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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 26

post #751 of 10797
Thread Starter 

Some success . . .

Hello all:
Background: 47 y.o. very active, full rupture while skiing on 1/13/08. Repair on 2/1/08 - tendon to patella.

Well, there was no snow in Yellowstone this past weekend, so we stayed in Boise for Thanksgiving. Beautiful weekend, and as a result I got in two long hikes (about 8 miles) and a long mountain bike ride with lots of climbing (20 miles and 2500' vertical). After more than a month of electrical stimulation of my muscles on top of the weekend, I finally feel that I can safely lower myself down stairs without using the handrail or "falling" onto the non-injured leg in a flat-footed manner. I've been redoubling my efforts this past month doing all types of cross-training as well, and now believe I will be able to at least nordic ski this year (if we ever get any snow!). So, to all of you out there, please keep up the hard work -results come, but they simply take time. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

Idaho Guy
post #752 of 10797

quad tendon rupture/repair

i am 8 weeks out of surgery and have been reading this thread for a few weeks. It has been helpful. I can't believe how slow and long this recovery process is for this injury. And, my stamina is quite low. Yesterday, I went to the ortho. and he opened my brace to 90 degrees. It was on 0 before. My knee keeps buckling and it is hard to walk. I am going to go for a long walk to practice. I only have 65 degrees passive ROM, but the doc. said that now I can start really working bending it. I am just discouraged and a little depressed.
post #753 of 10797
Hi Rann89 You are 4 weeks ahead of me and I understand how you feel. I'm weeks away from walking but am looking ahead getting a green light hopefully in Janaury. I plan to use walking in the pool to get some of my walking "gate" back. I'm an older runner so it is important to get back confdence that my knee will support me.

As I indicated in an earlier comment measure progress by the week or even every 2. For example I went to P/T last week and again today. THe P/T was pleased that the swelling had gone dowm and I was at the ROM 60 dgrees that the Dr gave me 2 months to achieve. However from my point of view I did not see these changes untill she mentioned them.
post #754 of 10797

Heel To Butt

Wow, thought that I would never ever get my heel to touch my butt ever again , but last week got it to my butt twice.

Background: Bad landing skydiving 4/13/08 complete quad tendon tear, repaired tendon to patella 4/17/08. Second surgery 9/12/08 to remove excess scar tissue and free up the knee.

Started my graston technique (http://www.grastontechnique.com/) message therapy again after weeks of not doing it. The outside of the quad tendon at the repair site is still quite stiff and knotty (scar tissue sucks!! ) and needs work to loosen up, so going to start doing this again every other day. Also added back my alternating heat pack and ice through out the day which I have been slacking off on. I am going to really focus on doing everything I can to get the soft tissue around the knee back to being soft and healthy.

Strength is coming back slowly, last workout I started to do double legs and got up to 4 plates (360 lbs) on the leg press machine for high reps 15 to 20 and 230 lbs on the squat machine for 10. Not quite ready for free bar squats yet, maybe another month. Think what I am going to do is one workout a week all single leg and the other all double leg.

Finally got a ride in on my mountain bike the other week, first real ride in almost 9 months. Rode a intermediate trail not too technical with some good climbs and downhill runs, ended up pushing my 45lb beast of a bike up some of the climbs. Thought that I would do a little better with all the hard peddling I have been doing every morning at the gym but its hard to simulate real riding. I am going to try and get out at least twice a week now that the weather here in Phoenix is nice.

Idaho: Stairs have been quite the challenge for me also. I have three flights that I have to go up and down at work (don't take the elevator) and one at home. My biggest issue it still stiffness, if my knee is cold and stiff I have a hard time descending and have to hold the railing. Been thinking about going and finding the tallest building in town and take the elevator to the top and then walking down the stairs to get over this stairs phobia problem.

New People: Rann89,DougM
Sorry to you have to join us here on this board. This is a pretty devastating injury and does take a long time to recover from, but progress and recovery will come with time and hard work. Don't get depressed or discouraged, remember there are a few on this board that are bilateral (both legs) ruptures and made good recoveries.
post #755 of 10797
injury=9/28; operation=10/2
Hi, Thanks for your feedback.
I went to the OS on Monday and adjusted my brace to 90 degrees from zero. it was hard to walk at first as my knee kept buckling.

but it go it easier and today i went to the PT and i actually walked correctly for a few laps with out my brace!!!!--it was such a good feeling.

i was slow and had a little (lag?) i think she said at first. she tried me on the bike, but i couldn't go around--i think my rom is only 60-70--she hasn't measured it in a week but it has gotten better.

