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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 229

post #6841 of 10797
What is your Name or User Alias the Quadman
How old were you when the injury occurred? 56
Date injury occurred? 12th April 2014
How did the injury occur? Walking down a hill on holiday in malta left leg collapsed week later right leg collapsed)
How many days from when you ruptured (Complete disconnect) or tear to when you actually had the surgery to repair it?9 days left leg 2 days right leg
What type of procedure cut down the leg round the knee fix to side of knee 55 staples in total
How long did you stay in a hospital or surgery center? (
4days )
Were you on any pharmaceutical medications prior to your injury. No ?
If so, what were the names and how long were you on them? You don’t have to give this if you don’t want to….simply write N/A
How was your overall health prior to injury? Good
How long were you told to stay locked at zero in your brace for 6 weeks but set @ 45 @ night
Did you have other tendon issues prior to your QTR no
Did you have knee issues prior to your QTR? (No
Did you have your repair done in a hospital or surgery center?hospital
Was it done by an orthopedic group or single Orthopedic Surgeon?surgeon
Did you have complications post-surgery? If so, what were they?What is your Name or User Alias?
How old were you when the injury occurred?
Date injury occurred?
How did the injury occur? (Can be 1-2 sentences)
How many days from when you ruptured (Complete disconnect) or tear to when you actually had the surgery to repair it?
What type of procedure was performed? (Simple sutures[typical of mid tendon rupture], patella drill holes, patella anchors)
How long did you stay in a hospital or surgery center? (in number of days)
Were you on any pharmaceutical medications prior to your injury?
If so, what were the names and how long were you on them? You don’t have to give this if you don’t want to….simply write N/A
How was your overall health prior to injury? Great, good, poor
How long were you told to stay locked at zero in your brace?
Did you have other tendon issues prior to your QTR?
Did you have knee issues prior to your QTR? (If Yes, please list)
When did you begin to feel 100% or close to 100% again? (In Months or Choose "Not 100% Yet - N/A")
Did you have your repair done in a hospital or surgery center?
Was it done by an orthopedic group or single Orthopedic Surgeon?
Did you have complications post-surgery? If so, what were they?
What is/was your occupation?
What is/was your hobbies? (separate by comma if you have multiple)
What is/was your occupation?
What is/was your hobbies? (separate by comma if you have multiple)mad.gif
post #6842 of 10797

Hi everyone!  Reporting in!  It was a great day for the blueberry growing Red Nighthawk!  It started with PT.  Paige noticed right off I wasn't swollen as much, or even swollen at all.  This is a first, since I usually swell up within an hour of walking around after waking up.  This is after 4 1/2 months!  That may be a breakthrough.  After Paige put me though her house of horrors, I actually gained three more ROM's, all the way up to 93!  I swear I could have gone to 95 but Paige stopped.  (maybe keeping two in the bank for next time).  A few hours later, I had the appointment with the OS.  He asked me to 'show him what I got' and I did.  He was satisfied with the total of 9 degrees of increase in ROM in three weeks, thus taking 'manipulation with anesthesia' off the table.   He prescribed Prednisone which I am to take in early September and start PT EVERY DAY for a week.  He now wants me to increase ROM by 10 degrees in a month.  I'm so pissed off with all of this that I actually think I can do it!  lol  I mentioned my frustration on how slow this process has been for me, compared to you folks, and he reminded me that I actually had THREE surgeries on March 27th.  One was for cleaning out arthritis in the knee and the second was to repair a miniscus issue, and of course, the big one, QTR.  So this is most likely why I have been such a laggard in increasing ROM when compared to the rest of you folks.  Being almost 67 doesn't help either!  lol


I am grateful and surprised that things are starting to look up for me, given the fact I was stuck in a narrow range for so long.  I am actually starting to improve.  The relentless hard work is starting to bear fruit!

post #6843 of 10797

Great Day RN.  Your knee has been through serious surgeries.  Mother Nature takes time to fix what we broke.  Sounds like the tendon is getting loose.  You are able to make faster progress now.  The light at the end of the tunnel just got a bit closer!


