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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 142

post #4231 of 10808

Thanks PatB.  Much appreciated. I'm home now and am set up for the next few weeks of rest.  I have crutches and a locked out brace for the next 4 weeks.  I can move around pretty well and am allowed to weight bare on my injured leg so long as I keep it locked out.  Absolutely no movement of the quadriceps was ordered by PT and OS, so interesting to read of your immediate mobility PatB.  I've had shoulder surgery a couple of times and ended up with locked shoulder both times which is a serious bitch to get going again!  I'm thinking this will be every bit the challenge once I can begin to get some ROM going in a few weeks.  I'm in New Zealand and it would appear the approach to this injury here is different to other parts of the world.  I did live in the US for some 15 years before moving back to NZ in 2008 and did have one of my shoulder surgeries there.  The two systems are quite similar from my experience, but I guess each OS has their preferred technique.  Look forward to sharing my progress.  Just nice to be home 48 hours post op with little to no pain...but then they told me at the hospital I must have a high pain threshold as they couldn't believe I didn't want more drugs!  Was good to get a protein shake back on board tonight. The body is going to do it's thing to repair, so good to give it a little sustenance to help out. As a long time sportsperson, I've run a marathon, numerous halfs, biked over mountains, skied, sailed, hit the gym regularly and been active most of my life.  Rugby was my sport of choice when I was younger and I firmly believe that what you put in your body can help or hinder the body's natural ability to heal.  The OS has done his bit.  My body is going to do its bit.  It's up to me to make sure I do my bit mentally to fully recover by protecting the tender injury now and doing the work to strengthen the whole area when the time is right.  No need to rush.  We'll get there. 

post #4232 of 10808
Originally Posted by VermontSoldier View Post

I hear what you are saying Sinrider. My ortho is being very conservative with me. No bending for another 2 weeks. I can see what was a 25" quad wilting. Maybe I will grow a pair and do some passive work on my own.

We got about 16" of new snow last night. I have one portion of my roof that I always shovel from the ground as I get a pretty good ice dam build up if I dont. Anything to get outside really. This morning, I had to maneuver through the new snow to get where I could do this in my back yard. We already had a significant base. I reached up with the roof rake, pulled snow on myself and promptly went face first into the snow. Leg brace was on and it was a straight forward fall. I am then trying to get up which took me about 5 minutes as I was laughing like a fool because of what this little incident must have looked like. I guess that an inadvertent fall wont kill me. I did however neglect to tell the wife.

What a great day outside today.

gotta find the silver lining haha good call on not telling the wife, you'd probably never hear the end of it!

post #4233 of 10808

Ashb & Bomber,


There seems to be a lot of folks taking an aggressive approach to rehab.   Just to contrast, I experienced a very successful conservative approach.  


Stats:   51 yrs old.  

            295 lb competiive powerlifter

            Complete rupture and avulsion of left quad tendon on 3/25/2012.

            While training with 235kgs in the squat.


I was locked with very limited weight bearing for the first 8 weeks.   So much so.... I put myself in a wheel chair for the first two months.

 At eight weeks:  active ROM (wall slides mostly) and then starting pool walking.    It was the pool walking after 8 weeks that proved the most beneficial.      I started lifting very light.    Outside of walking with an emphasis on perfect gait, the only lower body exercise I did from week 10 until week 30 was one legged leg presses, weightless-prone leg raises and "no weight" half squats.


I didn't start aggressive weight lifting until 8 months out.     Today, I'm stronger than before the injury.   I very seldomn even think of th injury site.

   I don't express that one method is better than the other.   Just providing an example of an ultra conservative approach with a long term vision.  

post #4234 of 10808

That's interesting Fred.  There seems to be a million ways to rehab this injury.


