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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 137

post #4081 of 10802
Will Run Again:

I am so sorry to hear of your setback. I wish you a speedy recovery. I can only imagine how frustrating this must be.
post #4082 of 10802

Hi Dan

I am so sorry to hear about your reinjure

Please remind when you had your injury


post #4083 of 10802

Date of Injury: November 24, 2011

Date of Surgery: December 1, 2011


It has been one year to the day since my injury. I suffered a complete tear of the right quadricep tendon on Thanksgiving Day 2011 playing football in our backyard. I also tore the muscles on either side of the knee, one completely (left) and the other partially. I continue to follow folks' progress here and provide occasional updates on my own. This forum is the only source I've found for firsthand experience with this terrible injury.


When I look back on the last year I am amazed at how far I've come, but I'm also reminded often of how far I have to go. Functionally, I would say I'm 100%. The right leg is still not as strong as the left though. Most days, walking is comfortable and easy, but I am reminded of my injury every step I take. I continue to work out with a trainer a couple days a week and then find time on my own to do additional work. There have been times where I have overdone it. When that happens, walking becomes much harder and I have to give myself a bit of a break for a week. I would say that strength-wise, I'm probably at 95% on the right leg. That last 5% comes grindingly slow. The first 80% came pretty quickly. The good news is that I am at 100% on ROM, which for me is around 135 - 140 degrees.


I do wonder when it will happen that I get through a day never having thought of the injury. It hasn't happened yet. I suspect that won't happen until I reach the point where I don't feel a difference between the two legs when walking or moving about. Who knows, perhaps that day will never come. I can live with that.


For those of you that are earlier in this process, the best advice I have for you is to keep pushing yourself, while staying smart and safe. I know that it can be tempting to focus first on rebuilding strength when you see your shrunken quads, but my advice is to first focus on regaining range of motion. For me, the stretching exercises were never painful, but they were uncomfortable. As I described it to people, I told them to imagine the most intense stretching that they could ever do. That was what it was like for me. ROM was always a greater limitation to me than strength. Once I regained decent ROM, I was able to start working on rebuilding strength. I was also able to start driving again, which was powerful motivation for me. I am tall, so until I got to 90 degrees ROM, I was unable to get into the front seat of my car. I am now able to kneel on my right knee and get up and down from the ground without much effort. I am a photographer, so being able to kneel on that leg was an important step for me.


I wish you all the best in your recovery from this brutal injury.

post #4084 of 10802

45 year old, (formerly) active male..ice skating, cycling etc.

May 26Th full rupture of left quad tendon

June 3rd surgical repair

Current ROM 98 degrees


Even though i had been signed off by my surgeon 2 months ago, i requested a follow up appointment with him which i had yesterday as i have been stuck at the same ROM for more than 2 months now, and was hoping to be offered a surgical procedure to remove scar tissue and have a manipulation as in the case of quadtendon 159, but when i saw him yesterday he said he could do the manipulation but also said that opening up to remove scar tissue would create more scar tissue, so therefore won't do it, To say the least I'm not happy at all, actually I'm extremely pissed off, my surgeon really doesn't seem to care if I'm stuck like this for the rest of my life and i seriously have to question his medical ethics.

Again all he did was to have my knee X-rayed and told me that i should push it harder, even though I've told him I've been pushing it as hard as i can, i mean what the hell does it take?!, i even asked about an MRI, which he said could be done yet I'm not getting one. I told him about this forum and the progress some of you guys in the US are getting, along with treatment quadtendon 159 had and he said "do you know his name?, I'd be happy to refer you to him", i don't think he grasped the concept that i was talking about surgeons in the US (even though i had clearly stated it) so now I'm going to see my doctor on Monday to request he find someone to give me a second opinion as this is just not acceptable at all.......Bloody NHS.....CRAP!!!


Rant over, will run again, I'm sorry to hear about your setback and wish you a speedy recovery


All the best guys....Steve


PS if anybody does know of a good orthopedic surgeon in the UK, I'd love to hear about them

post #4085 of 10802
Originally Posted by Estearn View Post

Oldbumper - I hear you loud and clear, especially your comments regarding eccentric loads happening later in the recovery.  My PT has said the same thing, but its in the future for me.  I too would be grateful to hear how quickly / easily others have returned to the slops.  I've written off 2013, but am hoping 2014 will be business as usual. 