On a different note, we encountered a school of 50-60 porpoises boating today.  Check it out!

post #6844 of 10797

@skicarver, that's a great video to end a great day.  Thanks for sharing it.  Such a beautiful bay you were in!

post #6845 of 10797

@Red Nighthawk  Congrats, RN!  Sounds like a great day. Seems like you had a bit more work done in there than the rest of us.  Keep pushing for that ROM! 


My impression has been that this injury is relatively rare.  So I'm a bit surprised that within the last week I've run into two people with this injury.  One ran his bicycle into a curb and stepped off, the other was playing volleyball.  Both  look to be in their late 50s or 60s.  One of them had done the same to the other leg six years before.  Both  were about two weeks out of surgery and up walking around with the familiar brace.  They are doing much better than I was at that point.  I was at home not doing much of anything.

post #6846 of 10797

@Flyguy  I don't think this injury is as "rare" as some in the Medical Community lead us to believe.  If you ask the ER They usually miss diagnose the trauma so they say it is rare.  Ask the Operating folks and they will say nor so rare.  


@Red Nighthawk You must be up to 100 ROM by now!  I bet you have a new zest for recovery.  A truly great moment! Congrats!!


@The Quadman I noticed you are bilateral.  I toasted both of mine Sept 2013 so know what you are going through.  I'm 10 1/2 months post op and am 80% or so back but the last 20% is stubborn!  I have lost 35 lbs in recovery so far and can see another 10 going.  Hit your recovery with everything you have.  Us lucky Double Whammy recipients take longer but @RUNNERMX has shown us it can be beaten!

post #6847 of 10797

@skicarver  Just checked out  your video.  Wow!  I agree that the ER folks don't get this one right all the time, though mine did. Not being able to lift the leg should be a dead give away. Maybe swelling gets in the way.  I had a nurse misdiagnose it as a strain at first.  Bottom line is that it needs to be figured out so surgery can be done ASAP


Getting to the point where strength is becoming the limiting factor. ROM is at a point where I can function, but stairs are an issue. Still in the "crutches" mode even though I'm not  using them.  Might not  be there yet time wise (10 weeks post surgery.)  "Conservative" is the watch word.  There's nothing worth pushing a couple of weeks early

post #6848 of 10797

Hi everyone!  I hope sincerely you are all kicking the crap out of monster of an injury.  Listen to the senior members around here and never let up.  It is the only way out of this mess, and the only hope in regaining your life back!  Sitting on your butt, feeling sorry for yourself will not cut it.  (although it is normal to feel depressed at times because of this injury). This is one of the worst enemies you will face in your life, so don't let the sucker win! 


After being the laggard of this board for a few months, I have actually started to gain ROM, through relentless, painful stretching and PT.  I'm up to about 95 ROM and was able to make it around the bike at PT in both directions for the first time on Thursday.  Paige is working her fanny off for me and I don't know if I can ever give her enough blueberries to repay her!  lol  Unfortunately, I think I popped something in my upper leg while Paige was stretching my leg from a new angle.  Btw, I was impressed to find out Paige has a doctorate in PT.  Married to a doctor!  I wonder if they talk about me at home!  They better because I give her blueberries!  lol


The OS came up with a weird plan, and I'd like some feedback from you all.  He wants me to go to PT every day for a week in September, while taking Prednisone in decreasing amounts every day.  The PT place never heard of this and is trying to get it in writing from the OS so they can get it approved by insurance.  I'm game for the plan, but I'm not sure I need it.  I'm working hard at home and pushing for every darn degree of ROM, so I'm not sure about this intensive one week surge that my doctor wants me to do, but, of course, I will do it like a trooper because I'm sick of this and want my life all the way back!


Starting to see some color from the trees already!  What's up with that?

post #6849 of 10797

@Red Nighthawk  My PT wife has never hear of it either, but if you problem is swelling she thinks it may be worth a try.  The steroid will decrease swelling and maybe give the aggressive PT a chance to work.  If you're making satisfactory progress, you may not need to do it but It could just be the kick in the butt this thing needs!

post #6850 of 10797

@RedNighthawk Great work getting to 95%.


@Quadman Hope you are doing good. This is a great group of people here that will help.


