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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 34

post #991 of 10808

Thanks.  This weekend I was talking to a couple of guys that had knee replacement surgery.  A lot of my PT was the same as theirs.  Except I think they recover a little faster.  They all tell me the numbness takes a while and some of the Surgeons tell them that they might not get the feeling back completely.

The weather really helps to lift the spirits!  Memories of the winter will fade away fast.  All that will be left will be a six-inch line down our legs!

post #992 of 10808

Hey fellow QTR's!


Been a little while.  I'm now 11 weeks post-op.  Now in my third week of PT.  Doing PT three times a week.  ROM measured today at 108 degrees.  I've been increasing about 10+ degrees a week.  Hope it continues.  Riding stationary bike daily.  Can't do a complete revolution yet, but gets a good strech on the knee.  Have added weights to my squats.  Another exercise that has helped build my quad is balancing on my left (bad) knee at a countertop and moving objects from left to right and back.  It's harder than you think!  What has helped my ROM the most is each PT session we end it with her pushing my knee.  I sit on the table with legs hanging off edge.  SHe pushes my lower leg back to increase the ROM.  She takes it as far back as I can stand the pain, then holds it there for 30 seconds.  We repeat this three times.  While quite painful, it has really helped my ROM.


Someone mentioned numbness in their knee.  I have tenderness kind of like a sunburn on my knee.  Sensitive to touch.  PT says it is the nerves healing around the incision.  She says it is different for different people.  It may feel like a sunburn, numbness, or something else.  Mine has felt this way for the past 2-3 weeks.


With the good weather, I hope to be out walking more.  Hopefullly riding a bike before too long.


Keep up the good work all.



post #993 of 10808
Thread Starter 

Hi gang:

  Been quite a while since I've posted - I see that everybody is progressing nicely.  Still progressing here as well.  My wife talked me into not skiing this year - she knows me a little too well.  She says I would go, and would feel ok, and would immediately start to test it with higher and higher speeds, more and more force, and more and more difficult terrain - potentially resulting in a re-injury.  She points out that the family counts on me to plan and lead outdoors vacations, and we haven't had too many in the past year - they don't want to miss any more.  So, I guess she's right, but I sure am bummed about it.  We are headed into the Escalante canyon area for a spring break bacpacking trip next week - will be a real test for the knee's agility and fitness.  Then, stop in Salt Lake on the way back home so the family can ski Alta/Snowbird/Solitude - I'll nordic ski at Solitude all three days - I guess.  


Anyway, just wanted to give you all an update, let you know there is light at the end of the tunnel, and re-emphasize that this is a long road - rehab and fitness are lifetime processes - stick to it!




post #994 of 10808

Thought I would post a follow up to my injury.  I am just a few days short of 4 months post op.  I went fishing for a couple of hours yesterday.  It felt great to get out for a while.  I am not using brace, crutch or cane except when I go on uneven terrain.  I did wear my brace while fishing as a precaution.  I have been doing PT twice a week and making good progress.  My ROM is at least 105 degrees and getting to be more all the time.  Good luck to everyone and remember, this too shall pass.



post #995 of 10808

Glad to hear everyone is doing well and continuing to get better.  Update on my injury rehab. I think its 10 weeks os lost track of  weeks. any way surgery 12/29, ruptured on 12/22 won't for get that date. I finally reached my 135 degree's rom last week at pt.  what a relief.  Keep working you guys on rom it will come and don't get discouraged if you hit a plateau because it will happen.  pt changing exercises seems weekly.  getting rid of the easier ones and getting harder ones.  I'm now doing 5% incline on treadmill for 5 minutes at 3.5mph, biking hills on level 8 for 10 minutes, and the fun stair machine for 5 minutes on level 8.  strength is continuing to come back as increasing weight weekly on machines.  I'm at pt 3 times a week for around 2 - 2 1/2 hrs.  Havent had time for pool in the last week or so the landscaping season is here.  started working this week and it has definitly been tough, spring cleanups, edging, mulching ect.  knee feels good but gets very tired, by the end of the night it feels like i got the sh*t beat out of  me. lol  have been very cautious when walking on uneven ground, no brace, croutch, or cane.  going up steps no problem down are still shakey at times but none the less still going down them normal.  knee still feels wobbly every once in a while but over all feel good.  swelling is starting to disminish over the last week or so.  there is still some numbness to touch but not a lot.   everyone keep working we will get to the finish line.



post #996 of 10808

Hey everyone,


Thought I'd check in and say hello.  Got back from my trip to Europe ok, and am looking forward to seeing the OS on Monday and hopefully getting going in PT.  I think I'm ready having had surgery five weeks ago tomorrow. I'm not wearing the brace around the house or office and am being very careful.  The last couple of days have seen me able to ascend stairs near normally.  Range of motion still very limited, but hopefully PT will address.  Take care and keep pushing forward everyone!

