 405 lb bench.   I only do 225 lbs. x 20 reps for the squat and simply won't go higher.   I can't wrap my mind around the experience.    I worry more about the other quad. 


Lessons learned:   friends on this site kept my spirits up and gave me great advice.... thank you BlueBelt and Texas Diesel.    

Additionally, I attribute most of the recovery to going very slow at first.   I think patience and forethought the first 12 weeks are crucial.   And.... I did not use a therapist.   I interviewed several and picked the brains of all of them; however, they just don't experience this type of injury.     In our case I do believe pain in recovery is not our friend (with the exception of working out scar tissue).  


Just one man's perspective.      


Have a great recovery!

post #3307 of 11206

I am thankful that my therapist is also of the "pain is not your friend" camp. The best description of the PT for a quad rupture is that it is the most intense stretching you've ever done. That sums it up nicely for me. I have started working step ups. It is amazing how fatigued the muscles on either side of the knee get. In conjunction with the QTR I suffered a complete tear of the muscle on the left and a partial on the right. I guess that's fairly common. It's crazy though how stepping up onto a four-inch high book can tire those muscles out so quickly. When I think about what I was doing in my bi-weekly training sessions I have to wonder how I'll ever get back to that level. I was doing one-legged step ups onto a foot-high platform with 20 lbs. dumbells with a leg-lift and bicep curl at the top. Wow, do I have a long way to go to get back to that level, if I ever do. I haven't been as aggressive at getting back to driving. I'm hoping to get the green light for that from the doc this Friday. I have found I can get into the driver seat of my car now, with quite a bit of contortions. 

post #3308 of 11206

Glad to hear your dermititis has cleared up.  Mine was simply the worst case of dry skin I've ever experienced and without the lotions and baby oil, it would have been unbearable!


I'll get another 10 degree ROM tomorrow, which will put my brace at 40.  Yesterday was a long and painful knee day....just doing s few of the excercises hurt, so I stopped dong them.  Today is much better and I iced for a few, so from what others say on this board, if it hurts, be careful about doing it!!  I'm sure time is going to prove this is the smartest way to heal, but WOW, does it seem like it's been forever! Slow as molasses...........


Keep smiling!



post #3309 of 11206

I am 14 weeks after surgery.....similar to most out there....are there any avid runners.....I have done 36 marathons and at 64 years old and fit am skeptical about running again...it does not have to be marathons but my surgeon and therapist say I will get there. Any running feedback appreciated.

post #3310 of 11206

Woo-hoo! I started driving last Thursday. I hit 90 ROM in PT that day, so I decided to try my hand behind the wheel. Getting in and out of the car can be a bit of a contortion act, but it is going well. It is wonderful to be mobile again. The range of motion is really coming back now. I hit 95 ROM yesterday. I'll take that for being just under 4 weeks out of the leg brace. Now I've got to get so that I can take steps the normal way. That will be nice. I need to rebuild some strength for that though. On Friday my doc gave me a clean bill of health and asked me to return in 6 months. Now my goal is to get the right leg as close as I can to the left in strength and ROM by that date. Yet more to work on. 

post #3311 of 11206

Dear Old Guy Runner:  I am not a marathoner, but I am relatively old (58) and I can give you some insights into my recovery.  I injured/severed my quad about 11 months ago, had surgery in March, and I am about 97 percent fully recovered.  I agree with your doctors that "you will get there."  My surgery and treatment were aggressive, which is what I wanted since I bike thousands of miles a year.  That's not running, but it still puts a tremendous strain on the knee, especially climbing and getting out of the saddle.  My timeline was:  Surgery, 3/21/11.  PT beg:  4/1/11.  ROM greater than 90 degrees, early May.  Graduated from PT:  7/4/11.  First bike ride, to/from work:  7/14/11.  First 50 mile plus ride:  mid-August.  First century (100 mile ride):  10/23/11.  Able to descend steps competently:  That's been recent--meaning no hitch, no need to hold on to the railing:  late January.  Able to run 1/3 mile:  late January.  I am just now able to run 1 full mile.  The thing is:  I am not a runner, but I am pleased to say, yes I can run and do so pretty well.  The running and descending were dependent on tracking in the knee; for some people, the tracking is no issue.  For me it was.  But it got much better by climbing stairs and the stairmaster and by biking in harder gears.  Doing so stretches the patellar and quad tendons across the knee cap and eventually induces a more natural fit, as in before the injury.  By the way, biking is excellent if you can get out of the saddle and get rid of any existing "extension" lag.  I hope you are well and get back to the running you love.  Ernie (Virginiacyclist).

