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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 17

post #481 of 10802
Hey guys, thanks for the kind words. The surgical pain is all but gone now.7 days in. Still get the odd hard cramp but that is nowmal. The lungs are still quite sore though and will be for some time. It is great once the fog of drugs wears off. You know things are getting better when you just want to go somewhere,anywhere. I really look forward to physio in about 3 weeks. You all have had such great results I actually look forward to it.
Just wondering what is an FCE test. I have seen it a couple of times here and was curious. Does that mean that the employer does not allow light duty and tests for complete fitness? If that is the case what exactly qualifies the employer to render medical fitness exams?
post #482 of 10802

5 months later

Slowly but surely things are coming along. Two weeks ago we took the kids to an amusement park and that was my biggest walking around since the fall. It was awkward getting in/out of some the rides, but the leg only started to feel stiff and sore when sitting at the resturant for dinner.

Stairs/inclines are still a work in progress. I pretty good at alternating my feet going up but going down still needs work but it is improving. I make myself do the last 8 steps by alternately since I am able to hold on to 2 railings. Last Sat. I made myself walk down the entire driveway and across the street to the library. I took a lot of baby steps at the steepest part ( aka scene of the fall) but I did it. I need to get up to speed there since school starts in 29 days ( not that I'm counting) and I will have two morning bus runs to deal with. The incline in the grocery store parking lot has improved a lot so I'm no longer concerned I'm going to lose the cart with all the groceries and the 3 yr old.

Since the weather is nice I've been getting into the pool every afternoon and trying to run in the water for 10 minutes often with 1 to 3 kids hanging on to me. I'm short so the water hits to right below my shoulders so I have to get moving.

I took my first real walk yesterday around the park where my oldest was having football practice. It had some inclines and it did not feel too bad. Hubby and I will switch off days for practice so we can each get some walking time.

I will have my last PT session Fri ( insurance only covers 20 ) and he will to a re-eval then to see where I'm at.

Helmut: Really take care of yourself

David: I hope you do not have to go thru surgery again. I'm hoping that everything continues to be good news for your wife.

Speedy recovery to everyone and the patience to deal with the recovery.

post #483 of 10802

17 Weeks

Greetings quad tear fans. I am back in town for a week after two weeks out of town on a field trip. I was able to get a bit of exercise in at the hotel but not as much as I would have liked.

I had PT session #11 today. ROM is measuring about 125 degrees. I worked the 0 degree leg press (weight varying from 70 to 130 lbs). Then I did a variation on the one-legged squats whereby the squat is done on a small stool thereby allowing the free leg to go a bit lower. I also tried out the Hammer Strength leg press machine. This one looks like a good exercise since the legs can be worked individually. I asked about leg extensions and the PT said that this is a bad exercise even for non-injured people and is definitely not a good idea for quad-tear rehabilitation. Tiger Bait's OS said the same thing so this is one exercise that we should all avoid during rehabilitation.

Helmut: Sorry to hear of your medical complications after surgery. Take it easy and good luck with your recovery.
post #484 of 10802
Hey -

My first 3 days back to work at the power company and it's almost like I never left. Yesterday, I worked a 24 hour stint and my legs held up great...just a little quad weakness with certain movements. It's nice to be thinking of something other than my injuries, because for the last 23 1/2 weeks that consumed my life. Most people don't know how down we were from this, or how hard we worked to get back to this point, but we know!

Helmut2468: After my length of time off, my employer required me to take the FCE test, given by an outside agency. It was pretty intense and I'm sure if I had taken it a few weeks earlier, and also if I had not done hard daily workouts, I would not have done so well. I think it was given to see what restrictions, if any, I would have when I went back to work.

Duncan Calgary AB - My OS said all the pressure is on the quad tendon with leg extensions. It's an easy exercise and seemed to work for me over the years, but that will be the one exercise I will leave out now. There's enough other leg exercises to do. But, we each have to make our own decisions with this.

Everyone keep working hard and get your normal life back!

Tiger Bait
post #485 of 10802

Day 14

Hi all. Hope you are all getting ready to head out dancing. LOL. I have a question. Have any of you experienced a feeling of sharp pinches in the surgical area? Not in the scar area but it feels like it would be right where the repair was done. Best way to describe it would be a sudden feeling of sharp pinching or pulling. I suspect it is just the healing process but it is somewhat disconserting. Doesn't hang around long but comes and goes in short waves.
Other than that things seem to be good. Zimmer brace it getting really annoying though but that is to be expected.

CaliforniaPop- I learned a long time ago not to let PT's push me around. They have an agenda that is based on books and theroys. They cannot feel inside your body. So I have and do tell them when I have had enough.

Tiger-Glad to hear your back to work and all is well. I look forward to going back too.

Duncan- I agree with you PT leg extensions using wieghts is a potential disaster. I have been involved in many leg strengthening seminars for hockey and have found leg extensions to be a somewhat un-natural exercise if too much weight is added. A prorerly performed squat(uses mostly hams but does bring quads in as you rise up) is by far the better exercise for human movement never performed below 90 deg for reps. 80 degs seems to be best so as not to load up the knee too bad. These are my findings for myself.

Tuesday staples come out but brace goes back on for 2 more weeks. I had the opprotunity to see the wound before I left hospital. I think the doc was getting rid of old staple stock. Must be around 80 of them in there. I have never had so many staples after any of my 3 previous knee surgeries. So that should be an eventful day. The blood thinners I have to take should make the staple holes weep like a fountain. Yippy.

Take care folks have a good weekend
post #486 of 10802

familiar stories

After spending the last 45 minutes reading through all of your stories, I would like to add my own.

