or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Fitness, Health, Nutrition, Injury, and Recovery › Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 13

post #361 of 10806
I worked from home for 2 weeks before venturing back to the office. I agree that when you return to work depends on the kind of work you do. I took a pillow to work to sit on as the edge of the chair was hard on the leg until I could bend the knee more. I was working on the flexion every day even while at work.

Re the concern of reinjuring the tendon. I suspect we all have this in the back of our minds. I know when I spoke with the OS regarding my concern, he said that there is almost no chance of tearing it again after he repaired it. He said that the bones will break long before the tendon tears again. but I still have it in the back of my mind that I don't want to repeat this injury.

cal, I hope that you (and everyone else) are recovering well. We wish you all the best for a speedy, pain free recovery.
post #362 of 10806
Thread Starter 

Re: Work

I was at my office after one week away. Had a kind of "semi-easy chair", though - with a footrest that could be used to lift up and rest the leg upon. They set me up with a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse set up on a platform attached to my chair. Only missed 6 days total of work, including the day of surgery.

Feels like I am at something of a plateau in my rehab right now - just got informed by my insurance co. that my PT benefits have run out for the year - which means I'll be doing a lot more on my own. A little frustrating to not progress as fast as I think I should. Did a short hike on Saturday, along with a 22 mile ride with my 12 year old. Then, did a 40 mile ride with my wife on Sunday (our 17th wedding anniversary), and I was trashed by the end of it - its hard work!! (whine, whine).

Take care all of you - Train: Nice to hear that things went ok for you.

post #363 of 10806

One week three days post surgery Bi-lateral QTR

First of all I am so glad I found this thread and thank you Idaho Guy for starting it. It is amazing the education on this injury that I've gained from just reading this thread and tracking your progresses. By this I will gauge my own progress and it is re-assuring that there is let at the end of the tunnel. I found the thread the day after surgery, took a few days going through the the pages and registering took a while cause I did not get an e-mail confirmation so today I changed it to my work e-mail and here I am.

Brief Bio:

52 year old male, retired NYC Detective presently working corporate security executive protection specialist for fortune 500 company. I have trained with weights since I was sixteen with the exception of three years in the military then just PT training. I have competed in bodybuilding, last show was Jr. USA 1990 came in 5th place. I continue to weight train 5 - 6 days a week and keep my body fat low with a 31" waist. 5'8" 184 lbs.

The Injury:

On Thursday May 29, 2008 after a long day of work and traffic, I went to the gym to train legs. I normally start with leg extensions but decided to warm up with hack squats, no big deal. 1st set one 45 lb. plate on each side - 2nd set two 45 lb. plates ea. side - 3rd set three 45 lb. plates ea. side - 4th set four 45 lb. plates ea. side. By now my legs were warmed up and no indication of any problem. I moved on to the leg press machine. the 1st set was with five 45 lb. plates on ea. side for 15 reps. - 2nd set with seven 45 lb. plates ea. side for 12 reps. - now the infamous 3rd set with nine 45 lb. plates on ea. side (920 lbs. total with sled weight) I went through five reps. and on my 6th rep. (I don't recall if it was on the way up or coming down) I heard a loud pop and I did not have any legs at that point. All I had was 910 lbs. coming down towards me. By the grace of God someone prior to me had the safety stop on and I did not remove it as I normally do. Even everyone who knows me said they were amazed that I left it on since I usually take it off because I like to come down deep. The leg press weight and platform came down so fast but eventually stopped. It really could have been worse in hind sight as all my legs could have been crushed and came down into my chest causing ribs to break and even puncturing lungs.

I managed to roll over to my right and crawl away from the machine. Needless to say I was in a lot of pain. At that moment I wanted to remove myself from the whole situation and did not want to believe what had happened. Both my knees felt weird like they were popped up and there was a large gap in my quads. My first thought was that I just dislocated the knees and all they had to do was pop them back into place but deep inside I knew it was worse. I was not able to walk. The guys at the gym were fantastic, they are all younger and lookup to me in that they can't believe how hard I train and look. They immediately brought bags of ice for the knees, sat me up on the floor and kept me comfortable until the police and ambulance arrived. They even provided a vicodin for the pain.

I was taken by ambulance to the hospital about 10 minutes from my house where my OS is affiliated. A few years back I had bone spurs removed from both of my elbows and have been pain free since. At the hospital following initial exam and x-rays I was diagnosed with bi-lateral QTR and needed surgery. Since both legs were involved I was admitted Thursday night and surgery was done by my OS who's expertise is sports injuries was done Saturday morning. Prior to the surgery I had immobilizer's placed on my legs and given morphine and percocets. I stayed in the hospital until Monday evening and was transported back home by ambulance. My wife had my boys bring down a bed into the living room where I am presently camped out. I knew that if I was brought upstairs, that would be it since I could not use the stairs. Fortunately my wife who was temping was released from her temp. job the day I was released from the hospital. The agency has called her for more work but told them to put it on hold until I can get around.

After the first day at home I have not taken any pain medication. Each day there is less pain to where I am not feeling any. My OS had said no weight bearing on the legs except to go from the bed to the wheel chair. He said that my legs need to be kapt straight locked for six weeks maybe four since I'm in shape. Well let's just say that I march to the beat of my own drum. On Sunday, one week one day post surgery I used the walker and walked out to my porch and around the perimeter of the house the to the corner and back without any pain. Of course I had the leg braces on in the locked position. Yesterday Monday, With the help of the walker and braces, I was able to walk into my downstairs bathroom, brush my teeth shave and put my walker in the shower and bath. A major milestone for me. I also began weight training with dumbbells while in bed and sitting on the wheel chair. I also walked around the block with my wife, braces, and walker but I carried the walker and used my own body weight. Of course the OS knows nothing of this but I don't feel that I am not hurting anything since I am not flexing the tendons. Well a little lie because I put 30 ROM on the leg braces. All I can say is that I do not have any swelling of the knees or pain in fact each day I feel I can do more. Today I already worked out at home, shoulders and triceps and took a shower, of course my wife is here to help. So that is where I'm at right now. I have my first follow-up OS appointment this Friday for staple removal and check up. I will let you guys and Gal know how it turned out. Sorry for the long winded post but I wanted to share my story as all of these are unique but with the same outcome QTR.
post #364 of 10806

Re: Work

I think that I was pretty lucky / fortunate when it came to missing work. My surgery was on a Thursday afternoon. I left work around lunch time to have the repair done (outpatient). I worked a little from home on the following day (Friday) and was back to work full time on Monday. It helps that I mostly work behind a desk. It also helped that I was pain free within 2 days of the surgery and was walking in with my brace locked at 0°.