ALSO, heading back to work tomorrow for the first time - Mdciggy, NYyankee, Boston - how have your returns to the office been going?  Hopefully well!  Cheers,

Estearn and group, I am at 6 weeks post-op and doing better than I thought I would be.  I have over a 110 degree range of motion, going from 60 degrees at week 4 and increasing it by 5 to 10 degrees every PT session (3 times a week).  My brace was opened to 90 degrees at 5 weeks and that has helped my strength and range of motion.  I did go back to work at week 4 (desk job) and that was fine, but I needed car service to get in until this past week, when I've been taking the train.  I also started driving this week. 

All the leg exercises have been going well, have been on the stationary bike the past week, but step ups really feel strange.  I clearly feel the lack of strength in my lower quad.

I'm getting rid of the Beldsoe Brace this week and going to an open patella fabric compression sleeve with side bars. I feel fortunate to have gotten a great surgeon, Altchek at the Hospital of Special Surgery, and a great therapist.      

post #4086 of 10802

Stevie the contact details for my orthopod is




who does the knees of the local rugby team, Northampton Saints. Whether he can help you am not sure. I suspect an MRI may well assist. Good luck.

post #4087 of 10802
Originally Posted by catinthehat View Post

Stevie the contact details for my orthopod is




who does the knees of the local rugby team, Northampton Saints. Whether he can help you am not sure. I suspect an MRI may well assist. Good luck.

Thanks for that, i have just spoken to his secretary and she advised me to see my doctor to ask him to refer me but I'm a little reluctant as you said you have also had a bad experience with the NHS, also i would have to make a 140 mile round trip every time i go to see him as i live just outside Birmingham, and i couldn't afford that as i have lost my job through this injury, so I'll see what my doc says this afternoon.


Thanks anyway and all the best, Steve.

post #4088 of 10802

Dear Stevie- my problem was that the NHS put up so many barriers to see a clinician in a timely way- I have had no problems with the surgery itself (obtained through my work private health scheme) which seems so far to have worked.

post #4089 of 10802

Yes I'm sorry I realised that after I had posted, I looked back at your earlier posts and saw that you had private treatment. My doctor today advised me to stick with my surgeon and have the manipulation rather than look elsewhere, so I'll just have to wait and see what good that does for me.
post #4090 of 10802

My surgeon commented that it looked like a bomb went off in my knee. I'm concluding it wasn't a clean tear. He gathered as many ends as he could and anchored them to patella using sutures. I get impression that there will always be a "mechanical" link rather than having the tendon and muscle joined.

post #4091 of 10802


............. I told him about this forum and the progress some of you guys in the US are getting, ..........

You could also tell him about the progress that one of us guys in the UK is getting thanks to the NHS at Derby Royal i.e. as good as anything the US can offer.

Maybe you should consider a formal complaint? I'd help if there's anything I could do to.

post #4092 of 10802

ORG, Tomnorth and Sam65, and anybody else I missed. 


Thank you for your condolences and good wishes regarding my recent setback.  I can't believe I am in that brace again and likely to go under the knife next week!  Thought I had been there and done that.


Had MRI last Friday and see surgeon Wednesday.  Hopefully can do surgery next week.


As bad as the current injury is it sure beats the heck out of the original quad tendon rupture.  I'll just have to deal with it, have the surgery, go through yet another round of rehab and hopefully be running in the spring.


Hope all of the rest of you are making progress and are back to normal activities soon.


All the best,


Dan, will (still) run again......

post #4093 of 10802

To Will Run Again: sorry to hear about your kneecap, keep with it and remember "that what does not kill us makes us stronger..."


To StevieP: It is very frustrating for me to hear your story since I went through the same scenario. I think I would be screaming mad if my surgeon was doing that. I know that you know this but I will say it again. As told by my surgeon, the manipulation without the arthroscopic scar tissue removal has a higher risk of re-rupturing the original tear. On the other hand, if you are not able to switch surgeons and the manipulation ends up being your only choice, it still seems worth the risk to get full ROM back (in my opinion). I will pray that it works out for you man. Keep the faith.



post #4094 of 10802

Boston - thanks for the update.  I'm really interested in how other folks on the same timeline are progressing.  