I just came from what I have decided will be my last pt session.  At 12 weeks and three days post op, I am confident I can finish the journey on my own.  My injured leg measured 130 ROM today and my limp seems to be just about gone unless I the bad leg is very tired.  I have been doing two full albeit light leg workouts per week and the strength is getting consistently better.  I do however have a hard time doing leg extensions as they cause pain.  In the next couple of weeks I will start squatting lightly and hope to be back to normal within a few months.  I am also hoping to get back into the wrestling ring professionally in May (seven months post op) but I will see when the time comes and plan to  test it starting slowly in march at my training center.


This is a horrible injury but to all of you recent casualties, it does get much better after the first month or so.

post #4235 of 10808

2 weeks post-op today, and saw my OS, who flexed me to 45 in his office and set me up to start PT next week.  All my pain is pretty much gone now, and I am back in the car getting myself around.  My goal with PT for the next 4 weeks is to slowly get to 70 degrees of flexion, do quad sets, foot pumps and flexion with gravity return.  NO Extension work or exercises.  I have pretty much ditched the crutches (except for up and down stairs), and can walk as long as my brace is locked at 0 degrees, and can unlock as long as I am sitting and there is no active extension.  The OS believes in early moving as long as I don't surpass 90 degrees since that was where flexion in the OR after repair showed any start of separation at the repair site.

post #4236 of 10808
Hello everyone. First post ever on this forum.
Date of injury - 8-08-12 complete right quad tendon rupture
Date of surgery - 8-10-12
47 years old male
5'10", 190 lb

I have been following all of you since the day I came home from surgery. I just decided it was time for me to share my experience with anyone that is interested.
I ruptured my RQT playing old man baskeball. You all know how awful an injury this is. I had a partial tear from years of ball and it finally gave up and blew out. I went down like I was shot. I was aware of the pre-existing tear so when it went I knew what had happened.

I am going to give you the condensed version of recovery (I honestly wish i had taken notes so I could remember things better).
I was in an immobilizing brace and crutches for 4 weeks. I went back to the ortho 9/10 and was slightly past 90 ROM and he told me to start PT and ditch the crutches and brace.
I had my first PT that afternoon and continued PT thru 11/29. PT consisted of lunges w/weights, leg presses, stretching, stair stepper, e-stim & massage.
When i stopped PT I had full ROM and there wasn't much more they could do for me, so they turned me loose.

I continued rehab at home/gym best I could and at times felt like I had plateaued and would never achieve my goal, which was to play ball again.
I was walking fine, jogging awkwardly but feeling better every day. I figured the running would never smooth out, and that was discouraging.
I had another ortho appt 12/21 and finally asked the Dr if the soreness under the scar tissue was normal and would it ever go away.
In his inimitable style he said "it's never gonna stop reminding you what happened. But the chances of you re-injuring it are slim."
I think I finally got over the mental fear of the lingering soreness. I continued to rehab at home/gym and on 12/27 i went to the gym and did some light basketball drills to see how it would react. It was sore but it felt better the next day. Long story short, I made the decision to return to ball on 1/7/13 (150 days from surgery) and played for an hour. It was frightening and awkward and liberating all at one time. I have played twice since and have made treadmill/elliptical a (mostly) daily routine.

I guess I am really not sure why I decided to share my experience. I considered starting long ago, but I was so involved in everyone else's stories and didn't think mine would be very interesting. But looking back, I see my recovery was much sooner than I thought. The ortho estimated 6-9 months.
I want to be encouraging to others with my message, I know we are all on different paths. Different timeframes in braces, on crutches, intensity of PT, etc.
I just want everyone to stay strong and press on even when you feel like it isn't going to get any better, ever.

Lastly, I want to thank every one of you who has posted before me. I have been watching and learning from all of you since August 10. Other than my amazing wife, you have been the most empowering element of my recovery.