The pt has had me doing leg lifts, quad sets, toe raises to strengthen the calf, leg presses with the injured leg and several ways of bending the knee as far as possible and holding it there for a count of 30 seconds; and hamstring stretches.

she keeps telling me that the rom will come and it is really good that i have solid extention -with my leg straight out-but i'm not sure why that is good.

I will go back to work tomorrow part-time. I never expected to be out this long. I am a teacher and I have a long-term sub; so the plan is for me to go in part-time and transition back in so that my stamina gets back and to make the transition easier for the students.

The OS also said I could "try" driving; so, i drove to day--I have really long legs esp. for a female and it was more challenging getting in and out of the front seat with the brace on than it was to actually drive.
It has been really helpful reading other people's post to see how their injuries progressed. I hope I can turn the pedals on the bike soon and I can't wait to start yoga again.
post #756 of 10797

2.5 weeks

56 y.o., 6ft, 210lbs, no health issues, full rupture on Oct 24th, Repair on Nov 17th – tendon to patella.

I couldn’t believe the excruciating pain when I tripped gathering firewood in the wheelbarrow. I wore loose fitting clog type shoes which might have contributed. After 10 minutes of pain, I felt around and thought that nothing was dislocated or fractured. I tried to stand twice and fell causing additional episodes of pain. I finally crawled on my hands and knees back to the house and managed to pull myself into bed. Because I could crawl I thought that it I didn’t break any bones and it was probably just a bad strain or sprain. I didn’t call my wife and when she returned several hours later wanted me to see a doctor. But I didn’t think it was serious and was motivated and determined to attend an out-of-town trade show the following week. Over the weekend I could get around using a walker and by Tues I could support my weight on the bad leg and walk using a cane.

I flew to Boston on Tues, attended the computer convention for three days and worked the following 2 weeks. I thought the sprain was getting better but was concerned that I could not bend my leg at the knee, my leg was subject to buckling at any time, and I continued to have trouble walking on uneven ground. I was not walking better. My daughter and the guys at work insisted that I see a doctor. I selected an OS that specializes in Sports Medicine because I figured they commonly see this type of sprain. I couldn’t get a quick appointment with the OS but could see his PA two days later. The PA immediately suspected a QTR. When my leg was extended, he showed me the soft gap area above my kneecap where my tendon should be. There were fast and efficient. Because the doctor’s office was adjacent to the hospital, I got an MRI within an hour and an appointment with the OS an hour after that.

The OS diagnosed a full QTR rupture and scheduled surgery 3 days later on Monday. I had come into the office to verify that my sprain was OK and was shocked, stunned and unprepared to learn that it was serious and that I needed surgery.

I’m an electrical design engineer and have never had surgery in my life except for cataract removal years earlier and was not aware or knowledgeable of orthopedic injuries. My major source of exercise was taking ballroom dancing with my wife 3 hours a week. I spent the weekend researching QTR on the internet, found this forum, MRI photos, and films showing the surgery. This forum was valuable for me to use as a second opinion, learn from other’s experiences, and to better able to appreciate the injury and recovery process. By Monday I had accepted my fate and was resigned to get the surgery over with.

Anticipation of surgery was agonizing especially after seeing the videos. But the surgery went great. I chose a local anesthesia with both a spinal and leg block. They allowed me to wake up at the end while still in the OR. I was fully alert and asked questions and had absolutely no pain. My wife took me home after 5 hours and the leg block kept me pain free for hours after getting home.

The OS instructed me not to take aspirin or Ibuprofen during this time because, in animal studies, anti-inflammatories inhibited tendon healing.

They put me in a splint with Velcro straps, showed me how to use crutches, and my wife rented an IceMan ice water machine for two weeks. I didn’t have too much pain and took Percocet for the two nights following by Tylenol for two nights.

I assumed I’d be out of work for two weeks and used up my sick days, some vacation days, and holidays. With crutches I was afraid that I would fall forward and felt safer to use the walker around the house. I also found that I had to urinate more frequently the first 2 days and kept a bottle for that purpose near the bed. I think the reason for urination is due to the amount of I.V. fluids they gave me.

The OS instruction’s was to keep the leg straight and not to put any weight on my leg. At the 1st post op exam two weeks later he said that I could apply weight. He said that he drilled 3 holes in my patella. To close the 8 inch cut he did not use staples but rather used internal sutures that dissolve. After the appointment, I filed a claim for short term disability insurance.

The OS said I can start PT after Christmas (6 weeks) and that I would be out of work for 6-8 weeks. My next post op is 7 weeks post op (Jan 5). Recovery is the most important for me and before going back to work, I think I need to have a ROM of at least 90 deg while walking w/o crutches. I have my recovery work ahead of me.