I am currently 2 days shy of 8 weeks post op and I have started going up stairs as a "normal" person. Going down is a different story as I need to hold on to a rail or do one step at a time. My ROM is at about 130° and still progressing which is my top priority so I can return to my passion, whitewater canoeing. I need to be able to kneel and pretty much rest my butt on my heals while in my canoe. Anyway, for those of you that have had your repair recently, keep positive as it gets better every day that goes by.

post #365 of 10806

16 1/2 Weeks

NY Bodybuilder: Hey, that's some story! I also had BQTR and have worked out heavy with weights since I was 16. My doctor also told me no weight bearing for seven weks and I listened to him. He was the Doc and I knew nothing about this injury. I watched my leg muscles lose at least 40% of their size and turn to jelly. When I finally touched the ground, I was lika a 1 year old learning to walk. My legs went down so far that I have not been able to return to work yet. I've worked 27 years for the power company, doing high voltage switching in the field in underground electrical vaults of highrises, large electrical substations and other hard to get to places. At 12 weeks, we talked about me working on the computer all day on light duty so my salary wouldn't be dropped to 60%. I decided to stay off and continue to work hard at therapy, then 2 plus hours at the gym and then to come home and work my legs more instead of sitting at a desk all day. I plan to go back around week 20, which I don't think was the best decision financially, but in the long run it was the best for my legs.

Everybody has to do what's best for them and it's great you found this forum early. I forget the website, but there's a video of a guy doing very heavy free weight squats when he ruptured his tendon, and it's something to see. I'll try to find it again.

It gets a little better every day.

Tiger bait
post #366 of 10806
WyoPapa: My surgery was last Nov 12, so I am roughly 7 months post. I still feel the "band" or "tightness", and it is worse when I do not do enough exercising (and for my leg, I figuare 4-8 hours of heavy outdoor work is exercising), and I try to get to my club and pool as often as work/time/schedule allows. Yes, we have had rough weather. Sunday of Memorial weekend drove 20 mi south to some friends for dinner (they live on the St Croix river which is the MN/WI border). 6 mi south of the house in pouring rain heard on the radio of a tornado on the Chisago/Washington county line, I was one mile north. Wife says lets turn around, I said that is where it is moving (it was sunny to the south). get to friends and sit on their sunporch with a cocktail...soon I hear this loud noise in the north and I said, is that the "train" they always talk about in tornadoes? 1 minute later found out the noise...hail! No lie guys and Brenda, it was billiard ball size (took comparison picture). That was the noise coming down the river valley. Needless to say, I figuared my car was toast. Ended up $6200 damage. Now that isnt so bad, but on my 2nd day back to work Jan 3, I totalled the car...long story, but I hit a cement pillar in the parking ramp. Now that isnt so bad but I had already repaired 2 of the other corners of the car where guys had hit me...so 3 of 4 corners hit. So I had to get a new (used, I drive a caddy) car....so I have gotten lotsa s--t from folks...said i was going to get a donkey, they say ass! so for the long story!

NYBBuilder: Wow! I am impressed!! 31" waist! I am please with my 34"...cant imagine 31" anymore! Sorry for your injury...think you are 4th DQTR. you were lucky (ok, wrong word?) to have such quick surgery. Keep pluggin' !

Re reinjury: My OS also said unlikely the tendon would tear again. He said the sutures would rip out of the tendon before the tendon giving. OUCH!

IDG: Expect plateau's. I had them, you are what, 4 mo post? That was Feb for me and was when I was discouraged in progress and went back out on the web and found your site. You know it will get better!

Attitude and Effort! Not easy always, but try to keep it going! I think all of us are.

post #367 of 10806
chihibulldog: Seems if it wasn't for bad luck you wouldn't have any regarding your car. Thanks for your words of encouragement. It's good to hear there is very little chance for re-injury once the tendon has healed.

Tiger bait: That's exactly what I'm trying to avoid, muscle atrophy. I know some loss is expected but I want to minimize it while keeping my stabilizer muscles working. By reading what others have posted the opinion varies from OS to OS. Some seem more conservative than others. I just feel that with one week and three days post, I am not feeling any pain when I stand on my legs and have not had any swelling of the knees. As a matter of fact, today a friend of mine came to visit and I showed him my railroad track battle scars and he commented that my knees did not even look swollen. When the conservative line is drawn I believe there is a left and a right to it. I will continue my walks with the braces as long as I don't feel any pain and am not stretching the tendon.

What do you seasoned vets think on a little aggressive therapy?
post #368 of 10806
NYBodybuilder: Sorry to hear of your injury. In spite of the frustration with muscle atrophy my advice would be to do absolutely no active ROM or lower-body weight lifting exercises unless your OS approves of such. I have a buddy who knew of someone who had a QTR repair and started doing squats too soon and ended up re-tearing the tendon.
post #369 of 10806
Duncan_CalgaryAB: Thanks and I agree in regards with no active ROM or lower-body weight lifting exercises until the tendons are repaired. I just don't believe that if you are wearing the braces and locked that you can't put your weight on your feet if there is no pain. This puts weight on your stabilizer muscles and others that need to support the rehab process so why not keep them working a little. So far it hasn't been hurting me but I guess I'll find out this Friday when I see my OS for the first time. : I'll let you know and once again it's great to have found this forum full of advice and support.
post #370 of 10806
chihibulldog: Don't feel to bad about your car. A guy I work with has had several mishaps with his vehicles this past year. Glad you missed the tornadoe, but sorry for the hail damage. It is amazing how much damage a hail storm can do.

7 months post op and you still have tightness in the knee. I am 2 months post op and 2 weeks into PT. My knee is still very tight. ROM today was 72. Progress is slow, but steady. Will use the pool at PT for the first time this Friday.

Weather here in WY has been miserable the last few days. Very windy, cloudy and COLD for June. Getting down into the 30's at night and 50's during the day. Warm up expected by the week-end. Mountains still getting heavy snow, even in June. We need the moisture as we are 8 years into a drought.