P.S. I'm not sure how to post photos on here, but my ortho took some amazing shots during my surgery. Let me know if anyone is interested in seeing them and I will share them with you. If I an answer any other questions, let me know. Thank you.
Edited by Volk - 1/18/13 at 7:04pm
post #4237 of 10808

Peter -


Your recovery is un-freakin-believable!    I think after years of the beating you took that you are able to recuperate at an accelerated rate.    Also, all the physiologists and strength coaches I have encountered state that leg extension do more harm than good with our type of injury.... for whatever it's worth.  


Volk -


Ballin' after 5 months..... thats outstanding!     Not too many at that point in recovery can play on a hard court.    Do you consciously thing about the injury when pushing off or changing directions?    

post #4238 of 10808
Thanks Fred.
I was very aware of the injury when changing directions and actually flexing the knee when "jumping" since that is the same motion that caused the complete rupture. It was a great feeling to "let go" and throw some caution to the wind and just play again. Once I got past the fear, old instincts came back and the longer I played, the more comfortable I became with it. It seems like once I got past this point, the knee just continues to get stronger. I have been wearing two neoprene braces (one on top of the other) just to give me some added security when I play ball. No brace on treadmill or elliptical.

I have actually noticed that a full day can go by without even thinking about the injury. That is, until I see the 6" scar. One month ago I would never have believed that was possible.
Edited by Volk - 1/19/13 at 6:21am
post #4239 of 10808
Volk - your story is great! Thanks for sharing. Very impressive you are playing again after such a short time. I'm hopeful I can follow your lead on that one! We're the same age so I'm seeing that as a benchmark to your rehab period! I was given the same 4 weeks of locked out brace you received before I go back to OS. That's only 3 weeks and 2 days now. Time flies when you're laying around doing nothing!

Thanks for your thoughts Fred! I guess the best rehab depends on the individual and the specifics of the initial rupture. I'm mentally set for the long haul rehab, but I won't say no to a speedier recovery if my injury allows it. Better to be stronger and biking, sailing and skiing in 2014 with a strong as leg than try to push things in 2013. This year can be the year of the gym!

I'm 4.5 days post op and feeling good. No pain to speak of at rupture/repair site. A minor, headache type pain medication is more than enough. Managed the whole night last night without any pain meds at all. I'm moving around on crutches just fine and am able to stand on both feet with around 60/40 weight displacement. I live alone and was able to cook a light dinner, do the dishes and clean my condo a bit yesterday. All stuff I planned to do last Sunday...but then there was a rather major change of plans this past week! It's all done in very slow motion, but with no pain at the injury site when I'm moving around it seems the brace is doing its job very well.

The hardest thing I'm finding is to not flex my quad! I haven't voluntarily done this once, but it seems like their are involuntary muscle tensions going on. Curious if anyone experienced this and if its 'normal'. I'm presuming this is part of the mending process as fibres get reacquainted after a few days apart.

I'm glad I found this forum do early on in my post op days! Cheers
post #4240 of 10808

Hi Volk,

The speed of your recovery is unbelievable. Did you try to measure actual strength of injured leg in % to good one.

I am 20 years older (65). Starting from 4 Month of postop measured % of recovery


2 Dec


4 month

15 Dec


4.5 Month

4 Jan


5 Month

17 Jan


5.5 Month

I will wait to play tennis until will have 90%

Be careful


post #4241 of 10808


Date of injury - 4-08-12 complete right quad tendon rupture
Date of surgery - 5-08-12

post #4242 of 10808

Hi Sam,


I never did track strength of one leg versus the other.   I really wish i had documented this experience more than i did (which was very little).


Looking at your numbers, you look like you are coming along nicely (70% at 5.5 months).

One thing I did do throughout my recovery was to challenge myself to accomplish things other folks have discussed on this forum.  For example, I remember reading a post that mentioned a Dr. asking the patient to try and get out of a chair only using the injured leg. The patient talked about how difficult this was when he tried it.   I set this as my goal to accomplish before Christmas. Have you tried this?  It is alot harder than it sounds.


i am going to swing by my PT to visit today,  I will try a leg press on each leg and see how that goes.  I'll let you know.