I'm a 45 year old male 208 Lbs, work out 4-5 times a week, played sports all of my life and always had bad knees. Stretched ACL, torn cartilage calcified quad tendons on both knees. 2 weeks ago, I was playing pick up basketball at lunch and ruptured my left quad tendon pulling a bit of kneecap with it (looked great in the pictures).

Surgery the next morning with the now standard 10 inch incision and 37 staples and 4 hooks to reattach the tendon. They had to do a nerve block on the knee when they woke me up due to the severe and intense pain and the total lack of effectiveness of Morphine, Percacet and T3's that the loaded me up with. Was out of the hospital the next day and the fun started. I haven't read this on any of your threads but i experienced "nocturnal reflex" about 5-6 times. Basically, the quad would just flex in the middle of the night and the pain was excruciating! Would keep me up for hours until things would settle down again.

As for the the recovery, I'm told now 4 more weeks in the straight soft cast, then possibly weight bearing (minimal) the beginning of september. My OS (orthopeodic surgeon) said that the best I can hope for is to be able to walk normally but that strength will be noticeably reduced!

I have a trip planned to Costa Rica in December and was wondering if that's too soon to hope for light hiking/walking?
post #487 of 10802

24 weeks later

Well, the last time I posted, about week 16, I had a bit of a set back. It was caused by a torn menescus in the knee and me trying to go up the stairs using alternating legs. The muscles in the injured leg weren't working together as they should, and the hike up the stairs caused the knee to get stressed in areas that caused the menescus tear to flare up. Much pain for days.

That caused a bit of a slowdown on the exercises. But after a month of going slow, things were back in shape. Now, I'm up to doing a couple of miles, walking, and going up stairs using alternating legs. Not up to going down the stairs on alternating legs, yet.

I started slacking a few weeks ago, once I started going up the stairs thinking that's all I would need to get the leg finally back in shape. Well, that wasn't a good plan. I started the routines back up and it makes a huge difference in progress.

post #488 of 10802
Lucky I also have the reflex. Will be laying there and suddenly the entire leg will actually jump up on it's own. Bit of a suprise but not too painful.
It is strange how pain affects individuals so differently. My pain was quite high after waking up but the morphine did help a lot. made me sleep more than actual pain relief I think. By day 2 pain was way down and by day 7 no meds at all. To be honest I use the Toradol more for sleep now because I have trouble sleeping on my back.
In my opinion hiking in the wet slippery areas of Costa Rica would not be a wise plan yet. My doc told me leg would not be 100% for at least 1 year so plan accordingly.

Brewman sorry to hear about your set back but glad you are on track again. Just curious as to why you were unable to walk stairs after 16 weeks? Is this normal and can i expect the same?
post #489 of 10802
Hello from Indiana!

I am truly glad I found this forum...There has been much I have learned about what to expect later this week! (Thursday-most likely, surgery day for me).

I'm a bit new to the forum thing so please understand that I'll most likely mess it up in some way!!

I would like to share my history with you...I am a 49 year old Mom-4 children-happily married-very active gal. Hubby and I are self employed, (we hand make primitive furniture)...and are happy to not be dependant on Corporate America. I served in the US Navy and I am a nurse. I have a pretty good pain tolerance ....or so I thought

I already had a medial meniscuc tear in my left knee. Did this in June of this year...This left me pretty much still functioning, but I was unable to lock my left leg completely and I simply could not bend it. It seems that the meniscus flipped over it self causing interference in the kneecap sliding as it should. I was to see my Ortho last Friday for the consult to repair this injury, when I was just simply walking thru the yard a couple days ago...I stepped into a very shallow spot in the yard (with my right foot-thought I was going to twist my ankle) and as a reflex to try and catch myself, I completely folded my left leg underneath of me. Oh dear God.....the pain was the absolute worst I have ever felt in my entire life....

Hubby called the ambulance and tho' I wanted him too, I never let them touch me....I was splinting my knee with my hands....crying like a baby...
getting very hot and didn't know if I was going to throw-up or pass out. I did neither. I ended up going to the hospital in the back seat of our Jimmy....they wanted to straighten my leg.

Well, to make a long story short, I pulled my quadriceps tendon pretty much clean off my knee cap. I am sitting here in my over-stuffed recliner in one of those straight leg splints (lots of velcro) and my knee is swollen larger than a grapefruit. I might mention-I have slept in this chair since my injury and am looking to see my Ortho again this Wednesday.

Two things I wanted to post....One is a comment and the other a question.

First, for those of you that have had this surgery, What can I do now to better prepare for "home" after surgery??

And the comment...I read in this thread about one of the men who had this happen to him....His wife had mentioned about comparing the pain to having a baby....I can absolutely say, without a doubt....that the pain in the yard the other night is FAR MORE severe than having a baby. I know everyone is different-everyone has different pain thresholds-and not every injury is the same for all of us, but make no mistake....this was the most pain I have ever experienced.

Thanks much for accepting me here...I'll try to update as things progress.

I so hope I am not down for weeks...There is so much to do..........

Best wishes
post #490 of 10802
Hi Connie. First I'm sorry to hear of your injury, and 2nd, I'm glad you found the site. I know it has helped me with ideas, suggestions and also it's nice just to "talk" with people who know what this injury is like. Being a guy, I can't speak to the pain of having a baby, but I can agree with you re the pain of a torn tendon.