post #3312 of 11206

Thank you V/cyclist for all your timelines....it is a good frame of reference. I am doing stationary biking, eliptical training along with my upper body weight lifting and PT exercises. Can't get outside on a bike yet as I live in Minneapolis and even though we have little snow too many icy patches. As part of my PT work I got to work with a Minnesota Viking therapist....if you are a football fan the same one who is working with Adrain Peterson in rehabbing his very bad ACL injury and surgery. He said we are doing similar PT exercises but that those of us with the quad surgery are more severe and longer to rehab. Interesting that you are having success with the stairclimber as he told me that the two machines to stay away from in a typical full service gym are the stairclimber and sitting leg extensions. I am 141/2 weeks from surgery and have a 136 degree ROM and have started walking on the treadmill at about 3.6. Long way to go until running....but my goal is to run by June.

post #3313 of 11206

Is there any one out there who at about 14 weeks plus from surgery that is having any issues with their gait. My range of motion is good....about 136 degrees but when I walk I have a tendency to kick out my leg ( the surgical one ) somewhat outward. I know my quad is obviously still weak .....but my therapist had some concern about other possible nerve damage. Old Colonial....if you still check in we were very similar in damage....quad plus the lateral and collateral areas. Anyone have any similar gait issues ??

post #3314 of 11206

I'm only at 9.5 weeks post surgery, so it's a bit early for me to tell about the gait. I do find that if I don't concentrate on 'normal walking' it's very easy to fall into the limping/uncoordinated sway. And of course, there really isn't a normal walk yet, but I do try to remind myself constantly to try!  It seems that this entire week has been trying...I'm doing so much better and have come so far, but for some reason, I'm having a really lousy week. Patience is not going my way and re-reading some of these posts has given me hope again.  What life was like before Tendon Rupture and after Tendon Rupture appears to be part of the conversation and I'd like to change that to 'back in November....."  PT said I was at 95 ROM on Monday--didn't check it today with a sub PT, but did a couple of new exercises. Some days it feels like the PT doesn't do enough real work with me, and I'd like to do more, but of course re-injury would be a nightmare! I'm looking forward to driving..maybe that will be a defining moment of rehab vs normal living. Will hopefully be throwing away the brace on the Feb 14th--my next Dr. appointment.  Wonder if I should get him a card and flowers??  <smile>

post #3315 of 11206

I am still curious if any Quadrippers are having trouble with your walking gait. I am 15 1/2 weeks from surgery and besides stationary biking which I can do successfuly and my physical therapy and pool walking exercises ...I am having balance issues with my gait on a treadmill. Set at about 3.6 I cannot walk hands free but need to hold the rails. Somewhat frustrating because my surgeon told me pre-surgery that I would be doing some light running at 3 months....but I am not close to running. Being a runner ....am frustrated. Any one out there with a similar or later timeline can give me any feedback ???

post #3316 of 11206

Old Runner Guy, I just came from the surgeon's office about an hour ago. I am at almost 5 months and have similiar issues as yourself. He says I am at 85 % strength in the injured leg and doing great. I can walk about 2 miles. But I still have problems with my walking gait and cannot run at all. Did hit about 20 golf balls the other day and started back to yoga classes. However my balance is not good and that is what is impacting my walking and lack of running. The surgeon said it will all come sooner than later. Some of it he says is apprehension, being afraid to just move on. He says I am capable of doing almost anything. So more positive thoughts need to go from my brain to my leg. I still have a lot of pain and I need to stop equating pain with an inability to run etc.

post #3317 of 11206

Old Runner Guy and Frank 2009:  At 5 - 6 months, I could not run.  I was told I would be healed but I wasn't.  I'm in really great shape and at 11 months plus, I am just now able to run competently. I probably experienced tracking problems in my knees.  Frankly, when they operated on my quad tendon, the tension between the patellar and quad tendons changed, so the knee  behaved differently than it did before.  In my case, there were too much looseness in the knee cap making my leg slightly unstable.  I got past it by getting on a traditional stationary bike and working the knee through many motions of progressively more difficult levels.  By this I mean 1 - 2 hours per day.  When I was spinning at easier levels, my impression is I was creating more flexibility in the knee cap, which is what you don't want at some point.  When I got to levels 15 - 17 out of 25, my knee initially hurt, but over time, the tracking improved as did the pain.  My knee is near-normal now, but it took a lot of patience, stick-to-itiveness and time.  It's a project, not an overnight event.  TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR--PLEASE!