Keep pushing, you look like you are on a good path.   Talk to you soon.



post #4243 of 10808

Hello all,


Just an update. Right leg, full quad tear, surgery OCT 22 2012.


14 weeks now and progress has been positive.  Have pretty much full ROM back, over 130 degrees (good leg measure at 134).  Increased focus now on strengthening.  Have been a gym rat most of my life and amazed by lack of strength.  Only able to get about 2-3 lbs in leg extensions was unsucessful last week at 5 lbs.  Doing one and two leg squats on a total gym with varying resistance, one leg has been difficult but getting through it.  Able to ride the bike as long as I want at level 5 resistance and looking to get back into the gym and incorporate the eliptical machine.  Long 14 weeks but trying to keep to the protocal and let progress happen when it should.  For those early on, breaking through 90 degrees is key and building from there was easier as I was stuck a short time on 90 degrees but diligent home stretching is key.



post #4244 of 10808

3 weeks post-op now and flexing to 60.  I begin PT tomorrow with a 7-9 month schedule.  I am walking locked at 0, without crutches anymore, except uneven ground, steps, etc....I still use one. I am allowed to unlock when sitting with a max of 70 set in my brace, so this allows me to sit comfortable and drive a car.  My OS is pleased with where I am, as am I.  I'm a little apprehensive about the PT course, probably because I don't know what to expect, but know it's a necessary thing.

post #4245 of 10808

First PT session today, flexion to 65 degrees w/o pain.  Cold therapy to reduce swelling and E-stim to get the quads going.  Adduction exercises and PROM for flexing.  No extensor work at all yet.  I'm encouraged as is mt PT therapist, she is confident I will rehab well and regain most of what I have lost. 

post #4246 of 10808

Hi all,


I'm 65 and 18 weeks post-op. I fell while hiking steeply downhill. I've gotten to 90 ROM, and am pretty much stuck there for now. My surgeon told me last week to ditch the big brace as it was "holding me back", and to start walking and not worry about ROM. I using a treadmill at home and to PT twice a week, and am to start pool walking in a few weeks. Thanks all for you advice

post #4247 of 10808
I had my plaster casts off this morning, 8 weeks after surgery for BQTR. I was very nervous to try to stand but did so with no pain. I walked back to the car with the aid of a walking frame. Just for security really. I have virtually no calf muscles now and the quads are half the size they were. Physio is being arranged but the Doc says the first session will be in 2 weeks. I have 80 degrees ROM in the left leg and 90 in the right. I'm quite pleased with that. My partner made me a 3 inch step and I can step up and down that with ease. However, I do need the frame or crutches as my legs are so weak, in the past few hours, they are prone to giving way. I think I have a lot of work to do to build the muscles again. Good luck to everyone.
post #4248 of 10808

2nd PT session this morning, with flexion to 72 degrees, no pain at all.  Did lots of exercises for the quads and much proprioception.  E-stim, PROM and passive extenson and cold therapy continue as my L Leg is feeling better and better.  I am ambulating freely now, full weightbearing, while locked at 0.  But I can unlock, limited to 70 degrees of flexion for sitting and driving the car.  By the way I am 3 weeks and 3 days post-op now.  Next PT session, they will start me with some weight shifting so I can ditch the 1 crutch I still use.

Life is good.

post #4249 of 10808

Rupured both my tendons back in July, had surgery, did all the post op rehab and follow-up appointments. the tendon is strong but not i'm faced with another problem. I can not walk up or down the stairs without the excruciating pain running up through my knees, feels like sharp needles pricking my knees. I was told i might have meniscus tear, but not by the Dr. who saw the MRI, then performed surgery, but by another doctor. we won't know until another MRI is performed. The first Dr. had me going through rehab with a meniscus tear, something he should have caught. He says in the operation report that he repaired a ligament in my knee but wont say which one, nor did he write a description of it in the report. Should I get a lawyer?

