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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 227

post #6781 of 10808
Originally Posted by RUNNERMX View Post

I had my 1-year appointment with my O.S. today. He agreed that I am 95% recovered, and he discharged me with a parting warning: This recovery has an 18-month window of opportunity to get everything back. Expect progress to slow significantly after one year, and to halt after about 18 months. I should do everything in my ability to recover the last 5% in the next six months, because the window of opportunity will close.


I think 6 months is more than enough time for me, and I will try to recover the last 5% sooner. I also personally believe that the body's natural response to exercise at any stage is to get stronger. Yet his parting comments confirmed what I have believed all along, that there is no time to dawdle when it comes to this recovery. If you want to win this war, you have to launch an all-out offensive the instant the leg shackles come off, and maintain the all-out offensive until your recovery reaches the 100% century mark.

That is awesome work Runnermx! I just read all your post. Your recovery gives us all something to shoot for. 


I'm on my 12th week and hit 135 degrees today and am slowly starting to add some strength. Up to 15 lbs on the leg lift machine with the inured leg and did 3 sets of 20 reps. I could barely do 5 lbs last week. Road a regular bike for the first time this weekend. 


My PT is trying to work me up to doing a single leg squat on the bosu while holding on to a railing. 


My main goal is to start surfing 6 months after surgery.


Good luck this week everybody. 

post #6782 of 10808

Since we live relatively close to each other, I got the opportunity to visit Red Nighthawk last Saturday.   In addition to the great smoothie, I left with some delicious blueberries.   He’s got a great farm there with lots of family help.  If you can find your  way to New England, you've got to try those berries!  It was great to meet a fellow QTR traveler.  We had nice talk, part of which was the long, shaggy dog story of how I came to be a member of this august group.  He suggested I post it to the group, so at the risk of boring you. . . . .




Every May for the last seventeen years, a friend and I go on a week-long fishing trip to northern Maine.  We stay at Bradfordcamps (bradfordcamps.com) which is on a four mile lake with some great landlocked salmon and lake trout fishing. One day each year, the owner flys us in a float plane to a (more) remote lake that has a nice trout stream that forms the outlet at the end of the lake – no roads in or out and miles from civilization.  So at the end of the day, I was working my way wading up the stream back to the lake just before the plane was going to pick us up to go back to camp.  I was watching my fly line instead of where I was stepping in the stream and must have stepped in a hole or slipped on a rock because my left knee buckled under me and I came full weight down on my bent knee.  You can figure out what happened next – POP!  Next thing I noticed was I was sitting in the stream, waders flooded (only about 2ft of water, so not drowning) with an incredible cramp.  Managed to straighten my leg, cramp went away, and no other pain.  Took stock, realized that my leg was still in one piece and I hadn’t trashed my knee.  Figured it was something with the quad and after sitting there for a minute or so, without knowing exactly what was wrong, realized that the rest of my summer was probably toast.  As long as I kept the leg locked, it didn’t cramp and I pulled myself up with my good leg and walking stick, hobbled a couple of hundred yards along the side of the river up into the lake where the pickup point was.  Plane arrived on time, and the next thing we had to figure out was how to get me into the four place Cessna on floats without bending my leg at all.  The pilot and my buddy held my leg straight while I slid my butt up onto the floor and then onto the back seat.  They raised my leg over the pilot seat and my buddy held the leg straight while we flew back to camp.  Got back to the cabin (with help) and spent the night sitting up in a chair, w/ ice and an ace bandage on the knee.  Next morning, we left camp and drove to Presque Isle ER, where they told me I had a quad tendon rupture.  A week later I had surgery and the rest, as they say, is history.




