@HarleyMan, good and not good to see you. I wish we did not have to go through things like this. As Eric has stated, it is best to go through with the procedure. I will note a few things before you decide to go all the way.
Here are few questions I have for you:
- Have you had a lower extremity MRI to determine IF there is evidence of a full recovery non-surgically? - I met with several of the US TOP OS's that focused solely on leg tendons and they told me specifically the only way to get the best and most accurate assessment of a torn tendon is to have a lower extremity MRI -HD. (only one leg will go into the MRI machine)
- How is your overall health and BMI? I ask this because at 63 and you are on 3-5 medications daily, things can be better. Also, if your Body Mass Index is above 22 at your age, things can be better.
- Is your OS Skilled? Has your OS done 300 or more quad or patella tendon operations? Has your OS had to revise ANY of his quad or patella tendon procedures? What credentials does your OS carry? Did your OS graduate in the top 10% of his class, is he board certified and focused on soft tissue repair within the knee capsule a good percentage of his career? Did your OS go to a repuatable/semi-reputable medical school?
- If the answer is Yes and your OS is qualified it is good that you had this done. Your OS can determine whether a non-surgical approach is even feasible.
- If your answer is 23 or higher, you are at a higher risk for the procedure at your age. Also, depending on the medications you are on which could have an adverse effect to your blood thinning and pain regimen post op as well as other things.
- If your OS is skilled in the area of soft tissue, then great. At least you found someone or a practice that is good.
So why do people with your dilemma opt for surgery? They do simply because their condition is getting worse and they don't want to end up with a rupture at a point in their life when surgery is at a higher risk. They also choose the surgery route simply because their qualified OS has gotten the results of their MRI and has also viewed the films from the Lower Extremity MRI and has determined that a non-surgical route would have a low success rate.
I can tell you that most non-surgical techniques simply don't work unless the person is on the cleanest possible diet before and after, have worked with an OS that has evidence on the success of his technique in PRP (platelet rich plasma) and the tears in the tendon are at the micro level according to the Lower Extremity MRI.
My direct answer to your question is - Go for the surgery IF:
- Your OS is qualified
- You have had a proper assessment with the lower extremity MRI
- You can follow the protocol in the UW guide to the "T"
If all those line up, go for it. I have had my quad tendons worked on 4 times. I am only 40 years old but very optimistic I will do everything I was able to do before they failed.