Ideas that helped for me were to have lots of ice packs handy, or bags of frozen peas work well too to control the swelling. Lots of soft pillows helped me also to keep the leg raised post surgery. It can help to have some sort of support in the washroom also for getting off the toilet, help standing and also a support for getting in and out of bed. Of course drugs are good for pain. When I had my leg up, I also open the splint up to give the leg air and the swelling caused pain as the splint got tight. Just don't try moving it without a splint until the Dr says ok. I also walked in the house as much as I could to keep the muscles moving. But don't do it too soon after surgery. Start with rest and ice and then as pain allows, start walking. Start the PT as soon as the Dr allows. The sooner you gain movement back, the better. Be prepared for more pain (sorry) as it heals and as you get move mobile. Also be prepared for a long recovery as you stretch out the tendon again. As you have likely read, as you get more mobile, once the spint comes off you will likely feel very weak and like your leg is going to give out. The more walking and PT, the sooner this goes away. Walking slopes are a challenge until the leg recovers. I had surgery at the end of February and slopes are still a callenge some days. Get yourself a good PT and one that has worked with this injury before also helps.

Good luck with surgery. I hope it goes well and you are pain free in no time.

post #491 of 10802
Thanks for the reply. I normally have a very high pain tolerance (no pain killers on the gym floor or at the hospital) but the midnight twitch is pretty severe. Anyhow, I've been reading more of the stories and i think you are (unfortunately) right in that it is too soon for me to expect to be able to do anything on the trip...darn, "Otre cervecas por favor" i guess.
I'm very apprehensive about taking anything for sleep although I too am having difficulty as the knee desperately wants to bend to be comfortable. As I am in Canada, does anyone know what sleep meds might be available that are not addictive or cause me to have to go though a period of re-adjustment once i go off of them?
post #492 of 10802
Hey Connie just having someone lift your leg for you when you need to get up seems to be the greatest help. getting out for a few hours also helps so rent a wheel chair for that.

Lucky i too leave in Canada (Ontario) for use on shift work I have used over the counter Sleep MD works ok but follow directions. I am not using it now because of the blood thinners i have been put on. So I stick to what the doc ordered for now.
post #493 of 10802

4 weeks post op

I can’t tell you how happy I was to have found this forum. Thank you Idaho guy for starting it.

I am a 56 year old reasonably active male. I do a lot of biking in the summer.

On the morning of Tuesday, June 24th, I walked out in my back yard and as I stepped off a step, I slipped on wet grass. Both feet went up in the air and I heard a loud pop and landed on my butt. I immediately thought of a torn quad tendon and felt my right quad expecting to find the quad in a ball (I had seen a weightlifter tear a quad tendon during competition on tv one time and saw that his quad pulled up in a tight ball). When I didn’t I figured I probably wasn’t hurt that bad and managed to get to my feet. As long as I kept my right leg straight, I could limp back to the house. I took a shower and drove myself to work. When my office manager saw me limping into the office she badgered me until I agreed to go to the emergency room. She drove me to the hospital where they took x-rays and found that no bone was broken. By that time the knee was swollen enough they couldn’t tell much about what was going on. They were going to drain the knee, but when they found I was on Coumadin(I had some blood clots a few years ago), they decided not to drain it and suggested I see an orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible.

I called an old girlfriend who is a PT and asked her for a recommendation. She recommended a surgeon in the area. She said she was amazed at the work he did. I immediately called and made an appointment for Thursday morning. I also called my regular doctor who asked me to come in. I went and he drained 15cc of blood out of the knee.

When I saw the OS on Thursday, he quickly suspected a QTR and ordered an MRI right away. He wanted to do surgery the next day, but when he found out I was on Coumadin, he said I had to get off the Coumadin for a few days before the surgery. I had an MRI a couple hours later.

The OS called me back on Monday, confirmed the diagnosis and scheduled the surgery for July 7th to give me time to get off the Coumadin. It was outpatient surgery and about 5 hours later they sent me home. They scheduled me for PT the next day to get fitted with a T-Rom brace and an e-stim unit.

I went back for a first post op appointment with the physicians assistant on July 17th. He said things looked good and removed the staples. He said I would be wearing the brace for a few mote weeks and could probably start driving then. Fortunately, I could work from home and since I am single, my adult son and daughter took turns staying with me to help me get along.

I had a second post-op appointment on July 31. This time I saw the PA and the OS. The OS said I had completely torn off the tendon and that I had to be very careful not to tear it off again. He did not want me to put any weight on the knee and wanted me to continue wearing the brace. He told me it takes 8 weeks before the tendon is healed and firmly attached to the kneecap.

I think I have been more fortunate than many here in that I have not had that much pain. I did take vicadin for the first few days after surgery but then cut back to just at night and now I don’t take it at all. I do take a couple Tylenol during the day if I need to.

I went back to work last week. My sales manager lives close by and picks me up on the way to work. I was going crazy being home along during the day. There is only so much Jerry Springer you can watch. Being back to work has been very good although I did need to get a stool to put my leg up on.

Some people have mentioned difficulty in showering. I put a stool from my out door furniture in the shower and had my son install a hand held shower head. That has helped tremendously. My biggest difficulty is getting the compression stocking on. I have to have one of my kids help me with that.

Today is 4 weeks since the surgery. I will see the OS again in another 2 ½ weeks. They have not mentioned PT yet but I assume they start shortly after my next visit.

I was tremendously worried about tearing the tendon again, but after reading this forum, I don’t think that is as much of an issue. I have now started doing some flexing of my own.

Like many here have said, I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be able to walk and drive again. Reading through the experiences of people here has helped tremendously. I think this forum is helping people much more than Idaho guy could have imagined.
post #494 of 10802
Ankhsign - I too open my splint and do the ice. I am using a walker as I think this would be a poor time to learn to use crutches...(I can't imagine stumbling and most likely in "my" case, falling down). I do have crutches and I tried them but I feel so secure with my walker. I do get up a few times a day to go to the bathroom, again, hubby has to hold my leg up.

However, you "GUYS" do have an advantage over me...You get to stand up most of the time and I have to sit down "ALL" the time!! LOL!! Also, I had a hard time getting my sleep boxers over my splint. I now keep an extra pair handy...from experience! I notice that when I am up it feels as tho' my whole knee and leg becomes so engorged, to the point that my knee and leg feel like it's coming thru the splint. It is so swollen at night...Doing ice while the splint is open to air is quite soothing.