post #997 of 10808

It has been an exciting week for me.  I'm now about 11 weeks post-surgery and here's how it has been going.  My ROM has been gaining significantly at every PT visit.  Last Friday, it was 95 degrees, on Monday we were up to 103 and Wednesday was 110.  I could get used to this progress.  :)  I saw my surgeon on Tuesday and he basically said continue working on it with no reservations.  From his perspective, things have fused beautifully and he said there's no reason to constrain ROM.  He thinks I'll end up 10-15 degrees short of what I was before but he's comfortable with my pushing it as far as I can as soon as I can.  I've heard lots of magic good things start to happen around 120 and I wouldn't mind seeing if that's where I can get today.  It's also amazing to me how much difference heat makes.  When I'm in the shower, I can bend my knee further and *much* easier than even 10 minutes after getting out of the shower.  Does anyone wear one of those heat sleeves around their knee?  I'm wondering if the close retention of body heat will ease movement.


And on Wednesday, almost by accident, I was able to do my first full revolution on the bike.  They thought I might be able to do it and on one reverse pedal, as I was slowing near the top, it just went around.  Five minutes pedaling backwards around and they said "try it forwards."  That worked too!!  It just got easier with each revolution.


I've also got the significant numbness a lot of people have been referring to, and so I'm not going to worry about that.  Frankly, what has surprised me is that I've *never* felt "pain" in the knee.  There are some strong sensations of tightness when we're out near the ROM limits but it has never been something I would call painful.  There have even been a few times when I've asked about sounds coming from my knee which my PT figured was scar tissue releasing and that hasn't been painful, at all.  I'm not sure whether to be delighted that I'm lucky or concerned that there's more significant nerve damage.  It doesn't bother my surgeon nor my therapist, so I guess I won't worry...much.  That said, when I couple this with the fact that most days on the e-stim machine, I end up with the unit set at or very near its maximum output, I just wonder whether there's something wrong...or I just have an incredibly high pain tolerance.


As the knee swelling goes down, I'm actually shocked how small the remaining scar is.  My surgeon takes great pride in his work like this, and I can see why.  If you didn't know I had had knee surgery, it's not like the scar is so prominent that you'd immediately notice.  It's there if you look but even with the beginnings of hair growing back on my leg, the scar just isn't at all prominent.  Yay.

post #998 of 10808

10 weeks post op today!

Just an update, and an "atta boy" to all my fellow rippers!


I have been progressing really well the last few weeks.  Seems like when I finally got rid of the brace, and crutches, I seemed to feel a whole lot better.  I have been walking twice a day (morning and evening) for about 2.5/3 miles per walk.  I have tried to find slight hills to walk.  Seems like the "up and down" is better for my quad, and forces the issue of getting more stabilized (especially downhills).  When I was finally able to make a complete revoloution on the stationary bike, I felt soooo relieved.  I have been doing at least one or two "rides" per day of about 45 min to 1 hour with slightly increasing resistance every day.

I only see the PT once a week for a good massage and some new exercises.  I have been very deligent on my stretching and exercises since the injury (movement permiting).  Have been getting ever increasingly difficult exercises and adding weight to them each workout.

I went to my OS last week because I had an internal stitch that was "rejecting".  This was just making a very small pimple like on the incision.  He identified it really easily and took care of it.  At that time he told me he was going to clear me for outside cycling on April 2 (my next appt).  Being the to good patient that I am..........I moved that UP a couple of weeks....and decided to go out for a ride today.  It was 75 and sunny in California today...I couldnt resist!   I did NOT use my cleats, I just used tennis shoes and rested them on top of my clips (platform style).  Did this incase I needed to exit quickly.  I felt so good to get on my bike!  I rode 15 miles on my Garmin, shifiting mostly on my small chainring, but adding some resistance occasionaly.  The quad feels great.  I do get some slight pain in the patella and even below the patella, but never any pain near the repair sight.


Anyway, I am really excited today about taking the ride outside.  I am going to go out again tomorrow, for about 20 miles.  I am riding on a flat, safe surface out near a small airport in a 1.5 mile loop.  Pretty boring, but safe and no traffic.  It serves its purpose for now!!!!


Keep it up, work hard, stay positive!  Thanks for all the encouragement.





post #999 of 10808

Thought I'd check in too. I'm at 12.5 weeks post op now. Range of motion is near normal 130+ now, and have been that way for a week or two. Some knee pain when going up/down 8" stairs, smaller stairs no issues; otherwise OK. Walking/biking is no problem with pretty much no limp, although I feel stiffness across the repair site, that I know most everyone has for quite a long time.


The only real persistent problem, and I'd be interested to see if others have this: I can bend my knee fine, like sitting at the table or in a car or at a desk, but after keeping it bent about 20-25 minutes, I start to get a persistent ache in my knee that gets worse if I don't straighten my leg out. Once I do, the ache/pain goes away. Does anyone else have this? I'm hoping this gets better ( it almost has to), as my job entails keeping my knee bent for fairly long periods of time, and it's a problem as I'm not always able to straighten my knee out when I feel like it. 