post #4250 of 10808



I would certainly look into getting a lawyer if i were you, it does seem as though your doc has been somewhat negligent in his treatment of your injury. I'm in a similar situation where i still have limited movement and similar pain though not as severe as you describe but still quite painful. I'm roughly a month ahead of you and currently waiting for a second surgical procedure to find out why my ROM is still so limited, i just they don't find anything wrong as with your injury otherwise i'll be getting a lawyer myself.

post #4251 of 10808

Here's a question:  I am now 26 days post-op, and flexing to 72 degrees, no active extension allowed yet.  So I am able to unlock my brace for sitting and driving, etc., but locked while walking.  Starting yesterday, when I straighten back out after sitting, sometimes I feel a dull pop which doesn't hurt really, but it;s knid of like when your other joints crack or pop.  No pain at all.  I still have quite a bit of swelling, but it is reducing with ice, and am wondering if this is just the joint getting back to a semblance of normal, with tendon moving about more freely.  Any thoughts are appreciated.

post #4252 of 10808
Hello fellow quad rippers...
Not been on for a few months so I hope eveyone's rehab is going well!

I thought I would update on my progress...
Complete rupture of right quad on 11 August 2012.
Had my last Physio appointment last week and been signed off!
I have full rom back in my injured leg 135 on both legs.
I have been cycling again since mid December and been dying to start running again! Managed to run on treadmill without holding for the first time 3 weeks ago and it felt amazing! Got that spring back in my step again wink.gif although my knee still gets a bit of pain under my kneecap its bearable. I have found that giving the tendon between my kneecap and shin bone a little massage for a minute or so takes away the pain.i think the turning point for me was being sent to a knee class, would Deffinatley recomend it to anyone that's struggling with there PT!
I never thought I would be this far on so soon so just thought I would let you guys know there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Davy c
post #4253 of 10808

Pat, in the first few weeks of my recovery I felt the same type of popping.  It was very concerning but it turns out it was nothing.


I am 15 weeks post injury today and tomorrow will be 15 weeks post surgery.  I still have to use a railing on stairs and I am carefull in the gym but I have full ROM and I'm starting to lift heavier weights with my legs and the muscles are growing by the day.  I suspect in two more months, I'll only have the scar as a reminder.

post #4254 of 10808

Quick update:

45 year old active male, Full left QTR May 26Th, 1st surgery June 3rd,

current ROM approx 100 degrees (stuck there 3-4 months now)


Finally after one cancellation i now have another date for an arthroscopy and manipulation to increase ROM. I've had to wait a long time now but i go in on the 15Th for my second op, i just hope it works....everyone says patience is the key with this injury, well I've had the patience of a saint putting up with a much slower recovery than most, not to mention that thanks to this injury i lost my job and the ensuing financial pressure it has put on my family has finally broken my relationship with my partner, the funny thing is the pub who's wet floor i slipped on have denied responsibility by saying that i fell over by "jumping about" what a pile of crap!!, but i have a meeting coming up 5 days after mu op with my lawyer and barrister and can;t wait to get this into court because their actions have cost me dearly and i want to make them pay for it!.

Good luck to all you newcomers i wish you all a speedy recovery

 All the best Steve

post #4255 of 10808

I am so glad I found this thread as there is a real dearth of information on the web about quad tendon tears.  It's great of the epic ski folks to continue hosting this since most of the content isn't skiing related.


I joined the quad rippers club in early January while playing soccer.  It definitely felt like something bad might have happened but I continued playing the rest of the game and the proceeded over the next week or so to play in another soccer game, run and bike.  Unlike other injuries I've had, this one got worse rather than better.  When my knee began swelling badly, I sent to see an OS who quickly diagnosed it as a partial tear in my left quad tendon.  He said he could actually feel the tear with his finger.  After an MRI, I was scheduled for surgery, which I had this past Friday (2/1/13).  The surgery went well.  I was in a bit of a fog, but I think the OS told me afterward that the tear was vertical rather than horizontal and thus easier to fix.  