Helmut...I can't even lift my leg...Hubby, is kind enough to get my leg for me both in getting up and down. And my sister who works in admin, at the hospital, where I will be having surgery, is getting me a wheelchair tomorrow. All I know is my butt is getting sore!

It'll be 6 days from my injury to my surgery day...I wonder what is going on inside my knee as far as healing...that will have to be undone during surgery.....thoughts anyone??

Also, how soon did you all go before weight bearing? I cannot bear any weight now...I wear a tennis shoe with a thicker sole on my right foot and a footie on my left foot this increases the clearence on my left foot, when I am up.

And finally, does anyone know about how long this surgery generally takes?

Thanks so much all of you!!!!
post #495 of 10802
Well it’s been a while since I have checked in. Things are going fairly slowly on the ROM side for me bending around loose 100 and a tight 105 to 110 degrees right now, but slowly making gains and getting upper hand on all the scar tissue. Had a set back a few weeks ago, caught strep throat and a head cold virus at the same time that knocked me on my butt for a good week. But I have been hitting the gym hard every morning and riding my recumbent stationary bike at home every evening for an hour this last week and a half. Been getting a 30 minute deep tissue massage on my quads a couple times a week that has done wonders to help stretch and loosen my quad muscles. Also doing a lot of alternating heat and ice on it throughout the day, heat pack it hold max flex 30 minutes then ice it at max flex for another 30 minutes.

This injury has been quite the journey so far, much more difficult rehab process than my previous two knee surgeries. But the way the knee is feeling today I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so I am just going to put my head down and keep rehabbing.

Welcome to the gang all you new quad poppers, sorry to hear that you had to join us. As you can see recovery from this injury is a long journey/marathon, my doc say 6 months or longer. Only advice I can give you is take it easy the fist 4 to 6 weeks and really try and control swelling by icing and elevating. I really think I pushed too hard and running (crutching) back to work 2 weeks after surgery really prolonged my recovery from this injury.

Connie: What I have read is that there is like a 2 week windows for best results to get the quad tendon reattached to the knee cap but others have had it reattached much longer after injury and had good results, so there is nothing that will need to be undone. Expect to be on crutches a good 5 to 6 weeks and maybe down to one by 6 to 7 weeks. My surgery took a little over an hour, so your looking at an hour to two hours for the surgery. Not to scare you but the first 24 hours after surgery is very painful!!

Kneeguru bulletin board also has some good stories also.
post #496 of 10802

Greetings to new people, 90 degrees, full pedal on bike today, new quad rupture person at my therapy facility!

Just a quick update on my progress.

Accident 5/28; Surgery 6/5, ten days after surgery staples out, next day therapy.
So 8 weeks since surgery. I measured at 90 degrees rom today.
Also, after about 2 weeks of doing the bike at half circles back and forth, today I was able to pedal all the way around! Of course the seat is set up at a high level to allow this--my leg at the lowest position is not bent at all on the pedal, but my foot is securely on the pedal, so I'm not tiptoeing it either.

Earthquake - hey, I was doing my quarter squat slides against the wall in my upstairs bedroom with the earthquake hit out here! I just stayed leaning against the wall and rode out the quake, and then continued on my exercises. Nothing broke or fell at my condo. How is that for keeping focused? (thankfully I wasn't doing my leg balance--that could have been dangerous.)

See doctor August 12 and will report what he says, but I already have a feeling he will have me out another 4 weeks to increase strength and range of motion to normal (about 130).

My work out is about 2 hours on Mon, Wed, Fri at the facility (and I do a morning workout at home, but skip anything after long workout M,W,F)
The other days at home I do my 3 workouts a day, try to space them out every 6 hours. At home I do quad sets, heel slide, side-to-side (with 10 pounds), leg lifts (10 pounds), balance on leg for 15 seconds x 5, quarter squats against wall 10 x 4 (they use a ball at therapy, but I just slide against the wall at home), I also use a theraband doubled over and push my foot down on the band while holding it while I'm on the bed (to approximate what I do on the Cybex machine at therapy).

I also practice walking a lot without using any crutches or brace at home. I do it slow and it is getting better. I see such progress and it takes up my whole day to to do my 3 sessions and do regular icing and elevation, that I don't see how anyone can make a lot of progress in physical therapy while working. Especially my earlier therapy sessions would wipe me out so bad I would have to take a lot of naps.

So, my short term disability was approved and hopefully my insurance will cover another 12 sessions at the therapy facility to get my leg back to normal range. That means I will only be on short-term disability for 4 weeks. I've exhausted all my sick time and vacation time from work.

Oh, I met a new guy at therapy that had the misfortune of having a quad rupture on left leg. His surgery was June 14. He just started therapy today at my facility. I think he had a "Dr. No" because his doctor said no therapy for 6 weeks or so! He has a fancy black brace with adjustable hinges. He had to have the holes drilled in his knee cap. Of course he is over 40. He slipped and fell and then heard the pop.

I found out from a guy at therapy (he had knee replacement) what "manipulation under anesthesia" (MUA) is all about. I feel so bad for the guy. It isn't that he is not doing his exercises at home. He is having a terrible time with scar tissue adhering to his knee joint. Of course everyone is different and he had a different repair than us, but when he told me MUA--ouch! He said when he woke up he was in a world of hurt and lots of knee swelling. The poor guy is at 80 rom but the dr. wants 90 so he may have to undergo that MUA again--he finds out in a few days. Every day he is at therapy they are pushing and pulling on him and I don't know how much pain he can take. I would have passed out!