I saw doc yesterday for 6 week PO check.  He opened the brace from 45 to 60 degrees with the green light to the PT to progress to 90 over the next few weeks as capable.   I got the green light to drive (left leg QR) which may also save my marriage.  Last night in PT I got to ~85 passively , but I think my treatment has been more conservative than some - until then we had done only a few sessions of gentle passive ROM work.  So I was pretty stoked that I got that much movement.  I've been told I'll be in the brace for another 6 weeks, but that I'll be off the 1 remaining crutch within a few weeks.  I can now walk slowly around the house without any support.  That's the good news.  The bad was that after having the brace opened to 60 and going in to work (train plus 6 block walk each way) the knee was aching and swelled up pretty good.  I actually worked from home today so I could ice every few hours.  My PT says its just the increased ROM, and it has been better today, but has anybody else noticed this kind of reaction as ROM restructions are changed?  Normal progression pains?  Thanks,



post #4095 of 10802

Male 58 at time of injury, slipped on stairs and by the time I arrived at bottom I had torn left quadricep tendon over 95% and right patellar 100%.  Surgery 3 days later on 5/1/11, now the fun starts 18 weeks in immobilizers before trying to bend knees, initial braces 2xxl 18 weeks later medium, thighs gone from 27.5 to 16 inches. Sitting in wheelchair with braces off pt asks" can you reach me?" as he stands behind me, I say no, he says good and slowly pushes me against wall to bend my knees. Long story short pt has been a nightmare.  Fast forward to 11/27/12 thighs now at 24.5 ,walking with 1 cane, most rehab done on my own (severe trust issues with Professionals) I have a question regarding instability of patella, is there an exercise that helps stabilize these or are braces the only answer?

post #4096 of 10802

Hi Estearn (other 6weekers),


Having returned to work after two weeks, I definitely have been dealing with the swelling issues still.  I sit at a desk most of the day so I bring ice packs to work, am able to put my leg up, and ice as much as possible during the day.  I've been wearing a compression wrap (basically a stocking) given to me by PT and it definitely is a temporary help.  Helps knee just feel a little more stable or secure as well as reduce swelling but maybe inquire with your PT. 


I am utilizing one crutch at this point but can get around short distances and weight bear without a problem.  I got to 90 degrees last week ok but only a little improvement this week.  I was a little sore after first session this week as they were trying to stretch a little beyond 90...sore in upper quad from the stretch I think.  Started calf raises in home routine.  Both OS and PT said that as program gets more aggressive will experience some inflammation and not to be concerned as it is a result of the body going through the recuperation process the way it should.  My trust is in their hands...

post #4097 of 10802

ymi trucking,


I feel your frustration with physical therapists.    A few on here have agreed - a few have vehemently disagreed.   


My history:   280lb powerlifter who expereinced complete avulsion of left quad tendon during training squat 3/25/11.

Surgery the next day.... baseball stiches through patella.

10 weeks in brace.   8 weeks in wheel chair.    Interviewed several PTs who IMHO were completely full of it!!    They know how

rehab knee replacements and ACLs..... but quad and patellas.... they just b.s. their way through.   

I don't believe that pain (excluding scar tissue breakup), impact or any kind of bounding exercises benefit this type of rehab. 

I actually believe it negatively affects the injury site.   


I had the fortune to find a few strength athletes on this site that provided insight.   Additionally, two local physicians who supported pro and

collegiate athletes work out at my gym and were happy to give rehab insight.    I developed my own...very conservative .... protocol. 


I did wall slides at eight weeks for ROM and then walked hundreds and hundreds of meters in the pool.   Pool walking was the key for me.

I was able to focus on perfect gate while in the pool.   And, with other swimmers in different lanes, I naturally had to improve stability.  

As I progressed into week 10 in the pool I would start to do partial squats at the 5 ft level of the pool.   The next week I would progress to

the 4 1/2 ft level and so on.     I developed enough stability that by week 20 I could start an albeit very light weightlifiting regimen.  


This worked for me.    20 months later (earlier this month) I deadlifted 650lbs in competition.   A PR for me which exceeded my pre-injury


post #4098 of 10802

Kneecap update.


Background, 64 year old runner.  Had complete quad tendon rupture left leg Feb. 21, 2012.  Have been steadily rehabbing and following all the rules.  Was jogging 2 weeks ago and felt loud pop in left knee.  Turns out my kneecap fractured top to bottom on the left side.  Saw surgeon last night and looked at MRI.  The fracture is exactly where the left of three drill holes from the quad repair are in kneecap.  There was a pressure rise under the kneecap that is being caused by tight fascia on the left side of the knee.  The fascia is pulling the kneecap slightly left and putting tension on it.  The surgeon described the situation as 80 guys pulling one end of the rope and 20 the other.  So I had a problem that was inevitably leading to kneecap issues regardless of how aggressive or not I was with my exercise program.  In other words, I didn't bring this on myself by doing too much too soon.