Tiger Bait: My OS also told me no weight bearing for 7.5 weeks. Wanted to make sure the surgery healed good before getting me into PT. Knee is very stiff and tight, but loosens up during exercise. Go to PT 3 times a week and work the leg at home and at work. Still on crutches and brace which is set at 90. ROM is up to 72. Need to get it to 90 before I head back to see OS again for follow up visit at the end of June.

My leg also atrophyed (spelled wrong I'm sure) and lost muscle mass. Very weak and unstable when I had to lift it without the brace on. SCARY!!! My strength is coming back and muscles are rebuilding. Slow process, but am making progress. Hang in there!! I am learning, as I know the rest of you are, that this injury is severe and takes a heck of a long time to recover from.

NY Bodybuilder: I concur 100% with Duncan_CalgaryAB: Don't put any weight on that leg. Give it time to heal!!

post #371 of 10806

8 weeks post op tomorrow

Well sounds like everyone is else is doing good and we have some new faces. Things are going much more slowly than I would like with me, but I am making progress. ROM is stuck at about 85 degrees right now, when I had my CPM machine a few weeks back I was getting it to 95 after about an hour in the thing but felt like my knee was going to explode with the pressure. Swelling and putty like scare tissue is killing my ROM. This reminds a lot of my first knee surgery on my other knee back in 1998. I let a rookie OS do a cartilage/meniscus repair on a small tear that he should have just cut out. It took almost 4 months to get my ROM back with that surgery because he ended up cutting me open. Think I am just one of those people that my body overreacts and swells longer than normal. So just going to have to be patient and wait for this swelling go down.

Other than the ROM everything else is going good, strength in the quads is coming back good, walked 45 minutes on the treadmill today after work at 5% incline at 1.3 mph focusing on extension and firing the quads. Also found that walking around with a ankle weight on really helps with any extension lag issues, forces you to completely straighten your leg. Going try it out on the treadmill tomorrow.

NYBodybuilder: Take is slowly and remember your quad tendons are attached to your knee caps with just 3 or 4 strands of surgical thread. Give it time to heal and take it easy you do not want to push it and have complications and ruin your OSs work. 6 weeks will pass quickly and with the shape you are in strength and muscle will also come back very quickly.
post #372 of 10806

9 Weeks Post OP Today

A warm welcome to all those poor souls that have been stricken by this terrible injury. This forum is by far the best source of information and motivation for recovering from the dreaded QTR injury.

Personal update:

I saw the surgeon today and he stated that I am making good progress. He told me to pitch the brace and start walking on my own.

I returned to work at the 5 week recovery point, however I work from home, and because I am employed in the engineering profession, I can work from home comfortably with just a computer and a desk.

ROM is up to 115 degrees, 125 when PT "helps".

Overall I am making good progress. I still have the "tightness" that most complain about here. I find that if I continue to work on my exercises and use the pool therapy recommended by many in this forum, that the overall stiffness is kept to a minimum.:

A couple of issues that I would appreciate feedback on:

1. What's the best way to start the process of learning how to climb and descend stairs? I tried a few today, and boy was it scary. I'm sure that the weak quad muscle strength has something to do with it, but in general I'm just plain scared that I will end destroying the repair. (In general I'm always worried that I will re-rupture the repair):

2. How many here have had the unfortunate fortune of having the other QT rupture down the road, after the first one has recovered. Having talked to some local chaps that had this nasty adventure, as well as talking to the Dr. today, it seems that some men, those in their 40+ range, have a physical or genetic disposition towards having this injury occur in both knees do to some sort of embrittlement of the tendon itself. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a particular exercise or vitamin that might be helpful in warding off a duplicate rupture in the other knee.

3. Lastly, is it best in recovery to use a large amount of walking to help build back the muscle tone and ROM, or is it better to invest in a good recumbent bike and use that instead?

Thanks to all that post here. This is an awesome forum that I was very lucky to have found.

Good luck to all with their recovery. May you fully recover and forget that this ever happened to you.

post #373 of 10806

10 Weeks

I didn't make it to PT this week but I have been working the elliptical trainer at home for an average of one hour per day. Today I turned up the resistence to try to work the quad muscles a bit more. My ROM is still stuck at about 90 degrees. I tried to push it beyond 90 but it really hurts so I am going to ease off and hope that it will improve without going through the painful ROM techniques that ankhsign used.

DavidM: Good job on the ROM. I also was concerned about stairs but I specifically asked my OS about this at the 8.5 week mark and he said it is okay to go up and down stairs. Going up I really feel it in the knee but I think I am getting better with practice. I still can't really go down stairs normally. My injured leg tends to "buckle" just before planting the foot, so I end up doing a sort of hopping action. I also asked my OS about building the muscle back but he said generally the procedure is to get the ROM back first and then gradually get back into weight training to build the muscle. Regarding future QTR injury prevention I read somewhere that if the quads are weak relative to the hamstring muscles then injury is more likely. Unfortunately I think the corollory is also true, i.e. relatively stronger quads put the hamstrings in jeapordy. Prior to injury my right leg (the one I injured) was definitely weaker than the left leg. I wonder if left/right leg muscle imbalance has anything to do with the probability of injury.
post #374 of 10806
Thread Starter 

19 Weeks Out

Hi gang: I went mountain biking last night for the first time since the injury - wow, did I need to do that! Boise is absolutely beautiful this year, it has been cool and rainy for more than a month (normally we are in the 90s by now), so climbing above the city on the trails and loooking down was absolutely spectacular. Felt good, no damage, but I did take it easy while climbing steeper hills. My PT benefits with my insurance have been exceeded, so no more PT for Idaho Guy - can't afford it. I think I am at the point where I do it on my own anyway.

My knee buckling episodes are slowly resolving themselves as I build strength throughout the ROM of the knee. Am going to do a 35 mile charity bike ride w/my 12 year old and his cycling team tomorrow - looking forward to it!

NYBodyBuilder: Welcome and sorry. I'll echo the others that you shouldn't plan on lifting any time real soon, but I'll temper that advice by saying that I did push my rehab past what my OS desired, and I think it helped a lot with my recovery. It also set me back once. So . . . personal choice - just be careful.