Question for the veterans. I'm still locking my repaired knee when I walk. Trying to train my brain not to do it but so far I'm still in protection mode. How long did it take you guys/gals to walk more natural? Any tricks to help get this going. I've discussed with my PT but he says its a mental thing.





post #6851 of 10797

I don't know if you can think your way to smooth walking. I think walking, especially on uneven trails, water walking and the strength work (weights) all help with this. I am at six months and feel much more natural walking, but still have the occasional catch. There was a lot of improvement in months 4-6, mainly from just doing those things I mentioned plus my staple, the exercise bike. It takes time.
post #6852 of 10797

@Surfhard  I don't profess to know the answer.  I know the problem is more than "it is in your head".  Tendon length has changed.  Muscles are out of balance.  Nerves cut during the operation have not regenerated yet....just to mention a few.  One thing that I force myself to do is to walk heel first.  I found walking heel first bends the knee thus developing more strength in that muscle range.  Old Bruce has great methods as well.  Especially trail hiking.  

post #6853 of 10797

@OldBruce @Skicarver great info guys, I appreciate it. I'm at 3.5 months now. The next few months will be critical for making progress. 


I did some new things this morning that seemed to help. Got on a stand-up paddle board in calm water and felt good. Trying to keep balance in a semi squatted position was a good workout. Also did some walking and slow jogging in soft sand at the beach. This felt really good and my repaired leg was not locked on the landings. 

post #6854 of 10797

I just checked the odometers on my bicycles.  I am past the 1000 mile mark since May.  I guess one could say I am cycling my way to the finish line!  Legs are finally starting to get stronger in bent position.  I am doing rides that I could not complete prior to the injury.  Going down stairs and down slopes getting better but not "normal" yet.  I will just keep pounding at it.  

post #6855 of 10797

That's awesome Skicarver!  I hope to be chasing you soon.  Keep at it!

post #6856 of 10797

@skicarver  You're doing great!  Keep at it. You've put a lot of work into getting where you are.


I'm not much of a cyclist but since I need to exercise and a bike seems to be a great way to rehab, I got an exercise bike last week.  My wife even let me set it up in the family room where it's most convenient for me.  She "doesn't want the family room to become a gym."  But I've got dispensation to keep it there until the rehab is finished. Now that it's there, I need to use it!  I've always had difficulty training for training's sake so I've surprised myself with how much I've stuck to the PT routine.  But there's a lot of motivation to gaining function, so that helps.  As I gain more function, though, it's easy to find excuses that I'm "too busy" to do all the exercises I need to.  I can function day-to-day but at only 10 wks, I'm still healing and very activity-limited.  Red Nighthawk has a challenge with ROM and with a lot off hard work is overcoming it. I think my issue is going to be staying on top of this so I do the work necessary to get the strength back. 

post #6857 of 10797

@Flyguy, don't even think of talking yourself out of working hard.  Remember, you have a devil of an injury and it needs to die!  So to speak!  So kill it, over and over with exercise and bike work.  No fooling around.  This is your life we're talking about!~  Do you want to be a gimpy old man, or an athletic dude who skis and fishes?  It's totally in your hands.  Personally, I need to continue to remind myself how serious this is.  Btw, can you make it all the way around on the bike already?  If so, that is a major accomplishment at your stage.  I just made it around last week and I wanted to scream to everyone at the PT place to 'watch this'~!   hang in, stay tough, and we'll all make it to and through this damn recovery! 


For newbees, one of the best things my wife ever bought for me was this little peddle bike that can be used for arms or legs.  It cost only about $25.00 and it's the best $25.00 we ever spent!  When in the stage where you can't get the ROM to use a real exercise bike, this one will suffice on the cheap.  I can move it all around from one room to another, down to the blueberry farm, and then back to wherever I want to work out.  It's a Gold's Gym product.  I love it!

post #6858 of 10797

@Red Nighthawk  Figured you'd say that :)  I fully intend to keep at it exactly because I don't want to become that gimpy old man.  I actually want to use this as an opportunity to get back into a regular workout routine.  The functionality gain I was talking about was about going from straight-leg walking to being able to bend my knee while walking and not have to have crutches or my cane (though I often do the cane for safety.)   A lot more confidence than the first day the OS let me out of the brace.  Not exactly Bode Miller territory, but the difference between where I am now and the immediate post op weeks is like night and day.  I can get around on the bike at this point, but I can still feel the tightness across my knee when it bends and it's prone to stiffening up if it stays in one position too long. Good reason to keep  doing the bike! 

post #6859 of 10797



It took me about 6 months to start to walk normally.  But a little longer to get my normal gait/stride back completely.  I think that's due in part to my right foot turns slightly to the right.  Always has, not a result of the injury.