A couple of thoughts come to mind from this experience.  This really brought home to me how important it is to have a way of communicating in an emergency when your out in the middle of nowhere.  We’ve brought along a satellite phone the last couple of years at the insistence of our wives.  We didn’t need to use it this time because the plane and I got to the pickup point pretty much at the same time.  If it had happened earlier in the day, that phone would have come in handy.  Also, personal locater beacons (PLBs) are available and relatively cheap insurance.  If you’re out where there’s no cell service, have a way to communicate, and always bring a buddy.  The other thing that comes to mind is how quickly a moment of inattention can change your life.  I wasn’t looking where I was going and paid the price.  It also could have been a lot worse – broke my leg, hit my head, etc.  All things considered, I was pretty fortunate.


post #6783 of 10808

@Flyguy  Thanks for sharing your story.  There is nothing boring about ripping a quad apart!  We all know this.  All of our stories are seem to be WOOPS moments and not skiing down a hill at 70 MPH!  You are so correct about having communication in remote areas.  I encourage everybody to take a cell phone if even for a walk around the block.  I am hoping to be part of the ski crew in Loon in March.  I still have work to do to make it.


Today's bicycle ride...The Half Century!  I was feeling tapped out at 40 but got inspiration from thinking of all my fellow QTR friends to push the extra 10!  Please know you were all with me on today's ride!

post #6784 of 10808

@skicarver. Hope you make it to Loon!  If I can, I'll join you and RN there, but after a visit to my OS today, he said it's about a year before the risk of re injury is back to the level it was before it happened. Actually, given that it happened, the risk was 100% so maybe that's not so good  :-)    Kidding aside, since I got hurt in May, may want to give it the year before I get too crazy.  Will have to assess as things progress.


As for the visit, it went very well.  I'm at 95 ROM and he told me to ditch the brace.  That's the good news.  Bad news, "you have to be careful because without the brace you can reinjure it if you fall."   Great!  I lost my blankie.  Told him I'd gladly wear it longer, but he said at this point, it would actually slow down the rehab.  Think I'll still use it some if I'm doing something on uneven ground, and be careful otherwise.  Overall, things seem to be on track, but this is a marathon, not a sprint.

post #6785 of 10808

@skicarver. ...and congrats on the ride. You give us something to aspire to.

post #6786 of 10808

@Flyguy  I can remember when I lost both my blankies.  There was more calculating how to do things than actually doing things.  You will naturally protect the repaired parts.  Your OS has the same philosophy as my OS.  Mother Nature takes time to heal and adjust.  As for targeting March for the slopes....I think the Bunny Hill still counts.  I am now 10 months in to the double whammy recovery.  I would say I'm 80% and still pushing hard but progress is oh so slow.  I'm either going to be close to my old self or wear myself out trying.  Start pushing your recovery ASAP.  Gains are achieved earlier easier rather than later.  @Eric308 is a good example of this.  Gotta make hay when the sun is still shining with this damn injury. 

post #6787 of 10808
Although Flyguy and Skicarver make good points about communication devices and heading out with a buddy, part of the joy for me in trail running is heading out solo, leaving the phone behind and making some trail choices on the fly. Future safety is a great topic because I know I will play it safer about running on ice, but there are some things I just don't want to change and am willing to take the risks of my choices.
post #6788 of 10808

I was determined to get to 86 ROM today, but all the determination in the world doesn't cut it with this injury.  Still stuck at 84, despite lots of effort from me and Paige.  Hmmm!  This is starting to look bleak.  I have a week and half to get to 90 and then the OS will begin plan B, whatever that is.  I think I know, but I don't want it--yet.  I'm not through with this yet.  


The ski date with Flyguy and Skicarver can wait until we are all good, which may be never in my case.  However, if we're good, then let's do it.  Even if it's on the bunny hill at first.  I agree with Flyguy though, it seems too far distant and too scary at this point to even contemplate.  Let's just keep it in the back of our minds for motivation.  It's all on me!


Back to today:  Paige had me do the usual raise my leg, on my own, while laying on the table and that is improving every time.  However, when she sits me down and pushes the leg inward, there is no gain.  I sat on a chair and pushed my foot against an immovable object and she was startled by how 90 degrees it looked.  I was pushing like a madman, red in the face, not breathing, all the wrong things.  She took out her measuring device and guess what?   84!  I could seriously punch my knee.  I feel like beating the daylights out of my knee to break all the scar tissue.  I told this to Paige and she said she's good with it, so that's what I will do at least a few times each day.