Connie P - Welcome and sorry about your injury. I have relatives in Indiana. I sent you a private message, but I don't know if you can pull it up yet. You might want to check with the forum administrator. A lot of it is repeat of old posts that I didn't want to bore everyone with, but I thought it would be handy. See if you can open the message.

Not sure how long surgery is if they have to drill holes in your kneecap. I had tendon to tendon repair and it took almost 2 hours. Just make sure someone fills your pain med prescription before leaving the surgery center so you can take that stuff as soon as you get home--you will need it!

Do you have the standard leg immobilizer (with the foam pad and velcro straps, adjustable?) I always used the 2nd from the bottom strap to pick my leg up to put it on the couch, etc.

Wear longer T shirts or nightgowns at home--much easier to deal with than shorts. The immobilizer catches on shorts and such making it quite an ordeal to get on the toilet in time. Every time you get up, just go to the bathroom. Better safe than sorry and it takes a while to get there after surgery.

luckyleckman - I don't know if I had leg spasms. What type of brace do you have? That is exactly why I kept my leg immobilizer on at night (with the straps loosened a bit) so I would not hurt my leg in my sleep. I know when I'm not injured sometimes my legs could kick during a weird dream and I sure didn't want that to happend with this injured leg. My advice is to put something on that leg to keep it from bending when you sleep at night. Sure it isn't comfortable, but then neither is waking up to find it sore because of twitches and whatever else happened in your sleep!

Tom M - sorry to hear about your accident, but welcome to the group.

brewman - I have to go up stairs several times a day at my condo to get to the bathroom. However, I don't do alternating legs yet. At therapy, I have a small step I go up with the injured leg, then down with the injured leg, holding onto the balance rails. My leg is getting stronger, but not strong enough yet to attempt leading with my injured leg up my own stairs which are much higher. It will take time, but in the meantime, I hold my rails at home and go up with the non-injured leg, then my injured leg meets it, and up I go. Downstairs, I lead with the injured leg. I wouldn't dare attempt alternating leg at this stage in my therapy. I'm the tortoise--slow and steady and I'll make it.

Helmut2468 - yes I've had the weird pulling and such feeling come and go near the surgery area. 80 staples? Wow, I guess I was lucky with only 10 staples. However, my incision site is only 5 inches long.

Hope things are improving well for you with no more complications!

Also, no one in PT is pushing me around again. After the painful push from 50 to 60, no one has had to touch me because I have been able to stretch things out myself. I do believe if they had left my leg alone that Friday on Monday I would have made the same progress and without the swelling. I am really tough on myself and push a little beyond my pain level, but I know what I'm doing because it is my leg!

They told me that at 90 rom, they were no longer concerned about scar tissue and it would just take time for the tendon to stretch out, so no one is going to be pushing on my leg. They can do a deep tissue massage, but no bending my leg. Oh, and I will be firm about that. I'm making good progress.

Tigerbait - congrats on being back at work.

NYBodybuilder - such great progress and back at work, congrats.

DavidM - hope your recovery is going well. Hope your wife's biopsy confirmed nothing more than scar tissue.

ankhsign - well, as I said earlier, I'm making good progress and no one has touched my leg since that one day. I push the pain level at home a little each session, I can take that and I increase my ROM slow but steady. I like to be in control. I know how to push my limits, I used to increase my weights in weight training, and push myself to run up hills and marathons, so I think I know how to train and push my limits.

Duncan_CalgaryAB - I don't know if I can do 1-2 hours of walking a day, but on the days I'm not at the PT facility, I go to a large grocery store in the evenings and do my slow walks up and down the aisle with a cart. Only now I walk half the distance with the brace off, then I have to put it back on because I'm feeling weak. Also, instead of having the cart hold me up, I only use the hand rail and force myself to walk slow and steady, heel to toe, stand upright, and barely use the cart for balance. It probably takes me an hour to do that. At least it isn't crowded and it is nice and air conditioned. I can't take too many of these 90+ degree days.

I wish everyone good progress with your recovery and therapy.

I heard some guy on the TV a few weeks ago say "Life is a journey. Life is not a sprint, it is a marathon." Yes, and that is exactly what this whole thing is like. The slow and steady recovery and training will work, you just have to be patient.
post #497 of 10802

surgery time


My surgery took 45 minutes, or so they tell me. They started anesthetic in the hall on the way to the operating room and I dont remember anything after that. I was in recovery for a couple hours and then they pushed me out the door. I was in the hospital for a total of about 7 hours.

By the way, crutches are not that bad. I have an old girlfriend who is a physical therapist and she came to give me some lessons on them. I think they would be a little easier than a walker, especially in tight spaces and when you need to go up a stair or two.

Good luck.
post #498 of 10802
Thread Starter 

26 Weeks out from Surgery

Hi All: Haven't posted in a while.

I am very happy all are finding that this forum is worthwhile. I was desperate for information and companionship and understanding when I was first hurt, and that is why I originally posted. I hope this continues to serve the purpose of providing those needs to all who have the misfortune of a QTR in their lives.

Welcome to ConnieP, Helmut, Tom M, Lucky, and any others I might have missed. Connie, I was particularly interested to hear you tell of the pain of this injury - I remember thinking that I immediately had to staunch the blood flow when I was injured as I didn't think the pain could be that great and not have something poking through my flesh.

I continue to improve - I am riding a tremendous amount still. Am doing regular 60 mile rides each weekend, with a few 20- 40 milers tossed in each week. Still having trouble standing and absolutely hammering going up steep hills on the mountain bike, but it is coming slowly and surely. I had to cancel my annual 40 mile backpacking trip with friends in September - I just don't think I quite have the strength or agility to do that yet. I was out in the yard yesterday trying to pull out a stump with my 15 y.o. son - stomped on a shovel and hit a root - pain and instability, so stopped, laid down the shovel and "supervised."