David M: Re: Stairs. Stand at the bottom of a stair and do a step up, then try and lower yourself back off the step as slowly as possible. Do as many reps as you can. As far as going down, try the process in reverse, but start on something that is 1/2 or 1/3 as high as a typical step. I am not yet comfortable going down stairs without having something to hold onto - I'm told it will be a while before I can.

Re: Biking v. Walking - I am a cyclist, so am finding that cycling is helping me more. Walking seems to have some impact to it that irritates the knee - I am doing some hiking on local trails, but need to be careful going downhill. As far as a bike goes, again, personal choice, but I wouldn't buy a recumbent - I think a traditional frame can be used much more flexibly, and those recumbents have a really tough time going up hills.

Good work all. Hang in there.
post #375 of 10806
Duncan: I see you are having the same problem getting your ROM back as I am. How is the soft tissue swelling around your knee? My ROM is stuck at 85 and almost certain it is do to all the swelling around the knee and under the quad tendon (suprapatellar pouch). I have decided to cancel PT for the next few visits and just rest the knee for a good 4 days doing only easy passive range of motion to see if this helps. Honest I think I returned to work too early and have been pushing too hard and aggravating the swelling , so going to see if some rest helps.
post #376 of 10806

1 week 6 days post

Greetings to all. I had my first post surgery doctors appointment today. First let me say that I was worried on how I would be able to get in my wife's Hyundai Sonata. I did not know if it would be the front passenger seat or the rear with legs extended since both legs are in braces. Well I was able to get into the front passenger seat which made me happy. Wow, what a change to be outdoors and riding in a car. The weather was a beautiful 77 degrees clear skies. Boy the things we take for granted on a day to day basis. My OS saw me standing at the counter filling out forms and looked a little surprised when he asked if I was walking. I told him yes and showed him a few steps. The nurse removed the staples today, yay. My OS although concerned at first that I was walking said that I could continue to walk with the braces locked at o. After telling him about this forum and different thoughts and rates of recovery he said that when I come to see him in two weeks we can re-visit starting PT at that time but will not start me on ROM until the sixth week. He then told me that he feels I will recover at a faster pace. Boy I sure hope so. By reading on this forum and other online sources I learned that the surgery may have involved drilling holes into the patella. I asked my OS if that was what he did and he said yes. He drilled holes and used metal anchors then he heavily stitched across the tendons. He really expressed heavy stitching, is that good? I don't know but it sounded like he didn't want them going anywhere. After lunch today I took a walk with my wife wearing the braces but no walker. We wound up walking to my son's high school and back approx. 1 mile total. My knees felt fine but my upper buttocks muscles were hurting because of the Frankenstein walking. LOL!

WyoPapa: Thanks for the advice, I hope your knee loosens enough so that you can do a rain dance to end your drought situation.

in2falling: Yeah, I know 6 weeks will go by fast, I can't believe it will be two weeks tomorrow post surgery. It's tough for me to just stay idle but I know it's for my own good. Hang in there I'm sure the swelling will go down and you'll get back that ROM before you know it.

DavidM: Wow that's great you were able to ditch the braces. How long has it been since post surgery? I'd like to gauge progress. Your ROM sounds great but I'm not sure how long it took you to get there. I could probably look back at your posts but I'm to lazy right now. LOL!

Duncan_CalgaryAB: Great initiative to continue your focus and determination even though you weren't able to go to PT. Keep it going.

Idaho Guy: Thanks for the warm welcome and for starting this amazing and informative thread. I love to read posts like yours that talk about us doing the things we used to. It's highly inspirational so keep on biking and posting so we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. BTW, since your PT benefits ran out maybe you can join a gym if you don't already belong to one and use the machines, just don't go heavy like I did. Lol!
post #377 of 10806


in2falling: The swelling doesn't look that bad to me but I'm not sure what a normal un-swollen knee would look like at 10 weeks post surgery so it's hard to say. I have neglected to ice and elevate the leg for the past six weeks though, so maybe I will try icing the leg after exercise in the next few days to see if this makes a difference. I also find that the knee tends to ache if it is bent at more than about 70 degrees for more than a few minutes; sitting on the bus for example. Hopefully that will go away eventually as well.

NYBodyBuilder: I know what you mean about straining the glutes. I was allowed to bear weight on my leg right after surgery and I suffered a minor glute pull after hobbling around too much. Luckily it healed in a few days.
post #378 of 10806

9 Weeks 2 Days Post OP


I was at about the seven week mark when I started removing the brace and walking around the house. At the nine week mark my OS told me to ditch the brace, although honestly by then I had anyway, at about the eight week mark. (That decision was based on how I felt, PLUS what I had read in other posts in this forum)

Here's some info based on my recovery that might be helpful as a gauge for progress:

I also live in NY state, specifically in Orange County. When injured my knee, my wife took me to Westchester Med. Center where my OS practices, instead of a local hospital in the county. That was probably a good move, as this tends to be somewhat of a rare injury.

My OS had my locked in the brace for just a little over three weeks, at which point I was allowed to begin passive bending at home. I believe that these passive bending exercises that I was given were key to getting the ROM back.

At the 4+ week mark I started PT. I interviewed the PT choices that I had, and I even rejected my first choice based on a lack of experience on the part of the PT with rehabbing QTR cases. I went on to find an excellent PT that has experience handling QTR cases.

At my most recent OS visit, my PT script was changed. I am now allowed to start the strengthening portion of the PT protocol, and that will go a long ways towards getting me whole again. It it is a slow go though. (stairs are scary right now - suggestion by Idaho Guy is proving to be helpful though)

For me it was this so time line thus far - two weeks, staples removed, three weeks - start passive bending, four weeks - start PT with mainly flexing and ROM therapy, seven weeks - start chucking the brace, eight weeks - chuck the brace, nine weeks - chuck the brace officially and start strengthening PT

Hope this helps

Thanks to all that post here.

Good luck to all with their recovery. May you fully recover and forget that this ever happened to you.

post #379 of 10806
Duncan_CalgaryAB: That's good to know that I'm not the only one with the pain in the a**. LOL!

DavidM: Thanks for the in depth reply, it is much appreciated as well as all the information on this thread. I know my progress will more than likely be different since both legs are involved but it is good to have a point of reference.

post #380 of 10806

9 days post surgery

Hi all,

First, I'm trying to follow all the posts from the beginning to keep track of everyone. However, due to my computer crashing (often) and not being able to sit that long (I don't have a laptop), it is taking awhile.