Strangely, if I fall asleep with my knee somewhat bent, when I wake up, it's stiff and somewhat painful when I straighten it, then it seems OK. This sound familiar to anyone also? Thanks to all those that are participating. We'd be mostly in the dark without this forum.



post #1000 of 10808

10 Weeks Post Op Today - Rt Leg QTR


Post # 1000 - do I win a prize IDG?  lol


Joined the local Sport & Wellness Centre & started Aqua Therapy on Monday. I'm there every day and it feels great but disappointed to say the swelling, numbness & stiffness persists with limited increase in ROM.  


Still can't walk properly due to stiffness at about the 30 degree point and instability. I basically must still walk with a straight leg as it won't push through the stiffness. Anybody else experience this as far along as ten weeks post op? This is causing me the biggest concern as I know the ROM will come with more time and I trust my walk will too? 


I look at the progress of everyone else currently checking in - congrats to all BTW - and it makes me wonder what's going on inside my knee? Was the repair different? Did my OS stitch it too tight? I'm working the knee as I should!


So yes, I'm in a bit of a downer right now. I suppose if one was to try to find a negative to reading others progress it's that if you don't measure up to others, you tend to get discouraged. But I will take my own advice and stay positive and keep working at it!


Off to the Sport Centre I go!



post #1001 of 10808


It is going to work itself out!!!  I sure didnt mean to be sounding too excited the other day.  I was pretty happy and had a touch of spring fever.  A bike ride probably pushed me over the edge...excitement wise.  ALL of us have to work through every damn up and down of this stupid injury.  Quite frankly, if it wasnt for some of the posts in here over the last 6 weeks, some of them by you (even before I joined), I dont know how I would have got throught the depression I was feeling (and envy of those further along in any part of the process).  You and your posts here have supported me, and others along this journey.  The more I seem to go through and research, it seems encouraging that we will "get there" eventually, we just all seem to have slightly different "time frames".


Keep at it!  I really think all the work I did in a hot tub/jacuzzi really helped.  Heat always made my stretching more bearable (ice after).  I am really pulling for you to make the breakthroughs that are surely just around the corner......



I am just 2 weeks behind you, but our "stories" sound almost identical.  Walking, cycling, stair climbing etc.  The pains you described, especially the pain that follows prolonged bending, then straightning is IDENTICAL to how my knee feels.  Occasionaly at nite, if I am sleeping on my side with my knee slightly bent, I will all of a sudden get quite a sharp pain in the knee, but it disapears IMMEDIATELY when I straighten it out...no residual soreness for even a short period of time.  When exercising I am not totally pain free through a whole ROM, I feel slight pain as my leg bends near 90* but it move through without sticking, same thing when climbing 8" stairs or descending.  Just enough to get my attention, but not to stop the movement.


Again, Thanks for all the support.  This has helped me get through it.





post #1002 of 10808

11 Months

Bad Landing Skydiving 4/13/2008

Qaud Tendon Repaired 4/17/2008

2nd Surgery Remove Scar Tissue Adhesions 9/12/08


Amazing 11 months and my knee is still not a 100% ! But good news is that it is still improving and would say that it is about 85% and improving weekly. Still have tightness in the repair right above the knee cap but that is getting better weekly. Tightness still reminds me through out the day of the injury, but there are times that I don't think about it an it feels some what normal.


Overall leg strength is good but the quadriceps muscle heads are taking for ever to build back up!! I have only been doing strength training on legs once a week, but am going to step it up to twice a week for here on out till its a 100%.


Tiger44: I had the same swelling tightness issues, my swelling did not improve until about week 9 or 10 and ROM was stuck at 100. You might be looking at more surgery LOA (lysis of adhesions), where they go in and break up scar tissue and gets your leg bending for you. My doc waited almost 5 months to see if I could get it moving my self and for the everything in the knee (swelling) to go down before doing the LOA. It was a painless and quick surgery (20 minutes) and he got my heal to my butt in the OR, and I was able to get to do the same about a month later. My physical therapist that I went too for a few weeks said she was working with another quad rupture a few months before me (young athletic 30 year old) that also had to have a LOA also to free up his knee, so I think it is a fairly common with this injury. 