As far as skiing this winter goes, I think I'll be able to ski, but doubt I'll be strong enough to make a lot of high speed turns that cause a lot of force to be absorped by the legs. Similarly, I think steeps and bumps will have to wait another year. That is OK - I've had way more turns out of my knees over the years than any one person has a right to have!

All in all, life is positive - the injury takes longer to completely heal than did my ACL of a few years ago, but I can see that I will be back to myself eventually.

This is true for all of you as well. Be patient! Keep working! Be happy! Life is still sweet!

Good luck to all of you!

post #499 of 10802
Idaho Guy, I don't know how you did it, but the post after this one, will be the 500th post in this thread. That's huge, and not bad work. I hope everyone will feel free to look around the site and discover the skiing threads, or if that is not of interest, try what we call the off-season sports threads. We do have a good group of people, and a surprising number who showed up as a result of this rare but unfortunate injury.

post #500 of 10802
8 Weeks Out, Questioning Manipulation

Hi Guys, new to posting on the forum, but have been freeloading in the background for a few weeks.

Anyway, I have a question regarding manipulation (under anesthesia). I haven't seen anyone talk much about this. I had surgery on 6.9.08, and just hit 100 degrees ROM today. Also (Just like CaliforniaQuadPop) got the pedal of the bike all the way around today (in 1 direction).

Anyway, my OS is planning a manipulation for this Thursday if i don't get to 115 degrees ROM (from 75 degrees 2 weeks ago). He said there is a risk of "undoing what we did".

My question is... Is this a little soon for manipulation? What is to be gained by hurrying the process? I think I'm on course and making slow, stedy, painful progress. CaliforniaQuadPop mentioned that at 90 degrees his people weren't worried about the scar tissue, but I am getting a different story.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I would like to thank everyone for posting here and shaing their experiences. It has been very helpful in the recovery process.
post #501 of 10802

Manipulation past 100 degrees

Illinois Tie Tripper - I'm no expert, but my head therapist (and head of the therapy center I'm at) said "we are out of the woods" when a patient gets to 90 degrees range of movement as far as scar tissue.

As long as you are making steady progress, why would they have to manipulate your leg? Are they talking about bending it back without anesthesia or with? Why the risk?

I could maybe understand if your leg didn't budge past a certain point for a week.

I really don't see what is gained by forcing the leg--unless there is a lot of scar tissue and the leg is making not much progress and is below 85 degrees rom.

My leg was out of the immobilizer on a Tuesday (after 6 weeks trapped in that thing) and I was at 45 degrees, by that Friday I was at 50. They manipulated my leg to 60 on that Friday (yes I cried), and all it did was set me back all weekend and caused my knee to swell up. Just so they could put "60" on my damn file for that Friday. I think they should have waited until Monday to see where I was at. Now that I know what I know, no one is shoving my leg back but me--and a little at a time. I don't want to rip my muscles or tendon and cause more damage!

Well, I have pushed myself and made it to 90 a week before I see my doctor, and that is what the goal he wanted to see.

I can tell you at this point, no one is touching my leg to bend it back. I'm making sure and steady progress, it is my leg, and it is a matter of slow and steady stretching of the tendon. I'd rather sit on the stationary bike at a lower seat setting all day doing half circles and slowly stretching everything out instead of having someone bend my leg after making it this far.

Did your repair require holes drilled in your kneecap? I'm one of only 2 people here that did not have that done. My tear was higher up so they had to sew muscles and tendon back on the other end of the tendon.

I think I have a whole different type of pain and weird feeling in my leg. Kind of feels like a constant "Charley Horse". The leg works, but works different. My doctor said right after surgery "I didn't have to drill holes in your knee cap, but it was pretty thrashed".

Uh, thanks, I think. What do you say to that? I had the surgery within a week of the accident. The rest of you still have an intact muscle attached to a tendon, which was surgically attached to your kneecap--and those suture threads will not break. My muscles were sewn back together, so it is a whole different thing.

It is your leg and I would really question the situation and get a second opinion. If it is just to get your leg to a certain point because the insurance will only pay for so many therapy sessions--well, I'd rather pay for another session or two out of my pocket than try to make some number to make the insurance company or doctor happy--especially since it might screw up what you have already accomplished.

I would be interested to hear from everyone about manipulation past 90 degrees rom in your situation. With the progress you are making, it just doesn't make sense to me.
post #502 of 10802

6 months today

Howdy folks - just checking in for a quick update (I see our Founder has done the same - it must be that time of the month).

Well, for me it's like it never happened. Everything is back to normal (or as normal as it would have been without the injury). For months now I've been riding my bike the 36 miles to/from work, and hiking as much as weatherly possible (it's been raining pretty much constantly here in VT, for what seems like forever).

I have no residual pain, at all. I can do everything I want, even kneel on the floor to change diapers, sitting full-on butt-to-heels (ok, changing diapers is not exactly something I WANT to do, but it's gotta happen somehow). When I do get to ride my mountain bike off-road, I have no trouble at all staying with my old gang (the A-team), and they ride hard and long, almost every day.

At this point I would say I feel 95% recovered, only because I find I still have a short weak zone when getting up off the floor using only the repaired leg. But I've been working on that by doing slow-motion one-legged squats - I stand on a chair and slowly let myself down on the weak leg until the other heel touches the floor. Then slowly back up - no heel push-off allowed. As many times as I can.