However, I want to fill everyone in on my recovery so far.

First, thanks Idaho Guy for starting this forum. This is not a group one wants to be in, but here we are and quite a great group of people too! I am guessing that most of us here are very independent and like to do things when we want to do them and always on the go, and don't like to ask for help, stubborn, etc. However, I guess some of those traits will help us on our recovery if we don't do anything silly!

I didn't know I was the first female on the group. I'll try to put in some things from my perspective that you may want to share with wives, girlfriends, caregivers, friends, etc., that are female.

I had a friend call up from the blue from out of state saying he would be town next week. He had no idea of my injury, so I filled him in. He said he called before, but the person sounded like an old lady. I guess people 2 days past surgery on drugs don't quite sound like themselves. Then he said "Well, you will have lots of time to catch up on reading, etc." He sometimes puts his foot in his mouth. This is no freaking picnic! I wouldn't wish this injury on anybody. It is a chore just to dress, get to the bathroom upstairs, personal hygiene, get situated with the pillows just right on the couch, etc. I haven't cracked one book since this injury. I've been dealing with pain control, everyday issues, and my attention span is limited to newspapers and magazines.

Some of you were concerned about me living by myself in a two-story condo with only one bathroom upstairs. Well, that is forced therapy my friends! Since I got home from surgery, I found the short crutches that the ER gave me because they didn't have normal size crutches, are my "stair crutches". I also have a normal pair of crutches.

Since day one, I use one stair crutch (it is about 2 inches shorter under the arm then the regular crutch, but the hand grip is in the same place). I use one stair crutch in my right hand and use the metal stair rail grip with the left hand. The stairs are fully carpeted. I turn on the light above the stairs and those first few days, I gripped for dear life on that hand rail (my hand grips almost all the way around it), and would take deep breaths as I went up each stair (like in weight lifting), using most of my arm strength to push up. It was slow going up and down.

I'm faster up the stairs, but I'm not going for speed. Every time I get up, during the middle of the night, I make my way up the stairs and use the bathroom. So far, no accidents.

Men, there is another thing you all didn't have to worry about. My period thankfully started 4 days after surgery. If it had started sooner, I don't think I could take it. This now gave me 3 different reasons to head up to the bathroom. I won't get graphic, but this is a fact of life. The worst is going up there, taking care of business, then you just get downstairs and a few minutes later, another job to take care of upstairs. Forced therapy! I guess it is good.

I must be up every few hours. I sit for a while at the computer, straight leg up on chair, then down, then sometimes standing, then time for the couch., then walking around on crutches, then walking without crutches.

I have a way of getting on the couch. I stand so my good leg is next to the couch, then I lift the bad leg behind me (those muscles behind the leg are good and work), then I roll it over, get the good leg back on the floor to adjust my position, then put pillow behind me, then put a pillow on the coffee table for my good leg (this is so I can see the TV), then I put the bad leg on a pillow using my arms to lift up on a strap, unstrap the leg cast, and let the leg air out as I watch TV and/or listen to radio. I'm afraid to take a nap or sleep with the cast off, so I put it back on loosely if I'm going to sleep. Sometimes, just before I sleep, my legs will jerk around, so I don't want the bad leg to fall on the floor unsupported.

Two days after surgery, I thought I could try to go to a restaurant for dinner with my Dad. It was banjo night. Hey, anything to get out. However, that was very slow going to get my bad leg in and out of the car, and even sitting with the bad leg up in a booth, it was hard.

June 13 - I stopped taking pain meds at noon. I figured I would take the chance. I'm not taking anything now, but I guess I could take Tylenol for relief of any swelling. I was told I could take Tylenol, but not when I was taking the Vicodin

I can get around with one crutch inside the house. Some places, like the bathroom and kitchen, I don't need the crutch, because it is so small in those places, I can hold on to the countertop, etc, with both hands if I have to.

I was able to wash a load of clothes yesterday. The laundry room is in the back of the condo building. I put my clothes in a tall rubbermaid hamper, then set it outside the door on a small dolly. I use one crutch in one arm, and use the other arm to slowly roll the dolly with the clothes to the laundry room. It was slow going, but it worked. I get the clothes back up the stairs by putting the stair crutch inside the hamper, then using the hamper like a walker, go up one step at a time.

Crutches - I sometimes use the end of my crutch to shut off a light switch or other switches. I call it "economy of movement". If I'm not feeling like walking a lot, it comes in handy.

I tried to get in my old car today. It won't work. The bad leg is on the outside. I tried it once before surgery while in my brace, but after surgery is a different story. So, I'm stuck. I'm going to attempt to get in Dad's car today, which should be easier. Once the leg is in, then I can easily lift my good leg in and shut the car door.

Not feeling any pain today. If I move just right, I could, so I'm very careful.
Many years ago I had my impacted wisdom teeth removed by local anesthetic. My sister was knocked out with general. My dentist said they can tell what patient can tolerate certain procedures. Back then, I didn't feel pain, but I held my jaw while the dentist cracked the tooth to remove it in pieces. That is how they do it, they have to cut the gum, then use a chisel and hammer, break the tooth in pieces, then remove it. I had already read about the procedure as I was studying dental hygiene at the time. After that procedure, it was so traumatic to my body that I skipped a period!

I would not want to be awake for this quad repair!

Oh, the day after my surgery, my sister had an out patient surgical procedure in the hospital (a cervical biopsy/ cold cone). I was planning to help her, and then this happened to me. Her husband helped her, but he moved out in January and I don't think he was as helpful as he could have been. He left her alone to take care of his important roller hockey stuff. She was planning to have a pity party for the weekend in hopes her husband would come back I guess. Good news - clear margin, so they got out all the pre-cancerous cells. She will have to go in for regular Paps about 3-4 times a year.

I've been living on my own since about 4 days after surgery. Dad comes by with anything I might need. I gave him a small grocery list and he did alright.

How do you guys get in the shower? I have ordered a bench that stays half in the tub and half outside the tub, so one can slide in. It costs about $100, but I got $20 off. I figure the money is worth it to stay safe. I have a hand held sprayer, so when I get that bench in the mail, I'm going to see if it will work. I can turn on the sprayer, adjust the temp, put it near the bench, then leave my leg in the brace on the bench sticking out, and use the hand held spray for a quick shower. It is easier to wash my hair in the kitchen sink with the hand sprayer that is attached to a hose. I would never attempt to get in that bathtub without that brace on as I know my leg would collapse and I don't need more injuries. The No Rinse body soap has been working great in the meantime.