I'm now lounging on the sofa and working from home.  Thankfully, I have an office job and it's easy to work remotely.  My leg is in a full brace with 0 degrees ROM.  The pain was bad the day after surgery, but I stopped taking the pain meds and am just on Advil now.


I haven't seen a lot of info -- even on this thread -- from folks with partial tears so I'll try to provide some updates on progress for anyone looking for info later.

post #4256 of 10808

Hi to all fellow quad rippers,


I am 78 years old, active carpenter at 21 weeks post-op from Quad rupture. 132 degrees ROM - almost matches the uninjured leg of 135 degrees ROM. PT has graduated me and I am on my own. Keeping active with plenty of exercises and activity. Back doing normal work except going down stairs is done with caution.


Visited Doctor today - he was very pleased with progress and returned muscle tone. One more Doctor visit in 3 months ... then he expects to release me also.


This Forum has been a "priceless" source for me in my recovery.


Thank you all!

post #4257 of 10808

Hi Bruce,


I lived with a partial tear of my RQT for years.  Tried to keep up an active lifestyle (bball, p90X, etc).


I had to modify a lot of the activities becuase it hurt so bad.

My ortho (who ended up doing the repair once it ruptured completely) diagnosed the partial tear and told me there was no real benefit in trying to repair a tear.

Once it ruptured completely, i had the surgery two days later and i can tell you now that nearly six months after surgery the repaired knee feels like night and day from the pain i had during the partial tear.  It seems like the rupture was a blessing in disuguise in that it has actually given me a second chance at middle-aged old man (47) activities that i gave up due to the partial tear.


I am guessing there are a lot of people who have had partial tears (diagnosed or not) before the tendon ruptured. 

I am also curious to see who else knew they had a tear before the rupture.



post #4258 of 10808

Had my PT session this morning, (I am 4 weeks and 5 days post repair for LQR).  Easy Flexion to 80 degrees, (my limit for this week) and continued E-stim and cold therapy.  Lots of exercises aimed at getting the quads going and NO Active Extension yet.  I walk well locked at 0, but unlock when sitting, driving, etc.  Next week my PT therapist thinks we can start unlockingthe brace for walking on flat hard surfaces, with a 45 degree lockout.  Looking forward to that, but at the same time, mentally cautious.

post #4259 of 10808

Thanks, Steve.  Just from reading a lot of the posts here, it sounds like partials often do eventually become full tears.  I know there is differing opinions on how to treat partials, but 'm feeling like I did the right thing having surgery for the partial.   I really fear being laid out on the turf in the middle of a soccer game or on the street during a run.  I also coach one of my kid's soccer teams and would absolutely hate to have had the thing rip all the way during a practice with a bunch of second graders watching and scared to death.


I saw the doc today 5 days post Op.  He explained that the tear was lower down, kinda around the knee cap rather than the typical spot just above the knee cap (that's my paraphrasing of what he said, but I think I captured it accurately).  


I have 3 more weeks in the full leg brace, but he told me to ditch the crutches.  It's a little scary how dependent I was getting on them after only 5 days.  I'm hoping the progress continues.  My knee looked like it was run over by a truck a few days after the injury.  Now, a few days after surgery, it looks like it was run over by a bulldozer.   Not complaining, though.  There are a lot of stories in this thread that make my injury sound like a stubbed toe in comparison.

post #4260 of 10808

I am quite certain mine was partially torn for some time before the complete tear.  I wish I had gotten it diagnosed and fixed as it would have made my life and career much more pleasant.  As I have said before, I am aiming for more than a recovery.  I will be stronger and more mobile than I have been in years.  At 20 weeks post op I intend to leg press 1,000 pounds for 20 full range reps.  At 40 weeks I will do the same with 1,500.  I have found that the rehab for this injury is more rewarding than my biceps and pectoral ruptures.............maybe because it is so hard.

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