post #1003 of 10808

Hi all -

I did my QTR on Feb. 1.  I was feeling a little sorry for myself on Saturday because my bicycling friends were all out on a training ride for the Horribly Hilly Hundreds and I was inside catching up on office work.  I came across this group and it made a world of difference for me reading so many stories - all different.   Here's my story:   I'm a 57 year old guy who likes to do about anything outdoors.  I ski in the winter and race a sailboat on Lake Michigan and ride a roadbike in the summer.  I had taken my racing crew and spouses for a break from the Wisconsin winter on a bareboat charter in the British Virgin Islands.  The deal is that you give the charter company your credit card and they give you a boat that you sail yourselves with the expectation that you'll bring it back in one piece on the agreed date.  We were half-way through our charter and anchored off the island of Anegada, which is known for its Caribbean lobsters.  It's dark, we've had our afternoon rum ration and we're heading in to shore for a lobster dinner in the dinghy.   We run aground, I jump out to push us off, sink into the mud, lose my balance and pop goes the left quad tendon.  After hearing me screaming some suitable obscenities, my crew manages to dump me back in the dinghy, get it refloated and I'm proud to say I had my share of lobster and rum.  One of my crewmembers is a nurse, who had brought her emergency pharmacy and knew her first aid. She kept me patched up and moving.  I managed to finish the sailing trip and take the ferry back to St. Thomas where I climbed the 99 steps to Blackbeard's Castle. The bartender where we were staying came up with a drink he called "Blackbeard in Paradise" that finished the work the pain pills left undone. We flew home and I got in to see my primary care doc.  He knew something was up, but didn't think it was too serious so he set up an appointment for an MRI and an exam by a sports med doc.  In the meantime, I had a business trip and spent a couple of days walking around Capital Hill.  Of course, I was already back on my bicycle trainer and back up to 30 min. at about 2/3 my easy spin intensity.  So - the MRI guy says its a meniscus tear, but the sports med doc exams me, says thats crazy and goes back to discuss the MRI with the radiologist.  He comes back with the QTR diagnosis, puts me in a full leg brace, tells me to stop being stupid and fast tracks me to the knee surgeon - who schedules me for surgery ASAP.


One good decision I made was to spend a little out-of-pocket and go to the UW Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation clinic.  This group has the surgeons, medicine docs, imaging, PT, etc. all together as one practice.  They work with athletes, my OS does the knees and shoulders for the UW hockey and football teams.   Before my surgery I had a good talk with my OS about my goals and I know that he, the PT and everyone I work with understand and are committed to helping me reach my goals.   The deal is I have to have faith that they will move me as aggressively as they can, but I have to listen and respect it when they tell me to be patient or back off.


They were worried that I had the injury on Feb. 1 and didn't have the surgery (patella tunnels, etc.) until Feb. 24.  The OS practically was jumping up and down when he came into recovery and told me that there was enough tendon intact to keep the quad muscle from retracting and he was happy with the repair.  Nothing like seeing a happy surgeon when you're wondering if things went well.  He included a copy of my PT protocol in my post-op instructions and pre-scheduled my first follow-up appointment with him and first PT appointment for 10 days post-op.  The PT took me through heel slides, quad flexes, leg lifts, patellar and incision massage and hyperextension stretch on my first appointment.  I do the PT three times a day - every day even at work.  I made the 90 degrees flexion by my one week follow-up with the PT.  I'm now four weeks post-op.  My only complaint is that I have to keep to my agreement to respect the protocol and stay with the crutches and brace in full locked extension until I see the OS again at six weeks post op.


So, I'm still early into this and more than a little concerned with how it will work out.  Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories, progress and disappointments.  This is a great thread and I'll let you know periodically how I'm coming along.

post #1004 of 10808

Hey wanasail,


We did our QTRs on nearly the same day.  Mine was Jan31.  Had surgery Feb13, and just went back to the OS today after 5 weeks and 3 days.  Good news is that I've been released to PT and told that I can wean myself of the brace over the next week.  Am starting PT tomorrow.  Was able to exercise in elliptical trainer over the weekend, as well as do light single-leg quad presses in a machine with brace set to stop at 40 deg flexion.  As well, am now able to climb stairs normally and did two 160 stair flight climbs on a hill in my neighborhood yesterday.  As well, have found that walking up and down steep hills is feels very good and loads the leg nicely.  Am estimating that ROM is now 75 deg or so.  It's good to see recovery accelerating and will be working with PT to make as full a recovery as possible.  Will keep you and the group posted on progress.  Keep up the good work/progress and be sure to share any tricks/exercises that work particularly well for you.




post #1005 of 10808

Hi everyone.


This is Benny checking in for the first time. I've been reading some of your posts and it's comforting to see how well some of you guys are recovering. I never knew anyone to have this injury until it happened to me.


So on January 29 I decided that it would be a good idea to pick up my old 27 inch RCA crt television from my mother's and bring it over to my place. So it's about 1 am and 20 degrees outside and im carrying my tv towards my car to put it in the back seat and I didn't see really see the ice by the  door to my backseat. Right leg shoots out from under me, left leg buckles, and i landed almost in a kneeling position with the full weight of the tv (which i did not drop) landing on my left leg which was in the kneeling position. That was the end of my left quadriceps tendon. I tried to get up as soon as possible to preseve my street credibility but my left leg was not obeying. So I called mom to wake up my big bro to come down and pick me up out of the comfortable patch of snow that I was laying in.  Went upstairs with figuring it's just a bad spain and that I'll tought it out but my knee quickly swole like a grapefruit so I called an ambulance. Xrays came back negative and of course was misdiagnosed by the ER doctor with a sprain and was told to take aleve. Finally got to see an orthopedic doctor on feb 5th and was properly diagnosed and scheduled for surgery on the 12th.  Operated on the February 12th  and placed in an immobilizer brace which i later replaced with a knee brace.