That's the scoop folks.  It looks like I am heading for some serious plan B stuff if I can't get this knee to bend a mere 5 degrees more.  

post #6789 of 10808

@Red Nighthawk. I definitely want to ski with you when the time is right. Keep beating the crap out of that scar tissue and icing.

post #6790 of 10808
@Red Nighthawk: Keep trying your best, my friend. You sure deserve a break in this ROM challenge.
post #6791 of 10808

@old bruce, thanks.  It's a long blueberry day today for me.  I'll be open until dark, but I'll bring my little bike down to the stand and peddle in between customers.  Also, I have my bucket of rocks to hang from my ankle, and of course, I can simply press my knee forward against an immobilized object.  All fun stuff!  I got the feeling yesterday that Paige has lost her determination for me.  I think she knows!  She may have resigned herself to the fact that it is impossible for me to move the knee.  She may be right!  However, on Saturday a PT visited my patch and we discussed my situation.  She mentioned she has a recumbent bike at her place, which is in the next town from me.  Maybe this is God showing me another way.  It's on my mind today.  I may leave Paige.


@Flyguy, here you are trying to hang on to your brace, while my OS kept me in mine for  FOUR MONTHS.   Move your knee big guy.  That's my advice.  Keeping it locked and unweighted is what put me in this pathetic situation I am now in.  I'm envious of your ROM, but I'm rooting for you big time.  After all, we need to take a few runs, right?  If not this winter, then next.  We will get there!  

post #6792 of 10808

@RedNighthawk maybe you could make a trial run and do 1 test appointment with this other PT you met. I think it's worth a try. Maybe she is more experienced.

post #6793 of 10808

To all my fellow wounded compatriots....it's about time for me to say adios. I just noticed my post count and I figure more current walking wounded can be more spontaneous. It has been a pleasure, believe me. Eric

post #6794 of 10808
@eric308 : Thanks for your helpful insights and good advice. Have a couple cold ones on the Union Terrace to celebrate all that you've done for this forum.
post #6795 of 10808

@Eric308, don't leave!  You're too valuable for others who are going through this horrible injury.  You've helped me a ton, so maybe slow down your committment, but please don't leave. 

post #6796 of 10808

@Eric308 Thanks form the skicarver.  I would not have been this far along in my recovery without your insight.  I still think you should tune in once in a while.....


post #6797 of 10808



You will be missed brother. Thanks for the support to everyone.


Hope you are wearing the Sandshaker tank top often!  



post #6798 of 10808
Originally Posted by Eric308 View Post

To all my fellow wounded compatriots....it's about time for me to say adios. I just noticed my post count and I figure more current walking wounded can be more spontaneous. It has been a pleasure, believe me. Eric

Pop in from time to time.  Its been a pleasure reading your good thoughts on recovery. 

post #6799 of 10808
@eric308. Eric, as a relative newbie I especially appreciated your posts. Best of luck!
post #6800 of 10808

At last, some positive news.  After being stuck at 84 for ten days, I gained 2-3 degrees today at the PT.  So there is a glimmer of hope for me.  I have until August 12 to get to 89 according to the imposed deadline set by my OS.  I may actually be able to get there afterall.  Paige used a stick to roll over the outside of the quad on the last visit.  It was uncomfortable to say the least, but it may have worked!  She did it again today and it hurt like heck, but at this point I don't care how much things hurt if they produce improvement.  She knew I was gong to have a good day by the way I sat on the table.  The leg didnt stick out so much as it usually does.  I've been peddling this little bike I have for hours lately and it may be helping. So perhaps all the work I've been doing at home is starting to pay off.  I'll know soon enough, but in the meantime, I feel positive about this recovery, and that is something new for me lately.

post #6801 of 10808

Great Day RN.  Hit that knee with everything you have.  No mercy!  This injury takes prisoners so give it all you have every day.  Keep your eye on the prize!!