I’d had been walking with my full weight on my bad leg before the surgery and after 2 weeks, abandoned the crutches and walker. Using the straight splint, I have no problem walking ½ mile to get the newspaper each morning and to climb/descend stairs. I have to keep remembering to push with my toes to exercise those muscles. My ROM is about 45 deg without pain which makes it easier to get around. I don’t wear the splint in bed. For walking, I use a female sanitary pad over the cut and wrap it in a compression wrap. I tighten the splint at the top and bottom and keep it loose at the knee so not to rub.

I was also able to drive yesterday. The hardest part was getting into the car. We have a Subaru and luckily the seat inclines backward. I had to remove the splint, incline the seat back, and carefully slide into the seat while not exceeding the ROM.

This is a great forum and can’t believe the dozens of shared experiences, in 2008 alone! Thanks Idaho Guy. You’ve increased my spirits and given me hope to dance again (relatively) soon. I joke and tell the guys, that after my accident, I joined a ski club … for the forums!
post #757 of 10797
6 weeks today!
I can't believe I am finally at this milestone. I had my 6 week visit with the os yesterday who was very pleased with my progress. I'm at a 90 rom - the repaired tendon is tight and I know that getting to full rom will be work and painful, but it will be my priority. I am doing pt twice a week and now we're getting more aggressive, with more strenuous exercises. I was on the elliptical for the first time yesterday and tried a bike today - could move backwards on it but not fully forwards yet. Doing lots of exercises to strengthen my quad and legs. To those who have been here before, what is the most effective means you used to increase your rom? Heel slides? Pulling your leg behind you with a rope while you sit on a table? Other techniques? My os told me to give up the cpm - I gave it back today. I'm really not sure how helpful it was - I used it for about 4 weeks until I was about 90 rom.

To those in the earlier stage of this disability, have heart - life definitely improves around 6 weeks, as others advised me in this forum after I had just had my surgery. Life was slow and it was hard to do much in the earlier stage but now, I am driving, and getting around much more outside and inside the house. Believe me, it may be hard to realize it now for those of you just out of surgery, but time will begin to fly again for you.

After yesterday's os visit, I'm not sleeping with the brace anymore, just using it for walking. I use one crutch when I walk so I can do things with the other hand, like cook! Stairs are challenging but I am doing them up and down, cautiously. The pt is working with me to get rid of the crutches in 2 weeks or so. We'll see. In any case, psychologically I am in such a better place because I am much more independent and feel stronger. The strength is coming from my exercises, therapy and healing. I also have been working with a trainer doing upper body exercises, which has strengthened me.

From others in the forum I am learning that I need to be patient with my recovery and not measure it day by day. It's really good advice. The other advice I believe in so strongly and continue to offer to all of you who have been recently injured is the importance of being positive about recovery and not looking back. I am certain that having this positive attitude has been essential to my recovery and urge you to have this attitude, as well.

Finally, I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and offer continued wishes for steady recovery to all in this forum. You have been very helpful and encouraging and I am very grateful for your advice.
post #758 of 10797
About Me; 57 yr old. Injury 10/27/07 Surgery 11/12/07 tendon to tendon.

Welcome Rann and Jerry, sorry you had to join but you are in a good place for info and support!

Rann: i think you are the 4th female which supports the statistics this happens mostly to males. I was saddened to read you were depressed and discouraged in your first post. Keeping a positive attitude is one key. I see you have now but I know I rose and fell in my attitude in the first several months. My PT helped me a lot with attitude and being positive. On my 12 mon visit to OS (see recent post, 11/26?) he had me extend my leg and said I had zero "lag", ie ability to fully extend my leg with no bend, which obviously impacts gait, walking, etc. A prime goal, you you are good! Gaining strength in the quads is the key to total recovery, that allows everything else to follow.

DougM: 60 ROM is not much, but when you are coming from 45 it is great! I found as I got closer to 100 ROM it increased more rapidly than the first 40-50 degrees. Just part of the healing/strengthening process I figuared.

Jerry: you and i are very similar in terms of age at injury, size (you need to drop 20# Dude! j-k!! :-) ) timing of injury and travel post injury. I too felt it wasnt serious (the next day) as there was no black and blue etc. But I soon realized something serious was wrong when strength, support, gait did not get better. My initial post was after week 16 when I could not jog without a serious hitch (about mid March 2008).

I2F: great! glad you are continuing to progress!

Best to All!

Keep Pluggin'

post #759 of 10797

Compare your progress to President Clinton (1997 quad rip, tendon to knee), had to wait 6 months to jog

I found this article online and I don't believe it has been posted here before. President Clinton had the tendon rip off at the knee, this offers a first-hand account from President Clinton at the time. Compare his physical therapy and progress to yours.