 So I finally went to my OS again on March 23, six weeks post op, and he attempted to bend my knee. I only got about 20 to 25 degrees out of it. It felt like the brace was still on locked in the straight position,

I begin physical therapy today, March 25th.

I read some of you guys posts and it seems like I am way behind some of you. My left leg fells very weak and there is no way that i can go up stairs normally.

Can anyone who is far along in there recovery tell me if there knee look's 100 % normal? My knee still looks a little round and swollen.


Hope to hear from someone soon.

Benny from NYC

post #1006 of 10808

Hi jakster -

It will be fun to compare notes.  My six week OS appointment is next week - actually at 5 weeks and 2 days (but who is counting?).  I've been trying to focus on doing my PT, which is all passive at this point, and trying to do some core and upper body work that doesn't put any stress on the knee.  I can do sit-ups, twist the obliques, and do free weights sitting on the edge of a futon to try to keep some tone in my arms and shoulders.  I can also lie on my back and do leg lifts, jacknives and back/neck bridges -- all keeping the knee rigid in the brace while doing the quad flexes the PT showed me.  At least its something to work on until I get cleared to do more active work for my knee .  Thanks for the tip on walking up and down hills.   Cheers! 

post #1007 of 10808

Hey y'all,


Just wanted to say hi and thanks for this site. I've been reading semi-religiously for the past 7 weeks since joining the ranks. It's simultaneously comforting and frightening to read all of the stories posted here.


By way of introduction, I'm a 42 year old tennis player and cyclist when not stuck in the office. On 2/7, I was playing a league tennis match and went for what seemed like a straightforward volley. I think I slipped on the service line as I planted for the volley but am not really sure about that. In any case, all I remember was ending up on the court and vehemently suggesting that caling an ambulance would be a good idea. Apparently, the guys on the next court heard a loud pop as I went down (but I didn't find that out until 3 weeks later). I had surgery on 2/13 and only slightly worried about the omen-ish nature of the date. The surgery went well -- it was a clean tear just above the patella and didn't result in any bone loss. The surgeon was happy -- it was a pretty much textbook repair without any complications.


Right now, I'm 5.5 weeks post-op with a Don-Joy T-ROM brace still on my left leg. I'm at 30 degrees ROM and getting ready to see the ortho again this afternoon. If they stick to the schedule that he outline when he saw me last time, I'll only get another 10 degrees, but I remain optimistic that they'll let me go further this time. The thing is that I want to go quicker but know that slow and steady is probably going to yield the best recovery for me.


I've been doing basic exercises at home daily and PT weekly since week 3 but am waiting for the doctor to give me permission to do more things. Leg raises, quad presses, and stretching exercises now feel pretty much like old hat. They're all good and progressing daily, but it's hard to feel quite so excited about them as I was initially. It's getting even harder as I see cyclists going by outside my window at work and at home. I want to be out riding as we finally see some warmer temps here in MA.


Thanks to all who've really got this community off the ground.

post #1008 of 10808



I'm 13 weeks post op, and as good as I feel, my knee still looks a little round and swollen, compared to the good one. To me it looks about the same for the last 6 weeks. I don't know how long that's going to last. I suppose the PT I do every day probably continues to make the knee look that way, as my knee feels tired and sometimes sore by the end of the day. The quad muscle definition still looks flabby compared to the good leg too. So anyone looking at me in shorts can definitely tell that something happened to one of my legs, even if you didn't see the surgical scar on the knee.



post #1009 of 10808

Benny--nice (?) to see someone from NYC--we got to stop meeting like this. I'm almost exactly where you are, I slipped on Jan 29--from what I have learned 6 weeks out is when everything starts to rock and roll! I'm about to start PT next week and I'm really looking forward to it. My wife is an Occupational Therapist and she says that when the PT starts,they'll use heat and massage etc. to get theROM up. Also, from what my OS told me, after 6 weeks the repair has taken hold and you can start strengthening the leg. Thats what the real problem is, after 6 weeks of non-use,your leg is so weak that all kinds of weird things happen regarding your leg feeling weird etc. I just keep trying to flex it,strengthen the rest of my leg and keep active as much as possible. I'm trying to build up so I can hit the subway again right? You'll get there, keep working!--Houdini

post #1010 of 10808

Hey fellow QTR's


I'm now 12 weeks post-op (New Years Eve).  Yesterday, I was released by my OS with no restrictions except  my own pain.  Continue PT for another 4 weeks but  changing from 3 - 30 minute sessions per week to 2 - 45 min sessions per week.  ROM is now 120 degrees.  PT mostly concentrating on strengthening the Quad now.   I am really surprized at how weak my quad muscles are.  I can bend my knee enough to go up stairs normally, but two flights is all my left quad can take.  Still working up the courage to try to go down the steps normally (mental thing).  So we started working on that this week in PT.  Overall, ROM has increased better than I thought it would.  Regaining muscle strength has gone slower.