post #3318 of 11206

VC and Frank: Thank you for your comments.....really helpful to see we all have basically some of the same issues......it is definitely a process but this site for all my readings on it are extemely helpful and confidence building. When Idaho guy started this 4 years ago it has really grown into a helpful tool....because even your doctor and therapist never actually having the injury really know what we are going thru. To me the different stories and experiences at different timelines is great to share. Keep moving forward and keep the motto "Make IT A GREAT DAY "

post #3319 of 11206

What a week... the good news is that the brace is finally a thing of the past (indoors and only outside if no snow or ice!). I've never been so annoyed in my life as with that brace.  The straps tightened directly over the top of my scar and caused even more scar tissue to form while causing pain with every movement!  So that's a relief --- Both OS and PT told me that a minimum of 6 months healing will be needed before I can feel safe about not re-injuring the tendon. Another 4 - 6 months before complete healing. Unbelievable----and yet it's something I live daily.


PT put me on the treadmill today (hooked up in a rig so I couldn't fall/falter) and I walked both forward and backward. Made me feel like I was trying to get some normal gait back---hurts right now, but walking with a regular gait is hugely important!  I've also had some serious knee pain since the first week after surgery..not aways but some days is much worse than others!


So, this morning was also my first driving off on my own..now that I can get my leg into the car's drivers side! Went to PT, Bank, Shopping, and Grocery Store....only made it half way through the grocery store before my body wore out. Sad to say.  hissyfit.gif   PT is getting tougher now as well, but I really do feel like I've come a very long way since November 18th!!  Still a long way to go, but every day is one step closer to NORMAL!!!



post #3320 of 11206

44 y.o. downhill & x-country skier, biker, hiker...4 wks post surgery, 8 wks post injury; ripped quad off in ATV accident (ACL partial tear, strained MCL, LCL and PCL, tore meniscus, broke tibia). No PT yet per the doc but I have been doing knee bends/lifts in the pool and walking 30 mins, 3 times a week in the pool.  Stopped crutches 18 day post surgery and recently started not using the forrest gump brace in the house and on long drives.  I stopped wearing the brace to bed about 11 days post surgery.  I can bend my knee 90 degrees while sitting but it is painful.  Can't really extend my leg out of the water without a lot of pain and can't fully extend it.  5 wk post surgery appt coming up next week and should be out the brace full time with PT starting shortly there after.  Quad and calf are starting to lose some size need to hit the pool more.  I hate not skiing but it's been a lousy snow year at Heavenly.

post #3321 of 11206

16 weeks post surgery and walked today about 1/1/2 miles. Still have limp in gait and stiffness in knee and quad. Yesterday did 70 minutes of cardio...30 minutes on stationary bike...20 minutes on elliptical...10 minutes walking on treadmill at 3.6 speed and up to a 5 degree incline....then finished 10 more minutes on a stationary bike at a fast speed to get heart rate up to 120. I am/was a marathon runner....having done 36 full marathons and really miss running. I am down to 1 time a week PT....but work out daily at health club myself. This site for newbies is so helpful....pre-surgery I asked my surgeon how long for someone my age to be back running if ever. He assured me with proper PT I would be doing some light running in 3 months. Now I have a very good experienced surgeon....but 3 months is riduculous. That's why this site is so very helpful with quadrippers expressing their stories and timelines of various things they can do. No one in these 112 pages and 4 years of stories was running in 3 months. I see my surgeon next week and am anxious to tell him of this site. I think I am still months away from running. But like most on this site we are active people and need to keep rehabbing and using patience. Thanks to all for your helpful info. Make it a Great Day !!

post #3322 of 11206

I am 4 weeks post op for a complete quad tendon rupture .My surgery was five days after the event. The rupture was clean and at the bone so my prognosis is good. I have been in a knee demobilizer since my fall. I have a Bledsoe brace which will replace the demobilizer. It is a hindged brace which goes from just above the anckle to just below the crotch. I have an appt with the surgeon tomorrow. Hopefully the brace will go on and we will start the rehab process. It's been a rough 4 weeks. The demobilizer is on 24/7. It tends to slip down the leg. I am walking with the aid of crutches. There is something I do not understand about your injury. You said that initially you were trying to rehab you knee by bicking and walking in the water. When I was injured, there was absolutely no control or use of the entire leg. The quad tendon has 4 muuscles attached to it. Is it possible that your injury damaged your tendon and your attempt at rehab finished the job? It doesn't appear your doctor was on top of the situation. My injury was diagnosed properly and promptly.,

post #3323 of 11206

Hang in there buddy. It will get better, but very slowly.

post #3324 of 11206

Was yours a full or partial tear? I am four weeks post op. I have been in a demobilizer. Today I go into a Bledsoe brace. There has been no PT. The orttho surgeon would not hear of it. Was yours a partial or full tear? Mine was complete, at the bone. I have an appt today and hopefully the doc will set up PT. 