People Magazine, June 09, 1997; Vol. 48; No. 22

by Bill Clinton

Recovering from His Famous Fall, the President Learns What It's Like to Be Hobbled by Injury

It was the pop heard round the world. At 1:20 a.m. on March 14, President William Jefferson Clinton slipped on a dimly lit wooden step outside the home of Greg Norman in Hobe Sound, Fla.—landing in the golf pro's arms. Instead of breaking 80, as he had hoped to do during a charity golf tournament later that day, the First Duffer, like an estimated 7,000 Americans each year, had ruptured his quadriceps tendon—the connective tissue that binds the powerful muscles of the thigh to the kneecap. Instantly, the presidential patella became the most closely scrutinized kneecap since Nancy Kerrigan's, with pundits speculating on how a famously active Chief Executive would weather such a setback.

**rest of article at link*

- tore 90% of quad
- wore shoes with rubber soles
- cut out breakfast so as not to gain weight
- learned from doctors and physical therapists to do lighter weights with more reps
- learned proper stretching for not just running, but every day activities and that flexibility is just as important if not more important than strength as you age
- he says he learned that most people's health insurance did not cover enough physical therapy to get through an injury such as this and some people go back to work too soon.
- he did 6 PT sessions a week, twice a day
- injured knee was 43 cm in morning and up to 48 cm later in day, he had to ice all the time; uninjured knee 41 cm
- doctors told him not to jog until 6 months after injury, and even after that he would only have 80% strength in leg
- on crutches 8 weeks, then graduated to a cane
post #760 of 10797
Thread Starter 

Nordic Skiing on Saturday!

10 1/2 months past surgery. Full tear, tendon to patella repair.

I'm going nordic skiing on Saturday morning - very excited! Will be the first time on skis of any kind since the accident in mid-January. We have had a lot of snow in Idaho, and are expecting a lot more over the next week. My family and I are headed into a yurt on Christmas day for three nights - we do it every year. Will have to ski in about 4 miles - my 16 year old son is pulling the sled in this year, though - I am just taking a backpack with my sleeping bag and clothing and a couple of pairs of skis. Really looking forward to finding out what my ski season will be like this year.

Slipped and fell on the ice the other day - tweaked the knee, but it is healing fairly quickly. Still managing to work out at the gym most days, even after the injury.

Hope all are doing well. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all of you. Blessings, friends.

post #761 of 10797
(7 weeks post-op ) Just an update, met with the surgeon on Dec 19 and received good news. He loosen my brace from 15 degrees of ROM to 75. The knee does not bend that far but we can start working at physiotherapy next week. That is a month ahead of his original schedule. I can also get around with a cane, no more walker. Walked for 30 minutes around and around in the house today (-40 degrees outside with the wind chill)and it felt good to do some kind of exercise. I feel that my attitude is more positive and for me that took 7 weeks from the operation. To all have a good festive season and good healing in 2009.
post #762 of 10797
Thread Starter 

There is nothing like skiing . . . .

So, I went up to Bogus Basin on Saturday for some nordic skiing. Ended up doing 8k on classic skis and a little less than 4k on skate skis - all on pretty flat terrain with a few rollers tossed into the mix. The first run on classic skis was painful - the joint hurt as I kicked back with the bad leg, but as I skiied more, it became looser and looser and felt pretty strong towards the end - but I still couldn't truly "go for it" - felt like the knee would collapse if I started working it as hard as I could.

On skate skis, I felt extremely wobbly, and grew very tired very quickly. My 13 y.o. tells me I was "grimacing with every stride". I count the day as a success, though . . . I didn't reinjure myself, and have established that I can at least ski into a yurt on Christmas day, and then get myself back out (see post above for details). However, I obviously have a long way to go before I am shredding it on the steeps again. I don't think there is anything quite like skiing to establish whether your legs are truly strong, or are just a "mirage." Mine are still something of a "mirage." Hoping I can make it real.

Doug M: Keep up the good attitude - it is the key to getting through this IMO. Heal well all.

post #763 of 10797
Well Gents I have read through this forum and I am amazed at how similar our stories are. I am now 8 weeks post op after a complete tear of my quad tendon as well as some torn quad muscles and a very badly bruised ego. You see, I did not tear my tendon skiing or snow boarding or breaking in on net while on a break away or airming for the top corner of the net playing soccer, no I tore mine while walking down a grassy hillside, slipping, falling on both legs and managing an awkward slide to the bottom with my legs in such a position that the only thing that would give way was my quad tendon...stupid...sure but life is too short to worry about it.

So after 8 weeks, 5 physio appointments later I have increased my range of motion from 45 degrees to 95, I have increased my very depleted quad muscles by 1" in circumfrence and my surgeon has suggested that I no longer require my leg immobilizer, or crutches and I can walk on my own with one catch...I have to continue to wear my leg immobilizer until such times as our snow melts. I live in Western Canada and we are now experiencing some winter weather to the point where we have 12" of snow and very icy conditions, so being a good patient I am wearing my immobilizer and walking stiff legged.