My 11 year old nephew visited yesterday, he is out of 6th grade. We watched Queen videos and then I played him some songs on my piano. That kid has 2 guitars but no lessons. He needs basic music theory and guitar lessons. It is enjoyable to play. I have a 100 year old upright player without the player mechanism. I just had it tuned on February. I learned to play when I was 10. I have some new sheet music so I guess I could start learning some new pieces. I have exact transcriptions of Liberace's versions of "Beer Barrel Polka", "Boogie Woogie", "Chopsticks", and "12th Street Rag". I like ragtime a lot.

Anyway, I guess I'm making progress, but it is so slow. If I look back to a week ago, yes I have made progress.

Did anyone get sleepy from the drugs for pain? I think I became more tired when not taking the Vicodin. I don't notice any other reaction, except now I don't have a dry mouth. I almost had a mini meltdown this morning. I think it is cabin fever.

Also, the little things, I tried to give a small package to my mail carrier yesterday, I had a return on some clothing. It was pre-paid ready to go. He said since "9/11" they can't take packages back to the post office. Crap, I'm jacked up and I told him I couldn't drive. Was he giving me crap? By the time Dad gets here, the post office will be closed, so I guess I can't get my package returned until Monday. I attempted to get in my car this morning to get it to the post office, but I realized I couldn't do it. Which frustrated me and made me cry a bit. I'm done with the pity party now.

My Dad has been helping me because my Mom died from a rare cancer in December 1997. There was nothing they could do and it was Stage 4 when they found it. My family is close from that. About 2 years later, my Dad married a woman 10 years older than him. That was a disaster. Even though they had their own houses and trusts, that evil woman was trying to get whatever money she could from Dad and get him to sell his house. I'll make this short, after 4 years, then Dad had to have hip replacement and while in the hospital for rehab, had time to think about his situation. With the help of my sister and brother-in-law, we were able to tell him we could get him out of his bad situation if he wanted to. She took his money out of his savings and he only had $300. I hired my divorce attorney who by now costs a lot more than when I hired him. I loaned my Dad the money to get divorced. He moved in with my sister after rehab and lived there for a few years.

In the meantime, this is why being layed up is to hard for me, see I was helping with the yard work (wearing a N95 dust mask to prevent sinus problems) at my Dad's house and trying to prep for painting the inside. I was doing the mowing, clipping, hauling the clippings away, edging, weeding, watering, etc. Dad isn't able to stoop and bend so I was doing his yard work. I also hired roofers and supervised him getting a new roof just a few months ago. I also hired tree trimmers to remove some trees in his yard (thanks to the neighbor filling a small claims lawsuit).

I had to paint all the new exposed wood myself with primer and that took a few weeks, before the city did the final inspection (it passed).

Anyway, now I can't do Dad's yard and I'm afraid the neighbor will complain to the city if he thinks the grass is too long. I told Dad he is going to have to at least mow. No, he doesn't have the money to hire someone. He owes me a lot right now, but he is on a fixed income.

My sister is leaving for a one-week vacation starting this Sunday so now she wants Dad to go to her house and get the mail and feed the dog. Doesn't Dad have enough to do with helping me? She could have just notified the post office to hold her mail. However, she could not have a neighbor feed the dog as I wouldn't trust the dog around anyone but family members she knows on a regular basis. I told Dad to just live at my sister's house for the week and it will be a lot easier.

Ok, I'll stop now. I look forward to hearing about everyone's progress. I can't wait until I get one of those knee braces that can be adjusted. Will I need some of my pills for after therapy? I know it will be a struggle, but I will do it. If I can just get my knee to bend a bit so I can drive to work, even just a few days a week, that would make me happy.

Thankfully, I have a desk job, but cannot work from home because of all the confidential databases I work from. Plus, I was just a month in training at my new job and I need help from my trainer! Thankfully, my new job was a promotion, so I'm a long-term employee of the same place. I have enough sick time to get through this, but the sooner I can go back, the better.
post #381 of 10806
CQP: Re:showering, you can buy plastic leg covers that work reasonably well. They are like a big plastic sock that you put over the leg (and brace) and there is a rubber elastic that you tighten at the top. I found this worked well for me, although I had a zimmer splint which might be a different brace than you are using. I also had to add some towels at the top of the splint to absorb the small amount of water that made it through the top. I bought mine at one of those "Home Care" stores specializing in handicap stuff. Good luck with your recovery. It sounds like you are doing very well under tough circumstances.
post #382 of 10806
Hello Everyone:

Had my 7th PT visit this past Friday. Got to use the pool for the first time and I liked it. Was able to walk in the pool due to the bouyancy of the water taking some weight off the leg. I have been able to tell from the expression on my PT's face that he is concerned I have not been making as much progress with the ROM as he would like. My first visit the ROM was 50, my last visit prior to this one it was 72. I knew that sooner or later he was going to start pushing and forcing the knee to increase the ROM. Well, Friday was the day I had been dreading. After the session in the pool he had me lay down on the table and bend my knee. It is still very stiff. He then grabbed my ankle and after I had bent the knee as far as I could he pushed on it and forced me to bend it further. He held it in place for about 30 seconds and then released it, let me rest for a few seconds and then we did it again. Repeated this about 6 times. Afterwards he measured the ROM and it was up to 85. Yes, it was quite painful, but necessary to get me to stretch it out. I know he wants me to get to 90 before I go back to see the OS at the end of June.

The strength in the leg is coming back pretty fast. My Pt told me to get rid of one crutch. I am actually able to walk with no crutches for short distances in the house with the brace on. This is forcing me to put more and more weight on the bad leg and build the strength back.

CaliforniaQuadPop: We have a bathtub with glass shower doors and a removable hand held sprayer. My wife bought me a plastic shower chair which is now a semi -permanent feature inside the tub. I am able to swing my bad leg into the tub, sit on the chair and swing my good leg in. I can then stand up, remove the brace and shower. Somtimes I sit on the chair, sometimes I just stand. After drying off I open the shower door and grab the brace, stand up and put it on, sit down and swing my good leg out and then stand up and swing my bad leg out. It actually works really well.