For those of you who haven't been around long (welcome!), I attribute most of my speedy recovery to ditching the crutches and brace as soon as possible. I feel that healing comes with activity, and learning to move normally as quickly as possible is critical. If you're interested, my posts start way back on page 1, but a brief timeline:

2 days post-surgery - no more crutches
4 days - no more brace indoors
12 days - back to work, driving stick-shift
2 weeks - started twice-daily mile-long walks, hinged brace on
4 weeks - ditched the brace completely
8 weeks - started biking, and never stopped

I did all my own PT, pretty much all day, every day, at work and at home. When sitting, I would find something to flex the knee against, with slow constant pressure. Never to the point of pain. Straighten and repeat. When standing, I would lower myself slowly on the weak leg, hands and other leg ready to catch. Straighten and repeat. Couldn't be simpler - no driving, no sessions, no trainers, no pain. Just 24 hours of getting stronger and more stable, every day.

I have absolute confidence I'll be skiing and snowboarding this winter at 100%. I wouldn't settle for anything less.

Best regards, and good luck to you all. Work hard! It's so worth it.

PS - my wife has also made a complete recovery from her back surgery - thanks for all your good wishes

PPS - when I've said "never to the point of pain", I don't mean there was no pain involved at all. Hardly - usually after my personal PT sessions my knee would ache like sumbitch, and for quite some time. But I never pushed the knee into the pain zone while I was actually doing the pushing. I figured my knee would let me know if I was doing real damage (confirmed with my OS). Gradual constant pressure yielded me big rewards in ROM.
post #503 of 10802
hi All!

Like TDG and Sinrider, just checking in. I will be 9 months post on August 12. I can do anything I want, but I am "aware" of my knee most of the time. At times, it feels normal, and feels best when I have done some exercise and worst when I have prolonged periods of one activity such as standing or riding in a plane. I have found the exercise of standing on a step with the bad leg and dipping the good foot to the ground (similar to Sin's chair exercise) to be helpful at those times. I still get a little nervous when walking (hiking) on severely uneven ground (like down slopes with large rocks).

Welcome Lucky (are you going to change your tag now? ), Connie (think you are the 3rd female QTR on the thread), Tom and Illinois Tie Tripper...sorry for your injuries but I am sure you will get good ideas and therapeutic help here.

Illinois: re MUA, check out www.kneeguru.co.uk/kneeguru. It is from 2004 and seems like mostly females but they discuss MUA. If I recall, they tend to discourage doing it or going thru it. After seeing that, on my first post-surgery visit to my OS I asked about that. He said, if I did my job we wont be doing that. He was not in favor of the procedure, for what it is worth.

IDG: riding my Specialized as often as I can. First few rides I admit to "coasting" some but now pedal virtually all the time so it is coming! I am not close to your or Sinrider's class (and dont know that is my aspiration) but keep picking up the miles and the pace.

Best to All! Keep pluggin' !

post #504 of 10802
Connie, try elevating the leg at night. I lifted my leg up onto a really soft (down) pillow (2 actually) at night and this really helped. As I tend to sleep on my side as I can't stand sleeping on my back, but the pillows between the legs and I also put one behind my back so I would not roll over in my sleep. When I sleep on my back, my wife says I snore. However, I deny this happens. :-)

I agree on the comments re the crutches vs the walker. Crutches were easier to get around for me. Make sure that they are properly adjusted at the hospital as I understand that most people do not adjust them properly. Re weight bearing, I was told I could put weight on it the day after surgery so long as the brace was on it. Easy for him to say, he'd never done this before.

I'd suggest that initially you just rest and let it heal. Once the OS gives you the go ahead to start putting weight on it, doing PT, exercises etc, go for it and let pain be your guide. But don't rush it at first. Keep the ice handy and it does tend to swell. Just don't ice too long. Then rest again, more ice........

Although I was sleeping at the time, I understand I was out of surgery in under an hour. Then recovery for most of the afternoon, then in the car and my wife drove me home. Be careful on stairs though until you get your balance back.

My surgery was the day after the accident. But as you've read in here, folks have had it after much longer than you and it does not appear to impact on recovery.

Sinrider, glad to hear you and your wife are improving. Keep it up both of you. I wish you both a speedy and complete recovery.

Illinios - at 100%, I think you are doing well considering the time since surgery. My own experience is that the sooner you push it the better. In reading comments in here, PT and OS have different views of this. however my OS told me to push it hard and that it would hurt like he.. but that I needed to push through the pain. And he was right and I am glad I did it. But tell them when to push and when not to. It's your leg and you know what you're going through. But to be honest, once the OS gives the go ahead, I am an advocate of pushing the limit.

When my PT says do 3 sets of 15, I do 6. When she says to 2 reps, I do 5............. I want this over with and back to normal. I am touring Jordan and Israel in 3 months and plan on being back to normal by then.

Cheers everyone and stay well
post #505 of 10802
Hi Everyone..

I have an update! I went to see my Dr. today and he said he wants to go ahead and do my surgery tomorrow...at 3:00 pm.

I finally have the "skinny" on my injuries (we looked at the MRI together), and he showed me where all of my tendon ends are and where my kneecap is and none of them are where they are supposed to be... (High grade quadriceps insertional tear with avulsion of it's lateral attachment fibers through which prolapses capsular fluid into the subcutis tissues.

#2 My cartildge tear was worsened with my fall (Complex tearing of the posterior horn and body of the medial meniscus).

#3 Severe Capsulosynovitis

#4 Large joint effusion.

Thankfully, my MCL and both cruciate ligaments are intact.....

Plan is to do arthroscopic surgery first to clean up the meniscus tear and then do the quad fix. He said 4 holes in the knee cap - surgery 2 hours as this is a little bit more complex due to different injuries and tissue damage - some time in recovery and then HOME.

NOW, has anyone had an epidural with their surgery???? I was sort of hoping to be knocked out completely...But, he said he might need me awake to check some things as he goes along. I'm getting sick to my stomach again, just like I did immeadiately after falling the other night and yes, eyes are misting. I know I won't feel it but good Lord I really don't care to feel the tugs and certainly any bending he might?? - Most likely?? - maybe?? will do - noises.....Truly makes me sick to think about it.