For those of you out there that are a little downtrodden about this injury...dont be...it is a bad injury I will not deny that fact but given time you will get back to normal and be able to enjoy all th things you did before your injury. My hope is to be able to ice skate again so that I can coach my 8 year old son's hockey team next year. I also want to continue to golf and hope to be able to do that at the start of our golf season sometime in April or May.

I am pleased with my results as is my surgeon and I am holding out hope for a complete recovery, there is no reason to believe that it could not happen to all of us here on this forum...good luck to all of you...do your home excercises, do your physio and take it easy, it will come back in good time, remain positive!
post #764 of 10797
Hi Folks,
I fell on my rear porch on Nov.4. completely tore the left knee's quadricep tendon and was operated on nov 21st. My doctor has me on strict no bending and no weight on the knee for 8 weeks. It's been very frustrating. I am not in good shape in the 1st place and I imagine it will be a long recoup time but at least reading here helps. I'm not sure why my doc has me off my feet for 8 weeks. I can use a walker but I;m not good at it so I've been vegging in a recliner. My next appointment with the doc is on jan 7, just short of the 7 week point.
It's been frustrating to read folks here using their knee at a much shorter time but I don't want to go against my doc's orders. I have cheated a bit and put weight on the leg and felt no pain. I also bent it a small amount just to asure myself that it was actually connected it bent . I guess at the 7 week appointment I will get more info on rehab. This site has helped me pull out of a real strong depression in the 1st week or so. I have never been prone to depression until this happened. It's gotten alot better with my wife and family's help. Dec 26 is the 5 week point so it is going by....just slowly. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
post #765 of 10797
have no fear my friend, you will feel better once you begin to rehabilitate your knee, it will go slowly, but it will feel better with each and every session.

I would caution you against doing anything without the doc's permission, you could further damage your knee and make it worse.

I too suffered with some depression as well, especially in the early stages and the fact that I could not bend my knee at all as I was in a full leg fiberglass cast with no range of motion for 3.5 weeks. Once I had that and the staples removed I began to feel as though I was making progress. Interesting thing for me was that when I was in the cast the Doctor suggested I place 50% of my weight on my leg to stop my quad muscles from getting weak, then when I got out of the cast and into an immobilizer, he told me I was no longer permitted to put weight on my leg...go figure.

Chin up Questus, it will get better in due time, enjoy the time off if you can, get used to Jerry Springer and Maury on TV and just take it easy, healing will come.
post #766 of 10797
I have a question for you...
How long after you started rehab did the tightness around your knee take to go away?

At present I see physio twice a week but do my home exercises religiously everyday twice a day, but there is still major tightness across the top of my knee.
post #767 of 10797

9 1/2 weeks post op left quad tear from patella

To questos and leftylimpalong (great name!), welcome to the forum. This is a good group and very supportive. Don't waste time and emotional energy thinking about how your fall happened - I also had a stupid, freak fall in my backyard, slipping on a stone and falling forward on the knee, tearing the tendon. It seems that is the case with the majority of us and this fact was also confirmed by my os. I'm in relatively good shape and athletic - but I still fell and now understand that my fall is just one of those challenging things in life that hits us out of nowhere. Also, depression in the beginning is a common experience. It's not surprising since most of us with this injury are in good shape, extremely active and not used to being dependent on anybody. My os's nurse gave me good advice when I first came in to see the os. She said, "You can feel bad and have your pity circus for 5 minutes and then it's over", meaning, don't feel sorry for yourself. Being negative and depressed will not get you anywhere. Sometimes family can help you get through it and sometimes they can't. It was hard on my wife for me to be laid up. Friends were very important to me, especially in the first weeks when I was completely laid up. But you are the one that will pull yourself through. Any time I got low, I tried to think positively and you can feel this way because this is an injury from which you can recover by working hard at it, on a daily basis and in physical therapy. Maintaining the positive attitude and working hard on my recovery has definitely paid off for me. I am doing about 2 hours a day of exercises at home to strengthen my quad and improve my rom. I have been using an elliptical since about 6 weeks and now also using an exercise bike. Doing lots of heel slides, quad stretches, squats. The result of my work at recovery has been very positive: I have been off crutches since 7 weeks and am only using the brace now when it's icy outside and I want to protect myself. Alternating legs going up the stairs and starting to do this going down. My rom reached 120 yesterday in pt but I still have a lot of hard work to do to keep it going. Anyway, as someone said earlier in this forum, the first 6 weeks of recovery from this injury are rough but you will soon see the light and life will become much brighter. Keep that light in mind and think positively. You will get better!
Happy holidays to everyone in the forum. And watch the ice, for those of you in the colder climates. I'm in New Jersey and we've had lots of snow, freezing rain and ice over the last few days, although I'm sure it can't compare to what has been going on in the West and in Canada.
post #768 of 10797

5 weeks, injury 10/24, repair 11/17

Thanks Sinrider for your journals. They've inspired me and given me courage to keep working my leg each day...I try whatever it is able to do without discomfort.