Yesterday after doing 3 sets of single leg squats, 3 sets of single leg dips (stepping down a step until the foot on my good leg barely touches the next step down and raising back up again),  my hamstriing exercises, balance exercises, and streching, I had to sit for a while to build up the strength just to walk back out to my truck! 


Benny, sorry to see you here, but welcome.  My knee still swells up pretty good and even when the swelling is down, it still looks like a small grapefruit.  My OS said swelling is the last thing to go.  First is pain, then ROM, then regain strength, then swelling goes away.  Could still swell up 3-4 months in recovery.


Keep the Faith!



post #1011 of 10808

9 months post injury


There's mostly good news from here.  After blowing my riggh last May, I had surgery and did all the stuff I was supposed to.  Since January I've been running about 30 miles a week, and it's coming along.  before my injurt I used to ride my bike to work, and I have to say that bicycling is the activity where I notice it the most -- the knee still feels notiably tight when I ride.


On the other hand, I've run a 20K and a 12K race in the past month, and the leg did fine on both of them.  I'm heavier and still trying to drop weight, but that will come.  I know my right leg is now weaker than my left, but it's hard to tell in the course of a daily run.  I still suffer when i go hard but it's normal hard run suffering.  I've definitely lost a step speed wise and am trying to really train pretty hard and get as much of my fitness back as I can. 


So, good news is that by 9 months I'm doing virutally everything I was before, with the exception of biking.  I can do it but my leg is not there yet.  I expect I'll continue to improve slowly over the next 3-6 months, and then pretty much it will be what it will be.  I can confirm that my right inner qad (head?) is noticably smaller than the uninjured one, my Dr. had said to expect that and it's true.  I'm working to rebuild the muscle but he says it will probably always be smaller and to get used to it.



post #1012 of 10808


Hi, glad to hear from another runner and your experience. I’m 6 months from injury and 5 months from surgery. Because of previous damage and the delay in operating the surgeon indicated the ROM may not get over 90 degrees; on the final visit he was a little more optimistic at 120. I’m past there but it has been a lot of work at the sacrifice of very little strengthening. I have done some short runs on the treadmill but very sporadically with the max at 20 minutes at a very slow pace. Did you do anything differently when you started back running then the normal approach for beginning runners? I’m OK on the bike and have gone up to 40 minutes. Your experience has given me some hope that in time I will get back to my plan to run Boston.
post #1013 of 10808

Hello all,


Had a good week with first two PT visits this week, and am brace and crutch-free--at least while on level ground.  They really made a difference.  Started on Tuesday 5.5 weeks post-surgery with only 75 deg ROM and by end of session was at 82 deg.  Today, six weeks to the day following surgery, started PT at 85 deg and ended up at 100 deg and was actually able to get a few rotations in on the bike--although I was accommodating significantly with my hip.  Am very pleased with the progress.  Was also able to do the elliptical trainer for 30 minutes with no problems.  Had one minor setback, in that I manage to strain the hamstring on my good leg doing leg curls on the machine after the elliptical trainer session.  I think it will be ok with some rest, ice, stretching and anti-inflammatories, but it's a lesson learned that while I may still have good "muscle memory," neither leg is in the shape it was pre-injury in January.


I think the fact that my tear was 80% or so and not complete may be making a difference in the initial healing time / recovery  As well, I used the CPM machine beginning one week after surgery every day for three weeks and did extensive icing via a cryocuff machine (which insurance didn't cover.)  Two long trips with lots of ground covered on crutches seemed to help keep the quad from totally atrophying, and I've been trying to do leg exercises morning and night--single leg squats, calf raises, one-leg balancing with damaged quad contracted, balancing with slightly bent leg on a semi-cyclindrical foam roller, leg presses, balancing on a swiss "whoppie cusion-like" device, and as soon as possible step-ups on a low stair.  From a diet standpoint, am trying to go high protein, with whey supplements every day as well as standard multi-vitamin and fish oil supplements.  Not sure if this makes sense for a complete tear, but it seems to be working reasonably well for me and exceeds the expectations I initially had after reading this and other online materials and talking with OS.  I'm thinking that the key in all this is listening to your body and taking the opportunity to take special care of yourself with respect to rest, diet and exercise.  I hope the information and perspective are helpful and don't come across in a boastful way.  I appreciate having a place  where I can share progress, get perspectives, and hear from others who have successfully come out on the other side.


Have a great weekend all!