I get to eat breakfast and have sips of water through out the day.....yeaaaaa, I still don't want to be awake during surgery.

Cannot bend leg for 6 to 8 weeks BUT...he did say I can bear weight within a couple weeks.....IS THIS RIGHT?? I can gently stand on it but absolutely no flexing the knee whatsoever. He says the tendons will re-attach to the patella. And that the sutures will only keep them there so long in the beginning and if I flex my knee the sutures won't hold....and if that happens it not going to put him or I in a very good mood.

He didn't go any further than that....He said, let's just get thru tomorrow ok??

My post-op meds are: Antibiotics and Norco 10/325 mg one or two every 4 to 6 hours as needed....anyone familar with this?? Is it enough??

I want to welcome all new people here. I'm new myself and this is a very kind place to be with so many really good people to help.

Tom M - I want to be like you!! ...in fact, if they wanted to put me to sleep before leaving the house I'd be ok with that!!

IN2 - I appreciate the warning regarding the pain. Heck, even my DR's nurse reminded me to get my pain meds filled...You're gonna need it and then just smiled almost like she was happy like I was going to hurt....I wanted to reach across the desk and "slap" her....but, I couldn't have reached her anyways......no, not really.....well, maybe... just a little bit..

Illinois Tie - Hi neighbor! I'm a Hoosier!

Chihi-Yea, the third female...but truly wish'in I never heard of this place..)

California...Hey!! I got your post and West Point is 30 minutes north of us!! How about that? I'll return your message soon. I promise )

Idaho Guy......I so appreciate this place.....thanks again!

Thanks a bunch everyone, just be so thankful, that you're all way past wear I am tomorrow at 3:00.....and that's ok, dear friends!

Catch up with ya all soon!

post #506 of 10802
Hey Connie good luck today. Tell your anistisolgist(sp) about you anxiety maybe he can give you some feel good stuff before surgery. As far as pain meds go everyone is different as far as tolerance goes. From my experience pain meds are great for a short time then they make you feel like crap. I have always tried to get away from them as soon a possible even if I have to grin and bear it a little.

My staples came out Tuesday. Uneventful really just some slight oozing. They took all my padding out of Zimmer splint which is really uncomfortable. So one of my wifes Christmas towels got put to good use as padding.

As I understand the spint comes off in 2 weeks (a total of 4 weeks on). What i don't know is what happens after that. There is no way the tendon is healed by then. Is it? I keep reading on various sites that it takes 6 to 8 weeks to be healed. Anyone here have and info on that?

I have been doing much searching for info on this type of injury on the net and can find very little info. Beside the sites like this one there seems to be a lack of medical info. I can find almost any injury you can imagine but not quad tendon info. Is it that rare?
post #507 of 10802
Helmut-Good Morning!

From what I gather, the tendon ends needs a good 6 to 8 weeks to
re-attach....?? I know that my Doc says no flexing whatsoever
for that long. Maybe it depends on the extent of the tear...??

Helmut-This injury is rare. You're right, in that there isn't much info but even so, the best info is going to be from those who've "been there and done that" and you can get that right here!!

Surgery center called....I'm going earlier...1:00 PM!

Gotta go and start getting ready.............

Hopefully, I can post tonight???
If so, great and if not.....then soon - Take Care All..........
post #508 of 10802
Connie: Best of luck today!! Sounds as though your OS is thorough, but I suggest keeping a list of questions to ask him. I was just on Percocet (2/4 hours) for 5 days post, and found they were good for 3 hours! I asked for a spinal but ended up with total anesthesia and after reading the OS surgery report, I was glad! Helmut is right, tell your OS and staff about your anxiety....

Keep Pluggin' !

post #509 of 10802
Well, It's done.....I am at home....It's 4:18 AM, I woke up and just wanted to sit in the quite for a few minutes before everyone wakes up and the day begins.....

So far so good! I have been taking my pain meds every 4 hours and it seems to be working quite well. I'm using Hydrocodone-APAP 7.5-750. I got 10 mg available from my OS today but these are holding, so gonna stick with the 7.5mg until I need something stronger..

Thankfully, I was put totally out..YEAAAA. Both nurses in the OR I have previously worked with years ago and they were both so interested in catching up the last 8 years of our lifes that I never even got one question in....Wondering if that might have been part of squelching my anxiety some..?? The last thing I remember was hearing about her daughter in Florida....and then waking up in recovery!

I was doing pretty good in recovery but started shaking...not really cold or recall any pain, but the shaking started to get so "jerky" it had started to make my left knee hurt-I told my recovery nurse I couldn't quit and she added something to my IV and that was the end of that...I did get sick 3 times and now that is over too

So, so far so good. I'm afraid to get up as I remember the pain that gravity caused in my leg before surgery. But gonna have to pretty soon...

Getting a little sleep now so will talk soon......./
post #510 of 10802
Connie good for you. The pain was not a real issue for me either. I too had Hyrocodone and found it to be great for a couple of days but after that it really made me feel crappy and switched to Toradol but only used it a couple of times. I do confess though that i use it before bed to help induce sleep. The anestetic also made me shake and feel cold while coming around. That actually happened a couple of times the day after as well.

If I may give one word of advice- remember to flex your feet like pushing gas peddle in a car often. To help avoid blood clots. Then in a day or so get up every hour or so for a very short walk.
I say this because I did get a blot clot that went to my lungs(very dangerous) Although mine happened the day after surgery it was not caused by lack of movement at that point. But is is a real possiblity in anyone that has surgery in the lower body. Mine was actually caused by an unknown genetic issue.

It seems like you are in good spirits. Stay happy and it will all be over quickly.
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