Almost 10 weeks post surgery. Can now drive and carry things around the house since I am now down to using one crutch. This brace is going to get hot now that the weather is starting to heat up. Getting frustrated with the darn thing and can't wait till I can get rid of it. Seems like I am constantly having to tighten it up as it works loose as I walk. Still have a swollen knee and don't know when that will go away. Maybe when I can ditch the brace, that will help.

DavidM: Congratulations on getting your ROM up to 115. I wonder if I will ever get mine to that point as stiff as the knee is. I know I will, I'll just keep working at it, but it may be a way down the road.

NYBodybuilder: I think our wet weather has come to an end and will probably need to do that rain dance. We tend to have wet springs around here and then it drys out in mid June and heats up. We probably won't get anymore rain now till September.
post #383 of 10806
Hi Gang!

What am I now? Roughly 7 mo 1 week post. Still feel certain stiffness, exercise helps, glucosamine/chondroitin also seems to help. I asked my OS about gluc/chond on my last visit to him (last Feb) and he really went off...did the biochemistry/metabolism of it and said it could not possibly help and the vendors are ripping off people to the amount of billions $$$ per year (more Canadian ! ). I have a minor in biochem from my MS degree so I followed him and it makes sense. However, I feel a difference with it, whether real or placebo. Have any of you read the gluc/chond thread?

DavidM: I also recommend the "stair stepping" exercise Anksign and I discussed earlier. Stand on a stair (or dictionary if stiar is too much) with your injured (prefer injured to bad) knee and slowly dip your other foot to the ground.

NYBB: my OS told me on my first post-visit to him that my sutures would never pull out, the tendon would go first. He said when he first was introduced to them he told the salesperson he could break them but ended up cutting his hands trying!

IDG: I probably had 16 visits to my first PT before she released me. I was at about 128 ROM but still lacking strength so a matter of continuing my exercises on my own, she recommended to continue 2 more months on exercises. I then got a script for therapy pool and started that with 2nd PT. That mostly helped to get me to realize I could "run thru" the hitch I had, and I learned that in the pool.

CQP: I had the same reaction to reading. I had my books all ready prior to surgery but found me mostly reading the paper and magazines...and lots of Gunsmoke! I went out to dinner 12 days post...scooted my butt in the back of my car. wife drove, Mom (92 yrs) along in the front...had to sit sideways in the booth...difficult and uncomfortable but good to be out. I was lucky on the shower as a year before we remodeled and took out our tub/shower combo and had a walk-in...although getting over the 4 in ridge was even tough at first. The first time I showered, I almost passed out. I would take off my brace and the elastic wrap underneath (boy did tha tfeel good to get off!) and put saran wrap around my leg covering the sutures. I was on percocet M-Sat. I could take them every 4 hours, found they lasted a little less than 3 hours. Had to get up frequently to ease pain of lying with a stiff leg.

We all have the right attitudes, and there are low points and plateaus a many! But things improve. I always did what I was told by OS/PT and a little more. Sinrider taught me I could push harder. And like CQP mentions, I too beleive we all are a little on the stubborn side which serves us well in rehab.

Best to All! Keep pluggin!

post #384 of 10806

4 weeks and 4 days Post Op

hello everyone, hope everyone is doing well...went to OS today first visit since I've been home from rehab hospital...OS gave me scrip for PT...and said my scars looked good had been using vitamin E on them. said I was stronger and that 2 weeks in rehab had helped..also today was first time I went out by myself...had been walking up the block and back about 10 times everyday. but this was the first time I crossed the street...took cab to OS and back...felt good to be out on my own again...while in rehab the occupational therapist who worked with my ordered me a walker which I used today and everyday when I do my walking and a seat you put over toilet and a shower chair. OS said I could take brace off while sitting and sleeping but must be worn while walking...also told me we will talk about going back to work at my next visit on july 21. well thats my update just need to find a PT..will call on tuesday..well class take care and keep getting back to normal

post #385 of 10806
chihibulldog: That's good to know, I hope my OS had the same salesperson. LOL! I have taken glucosamine/chondroitin in the past but I can't say it really helped ease the pain, however research has shown you need to be taking it for over one month before it really has any effect. Hey if you feel that it is helping then why not.

train buff: Great to here you're getting around better, keep up the good work. Obviously you want a PT with QTR experience. Good luck.

Hang in there everyone and may we all reach our final destination, full recovery.
post #386 of 10806
Thread Starter 

Almost 20 Weeks Out

Hello all: Headed to the OS on Friday for what (hopefully) will be my final visit before ski season. I don't know about all of you, but even with insurance, this injury has killed my finances this year - I'm looking forward to not paying medical bills for awhile.

Did a 70 mile ride on mostly flat roads on Saturday - ended up doing a 35 mile charity ride with my 12 year old's cycling team, and then felt so good, that I rode home from the finish. It was great! I actually had good legs at the end of the ride - now I'm looking at a 100 miler in early August. Also have been mountain biking more and up steeper hills. It is definitely helping the leg to push harder and more, and is helping my fitness and weight loss as well. Feels good to be at least partially back.

I still have trouble going down stairs - I wouldn't want to without a hand rail, or something to hold onto. I'm now ready to redouble my efforts on the weights at the gym, and hopefully be fully ready for ski season when it comes.

It is great to read of all of your respective progress! If I ever need a "pick-me-up", I just come to read one of your posts, and I feel better knowing somebody is out there with a good attitude. Take care all!

post #387 of 10806
IDG: Yes! Insurance hurt!!! (not as much as QTR! ) With my surgery last Nov 12, hit my max in December and then had to start over in January so like a double negative dip! Be careful on how you grow in your weight lifting...I went hard and found incremental increases better, incremental increases but frequent increases in weights. The need to improve is difficult to mentally control, but big jumps in weights did not seem to be the answer. I do stairs well, but going down is still much more difficult than up. In fact, I have a group of customers in this week for training at corp HQ. We were going on a tour of our research facility and so on a big bus and I realized I forgot my billfold (for group lunch), so had to go back into the HQ, down a flight of stairs and back up...I ran. And I did 2 stairs at a time running back up...fun to be able to do that again!

post #388 of 10806

12 days post surgery, staples out, PT starts tomorrow!