80% QTR Jan 31, 09

Surgery Feb 13 09

post #1014 of 10808

Can I join the club? Mine is only a partial tear and they keep telling me that it will be fine if I just take it easy for a few weeks. I have my doubts though...  


Here's my background and story


25 year old female, level 7 skier, on my 54th day of skiing this season. I wasn't doing anything crazy, just heading back to my office after a ski break, taking nice easy turns on a moderate slope when all of the sudden my knee felt like it A:exploded and B:locked up. I managed to stay upright while coming to a stop at which point I bent and straightened my knee a couple of times and found it to be only minimally painful. Not wanting to be the person being brought down in a sled for a minor injury I tentatively took a few more turns and experienced the same explosion/locking of the knee that happened the first time. At this point I came to a stop, got out of my bindings and sat down for a minute to evaluate the situation. Again after the initial pain subsided, I was in only minimal pain and managed to ski the rest of the way to my office on one leg. I promptly called the clinic and they sent someone over to have a look at my knee. The initial diagnoses was a partially dislocated patella and I was told to rest it as much as possible, ice, and take lots of anti-inflammatory. A few days later the clinician came to check on me again and after some poking and prodding decided that it must be a partially torn quad tendon. Again she said that rest, ice and pain killers were the answer.


What is getting me concerned though is that for the first 5 days or so the only real pain was when I had to bend my knee more than the amount that it takes to walk normally, but in the past 3-4 days the pain has been progressing daily. It is to the point where there is a dull ache all of the time as well as sharp pain when doing weight bearing activities that bend the knee more than a few degrees.


I guess what I am really wondering is whether anyone else has had a partial tear that did not require surgery? What was the recovery like? What did you do to minimize pain? 


Also, thank you to all of you who have shared your story. After much internet searching I stumbled across this website, which not only has a wealth of information about this injury, but also tons of great stuff on all aspects of skiing. I am so excited about this new find.

post #1015 of 10808

11 Weeks Post Op Today - Rt Leg QTR


Good Morning All,


Dull, rainy spring morning, ughh. Hard to get going on mornings like this.


Unfortunately, same old, same old for me, the knee remains swollen, stiff and numb with ROM stuck at around 75 and low 80's when warmed up. I still must walk with a straight leg due to the stiffness. 


My PT has even given up on me, if you can believe that! She didn't seem to want to support my efforts outside of formal PT. My search for a good PT therefore continues with a renewed urgency. 


Thanks for the words of support camelliabowl, in2falling & others. I am delighted with everybody's progress, just frustrated by my lack of same at this time. I am determined to stay positive, go to the club every day to try to work through this, rest the knee, ice & elevate. I hope I don't have the scar tissue issue that might require the LOA surgery but I will take this up with my OS and my new PT, when I have one, and stay on top of this potential road block to recovery.


Welcome to the club wanasail, Benny, garland & Aredhel. Sorry you needed to join but you have joined a wonderful support & info group!


Aredhel, I would want to explore this further if I were you, likely with an MRI and meeting with an OS, but at the minimum I think you must stop bending your knee for a period of time to allow the partial tear to heal. This would need 6 weeks minimum based on post surgey protocol, I would think? I'm somewhat surprised they didn't put you in a zimmer brace or equivalent to keep your leg straight. You are likely tearing it more by bending it and your attempts to work through it without really resting it, thus the increased pain?


Take care all & best wishes to all with your rehab.



post #1016 of 10808



From a sitting position with your legs extended, can you raise the injured leg?  Also, suggest an MRI to determine the extent of the tear.  Is there a great deal of swelling, and do you seem to have any "empty space" or a large indentation directly above your patella?  An orthopod should be able to make a correct diagnosis quickly.


Let us know how you do and best of luck avoiding surgery.



post #1017 of 10808

Hi everyone.  It's a little easier being inside today with a couple of inches of snow on the roads.  Aredhel - it sounds like you may be in a bit of different boat then some of us.  From, what I've read those of us over 40 tend to rupture the quad tendon and those under 40 tend to tear it, the difference being the changes in the tendon as you age (gosh it hurts to admit that).   It also sounds like you didn't have a catastrophic  fall or other obvious event that would cause an injury, which seems unusual.  Another thought is that women are much more susceptible to ACL tears and that the symptoms can be somewhat similar.   None of us should be trying to practice medicine over the internet, so I'd ask a lot questions of your doctors.  Make sure that you're seeing someone who treats athletes and sees a lot of knees.  Steve makes a good point, it seems odd that they haven't ordered an MRI, you should ask about that.  Hey - congrats on a ski-in, ski-out job.  WOW!!


There are treatment options.  Your case is going to be different because of your age and you have a tear versus a rupture.  The OS offered me two options for my rupture.  First was to just stitch up the tendon and do PT.  Advantage was a much shorter and less painful and frustrating rehab.  Downside was that I would lose the use of the rectus femoris quad.  I'd be able to walk fine, do normal things but forget bicycling up the big climbs.  That got a quick thumbs down and I chose the full reconstructive surgery with the patellar tunnels, etc.   Make sure to ask what options you have and the +/-'s of each.  Insurance plans can limit your options, but try to find an OS who you does lots of knees and that you trust understands and will work with you around your goals.