post #3325 of 11206

hello everyone,


   i am a fellow quadripper, 4 weeks tomorrow post op.  had staples taken out 2 weeks after surgery, no pt yet. have 3rd os visit on monday hoping he says i can start rehab. i am 39 yrs young. injury occured on 1/17/12. i was leaving a deli going back to work from lunch, it was a rainy day walking down ramp leaving store my leg left leg slipped and i tried to brace myself and pop i thought i dislocated my knee or patella injury..... went to ER and was diagnosed without mri by the ER director, and she was dead on. mri 3 days later revealed LQTR. one dead giveaway when diagnosing is dead leg( unable to raise straight leg). pretty active,  football, softball, raquetball. my job is no picnic either i am a cement mason ( high rises in NY) having early doubts about being able to continue this trade, been doing it for 17 years... am very interested in sharing and reading rehab progress of everyone.. also, have been in straight leg immobilizer since ER, but full weight bearing since injury. surgery was ruff dont wish it on anyone!!!!!!

post #3326 of 11206

my injury was a full rupture from bone, also been favoring right leg starting to feel a little discomfort in knee..... anyone else feeling any discomfort in other leg????

post #3327 of 11206

Yet another quadripper...  57 yrs young.

During one of the warmest and snowless winters here in Mass I managed to find a frozen ice puddle, slip and snap my left leg quad tendon.  I heard/felt the snap so while lying on the ground spouting about every swear I could think of, I knew I was out of service for months. 

Injury was 1/24 and had surgery 1/26/12.  Rough two days afterwards and got sick from the pain killers.  Now at 4 weeks.  I have a locked brace, ankle to crotch but at least the doc is letting put weight on it now so it is a little easier getting around. Back to the doc in a few days for post op visit and then to my first PT session.  Looking forward to any progress milestones.  I was very active and the brace is driving me crazy.  Spent lots of time reading the experiences of others on this tread.  Very inspiring!  I do notice the difference in the methods/timing of recovery/pt.  One thing I'm certain of - I don't want to risk re-tearing the repair.  That would be bad....

To answer JMKING72.  My other leg/knee is fine - no issues at all.     

post #3328 of 11206
February 25th 20 weeks post op..

The weather has been kind to us here in the Greater Toronto Area..very little snow and ice. With that said, the fear of falling and tearing my quad apart again is always on my mind.

Like most of us, we all share the same experiences. The dreadful innocent slip and fall, the sound of the tendon "popping" followed by the surgery and rehab. After 3 months of wearing that insane brace 24/7, I was set free only to have fear and anxiety heightened about slipping. I cursed that brace every day as it slipped down my leg. I got to using "duct" take to secure it from falling down. The Velcro strips lost their adhesive grip after a few weeks. I went through 2 full braces until I was set free on January 5th.

I go to physiotherapy every second day and 2 weeks ago my ROM was approaching 115. Last week I took a week off to sit in the sand and sun in the Dominican Republic. For the entire week I sat on a lounge chair and continually stretched my quad. The sun helped to warm my leg however I was still hesitant to venture into the ocean. The pool seemed a little to cold and it actually made my leg stiff.

This week when I went to rehab my ROM had increased to 135. My physiotherapist said that was remarkable but I was committed.

Now I have a clicking in my knee when I walk up stairs. I'm not experiencing any pain just the annoying click with every step. My PT taped the knee to try and reduce the clicking but it doesn't seem to have helped.

Has anyone else experienced this discomfort and if so, what was your remedy?

So, we all share the same misadventure and can relate to our fellow "quadrippers". I'm sure that total recovery will come sooner or later.

All the best
post #3329 of 11206

Is there any one out there from my fellow Quadrippers who is actually running or at least light jogging after 17 weeks or later after surgery. My surgery was 10/28/2011. I have been doing diligent rehabbing..stationary biking, eliptical machine, treadmill walking,, and pool training and now down to PT once a week. along with my upper body weigtlifting and PT stretching. I have full ROM 140 degrees.but cannot stride to run at all. Have walked as far as 1 1/2 mile but knee and quad still seem very tight not allowing a push off for light running. Pre surgery my surgeon said I should be able to light jog after 3 months...but I feel I am not close. I see him this week so I will surely question that. I have not seen anything from anyone on this site who was running or light jogging at 3 months....but maybe have missed something. Like most of us who are diligent rehabbers it becomes frustrating. Any feedback would be helpful !! 

post #3330 of 11206

Old Runner Guy,  Take a look at post #2747 on page 92.  Good luck...Ken

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