The OS had instructed me to keep my leg immobolized for 6 weeks before I could start PT. He also said that I would not need a brace, because after 6 weeks, you are more likely to break your leg bone than to re-rip the tendon. (I guess he feels that if you fall, that is like an aggressive form of PT. LOL).

3 weeks: I gave up the splint, crutches & cane. I continued to walk 1/2 mile each day to get the newspaper. I started getting leg spasms during sleep. It felt sort of good feeling the quad kicking in. ROM was about 60 deg. I started to resume conventional sex (that gives your patella a good massage). I found using the tub scary and it felt safer to walk up the stairs and use the walk-in shower stall.

4 weeks: I went ballroom dancing again doing the waltz and foxtrot using short leg movements. No problem dancing for an hour, although my movements were jerky and short.

5 weeks: My passive ROM is now 90 deg. Yesterday, I could start doing straight leg lift repetitions, while laying in bed, from horizontal to vertical. Also I can now do leg lift repetitions while sitting with my leg bent 90 deg and then lift it straight out and back slowly. This is a big milestone for me in my recovery and I had been wondering how long it would take for me to do leg lifts. I don't have any trouble anymore getting into the car to drive.

Now I wonder how long it will take to loose the limp. When I walk, my leg is stiff at 20 deg although my passive ROM is 90 deg.

I'm looking forward to starting PT next week. I guess I'll need to take the pain drugs again.

I had a roundabout with the ST Disability company and I'd love to share with anyone interested. They were very hard to work with and for 3 weeks threatened to decline coverage. Finally (I don't know why but without communicating with me or the OS) they approved me for 8 weeks. Realistically I can start work weeks earlier and would have told them if they asked. But they are so hard to work with, that I don't want to confuse them by starting earlier.

I'm thankful for these forums because they gave me a range of realistic expectations for recovery. I think I'm in a much better place than if I faithfully followed the OS's instructions.
post #769 of 10797

Past 90 and going strong

So here I am, now 10 weeks post op after a complete tear. I was at physio last night and I have now officially reached the 90 degree mark of ROM and going strong. I can push it to 95 but not without some pain but I know each time I can stretch it with pain I can achieve without pain after a few days. I use this train of thought to continue to excel at getting better.

RLB...I will admit I was somewhat depressed the first few weeks and friends and family encouraged me every chance theye could by seeing the small improvements in my leg that I was to close minded to see myself. However, now that I am seeing large improvements in both strength and ROM, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is not a train coming at me! As for weather, I live in Western Canada about 5 minutes from the US border, I was born and rasied in this area, now 46 years of age, have lived here all my life and I have never seen such sustained cold and snowfall ever. We now have close to two feet of snow, it is presently snowing hard with snow flakes the size of marbles and we are forecasted to get another 7-10 inches of the lovely white stuff. Luckily for me I have a short driveway to shovel clear and my friends and neighbours have been kind enough to help me keep it clear, however with the snowfall underway we will be looking to repeat the clearing efforts every hour or so. I use my leg brace when I know and I use small movements in my leg as I shovel however I have found that I can use it as excercise as well and flex my knee a little and lift giving some excercise to my left quads!

Merry Christmas to all and safe and happy travels over the holiday season!
post #770 of 10797
Greetings Questus and Lefty!

Sorry you had your injuries but I know you will find this forum helpful.

Me: slid down 3 stairs 10/27/07. Surgery 11/12. (you can see my initial post of this February).

So many of us had freak slips resulting in the QTR.

Lefty: note my post of about 11/25. I went to my OS 1 year post surgery. He felt the tightness (which i still have) may be due to nerves at the site of surgery.

Questus: I had surgery 11/12 last year so we are similar in timelines.

Jerry: You may want to look at my posts of last March/April. I was frustrated at week 16 that I could not jog without a hitch. My PT suggested it may be mental as well, so I focused hard on eliminating it, and it was probably gone by week20?.

Best to All and Merry Christmas!