post #6802 of 10808

@Red Nighthawk  Great news!  I knew you could do it!  Keep pushing for those last few degrees.  I know you'll get there.

post #6803 of 10808
RN: Glad you got some progress. Keep dropping the seat on the bike as Eric308 and I suggested in earlier posts. Finally, a breakthrough. Are you going to stick with Paige or try the PT you met the other day? Or both?
post #6804 of 10808

Thanks guys for the encouragement!  God knows I need it.  I feel good though now that I have a teeny bit of improvement to show for the work. There's nothing like it to give me motivation.  I was starting to resign myself to my fate of Plan B, but yesterday renewed my vigor and determination to kill this SOB stiffness.  It's my enemy, I hate, I hit it (literally), and with God's help, I'll recover.   @old bruce, I'm riding a little tinker toy sort of bike (it's not really even a bike), but at least I can make it around and I continue to move my chair closer and closer to the point where I can't make it around.  So I know what you mean, and I'm pushing it, and for hours every day.  I think it's helping.   For now, I'll stick with Paige, but I have not discarded the other PT's business card.  Hang tough everyone!  

post #6805 of 10808

Saw this old bookmark and had to stop by to say hello. Its been 5+ years for me.  I'm pleased with my recovery and have done just about anything (hiking, road biking, mountain biking, swimming, sailing, snorkeling, SCUBA, downhill and x-country skiing) and everything that I've wanted to.  I'd rate my recovery of strength and flexibility close to 100%.  I still feel the tightness and my balance is just a bit off.  As I move further into my 60's, the osteoarthritis in my shoulder is far more of an issue than any residuals from the QTR.


I was always looking for advice from the friends on this site who had been through it.  Play for the long term.  At the time it seemed very important to try to cut a day or a week off of my rehab time by pushing just a little harder.  I was fortunate that I didn't have any set-backs.  Looking back, achieving full recovery is what is important and a day, week or even month one way or the other doesn't really matter.


One thing I did learn is not to take it for granted that I'll be able to continue to do the activities I love.  Every day is special and a gift to be enjoyed to the fullest possible extent.  That realization has enriched my life.


Fair winds and calm seas. 



post #6806 of 10808

@wanasail  Glad things turned out for you.  Nice to see there can be a good long term outcome to this.

post #6807 of 10808

When I saw the OS on Tue I really felt insecure when he took the brace away.  It felt like it was a part of me.  After several days without it I'm feeling better about losing it.  Starting to feel just a bit like a normal person again.  The leg is noticeably weak, but I'm walking and it's bending as I walk. Still concerned about stumbling, so being very careful, but it's a big difference from walking peg leg. PT says week 12 is when healing should be secure, and I'm only at week 8 so PT will continue to be light until week 12.  Using a cane for safety, at least for a while.  OS wants to see me in 8 weeks so lots of work to do between now and then.

post #6808 of 10808

@Flyguy  Great job!  Take care like your OS says until 12 weeks.  Then hit it with everything you have.  Your healed tendon will be stronger than your leg muscle.  You will still protect the injured leg.  Takes a bit to wean the brain from protecting the injured parts.  Sure is nice for you to be released from brace jail.

post #6809 of 10808
@Flyguy: I think the high point of recovery so far was getting out of the brace. Although my OS told me not to bother with getting the light neoprene brace/sleeve, I did get one at the suggestion of Eric308. I only used it for outdoor walking weeks 8-12, but it did help me be confident about knee buckling until that magic 12-week point @skicarver talks about.

Speaking of knee buckling, mine sitill kind of catches from time to time. I figure if it ain't buckling (occasionally), I ain't trying. Everything seems to be a balance of being safe and smart with pushing out and going for it.

Congratulations on hitting a major milestone.
post #6810 of 10808

Old Bruce and Skicarver, thanks for the good words.  It's coming along, but fragile.  I'll just keep plugging away and will be patient. Not one of my virtues, ordinarily.

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