The fix is two screws horizontally through the kneecap and a wire wrapped around it.  The surgeon will also cut some of the fascia on the left side of the knee to relieve tension.  He said if I didn't have the surgery the kneecap will heal in time and that the fracture relieved a lot of the tension just as an earthquake releases pressure along fault lines.  The surgery will, however, lead to a much faster healing process and more secure end result.


The bad news is two more months in a brace post op.  The good news is I'll be able to start jogging again in 6 months.  Overall, post op for the kneecap will be a walk in the park compared to the quad tendon rupture, surgery and post op.


That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Will give an update post op.



post #4099 of 10802

That is some great news man and congrats!!!
post #4100 of 10802

Hey TD!!


You were very instumental in my recovery with your encouragement and your guideance of exercising caution.  

I sure appreciate your support when I was injured.   You and BlueBelt made a huge difference.


Thank you.



post #4101 of 10802

Hello all,


Terrific site and source on information


I am a 58YO male with a new injury. Just got an MRI and the initial judgement is partial tear of quad tendon. I see the doctor monday but surgery seems certain. After reading through this forum it looks like a brutal recovery and I am certainly concerned. My son in laws dad is an orthopedic surgeon and I consulted with him last night about the possibility of a partial tear healing up on it's own and he was not encouraging, he basically said it's just a matter of time before it ruptures but he reserved complete judgement as he did not examine me.


Any experience he with a partial tear?


Anyway, I do not look forward to a cast for 3 months but if you all did it, I can too


Thanks for all the valuable but scary insights!  I am sure you will hear more form me



post #4102 of 10802

Dear Timid- I had an 80% tear (at least by the time I had my MRI which was 3 weeks post injury) and there was no question that I had to have surgery. I don't know how partial your tear is but the surgery worked for me. My only advice is make sure that you get good post op pain relief and that there is an option for IMI/IVI pain relief in case you are like me and can't keep anything down after a GA.

post #4103 of 10802

Cat in the hat


Thanks for the tips. What did you use for pain relief?  Did you need it more than a few days?




post #4104 of 10802


  A cast is not an absolute. I had a complete tear and had an adjustable brace only.

                                                         All The Best


post #4105 of 10802



I agree with all the comments made by Calhiker and Catinthehat!

I'm 60, male, in UK.

I had a left leg QTR mid August with surgery 2 days later.

Then a locked brace for 2 weeks followed by a cast for 4 weeks.

It seems that there are a multitude of ways to deal with this injury.

Pain relief I feel is a must.

I was sent home from hospital with enough codeine for a couple of days but was able to get more from my GP.

One word of advice particularly at the beginning make sure you use the meds!

From what I can make out on from this and other forums and by talking to medics the rehab on this injury can be a long process, 6 - 12 months or maybe longer depends on each case.

I was at PT yesterday and my ROM has increased to 75 and that was pushing it.

Good luck. 



post #4106 of 10802

Tim in MD - I believe it is 4 weeks in a cast and not 3 months.     A partial tear will one day go all the way from my experience.   Been there done that.   Pain relief - have a nerve block.    When it wears off  after about 12- 15 hours you need something strong which the OS will prescribe.     Once you are home it seems the normal pill is oxycontin for about 2-3 days - depends on the patient as everyone is different.   If you are in the Baltimore area I can provide  a first hand reference for a great OS to perform the repair.  

post #4107 of 10802

TiminMD - I imagine a partial tear can mean many things. The results from my MRI said "near complete partial tear". When my surgeon opened me up he said the tear was at a diagonal and that there was only one tiny thread left connecting, so it was essentially a complete tear.

post #4108 of 10802



I am 30 minutes North of Baltimore, would appreciate your suggestions for an OS


Thanks for the tips on the nerve block, I will request it.  I have used oxycontin for dental pain and it seems to work ok




post #4109 of 10802

BTW, I should have said leg brace and not cast, it seems like 12 weeks is the average before it comes off

post #4110 of 10802

Hi Quad Rippers,


77 yr old - active - 11 weeks out from Surgery on right leg quad tendon full rupture. I am out of the brace and using a cane for balance. I am at 94 degrees ROM and the Doc is pushing me to get 110 ROM in another week and 120 ROM in 2 weeks after that. In outpatient PT with a good PT guy. I am using heat as well as ice.


I am walking well but need some suggestions on increasing ROM since the Doc has told me and the PT to push ROM.


Thanks for everyone's inputs.

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