Keep Pluggin

post #771 of 10797
Hello all,
Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. I know this is all going to be about having patience but it's hard sometimes. Today is week 5 of 8 , so it is going by. It's great to have a venue to talk to others that have had the same problem. I look forward to walking again . I hope everyone had a great Christmas. My family came over and lightened my day. I have 2 lil grandchildren that bring warmth to my heart so at times like that, all is good. Anyways, stay healthy and I hope we all have a happy walking new year.
post #772 of 10797
Idaho Guy: What did your OS say about skiing again, either downhill or cross country? From your 12/17 post, it sounds like it must be okay with him. I ask this question because my OS told me I should never ski again because I cannot afford to fall and tear the tendon again. He said cross country would be okay if I did not fall, but I got the distinct impression that he didn't even want me to do that.

I have been out of surgery now for 9 1/2 months and now that winter is here I am extremely careful about walking on ice. I can't even begin to imagine getting back on skis at this point. I am doing okay though. I still work out the leg three times a week and walk as much as possible. Stairs are still a challenge, both going up and coming down. Strength is slow coming back to the quad, but I got full ROM.

Anyway, if you could let me know what your OS says about skiing, I would appreciate it. Thanks.
post #773 of 10797
Questus: I ruptured my right quad tendon about a week before I turned 59 and had surgery 3 days after the accident (4/9/08). Tripped over the clean out pipe for my septic tank in the back yard. OS had me in a straight leg brace and crutches for 8 weeks after surgery. Said it was to give the tendon time to heal to the patella. It was very frustrating for me and at the end of 8 weeks I got mad one day and threw the crutches on the floor and ripped the brace off my leg and threw it across the room. Wife was not very happy with me!! Anyway, I finally started PT and it went very well. Now, 9 1/2 months post surgery I have full ROM and can walk pretty well without a limp. Going up and down stairs is still a challenge. I still work the leg out three times a week and walk as much as possible. I have learned this is a very slow and frustrating injury to recover from and I have come to realize that I may never fully regain what I had prior to the injury, but I keep trying and will never give up!! Hang in there and you will be okay. Progress is slow, but as time goes by things get better and better. It just takes time.

Oh, by the way, those grandkids are super great aren't they? I have two also and they have brought me the greatest love and joy of my life!! One is 14 months and the other is almost 5.
post #774 of 10797
Wyopapa it sounds like we have a similar doc. This 8 weeks is driving me nuts but I'd rather not push it til he says it's ok. I've been using a walker instead of a crutch as I had also hurt the right leg in the fall and it gives me a lil more stability. I am looking forward to the PT just so I can do something diferent with the leg. This brace is not fun. Thanks for the encouragement. I will make it, and I have time being retired so I just hope its faster better than slow

BTW my grandkids are a boy, 3 years and my lil wonder girl just turned 1. They are a huge part of my pulling out of the depression after surgery. My granddaughter is beating me at walking tho...she just started walking from couch to chair and other small spaces. darn kid's gonna beat me to walking again. Take care!!!!
post #775 of 10797
Hello everyone. I am 3 days post surgery for a complete tear and repair of the quad at the kneecap, after a simple fall from missing a step. I'm a 54 yr old airline pilot in pretty good shape who does a lot of biking and walking. Funny that when I fell, although I felt it when I hit the ground, I had very little pain, and even now, have very little. Have taken a few ibuprofen but pretty much make it through the day with no painkillers, and haven't needed the narcotics I was prescribed.

I found this website forum on the first day from surgery, researching my injury. Now I realize it's a much more serious injury than I thought, and the rehab can take quite awhile, and that it's possible my knee may never be the same. The OS says I will be off work for at least 3 months, and after reading this forum, sounds like that will be the min.

Interesting the different approaches post surgery by the various OS. I am in a knee immobilizer for 6 weeks, followed by PT. I am not restricted from weight bearing, crutches only as necessary, and can walk with little/no pain, unassisted, as long as I have on the brace. Amazing, although I remember not having much pain after lower back surgery to repair a ruptured disc some years ago.

I need total help in lifting my leg onto/off a leg rest, getting in/out of bed, showering, etc. Fortunately I have been able to enlist my great wife to be the nurse, as she does not work. I'd be in serious trouble without her being around almost all the time in this beginning recovery stage. I know I'll really owe her after this is over.

I've learned a lot reading about everyone else's trials and tribulations with this serious quad injury, and am sure the knowledge gained here will help in my recovery. Thanks very much for everyone's participation. Will let you know how my recovery goes too. supercruiser
post #776 of 10797
Questus: One of the problems I had with the brace was that by about mid May it started to get warm around here and I started to sweat in it. By the first of June it was down right hot and I had had it with the brace by that time. Luckily, my OS told me to get rid of the brace about June 5 and that is when I started PT. The toughest part of PT, at least for me, was the regaining of ROM. They start stretching the tendon with various exercises after they warm up the area with hot packs (hot damp towels). It is uncomfortable for awhile until that tendon starts to loosen up. It took me about 2 months to get back up to 135 degrees ROM after starting out at 50 on the very first day of PT. The part that hurt the most was when the PT starts to push on the kneee to force it to bend. They have you lay on a bench and bend your knee and then the PT will grab hold of the front of your ankle and gently push the leg and knee further to get it to stretch. I dreaded this because it hurt, but it was very important to getting my ROM back.