Steve also makes a good point about the brace.  They gave me a zimmer type brace as soon as they made the QTR diagnosis and scared me into using it.  Post surgery, they gave me a Berg T-scope brace.  This is a full leg brace but smaller, lighter, adjustable and much more comfortable.  It fits under my pants - I bought a couple pair of pants/shorts with zipper-off legs.  I can do my mid-day PT at work just zipping off the left leg so I can take off the brace.  


I'm heading into week 5 post-op.  I've started walking around the house with the brace locked but without the crutches.  My wife is giving me hell, but its feeling really good. I'll use the crutches outside until my OS clears me off of them for good - hopefully this Thursday.   My PT told me not to push my ROM over 90 degrees, so when I hit 90 I stopped pushing and stopped measuring -- just doing the heel slides until I feel tightness.  I've also upped the intensity of my upper body, core and abductor/adductor work -- all in the leg brace locked in full extension.  It's a challenge to try to find exercises I can do that don't put any stress on the knee. My OS and PT have been supportive as long as I don't do anything that might injure or stress the knee.  The worst right now is sleeping in the brace.  I wake up trying to flex my knee.  I know I need it, but looking forward to a normal night's sleep without it. 


This is a great group and it's helped me a lot.  Steve, I hope you find a new PT quickly.  The recovery is going to come! Best to all.

post #1018 of 10808



A couple of more thoughts, with the caveat that each injury is different and Dx and treatment plan need to be ascertained by qualified medical professionals rather than well-meaning people on a msg board like this.


If indeed you do have a partial quadriceps tear, it's possible, depending upon the extent of the tear, that surgery might be a good option for you given your age and activity level.  In trolling around the internet and reading about this condition, it seems like history of prior injury can predispose people--or at least those in the most frequently affected population, 40-60 y.o. males, to injury.  If your injury doesn't heal well or results in some weakness, you might be setting yourself up for future injury--not to mention potential collateral damage if it gives way while you're aggressively loading during a critical ski maneuver--for example, like Idaho-guy on the first post in this series.  Not trying to be alarmist, but simply want to emphasize the importance of getting the diagnosis and treatment plan right in collaboration with an orthopod who knows his/her stuff and preferably is athlete / sports-medicine oriented.


Even if surgery is indicated, your age, athleticism, and the likelihood of a partial tear would bode well for quick and complete recovery.  I blew out my ACL and miniscus in the other leg 10 yrs ago in my mid-30s while skiing, and the arthoscopic ACL surgery (patellar tendon autograft) was more difficult to recover from, at least in the first six weeks--than this QTR surgery--despite the fact that the QTR surgery is an open procedure.  My QT had 80% tear, which required surgery if I was to return to athletic activities, but my hypothesis at this point is the fact that the tear was partial may be a factor that's contributed to my recovery to date being relatively quick.


In any case, I hope you can avoid surgery and get back to 100%, but even if that's not the case, I suspect you'll do well.  Good luck and let us know how it goes.

post #1019 of 10808

Welcome Benny, Garland and Aredhl...sorry for your injuries. But as you see from this lengthy thread, there is hope for good recoveries.


Aredhl, I would definately ask for an MRI and see an Orthopedic surgeon. This is not an injury to mess with, even with a partial tear. Mine was a complete tear but enough of the tendon still attached to the patella that the OS could do a tendon to tendon repair, my surgery was 11/12/07, and I am aware of my knee all the time, but I can do anything I want.


In fact, cut/hauled/split/stacked birch this weekend. Last year at this time I did similar and really kicked the s---out of my knee for a few days, so much, much better.


Best to All!


Keep pluggin' !



post #1020 of 10808

hey guys.... name is brent.... used to do alot of skiing, none since i moved to tennessee...  truth is,,, on feb. 9th. i was in a motorcycle accident..  my femur came through the middle of my knee ripping the quad tendon off the patella 90%.  Surgery was feb. 11th.  i was told this was a very bad injury, i had lost most of the cartiledge...  it is now mar. 31st.   i went to the doctor yesterday, took xrays.. said the bone is healing nice, but wants to give the tendon 6 more weeks b4 i put weight on it..  i have been going to PT twice a week...  My knee wont bend past 40 degrees on a good day...  after that point it just is locked...  this scares me.i can not raise my injured leg from a sitting position.,  there is alot of swelling..also the scar line runs right across my knee. my doctor has no advice at this time other than 6 more weeks of healing... he suggest scar tissue may be causing the bind...  i am scared about all this and im looking to you guys for maybe any advice or sucess stories... maybe this is normal at this point??  please help

Edited by brent78 - 3/31/2009 at 04:16 pm
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