It was odd getting back into the rhythm, if that makes sense.

post #6860 of 10797

@Surfhard, I know the feeling of wanting to get back to the things we love.  I have been lusting after a motorcycle ride for a month now, at least.  So I sat on her and tried to start her up, but, maybe it's an omen from the gods, the battery was dead.  OK, I get it.  I'll wait a tad longer, but I bought a new battery and simply have to figure out how to replace it.  I'm a farmer, not a mechanic!  lol  Surfhard, you're doing great.  Just be careful out there! 

post #6861 of 10797

@OldBruce @SkiCarver your suggestions have really helped. Thank you!


 My walking form has greatly improved in just a few days.


@RedNighthawk hope you are getting your 10 degrees this week.


@llipgh thanks for the comments and glad you are walking good.

post #6862 of 10797

Wow @Surfhard, you are really pushing me hard there big guy.  I'm at 95 degrees so 10 more would be heaven, but I'm trying.  I'm glad you're improving strongly.  You'll be on your board in the future, I'm confident for you.  I'm hoping to get back on skis maybe in March.  Maybe!


Hang tough everyone.

post #6863 of 10797
7.5months post op. ROM is at around 120-125, hoping to get up to 145. Still working on getting quad strength back, that is also coming along. Went on our annual camping trip to Allegany State Park last week. Weather was wet and cold, not the best by any means but you deal with it. I wasVERY cautious our first day, grass was wet & slippery and ground was quite uneven...so I wore my brace...better safe then sorry. Decided on second day to ditch brace and just move slowly & pay attention. I honestly believe that all that walking on uneven ground for 7 days actually helped. It made my knee move in different directions. It was sore every night but never painful. On the downside I found out my family was willing to "sacrifice" me to the few bears that decided to visit our area. They reminded me I still can't move fast enough to out run a bear. Great, one more thing to work on LOL.

Red Nighthawk I'm so glad to hear your ROM is finally coming to you. Keep up the great work.
post #6864 of 10797

@melynnm, trying to outrun a bear will certainly make your knee 'more in different directions'!  Good luck with that one.  It looks like you are zipping along fast to the upper limits of ROM.  That is incredible progress that I can only lust after.  I'm trying to get to the next doc imposed challenge of 105 in a month from my last visit.  Only one PT appointment this week, because they screwed up, so Paige will have to do two days work on me on Thursday.  Thanks for the encouragement and good luck with your awesome progress.  Keep in touch. 

post #6865 of 10797

I'm 13 months post-op now. I realized recently that my number of postings exceeded 100 and have been trying to streamline for this reason. I had my bilateral tear from a hard fall on 6/30/13 and had surgery 23 days later, on 7/23/13. Although I found this site a few months later, and found a lot of helpful encouragement, I had a hard time finding specific information on exactly what to do in each stage of recovery, what exercises to do to solve various problems, etc. I have exercised daily since my leg shackles came off on 9/1/13, and decided to dedicate my efforts to creating a road map with my posts that others could follow if they want to, to provide information that I found missing in my recovery. So my posting efforts have been dedicated to providing very specific and detailed information on my exercise routines, what worked for me and what didn't work so well, and how I have managed each stage of recovery. Of course, if I post too much and too often, then it becomes harder for anyone to find the substantive information (which explains my streamlining).


I reported a 95% recovery at the one-year mark and my O.S. gave the same estimate. He was also correct that the recovery slows after a year, and it takes a lot of effort to get that last 5%. I am continuing my routine of spinning a couple times a week (with emphasis on standing to strengthen the knees in the final degrees of extension), running 9-10 miles a couple times a week (gradually getting faster), lifting weights regularly (well-rounded routine that includes leg presses, leg extensions, leg curls and hip abductions), and boot camp 2-3 times per week. I typically exercise 100 minutes per day, early morning before work, and often vary my routine depending on what I feel like doing that day. In the summer, there is more incentive to be outside (running, boot camp, etc.), especially after our horrendous Chicago winter that gave us minus 10 in March and snow in May!!


My running seems to improve about 15 seconds per mile per month. I am under a 10-minute per mile pace for some of the shorter distances, but still at an 11-12 minute pace for the 9-10 mile distances. The spinning with focus on standing while cycling is clearly improving my quad strength in the final degrees of extension. I can jump on the leg press any time and do 40-50 reps at machine top 390 lbs, intermediate seat range, and can bang off 25 leg extensions at 110-130 lbs. My extensor lag is still diminishing on both legs but not quite gone. Descending stairs with or without rail is far more natural than a few months ago. I reported a month ago that I can now descend my basement stairs carrying a 40-lb bag of salt in each hand, which was an important milestone in approaching pre-injury strength.


Boot camp provides various opportunities to do strange exercises that I do not do very often. We ran backwards up a steep ramp one day last week, and I had a hell of a time with that. We skipped one day this week (yes, skipping like a bunch of 6-year olds) and I could not do that at all. Skipping requires forward momentum and the ability to hop forward pushing off of one foot at a time, full body weight, in the final degrees of extension. If anyone on this board can do that, please speak up; you have had a better recovery than me! I didn't have enough knee strength on either side to hop forward on one foot, or to keep my balance while trying it.


It's hard to precisely estimate percent recovery because I was so far down, so close to zero strength on both legs, and have come so far back! I am still seeing improvement, and will give this a shot.


Months Post-Op          percent Recovery


7                                     75-80

8                                     80-85

9                                     88

10                                   90

11                                   92

12                                   95

13                                   96+


Good luck everyone, and happy workouts!!

post #6866 of 10797

Hey all. Some of you may have seen this re: Angel's pitcher Garrett Richardson. Ruptured his patellar tendon the other night and is out 6-9 months. Rehab on this is almost identical to a quad tendon rupture. See links. Good to see the continuing good progress reports!



post #6867 of 10797
What do you do on those days when you don't want to exercise? I generally love to get on my exercise bike and go an hour or more, but yesterday I was sore from a tougher than usual hike and other rehab stuff. Today I got on the bike promising myself that I would just get started, then conjured up memories of my late brother who had long-time MS and would have killed to be able to be mobile again. I guess my approach is to just do it, or just start it, and bring in some memories to kick it in gear. How 'bout you when exercise feels like a chore?
post #6868 of 10797

Had PT yesterday and my ROM increased by one whole degree to 96 degrees.  Paige seems happy and upbeat with my 'improvement', but I'd sure like to see more.  I am now able to peddle around on the bike, which I love!  My little $25 bike that I peddle during the blueberry days here on the farm has turned out to be one of the best things I ever bought (actually my lovely wife bought for me).  I sit there reading and peddling while making money!  What could be better than that?  Paige now has me lay on my back with my hip half way off the table to give her some room to stretch the knee out.  Unfortunately, I keep popping a muscle in my hip area near where my pocket is.  My thighs are 'rugby-style' thighs, very thick and tight which I think is now making it hard to stretch the quad tendon.  She gave me an exercise to do either on the floor (not good yet) or on a chair in which I basically kneel with the bad knee bent at 90 degrees, stretching the calf.  The OS has prescribed prednisone that I will start taking on September 7th.  That week I will go to PT every day!  It's a surge to 105 ROM, or at least that is what he wants and expects.  It seems a long way from 96, but I'll give it a shot.  Hang in there everyone!  Cya down the road!

post #6869 of 10797

Red Nighthawk, you might find that you can adjust the bicycle seat lower as you warm up. In other words, bike for 15-20 min, then adjust the seat, then bike for another 15-20 min and so on. when I was at that stage I could sometimes adjust the seat several times during a workout to get better knee bend as I warmed up!

post #6870 of 10797
Originally Posted by RUNNERMX View Post

Red Nighthawk, you might find that you can adjust the bicycle seat lower as you warm up. In other words, bike for 15-20 min, then adjust the seat, then bike for another 15-20 min and so on. when I was at that stage I could sometimes adjust the seat several times during a workout to get better knee bend as I warmed up!

Good tip! I remember starting out some days and saying that no way I can even do a full revolution at this height....kept at it for a couple of minutes and as I warmed up I was even lowering more. Oh, and Red Nighthawk....you peddle your blueberries and pedal your bike!:D

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