Do you ski? If so, has your OS said anything about skiing again? Read my above posts to Idaho Guy. I wanted to get my grandkids into skiing, and I still plan to do that but, I probably won't be going with them unless its nordic skiing. Will probably have to try snowshoeing.

My youngest grandkid is 14 months old and is not walking yet, but can crawl fast and is into everything. You have to keep an eye on him constantly and cannot leave him alone for even a second because he will probably get into something he shouldn't. He pulls himself up and climbs on things so I don't think it will be very long before he is up and walking around. He may be a little behind schedule, I don't know. Our 4 year old was walking at about 14 months. I guess they are all different on when they start walking.
post #777 of 10797
well everyday gets me one day closer to taking the brace off. I don't really look forward to PT but I do look forawrd to walking again

I don't ski. Never had. I think it's a very cool sport but I never had the inclination to throw myself down the side of a mountain As I found out Nov 04, I'm can't even walk right. LOL

As for my grand daughter, she's a daredevil. Her brother didn't walk til he was at least 14 months, but she has to do everything he does as soon as she can. She's really something. All kids do things when they are meant to. As long as they are healthy and happy, age doesn't matter. We just get to enjoy them.
post #778 of 10797
Thread Starter 

Back from the backcountry

Hi all:

Welcome to the new folks - very sorry for your injury, but try to keep your chin up, it will help.

Just got back from a yurt trip into the Idaho backcountry. We left Christmas day, and had 19" of new snow on the way in, had another 12 - 14" while we were there over the next three days. The new snow made it impossible to nordic ski, so I ended up snowshoeing the entire time both in and out. If you want to test your knee - go snowshoeing in 2-3 feet of light powder snow! Wow, the knee was tired and sore every day. Had to carry a pack of about 25 lbs., but my 16 y.o. son pulled in the sled with all the communal food and gear this year.

Lefty: the tightness in my knee is just starting to go away now, almost 11 months post-surgery. Rehab takes a long time, but it progresses week by week.

WyoPapa: My OS tells me he doesn't see any reason why I can't ski again. I have nordic skiied this year (carefully) and am expecting to alpine ski by the end of the season (carefully). He tells me that this injury cannot happen again, but that it is unlikely to happen again, whether I ski or not. Given that most of the injuries to people posting on this board did NOT happen while skiing, I suspect that if your injury does happen again, it won't be as a result of skiing. My call: go skiing again, but be careful! (But, I am an addict, and they never would have been able to keep me away from skiing).

Progress is still coming, and I am still working hard. Hope to be skiing the steeps again in the winter of '09 - '10!

Take care all and Happy New Year!

post #779 of 10797
12 mo post surgery 11/12/08. will be 58 in Feb 09.

IDG: glad you got to get out on your Christmas trip!

Wyopapa: my OS told me last Feb to try skiing, x-country, or skating...all those side to side type sliding sports. He then backed off, and said wait a month. But he said I should have no restrictions once healed. Of course, all those "firsts" in terms of activities makes one very aware of the knee.

Supercruiser: welcome but sorry for your injury. Yours sounds similar to several of us in terms of freak slip/slide. And a few of us were frequent flyers for work and found it challenging at first, especially the ramps to enter the plane. I had a trip to Pittsburgh the Thurs after my injury (previous Sat) and did it like a good soldier. Looking back, I do not know how i got through it!

We received about 12 inches of snow yesterday here in eastern MN. I just finished the last of the shoveling this am and noticed the cold on my knee at the quad repair site. When I came in I looked and saw it is about -10. That is the first time i have experienced a "cold reaction" to the site. I just had jeans on so not a lot of cold protection. Otherwise AOK! IDG, did you feel anything like that? But I presume you were much more insulated than mere jeans!

happy new year to all!

Keep Pluggin!

post #780 of 10797
Well, yesterday I took a tumble. I wish it was something romantic but I fell down two steps in a store, awkwardly, and heard a cracking sound on the way down. I actually thought I had snapped a bone but the X-Rays show nothing. I'm actually stuck on an island that doesn't have an MRI machine, so I'm awaiting confirmation of the injury but the people in the ER were pretty sure I ruptured my quadriceps. Reading your messages has been alternately encouraging and depressing. At least I'm a little familiar with the routine, as I had rotator cuff surgery two years ago. I look forward to learning from your experiences.
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