Went to ortho doctor's office today. I layed down on the table and didn't want to see those staples in my leg or watch them being removed and I told the nurse. She had been in a car accident a while ago and had her knee ripped open by the steering wheel, so she knows what we go through!
She cut off the dressing and then I was on that table waiting for almost an hour for the doctor, then everyone comes in at the same time! The doctor told the nurse it was ok to remove the staples, then he calls in the therapist (therapy is right next door) and introduces me to the therapist as he is writing up my PT Rx. The nurse is taking the staples out, it hurt a little. I think I had 12 staples, so the cut is not as long as I thought it was. She put dressing over it and told me to keep it there until the end of the week. So, I'm not looking at the scar yet. I can look at other peoples injuries, surgery photos, but not my own.

Why won't the doctor's office fax my note to my employer? They gave me my note putting me out for 4 more weeks and I asked if they could fax it for me, but they said their policy is to not fax out information. Therefore, creating yet another trip for Dad and I to a UPS/Mailbox outlet and a $1.50 to fax the one-page note to my boss.

The doctor put his hand on my leg where the scar is and that is when I realized I have some numbness up on my leg there. I asked how long it would take for that to go away. The therapist said the the numbness should reduce to the size of a dime eventually. I guess the doctor was happy with the healing. He is a man of few words. I didn't get to use my joke on him. I'm going to ask the therapist when I can start skydiving.
(and then tell him I have never skydived and have no desire to). Don't you think this kind of injury would happen often with those skydivers? One bad landing and pop!

I had surgery only once, basically a 4 inch C-section cut to remove a uterine fibroid (that is called a myomectomy and tell your female friends to do research as hysterectomy does not have to be the solution to a problem fibroid(s)). That was 4 years ago, and I still have numbness about an inch above the cut. It doesn't bother me, but I guess that is the way it will always be. However, not a bad trade off for a better quality of life and not having pressure on bladder constantly, among other symptoms. For that scar, I bought Vitamin E oil at Trader Joe's and would put a little on the scar after a shower (after the cut healed). That scar is barely visible now, and staples were also used to close that cut. So, as soon as the little holes from the staples heal in my knee cut, I'll be using that Vitamin E oil. It can't hurt and it doesn't cost much. I already have some.

The PT told me to come down the hall and schedule my therapy, then he told me he wanted me to go home and roll up a towel under my leg so it was bent at 30 degrees while it was on the couch/bed and then push down toward the towel for a count of 10, rest, repeat. Well, when I came home I took a Tylenol (more for swelling than pain). I then got on the couch and put in a movie for my Dad and I to watch and for about an hour I sat there and slowly did that exercise.

I go to therapy at 2pm tomorrow. I will find out more like how much therapy my insurance covers. Oh, the doctor put me out for 4 weeks and then I see him again.

Can anyone transcribe this therapy Rx? I'm going to copy what is on here:

3 times a week for 4 weeks
modelities (?) 0-40 2 weeks
*Neuro need to Quad - active extension 60 3 weeks
Belum(?) 90 by 4 weeks

***end of Rx**

Well, all I can read of that Rx is by the end of 4 weeks they want me to have a ROM of 90.

I guess they are pretty aggressive with the therapy! I was injured 5/28/08 so I haven't had this straight brace on for long. I can walk around the house without crutches and put weight on the leg since I was injured and since surgery and go up and down my stairs without a crutch now (yes, I do hold on to the hand rail and go slow and with the brace on).

I'll have to ask if I will get a hinged brace. Doesn't make sense to keep this straight brace on if they want me to get this knee stretched out to 90 rom in 4 weeks! As I say, I'll find out more tomorrow.

This 4 weeks pretty much eats up most of the rest of my sick time. I think after that, I only have 40 hours left. So, I'm hoping the doctor will let me go back to work and then I can schedule my therapy at the end of the day for three times a week.

Did I mention my other goal? I have my 30-year high school reunion coming up on Sat., July 26! My friend, who is a veterinarian, also alumni, is coming out from San Jose and we are going together. The event is just a few miles from my house. I already bought my dress, shoes, and everything 2 months before this accident. Thankfully, the shoes are flat, and the dress is long, which will cover up the brace nicely. My friend has been through many surgeries and procedures for a variety of things so he is aware of my condition but I told him since this happened, we are going no matter what! And we are taking photos. He went with me to the 10th reunion and I wish we had taken the professional photos back then.

I also have on Sat, July 20, a Dark Shadows convention to go to in Burbank. It is the 40th anniversary of Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins and he will be at the event (banquet and we all get an autographed photo)--he is in his 80's. Expect to hear more about that as Johnny Depp is a fan and has the rights to do a Dark Shadows movie playing Barnabas and the latest newsletter says it is very likely that Tim Burton will be involved in that movie.

Man, it is hot out here, like in the 90s this week.

I know I'm going to push the best I can with my therapy. I'm at a really good facility and the therapist is highly qualified so I feed good about that.

NYBodyBuilder - that is quite a story about your accident and we all look forward to hearing about your progress.

Everyone - look forward to hearing about your progress. This is quite a group here, very positive and determined people. Does anyone wonder why it happened? Are we supposed to learn something? Was this to force us to slow down? I was already spending time with my Dad and helping him out, now we are spending lots of time together.

For some reason, I can't just sit and read much, I feel I have to be active and so I do as much housework and cleaning as I can, in addition to mandatory stair walking several times a day.

Good wishes to everyone and keep a positive attitude
post #389 of 10806

2 weeks 4 days post

Hello everyone: I just wanted to report two personal best that happened yesterday. First I was able to get off my bed without my wife holding on my ankles and lowering me. I lowered my legs without braces and used the walker to prop myself up. I am also able to get back on it by myself. I also tried to lift my legs from the lying down position and I was able to bring them both straight up with much difficulty. I am also walking around the house without the walker but being extremely careful. I am able to work out standing up on my own. Now am I being overly excited or should I be able to do this by now?
post #390 of 10806

QTR Repair

Hi All:

A question I think I posed earlier, has anyone besides CAQuadPop and I undergone the tendon to tendon repair? I think most if not all of you had the patella holes drilled for your repair. I think we two are the "luckier" ones in that regard.

Keep Pluggin'!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Fitness, Health, Nutrition, Injury, and Recovery › Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab