A Philosopher's Blog

Quadriceps Tendon Repair

Posted in Medicine/Health by Michael LaBossiere on April 21, 2009
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On March 26th I had a ladder go out from me, resulting in a fall of about eight feet. I struck the wayward ladder with my left foot, thus taking all the impact on that leg. The result was a torn quadriceps tendon.

In the course of getting this injury treated, I found that most medical professionals (though generally very pleasant) seem to take the view that informing the patient is a very, very low priority. Since I am rather concerned about my well being, I did a fair amount of research on the quadriceps tendon, the tear, and its treatment.

Before getting to the discussion, you should keep in mind that I am a philosophy professor and not a medical professional. I’m presenting this information with the purpose of sharing my own experiences and not with the intent of providing medical advice or a diagnosis. If you are injured, then you should see a medical professional. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, on to the information.

The quadriceps is a group of four muscles that link to a single tendon (the aptly named “quadriceps tendon”). These muscles are located in the upper part of the leg and are connected to the knee cap via that tendon. These muscles play critical roles in allowing people to walk, run, jump and squat. The tendon, as I found out, also serves to absorb the shock of landing.

The quadriceps tendon is normally very strong and rather difficult to tear. However, there are a variety of circumstances in which it can be torn. In some cases, age or a pre-existing condition can weaken the tendon-sometimes so much so that it will tear (or rupture) while walking or due to a minor fall. Among healthy folks, a quadriceps tear is usually due to a fall or an impact injury such as suffered by football players or skiers.

To deal with a quadriceps tendon tear, you first need to know that you have one. In general, you only need to worry about this if you have suffered serious trauma to your knee/leg, such as in a fall, skiing accident, or other such accident. However, there are cases in which the tendon tears without this sort of serious calamity.

In some cases you will hear a “pop” when the tendon tears, although you might not. And, of course, there are other injuries that make popping sounds. The following are common signs of a quadriceps tendon tear. First, you might find that your knee cannot bear any weight at all.

Second, you might be able to stand and walk, but find that your knee will “give” way during movement. In my case, I was able to walk after the injury, but fell down twice before I could figure out how to compensate.

Third, you will experience pain (obviously) and swelling of the knee area. Bruising is also likely. Of course, this is compatible with a wide range of injuries.

Fourth, you might notice that your knee cap is now lower than it should be-you might even see a noticeable gap between the quadriceps muscles and the knee cap. If the knee cap is out of position, this might well cause problems with moving the lower leg (mine would lock up at a certain angle).

However, the defining test of a serious tear is that you will not be able to straighten out your knee against resistance and you will not be able to perform a straight leg lift/raise. A straight leg raise is done in the following way: lie on your back on a flat surface and attempt to lift your leg straight up. If you can do this, then you do not have a complete tendon tear (though you may have a partial tear). If you cannot do this, then the odds are good that you have completely torn your quadriceps tendon.

Naturally, you should not leave it at a self diagnosis. If you have had a serious accident, then you should seek professional help. The professionals will, if they know what they are doing, x-ray your knee and also perform a physical examination. While X-rays do not show soft tissue damage, they will show if the knee cap is out of place. You might get an MRI, but you might not-my diagnosis was based on the x-ray and a physical examination.

If you are diagnosed with a quadriceps tendon tear, then you will most likely be going in for surgery. Partial tears can apparently be treated non-surgically, but that is something you would need to discuss with the doctor.

A complete tear, which is what I suffered, requires surgery-the tendon will almost certainly not re-attach to the knee cap on its own. Here is a page that briefly but effectively describes the nature of the injury as well as the surgery for treating it. Roughly put, they will cut open your knee, drill two (or more) holes in your knee and then run suture thread through the holes to the tendon to anchor it in place.

If you are told that you will need surgery, then here are some things that you should do to prepare.

First, you will need to stop eating and drinking at least 12 hours before the surgery, so plan accordingly.

Second, after the surgery you will be even more disabled (you’ll be in pain and in a knee immobilizer, brace or cast) so be sure that you have a ride home and that your home is ready for your return. You will need to keep your leg elevated, so have some pillows set up on your bed for that. In order for the elevation to work, you need to be truly elevated (above the heart). Sitting in a recliner with the leg rest up won’t cut it. You won’t be able to shower normally, so I would suggest getting one of those shower heads that have a hose attachment. That way you can wash your hair by standing beside the shower stall. You should also get some liquid body soap. I’ve had to replace my shower by washing myself from the sink using the liquid body soap in water first and then rinsing with plain water and a wash cloth. Get some baby wipes for areas that you’d rather not use the same washcloth that you use on your face.

You will most likely arrive at the hospital/clinic a few hours before the surgery. After you check in, you will probably be brought to a waiting room. While you wait, you’ll put on a gown, have blood drawn, be hooked up to an IV, and given a pill to keep you from getting an upset stomach (take it). Then you will be wheeled down to the prep area and given an antibiotic (attached to your IV). You’ll meet the surgical team and then its lights out-the operation is performed under general anesthesia.

If all goes well, you’ll wake up in the recovery area, hooked up to a machine that lets the nurses know that you are still alive. You’ll be in some pain at this point. After that, you will be wheeled to a waiting room, given some pain medicine as well as water. Drink plenty of fluids-you will most likely be rather dehydrated from not drinking. I know I was.

The surgery is usually done outpatient, so you will most likely go home that day. If you are having problems, then they will keep you overnight. I went home that day. Be sure to get the instructions from the physician’s assistant who will speak with you. You will most likely get prescriptions for pain killers, muscle relaxents, a blood thinner, and a stool softener. Get them all. The pain killer and muscle relaxant functions are obvious: you will be in lots of pain and will want to kill that. I’m rather tough (I’ve run ultra-marathons and have a black belt) and I used them the first few days. The blood thinner is to keep you from getting blood clots. You’ll also be told to do “foot pumps” to keep the blood flowing. Do those religiously-you don’t want a clot.

While you might be tempted to pass on the stool softener, do not. I repeat, do not. Be sure to drink plenty of water and eat normally as soon as you can. Also, go to the bathroom as soon as you can. Otherwise, you will have some unpleasant problems (just imagine trying to pass packed clay…that should be sufficient motivation to use the softener).

For the next two weeks, your main job will be to rest and recover. Depending on what your doctor says, you can probably move around somewhat, but be careful. Aftter those two weeks or three weeks, you will have the staples removed from the incisions and you will probably have the immobilizer replaced with an adjustable brace. If you are in a cast, then you will probably be in it for six weeks. Lucky you.

The PA will most likely tell you to not remove the immobilizer for any reason for a week and then only to change the dressing a week after the surgery. Heed his/her advice. The immobilizer is there to prevent you from moving your knee because doing so could ruin the surgery. Resist the temptation to take it off-a fall or a moment of forgetfulness can be all it takes to ruin the surgery!

As I write this on April 20, I’m 17 days out from the surgery. My leg is in a locked adjustable brace and is also wrapped in an ace bandage. I can move around well on crutches and, when this blog is posted on April 21, I will be back to teaching.

I’ll write additional posts as I go through the recovery process.

Update (4/11/2011): I’ve written a short book about my experiences with quadriceps tendon repair. It is available at Amazon for the Kindle and at Barnes & Nobles for the Nook. Both versions are 99 cents (and might even be worth every penny).

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699 Responses

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  1. Genevieve said, on April 28, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    My brother got a knee cap injury and had to wear an immobilizer, too. Lucky him he got a plastic bag type thing that went up to his hip for showering =)

  2. Michael LaBossiere said, on April 28, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I’ve been trying to rig one of those using a garbage bag and duct tape. I’m still working on the problem that hairy leg + duct tape = ouch! :)

    • Anonymous said, on December 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      Is your book still available?
      I tried checking Barnes and Noble – no luck.
      1 week out of surgery. 2 PT appointments.
      Can’t raise my leg yet. My hip muscles (lower back) get tight and hurt A LOT.
      Stretching helps, but takes a while to take effect.

      pj

  3. mike harrison said, on May 5, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    well I.m new at computers so bear with me on4-21-09 I had my platella &quad tendon severe scar tissue removed & a accelease tendon sewn in with wire am in straight leg brace 3-4 months done in seattle at virginia mason by dr sorenson verypleased no more pain period post surgy ? rehab suposeedly only 4 other of thease preformed oh I had a patellectomy 16 years ago have found no info of like procedur with countless hours of reserch

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 6, 2009 at 11:14 am

      Sorry to hear about your surgery, but hopefully you’ll be much better off after you recover.

      Digging for useful medical information can be challenging, especially when the condition is fairly rare. Of course, if medical professionals provided more information, then there would be less need for such searches.

      The majority of what I know about my own injury, surgery and upcoming rehab is based on my own research. My experience with medical professionals is that they tend to take a very minimalist approach when it comes to information. Part of it is that they are busy, part of it is that they are generally not trained to be educators, and perhaps part of it is that some think that most patients lack the ability to understand medical matters. After all, being a medical professional requires years of specialized education and training.

  4. Jonny Lyons said, on May 23, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    Hey there,
    My name is Jonny and i am 19 years old (20 in July) and i am currently recovering from my second Quadriceps Tendon tear. I tore it the day before new years 2009. I had to go back to college 2 weeks after surgery and was in a wheel chair and using cruches for about 2.5 months and then around the 4 month post op period my knee gave out on me walking down stairs and i re tore the surgery. I am currently a little over 3 weeks post op and i am in the transition period (6 weeks) until beginning physical therapy. It is rare for someone my age to suffer this injury, especially twice. I have no medical conditions and am in good physical condition. I am a thrower for the University of Southern Maine track team and my quadriceps muscles are quite large. Prior to the injury i was squatting over 500 pounds. It was a freak accident and has been haunting me for about 5-6 months. Just curious how your recovery is going?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 24, 2009 at 6:23 pm

      Johny,
      Sorry to hear about your injury and even more sorry to hear about your re-injury. It sounds like you had a rather bad initial injury-I was up on crutches the day of the surgery and walking without them in week 6 (with approval).

      My recovery is going fairly well. I’ve got 50 degrees range of motion easily and about 60 with some effort when I am warmed up. I’d prefer to be at 90, but I’m taking it cautiously-I’m worried about tearing it again. I’ve been doing PT at home for two weeks and return to the PT clinic on Tuesday for a new set of exercises. I can walk semi-normal now-but have to think about how to move my leg.

      I hope your recovery goes well and that you don’t tear the tendon again-I’ve been through it once and can only imagine what it would be like going through it a second time. Good luck with getting back into throwing.

    • Anonymous said, on October 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      Hello Jonny,

      My name is Charles. I am schedule to have my quad tendon surgery monday Oct.10
      Question(s)
      1.) Did you have a partial tear or a complete tear the first time?
      2.) Did you ever get an explanation from Doctor as to why your knee gave out?
      3) Did PT iinvolve stair walking or testing
      4.) Did PT ensure you were 100 % in 4 months?

  5. Ciara said, on June 3, 2009 at 7:08 am

    I’m just curious what your leg looked like after the injury. I was hit by a truck about 2 years ago. The bumper hit about four or five inches above my left knee. Now I have a dent there and a lot of drooping skin and muscle below that. I was taken to the emergency room and xrayed for breaks but had none. They told me though that it would have been better if I had broken my leg (I’m not really sure what that means). They gave me percocet and crutches and sent me on my way. I had no insurance so I never had any MRI’s done. I just found a doctor to prescribe me pain meds. I took vicodin for about 6 months before the pain pretty much went away. The bruising is gone (except the dent is darker colored than the rest of my leg) but that is the only thing that has changed in two years. The drooping is not very pretty. I finally got insurance after I recently married and decided it was time to get it checked out. The doctor says he thinks I tore my quadricep muscle and is sending me to an ortho surgeon this coming Tuesday. I’m slightly terrified about what they are going to say. Anyways, just wanted to know if your injury looked anything like mine. Thanks!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 3, 2009 at 12:04 pm

      I was also told several times by different medical folks that a broken leg would have been better. Easier repair and much faster recovery.

      I did have a “dent” over my knee-this was due to the knee cap sliding down towards my foot. Normally, the quadriceps tendon holds the knee cap up, against the pull of the lower tendon. The knee swelled up a great deal and I did have bruising-the most severe being on the inner side and above the knee. I didn’t have any drooping, but I was in surgery about a week after my injury and my knee was still swollen.

      If you can do a straight leg lift while lying down (lie down on your back on flat surface and lift the leg straight up without bending the knee), then you would most likely still have at least a partial quadriceps tendon. Also, if you can walk normally, that is also a good sign. While I am not a medical professional, I did learn that the hallmark sign of a complete tear is an inability to do that leg lift. This is because the quadriceps tendon and attached muscle is what you use to extend the lower leg.

      If you do have a tear, the surgery is quick and has a very high success rate. I did read about repairs being done a year after the injury, but most of what I read said that the earlier, the better.

      If you do get the surgery, you’ll be in a knee immobilizer for at least two weeks. Really be careful during that time-the repair will be vulnerable during that time. Also, you’ll be in recovery a long time. I’m in the 9th week after surgery and I still cannot walk completely normally.

      Keep your spirits up-you will get through it!

      • Ciara said, on June 4, 2009 at 4:37 pm

        Well I tried the test out. It seems I can lift my leg without bending my knee but it buckles a bit like it doesn’t want to work haha. I actually have to try. It’s definitely a lot easier to do with my good leg.

        Must not be too horrible if I can still kinda do it.

  6. Stephanie said, on June 5, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    You tore your quad tendon completely, correct?

    I was recently diagnosed with a partial tear, which I have apparently had for several years. I was wondering if you found anything on this. I have looked and looked, but all the information I have found is on complete tears.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm

      I found only some limited references to the partial tear, mostly a sentence or two in the discussion of the full tear. I actually suspect I had one as well-I’ve injured my left knee repeatedly over the years (once in a nasty tumble involving a concealed hole during a 5K trail race) and maybe that is what enabled a complete tear when I fell.

      From what I have read, the partial tear can sometimes heal on its own (at least with some degree of success). Surgery is apparently the only effective treatment for a full tear. in some cases of partial tears surgery is used as well.

      I have also run into some vagueness about what counts as full tear. The tendon has multiple layers and it is possible to tear them individually. So, a complete tear might mean all layers are torn through or it might mean that one layer was fully torn. Likewise a partial tear might mean that only some layers are totally torn or it might mean that one or more layers have been torn but not all the way.

      How serious is your tear?

  7. Stephanie said, on June 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    I have only begun the first steps in finding out what is actually wrong with my knee. I just had an MRI done two days ago, and anything I do know is just what my primary care doctor has told me. I have an appointment to see a knee specialist towards the end of the month. So I shall have more information then.

    I’ve had the same experience when looking for information on partial tears. The only things I have found were one liners in articles about complete tears. I guess I will have to wait and see what the doctor says.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 5, 2009 at 7:10 pm

      Good luck with the knee specialist. Are you having any problems with the knee, such as walking difficulties or weakness?

      Just guessing here, but they will probably either have you undergo a surgery like mine or put you on a PT program to recondition the knee. I hope that it is just PT-the surgery and recovery are not much fun.

  8. Ted said, on June 8, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Hi, I read your description with interest as I too have recently ruptured my Quadriceps tendon and had the surgery on June 4. My precipitating incident was a wipeout on my bicycle on slick pavement, I would guess I was going about 18 – 20 miles per hour or so. What I did not know is that tendonitis in that tendon can weaken it and make it more susceptible to catastrophic injury. I had pain in that knee, sometimes significant and simply ignored it, continued to bike a lot and do a ton of other activities. As I am over 45, I think this was a big mistake. The surgeon told me the ligament was discolored and had clearly been a problem for a long time. While he didn’t think it will affect my long-term prognosis, I think it might not have ruptured if it had been healthy. More importantly, what I thought was classic knee pain was not that at all, it was tendonitis in the quadriceps tendon as indicated by pain on the top of the outside of the knee and in the front. Also important is the fact that older athletes play through pain at their own peril.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm

      Ted, sorry to hear about your injury. How is your recovery going so far?

      It does make sense that previous problems with the tendon would tend to weaken it and make an injury worse than it would be otherwise. On the positive side, the fact that you have been so active should help your recovery.

      Like you, I took the train through the pain approach. That worked okay when I was a kid, but doesn’t seem as wise these days. Fortunately, I have been wise about my recovery-I’m doing everything I am supposed to do and I have been keeping myself in check. I figure that an extra week or three of waiting to run again will help me avoid a stupid injury that could send me back to square one.

      Good luck with getting through the recovery. I hope you have a good doctor and a good physical therapist. And patience. Lots of patience.

      • Ted said, on June 8, 2009 at 3:59 pm

        Michael, recovery is going well enough, very tough the first couple of days but am off pain meds and expect to be back at work in a week. I agree with your philosophy. For the first time in my life, I intend to be the model patient and do what I am told. Too much at stake and when you take the long view, what is a few weeks in a lifetime? Having said that, sitting around with a knee brace on and limited movement is tedious to say the least. I did have one question, when you say you are not walking normally after 9 weeks, does that mean you are getting around without a crutch or cane or do you still need support? Thanks much.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 8, 2009 at 6:05 pm

          Ted, I’m glad the recovery is going well.

          That was my experience as well-pain, then tediousness. Then more tediousness. Then some more. :)

          I have been off the crutches for a few weeks. The main thing is that I still have a “hitch” with my left (injured) leg when I walk. Some of this is due to the swelling that remains (and gets increased by my PT exercises) and some of it is due to bad habits picked up earlier. If I think about walking, then I walk almost normally. If I stop concentrating, I start “side lifting” my leg more. It feels like I have rubber tubing wrapped around my leg just over the knee, plus some more attached to the knee and the upper leg. It is a weird feeling. Also, I had a few minor problems with balance when I first got of the crutches. I started doing balance exercises last week in PT and seem to be almost back to normal-aside from the lower strength.

          I’ve been in PT for a few weeks-mostly fairly basic exercises aimed at restoring the ROM and strength. I’ve been using a stationary bike one-legged since before the surgery-it has helped me stay sane (and thin). If you haven’t got one, I would recommend getting one. I did replace the seat right away-the factory originally numbed my butt way too quickly. Fortunately, you can get a good one for a fairly low price. I was lucky-a friend of mine had a nice Schwinn bike that he wasn’t using. I also bought a Bowflex PR 3000-I found a great deal on Amazon (free shipping, plus they had a discount and a special deal). Being able to stay fit has helped me a great deal-both physically and mentally.

          • Ted said, on June 10, 2009 at 9:19 am

            Thanks, Michael, it is heartening to know that I will be out of this brace before hell freezes over! As far as working out, I was a bit worried about screwing things up in the first few weeks. After that, I was thinking of putting my bike on a mag trainer and doing light weights, high reps but I can see the advantage of a machine. Any sort of abdominal exercises with a brace on? Thanks, Ted

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 10, 2009 at 2:39 pm

              Ted,

              I was given ever increasing ROM on my brace after week two, and out of it in week 9. I kept it, mainly to do exercises that involve a risk of falling-that way the brace will keep my tendon from being pulled to the breaking point. I got the okay to get in the pool and spent about an hour there today, walking, swimming, and doing balance exercises.

              Ask your doctor if you injured leg can bear weight (it probably can, but it is wise to check). If so, you should be fine exercising on your bike. I set a chair beside it with a cushion for my foot and used the bike handles to aid in lifting myself. I took getting on and off the bike very carefully. Of course, the stationary bike is easy to get on-there is no upper bar in the frame to contend with. Swinging a leg over the frame on a real bike would be much more of a challenge.

              Depending on what your doc okays, you could do sit ups with the good knee bent-although I’m not sure how well that would work. I use my Bowflex-I sit down in the chair, put my arms through the handle straps, and “crunch” against the resistance. It works well-even better, I think, than a normal crunch. My girlfriend, who is getting her PhD in exercise physiology, says that it is much better for my back than doing a normal crunch.

              One thing I like about the machine is that it is safer than free weights when you have a bad knee. I didn’t have to lift anything to move it around-I just hook up the rods, sit down and work out.

  9. Chuck said, on June 25, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Very interesting overview of this injury. I had surgery on 6-19-09 for a complete quad tendon repair. I was placed in splint cast and told i would be non weight bearing for two weeks, me and the walker have become good friends sine the 19th of June.

    MY OS indicated i would see him again in two weeks and determine if the staples come off as well as cutting off the splint cast and replacing it with another type of immobilizer device.

    My question is how long is one restricted to non weight bearing? That makes the simplest of tasks difficult.

    I would appreciate any comments or feedback.

    Regards

    Chuck

    • Ted said, on June 25, 2009 at 1:54 pm

      Its interesting how each Dr. approaches these things differently. My surgery was on June 4 and could put no weight on it for a week and then crutches for a week and now no crutches. BUT always with a straight leg brace which I need to keep on and sleep with for the first six weeks. There does seem to be universal agreement that you don’t do too much for the first six weeks. I did start limited PT after two weeks and achieved my first straight leg raise this Monday – very exciting. Good luck with this, seems to require much patience.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 25, 2009 at 3:14 pm

        I’ve found that some of the things that were so simple to do before are now the cause of a small celebration. Like you, I was rather stoked when I actually did a straight lift. Actually seeing that the surgery had worked really boosted my morale. When I could finally pedal the exercise bike, I felt like I had won a race.

      • Chuck said, on June 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm

        Hi Ted

        Well it appears you are doing quite well after two weeks removed from your surgery. I can live with the limited aspects for 6 weeks, being a rather active individual this sitting around and focusing on non weight bearing tries my patience. I feel once i can do my first straight leg raise my attitude toward recovering will sky rocket. Please keep me posted on your progress.

        Regards

        Chuck

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 25, 2009 at 3:11 pm

      Chuck,

      In my case, the doc put me in a soft immobilizer. I was allowed to put limited weight on that leg right away-in fact, the doctor wanted me to start putting weight on it to help with the recovery process.

      As far as when you’ll be able to put weight on your leg, that depends on the doctor’s approach. In some cases it can be weeks.

      • Chuck said, on June 25, 2009 at 5:25 pm

        Hi Michael

        That is interesting that you were allowed to apply weight on the injured leg almost immediately. Was your injury a complete tear that required surgery via the knife? I am only 6 days from the surgery and my pain dissipated withing 48 hours of the procedure. I am an avid golfer and i am anxious to find out when they think i can begin swinging the clubs lightly.

        Regards

        Chuck

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 26, 2009 at 11:23 am

          Chuck,

          I did have a complete tear-I couldn’t do a straight leg lift at all. That was rather disturbing (a bit like the nightmare in which you try to run, but go nowhere). I did have surgery-sliced open and the tendon was anchored to the knee cap with surgical thread.

          I started exercising again about 4 days after the surgery, but this was just riding the stationary bike one legged. I started punching my punching bag a while after that. Of course, they were weak punches-I couldn’t use my legs and I had a crutch under the other arm.

          While I’m not a medical professional, I suspect you’ll be able to get back to swinging fairly quickly. The quadriceps tendon handles lower leg extension, so it is probably a less problematic injury for a golfer compared to something like an ACL tear. I did find that my knee did have some stability problems, but this is a tendency to have the knee “slip”-it felt like I was going to fall. Since I’m a runner, I’ll be recovering a long time before I can back to my sport.

          Good luck with your recovery.

          • Chuck said, on June 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm

            Michael

            It does sound like we had the same type of surgery after reading your most recent reply. Thanks for your opinion regarding the quad tendon repair versus an ACL repair relevant to golfers. I will know much more on 7-1-09 when a see the OS for my 2 week follow up, I would like to introduce some activity as quickly as possible.

            While I am not a runner like yourself I do keep myself busy being self employed in sales. Since the majority of my activity is going to appointments,walking up and down the 15 or so stairs to my home office at least 10-15 times a day, working outside in my yard, ( walk behind mower not a rider but it does keep me walking for about an 75 minutes to mow the yard) playing golf (sadly i just don;t walk anymore) and chasing my two grandsons, do you think a stationary bike would be a good form of home rehab. Obviously I would also solicit an answer from my OS.

            Lastly the slip effect of your knee, was this after the surgery and if so how long post-op did it feel that way.

            Continued success in your rehab as well, thanks again for your feedback.

            Regards

            Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 26, 2009 at 6:28 pm

              Chuck,

              I do recommend the stationary bike. As part of your PT, you’ll probably start by just pushing the pedal with the good leg to stretch the knee a bit. Once you can get enough flexion to pedal (the higher the seat, the less flexion you’ll need) you’ll be able to actually “ride” the bike. You’ll be told to start out with low resistance and gradually work up. The biking seems to be a good idea because it helps stretch the tendon, helps build strength and is also good for cardiovascular health. Also, you don’t have to worry about falling (well, other than off the seat) if your knee “slips.” You’ll want a TV or something to keep your attention-it is wicked boring!

              The knee slip happened after the surgery, when I was in the brace. It wasn’t a fall, but I could feel the knee sort of give out a bit. This happened twice before I got the hang of walking again. I do still feel some very slight “slippage” once in a while, but it is very minor. You’ll want to be really careful navigating stairs and going down slopes. Because of the role the quadriceps play in leg motion, you’ll most likely find that challenging for a while. I actually just got back from a walk in the park-uphill and flat was easy, but going downhill was challenging because my quadriceps is still not very strong.

              You’ve no doubt heard this often, but the main thing is to be patient. It is a slow recovery, but you’ll hit various milestones along the way that help. For example, I was thrilled when I could finally set aside the crutches and walk around. When I was able to pedal with my injured leg, I felt like I had won a prize. I was able to walk in the park today, which was awesome.

            • Chuck said, on June 27, 2009 at 9:56 am

              Hi Michael

              Once again thanks for the very useful comments and real life experience with this injury. As I patiently sit and do much of nothing I will look into some type of stationary bike, I like the comment about this process being wicked boring.

              Since you are a runner I wonder if you could offer some comment on an odd problem I am encountering on my right thigh which is the non operated leg.

              The last few days I have been getting a slight burning/tingling feeling in the right thigh toward the outside. The muscle in that area and back toward the right hip actually feels a little sore at times. I am wondering if this is a result of keeping all of the weight on the right side since the surgery last Friday 6-19-09.

              My initial thought is maybe the sciatic nerve is irritated or the thigh muscle is just being overworked on that side.

              As conscious as you are about your well being I was wondering what your thoughts or suggestions might be for this matter. Oddly this is more bothersome to me the the left leg which was the one that was operated on.

              Thanks again for your assistance.

              Regards

              Chuck

            • Chuck said, on June 27, 2009 at 11:59 am

              Michael

              One correction to my reply, last paragraph, last sentence.

              My last sentence should have read; this is more bothersome on the right leg which is the one that was not operated on.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 29, 2009 at 5:36 pm

              Chuck,

              I’m not a medical doctor, but your hypothesis sounds likely. My right (good) leg would get sore in odd ways (and still does) because of the change in how I handle the weight.

              But, you should be sure to mention this to your doctor, just to be on the safe side. When I had my surgery, I got “blood thinner” shots for 14 days and was told to watch out for any odd pains or such. Your symptoms could involve a circulation problem-always something worth checking into!

              Mike

            • Ted said, on June 29, 2009 at 5:43 pm

              Interesting, I was prescribed one asprin a day as a blood thinner. As far as workouts, I found a machine at the gym that you spin your arms instead of legs, worked up a real sweat for the first time in weeks. I have been lifting light weights with high reps all along but that doesn’t do the cardio. Also, figured out how to get both legs high up on the arms of a chair in our living room to keep my back flat and do crunches, for what that is worth. Anyway, I think you’ll find that after the first two weeks you feel progressively better but trying to bend the knee is unpleasant to say the least.

            • Chuck said, on June 29, 2009 at 8:47 pm

              Mike

              I do have a follow appointment on Wednesday and I will be mentioning this matter to him. As Ted mentioned in his reply i was told to take one aspirin for the next 30 days. There was a lot of soreness in the right hip area and I massaged it quite a bit for the last two days and that helped alleviate the pins and needles/ burning issue quite a bit. It is most bothersome at night when lying down and attempting to sleep, an obvious period when blood circulation slows due to inactivity.

              Given the concern with blood clots I have stopped the massage efforts.

              It sure sounds like I will encounter a lot of little odd and annoying issues over the upcoming months.

              Many thanks for starting this forum it has been helpful reading other cases and gather information, opinions and ideas.

              Continued success with your recovery.

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 30, 2009 at 11:41 am

              Chuck,

              I had to get a shot everyday for 14 days to prevent blood clots. Nothing quite like starting the day with a bit of steel sticking into you! Fortunately, my girlfriend was happy to do it for me. I had a countdown on that and was very happy to have that last shot.

              I’m a bit surprised that they just had you take aspirin-that will thin the blood, but it can’t compare with the shots.

              I hope it is just soreness from the extra weight bearing rather than a clot. One of my friend’s is married to an orthopedic nurse and she made sure that I had a healthy fear of blood clots-so I did all the stuff I was supposed to do, including wearing the special socks (thus having to endure the obvious jokes about wearing hose).

              The main things I have run into have been the knee slippage, the extra soreness in the good leg, a fear of ladders, plenty of weird dreams, and some muscle twitches in the injured leg.

              When you start PT, you’ll be doing all sorts of odd things to get back strength and balance. You’ll also have to relearn how to walk-that was rather odd for me, having been a runner for so long.

            • Chuck said, on June 30, 2009 at 4:29 pm

              Mike

              What is the deal with the weird dreams? I experienced that for several nights in a row but that has since gone away.

              The soreness that I mentioned in the hip joint and thigh muscle has all but gone away, however I still encounter some tingling at night when I head to bed and have lying down for about 2 minutes. It actually comes and goes for the first few hours of sleep and then seems to just go away. Rest assured my OS will be made aware of this on Wednesday.

              At this point I guess my journey to recovery has only just begun, I hope I get an encouraging report tomorrow.

              Thanks again;

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm

              Chuck,

              I do wonder if most people have weird dreams after major surgery. I had all these knee related nightmares for a while, which then turned to weird running dreams (like being able to run-hop on one leg). Strange stuff…if only Freud were still around. :)

              Good luck at the OS. You’ll probably get an adjustable brace-a major improvement over being immobilized. I didn’t get any ROM for a while, but just being out of that immobilizer was a real boost.

              You might start on PT quite soon, although doctors do vary. I’ve heard of some folks who start PT on day one (or claim they do), while others don’t start for quite a while. I had my surgery on April 3rd and had my first PT visit on May 11. The PT “released” me on June 26-I was doing well enough to do everything on my own (plus, the insurance just covers getting back to “normal”, not for getting back to being an athlete-that is all on me).

            • Chuck said, on July 1, 2009 at 6:36 pm

              This dream thing is rather humorous,being an avid golfer my dreams were related to attempting to swing my clubs with a full length immobilizer on, you just have to be a serious player to understand how that is not going to fly to play the game at a high level. Really the only difference between me and Tiger Woods is his net worth is $100,000,000.00 more than mine – LOL.

              Today’s follow up went well, the OS was quite pleased with the healing of the incision and there was no swelling around the knee. They did remove the staples, told me I could start to apply some weight to the left leg but that I need to keep the immobilizer on for another two weeks and not to bend it at all. He felt that on my next two week appointment that he would have me start on some minor home ROM exercises. I hope at that point they get me into one of the adjustable braces.

              I will say your comment about learning to walk again was quite accurate. Even though I can;t apply full pressure it was an odd feeling allowing my operated leg to touch the ground flush with some weight.

              It sounds like you moved through PT at a very good rate, I know I am not the athlete that you are but I will be committed to getting this knee back to a healthy level, remember that statement when I respond and complain about the trials and tribulations of PT.

              Thanks again, have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm

              Chuck,

              After you recover, you could use the immobilizer as a cover for your favorite cubs. That would protect them quite well. :)

              I’m glad to hear that you had no swelling and that the staples were removed. I had plenty of swelling and still have some “puff” over the knee. But, it much better than it was. After my fall, my knee was doing its best basketball impression.

              I was in my brace on week two, but it was locked for a while after that. But, I did much prefer the brace to the immobilizer-especially here in Florida. Of course, the brace still kept my leg quite warm, especially when I biked. Fortunately liberal doses of Febreze between washes kept it from becoming too stinky.

              The keys to PT are getting a good therapist, following what s/he says and sticking with the exercises. Of course, you have to be careful to not overdo it. At first it will seem really weird-your leg won’t do almost anything that you remember being able to do easily. Also, the PT will probably have you do things that seem to have little to do with the knee. But that is because the whole leg will be weaker and in need of conditioning and retraining.

              You’ll also probably run into some swelling once you get moving around. I got one of those ice bags that comes with a velcro wrap as well as an Ace cold compress. I got mine at Publix, although they should be at any drugstore. My girlfriend told me to put 1/3 rubbing alcohol and 2/3 water in the ice bag rather than ice. It freezes to a slushy gel which fits around the knee better than ice cubes.

              Have a great 4th.

            • Chuck said, on July 3, 2009 at 8:12 am

              Michael

              I like your comment about using the immobilizer to cover my clubs – spoken like one of my tried and true golf buddies!!! I probably will keep that thing close by the first time I can swing a club. I certainly hope that will take place before the weather turns cold here in Missouri around December.

              Thanks for the tip on the ice bags, that is one thing that I have quite a few of plus they gave me a nice one the day of my surgery that has Velcro straps to wrap around the knee and stay secure. it has that nice gel type stuff inside of it.

              I have read most of your sight as well as all of your replies but I was wondering if you could shed some light or thoughts as to your mental outlook during your first month post-op.

              At this point still being attached to the immobilizer and the walker I am not feeling like I have attained much of a milestone yet. Normally I can find the positive/brighter side to most situations but I have to admit the things I enjoy the most feel like they have been taken away. Imagine yourself in a run and you can see the finish line in the distance but the more you run the further away the finish line appears.

              How does that saying go “Tough times don’t last but tough people do” I may find out a lot more about myself in the weeks and months to come.

              Regards

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 3, 2009 at 8:40 am

              Chuck,

              Hospitals/clinics seem to vary a great deal in what they do and provide. A woman who works with my dad had knee surgery and they fitted her with a massive leg immobilizer complete with a cooling system. She must have really good insurance. :)

              My mental states during the first month were quite mixed. I was glad to be done with the surgery and felt positive about getting on the road to recovery. Also, I had been pushing myself hard for years with work, training and such-so the two weeks that I was in an immobilizer was almost like a vacation. I could rest without feeling even a twinge of guilt, I didn’t have to worry about any demands from work, and so on. I did set up my classes to run online, but that was actually fun. On the negative side, I did have some down moments-mostly when something reminded me of what I had temporarily lost. I dealt with that by setting up my recovery plan, noting my progress and doing all that I could do that would make me feel normal (such as doing the exercises I could do). The support of my friends and girlfriend also made a big difference in staying mostly positive. Mainly I found that staying busy and maintaining as many of my normal routines as possible helped a great deal. Fortunately, I have many hobbies and activities I can do without using my bad leg-such as writing.

              Oddly enough, now that I am making excellent progress, I am starting to feel mentally down again. I know why-I feel like I should be running, but cannot. It actually hurts a bit to see other people running. I’ve always recovered rapidly from running injuries (never missed a day in 23 years) so I feel that I should be recovered by now. To counter this, I’m focusing on the fact that I can start doing pool running in a couple weeks.

              You are quite right-this sort of injury will reveal a lot about you to you. I’ve learned a lot about myself as I’ve gone through this. I’m pleased that it has been mostly good stuff.

            • Ted said, on July 3, 2009 at 12:03 pm

              I think its impossible not to be discouraged once and a while, but I agree with Michael that you have to stay as busy as possible and recognize that you will get better. My 79 year old father, ironically, fell down the stairs 7 months ago and ruptured his quadriceps tendon, had the same surgery all of us did and is walking fine. I will also say that the first two weeks are the hardest and after that, based on my experience of four whole weeks post surgery, you start seeing improvement. Yesterday in PT, I got to 55 painful degrees of flex. Not running marathons but something and much more than two weeks ago. My swelling is also down a good bit but my knee is still pretty big. I think the big mistake is expecting to recover quickly, it just isn’t going to happen, but you will recover and that is good news.

            • Chuck said, on July 3, 2009 at 4:23 pm

              Ted

              Thanks for your take and information on this frustrating injury. Obviously patience and being mentally strong are important during the recovery process. I do feel that my confidence has been shaken and has made me realize that one minute you are fine and then a few seconds later you are laying on the ground realizing things are going to be different for awhile.

              I am glad to hear that 4 weeks your feeling good about your progress, and kudos to your dad, WOW 79 and recovered without much of an issue.

              Much like Michael has stated it is nice to know you have the support of family and friends.

              Take care and best of luck in your recovery.

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 4, 2009 at 12:31 pm

              Ted,

              Congratulations on getting to 55 degrees. More flexion should come easier, at least if my own experience is a guide. I had a heck of a time working up to 30, but once I got to 60 it went much quicker.

              I was a bit worried I was becoming obsessed with flexion-everyday I’d do my exercises and use the brace markings to see how I had improved.

              I’m glad your father is doing well.

            • Chuck said, on July 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

              Michael

              Thanks for sharing your mental perspective during your injury recovery. The last couple of days I have found my moods swinging from I am going to conquer this to I wonder if I will be able to do all of the things that I previously took on before the injury.

              Being self employed is almost like a hobby, you are constantly monitoring the business side of things as well as staying on top of the sales side of things. That is a disappointment to not be able to get out and interact. My wife has been more than accommodating taking care of the simple things that used to be mundane. She is already telling me we need to plan a trip in October or November to celebrate the rebirth of the rehabilitated knee.

              I probably will steal a page from your book and make notations of any and all progress. When I was in management one thing I always mentioned to my staff was “Know where you are, Know where you are headed and always know where you have been” A rather broad statement but it was meant for people to stop and reflect about what is, has and will be going on in their personal life as well as their work life. I will be mentally reciting that statement throughout this recovery process.

              Thanks for the reply.

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 4, 2009 at 12:39 pm

              Chuck,

              I felt (and still feel the same way). When I get a clear sign of progress, I feel good. When the day for a race that I always have run arrives, then I feel bad. Fortunately, recovery from this injury is generally very good. The doc told me I’d lose some ROM, but I can deal with that. Now, if I was a gymnast or some sort of dancer, then I’d be worried. But, as a runner I just need a modest ROM. I do worry a bit about getting back the full strength, but that should not be much of a problem.

              It is great that your wife has been such a help. My girlfriend has been wonderful-I don’t know how I’d have gotten through this without her.

              Keeping track of your progress is an excellent idea. I even have kind of a checklist of progress that lists when I can do various things. It is a boost to be able to see all those checks of accomplishments.

            • Chuck said, on July 6, 2009 at 10:50 am

              Michael

              I was reading most of your replies again in this forum and was wondering if you could talk a little about swelling and muscle twitches. I am starting to experience a little more swelling around the operated knee and muscle twitches in that leg throughout the day. Every once in awhile I encounter a dull aching pain in the knee cap area but it only lasts for a few seconds.

              I might be micro managing these matters but I noticed you had mentioned some of these things in previous replies.

              While the knee area has more swelling than the last few days it does not feel warm to the touch. I do apply ice treatments throughout the day. if the immobilizer gets to tight could that create some of the swelling in your opinion?

              Thanks

              Chuck

            • Ted said, on July 6, 2009 at 11:10 am

              Chuck, I am very surprised that you haven’t had a lot of swelling, my knee is still warm to the touch and is still pretty big but going down. I think pain in the knee cap is par for the course as well.

            • Chuck said, on July 6, 2009 at 12:47 pm

              Ted

              Thanks for your input, it sounds like the swelling is part of the healing process. I was moving around a lot more yesterday and became concerned that maybe I torn something. I will be glad to eventually get out of this PITA immobilizer but with surgery just a little over two weeks ago I am still stuck with it for awhile.

              Thanks

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm

              Chuck,

              Moving did make my knee puff up. I did worry a great deal that I would tear the repair and was very happy when I got my x-ray at week 9 showing that everything was good (the knee cap being in the right place).

            • Ted said, on July 6, 2009 at 9:50 pm

              I worry too now that we are pushing it in PT, I keep thinking the tendon is going to rupture again but have to assume the PTs and the Doc knows what they are doing!

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 7, 2009 at 11:03 am

              Ted,

              My PT pushed things a bit as well and I was a bit worried about some of the exercises I was assigned. But, as you said, they probably know what they are doing. Of course, it is also a good idea to gauge what you think you can do. If something starts causing pain or if an exercise worries you, then you should ask the PT or doc about it.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm

              Chuck,

              I did notice that my knee seemed to swell more after I was up and about. I also experienced swelling in the leg below the knee and in my foot. In the case of the knee, being active causes swelling for the same reason that stressing any injured tissue causes swelling. I dealt with that with ice. The swelling that occurred prior to being up an about was probably in response to the surgery as well as the lack of activity. Fluid will build up when the limb/knee is not moving as it should-those normal motions keep blood and other fluids moving properly. To counter that, they wrapped my leg with ace bandages and had me do foot pumps. As my movements get more normal, I have far less swelling. I do notice that if I get “sloppy” in moving properly, the puffing returns.

              My guess about the twitching is that it might be a response to healing, or perhaps due to the lack of use or maybe the muscle is just sort of firing off at random because it is being triggered by in an odd way. I did notice that the twitches stopped fairly early on. In some cases I knew why they were happening-I was trying to use my quadriceps and it was out of condition-hence it fired poorly and did a twitch rather than a proper contraction. As it got stronger, that stopped.

              A too tight immobilizer could definitely cause swelling. I found that it was tough to keep it tight enough to provide the needed support without making it so tight that it impeded circulation.

              When you get your brace you will probably have swelling problems as well. It will most likely have various bands on it that velcro attach across your leg. These will impede the flow of blood and fluid (especially since your leg won’t be moving properly) so you’ll get bands of swelling. To deal with this I’d take the brace off when I was lying down, massage the leg, and also elevate it to get the fluid flowing. That will reduce as you are able to move more normally.

            • Chuck said, on July 7, 2009 at 10:22 am

              Michael

              Thanks for your take on the swelling and twitching aspects during recovery.

              I definitely increased my ice episodes yesterday and will continue to do so for quite sometime.

              The only area I see swelling is around the knee cap, the ankle and foot have very minimal swelling. It sounds like the brace will create some discomfort/swelling issues as well but at this point I am ready to move away from the immobilizer, sadly I can’t make that call until my next appointment with the doc on 7-15-09.

              Currently the operated leg feels like it is now connected and getting stronger, again the pain is not present other than a minor twinge of pain that lasts only a few seconds from time to time.

              You may have stated this in previous responses but at how many weeks post-op where you able to do away with crutches? Once they were banished from your routine did you use a cane and if so how long did you use that device? Also at what post-op perod did they allow you to begin applying 50% or more weight to your operated leg.

              I will echo what I have read from both you and Ted, there is certainly a fear of tearing this thing again during the recovery and PT process.

              Thanks as I am off to take a quick walk around the house with my friend the walker.

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 7, 2009 at 11:37 am

              Chuck,

              It sounds like you are making excellent progress. The swelling caused by the brace was a small price to pay to get out of that immobilizer.

              I was officially off the crutches in week 6, although I was walking a bit without them before that inside my house. I didn’t have a cane after that, although I have heard of people using them at that point. At first, it felt a bit weird being off the crutches and I had to overcome some fear of falling-especially on stairs without any handrails.

              The PA actually had me applying weight right away, although I was not applying the full weight until after I was off the crutches. Apparently the approach varies-some docs stick with the “no weight” approach while my PA said that the weight bearing would help. I have even read that there is some talk of having the knee moving right from the get go to help the muscles and tendon heal in the proper “direction.”

            • Chuck said, on July 15, 2009 at 10:49 am

              Hi Michael

              Just got back from my 4 week post-op follow up with the doc. He indicated I could go full weight bearing on the operated leg as long as I am wearing the immobilizer. While in the office they had bend the knee slightly and had me hold the leg out over gravity for just a few seconds. I felt no pain doing either test but they where quite minute in comparison to what really needs to be accomplished. They do have scheduled to start PT this Friday and I believe I will be going twice a week for awhile. i wonder if the PT will suggest a locking brace as I progress or if that needs to come from the doc. I am not scheduled to see him again for 30 days.

              It was quite odd taking those first few steps with equal weight on both feet. I am still using the walker but what a relief to be able to actually take walking steps to go forward.

              A question for you or anyone who reads this post has to do with applying weight to the operated leg, did you bend the knee slightly as you shifted your weight from one leg to another? I noticed as I was going up just a few stairs to get in my house I was more prone to really keep that leg stiff even though it is in the immobilizer.

              Thanks

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 15, 2009 at 11:15 am

              Chuck,

              It is good to hear that you can go with the full weight. Hopefully you’ll be outfitted with a brace when you see the doc again, although I have read that some docs keep their patients immobilized for six weeks. The clinic I went with is sports oriented, so they seem more inclined to get people mobile faster.

              Like you, I found that I tended to keep my knee stiff when walking, even when I was able to bend it. Part of it is probably the habit created by the immobilizer. Part of it might also be some worry about the knee’s ability to do its job. It took me a while to break myself of “stiff leg.” My girlfriend corrected me whenever she saw me doing this-that helped because I would not even realize I was walking like Frankenstein.

            • chuck said, on July 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm

              Hi Michael

              Since I am going to start my PT this Friday would you be able to overview some of your experiences, fears during the first few PT visits. I think all of us have stated we don not want to do anything that might create another tear.

              Once they allowed you to go full weight bearing did you try to walk around your house without your crutches.

              I have said this before but I will state it again you should really feel good about starting this site, it has been mentally refreshing and informative.

              Thanks

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 16, 2009 at 11:13 am

              Chuck,

              Good luck with the PT.

              The first visit was an evaluation. If your PT is similar, the PT will look at your knee, have you bend it (perhaps measuring the ROM), ask you questions, and probably put a cool pack on it for a while. You might also get hitched up to a machine that will stimulate the muscles. You will most likely be given a set of basic exercises to do (pushing down your knee with your quads, hamstring stretches, and assisted knee bends). The exercises will eventually include balance (standing on the surgical leg and balancing) and strength training (lifts and such).

              I only went once every two weeks for a new set of exercises and was “cut lose” after about 7 weeks. This was because I am an experienced athlete, so I was already well prepared to do such workouts on my own. It also helped that my girlfriend worked at a PT clinic and is getting her PhD in exercise physiology. Plus, I already had the equipment I needed at home.

              Overall, the experience was fine. The PT was enthusiastic, serious about his job and quite good at evaluating me and what I needed to do. Be sure that you have a good PT who is serious about what s/he is doing and, most importantly, knows his/her stuff. If possible, get someone who specializes in knees/legs.

              My main fear in PT was that I’d end up hurting myself. The PT would have me take off the brace as soon as I arrived and then set me to work on the exercises. I must admit, the first time I was balancing on the surgical leg without the brace, I had a few nightmare flashes of falling and having my tendon go “pop” again. Fortunately, that never happened.

              One challenge you might face is brace dependency. Psychologically, I felt that the brace protected my leg and hence felt safer with it on. But, getting out of the brace is an important part of the recovery. After all, to walk normally and do normal things, I had to believe that my leg would work as it should and not be trapped into reliance on the brace. The fact that it made my leg rather warm and soaked up sweat helped make it easier to ditch it. I did use it for a while when doing my more risky exercises, but now it mostly just sits in my closet.

              I did try walking around without my crutches a bit before the PA said I could shed them, but I was careful about it. In the past I just toughed my way through injuries and did not listen much. But, this time I decided to just do the smart thing and follow instructions. So far, it has paid off. I might be getting back to activities a bit later than I could, but I’m willing to be a couple weeks late rather than risk having to start this all over again!

            • Chuck said, on July 19, 2009 at 8:54 pm

              Michael

              I completed my first PT appt on Friday. You were quite accurate that they spent the first 30 minutes gathering more information about me and how the injury occurred. The PT I was assigned to has worked with several other quad tendon injuries and I felt quite comfortable with all of her explanations of what we are going to try and achieve over the next month.

              While at my appt they had me do some quad muscle exercises that are designed to ever so slightly begin sending signals to alert the tendon that it is time to walk up and start working again, that once was simple and not painful at all.

              The second exercise was the heel slide, that was painful and quite a shock. I could not believe how tight the knee joint was. I was able to achieve 50 degrees range of motion on the tenth slide.

              I was instructed to perform 3 reps of 10 heel slides at 3 different intervals throughout the day for a total of 90 per day. The same process was to be performed for the quad muscle exercise.

              I will be going to PT twice a week for the next month, out of curiosity could you share what type of home exercises you were given and how your reps compare to mine.

              Thanks

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 20, 2009 at 5:06 pm

              Chuck,

              Good to hear that you are in PT. Your on the faster track to recovery now. I found that it really helped to have things to do-it made me feel like I was making progress.

              Here is what I was given to do in week 6: The first is called “patellar mobilization.” While this sounds like an alien army gearing up for war, it is simply manually moving your knee cap (patella). To do this, you sit on a firm, flat surface and gently move your knee cap side to side and then up and down with your hands.

              The second is the quad set (sometimes called “quadriceps setting”). To do this, you lay down and bend the healthy knee. You then tighten up the muscles on top of your thigh and hold for about 5 seconds. Then you relax. Then you do it again. A variant of this involves pushing your knee down so that the underside of the knee is pressed against the surface.

              The third is a hamstring set, also known as a heel slide. To do this, you lay down and bend your knee to a height of roughly six inches. Then, push the heel down and pull it back towards your body, holding for 5 seconds. Repeat.

              The fourth is an assisted knee bend. It can be done lying down or in a chair. You just slide the leg so the knee bends, using your arms to assist (not force!) the motion. Repeat.

              The fifth is another knee bend. For this one, you sit in a chair (pick a stable one with room to move), bend your knee and then gently slide your butt forward, thus causing the knee to bend more. Repeat.

              The sixth is a hamstring stretch. It is just a hurdler’s stretch without bending the other leg. Lie down and gently stretch out over the injured leg, reaching for the foot. Hold about 15 seconds and then repeat.

              I was supposed to do, as I recall, 10-15 reps of each in cycles of 3, three times a day. So, about the same as what you are doing.

            • chuck said, on July 31, 2009 at 9:20 am

              Hi Michael

              I thought I would drop a comment or two about my current status. Today is my 6 week post op anniversary, my rehab is going well as I am easily achieving 90 degree ROM on my heel slides, chair slides and basically every other kind of bend that they have me perform. For the last week I have been able to go up and down the stairs in my house to work in my home office. Obviously this is done still via the immobilizer but they are allowing me to take it off and sit with the leg bent while working at my desk.

              My PT indicated yesterday that are the exercises she watched me perform I was actually going to far, I was hitting the 100 degree ROM quite a bit. She indicated it would be best to stay in the 90-95 degree range and instructed me to perform the reps twice a day instead of three times a day. I am not scheduled to go back to PT until 8-10-09 since they feel I am performing the exercises quite nicely and diligently at home.

              I do have an 8 week post – op follow up with the doctor on 8-12-09 and this leads me to your previous comments about crutch dependency. Given my rehab progress I am quite sure that the immobilizer will be a thing of the past. However I will be curious to see what the next step for support will be for the repaired knee. I do know that the doctor will write a script for PT strengthening and I am sure part of that will be walking without anything on the repaired knee.

              basically that is my current status, I will keep you updated.

              Thanks

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 31, 2009 at 9:40 am

              Chuck,

              It is great to hear that you are making such excellent progress. In fact, your ROM is ahead of what I was able to do at that time. Of course, flexibility was never my strong point (one of my Tae Kwon Do teachers joked that they’d put three stripes on my belt if I could do a full split). :)

              It sounds like your doc is taking a very conservative approach-I was in the brace at week 2 and out of it a few weeks later. But, injuries differ so it can be difficult to compare two sets of treatment.

              I started doing pool running about two weeks ago, which has really boosted my spirits. It is not quite real running, but it really helps me feel more normal. It has also been great for my knee. I hope to be able to run on land (or at least jog) in a couple weeks. My ROM is almost back to normal, which is nice. I am still very careful when I go up and down stairs or walk on wet concrete. My university was built on hills, so I’m always going up and down stairs outside, often in the rain (summer is the rainy season in Tallahassee).

            • Ted said, on July 31, 2009 at 12:38 pm

              Michael, thanks for saying that on ROM. I am now 8 weeks after surgery, at 95 degrees and sounds like well behind Chuck’s progress. I was never the most flexible guy either so perhaps that has something to do with it. Anyway, recovery seems to be going well, I started swimming again two weeks ago and walking back and forth in the pool. I think walking (or running) in the water is a good strengthening exercise and gets you used to walking normally again. Good luck with the running.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 31, 2009 at 4:12 pm

              Ted,

              The pool seems to be a great recovery environment. The resistance without impact has really helped me recovery. It is nice having a working muscle again. :)

            • Chuck said, on August 16, 2009 at 10:00 am

              Hi Michael

              Well as of 8-12-09 I no longer need to use the immobilizer!!!!!!!!!! Eight weeks of that thing was enough. My doc indicated that things looked real good from a healing aspect and that I could start walking with the walker and then go to a cane. I followed his instructions exactly and by the time I walked out of his office and got to my car with the walker I knew it was time for the cane. By the time I used the cane that evening I was rather convinced that I would only need that for stairs.

              The strange thing is even though I was able to hit 110 – 115 degrees ROM in the doctors office he wrote another script for more ROM. My right leg which is the non injured leg goes to about 125-130 degrees ROM but he indicated we need to do more ROM before starting strengthening,he indicated that there is plenty of time for strengthening but ROM has a time limit in his opinion. My PT is confused as she really believes I am ready for the strength aspect.

              What I have noticed since I am immobilizer less is that my knee does seem to swell a bit more and the majority of the tightness is directly above the top of knee cap closest to the quad muscle. I have experienced as you mentioned a couple of episodes where I thought the knee was going to buckle,that was when I was going down some steps.Going up inclines does not bother me but going down inclines is a little scary as you can feel the quad muscle tighten and engage around the knee as you head downward.

              I do have to say at this point the mental aspect and the confidence factor are going to be my next big challenges, as I write this comment I am 9 weeks from my fall and 8 weeks from surgery so I am sure there are many more weeks and months to endure before I reach the almost back to normal stage.

              What type of strengthening exercises were you required to perform and how long did you have to do yours. Lastly did you encounter some of the mental/anxiety issues, I really think mine is more anxiety related.

              Thanks again and I hope you are progressing and getting close to your previous pre-injury status.

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 18, 2009 at 7:20 pm

              Chuck,

              It is great that you are out of the immobilizer! I was thrilled to be rid of mine-and I was only in it two weeks.

              I suspect that there is a time factor for ROM. After all, it makes sense that as the injury heals it will tend to heal within the limits of the motion. So, getting ROM back ASAP would seem to be a good idea. My PT had me strengthening fairly early on, but I did find that the doc, the PA and the PT all had different ideas of what I should and can do. My guess is that the PT probably has a better idea about the PT aspects, but perhaps your doctor has experience in PT beyond what doctors usually have.

              Going down inclines and steps still worries me, but I can do them almost normally now. I do hold the rail on stairs, though. I am sure I can handle a fall on an incline, but tumbling down a flight or three of stairs would be bad…

              If your experience is like mine, you should hit various milestones that will boost your confidence. For example, I got a boost with each new exercise added and each bit of progress in balance and ROM. But, it will be long and trying-but quite doable.

              When I first started, the PT had me do basic muscle tightening exercises. After that, I would stand on a platform or stair and use my surgical leg to lift myself up and down (almost like the ballet dancers do). I also would do an exercise that involved leaning against the wall and bending my knees. I’d slide up and down the wall. Eventually I moved on to actual weight/resistance work with my bowflex.

              I went back home to Maine last week and walked my favorite running trail-at least 10 miles of it. Walking that long had a huge impact on my knee, plus I also started working stairs seriously.

            • Chuck said, on September 7, 2009 at 11:44 am

              Hi Michael

              I thought I would drop you a line and let you know that I started the strengthening portion of my PT on 8-28-09. I did not realize how weak the operated leg had become but I am pleased with the progress. As of the last few days I am actually going up my stairs to my office (14 of them) and doing it in the normal fashion one would walk up stairs, no hopping, that has really boosted my confidence. I have been swinging a golf club and hitting some very short 30-40 yard shots and not experiencing any pain or other issues.I am walking as much and anywhere that I can and while I do get some tightness at times it subsides rather quickly with rest and some ice. I did have several experiences over a two week period where I encountered a sharp pain in the knee that lasted just a few seconds and then went away. The PT surmised this was scar tissue tearing away.

              I do agree about the confidence factor on slopes as I have encountered some of those on hard surfaces as well as grass surfaces, the fear and confidence factors are going to take time to conquer in my opinion.

              I head back to the doc on Wednesday for a 12 week post-op appointment, I am sure he will write a script for more strengthening but the PT indicates I am about 4-5 weeks ahead of normal pace. I will say this, the strengthening portion of PT is much more challenging than the ROM,I go twice a week as well as performing many of the exercises at home twice a day, it has become a process for me.

              How are you progressing theses days with your recovery? I hope you are getting closer to your goals.

              Regards

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm

              Chuck,
              Good to hear from you. I’m glad that you are in the strengthening portion-you’ll probably feel like you are making real progress here.

              It is rather surprising how quickly the muscle goes when it isn’t in use. My surgical leg is still noticeably smaller, although it looks much better now.

              Facing stairs is quite a challenge-it is great that you are able to go up and down them normally. I get to face about 8 flights of stairs on my way to my office, so I’ve gotten plenty of stair practice (I have to go up two hills, then down a couple hills, then up into the office). Naturally, the students grab the parking spaces near my office. But, I suppose I can use the exercise more than they. :)

              Any problems with swelling now?

              I started jogging/running again on Friday (9/4/09) and did 2.38 miles of continuous jogging. I did 3 miles Saturday, 2.38 Sunday and 2.38 this morning (I have a GPS watch, hence the exact numbers…). I have one last appointment in December to make sure that the tiny bones that grew in the soft tissue have stopped growing (heterotopic ossification). Hopefully, that will be it for me.

              Good luck with the ongoing progress.

            • Chuck said, on October 22, 2009 at 7:46 am

              Hi Michael

              Sorry it has taken me so long to reply but since my last post on 9-7-09 I have made incredible progress with the strengthening portion of my rehab.The exercises that they had me doing where beyond belief but I am here to tell you that if you are diligent you do get stronger and when that happens you build confidence. On 9-8-09 doing a two legged press I could only doing 3 reps of 10 at the 25 pound level, some six weeks later I am doing 4 reps of 10 at the 185 pound level. As of last week my PT has suggested I only go once a week for four more weeks and then I will be done with their portion of rehab. The trick however is to formulate the exercises at home. I will say that during strength rehab I was doing exercises at home twice a day on the non scheduled days at my rehab facility. I have been back mowing my yard again for over a month and again that is a nice little one hour walk. Additionally I am hitting golf balls again on the range and I must say my swing speed is about 85% of my normally swing. I should be able to play a full round of golf by mid November if the weather holds up here in Missouri. Also it is so nice to be able to go up and down stairs normally, I do admit that going down is still a bit of a challenge but I have come such a long ways since I began commenting here on your site in June.

              You had mentioned swelling issues that I might be encountering, actually the more I use the operated leg/knee the better it feels and while there is some swelling it is not very much after completing an activity or workout session.

              Michael I noticed that since my last post there have been several new posters and while I wish them the best in their recovery I have to again tell you how much your site helped me as I recovered from this injury, the mental support that I took from your comments and others is priceless. Let me know if you ever want to publish a quad tendon recovery book and with my printing expertise and your superb writing and research skills it could be highly beneficial for many.

              Tell me about your progress since early September, it sounds like you are getting back to running some miles.

              Thanks and best of luck in all your endeavors.

              Chuck

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 22, 2009 at 9:42 pm

              Chuck,

              it is great to hear that you are making excellent progress. I bought a Bowflex and found that very useful for doing the exercises, although I originally bought it so I could just keep doing some exercise.

              Glad to hear that you are back to playing golf. You should get back your full swing soon-hopefully before the snow arrives. I still am a bit wary about stairs-but I can handle them fine. My knee does bother me a bit after a long day of teaching-I stand when I teach and I walk quite a bit getting between classes and to/from my truck.

              I still have some swelling in my knee, but I think some of it is here to stay-perhaps some scar tissue or something else.

              Interestingly enough, I did think about putting together something on quadriceps tendon repair recovery. I think it would be very useful to people to have easy to understand guides to various medical issues. While there is some good info available, it is scattered about and takes some effort to find it. So, the book sounds like an excellent idea. I wonder if Oprah would pitch it on her show? :)

              I started running again on September 4 and had my first “race” on September 12. I did that 5K in about 30 minutes. I’ve done several 5Ks since then and ran a 22 minute one last Saturday. I’ve even managed to win my age group in three races. I still have some stiffness and minor swelling, but I feel that I’m at about 80%.

              Mike

            • Ken said, on July 15, 2009 at 11:19 am

              Hi Chuck,

              I has my surgery on the 18th June and had my follow up on the 22nd June. (It was a complete Quadriceps Tendon tear and also quadriceps muscle tear.) On the 22nd the Doc said go to PT, I asked when “His reply was the sooner the better.” I have been going to PT now twice a week to work on Range of Motion which is now at about 69 degrees (also have exercises to do at home). I keep the immobilizer on when walking but have been bending it a bit especially if the immobilizer slides down my leg a bit. I do keep the immobilizer on when I am walking. My next appointment with the doc (5 weeks) is 27 July. The PT doubts that the doc will suggest a locking brace … but she did say every doc was different. Good luck with your recovery.

              Ken

            • Ted said, on July 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm

              Every doctor is different, I never had an immobilizer but a locking brace which has been fully locked since my operation on June 4. I hope to get some greater ROM when I see my Dr. tomorrow. The six-week anniversary is a big one, apparently. Ken, you must be superman because 67 degrees is quite impressive so soon after surgery. I just got to 60 degrees this Monday and hope to start working it aggressively after I get cleared tomorrow.

            • Ray Tessaglia said, on January 13, 2010 at 12:47 am

              am now 6 weeks post surgery..was immobilzed4 weeks startted pt and did 46 degrees week4 with ease am now at 7o degrees at week 6 post op…..still use brace but continue to flex when i sit..quad isometrics are done all day..have no pain but need muscle mass..have done leg raises without doctors permission am happy with my 6 week progres..walking a bit without crutches and am ready to kick it in….assited rang of motion exercices are great with a strap.. cant wat-it to do short arc quads with weights..need some cardio though..all i do is situps and 25lb dumbell workevery othr day ..have put on 8 lbs..even thogh i have tried to eat the same good way i have for 6 years..but the holidays and grey goose on days i normally wouldnt drink..(only drink on sat./sun.) have been a factor….when can i get into the pool and tread for and hour and get some cardio ?

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

              Ray,

              As far as when you can get into the pool, that would be up to your doctor or PT. In some cases, they get people into the pool rather quickly. In my case, I got into the pool after I was out of the brace.

              I started water running around 16 weeks after my surgery (which was done on April 3, 2009). I was running on land on September 4.

              Here is a link to a PDF that has an excellent timeline for recovery: http://www.rcmclinic.com/protocols/lind/knee/quadriceps_tendon_repair.pdf It is primarily for athletes, but does provide a useful guide. But, as always, be sure to go with what your actual doctor says.

            • Patrick said, on February 21, 2010 at 10:32 pm

              Hi, I’m re-posting this comment, because I’m not sure if anyone will see my first one as it was added in the middle of this comment page between comments dated 2009..

              So, I’ve been reading many posts of folks who have gone through what I’m about to regarding surgery for quad tendon tear. I have an added twist to my story and was wondering if anyone out there has come across some useful information.
              My situation:
              I’m an above knee amputee who wears a prosthesis. My hydraulic knee has had the tendency to buckle without warning due to a failure in the unit. This failure is common once the seal of the hydraulic unit becomes worn and leaks fluid.
              I was tossing a football recently when the prosthetic knee buckled and in an instant i fell. Unfortunately the “good” leg wrapped around the prosthesis and as I hit the ground my real knee was stretched too far, considerably tearing the quad tendon.

              I’m wondering if anyone has any experience similar to mine in which after having surgery one does not have a remaining healthy leg to stand on.

              I’ve been getting around on crutches and the one injured leg in a brace..I’m pretty good on crutches as I walked on them for eight years after my amputation and prior to wearing a prosthesis. But, I’m guessing walking on crutches is going to be very different after my surgery next week.
              I have also put the prosthesis on once or twice and locked it in a straight phase position. In that phase and with my knee brace on the injured leg I can “Frankenstein” walk around a bit, but I don’t trust the hydraulic unit as it has a habit of clicking back into a normal bendable knee phase and more potential buckling!
              I know a wheel chair may be in my future and for how long, I do not know.

              Any feed back is greatly appreciated.
              Thank you,
              Patrick

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm

              Patrick,

              Sorry to hear about your injury.

              There are cases in which people have torn both tendons at once, which would be a situation somewhat like yours. In most such cases the person is generally limited to laying down/sitting until his legs are up to the task of getting about.

              If you cannot rely on your prosthetic, then you will probably be in a similar plight, which won’t be very enjoyable. Is there any chance of getting a better prosthetic?

              After surgery your surgical leg will probably be in a soft immobilizer or locked brace. You’ll gradually get ROM and so should be able to get about on crutches with due care. But, be sure to be very careful-I had some problems getting about even with one leg at 100%.

              Mike

            • Patrick said, on February 22, 2010 at 8:32 pm

              Thanks Mike,
              I’m trying to get a refurbished hydraulic knee replacement, but everything is out of pocket at the moment, so I’m doing some prioritizing. I’m very lucky that the surgery is being done at a major discount (my good friend is a nurse). I’m told these surgeries can be upwards of $30,000!
              If I can keep the prosthesis in a straight locked position for walking that may be my best bet, as that is the primary way of getting around now, with the injured leg in a brace.
              Thanks again for your reply.
              Patrick

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 22, 2010 at 9:02 pm

              Patrick,

              Good luck with the knee replacement. You might have a look at open source prosthetics. Apparently because of the fact that prosthetics are not high profit, they tend to be ignored by the big players. But, the open source project is working hard to make better prosthetics available to people who need them.

              My surgery and hospital stay was billed at about $11,000. I have BC/BS so my out of pocket was about $1500 overall. If possible, don’t stay overnight (that costs more plus increases the chance of getting an infection).

            • Patrick said, on February 22, 2010 at 10:47 pm

              Thanks again!
              I will look more closely at the site you linked. I noticed they are looking for users/testers for prosthetics, I’ve always wanted to do that.
              P

            • chuck said, on July 15, 2009 at 4:03 pm

              Hi Ken

              My surgery was on 6-19-09 and what a difference between doctor philosophies. You were headed to PT 4 days after surgery and i was told no weight bearing for two weeks. I am interested to see how much they want to bend my knee when I head for my first appointment Friday. i can’t believe how much smaller my thigh and calf muscle have gotten from the immobilization the last four weeks.

              When do you do away with your crutches or walker?

              Thanks

              Chuck

            • Ken said, on August 17, 2009 at 7:59 am

              Hi Chuck,

              I got rid of my crutches about 2 weeks after surgery … the zimmer splint kept my leg straight and the crutches did not really help much anyways …

              Ken

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 16, 2009 at 10:43 am

              Ken,

              Good luck with the recovery. My progress in ROM was slower than yours, but my doc did not have me go to PT until May 11 and my surgery was on April 3. I did have some very, very limited “exercises” to do before then, though.

              It seems that every doc takes a somewhat different approach. Or perhaps it is that each patient gets a different approach? Or both?

        • Doug said, on April 7, 2013 at 9:54 am

          Chuck how long was it until you were able to play. I love to golf and am 6 weeks out of surgery from complete quad tear and am feeling good and want to play. I have tried practice swings with the Gary Player walk through and I think I can do it. I will go crazy if I can’t play for 6 months as OS said or 5 months as PT said.

          • Jesus said, on April 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm

            Doug,

            I was operated on June 22 2012 and ran a half marathon in the middle of November. I then ran another half in Jan of 2013 and have ran 370 miles so far in 2013. It could be done. Just do it!

  10. Ken Tong said, on July 7, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Here is a time line on my quadriceps tendon repair:

    8 June – Injury Occurred (complete tendon tear) while taking a free kick in soccer. Never had an injury before.

    18 June – Surgery (tendon tear also included muscle tearing, doc said the reconstruction was quite extensive)

    22 June – Follow up with Surgeon and physio stars

    Currently – Physio twice a week. Weight bearing on leg with zimmer splint. Up to 54 degrees ROM …

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 7, 2009 at 5:00 pm

      Ken,

      Good luck with the PT. It sounds like your injury was rather severe, but with luck you’ll be back to kicking again in less than a year. That is quite good ROM so soon-hopefully that is a sign of a fast recovery.

      • Ken said, on August 26, 2009 at 8:05 am

        10 weeks post surgery … now at 103 degrees. Physio twice a week. Still very careful walking especially on uneven surfaces or down stairs.

        It is a slow recovery … but with Physio it is progressing a few degrees in ROM each week.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 26, 2009 at 8:58 pm

          Ken,

          Good to hear that you are making progress. I still have problems with stairs and downward slopes, but much of it is now psychological. Doing stairs carefully is apparently supposed to help restore strength and balance. I found that to be true. Because of renovations my office was moved across campus and I now have to go up and down several flights of outside steps. While I dread the stairs a bit, they are actually helping me.

          I found that my progress was slow as well, but it seems to be going along steadily. People keep telling me to be patient and I suppose that is a good advice.

  11. magus71 said, on July 15, 2009 at 11:40 am

    The twitching is nerve activation from underuse. I had the same thing happen after knee surgery when my quad had shrunk to half its size.

  12. Bill L said, on August 15, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Michael

    Great write up, wish I had read it before my surgery on July 21st! Especially the notes on stool softner….I learned the hard way….why don’t doctors (or the pharmacist) tell yu these things.

    I am just shy of four weeks non weight bearing/crutches with two more weeks before I can start rehab. My question is this: I will be traveling to Europe for two weeks 11 days after the immobilzer comes off and I start the rehab….what kind of shape am i going to be in as I try to walk around europe? It will be about 8 weeks post surgery, will I still need crutches, a cane? How uncomfortable will I be? I am 59 and I am a runner (30 years) and biker (5 years), pre accident I work out hard every morning for 50-60 minutes so I was in pretty decent shape before the surgery. My wife says not going to Europe is not an option….any tips on making this a pleasant trip?

    Thanks,
    Bill

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 18, 2009 at 7:35 pm

      Bill,

      Yeah, they really need to warn people rather pointedly about that. I almost needed therapy after that. :)

      Based on my experience, at week 8 you should be off crutches. You’ll most likely still have the brace on then. I was able to walk slowly at that point and could navigate stairs, albeit very slowly.

      If you are flying, having your knee bent for the flight might be painful. I’d suggest getting some long lasting and effective pain medicine. I recently flew from Orlando to Portland, ME and used one of the pain killers I had left from the surgery. That helped a great deal. Also, try to book with an airline that has the most leg room.

      If you will be walking around a great deal and facing stairs/inclines then a cane might help a bit. I could walk reasonably well at 8 weeks, but stairs and inclines challenged me for quite a long time. You’ll also get pain and swelling when you are moving about, so you’ll want something for the pain as well as an icepack. I got one of those Ace packs that can be refrozen over and over again. They also make some designed to wrap around the knee/leg so you can walk around with one in place-that should help quite a bit.

      Comfortable shoes with good traction are also a good idea. Your foot will probably swell a bit, so you’ll want a shoe that will allow for that. I used my running shoes, since I wasn’t running anymore.

  13. David Kellas said, on August 29, 2009 at 9:19 am

    so that is weird, i never knew the human body had such intricate workings with the bicept etc

  14. Ted said, on August 29, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Michael, curious to know how the running is coming along? I am now 12 and 1/2 weeks post-surgery and overall I think it is going well but progress is getting harder to come by. My ROM is 120 degrees and working hard to rebuild what used to be a pretty strong quad muscle. I can walk and knee slips less and less every day as strength returns but the ROM is hard to come by, every degree is a struggle. My goal is 140 – not impressive in the yoga studio but is about the range of my other leg.

    I have rejoined a masters swim group and can swim fine and can do the staionary bike as well but running seems like a whole different story. Good luck. Ted.

  15. Sang said, on September 6, 2009 at 2:32 am

    Ruptured (r) quad tendon 4 months during a martial arts class, got kicked in the tendon area, quad muscles ceased instantly and collapsed under me. Had surgery 6 days ago to re-attached the tendon, surgeon had not seen such an injury where the tendon snapped mid-way leaving a stump of 20mm at the distal end of the patella and the gap was 15mm wide. Usually the tendon will just pull off from the patella and the outcome of this sort of surgery is much better. Surgery was similar to any achilles tendon full rupture except the quad tendon is much bigger in size. He was unable to give any statistics or the percentage of the fact that it will not re-rupture! Have to wear Richard splint for 6 weeks without any extention or flexion ie just in a 180 degree locked splint. Can have full weight bearing on leg but walk with crutches as aids. Just wondering whether there is anyone out there with similar rupture. Thanks

  16. Sang said, on September 6, 2009 at 2:36 am

    Ruptured (r) quad tendon 4 months during a martial arts class, got kicked in the tendon area, quad muscles ceased instantly and collapsed under me. Had surgery 6 days ago to re-attached the tendon, surgeon had not seen such an injury where the tendon snapped mid-way leaving a stump of 20mm at the distal end of the patella and the gap was 15mm wide. Usually the tendon will just pull off from the patella and the outcome of this sort of surgery is much better. Surgery was similar to any achilles tendon full rupture except the quad tendon is much bigger in size. He was unable to give any statistics or the percentage of the fact that it will not re-rupture! Have to wear Richard splint for 6 weeks without any extention or flexion ie just in a 180 degree splint. Can have full weight bearing on leg but walk with crutches as aids. Just wondering whether there is anyone out there with similar rupture. Thanks

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 7, 2009 at 2:05 pm

      Sang,
      Sorry to hear about your injury. Mine was the usual sort, with the tear close to the patella so it could be fixed the usual way. Just guessing here, but I suspect you’ll take longer than I did to recover. On the plus side, tendons seem to be able to heal fairly well, albeit slowly.

      I was able to get back to punching and blocking fairly quickly, although having one leg immobilized rather limited what I could do. You should be able to get in some training as well, subject to what your doctor thinks.

  17. RICK K said, on September 6, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    QUAD TENDON RUPTURE 3.15.09, SURGERY 3.28.09—WHAT A RIDE! HOPING 2 GET BACK TO JIU-JITSU SOON!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 7, 2009 at 2:07 pm

      Rick,
      Good luck with the recovery. Don’t rush it though-getting thrown around sounds like it would be rough on the repair.

  18. RICK K said, on September 7, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you Michael, your site is the best so far. Weight training is coming along slowly however progress is happening every day :)…FYI, the doc nailed me right between the eyes be4 surgery & said I had a damaged quad from prior steroid use…My meat head years caught up 2 me…anyway cant wait to get back on the mat however it looks like I still have a ways til competion.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm

      Rick,

      Good luck with your recovery. Making progress is great for morale-I know that I felt much better as soon as I made even small improvements. Like Arnold, you’ll be back. :)

      Oddly enough, I think I’ll be in even better shape after this than what I was before. I had to branch out my training and plan to keep up the variety even after I’m back to 100% as a runner.

  19. Dave said, on September 19, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Michael,

    This is an outstanding collection of stories and information, and it is serving as an educational source and inspiration for me. I stepped into a previously unknown sinkhole in my yard on 9/12 and landed full force on my bent right knee. I have a “high grade partial tear” (that’s 70% or more) of the quadriceps tendon (there are a “few instact strands”), and fully expect that my ortho will tell me on Tuesday that I will require surgery. There is something else going on with the medial meniscus but it is in doctor-speak and I haven’t found a site to translate it yet.

    I am almost 57 and don’t lead a very active lifestyle, and I am looking at this event as a wake-up call to make some changes in my level of exercise. If I want to make a full recovery, I’ll have to spend a lot of time going to PT and continuing it at home.

    Reading the story of your recovery and of the others on this site lets me know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel that I have unwittingly stepped into!

    Dave

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 19, 2009 at 11:25 am

      Dave,

      Sometimes partial tears can recover without surgery, but I suspect that your doc will go for the surgical option. Having at least some strands intact will help, though.

      Based on what I know about running impact injuries, you might have damaged the medial meniscus. It acts like a shock absorber (it is located between the tibia and the femur) and a sharp impact (or many repeated impacts) can damage it. In some cases, not much needs to be done. Hopefully that is the case for you.

      You are quite right-to get back full use of your knee you’ll be put through some extensive PT. I found mine challenging, even though I’ve been a competitive athlete since I was 15.

      The road to recovery is a slow one-my main advice is to set staged goals. Reaching them can be a real morale booster. Also, be sure to take those stool softeners (and drink plenty of fluid) after the surgery, if they are prescribed. They are really, really important. Trust me! :)

      • Dave said, on September 19, 2009 at 3:07 pm

        Thanks for your reply. I went through major hip surgery 22 years ago, and your observations about the stool softeners ring true! I’m getting around on crutches now, and trying not to tear what little is left of the tendon. The patella seems to be held in place, more or less – it’s hard to tell due to the swelling.

        I’ve read that 6 weeks of immobilization is how partial tears can be treated non-surgically, but the drawback is that it is unlikely to be as strong as if it were surgically repaired.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 21, 2009 at 10:55 am

          Dave,

          That is apparently the downside of the non-surgical repair. I suspect that the tendon will heal, but probably not completely or properly. Of course, much depends on the extent of the damage and the sort of recovery a person goes through.

          If your patella is still in place, then that is great. Mine wasn’t-it was pulled down enough so there was a very visible gap. Plus, it would wobble in all directions.

          Good luck with your recovery.

  20. Ken Larry said, on September 25, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Hi Michael,

    I’ve just finished reading your entire blog and comments. What a great resource!

    I tore the quads in BOTH legs on September 1, and had surgery on September 5. Now almost at the 2.5 week post op mark with both legs in zimmers until 6 weeks post op.

    Your site has really helped to give me a clearer idea of what to expect in terms of PT and it is inspiring to hear that you are running again! I am (was?) a runner too but I think it will be a long time before I try to run again. We have long winters where I live, with lots of ice and snow, so I will likely spend the upcoming winter working out in the pool.

    I am still in shock about how this happened. I essentially missed the last step going down a flight of stairs. The next thing I knew, I was on the floor with both quads contracting painfully. What worries me is… Since I don’t fully understand the kinetics, if you will, of the fall, I don’t feel confident about how to prevent it from happening again! And I wonder what other factors might have contributed to the ruptures. The fact that I injured both legs suggests to me that some general systemic factor has caused this. Too much caffeine that morning? Inflexibility? Some kind of vitamin or mineral deficiency?

    Do you have a clear idea of what might have contributed to your injury, and will you consciously make any lifestyle changes as a result?

    Thanks again for a wonderful blog.

    Ken Larry

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm

      Ken,

      I’m glad you found the blog useful. Man, both legs…that is horrible! I can imagine how awful that would be-I had a heck of a time with just one leg out of commission.

      It is great to be back to running. I think you’ll be back during the same sort of time frame that I had, although not being able to use at least one leg will give you a bigger hit to your cardio. But, they do make “hand bikes”-they are basically just a pedal mechanism that you pedal with your arms. It isn’t as effective as a normal bike from a running perspective, but at least it does help maintain endurance.

      True-the ice and snow would be scary. I’m glad that I’m in Florida in that respect: warm weather for outdoor pool running and no ice to worry about. I just have to deal with the rain.

      That is the same sort of thing that happened to Clinton-he missed a step and pop, there goes the quad. Weird how that happens-it is an extremely strong tendon and is supposed to very rarely tear.

      I did read that some pre-existing conditions can increase the likelihood of tears, such as previous partial tears. However, sometimes it is just a combination of factors that have nothing to do with what you have done.

      In my case, the main cause was that I hit the metal ladder with one foot while wearing hard shoes. So, I took the full impact on that leg alone. If I had landed on both feet or if I had landed on the grass, or if I had been wearing running shoes…it might have been different. I also suspect I had accumulated some damage to that tendon over the years. I have had some on-and-off knee problems, so perhaps I had a pre-existing partial tear.

      My main change is to stay off ladders during rainstorms. :) I can’t think of any change in my diet or behavior that would have made a significant difference-it was just one of those accidents caused by poor decision making. :)

      But, I have been working on flexibility and strength more-I got a Bowflex and added leg workouts to my routine. This was initially as part of my PT, but now it is a permanent thing. Plus, it never hurts to improve one’s diet.

      • Ken Larry said, on October 13, 2009 at 6:12 pm

        Hi again Michael,

        Thanks again for replying and for your excellent blog. I’m into week 5 post op and have an appointment with the surgeon on October 21.

        I think they’ll start me on some sort of physiotherapy after that. I’m wondering what to expect… will I stay in splints or will I move to some other form of support? And what kind of exercises do you start with?

        I was alarmed when you said you had no range of motion for three weeks after you started PT! With both legs in splints, I’ve been confined to the top floor of my house for six weeks, and I’m hoping to get some sort of mobility, particularly on stairs, soon (even if just with crutches)!

        As I expected, it has started to snow where I live–an added stress!

        My inspiration is knowing that you have started running. My question: Having started physio in late October, is it reasonable for me to expect to be walking around unaided by mid-December?

        Best wishes,

        Ken

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 14, 2009 at 10:55 am

          Ken,

          I was fitted with an adjustable brace in week two and had some ROM at week 3 (about 10 degrees). But, that was with just one leg-since I could use the other normally, I was able to start walking on crutches right away and was walking without them in a few weeks. After about two months I was out of the brace. I suspect you’ll be fitted with braces soon, but will have a slower recover schedule because both legs are healing.

          My initial exercises were these: At week six, the exercises were very limited and quite basic. The first is called “patellar mobilization.” While this sounds like an alien army gearing up for war, it is simply manually moving your knee cap (patella). To do this, you sit on a firm, flat surface and gently move your knee cap side to side and then up and down with your hands.

          The second is the quad set (sometimes called “quadriceps setting”). To do this, you lay down and bend the healthy knee. You then tighten up the muscles on top of your thigh and hold for about 5 seconds. Then you relax. Then you do it again. A variant of this involves pushing your knee down so that the underside of the knee is pressed against the surface.

          The third is a hamstring set, also known as a heel slide. To do this, you lay down and bend your knee to a height of roughly six inches. Then, push the heel down and pull it back towards your body, holding for 5 seconds. Repeat.

          The fourth is an assisted knee bend. It can be done lying down or in a chair. You just slide the leg so the knee bends, using your arms to assist (not force!) the motion. Repeat.

          The fifth is another knee bend. For this one, you sit in a chair (pick a stable one with room to move), bend your knee and then gently slide your butt forward, thus causing the knee to bend more. Repeat.

          The sixth is a hamstring stretch. It is just a hurdler’s stretch without bending the other leg. Lie down and gently stretch out over the injured leg, reaching for the foot. Hold about 15 seconds and then repeat.

          I’m guessing you’ll be doing modified versions of these.

          As far as walking, I would suspect that you should be able to walk by the end of December. It took me nine weeks before I was out of the brace and even then I was not walking normally. I suspect you might be using a cane for a while even after you get off the crutches because of the two leg aspect of the situation.

          • Ken Larry said, on November 8, 2009 at 8:19 pm

            Hi Michael,

            Thanks for the descriptions of the initial exercises. I finally started physio last Monday. They have started me doing ROM stretches, but still no strength training. I think that will start this week (week 9 post op). I’m really eager to start strength training as it seems building up strength will be my ticket out of these splints!

            Strangely, both the OS and PT have not recommended braces at all. Instead, the plan is to wear the splints while walking until I gain enough strength to walk with crutches or a cane for support. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I have injured both legs.

            I was just reading a post by a quad ripper on another forum who is running 4 miles and working out in the gym every day. It is spirit-sapping to consider my comparitive lack of progress.

            How is the running going?

            Ken

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 9, 2009 at 8:48 pm

              Ken,

              I did start some very, very limited strength training early on-things like tightening up my quads or lifting my leg while laying on my side. But, it took a long time to get to any actual resistance training.

              I can see why they would go with splints with both legs. After all, without a good leg to provide support, staying upright could be a problem. I didn’t start running again until September 4 and my surgery was on April 3. I’m still not at 100% and probably won’t be for a few months. Don’t get discouraged about the progress-it is a slow return and, as they say, everyone recovers at a different rate. Plus, you have two tears to deal with. So, I would say that you are doing quite well givin the challenge you are facing. Like you, I did see some people posting about making rapid and amazing recoveries. But, I decided that I needed to go at the right pace for myself-and I also heard about people tearing their repair by pushing to hard. To be corny: run the race at your own pace and you will win the competition that counts.

              Running is going well. I can hold a 7:18 pace for a 5K with surges into the 6 minute range. I’m still very cautious on the hills (up and down) and have yet to try to actually sprint. My knee still feels a bit weird-but I expect that will be a lifelong thing, what with the scar tissue and all. Mainly I am pleased to be able to run again.

              Mike

            • Ken Larry said, on November 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm

              Hi Mike,

              I’ve been in PT for almost three weeks, with the first two devoted to ROM only. I’ve been working on strength for 10 days now.

              I started practicing walking without the splints (using a walker for balance) two days ago. It’s amazing how difficult walking is at this stage! It feels like I am wearing two untied hockey skates–very wobbly! Hopefully I’ll be able to move to a cane, or two, before long. The PT says I’ve got the strength but need to re-establish the neuro pathways between the muscles I stopped using while healing. I think he is right.

              At least at this stage in the recovery process, one can actually do things to affect one’s recovery. The worst part was laying around for eight weeks like a vegetable just healing while immobilized.

              Just thought I’d keep you and others on this board posted. I think I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

              Ken

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 20, 2009 at 11:41 am

              Ken,

              Good luck with the walking. The PT is quite right-it seems that the muscles and nerves “forget” what to do when they are not used for a while and have to be re-trained. When I was going through that, it was weird having to actually concentrate on how to move my leg and foot. As with most things, practice is key.

              I found that I had to really work to overcome the habits I picked up while in the brace. I also had some random “control issues” from time to time even after I was walking again-nothing major, just a little unexpected knee “slip.”

              Mike

  21. Dave said, on October 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Michael,

    Well, I chose surgery, and it turned out to be the correct route. The tendon was 80% ruptured, so the odds were high that any attempt at rehab would just be a postponement of the inevitable. They used a neural block on the leg but also some general anaesthesia; it’s been over 24 hours and the block is just wearing off, so the discomfort to date has been surprisingly minimal. I have an Iceman pump that is keeping the swelling down – I feel like a Borg (part machine, part human).
    I’ve been told that it will be 4 weeks of zero ROM, then start PT slowly to increase it, but no strengthening exercises until after the first of the year. We’ll see how it goes!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm

      Dave,
      I’m glad the surgery went well. I didn’t get the Iceman, but my brace was certainly borg-like (I got a comments about that from trekkie friends).

      I had about 3 weeks or so of zero ROM, then got a little bit each week or two after that. I was a bit shocked by how long it took to get the full ROM back. Fortunately, I was (for once) sensible enough to stick with the plan.

      The recovery is a slow process, but focusing on your progress will make it easier to deal with it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask-I would have been largely in the dark if I hadn’t gone out on the web and researched things.

  22. Tony Ludlow said, on October 27, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Hi Michael and all of you fellow knee suffer’ers!

    What a GREAT thing it was for me to discover this blog today! Thank you Michael!

    I’ll be 4 weeks post-op on Friday (10/30/09).

    During a tennis tournament I ran back behind the baseline and returned a lob. My opponent then attempted to hit a shot down the line for a winner off of my return. Instead his ball hit the top of the net cord and bounced straight up, becoming an unintended drop shot.

    I took off, sprinting as fast as I could to the net to get the ball just before it bounced a second time.

    You might already imagine what happened next.

    I attempted to stop on a dime, from a all out sprint, and bend down low to scoop the ball up. And of course, that never happened. I planted my right foot, bent low and lunged forward and then … POP!!! went my right knee … and I went down.

    Game, set, and match.

    That was on September 22 and surgery for a torn quad tendon and meniscus was on Oct. 2.

    I’m so very happy to have read this blog … I’m a 52 year old fitness instructor and this down time is about to drive me crazy. I’m not a very patient guy! But I want to thank each of you for taking the time to write about your injury, your surgery, and the different things about your rehab and recovery. It was been so very very instructive, inspirational, and encouraging. One year ago I was in Washington, DC to run the Marine Corps Marathon … and now I’m working hard just to bend my fricken knee!

    Misery does indeed love company and I’ve been so happy to have found you guys.

    Tony Ludlow

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 28, 2009 at 12:42 pm

      Tony,

      I am sorry to hear about your injury. But, at least it was sports related and not stupidity related like my fall. :)

      Being in good shape, you should make a rapid recovery. One challenge you’ll probably face is restraining yourself-I had to work hard to be sensible and pace myself (normally I take the “I’m tougher than the injury” approach). I just kept reminding myself that a little patience now could keep me from being back on the table, under the knife once again. That, and memories of the post surgery “side effects” kept me on track. Riding a stationary bike one legged and getting a Bowflex also helped a great deal. I was surprised at how much of a workout I could get even with just one functional leg.

      I had my first run on September 4 (surgery was April 3), so you can probably expect to be back in a similar amount of time-as long as you keep that patience going. :)

      Did you have a full tear or a partial tear?

      • Tony Ludlow said, on October 28, 2009 at 11:40 pm

        Hey Michael!

        Thank you for writing with some sorely needed words of encouragement!

        I had a full tear. I don’t do nuthin’ half way! hahaha I’m a retired Marine and we don’t really do “kinda sorta” … we go all in! However, this is one time I should have been smarter than eager to win!

        At 3.5 weeks post op, I’m at 100 degrees of ROM. Painfully acquired. My leg is in an immobilizer from high thigh to ankle and I hobble around on two crutches.

        My doc believes that I can be jog/walking on a treadmill by New Year’s Day! And I’m hoping he’s right!

        In addition to the tennis, I was (AM!) an avid runner and was training a group of people to run the St. Jude Half Marathon in Dec when the injury occurred. I’m also a triathlete. And was leading a boot camp fitness program two to four times a day, Monday through Friday.

        The doc thinks that I’d probably partially torn both the quad tendon and the meniscus before the tennis tournament that put me down. I’d been favoring that right knee for several years, but adhered to the “train through the pain” philosophy. (If that can be accurately called a “philosophy!”)

        I’m trying really hard to be patient. Hardest thing I’ve ever had to do! I go to PT twice a week and do my homework 2 to 3 times a day on my own.

        I have to say, I’ve read other blogs and message boards of those with the same injury but they were so negative and were mostly written by people who’d been sedentary prior to their injury. They seemed to have a defeated attitude and I just got depressed reading those posts. On the other hand, this blog is a breath of fresh air! Most of the posts here are from active and positive people. There’s hope in that! And as you know, it’s not that hard to fall into a funk and believe that you’ll never be an athlete again!

        I’m doing some limited dumbbell work at home. All upper body stuff. Curls and presses, crunches, and flys. But I can really see how a Bowflex would be great. I’ve got a bike on a trainer and will look at taking the right crank arm off in order to ride with the left leg only. A life with no cardio really really sucks!

        Without question, the hardest part is the waiting. I’m goal and results oriented and driven by goals. So having no goals can drive me quite up a tree!

        What percent would you say that you are at the present time? And this is a question for you and any others who read this blog. How far beyond surgery are you and what are you able to do?

        Thanks Michael and all of you fellow Knights Who Say Ni! ;-)

        Tony

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 29, 2009 at 2:50 pm

          Tony,

          You know, sometimes it is okay to give less than 110%. :)

          At 3.5 weeks I was at about 15 degrees of ROM, so you are kicking my butt. It took me months to get back to 100%. I still have some stiffness in the knee, but my ROM might even be a tiny bit better-all that stretching was more than I normally did.

          You should be in a adjustable brace soon-I was in a fancy Donjoy rig that made me look a bit cybernetic. I was off the crutches in a few weeks, then out of the brace in a couple months. It was weird being out of the brace at first, but it was great to be out of that sweat machine.

          You should be back to walking semi-normally fairly soon and able to do pool running in a few months. I was thrilled to be able to finally walk around, although you will probably be wary of going down steps/hills for quite a while. I found that my knee worked great going up, but the going down was a bit problematic.

          I suspect your doc is right about having a partial tear. I suspect I had one as well-I had a wicked fall once during a race involving a hole-I tried to stay up and actually ended up running about twenty feet before I finally hit the ground. I think that the stress did some damage. I did wear a basic knee brace after that, but just followed the same philosophy as you.

          As soon as I learned I had the tear, I thought about how I’d deal with it. I immediately decided that I would be positive and do the best with the hand I’d been dealt. Interestingly, my philosophy experience was useful here-I had coincidentally being reading Plato’s Republic and he wrote about when one falls, the thing to do is get back up and focus on mending the hurt (rather than crying). While I know that positive thinking does not make stuff happen, I also know that defeat and victory begin in the mind. I’ve been very pleased with the positive outlook of the folks who have posted here and have tried to do my small part in providing what encouragement I can.

          I’m confident that you’ll be back. With a tear, there is almost never any reason why someone can’t get back to their fitness routine. After all, some folks lose a leg (or two) and keep on running.

          The bike should really help-I know it helped me stay sane. I need that cardio fix. :)

          I found it useful to set recovery goals. That helped my OCD personality cope. :)

          I had my surgery on April 3, and I’d say I am at about 80% in terms of running strength and speed. I can do 7:18 miles in a 5K, with surges down into the 6 minute range. I can even get below 6, but I am very cautious about that. In the martial arts, I think my leg is at about 60-70% in terms of jumps and kicking-but I’m being very careful about that.

          My left leg is still visibly smaller than my right, so I can plainly see that it is not at 100%. But, when I first had the immobilizer off, I had almost no quad definition at all (that totally sucked). Now I’ve got good definition and most of the mass back. So, I’m a live parrot. :)

          Mike

          What percent would you say that you are at the present time? And this is a question for you and any others who read this blog. How far beyond surgery are you and what are you able to do?

          Thanks Michael and all of you fellow Knights Who Say Ni! ;-)

          Tony

  23. jason said, on October 28, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    i slipped off the last stair of my deck today. first, after a short 10 minute rest i was able to walk. 2 hours later the pain worsened and it was becoming difficult to stand on my right leg. i iced the knee and raised it. swelling began and pain increased. after 6 or 7 hours i cannot stand on injured leg. the swelling increased. i think it is a quad tendon tear as the pain and swelling is under and above the knee as opposed to the pain i had mid way above knee when i pulled my quad muscle on left leg. i plan on docter/hospital visit tomorrow. great site for info, thanks!!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm

      Jason,

      Sorry to hear about your fall. I hope that you didn’t tear anything. Being able to walk is a good sign, although I could walk after my fall. Are you experiencing any “knee slip” (that is, your knee goes out when you try to walk)?

  24. Ted said, on November 19, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Michael et al., I don’t want to mention the term “setback” but alas I have no choice. My surgery was June 4, three weeks after an unspectacular bike crash that ripped my quad tendon off my kneecap. After 5 months of PT we were able to build up substantial leg strength, I returned to biking, golf and swimming but no running. I still had some swelling, limited ROM and most recently a noticeable and not pleasant pop every time I walked down the stairs. After an MRI, my doctor recommended that I have arthroscopic surgery to remove excess scar tissue and that we do an “MUA” manipulation under anesthesia. In other words bend your leg all the way while you are, thank god, asleep, to break the rest of the scar tissue. Did this all this past Tuesday and, unlike, first operation PT started the next day. Goal is to be 100% with good ROM (over 135), stretching my knee already feels different, feels like a more normal stretch rather than a very tight knee so am cautiously optimistic. Best of luck to all. Ted.

  25. Ray Tessaglia said, on December 13, 2009 at 10:23 am

    11 days post op. on complete quad tendon tear…….pain less than I thought,more of a stinging ,burning where the cut,stitches and staples are….have no control of leg and changing dressing is awful..need 2 people one to hold heel up,one to wrap and myself to brace back of knee….aldente spaghetti has more stability than my leg….been doing isometrics (tightening thigh muscles) but cant wait to start the real PT.I coach college baseball and expect to be throwing batting practice in march,with or without a brace….how hard should i push or go the slow route? Ray T

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 14, 2009 at 5:54 pm

      Ray,

      Sorry to hear about your tear-it sounds like a bad one. I had no ability to lift my lower leg, but had some stability-so I just needed one other person to help with the dressings.

      My advice would be to not push things. Prior to my own injury, I was a “push it” sort of guy, but the severity of the injury and the prospect of having to go through the surgery and recovery again change my mind. Also, pushing hard in this case would not really speed things up that much-mainly it is a matter of waiting for the body to repair itself, at least at first. Once the tissue is healed a bit, you’ll be able to do some basic exercises-mostly just stretching at first. Be sure to get a good PT who understands your specific injury. Once you get a program, then you can push it-within the limits of your recovery.

      What can really help is doing what exercises you can with the functioning parts. For example, I got a Bowflex and a stationary bike (rode that 1 legged). That not only speeds up the recovery process, it also keeps you sane.

  26. Ray Tessaglia said, on January 31, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    91/2 weeks post op. things seem a bit better…am functioning with brace weight bearing with and without crutches (doc told me with only)..have not started any pt with weights..just range of motion..doc. told me wait 2 more weeks..he wants cement to grab? what the heck does that mean? first I’ve heared of cement?….is cement or an adhesive used in these operations?..I thought it was sewing the tendon and attatching it to the knee cap…Cement? does anyone know of this terminology?..other than that I feel the swelling decreasing,since I’ve been moving it more..cant wait to hit the weights and get my thigh back

  27. Ray Tessaglia said, on February 7, 2010 at 12:44 am

    I guess this site has ceased.. no one has responded to my last post..but.. anyway I am 10 week PO and still have brace on and havent done any weight bearing PT stuff…my range of motion is at 110..and I can weight bear without crutches with ease..Am i behind sched.? or is my Doc. just taking a conservative approach? thanks Ray T

    • Ted said, on February 7, 2010 at 10:09 am

      Hi Ray, I had surgery last June and as I recall 110 sounds about right. But, I wouldn’t worry about where you are with your ROM so much as whether you are still improving or not. I eventually got stuck at about 125 degrees after 5 months and a lot of work. My doctor recommended at that time a second surgery called a manipulation under anesthesia, I described it in a post on this blog. It worked quite well and I have pretty much the same ROM as my good knee which is about 140. I have been even able to start running again so there is hope, it just takes a very long time to get back to normal. Other issue for me was that I had tight knees to start so tight knees is what you end up with. Good luck. Ted

    • Dave said, on February 7, 2010 at 10:42 am

      Ray,

      Everyone proceeds at their own rate, and there is no fast and firm guideline for recovery. As Ted said, as long as you are making progress, you are on the road to recovery. I hit a plateau at about 10 weeks, but have made substantial progress since then.

      At 12 weeks, I was at 105 degrees; my doctor was a little annoyed, but the physical therapist said I shouldn’t worry. At 16 weeks, I’m now up to 130 degrees, and can walk up stairs normally (but not down – yet). We are continuing to strengthen the muscles, but I am not yet back to the pre-injury strength, and don’t expect to be for a while.

      My silver lining is that I was excused from shoveling the 34″ of snow we got yesterday (Maryland)!

  28. Ray Tessaglia said, on February 8, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    I guess this site has ceased? no follow -up to my 1/13 posting…

  29. brad said, on February 8, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    I have a partial tear and after talking to the doctor and physical therapist I have decided for surgery.How long before one can drive? Anyone try therapy without surgery and had good success?
    Thanks

    • Ray Tessaglia said, on February 20, 2010 at 1:26 am

      I drove without docs permission after 8 weks of my operation..but it was a challenge.the more you increase youre rom (bending0 the better you will be..my doc said legal concerns .getting into an accident with a brace or immobilizer on is not good.i am now 10 weeks PO and driving ok am at 123degrees but last week i was at 105..so be positive and drive when you can drive or get in and out of car alone..relying on rides sucks..Onceyou start weight bearing with or without crutches strenghtens your leg..go slow and do what you can do..i thought my doc was conservative,but it is all working out.

  30. Ray Tessaglia said, on February 14, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Has this site ceased? any follow up comments?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 15, 2010 at 1:55 pm

      Ray,

      The post is still going, I just missed the comments under all the comments on the newer posts.

  31. Adam said, on February 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Last week on wednesday I slipped on ice while walking and hurt my knee since then I am not able to bend my knee and can’t do straight leg raise test.
    I went to ER and they took x-ray and checked my knee with ultrason and said they couldn’t see anything. I have an MRI appointment for Thursday. I hope then everything will be more clear.
    But I think I torn my quadriceps tendom. I can’t do any contraction. As I learned If an operation will be done for this injury it has to be done as quicly as possible. Since then already 6 days passed and still they couldn’t diagnose me.

    Bests for everyone.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 17, 2010 at 2:39 pm

      Adam,

      The straight leg rise is generally considered a fairly definitive test, although other injuries can also impede movement.

      As far as the x-ray goes, they won’t show tissue damage but can show if the kneecap is out of place. If the knee cap is too low, that is a fairly definitive sign of a tear. In my case, the doc did a diagnosis without an MRI, since the x-ray clearly showed my knee cap way out of place.

      My operation was 8 days after my injury and my recovery went well. Of course, the earlier the surgery, the quicker you’ll be back to normal. In my research I did find that people have been operate on quite a while (weeks even months) after the tear and still came through fine.

      Good luck-I hope that you didn’t tear the tendon!

    • Ray Tessaglia said, on February 20, 2010 at 1:30 am

      I injured knee on 11/22 and had operation 12/3..usually they say 2 weeks is operating soon…youre ok

  32. Patrick said, on February 21, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    So, I’ve been reading many posts of folks who have gone through what I’m about to regarding surgery for quad tendon tear. I have an added twist to my story and was wondering if anyone out there has come across some useful information.
    My situation:
    I’m an above knee amputee who wears a prosthesis. My hydraulic knee has had the tendency to buckle without warning due to a failure in the unit. This failure is common once the seal of the hydraulic unit becomes worn and leaks fluid.
    I was tossing a football recently when the prosthetic knee buckled and in an instant i fell. Unfortunately the “good” leg wrapped around the prosthesis and as I hit the ground my real knee was stretched too far, considerably tearing the quad tendon.

    I’m wondering if anyone has any experience similar to mine in which after having surgery one does not have a remaining healthy leg to stand on.

    I’ve been getting around on crutches and the one injured leg in a brace..I’m pretty good on crutches as I walked on them for eight years after my amputation and prior to wearing a prosthesis. But, I’m guessing walking on crutches is going to be very different after my surgery next week.
    I have also put the prosthesis on once or twice and locked it in a straight phase position. In that phase and with my knee brace on the injured leg I can “Frankenstein” walk around a bit, but I don’t trust the hydraulic unit as it has a habit of clicking back into a normal bendable knee phase and more potential buckling!
    I know a wheel chair may be in my future and for how long, I do not know.

    Any feed back is greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Patrick

  33. mike said, on March 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    I just found your blog. I am having quadricep tendon surgery tomorrow morning. I had the option of spending 24 hrs. in the hospital and I am taking advantage of that. My injury occured when I opened that basement door to go downstairs and someone had placed a towel on the other side of the door. I was able to keep myself from falling down the steps by grabbing the door jamb, but was unable to stay on my feet. I could not get off the floor. Most painful thing I ever experienced. Left the house by ambulance. I was seen in emergency and was told I had a deep muscle contusion and was released. I did not know how I was going to get off the bed. Somehow I managed and spent the that night and the next in bed until 4:30 pm the next. I followed up with my doctor 5 days after and had an Mri that afternoon. I seen the surgeon on Thursday and he is going to surgeory on Saturday. I have the first surgeory of the day 7:30 am. I opted for the 24 hour stay in the hospital because in May 2009 I stepped off about an 18 inch wall and I actually heard my achiles tendon pop. The day after that injury was the most painful for me. Thats why I opted for the stay this time. Hopefully I will be more aware of how I actually feel when leaving the hospital. I had the out patient surgeory and did not even remember how I got home or even got in the house. I left the outpatient surgeory center doped up with crutches and I am 51 years old, 50 when that happened and never ever had to use crutches. I just found that wierd, after thinking about that situation I thought it to be quite dangerous. I abandoned the crutches after a few tries at getting the hang of using them. The way my house is setup, when you go from the first floor to the second floor, at the top their is about a 4 ft landing but the door to the bathroom is on the left at the top of the steps and closer to the steps than the wall across from the steps. I used a walker I really feared falling with the crutches down the steps. I am hoping I will be able to use the walker again. I do have a friend that has a one level house no steps with only about 1/2 step from her garage into the house. I can stay their, but I hate putting a burden on her. I have 6 steps to the front porch of my house and 13 to the bedrooms upstairs. I shake my head and simply cannot believe this happened. I have been promised that no more dirty dish towels will be placed on the otherside of the basement door. I guess I should have been more observent before I stepped.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm

      Mike,

      I hope your surgery went well. Good luck with the recovery. Like you, I learned a valuable lesson from my experience. Mine was “stay off ladders.”

      I opted to go home the day of my surgery, mainly to avoid the extra cost and the exposure to infection.

  34. Ray Tessaglia said, on May 20, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    had quad tendon operation 12/3,tore tendon and avulsion(came from knee cap)am progressing,started bike and eliptical 3/1,have progressed to 50 min on eliptical(used to do 60),but have also started stair master 3 weeks ago (10-20 min).I am not at my normal workout routine but getting there.Stair master has increased strength.I put on 8 lbs,due to negatve binge drinking.I was just pissed off at being hurt.It does take time ,I have started light jogging,2min walk,1 min. jog,for 15 min.still need to get muscle mass back,and am doing it with leg presses and short arc quads.Do your therapyand take it slow it will get better.

  35. sue said, on June 30, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I fell on the edge of a 4inch deep pothole as I fell my foot went one way and my knee the other I heard a sickening ‘pop’ and had a searing burning pain in my knee- – I broke my back at 11 years of age, broken other bones over the years but I have never, in my 56 years experienced any pain like this. I was taken to hospital – xrays showed no break so was sent away in a cricket splint and crutches and a follow up appointment. At my follow up I was assessed and given an ultra sound only to be told I would be admitted to hospital for a quadricep tendon mechanism repair as I had completely torn the tendon away from the knee cap. I had the operation on 29th May and was in hospital 5 days – released from hospital in the cricket splint. I had the staples out 14 days later and had an adjustable splint put on. Yesterday I had my first physio and the splint has now been set at 30 degrees – that wasnt too bad but today I feel like I have gone backwards as I an scared to walk as my leg wants to give way. I have tried my excercises but am unable to lift my leg as they said I should be by now – anyone elses experiences of this type of injury and recovery will be most welcome

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 30, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      Sue,

      Sorry to hear about your injury, but I’m glad you are making progress. When I was injured, it took me quite some time before I could raise my leg. I blogged about my progress here-you can do a search on the site using “quadriceps tendon.”

  36. Rosemarie said, on July 2, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Hi,
    My situation is a little bit different from all of yours. I had total knee replacements in 2007. Apparently my body does not like the knee replacements and forms a fibrous tissue (not scar tissue)in my knees. Last Aug I had to have my right knee scraped out to remove the fibrous tissue. This past March I had my left knee scraped out but before surgery I discovered two lumps above my knee and there was a divot above my knee also. The Doctor said before surgery that he would check out the lumps before he closed me up but not to be too upset if there was a full incision when I woke up. He scraped out my knee and found two nodules attached to my quadriceps tendon. He removed the two nodules. I have been in a knee mobilizer since then. I was home bound for 12 weeks with my knee at 0 degrees and had therapists coming into my house. My brace is now at 90 degrees and I have started outpatient therapy as of the beginning of June. I am weight bearing as tolerated. My PROM is now at 87 degrees. I was told to expect at least a 9 month recovery and will be wearing the brace for quite some time and when I finish with that brace I will have another one not quite as bulky to wear after that. I’m on a walker as my balance is not quite steady enough for crutches.
    I worked in therapy and I know that there is light at the end of the tunnel but it takes time. The only thing that I can tell you all is you have to have patience and just make sure that you do your exercises because you have to get the strength back into the leg and that only takes time and hard work. I told my Doctors that this is much harder than having a total knee replacement. God Bless You All.

  37. pabutcher said, on July 4, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Interesting reading – Quick health history; very active from age 15 – soccer through college, indoor and outdoor court sports, running (only up to 15 miles, recreational, meditative), alpine racer/coach, etc.) Severe burn (85%) at age 30; excellent recovery (notwithstanding significant scarring, some minor ROM limitation) due to health, nutrition, support systems.

    History of injury: May 27,2010 – unbelievably minor slip on boat ramp; resulting in full thickness tear of quad tendon, 40% additional tears lateral quad, patella dislocation.

    Surgery June 8 by Dr. David Casey at Pinehurst Surgical; sedative, spinal and femoral blocks, overnight, released the following morning with knee immobilizer; staples removed two weeks later, full straight leg cast to current date (July 4).

    Some surprising struggle w/ dealing w/ the immobility, hence the search for additional support systems – am trying to keep busy by reading (six books so far), taking a class (UOP), trying to maintain schedule w/ volunteer commitments (w/o traveling).

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 4, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      Pat,

      Sorry to hear about your injury. It is odd how a minor fall can result is such serious injuries; but chance can be very cruel indeed.

      My main coping mechanisms for my immobility were computer games, reading and using my exercise bike. I found that I could ride it one legged starting about 3 days after the surgery. My leg got rather sweaty in the wrapping and immobilizer, but it was well worth it. I also got a Bowflex a while after the surgery-since all the “weights” are from the resistance rods, I could just sit down and get in a decent upper body workout without stressing the leg. Also, it came in very useful for the PT once I was able to do that.

      The PT also helped by providing a clear sign of progress. Being able to set clear goals and reach them helped quite a bit. After I could get about (after two weeks) I “walked” as much as I could. Eventually I could walk for real and then started exercises in the pool (followed by pool running with an Aqua Jogger). Finally I could run again.

  38. sue said, on July 12, 2010 at 10:59 am

    quick update
    fall/accident 20 May 2010 / operation 29th May for quadricep tendon mechanism repair – past 2 weeks the splint has been set for 30 degree bend and physio today set it at 60 degrees. I managed 5 straight leg lifts (in locked position) this morning and felt good as this was my first goal achieved.apparently my muscles have wasted away and so I need to work harder at them. the splint will be set at 90 in 2 weeks time then they are going to remove the splint and teach me to walk without it – wish I could turn the clock back this has not been a good year so far what with one thing and another.
    I have been off work since 20th May and am signed off for 4 months at least- I do a desk job but i have to drive to visit outstations – I know theres no hard and fast rule of people returning to driving and working but wondered what others timelines are?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 12, 2010 at 9:40 pm

      Sue,

      Sorry to hear about your injury, but I am glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery. I had my surgery at the start of April last year and was driving without any problems again in early June.

      One factor will be how much you can bend the leg. In my case, I’m tall and have a small truck-so being able to fit comfortably took a while. Another factor will be whether you have to work a pedal with the injured leg. In my case, I have an automatic and busted up my left leg, so that was not a factor.

  39. Robert Prahl said, on October 12, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Not sure if anyone is still reading this site but it has been an interesting read for me and I appreciate Michael for creating it and all that have added to it.

    September 12th, 2010 I had a weightlifting accident where I was trying to re-rack the weight on a Smith Rack and didn’t lock it out properly so as I released, the 350 lbs on my back and my 225 lb body came tumbling down with my left leg underneath me and hyperflexing to the point of the complete quad tear.

    I had my surgery September 16th and was in a compression bandage and fully extended brace for 2 weeks. The bandage came off and I was told I would be in the brace for another 4 weeks but my next appt is at the 3 week mark October 12th.

    My OS is different than most because he wants me bearing no weight on the leg whatsoever until 6 weeks after the surgery. I asked if I could go to the gym and do upper body weight training and he stated he feared the action of the weight training causing the entire body to tense and flexing the repaird quad, and was told no. The only thing I can do is take the brace off, roll onto my stomach and try to curl the leg. During my 9/29 follow up that removed the staples, he stated he would like me at 90 degrees on my next visit October 20th. My first attempt couldn’t get my toes off of the carpet. I’m just shy of a month removed from my surgery and still 8 days from my next appointment and am around 50 degrees. I’ve been feeling pretty bad about not sniffing the 90 degree mark with such a short time to go but feel better that some have experienced similar limits. I’m shocked at those who could start weight bearing, flexing, and moving the leg so quickly when I have been told to do absolutely nothing. I’m not even to weight bear while standing at the sink to brush my teeth.

    I was really hoping to be back to “normal” by the end of the year but to read about people still not feeling good about going down hils or stairs 6 months after the surgery has me somewhat disheartened but glad that I can adjust my expectations. I’m really looking forward to being able to walk without crutches, bearing weight, starting some strength training, driving my car with a clutch (left leg) instead of my wife’s automatic, riding the motorcycle again, and being somewhat normal. I hate that it will take so long but appreciate all on the site for the information provided.

    For reference, I am a 42 year old male, 5’8″ tall 225 and 15% bodyfat (presurgery). I hate to think what I am now because all I hear from my co-workers is how emaciated I look as it compares to my “normal”.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 12, 2010 at 2:56 pm

      Robert,

      Sorry to hear about your injury.

      I suspect that your doctor is being extra cautious because of the extent of the damage or perhaps the doc is just cautious with such injuries. My doc had me putting weight on it right away and I was told that was part of the recovery. Of course, this was with the brace on and with crutches for the start.

      You might be able to find some exercises that can keep you active without risking the leg. I was able to use my exercise bike a few days after the surgery and was using a Bowflex within a few weeks. If you have the extra cash, check with your doc and see if you can use one. Since it uses resistance and many exercises are done sitting down, there would be no real strain on the leg.

      It did take me a while to handle stairs properly and even now my knee still feels strange. But, you will get through this and be back to normal.

  40. Dave said, on October 12, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    It’s the one-year anniversary of my surgery for an 80% partial tear (treated as a full tear surgically). I can do pretty much anything that I could do before the surgery, but I am “aware” of the knee and have to think about going down stairs and steps. I was kayaking this past summer with some friends, one of whom is a cardiologist and who tore his ACL several years ago. As he observed me climbing in and out of the kayak, and later climbing around on the rocky island we picked to have lunch on, he said that I had an issue with “proprioception”.

    I had to look it up – it refers to the body’s “nerve sense” to know where its limbs are without looking (that’s probably a poor translation, but I’m not a medical professional!). An injury like a quad tear also damages the nerve endings, and they take a much longer time to heal than the other damaged tissues. My friend’s experience was that it took him about 3 years to fully regain the “nerve sense” in his knee so that he didn’t have to think about where it was going to land when he extended it. There are lots of references to exercises to address this on the web.

    So, the good news for me is that I can get around just fine and that the fact that I have to “think” about where to put my repaired leg on a step or stair is not abnormal, and that – eventually – I’ll get all or most of that feeling back. I don’t expect to regain full sensation in the skin where the nerves were cut for the incision, but I’ve had other surgeries, and most of the feeling returns eventually.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 12, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      Dave,

      Interesting. I did wonder about that sort of impact. I did notice I was very cautious with my leg (actually, I still am). Even now I am extra aware of the leg, mainly because of spending so much time protecting it. My running seems to be fine, though-perhaps all those miles really burned into the nerves. :)

      • Anonymous said, on October 12, 2010 at 3:38 pm

        I am now 18 months post surgery and was wondering similar things, in that my knee is mostly fine but still gives out every once in a while and feels tight above the knee. I knew the giving out was nerve related and hope the tightness goes away. Having said that, it all works pretty much fine. Best of luck to all.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 13, 2010 at 4:28 pm

          You can probably expect the tightness to remain, at least if my experience is an indicator.

  41. Rosemarie said, on October 12, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    It takes up to a minimum of 2 years for nerves to regenerate after any serious surgery. I was at 30 degrees ROM after my surgery in March. I am now at 104 degrees PROM, and 95 degrees ROM currently. It’s a long hard struggle but you will get there. I have basically just started working on doing steps the right way today and it’s going to be a lot of work but you just have to keep working on it.

  42. Tony Ludlow said, on October 12, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I had a full on, ripped from the bone, quad tendon repair that I collected while playing in a tennis tournament in Sept. 09.

    It’s been one year for me! I posted here on October 29, 2009 when I was three weeks post-op and looking desperately for anything that might give me a word of encouragement. And this was a great place!

    In April 2010 I won my age group in a local 5K! That was 7 months after surgery.

    There have been set backs and I’ve had to have fluid drained from my knee several times. In May I hit my knee on a metal bench when I was walking toward it and not paying attention. I had to use a cane again for a couple of weeks. ugh.

    To those reading this who are early in the process, be patient and know that your recovery will take work and won’t happen in a linear straight line toward 100%. There will be ups and downs. Just roll with it and keep your spirits up! Celebrate ALL of your victories and any progress, large or small! And if you have a set back, just be patient.

    I’m training for a half marathon in December. This past Saturday I ran 10 miles! That’s the longest I’ve run since surgery on October 2, 2009!

    A year ago I was so depressed that I thought I’d never run again. Don’t let those dark voices into your head! Do what you can! Work around your injury. Do your PT. Do your homework. Suck it up and don’t give up or quit!

    Good luck everyone out there who is battling your way back! No one knows what you’re going through like the readers and responders on this site!

    Thanks again Michael. This was, and is, a great thing!

    Tony Ludlow
    Memphis, TN

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 13, 2010 at 4:29 pm

      Tony,

      It is great to hear that you are doing so well. Good luck with the half marathon!

  43. Slim Anton said, on October 13, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I am glad to have had the opportunity to read this blog and thanks to Michael for starting it and sticking with it. I am going for surgery in two days for a partial tear and I am more informed by all the comments from everyone. I now know so much more than I did before. I will keep you informed.
    Slim

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 14, 2010 at 12:39 pm

      Slim,

      Good luck with the surgery. Since you have a partial tear, you can probably look forward to a faster recovery.

  44. sue said, on October 14, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Im glad to see people are still finding this site and taking comfort from people who have been through or going through the painfull knee injuries.
    I have posted a couple times and here is my update.
    I fell awkwardly on may 20th 2010 rupturing my quadricep tendons – right knee. I was operated on to repair the mechanism on 29 may. I have a desk job but am still signed off 5 months down the line, as although I am now able to sit – my leg continues to give way causing pain when doing so. I am still receiving physio. I have had a course of hydro-therapy (that did the bend a world of good) but I just cant do a straight leg lift (I can lift my leg but apparently not using the muscle and so its wasted away). I still have to use one crutch and cant walk too far. I have been in a meeting with the HR e from work and felt because they have never experienced any knee problems they do not understand- I feel like they dont believe the trauma I (like thousands of others) have been through. I have now been asked to attend the occupaional health dept. in order to see how I can go back to work. I want to go back so im ok with that.
    Has anyone else experienced a disbelief of the extent of such injury and how do you cope with this
    sue

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 14, 2010 at 12:51 pm

      Sue,

      I didn’t run into any problems with people doubting the extent of my injury. I was out of work for two weeks (but kept my classes going via the web). Going back to work was rather challenging because of all the stairs (inside and out) and the need to get across campus between classes. As you said, sitting was rather difficult-I would unconsciously just let the leg straighten out.

      You might be able to educate the folks who have doubts about the injury by telling them about the nature of the injury and how this requires a long recovery time.

  45. Robert Prahl said, on October 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Sue,

    I feel for you on the work thing. My injury happened the day before a weeks vacation and my surgery was the Thursday of my vacation. I work from an office but have an ability to take my work computer (it’s a lap top) and travel with it so I was approved to work from home and was lucky to only miss two days from work. I’ve had some friends that equate it to their knee surgeries even though they were working the knee and the muscles around them the next day and I’m unable to do a damn thing for 6 weeks. It’s such and uncommon injury, I can see how people have a hard time understanding.

    Guys,

    You are killing me with the leg “giving way” and I’m stressing about the going down stairs and hills being something you have to “think about”. I guess I envisioned me just being back to normal in about 3 months and to think this could affect me 3 years or more is incomprehensible at this early stage. How does it affect any sprinting or weight bearing exercises like squats?

    • Dave said, on October 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm

      Robert,

      In reading through all of these posts, it seems that there is quite a bit of variation in the speed of recovery and the amount of rehabilitation required because everyone’s injury is unique, even if the damaged structure and repair procedure are similar. It’s an uncommon injury, which is why it is not so well understood, and – at least in my case – it took me a while to grasp just how serious it was. Pro footbal players, for example, don’t bounce back from this kind of injury the way that they do from an ACL tear, and they are a lot younger and in much better shape than many of the people who post here (and they get first class rehab treatment too!). For example, there’s a guy on the Ravens who had his surgery about the same time I did, and he is still on the PUP list, while two of his teammates who tore ACLs later in the season are back playing.

      This blog has been very helpful to me because it helped me to see that there truly was a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a process – everyone moves forward at their own pace, but there are common milestones that most of us go through. Age and physical conditioning also have an impact. That said, your orthopedist and/or physical therapist are best equipped to advise you on how long the recovery and rehab process is expected to take in your particular case, and when you can resume strenuous exercise of the type you describe.

      I haven’t read of anyone who was back to normal in 3 months, though, but I’ve read about some people who are aggressively athletic and who were back doing long bike rides, running, or skiing at about the 6 month mark. You do want to be careful in your rehab, because if you rush it, you run the risk of repeating the injury, and it’s tougher the second time (at least that’s what I’ve read).

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm

      Robert,

      My leg was unreliable for quite some time. However, I was able to start racing again in about 6 months. My knee still feels weird, but you should be back to full capacity withing that time frame. I’ve had no problem with sprinting or weights (other than the impact of age).

  46. Rosemarie said, on October 14, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Unless someone has been through this they have no idea. Even though you may have a desk job I don’t know about the rest of you but I had trouble sitting for any longer than 20 minutes at a time. I can now sit for longer but I still have problems after 6 months. You try to explain that to someone like your employer and they just look at you because they think that you should be able to sit and do your job. When I had shoulder surgery I complained to my one therapist about things that I could not do and they just could not understand what I was talking about. My therapist later had shoulder surgery and told me that now she understood what I was talking about with the difficulties in doing things.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 15, 2010 at 12:08 pm

      True-I had no idea how rough it would be or how challenging it would be to get back to normal stuff.

  47. Robert Prahl said, on October 15, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Dave,

    It is definitely a freak thing making it infrequent and uncommon. I agree everyone is different and heals at different rates and I’m continually astounded at the time this will take. I definitely won’t rush anything past what is safe because there is no way I want to go through this hell again. I wasn’t aware of any pro football players suffering this type of injury. Who is it?

    I’m only 4 weeks from my surgery and just feeling frustrated. I’ve worked hard to stay fit and the 15 PBS of muscle lost during this period of inactivity has me wishing for a milestone I CAN celebrate. Hopefully, that arrives with my next OS appointment by him telling me I can weight bear, start PT, and go to the gym for upper body workouts. Once I feel I’m progressing, I’m sure my mental state will improve over the despair I’ve been feeling. The only thing I’ve really felt a progression on is my arm pits not hurting from the crutches anymore. Thanks for the input.

    Rosemarie,

    I definitely have to switch positions with the leg from being elevated to sitting more on the edge of my seat and it extending straight to the ground at my desk job but I have never had a problem sitting mor than 10 minutes due to me being in a non-weight bearing phase. It seems like all I do is sit sit sit.

    • Dave said, on October 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

      Robert,

      Like everyone else here, I watched my quad muscles (there are 4 in the group) shrink weekly while the right leg was immobilized, and for a while afterwards until PT began to restore muscle mass. In my case, the injured leg has always been the “good” leg (I have a congenital left hip condition), and it was astonishing to watch the right leg atrophy to the point where the two were almost identical in size. Months of regular PT completely restored the strength and most of the flexibility in my right knee, but I have to keep working on it regularly.

      I’ve felt that the joint isn’t quite normal, particularly when going down stairs, but when my cardiologist friend identified the medical condition it made me feel a little better to know that it is not abnormal and that it will pass with time – it just is going to take a little longer for me than I thought it would.

      Brendon Ayanbadejo (an all-pro special teams player and linebacker) ruptured his quad tendon against the Patriots 10/4/2009 and is still on PUP. Do some web searching for the condition – that’s how I found this blog (there’s another one at EpicSki.com for people who are aggressively athletic – not like me!).

  48. Robert Prahl said, on October 15, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Dave.

    I really appreciate your quick feedback. Sorry to hear about the hip issue. Are you going to have to get a replacement? I’ve heard of some really good success stories around that.

    I’m definitely ready to start some PT and just hope the doc gives me the ok when I see him next on the 20th.

  49. Joel said, on October 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Hello folks. I suffered a complete quadriceps tendon rupture in December 2009, and I became an avid reader of the blogs during my recovery. You guys have provided a good deal of inspiration for me. I am a former strongman competitor and weightlifter. I ruptured by quad tendon by slipping and falling down a flight of steps in my home. As of October 2010, I have fully recovered, and I hope the video below will inspire others.

    Take care, and keep your head up.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      Joel,

      Great to hear that you have recovered and back to lifting. I’d need a crane to lift sort of weight. :)

  50. Slim Anton said, on October 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I had my surgery on the 16th and the Dr says all went very well. I have had little or no pain since the surgery and happy for that. I am in a full leg solid cast until next Monday and the I go into a range of motion brace. I know I will be happier when I take off the cast as it weights a ton. The Dr has allowed me to put weight on my leg once it is comfortable to me. Michael, what can I expect when I go in the brace? How soon can I expect to start using the set bending on the brace? I am also looking forward to starting PT as soon as possible. Even with the heavy cast I am able to do some straight leg raises now.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm

      Slim,

      Sorry to hear they put you in a hard cast. I was in a “soft” immobilizer, which was probably much more comfortable than a cast. One you get in the brace, you will probably be locked at 0 flexibility for a few weeks. I got a bit every few weeks, starting with 10%. It was a slow process.

      What you will probably find a little odd is that it is hard to get the flexibility back. Your PT/Doc will almost certainly give you a set of exercises aimed at restoring flexibility to the knee. You will also get exercises to get the muscle back. Be prepared for having your leg muscles shrink down a great deal-I was shocked at how small my leg muscles had become.

  51. Dennis said, on November 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Need some input if anyone out there is still reading this blog…on November 12, 2010 I slipped on black ice, landed with all my weight on my right leg causing a 90% tear in my quadriceps tendon. Operated on 11/19/201. After reading all of the helpful input on this blog relative to my injury, I am resigned to being laid up for at least 8 weeks due to my age (71). I have never experienced this type of an incapicating injury which requires assistance in things like going to the bathroom, using a bedpan (which is truly disgusting) or using my walker to get to the raised toilet seat. As I have never used either device, I feel as if I have two left feet, especially getting on and off the raised toilet seat without causing great pain to my injured leg. I would also like to mention that my wife and I have been married for 45+ years. After post op of three days she and I are both very frustrated and at each other’s throats already. Any help or advice out there? Nobody else who wrote on this blog seems to have mentioned the personal hygiene issues or marriage issues…another issue is lowering the injured leg off the bed to the floor (we have a king sized bed with a tall mattress)…

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 22, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      Dennis,

      Sorry to hear about your injury. In my case, I was able to handle all the toilet and shower stuff myself (although it was challenging). My girlfriend did help me out a great deal, but we did not have any conflicts. Of course, she got to shoot me in the abdomen everyday with the anti-coagulant, so that probably helped her.

      As far as getting off the bed, maybe you can move another piece of furniture close to the bed so you can transition without the abrupt drop?

  52. Rosemarie said, on November 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Dennis,
    I think that we all have experienced the things that you are talking about. Make sure that your raised toilet seat has bars along the side that you can lift yourself up off of the toilet with, don’t just have a raised seat as you need more than that. As for getting in and out of the bed you should be on the side of the bed that your injured leg will go up first on the bed and then the other leg. You need to use the good leg as much as possible. When you get out of the bed come out with the good leg first and then the bad. Get yourself a small step stool if the height is high. Your wife will have to help you for a while but as you get stronger you will be able to do it yourself. You are lucky that you have a wife who can help you. I had no one and had to learn how to do it myself. When you were in the hospital did you go to Occupational Therapy? They should have showed you how to do things like getting in and out of bed and on and off the toilet. Don’t be stubborn about using Occupational or Physical Therapy because that is what they are there for and they will teach you many ways to do things. It does get better as time goes by but you have to have a lot of patience because I’m not going to kidd you it’s a long haul. You have to be really good about doing the exercises because you need to start building up the strength of the muscles and the only way to do that is through Physical Therapy. Good Luck!!

    • Slim said, on November 22, 2010 at 8:45 pm

      Sorry to hear about your injury Dennis. I had my surgery six weeks ago. Being a heavy person and living alone, I had a block and tackle system installed to my ceiling over my toilet so I can pull myself off of it. It has been working great.

      Dennis, it gets better as the weeks go by. I can not respond on the wife…LOL

      I am in a DonJoy ROM brace and living outside the US. My OS wants to leave me at 0 degrees straight leg for a full eight weeks. From all that I have read I should have started some fixed bending by now. Any suggestions?

  53. Dave said, on November 22, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Dennis,

    This does get better with time. I had an 80% tear over a year ago and also have a high mattress, so I needed help from my wife in getting out of bed for the first week or so. As Rosemarie suggested, sleep on the side where your good leg is on the outside of the bed so that you can use it for support as you swing your leg out and down. I am assuming that your injured leg is in a locked brace, so it shouldn’t bend as you swing it out of bed, but you will need help at first just to lower it out of bed. A low stepstool can help too.

    Having a high toilet seat is a great help; I didn’t this time (I did when I had major hip surgery about 20 years ago) and it was very awkward at first. I really had to lean on my crutches to get on and off the seat. Using something like Dulcolax or another stool softener helps too, as some of the pain medication can cause constipation.

    At your age, it may take a little longer to achieve some of the milestones that everyone else talks about here, but it will happen eventually.

  54. Dennis said, on December 16, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Want to thank you all for the replies to my questions…they have been a big help. I learned I have been sleeping on the wrong side of the bed!!! Did any of you get little “stabbing” pains in the upper portion of your thigh during recuperation? Feels like little knives jabbing. My wife thinks it is the healing process from pulled muscle damage done at the time of my fall…the doctor doesn’t seem to really have any answer. He is a good surgeon, however. So far I am making some progress. I am in a brace with a 30-degree bend and anticipate increase to 45-degree when I see the doctor next week. Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  55. Rosemarie said, on December 16, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Dennis you are getting the jabbing pains because when they operated they had to cut through nerves, arteries, veins, muscles, ligaments and such. Everything has to rejenerate and grow back and those are the pains that you are feeling. Everyone really goes through it. I worked in physical therapy and that is part of the healing process. You will be going through that for awhile. Everything has to grow back together and that takes time, my Doctor told me that it actually takes 2 years for the nerves to grow back. I had my surgery in March and I still have pains. My Doctor told me that because of how deep he had to go in, that is major truma to the leg and it is not a simple recovery. Just keep up the good work and hope you and your wife have a fantastic Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthful New Year!

  56. Dennis said, on December 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Thank you, Rosemarie for that explanation…and now it all makes sense. Think I am being way too impatient and want this thing to heal, but day by day am coming to the conclusion that it will just take time…especially with the encouragement and help I have gotten from all of you out there!!!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!!

  57. Erik said, on December 19, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Hi to you all.
    As this is my first posting on this blog, I want to start by thanking you all for sharing your quads rupture experiences in this way.
    On the 31 October 2010 I fell while jogging (I’m 48 years old and fit), hitting the pavement sideways, knee first, rupturing the quads tendon and dislocating the knee cap in the process. Paramedics sorted out the dislocation before taking me to the hospital where I was X-rayed and put in a splint cast and sent home to recover. The follow-up consultation with an orthopaedic doctor a week later also failed to spot the ruptured tendon, and subsequent treatment focused on the dislocation, only.
    After three weeks the splint was removed, and I started intensive physio therapy to recover strength, balance and range of motion. I spent many hours per day on this and learnt to walk and swim reasonably well within 10 days, but proper straight knee lift was still impssible, and walking up and down stairs (facing forwards) was also impossible.
    On the 30 November (exactly 1 month after the injury) I had arranged an appointment with an expert consultant on knee orthopaedics. The first thing I said to him was to apoligize that I might be wasting his time, because I was recovering quickly from the injury, and that I was just seeking confirmation that there was no significant soft tissue damage. As soon as he felt the 2 cm gap above may knee cap where the quads tendon normally sits, and the wedge of displaced quads muscle tissue above the gap, the consultant doctor became quite concerned and sent me for an MRI scan. Complete quads tendon ruptire was confiirmed. Two previous doctors and two qualified physios had failed to diagnose my real problem, perhaps because I was coping better than expected with such a significant and serious injury. I was told I would never be able to run and never be able to walk properly up and down staris without surgical repair.
    I was operated on the 10 December, 6 weeks after my fall. This is late and far from ideal, as the tendon and quads have stiffened up and shortened by then. Artificial tissue had to be used as a bridge between the quads tendon and the patella. Initially after operation I was in considerable pain. Quads seemed on fire – just thinking about flexing the quads gave shooting pain through the leg.
    I’m back in the same splint cast again – depressing, but this time I know i am on the road towards real recovery. Today is 9 days after surgery and I have been essentially pain free since day 4 (when I went back to work full time in an office). Surgeon says I can put weight on the operated leg, so I manage without cruches while at home and in the office, using crutches outdoors and for walks longer than a ten meters or so. I’m 48 years old and fit, keen on running, swimming, fitness and gym, doing exercise more than once a day on average when injury free. Today (day 9) was the first post-op day back in the gym. Was able to do a full upper body and abs workout with the splint on, leaving the crutches behind. Had to rest with my leg up and ice afterwards. The general idea is to keep the knee straight (or slightly bent without load?) for 6 weeks post-op to allow the repair to heal. Thereafter, I expect intensive physio for many weeks to get some leg strength back.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 19, 2010 at 7:44 pm

      Erik,

      Sorry to hear about your long road to a proper diagnosis. At one time it would have surprised me to hear that it had not been diagnosed properly, but my own experiences have shown that seems to be pretty normal (I essentially had to diagnose myself using Google and then went to a second doctor to get the referral I needed).

      I hope your recovery goes well. From what I have read, repairs have been done as much as a year after the injury with success. It sounds like you will have no problem sticking on the road to recovery.

      • Erik said, on December 23, 2010 at 1:56 pm

        The missed diagnosis is perplexing and should not happen so frequently as you say. My quads tendon was indeed completely ruptured, as seen on MRI by the OS. At the time of the initial (incorrect) diagnosis, an X-ray was available that shows a small piece of bone broken off from the top of the patella that has moved up the leg (a cm or two) with the broken tendon. This was not deteced or not correctly interpreted by the two first doctors that saw me, and not by the X-ray doctor either. The X-ray statement says ‘no fracture’, and this is plainly wrong. The physios saw me in generally good physical condition, being able to stand walk and swim front crawl, and did not question the doctors’ diagnosis, although they could see and feel the gap above the patella. Apparently – the two most useful indicators of quads rupture are 1) inabiility to straighten the leg (from bent) while lifted and 2) you can feel a gap above the knee cap (where there should not be one) – both of which you can do yourself at home!

        Today is day 14 post-op. I’ve seen the OS, and he is very pleased with how it looks: no pain, no bruising, almost no swelling. But I must keep the knee immobilised for the duration of the healing process (to six weeks post-op), with passive ROM to 30 degrees as the only exercise. This very cautious approach is motivated by the use of artificial tendon material to bridge the gap, in my case, due to the late diagnosis. Full weight bearing is OK.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 23, 2010 at 3:57 pm

          Erik,

          I assume docs are like most people: we tend to just learn what we need most often for the job and don’t think much about less common matters. The doc who looked at my x-ray said nothing was broken, but gave me no more advice beyond putting ice on it. The x-ray showed a classic tear-the patella was way out of place. When I saw it, I could easily tell that something was very much not right. Google, as it often does, saved the day for me.

          Good luck with your recovery-you’ll be doing PT in no time. Be prepared for a challenging recovery, though. You’ll actually have to learn to walk again.

          • Erik said, on January 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm

            Today is 23 days post-op and I’m very happy that more than half of the 6-week long immobilized healing period is now behind me. Since driving my car is out of the question, I have focussed on regaining some independence by increasing my range and endurance on crutches. The local shops and the gym are now within easy reach under my own steam, which is great! The unexpected plus is that my wife and I go for daily walks (me on crutches) for miles which totally exhausts me and makes my hands. arms and shoulders ache, but this is the type of challenge and stimulation that I need. The injured leg does not seem to mind, as it is protected inside the immobilizer brace.
            Has anyone tried swimming with the immobilizer on? I have tried but the brace is quite heavy and drags the leg down. Would like to try again with some buoyancy aids for the leg?? I have two immobilizers so I don’t mind that one gets soggy wet.

            • erik said, on January 2, 2011 at 3:57 pm

              You again? :) :(

              Good to see the post-op period is going well. . .

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm

              Erik,

              I didn’t try swimming with my immobilizer on-by the time I got the okay to do pool work, I was out of it. I must admit that after going without a proper shower for quite a while, I was tempted to jump in the pool. Well, carefully wade into the pool anyway.

  58. erik said, on December 19, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Erik @ 12/19 5:14 I see that this is your first post. I’ve been posting here for several months now as erik–in fact, I believe I may have started as Erik in Sept. You’ve just begun posting as Erik. This may not seem to be a problem, but I’d rather not have other posters confuse your posts and mine. You could become the unfortunate recipient of some vituperative responses aimed in my direction.

    I’ll forgive you this time :) . May I suggest that you change your poster name ? Eureka, perhaps? Or Urik? Or Erik2. Etc?

    And btw, good luck with the therapy. God bless.

  59. Slim Anton said, on December 19, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Hi to all, just a short update on my recovery. Yesterday was nine weeks since surgery. My brace was taken off ten days ago and I started physio the next day. I have had three sessions so far, two sessions of laser treatment which I am told helps with healing and I have done some time in the pool. I am happy to say that today I am at 110 degree bend and I am feeling comfortable. I am also walking without any aids, stairs are still a bit of a problem and I am driving once again. So all in all I think I am on the right track to a full recovery in time.

    I would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday and a great 2011.

    • Linda said, on March 5, 2011 at 7:39 am

      I don’t know if you are all still out there, but have found reading the postings on this blog really helpful. I have just completed 6 weeks in a splint following a repair to my quad tendon. I have no patella from an injury many years ago, so the repair was not straightforward. I start physio next week. I can weight bear on my leg when it is supported by the splint but am surprisingly very anxious when my leg is not supported. I seem to have no ability to support it myself at the moment. Like many of you I am frustrated by sitting around and not being able to be fully independent. My husband has been very patient but I think I must have driven him mad. I had no idea that recovery was going to be so slow. I have been able to go to work but cannot do all that I need to do, and find I am exhausted by late afternoon. I have felt quite pathetic at times and thought I should be capable of more. Reading that others have taken a while to recover and being told its O.K. to take things steadily helps. Thanks everyone. I hope you are all well on the way to full mobility now.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm

        Linda,

        Good luck with your recovery. What you are feeling is natural-I felt the same way. The way I coped was focusing on what I could do and aiming at small victories each day/week/month. I had been accustomed to running and working out, so having to struggle to get from the bed to the bathroom was a bit rough.

        Hang in there-it is just a matter of time.

  60. Charlie Gibbs said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Mike- I had a quad tear and repair surgery bery similar to what you had – had many of the same issues. Did you aor anyone else have any issues with swelling/soreness in the toes (and at the main joint “pad’ under the big and middle toe) of the injured leg ?
    i wondered if it is arthritis or part of the inflammatory process of healing ??
    I’m still working on my ROM (3+ months post-op) and after exercises the knee seems to get stiff again while I’m sitting down (propped up on footsttol) and seems I have to start over at same point at next session) I’d like to have more formal PT but Medicare only goes so far so I’ll be on my own after a couple weeks.
    thanx for any info.
    Charlie G.
    (could I get a reply from you to my email since i’m not too good at net-surfing and finding this blog aagin)

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 9, 2011 at 11:01 am

      Charlie,

      I had some wicked general swelling of my lower leg and foot, mainly (I think) due to the brace. It needed to be snug enough to do its job, but this tended to result in swelling.

      If you just have swelling in the toes, then that might be due to the brace (if your are wearing one). While I’m not a doctor, I’d say you should ask about that the next time you see your physician.

  61. Doug Mahon said, on April 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Dear Michael,

    I am 54 days from surgery for the same injury you had. Mine happened on the job simply slipping on a wet floor. It seems after reading your information here we have had similiar processes and progress as time moves. I am 61 y.o. and an avid outdoors person…kayaking across the Sea of Cortez round trip, mountaineering and working for Outward Bound the past 27 years – but this one due to this injury…

    I REALLY appreciate your site as I, at times, am overcome with anger and grief for the things I cannot do. Intellectually I “get it.” however the emotional issue is my main nemisis aside from the painful PT. As you stated one does learn of one’s self during times such as these and I am learning alot – some things I would rather not…be that as it may life happens and considering what is happening in the world I am fortunate to have the spouse I do, the wonderful surgeon Dr. Eric McCardy of CU Boulder and my PT Luke – who is a great coach.

    So – do keep up the great site and work, it is very important, and good luck in your recovery.

    Best regards,
    Dg.

  62. Fahim Ahmad said, on May 13, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Dear Micheal,

    I am 32 years old male. I slipped on my office stairs on 22nd March 2011, my doctor put an immobilizer on my right leg after having an X-ray. He told me that there is no fracture and asked me have bed rest for a week. After a week a visited an OPD surgeon who asked me to have an MRI which showed a complete tear of my quadriceps tendon. I got operated on 1st April. My surgery report tells that holes were drilled in my knee cap and broken tendon was sewed back. A leg long cast was applied immediately after the surgery. I was allowed to move with the help of a walker after the surgery but was advised to not to put weight on my right foot. After 10 days, my surgeon said i can put weight and can anything that does not hurt. After 6 weeks of surgery my cast has been removed yesterday. The surgeon has advised to lift my leg -while laying straight on back, but i cant lift it! My knee seems de-shaped, i mean on the left side of my knee cap i feel something real hard, like a bone which is not the case with my good left knee. He has also advised to bend my knee as much as possible, which i can do a little. Is it normal to not able to lift the leg just after the cast removal?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 13, 2011 at 10:51 am

      Fahim,

      Sorry to hear about your injury.

      Based on my own experience, it will probably take a while before you will be able to lift the leg. During my PT, I had to work up to doing that. At first, I had to work on being able to tighten my quad at all. I was also on a fairly gradual bending schedule-I was fitted with an adjustable brace and I would gradually get more range of motion. You’ve no doubt noticed that bending the knee is rather hard.

      As far as the knee deformation, my knee was also a bit weird after the surgery. In fact, it still feels a bit odd, especially on the left side-thanks to the scar tissue in there. It is likely that is what is going on with your knee. However, you should have the doctor check it out-just to be sure.

      The recovery process will be rather slow and unpleasant, but as long as you are careful and do the right sort of physical therapy, you should be back to normal in a few months.

      • Fahim Ahmad said, on May 14, 2011 at 11:47 am

        Hi Michael,

        Thank you very much for your reply. I feel much comfortable now after reading your reply because what i am feeling about my knee is not abnormal. Today, after 2 days since my brace was removed, i can walk without a walker, but i am carrying a stick for little support. I feel happy about it!

        How do you feel now after almost 2 years of surgery? And how long did it take you to feel as you are all OK?

        I have a few questions stuck in my mind which i would like to share with you. I was unable to bend my leg with broken quadriceps tendon, which is quite logical because there was no connection of the tendon with the knee cap, but now since the tendon is in its right place, why can’t i bend my knee normally? Why does it feel hard to bend? Is it because the muscles are not in their normal working condition or is it because of something else?

        Regards,

  63. Jonathan said, on May 18, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Hi from England – 3:30 am and out of hospital yesterday – desperate for a decent night’s sleep! Excellent blog; extremely informative. Heading out in the morning for a ‘stool softner’!

    Best wishes

  64. Denny said, on May 29, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Thanks for all the great info Michal. I am scheduled for surgery in 2 days to repair a complete tear. I have a job where I can set at a desk with my leg propped up all day. Irrespective of Doctor’s orders, how quickly can one expect to be physically capable of returning to this type pf job? Thanks again.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      Denny,

      I was out for two weeks from my teaching job. But that involved walking (well, “crutching”) between classes way across campus (almost two miles of walking in total). I’d say that would be a reasonable amount of time to recover and heal a bit.

  65. Denny said, on May 29, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Meant to say “Michael”. Geez, the least I couold do is get your name right. Must be the pain meds. :)

  66. Jim Holmes said, on June 28, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Amazing. I found your post while doing some research for my own quad tendon tear I suffered this weekend.

    Thanks for a great write up — I’m in the same angry, frustrated state regarding a lack of information flow from the doctors, techs, and other medical staff I’ve been involved with. Your posts have given me a better feel for what to expect going down this long road.

    I’ll be grabbing your book for my Kindle later today!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm

      Good luck with your recovery. It is unfortunate that the medical folks don’t do as much as they should to keep the patients informed. Like you, I had to cull the net to find out things. I even had to self-diagnose after the first doctor just let it go with “your leg isn’t broken.”

      • Jim Holmes said, on June 28, 2011 at 3:07 pm

        Unfortunately it’s been this way with a number of serious health issues including developing type 1 diabetes very late in life.

        It’s frustrating because in my day job I work hard at fostering early communication around difficult issues, figuring well-informed folks make better decisions around tough problems.

        Again, thanks for your great info here!

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm

          Sorry to hear about the diabetes. But, at least the management options are much better these days.

          You are right-well informed people tend to make better decisions. I’m all about that.

  67. Patrick said, on August 31, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Dear Mr, LaBossiere,

    I was relieved to finally find a blog such as yours. It is, as you have said, so difficult to extract information, let alone simple conversation, from a physician. Today is August 31. I fell down some stairs at home (my knee, quite simply, just “went out” as they say) on August 24. I am lying in bed with my laptop in my, what else, lap and wondering when I will every get outdoors again as I peer out the window onto another lovely day here in Indiana.

    When I fell down those 4 or 5 steps I landed in a heap at the bottom with something (my patella?) poking out of my jeans like a child’s fist. I instinctively snapped my knee back into place and dragged myself on my butt out into the driveway and up into the back seat of the car and called a neighbor to drive me to the emergency room. I just didn’t feel the need to tax city services and despised the spectacle of red lights and badges and how that might play with my 16-year-old daughter who looked upon the whole scene horrified.

    The emergency room was, of course, a 5-hour odyssey during which I never received one cube of ice for my leg, let alone to drink! But I survived.

    My question for you is, in your blog and in most other descriptions of a quadricep tear, it is mentioned that the afflicted will NOT be able to STRAIGHTEN his leg. For me this appears to be the opposite. I can straighten it but I certainly cannot bend it!

    I was wondering if you might be able to help me out with that part. I was inspired reading your story and was heartened by your statement that you returned to teaching after THREE weeks. That sounds wonderful. I am a copy editor at an ad agency in Chicago (don’t hold that against me! I used to teach English overseas for many years but because of my wife’s illness I had to end the international hobo’s life) and I do not like being away from work.

    Thank you again for your very helpful, inspirational and informative blog.

    Sincerely,

    Patrick

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      Patrick,

      Sorry to hear about your accident. I hope you are doing better. Did they do the surgery right away?

      The sure sign of a tear is that a person cannot do a straight leg lift while lying down. However, as you pointed out, the injury can make it hard to bend the knee (the knee bone slides down). After surgery, the usual thing is to put the patient in a cast or immobilizer, so as to prevent the knee from bending (and tearing the repair). A tough part of the recovery process is getting the knee to bend again.

      If all goes well, you should be back at work about two weeks after surgery. In a leg brace and using crutches, though. :)

      Mike

      • Patrick said, on September 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm

        Surgery was two days after the accident. I am now 12 days post-surgery and the pain is still intense but I can put “some” weight on the leg while using crutches so I can now “shuffle” to the bathroom instead of hobble.

        The doctor gave me one and one exercise alone to do until we take out the staples at the third week after surgery (in 9 days) — he told me to “twitch” my quadriceps muscles which I do intermittently throughout the day.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm

          Patrick,
          Your experience sounds on par with mine. You should be “assigned” more basic PT exercises and eventually you will probably go to a PT for a more robust recovery. I was rather lucky in that my girlfriend had worked as a PT before going to grad school so she was very helpful.

  68. Don Chapoton said, on September 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Michael – I have found your blog and your book on ebay very informative. Thanks for all of the effort. I had an usual accident at BWI airport where I stumbled on the Southwest Airlines jetway and crashed into a wheelchair, ramming the knee of my left leg into something hard. Hurt like hell. After the emergency room found no fracture, I returned to home in Houston. My Orthopedist said only a partial quadriceps tear but after the MRI showed it 95% torn he thought surgery necessary. Surgery was four days ago and I am just now feeling somewhat human again. It has been tougher than I expected.

    In addition, I’m having one other problem that you did not mention, nor did anyone raise with you — I have considerable difficulty in having a BM. Since my left leg must remain straight, I cannot sit on the commode without pain, and even then I’m not positioned very well to do anything. I got a raised toilet seat from a hospital supply place and titled the seat down making it easier on the leg. That has helped some but I’m still without much success. Did you not have difficulty sitting on a toilet seat and keeping one leg straight?

    I feel like I must be doing something wrong since neither you or others have raised this problem, yet it is a major problem with me. If you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them.

    Thanks again for being so helpful to me and everyone suffering this injury. You write well and specific enough to satisfy a technically oriented lawyer like myself. I suspect you’re a good philosophy professor as well!

    Thanks very much. Don\

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      Don,

      The challenge of the toilet was one of the worst aspects of the whole adventure. Fortunately, my house has two bathrooms, one of which has adequate leg room. I had to learn to lower myself with the one leg straight out. A small stool (no pun intended) could be handy for keeping the leg up. I think there are also some devices that can be installed, such as handles or a walker like device, that can make rising and lowering easier.

  69. Patrick said, on September 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Don,

    You are correct to raise this issue. I know that Michael did advise in his blog to “take the stool softeners” and that is exactly what I have been doing. It is still, as you say, difficult to maneuver oneself onto the toilet but if you have one of those extenders you are on the right track.

    Eat grapes, Toast. Raisins. Prunes. I even have a bit of Metamucil as well. The problem in the case of our surgeries is twofold: one, we need to take the painkillers (which are opiate-based and cause constipation) because, at least in my case, the pain is intense, particularly at night and two, we are inactive thus, are bowels become lazy.

    I try to do some “sit-ups” which really about to slight belly bends on the edge of the bed. I lift a small weight with my arms and I do leg lifts with my good leg. I also try to get up and sit in a chair a couple of times a day for about a half an hour. While not as “regular” as I was before the accident, I am still managing a bowel movement once every other day. Eat fiber. Eat fruit. Take the stool softeners and take a good book in there if you have to but DO NOT strain and push twenty-five feet of intestines just to uncork the end! Your next problem will be hemorrhoids.

    I am in my 12th day of recovery after surgery from a complete quadriceps tear. I am 57 years old, I exercise and I am not overweight and I have NEVER had a knee problem in my life. It simply “went out,” on me — unfortunately as I was blithely walking down the stairs. I find that at this stage the pain in tolerable during the day, but at night it keeps me from sleeping. I now “average” just one Vicodin a day.

    Hope all gets better for you, Don! Get some high-fiber cereal, some grapes and you should be fine.

    Pat

  70. Matt said, on September 14, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Question for anyone still reading after all this time. I had a 70% full thickness tear repaired back in 02/2010. Went back to work full duty (mailman ) 08/2010 on a mounted or curbside (driving) route. During 03/2011 was transferred to a full walking route. Now after 6 months of serious walking everyday carrying the mail (6 hours plus daily) this past week I experienced what seemed like a major setback. Pain felt close to what I felt after original injury. Not working for 6 days has reduced swelling and range of motion and strength have improved but nowhere near what I was 2 weeks ago. What can I expect when I go into the doctor. I’m unbelievably scared of another surgery. Whats the chance of the quad tearing again in the same spot. Thanks

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 15, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      Matt,

      If you can perform a leg lift (lay down on your back and try to lift the leg while keeping it straight), then your tendon is intact (or at least mostly so).

      You could have torn it again, but it might be another problem. As a runner, I have had all sorts of injuries including ones that involve pain and swelling in the knee. With any luck, you just have a minor injury. I hope it goes well!

  71. Niqi said, on October 10, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this! A family member just had a 60% tear and I had all sorts of questions running through my mind about the surgery that is planned.

  72. Shawn said, on December 7, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Hi Michael,

    What a wonderful site! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and knowledge with the rest of the ‘torn quad tendon’ community, which I unhappily find myself a new member of.

    I had surgery today (partial tear, about 80%). I had a ski accident in February, and this injury/surgery (today was the 4th) is just the latest in a series of very frustrating complications. I would love to read your “short book” on the subject, but don’t have a Kindle or Nook (I like a good, old-fashioned book!) Is your book available in any other format?

    Thanks again. Hopefully your injury is a distant memory by now!

    Shawn

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm

      Shawn,

      Good luck with the recovery. My short book is only available in electronic format, but you can get Nook or Kindle software for free. It is available for the PC, Mac, Android and iOS (iPad/iPhone).

      Mike

  73. Ulysses said, on December 9, 2011 at 1:06 am

    I had a fall while helping friends move (9/24/11) which resulted in a full quad tendon tear of the left leg and a partial tear (85%) of the right leg. I had the operations staggered with the left leg repaired first (10/10/11) and the right leg operated on as a complete tear 3.5 weeks later (11/2/11). I’m 5.5 weeks out from the second operation. It has been a struggle. Still wearing the brace on the left knee now adjusted to allow 40 degree flexion. Have an appointment next week during which I think the doctor will discontinue the brace. Have been receiving physical therapy in the home setting till now but will be conducting PT in an outpatient setting beginning next week. To add insult to injury I have temporary radial palsy induced by pushing myself off of the bed to a standing position with my fists balled and having the right hand collapse and fold under. This occurred 2 weeks ago and it appears that the nerve is healing itself very, very slowly. Will return to work next week.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      Good luck with the recovery. Dealing with two injured legs must be extremely difficult!

  74. Ulysses said, on December 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks. It has been difficult. The doctor took me off the brace during this week’s vilsit and encouraged me to begin walikng as much as possible without crutches. Fir the past two days I’ve been doing this and using a cane as well. Back to work tomorrow. I’m experiencing a little anxiety about returning to work but it feels so great to be on the mend.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 15, 2011 at 11:11 am

      Ulysses,

      Good luck with the rest of your recovery. One thing you might experience when you are moving about is your knee “giving out”-that happened to me for quite some time after the recovery. It is a bit scary because it seems almost like the tendon is failing, but it is probably just a spasm sort of thing. I found that it happened less and less over time. It never occurred when I was back to running, but would happen when I was walking or standing.

    • Anonymous said, on December 15, 2011 at 11:15 am

      My experience was similar to Michael, the knee gave out every once in a while for at least 6 months after surgery but now, 2 and 1/2 years, later, back to running, biking etc and it all works – its not pretty looking but it works!

  75. Tom Jaremka said, on January 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Hello, this was an interesting blog……..I am 6 weeks out of surgery. Being a hockey player, I’ve had my share of scopes and minor surgeries, but this was a little more than I am used to. The surgery was not bad, though. I didn’t need any pain killers or muscle relaxers. 3 days after surgery I was able to walk without crutches or a walker. The biggest inconvenience is going for the blood tests every 3 days for my blood thinner readings. My cast is still on my leg for another 2 weeks, or so.

    The muscles in my leg have really started to shrink. Rehab is going to be a challenge. When you rupture your quad tendon, since you cannot excersize, your entire leg basically goes “dead”. Your hip flexor muscles deteriorate as well as your thigh and calf muscles. The rehab isn’t just for the tendon, it is for your entire leg from the hip, down.

    At 52 years old, this is a tough road to hoe. My doctor thinks I can be ready to be back on the ice in 8 months. I’m hoping that he is correct. This sitting around, sucks!!

    • Slim Anton said, on January 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      Great to hear you are on the road to recovery. I had my surgery in October 2010 at age 54. I was in cast for two months and then two months of rehab. I found that it took me the greater part of a year for everything to settle down, so what I am really trying to say is, do not rush it to get back on the ice as I understand re-rupter is is quite possible with this injury. Good luck for the future.

      • Tom Jaremka said, on January 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm

        Slim, thanks for the advice. I have been told by several physical therapists that this is worse than a total knee reconstruction. I am going to take my time, rehab correctly and make sure that when I do return to play, I will be at full strength and be able to handle the grind. I NEVER want to go through this again!!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      Tom,

      It is rather horrifying how quickly the muscle goes. After I was finally able to start exercising, I seemed to be quadless. But, it came back fairly quick. It helped that I was able to exercise in other ways (stationary bike and a Bowflex).

      8 months sounds about right-I had my surgery at the start of April (2009) and ran my first at the start of September that year.

      Good luck with the recovery!

  76. Anonymous said, on January 6, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Michael, thanks for your kind words. The thing that scares me is that although I ruptured my quad tendon playing hockey, I was just skating without incident when it ruptured. Nobody hit me, I didn’t make some fantastic move and score a goal, I didn’t fall awkwardly or lose an edge. I was just skating on the ice trying to gain some speed when it ruptured and dropped me like a bag of dirt. I’ve been skating since I was 7 years old………why did my tendon rupture at this time? My legs are very strong and I am in pretty good shape for 52 years old. Why did this happen? The better question is, how can I prevent this from ever happening, again?

    I know I can rehab and get in top shape for my return in 8 months. However, my mental state will not be filled with confidence. I know I will be worrying about another injury everytime I take the ice. I’m pretty sure that the mental rehab will be worse than the physical rehab.

    • Anonymous said, on January 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      I think a common theme among most of us who have gone through this torn quad tendon business is . . . why? What were the outward signs? Why didn’t any of us see it coming? How “bad” was the tendon to begin with? Might it have been detected earlier with an MRI? Does tendonitis lead–immediately–to a quad tear? It does not appear that the surgeons have an answer. The literature is full of surgical “success” stories but not much else. I will be 58 in February. I tore my tendon fully in August of 2011. I am now walking well enough, without a limp, but if the light turns yellow at the intersection I stay put. No longer do I confidently scurry across the street. This “confidence building” period has been one of the toughest aspects of this injury. No one seems to have the answers. I did therapy for four weeks 2 to 3 times a week but at 45 bucks a session I could no longer afford that luxury. The problem for me has been gaining STRENGTH. Flexibility came relatively quickly. I practice “doing a flamingo” with my bad leg, hand on the counter, at home. It is the TOUGHEST exercise I do. And it saddens me that that knee is still so weak that I cannot bend it any more than a few degrees while bearing my entire body weight–without feeling pain.

      I am simply hoping that time and weight-training will help. I used to run a couple miles every day but now I do not have confidence for that. My aerobic exercise these days consists solely of “walking fast.”

      Maybe I should get a stationary bike!

      Great forum. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

        Good questions. In my case, I think it was a previous running injury and then the fall off the roof. But it apparently “just happens” in some cases. I suspect it could be a past injury or accumulation of damage. Hmm, I should have gotten an MD instead of that PhD. :)

        A bike is a great idea. I used one my friend Dave gave me (he had upgraded his wife’s bike to a fancier model) with one leg and then both legs. In fact, part of my PT involved using the bike at the sports med place.

        You’ll want to be careful with the leg until it is properly healed, though. I eventually added leg lifts to the recovery and was able to use my Bowflex for that. That really helped rebuild the quad. I still do the exercises-they presumably still help strengthen the leg.

        Like you, I was extra cautious-when I would get to crosswalks on campus I would be worried that I might get nailed before I could hobble across. But, as my strength returned, so did my confidence.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      While I’m not a medical expert, I suspect that you might have suffered a previous injury that damaged the tendon. In my case, I had a bad fall during a race involving a hole hidden by leaves and that probably partially tore my tendon, allowing it to tear fully when I fell from the roof.

      Alternatively, there might not have been a single injury that weakened it, but a gradually wearing down through small injuries and stresses and it finally gave out.

      Once the repair is done, it should heal back very strong. Like you, I was a bit worried that it would just “pop” again (and the occasionally “going out” of the knee did not help). However, I was assured that with proper recovery I would have no problems-provided I didn’t fall off a roof again. I was very cautious at first, but my confidence came back through the physical recovery. As you might imagine, no one ever said anything about the mental aspects of the recovery-that was left to me. My advice would be to do what I did: recover smart by not pushing it too fast, find an alternative exercise activity to stay fit, and give yourself time to regain confidence in your legs.

  77. Tom Jaremka said, on January 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Hello, again…….well, I am at 38 days post-surgery, today. My leg is still in a full cast, but I have no pain or discomfort. Today, for the first time, I was able to extend my injured leg in front of my body as I walked (limped) around. Usually, my leg would drag along side my body(almost like Festus on Gunsmoke….LOL). However, today it just feels really good. In 2 days I get my cast cut off and they will do an ultra-sound to make sure everything is healing properly. I believe that I will have a new cast put on for 2-3 more weeks.

    I’d like to think that I am only a couple months away from lacing up the skates and playing hockey, again, but the reality is that I know the road ahead is rough. I hope I can skate by July or August, but I’m not going to push it. When I am ready, I will seize the moment. Until then, I need to work on my ROM and my strength. Since I have been laying around for 6 weeks, the lower half of my body has gone dead. I can’t wait to walk without dragging around a 15lb. cast, or ride my bike.

    I thank the Lord that my children can run our business and take care of the day to day stuff because this is as debilitating injury as I have ever had. Hopefully, I can get back to a semi-normal life in the next 2-3 weeks.

    Thanks for the postings and the encouragement!!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      Tom,

      In my case, they just put me in a soft cast and then an expensive brace (the insurance company deemed the brace “unnecessary”). I was out of work for two weeks, then allowed to go back on crutches.

      After that, the recovery is a fairly slow process. They will most likely start you out on ROM exercises and balance. You’ll find that your knee will not want to bend and that your balance will be shot. You’ll also have to relearn to walk-that was a bit weird for me. You might, oddly enough, find it easier to skate than walk. When I was able to run again, I started up with no problems and my knee caused me no trouble-even though I still had problems with walking. I suspect that was because I’ve run thousands of miles.

  78. Lucas Coffeen said, on January 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I had a partial tear of my quad tendon in 2006 at the age of 25. I’m a volleyball player. The sport asks a lot of this tendon. I torn it during a tourney and played injured for two more tournies before accepting that I had a major issue. After a misdiagnosis from an orthopedic, i paid out of pocket to see the doctor for the New England Patriots. Got a real diagnosis and prognosis. Rest it, strengthen it, see how much you can gain back. There is no good surgery option for the tear I had. I trained for a year and got back to a point where I could jump decently again, but couldn’t shake the pain. I decided to give up indoor and only play beach. The soft landing makes all the difference. I’ve tested out the knee indoors each year with similar results, until this year…the winter of 2011/2012, five years after the injury. I’m actually getting through full tournaments without pain in the tendon. I had thought that day may never come. These are things I feel were important in the healing process…stay active, do as many activities and sports as possible that push the tendon without causing major pain; ride a bicycle, stationary bike, or spin…I ride most days and i think it helps; ice when it hurts; if you can’t do the sport you want, for now, find an alternative sport to channel you energy and keep yourself sane. Hope this helps.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Lucas,

      Sorry to hear about your past injury, but it is great to hear that you able to make what seems to be a full recovery.

    • Kathy said, on May 6, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Hi! So I have a partial quad tendon tear right now (finally diagnosed it on March 25th) I am 26. It is now May 6th, and I am now about to go back to revisit the doctor to see how I am doing. I was told to rest my leg and start PT if I wanted to. 4-6 weeks no lower body sports. But can work on upper body. I’m highly active and haven’t been able to do anything truly since January (since I went to the doctors and they thought it was runners knee… so went through PT, a lot of trial and error haha, even a cortisone shot that felt great for about a week!). So this has been very frustrating. After receiving the diagnosis, I waited 3 weeks to try therapy again. And I actually felt so much better. Went through two weeks of therapy and after the second week of therapy, woke up on Saturday morning to some pain… and each day it got gradually worse. By Friday of the following week, felt like it was going to give out, so I put a brace on. Still was in pain… And PT they just did some massaging, and ultra sound stuff, but no strength training because he didn’t like how I felt the pain again. I am an ESL teacher and work in a district where all the buildings are connected. I teach K-12 (small groups) so I actually walk a lot for my job. I don’t think my doctor realizes this. He did say I can walk. It’s not like I’m power walking you know? But maybe that’s what’s aggravating it. I’m afraid it’s re injured. So my question is, how bad was your pain that you dealt with for the five years? The pain I have right now is bearable compared to what it was months ago. It’s just annoying how I felt great for a couple of weeks and then all of a sudden felt the soreness again and it’s not going away. I just want to get back to doing the stuff I love to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I know not doing anything is probably the worst thing as well because of the muscle becoming weak. I’ll see what the doctor has to say… but any advice would be so helpful! Thanks!

      • Jesus said, on May 7, 2013 at 6:22 am

        Kathy,
        You need to go to a different Orth Surgeon. A partial tear does not heal. The tendon does not reattach on its own. It only reattaches after surgery. The worst thing he couldve done is shoot you up with cortizone. Cortizone actually weakens the tendon and sets you up for a full tear. Get a second opinion. All the therapy and time will never heal a partially torn tendon….

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 7, 2013 at 6:48 am

        Sorry to hear about your injury.

        Based on my research, partial tears can sometimes be treated without surgery (the main test is the straight leg lift).

        In other cases, the partial tear is bad enough for surgery to be required.

        As you found out, misdiagnoses are common-I had to diagnose myself.

        As Jesus said, a second opinion is a good idea. While it is best to avoid surgery when possible (cost, risk of infection, etc.) you certainly do not want to let the injury drag out needlessly.

      • Norm said, on May 7, 2013 at 11:01 am

        Hi Kathy ,

        I sustained a 50 per cent partial tear of my right quad last September. It required an MRI to diagnose. Was one performed for you? Unless it is torn all the way, I think it is sometimes difficult to diagnose. For several days after the injury I could not raise the leg at all. However, over a period of two weeks, it started improving, and I convinced my surgeon to try physical therapy first, as I was not too thrilled with the prospects of surgery.
        He was pretty pessimistic, but agreed to give it a try. Over the next few weeks it continued to improve, and I was very hopeful of avoiding surgery, until my knee unexpectedly buckled in the middle of the night while I was going to the bathroom. I was unable to catch myself as I was half asleep, fell backward, and heard it tear on the way down. A couple of days later I visited my surgeon and he gave me an ultimatum—either have surgery immediately or find another doctor. He explained that if you wait more than six weeks after the injury to perform surgery, the results do not tend to be as good as the tendon has a tendency to retract over time, making the surgery more difficult.

        I am glad he forced my hand. The surgery went well. The initial post-surgical pain was not as bad as I had read, as the anesthesiologist gave me a femoral artery block. I am around six months post-surgery and have almost full range of motion. The quad muscle is still weak—4 on a scale of 1 to 5, and I am still in physical therapy. Maximum medical recovery typically takes at least ten to twelve months, and sometimes longer. .

        My surgeon advised me that depending on the location of the tear, partial tears can heal on their own, but they never heal as well as a surgical repair. He said he may have recommended forgoing surgery if I were older, but since I am 55 and still relatively active, he said surgery was my only realistic option.

        You are young and active. I am surprised that your doctor did not recommend immediate surgery. You might have some continued success with physical therapy, but the chances of making a full recovery are miniscule without surgery. The extent of your recovery without surgery depends on whether the tendon tore away from the knee cap, or was instead within the tendon itself. If it tore away from the knee cap, the only way to repair is surgically. If it tore within the tendon, you will have some healing without surgery but your knee will never be the same.

        If I were you I would seek a second opinion immediately. You and I were both lucky to have only partial tears. The recovery is not as bad as a full tear.

        Good luck, and keep us posted.

        • Kathy said, on May 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm

          Hi all. Sorry about that. Getting use to the site! So my MRI results that I got in March said that there was a slight partial tear. They could barely see it on the MRI. I remember when I think I had the injury. I’m not even sure because I’ve been going to the doctors for this since January. When I first went in it was just for pain whenever I went up and down the stairs. Nothing too bad and was diagnosed with runners knee. They gave me physical therapy for a month. With physical therapy they were teaching me how to do squats the right way, lunges, etc. However, I already knew how to do these the right way, basically I had the knee pain from doing too much activity. So while doing this I was still working out since they said it was okay. Two days after resting my knee I woke up and it hurt to even lift my leg. But within a couple of hours it got better and I was able to walk on it and lift it. Took the ibuprofen that they had given me and it helped. But that freaked me out so I went back to the doctors and he said to stop going to physical therapy and just do leg lefts for a month. So I still was trying to bike after letting it only rest for a couple of weeks (my own stupidity, but they also hadn’t diagnosed me). I had no swelling at all though. So went back and there was still pain, so they finally gave me the MRI which showed that there was a slight partial tear. They could barely see it. He said that just resting 4-6 with no lower body sports… physical therapy if I wanted to. But really resting was all that could help it. I didn’t do anything for 3 weeks and then went to physical therapy. He read the MRI and showed me that where the partial tear happened was within the tendon. He said it’s definitely one of those tears, like a hamstring, that you have great progress and then it’ll get aggravated a little again.

          Going back to the doctors yesterday, they said just another 4 weeks of resting it and physical therapy. But reading your responses- I have felt like it was going to give out on me because I walk a lot for work as a teacher. When that happens I put my brace on. The physical therapist said that it will take a good solid 6 months before I can get back to where I was at prior to the injury but didn’t need surgery. I go between a physician assistant- sports specialist as well as an orthopedic surgeon. The two of them have been working together giving me the options that they think best. They said surgery would be the last option if needed. An option he also gave me yesterday was to scope it, but he didn’t think that was necessary. He tested my leg lift and I can do that, I just have issues when I have to bend down to pick something up or get up and sit in chairs.

          I will see if I can get a second opinion though just from reading everything. Thank you so much for your advice, it is really really helpful!

          • Norm said, on May 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm

            My surgeon told me that having a partial tear was like being “partially pregnant.” In other words, surgical intervention is necessary whether the tear is partial or full. On the other hand, it sounds like yours is very minimal, and perhaps you stand a good chance of recovery without surgery,.

            I did a lot of research on the internet on partial tears, and there wasn’t much to find. Quad tendon injuries are fairly rare, and typically happen to older folks–age forty and up. Usually, the tear is complete and tears off at the knee cap, which requires some pretty painful bone work to repair it. They have to drill holes in the knee cap to reattach the tendon.

            Since the injury is rare, especially a very slight tear to someone as young as you are, you might want to get a second opinion from a highly experienced surgeon who has seen more than a handful of these. My physical therapist has been working in hospitals for over ten years and this is only the third quad tendon tear she has treated.

            Seems like the medical community is divided on treatment protocol. Some surgeons are very conservative and dictate little to no weight bearing for weeks and no movement of the knee. Others are more aggressive, and push partial weight bearing and knee movement and exercise within a few days of surgery. Studies have shown that recovery is easier with the more aggressive approach, and that the chance of a re-tear is pretty much the same regardless of approach. Given your young age and high level of activity, it sounds like you would do better with a surgeon who believes in the more aggressive approach.

            The risks of this type of surgery are fairly minimal. It is usually done on an outpatient basis, so the risk of contracting a “super bug” infection is very very slight. The other risk is adverse reaction to the anesthesia. I was under for less than two hours, and it would appear that your small tear would be repaired in even less time. Given your age and presumed good health, its probably about as safe of a surgery with general anesthesia as you can get.

            I found that icing the knee frequently helped tremendously in reducing the swellings and thus, the pain. Several times a day for no more than twenty minutes is the better approach, I have been told. Also, I understand it helps to keep your knee elevated whenever practicable.

            Good luck.

            • Kathy said, on May 9, 2013 at 9:22 am

              Thank you for all of the advice it has been extremely helpful! It’s definitely a rare tear and research is so limited so it is really awesome to talk to people who have had the same problem! As you can see in my comment below, I’ve talked to my physical therapist and he explained to me why he didn’t think I needed surgery because of how slight the tear was, plus my age and how fast the body can heal at my age. I guess that is one benefit. I’m still scared about what could happen though. So it has definitely been helpful reading your comments about set backs and the other comments about taking it slow and listening to what they’re telling you to do. Even if they give me clearance to do anything I’m still going to be very very cautious! They said I could start swimming if I wanted to, but since last week it felt weak and the week before it was sore, I think I’m still going to wait until June when I go back to the doctors to do anything. I definitely don’t want to have something happen in the next year and then have to do the surgery. Thanks again :)

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm

              Caution is probably a good approach. When I was recovering, I pedaled a stationary bike with my good leg 1-2 hours a day and used my bow flex for my upper body. I also did pool running with an Aqua Jogger. I was in pretty good shape overall…other than my bad leg. :) The exercise helped me stay sane and allowed me to avoid going onto a diet.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 8, 2013 at 4:05 pm

            Good luck with the recovery. If the experts are confident that you’ll recover without the surgery, then avoiding it certainly makes sense.

            Did they recommend immobilizing your leg?

            • Kathy said, on May 9, 2013 at 9:17 am

              Thank you for the reply. Everyone has been very helpful, I really appreciate it. I am being extremely cautious about doing anything! Which isn’t normally the case; last year I had a minor injury with my shoulder and it took longer to heal because I didn’t listen. This time I’m definitely listening to everything they’re telling me. Even if they’re giving me clearance to do things, I’m still waiting! Normally, you give me clearance and I go all out in trying everything. But reading everyones comments I am learning quite a bit about what to do. They have not immobilized it… On March 25th when I found out it was a tear, he said that the only thing I need to do is rest and not do any lower body sports. Physical therapy if I wanted to, but if that started to hurt then I’d have to stop. I didn’t stop going to physical therapy though because they do a massage on the area and ultra sound, and he stretches my leg himself, but I didn’t start doing quad work until yesterday. And that was just 10 leg raises. I talked to the physical therapist yesterday and told him about my concerns and he said that from my symptoms and pain level, it was definitely a slight partial tear and he read the MRI and showed me where it was. He said if it was in a different spot I would have definitely needed surgery. Gave me some reassurance. If I wanted to get a second opinion I could, but he really didn’t think my case was a surgery case. Quad tears and hamstring tears really just take a long time to heal so just have to be patient. If I have another set back when I go back to the doctors in a month, he said I’d definitely have to talk other options. Hoping nothing happens! Thanks again :)

    • Kathy said, on May 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      Hi! So I have a partial quad tendon tear right now (finally diagnosed it on March 25th) I am 26. It is now May 6th, and I am now about to go back to revisit the doctor to see how I am doing. I was told to rest my leg and start PT if I wanted to. 4-6 weeks no lower body sports. But can work on upper body. I’m highly active and haven’t been able to do anything truly since January (since I went to the doctors and they thought it was runners knee… so went through PT, a lot of trial and error haha, even a cortisone shot that felt great for about a week!). So this has been very frustrating. After receiving the diagnosis, I waited 3 weeks to try therapy again. And I actually felt so much better. Went through two weeks of therapy and after the second week of therapy, woke up on Saturday morning to some pain… and each day it got gradually worse. By Friday of the following week, felt like it was going to give out, so I put a brace on. Still was in pain… And PT they just did some massaging, and ultra sound stuff, but no strength training because he didn’t like how I felt the pain again. I am an ESL teacher and work in a district where all the buildings are connected. I teach K-12 (small groups) so I actually walk a lot for my job. I don’t think my doctor realizes this. He did say I can walk. It’s not like I’m power walking you know? But maybe that’s what’s aggravating it. I’m afraid it’s re injured. So my question is, how bad was your pain that you dealt with for the five years? The pain I have right now is bearable compared to what it was months ago. It’s just annoying how I felt great for a couple of weeks and then all of a sudden felt the soreness again and it’s not going away. I just want to get back to doing the stuff I love to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I know not doing anything is probably the worst thing as well because of the muscle becoming weak. I’ll see what the doctor has to say… but any advice would be so helpful! Thanks!

      • dave tobias said, on May 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm

        Kathy,

        I went through a partial tear in the fall of 2009, but it showed up clearly on an MRI and the ortho said it was a “major tear”, and that surgery was the recommended approach. I was able to lift my leg even right after the injury, and over the next 4 weeks I improved steadily to the point that the doctor said to me that it was possible that the tear was only to some of the connective tissue and not the tendon. However, the only way to find out was to open me up, so I chose the surgical option, and it turned out I had an 80% tear. Age played a factor in the decision too – I was 57 at the time, and the thought of skipping surgery at the time only to have it forced on me a year or two later was a consideration.

        At the 3 1/2 year mark, I still feel that the knee is not quite what it was before the surgery, but I’m convinced I did the right thing. At your age, and with a significantly smaller tear, you have more options. The surgery and recovery is not a picnic; I had a total hip replacement last fall and it was nothing compared to the QTR repair! Best of luck!

        Dave

        • Anonymous said, on May 8, 2013 at 10:42 am

          Thank you for the information. This is all so helpful! When I go to PT today, I am going to talk to him about this site and see what he has to say. I go back to the doctors on June 3rd (probably about the 6th time going in!) and will also tell him about this research. They know that I’m highly active, and I understand that even if I don’t get surgery, I’m not going to be fully able to do anything until probably the winter, but I’m afraid of scar tissue or just getting the clearance and having the same problem a year later! Thanks again. I will keep you posted as well!

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm

          I’ll second Dave on the surgery-it was the toughest thing I faced in my life. Worse even than grad school. :)

  79. Tom Jaremka said, on January 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Michael, I was just thinking, today, about how it will be when my cast comes off. Will I be able to walk, like before? Will I have to relearn how to walk? Will my balance be off? All these questions will be answered in the near future, I am sure. Tonight, my cast will be cut off and they will do an ultra-sound to see how it’s healing. My doctor will make his decision on having the cast re-fit, or just have a knee immobilizer. Either way, my leg feels very good, at this time.

    All my teammates are urging me to get the cast off and hit the ice, but I think their wishes are a bit premature. Originally, when I heard a total of 8-9 months for 100% healing time and rehab, I was very scared. However, I’m thinking of more like 5-6 months and a hefty brace on my leg to skate, somewhere around July. Hearing that you run with no major problems makes me feel RELIEVED!! I hear horror stories about this injury and I am glad to hear from a guy who is athletic and a “quick healer”, like me.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      Tom,

      You’ll most likely need to relearn how to walk and balance. It will probably be a bit weird when you are doing that-but I found it best to be conservative in my recovery. I also developed a fear of stairs and falling-but this soon passed as I regained balance and strength.

      You should be back to 100% and able to skate like before. The first time you get back on the ice you will probably get a twinge of worry, but that should pass quickly.

      When I was recovering, I’d have nightmares about running and having my leg go out or even fall off. The mind is a strange thing. :)

  80. Tom Jaremka said, on January 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Michael, I just got back from my first rehad. I have 40 degree ROM and they have me doing very minimal leg excersizes, at this time. My left leg is really “dead”. I cannot lift it off of the table from a laying position. I also still have 6cm of swelling, so my ROM should increase as the swelling goes down.

    I completely understand how your mental state can overtake a physical injury like this. My biggest fear, right now, are stairs. I can’t imagine even getting back on the ice, right now. I’m sure as the rehab progresses I will gain strength, ROM and confidence. Better days are ahead.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 12, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      Tom,

      Congratulations on the ROM. It is a slow process, but getting to 40 is a major step.

      Your leg will be “dead” for a while. I remember trying to get off the table at the doctor’s office without my brace and that was a bit scary-I had no control over the lower part of the leg and had this notion that it would just flop off. Fortunately, that eventually passes.

      Stairs are rather scary at that stage-when I went back to teaching, I had four flights of stairs to my office (the elevator had caught fire or something one day) and getting from class to class involved 4-8 flights of outdoor stairs. I came close to falling a few times, but the constant stair walking did help build confidence.

      Things will continue to improve and one day you’ll look back and say “I’m glad that is over!”

  81. Tom Jaremka said, on January 13, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Michael, I guess since we got 8″ of snow, last night, that today is going to be a challenge. Not only walking through the snow, but making sure that I do not slip on a wet floor or slip of the edge of a wet stair. I am watching every step that I take.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 13, 2012 at 11:59 am

      Tom,

      Good luck with that-dealing with ice is enough of a challenge even with two good legs. Luckily I didn’t have to face snow or ice here in Florida-just rain.

      • Terry fowler said, on January 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm

        Michael,

        Want to thank you for this quad tendon rupture blog. Just had Sx on 1/16. Being a basketball player until my right Achilles ruptured and a tournament tennis player until the first Rotator Cuff sx I have some experience with rehab. So while this looks like a long recovery I have done it before and will do it again.

        I was the CEO of a diagnostic imaging company so I know a bit about medicine. I can tell you your blog communicates in a wildly better way the issues with this injury than what I would expect from my MD partners.

        Because I can’t play the great sports I used to enjoy I now play senior golf tournaments. Do you know how successful Chuck was in getting back to golf?

        I tried to send this message via Facebook but I obviously don’t know what I am doing in the medium.

        Thanks again,

        Terry Fowler
        Sun Valley, Idaho

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm

          Terry,

          I’m not sure how things turned out for Chuck-well I hope.

          I was back to running in September after my April surgery, so you should be back golfing in about the same time frame. Of course, you can still putt even with the one working leg. :) Based on my own experience and what I have heard from others, the recovery from the surgery is generally complete-that is, you’ll most likely be back to the way you were. In my own case, I actually gained a bit of ROM from all the exercise and the change in training (“smarter”) actually improved my running times. I also do Tae Kwon Do and my leg is fine for kicks and such-so you should be good for the power swings in golf (one of my instructors was a big golfer-he said golfing and martial arts are very similar).

  82. Darryl Wesby said, on January 19, 2012 at 2:14 am

    I was in a softball tournament in Las Vegas this weekend when it happened. During a game Sunday afternoon, there was a runner on 2nd with 2 outs and the batter hit a ball to right center. I saw the runner round 3rd as the right fielder picked up the ball so I took 2 steps to my left and got into my catching crouch when I felt a pop and a burning sensation above the knee and on both sides of it about 3 seconds before he crashed into me so I know it happened before the play. He was out on the play but I was done for the tournament.

    I got back to NY Wednesday morning and went to my doctor that afternoon. He did some tests and thinks I have a partial tear. He thinks it’s partial because I can straighten my leg to about 160* and there is no pain when he twists and turns the leg. We’ll know more in the next day or two and then I’ll figure out what’s next. It’s frustrating. I do (did) squats in the gym and thought my legs were the least of my worries. Now I may miss the season. I’m 47 and in good shape, but I guess not good enough. The doctor told me it is often a non contact injury but as you get older the chances of this injury goes up. So how do I get past this frustration?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 19, 2012 at 11:35 am

      Darryl,

      Sorry to hear about your injury. If you have a partial tear, that should mean a much faster recovery and less inconvenience.

      When I was hurt, I switched from running to alternative exercises: I used a stationary bike (one legged) and a Bowflex (since I could not use my leg, picking up free weights was a bad idea). As I recovered, I added water running. I’d suggest a similar sort of approach: add (or expand) exercises that you can do to compensate for what you cannot do now. That way you’ll still be in good shape when the leg is back in action.

      Mike

      • Darryl Wesby said, on January 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm

        I just got home from the doctor. He took x-rays and nothing is broken and he doesn’t think an MRI is necessary but they sent my file to the orthopedic department and they will call me next week to discuss PT. The doctor thinks I need to restrict activity for 6-8 weeks and combined with rehab I should be ready for my softball season in April. I’ll keep you posted.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm

          Darryl,

          Good luck. If you have good insurance, you might want to consider an MRI anyway to determine the extent of the tissue damage. An x-ray will give an indication of a full tear (the knee cap will be significantly displaced) but won’t show soft tissue damage. I had to see three doctors before I got a correct diagnosis on my injury (although I diagnosed it correctly myself), so it can be a good idea to be extra careful.

          • Anonymous said, on February 14, 2012 at 3:48 am

            OK, here’s my situation. I had my appointment with the orthopedist on Wednesday (February 8) and after talking to me and looking at the knee, the doctor said the quad is torn and I need to take it easy for now and to come back in 6 weeks to see how it is doing. I pointed out the instability in the knee and the clicking I feel and he said that because the quad is torn the kneecap is not being pulled evenly by all 4 muscles so it is moving a little to the side as well as up and down and that is what I feel, and that in a few days it should go away on its own. I pointed out the problem with scar tissue and told him I was stretching the knee and he said “keep doing what you’re doing but don’t overdo it”!

            So I am depending on myself until I get to physical therapy. I do my own stretching every day and ride the bike for an hour. I went swimming today and stretched in the hot tub as well and think I will do that until I go back to the doctor. I’ve had enough injuries and gone through enough rehab to know the difference between pain and discomfort and I think I can at least improve range of motion. I can’t really walk up a flight of stairs right now so that is my short term goal, then two steps at a time will be my next goal. I’ll keep you posted.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm

              Anonymous,

              If the kneecap is still in the normal place and if you can do a straight leg lift, then it would definitely be a partial tear. From my research, people can recover from those without surgery, which is good.

              You are wise to take care with the tear-it could easily become a full tear.

  83. Dave said, on January 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Partial tears can be problematic. If you have a major (+70%) tear, you may be better off having it surgically repaired, as a tear of that magnitude is likely to give way completely in the future. At some degree below that, rehab may be a better approach. This is a decision to be made with your orthopedist. I walked out of the ER with a diagnosis of a “strain” since I could still lift my leg and keep it straight. The MRI showed a “major” tear; the orthopedist said that it could be that the tear was of the surface tissue, but he couldn’t tell until he opened it up. It turned out that I had an 80% tear and needed the full surgical treatment.

    Best of luck – I’m 2+ years removed and more active than I was before the surgery (which says more about my prior level of activity than anything else!).

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 20, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Dave,

      Glad to hear about your recovery. It does make sense to have a severe partial tear fixed-after all, it will probably end up tearing fully at some point.

    • Darryl Wesby said, on March 3, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      Finally, after all the delays (remember, I tore it January 15) my rehab starts on Tuesday. I will be going twice a week (Tuesday and Friday) for the next 4 weeks. After a re-evaluation at that time, they will either continue with twice a week, cut it to once a week, or order an MRI to determine why there is no improvement. I’ve been stretching it and riding the bike in the gym every day and swimming on weekends and can feel the improvement. I can walk up the stairs with no pain and a couple days ago I went up 2 stairs at a time without thinking about it.

      Anyway, noting atrophy in the muscle, the PT gave me “homework” – a series of strengthening exercises to begin before we meet next week. I’ll keep you posted. I may make it back for the end of softball season after all!

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm

        Darryl,

        Good luck with the rehab process. It will be both slow and challenging-but also well forth the effort.

  84. Tom Jaremka said, on January 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Darryl, after studying this injury, asking my doctor a thousand questions and speaking to other doctors and orthapedic surgeons, I have come to the conclusion that it DOESN’T MATTER what kind of shape you are in when this happens. “It happens because it happens” is the explanation I get from the doctors. Usually, it happens to active men over 40 who have played, or are still playing, active sports (skiing, hockey, soccer, baseball, etc.). I spoke with a surgeon who said that over the years, the tendon will shred and weaken without any pain or discomfort. Basically, it wears down from use. Then, POW!! It ruptures or tears when you least expect it. There is no warning, it just goes. I am 9 weeks post-surgery and into rehab. My entire leg from the hip-flexor to my ankle was dead. Now, after just 3 weeks of rehab, I can lift my leg, my ROM is coming back and my knee cap is starting to release itself and get back to normal. They say that getting from 0 to 90 degrees of ROM is pretty easy. It’s getting from 90 degrees to full ROM that takes time.

    Whatever you do, don’t stop playing baseball and being active. I’m 52 and I will stop playing ice hockey when they take my stick from my cold, dead hand!!! Rehab—–recover——return!!! Good luck, Darryl!!!

    • Anonymous said, on January 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Well said!

  85. Darryl Wesby said, on January 29, 2012 at 3:59 am

    The last few days I have been goingstir crazy. I am used to going to the gym 5 times a week and between my tournament and then this injury, I hadn’t been to the gym in 2 weeks! So on Thursday I went to the gym to just do a little overall body stretching (very cautiously) and testing the leg to see how it stacked up in terms of strength and range of motion. I rode the stationary bike for 5 minutes and had no problem so I guess next week I will go to the gym for abs, stretching and 10-15 mins on the bike. I see my doctor on Feb 1 and the orthopedist on Feb 8 and don’t won’t my leg to freeze up before they see me – 3 weeks after the initial injury! Guess a lot of guys are getting hurt these days!

    I know what you mean Tom. I was especially frustrated because I spent the 6 weeks between Thanksgiving and my tournamnet paying a bating coach twice a week to work on my swing. The day before I left even my bad swings were going 300 feet! I couldn’t wait to get to Vegas. Now, I can’t put weight on my right leg so I will lose everything I worked on! I know it’ll come back, but I don’t even know if I can play this year and if I do I may have to move from catcher to DH. Is this what Jorge Posada went thru last year? :-)

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Darryl,

      I know what you mean-I’m a runner and my injury robbed me of running for months. I avoided going crazy (and getting fat) by coming up with alternative exercises.

      If you don’t mind the stationary bike, it can be worth it to check around and find a used (or free) one. People often buy them and just never use them. Biking will help keep the muscle and cardio from declining too much.

      You can also look into pool exercises-I was in the pool long before I could run. While you won’t be able to bat properly, you might be able to come up with some batting like exercises for the pool that can work everything but the bad leg. When I got my AquaJogger, the DVD and booklet that came with it had all sorts of strength exercises for the legs and upper body.

      Good luck with the recovery!

      • Anonymous said, on February 3, 2012 at 3:20 am

        Well, Saturday will be 3 weeks ago that I tore the quad (it seems so much longer). I am in the gym every day just stretching it (not as painful as when I started and increased range of motion) and riding the stationary bike for 45 minutes. It sounds like it’s improving, but I still can’t straighten it ti 180* and I feel a popping in it when I try, I can’t walk up a flight of stairs, my knee suddenly buckles without warning when I walk down the street, and tonight it gave out and I fell off the bed. I was just standing on the bed reaching up to change a light and a slight backstep and it gave out. I don’t get to see my doctor until Wednesday and I hope it isn’t worse than I think. ANyone else have this problem?

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 3, 2012 at 10:22 am

          Anonymous,

          The good news is that your recovery sounds normal. It took me a long time to be able to regain range of motion (I remember feeling like a champion when I hit 20 degrees). Stairs were my enemy for a long time and my knee did the buckle thing for quite some time. So, you are most likely right on track.

          • Darryl Wesby said, on February 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm

            So for the last week I have been going to my Bally’s gym with a pool. I can’t do strokes because of the torn tricep (it really was quite a play at the plate) so I go to the “deep” end (5.5 feet), hold the lane ropes with each hand, and while face down I kick. Then I turn over on my back and continue to kick. When I finally stop I stand in the water and jump off one leg then the other. After that I kick some more and finally I go to the hot tub and stretch. I can tell the difference in range of motion and I think the water work really works the leg muscules.

            Something strange happened today. Last week the doctor made my next appointment for 6 weeks from now but I got a call from the PT today and he gave me his earliest date – March 7. Then, just before he hung up the phone, he noticed he had an opening tomorrow at 10:45! I hope this means I may actually be back to play softball this year!

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 17, 2012 at 11:02 am

              Darryl,

              That sounds like a good recovery plan. I spent a lot of time in the pool after my injury and found that very useful-it was good not having to worry about falling, plus the water running really helped with my cardio (and sanity).

              I do wonder if the appointment dates are set by the medical facts or merely scheduling convenience. But, it is good that you got in earlier-good luck with the recovery.

  86. Rex Gray said, on February 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Thanks for a great blog Michael. Got several tips. Early tomorrow morning Doc is going to put things back together. Nice to know what’s ahead. Got your book to review also. I hate those wet ladders too.

  87. Tom Jaremka said, on February 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Okay boys…….I’m 70 days out of surgery. Rehab is 2-3 times a week, depending on my work schedule. I do a ton of rehab at home, on my own. There is a ton of scar tissue around my knee, so I do alot of massaging and trying to keep it loose. Once I start moving my knee and getting my leg going, things are great. It’s getting through the initial bending and stretching that’s a little uncomfortable.

    I’ve been working on stairs, lately. Going up and down is a challenge with my injured leg being the “lead” leg. But the more I do it, the better my leg feels and my balance is much better. Although the rehab docs are telling me that I have 6-8 more months of rehab left, I feel that I’ll be back on the ice by May or June. I see improvement, everyday.

    This is a tough surgery and rehab, though. I want to build my leg strength, so I walk around my neighborhood and I pull a tire that is attached to a rope around my waist. As I get stronger, I will stack more tires on the pile and pull more weight. Hopefully, this will get me back to full speed very quickly.

    • Anonymous said, on February 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      Hi Tom, far be it for me to give out advice, but I do know a guy who got way out ahead of his doctor’s recommendation and ended up with a second rupture. The rehab is long and slow and scar tissue is a major concern. I had to have a second surgery – arthroscopic – to clean out the scar tissue but it all works now so was worth it.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Tom,

      Throughout my life I have had a tendency to not listen to people when they told me to do things. But, when it came to my rehab for my surgery, I shocked my family and friends by listening and actually doing what I was supposed to do. This was not because of any new wisdom on my part, but the realization that overdoing it could put me back in surgery and perhaps do some irreparable damage. So, I’d suggest following the suggested plan-but you should check with the experts to see if you can do more based on your condition.

      I can assure you that it took a lot of willpower to not exercise like I wanted. :)

      Mike

  88. Ron Husband said, on February 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Hi. My name is Ron (61 years old and 205 lbs.) and I severed/ruptured my quadriceps tendon 11 months ago in March of 2011. Today I seem like I’m 90% to 95% recovered. I go to the gym 3 to 4 times per week and do 5 mi. on the tread mill using a very brisk walk with some jogging for .10 to .25 mi. interspersed and lift weights for my upper body. The only negative effects remaining from the injury is occasional tightness and an inability to jog or run on uneven surfaces. I’m currently attempting to get my weight under 200 lbs. following the inactivity period of healing. I would like to be able to jog at 11 minute miles by this summer. Is this a realistic goal?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Ron,

      That should be doable-there guys who are 60+ in my track club who have recovered from surgery and run sub 7 minute miles (and faster).

      Based on my own experience, your knee will probably be a bit “tricky” for a while. However, you should probably be able to re-adapt to uneven surfaces with some practice. What sort of trouble do you have with those surfaces? Does the knee seem unstable or something else?

  89. Bob Gamble said, on February 14, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Wow, I’ve received more info from this blog, than from any medical websites that I’ve visited. I am a 41 year old UPS package car driver. On 1/4/12 I silpped on a patch on snow/ice and tore my right quad tendon. Had surgery on 1/11. About 3 weeks post-op I was able to bend to about 40 drgrees and able to lift leg and hold it in position for about 10 seconds. I’ll be starting PT on 2/15. I’m also a former college football player, and have remained physically active since my playing days ended. I always thought of myself as indestructable, but this injury has given me a “glimpse of my mortality”.I have spent the past 90 minutes or so reading through this blog and have found the comments to be very heplful as well as inspirational. You are all tough guys in my book. I hope I can recover enough to go back to work soon as I have a 7 yr old daughter and a 3 yr old son and would like to be able to play with them as well as support them. Good luck and best wishes to all. I’ll continue to follow this for sure!
    Bob

    • Tom Jaremka said, on February 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      Bob, from the way you describe your surgery and recovery, you didn’t have a complete 100% tear, or rupture, which is great news. If you did, you are superman. I was in a cast for 7 weeks and couldn’t lift my leg until 2 weeks after my cast was off. This is NOT a common injury, but it is a very frustrating one to rehab. Just like you, I thought I was indestructable. I’ve had knee scopes, ankle scopes, knee surgery and other injuries, but this one is the worst. This injury makes you think how complicated, yet simple, the human body really is. Just think, a piece of tissue attaches to a bone and makes the bottom of your leg lift up and lock into place. Without that little piece of tissue, we are crippled. Amazing.

      Keep massaging the area to keep that scar tissue healing. You’ll be fine and be running with your kids in the summer.

      • Rosemarie said, on February 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm

        I was like all of you with quadriceps Tendon Repair back in March of 10. I agree with you that this has to be one of the worst surgeries because I’ve had rotator cuff surgery (3 times), achillies tendon surgery on the ankle, and two knee replacements, but unfortunately last year I found one that was even worse. I had 4 herninated discs from L2-4 and then had to have a spinal fusion of L4-5 with a rod and braces. This is about 300 times worse than the quadriceps surgery.All that I can tell you is to listen to the Doctors, do the therapy and keep as active as possible. It will get better but it takes time and if you don’t listen to the Doctors and the therapists you will be back in the hospital for more surgery. If you try to do things that you are not suppose to you will retear it and have to start back at square one. I worked in PT. You will get back to where you want to get but give it the time to heal. Just think about all the cutting and such that had to be done. Not only does your quad have to heal but also the muscles, skin, nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments also. Nerves only regenerate at 1 cmm per month so guys give it time!!!!

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm

          Rosemarie,
          Sorry to hear about the discs-that does sound rather painful. Good luck with your recovery.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

        Tom,

        The doctor did tell me that this is one of the worst knee related injuries. That certainly was not what I wanted to hear.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      Bob,

      Sorry to hear about your injury. It does sound like you are making a good recovery. The main challenge you’ll face with getting back to driving will be the flexibility. I was back at work 2 weeks after surgery, but I could not get into my truck for quite a long time after that. Fortunately, my girlfriend was able to drive me (I’d sit the long way across the back seats).

      • Tom Jaremka said, on February 16, 2012 at 10:33 am

        Michael, that is exactly how my daughter drove me around!! I’d sit across the backseat and felt like a dog going to the vet!! Now, I’m 77 days out of surgery, I walk with a slight limp, but I can drive myself around and walk pretty well. Rehab is going well and it seems that every visit I have more and more strength and balance. I do a ton of rehab on my own, at home. I was told that my knee cap is nice and loose and the scar tissue is disolving. Going up and down stairs is still a challenge, but it is getting better every day. I can almost get the pedals around on the stationary bike, maybe by next week, I hope.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 16, 2012 at 11:37 am

          Tom,

          It is a great way to travel.
          I remember my struggle with the pedals very well-it was a great feeling to finally be able to make a complete rotation. Funny how an injury like that can reset one’s view of things.

  90. Ron Husband said, on February 27, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the response regarding my recovery. I continue to get a little pain and a feeling of weakness when I run to catch a baseball or go out to catch a pass when throwing a football around. Recently, I had a little pain when I did a partial knee bend as I was doing a project around the house. Normal use is fine except that I get a little tightness when it’s particularly cold outdoors, i.e., below freezing. Those are the remaining issues coming up on a year after my surgery.
    Ron

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      Ron,

      Based on my experience (I’m about three years out from my injury), the repaired knee will always have a few problems. Of course, I can’t say for sure how much is due to the repair and how much is due to 45 years of wear! :)

  91. Michael C said, on March 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Michael;

    I had a distal bicep tear 6 months ago, very experienced with the nature of this sort of thing. i got my injury from slipping off a ladder 2 days ago holding one end of a 100 pound glass backboard and jamming my foot into the ground with tremendous force on the knee. In the emergency room I was able to straighten and bemd my knee, but have a huge indentation at the top of my knee. I had thought there was more than one anchor point of the quad muscle group, because it seems like the patella area is detached but visually the muscle kinda looks normal. With my bicep it went popeye and shot up my arm like rubber band.

    Anyway MRI tomorrow 3 days out, surgery next week if needed 1.5 weeks out. Time is of the essence. I can stand on my leg and the joint seems to be able to bear weight, but is painful to bend it.

    I am wondering from surgery how long will it take to walk on crutches. Within a few days? my biggest fear would be falling but if the knee is locked the rest of your body can take the hit.

    Man what an ordeal this is going to be….I just got over my arm being messed up. It is only beginning to be like my other arm. Thanks all, Mike.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Michael C.,

      I was able to use crutches the day of the surgery, but was not allowed back at work for two weeks. I tend to think that the two week thing is generic, though. By the time I was back at work, I was pretty good on the crutches-the doctor and PA said that I should use them often, since it would actually help to have some weight on the leg.

      Getting around will probably be a bit scary at first-I was worried that I would fall and tear up my leg. Stairs are especially scary.

  92. Tom Jaremka said, on March 7, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Okay, we’re 97 days post-surgery. Rehab has gotten me to full ROM, but my quad muscle is still weak. I am riding my stationary bike and my leg is feeling great. I just had to relearn how to walk down stairs without falling over myself. My balance is starting to come back and my confidence in this leg is starting to get better.

    In two weeks I am going to put on my skates and just take a few laps around the rink. My target date for going back to playing hockey is June 1st. My doctor did a great job and the rehab doc’s are great, too. I just need to take it easy and not push it. There is no pain at all and all the things that I used to have to think about doing are now second nature.

    To all those people who are having a tough time with this injury, give it time. Every injury and every body is different. Improvement is sometimes weekly and sometimes daily. The one thing I learned is that you’re better off taking it slow and not pushing it. Oh yea, listen to your doctor!!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Tom,

      Congratulations on getting the ROM back. I bet you’ll be happy to get back on the ice-I still remember the day I was able to return to running.

  93. Tom Jaremka said, on March 8, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Michael, I know that I am not 100%. My quad muscle has hardly any strength, at all. But the only way I can get to 100% is to do what I do best, play hockey. Playing hockey builds those leg muscles and gets you stronger. i can ride my bike and pull my tire to try and build up some strength, but I need to get on the ice and get moving, again. I’m sure that you didn’t run a marathon when you returned to running, right away, so I’m going to just take it slow and do a little more, every week.

    I’ll be honest with everyone, when I got my cast off, 8 weeks ago, I NEVER envisioned even putting on a pair of hockey skates for a year. My leg was skinny, the swelling around my knee was unbelieveable and I had no ROM and no strength. I couldn’t even lift my leg 2″ off of a table. But over the days and weeks, little things started to change and soon I was able to lift my leg, walk a little better and get down the stairs.

    The human body is fantastic!! Even today, I feel a little better than yesterday. I can’t wait for tomorrow.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      Tom,

      Seeing that slack and skinny leg is a scary thing. I remember when I finally had my brace and bandages off-my leg was pudding like. It was horrifying to see how fast years of training just vanished.

      But, as you said, getting back to the activities is what brings that muscle back. Like you, I was impressed by how quickly I got back what I had lost. I’m actually stronger now than before-I kept the quadriceps exercises as part of my workout.

      Enjoy the skating!

  94. Michael C said, on March 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Michael;

    Mike C here again. I got an MRI yesterday, I see the knee surgeon tomorrow. I cannot do a straight leg raise, but I can stand/walk slowly with an immobilizer on. After the surgery which I assume I will need I am sure I will be taken out for a week.

    I have a ride to work, a desk job where I sit on my *ss all day, and elevators to get me there. What I am nervous about is getting in and out of the car, and getting around on crutches with no weight on my leg.

    I have read that some people are out from work for months. I just got assigned a great position and I cannot lose it, if I do it will be like a punch in the face in additional to being crippled.

    How long before I can bear weight on the knee?

    Again I am wondering after the first week if i might be able to hobble into work. What a mess. Mike.

  95. Tom Jaremka said, on March 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Michael C. , after tendon surgery, you should be in a cast from your hip to your ankle for 6-8 weeks. There’s not much pain, just a little discomfort. I didn’t have to take any pain pills and I never used crutches. My cast held me up pretty well.
    The reason you can’t do a leg lift is because the quad tendon is ruptured. After I got my cast off, it was 4 weeks before I could do a straight leg lift. You’ll be okay. I’m 99 days out of surgery and although I have a slight limp, my leg feels pretty good. A few more weeks and I’ll be back playing hockey. Originally, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to skate for about a year. I’ll cut that time in half.
    Oh yea, once the cast is off, your balance will be a little “off”. But that will come back as you go up and down stairs. Good luck. Ask any questions you want. We’re all here to help.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      Tom,

      They put me in a soft cast and then a $500 brace (BC/BS decided that the brace was not “medically necessary”). But, some docs go with a cast. I was glad to have the brace-I could open it up when lying down so I could clean my leg and enjoy a little coolness.

  96. Michael C said, on March 9, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Michael/Tom;

    Yeah there is no denial I know it is torn. I am 39, I don’t even feel bad that I tore my bicep and now quad because I was doing two very risky things, wasn’t because getting weaker or some degenerative disease (at least I hope!) Live and learn, will tone it down a bit.

    Tom what your saying makes sense because now, with my leg locked straight, and no quadricep, I can walk no crutches. I have no problem with crutches, but the thing is if you walk with crutches with no pressure on the bad leg, i would think the quad repair is at risk because it takes the quad to lift your leg up in the air to clear it with the ground on the crutches. It is easier putting your bad leg down just for balance with no load.

    My bicep after 6 months feels very good also, almost even looks the same as before.
    Suually people get hurt in bball coming down from the backboard, not with the backboard.

    I am working out a way to try and shower putting a plastic bag on the bad leg or something. My threshold for a shower is about 1 week, then it becomes unpleasant.

    These leg casts, is it plaster or a cloth cast? I would hope you could not bend your knee at all. On the toilet I notice my knee bends slightly from the stress of going up and down, because my current cast flexes slightly if not exactly all the way up my leg. It is ok now, but man don’t want that to happen after the repair.

    I looked at my leg, now that the swelling has gone down a bit, it is deformed a bit. Again also I can do a side leg raise, so there are other muscles in that monster thigh muscle group still attached. I guess this would have to be or else any weight on the leg would result in collapse.

    This thread is great, gives me confidence as to know what to expect, thanks all! Mike.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Michael C,

      At first I just washed my hair at the sink and used wash cloth for the rest of me. When the doc told me that I could take off the brace to shower, but he also said that if I fell, it could tear the repair and set me back to square one. So, I decided to not take the brace off. My “trick” was to stand in the shower stall with my good leg and cover the braced leg with Glad bags. I have one of those shower heads with the hose connector, so I could hose myself down without soaking the brace. To clean the bad leg, I’d lie on my bed, remove the brace and then use washcloth (I had a tuperware container of water and another with soapy water). I was using my exercise bike one legged everyday, so I really needed to shower everyday (at least according to my girlfriend).

      I was in a soft cast at first and then in a brace at week two.

      The quad allows you to do a straight leg lift, but other muscles handle side leg raises and so on. I was actually walking around after my injury, although I did fall from time to time.

  97. Michael C said, on March 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Michael;

    Yes agreed, I would not take off the brace for a shower, I will do what you did. I just got back from the DR, surgery wednesday 3/14 one and a half weeks out from injury. He said I could put weight on it after surgery so long as it keeps straight, similar to what Tom said. I will be in the straight leg cast. I plan on using crutches anyway for balance and to take the stress of the repair. I won’t even look at stairs for awhile.

    Even with all of the knee swelling during the MRI, you could clearly see the quad is detached in the MRI. The Dr did seem like dude this is a simple surgery, rehab is the worst part.

    Will let you guys know how it goes. Thanks again all! Mike C.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      Michael C,

      Yup-the surgery is simple: cut, drill, sew, close. The rehab is the ordeal. Stairs are a scary thing, but they will be good for rehab-I spent a lot of time going up and down stairs to retrain my leg (initially holding the railing). I started practicing in the pool-that way if I fell, it was just into water.

  98. Tom Jaremka said, on March 10, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Mike C., good luck with the surgery. The straight cast will take time to get used to, but you’ll be okay. Like Michael said, this is a real “inconvenience” injury. You have to rely on everyone for help. Since it is all soft tissue damage, there is really no pain after surgery. They gave me 25 pain pills and I never needed any.
    Taking a shower will be a challenge, but you’ll figure it out. Sitting on a toilet takes some jockeying around, but you’ll figure that out, too. By July 4th you’ll be walking around with a limp, but you’ll be walking.

    Because of the cast, you’ll probably be on blood thinners. I thought that I would NEVER play hockey, again. Today, I’m at 100 days post-surgery, and I’m ready to begin some light skating, next week. You’ll make it!!

    Listen to the doctors and the rehab techs.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      I was lucky in one regard-my “guest” bathroom has plenty of leg room, and I used a bucket to prop up my leg. I added a bit of upper body strength doing the bowl lifting. :)

  99. Bob Gamble said, on March 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Michael and Tom, glad to hear you are doing so well. I am 2 months post op after a complete tear. I have normal ROM almost, and little pain. I was given a neoprene sleeve brace 2 weeks ago to replace the hinge brace. I can walk normally on flat surfaces, but have no strength to go up steps on bad leg. My balance is not very good, and my leg buckles if I put too much weight on it or stop suddenly.This is a work injury and company’s insurance reps are calling me. They want to send a nurse along with me on my next Dr. visit. I’m a little nervous to tell you the truth. I am able to drive myself finally but don’t know if I should be. Never know when “Big Brother” may be watching. I am going to tell Dr. on my next visit that I need to be able to go up and down steps for9-10 hrs a day to be able to perform normal job functions. Anyone have any ideas/suggestions/ experience with this?

  100. Tom Jaremka said, on March 10, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Bob, I am 101 days post-surgery and I am JUST starting to get used to going up and down stairs with confidence. Going up isn’t bad, but going down the stairs is very challenging. So far, my leg is doing well and the strength is slowwwwwwly coming back. Driving gets easier, everyday.

    This is a 10 month injury-surgery-recovery-rehab. “Big brother” can watch all they want, everyone heals differently with different time tables. Don’t get frustrated, though. It takes time and patience to get over this.

    Good luck, brother. You’ll be fine in a few months.

    • Anonymous said, on March 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      Everyone does indeed heal at their own pace. It gets frustrating to watch other people do things that you can’t but take your time, listen to the Doctors, Physical Therapists and most of all your body and you will get there. Don’t compare yourself to how someone else heals because it doesn’t work that way, I know I have been there.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      Tom,

      Quite right-the recovery is a slow adventure in slow slowness.

  101. Michael C said, on March 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    All;

    I am wondering if you guys can answer two questions. First, presurgery, I can walk on both legs no crutches with the brace….but after a week my hip is starting to get fried. It just hurts. Crutches helps, but it just wears on you with the leg straight constantly. If I rest it is does get better, but for 6-8 weeks this is going to be absolute torture. Has anyone had any hip issues?

    Also, is it safe to say, with the leg locked straight post surgery, is there any danger of re-rupture? Say you flex your quad, which would pull against the sutures…could that tear it? I wouldn’t think so the sutures have to be at least a little strong. What about weight on it? Does it basically on re-reupture when an active load/active bending is placed on the quad before tendon healing? Thanks! Michael C.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      Michael C,

      I didn’t have any hip problems, as I recall. But, I used the crutches to get about. That might be a factor. My guess is that you are stressing those muscles to do work that is supposed to be done by other muscles.

      There is always the risk of a tear, but the stitching should be strong enough to hold against most “normal” occurrences. I had the same worry as you-I’d sometimes wake up at night after having some nightmare (about running and having my leg tear apart) and my quad would be firing away. That worried me-but it held up.

      I was warned that a fall could tear it-so it is a good idea to be careful about that.

  102. Bob Gamble said, on March 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Michael, I’m having the same problem walking. Use the crutches even though they are a pain. My hip and lower back ache from not being able to distribute my weght normally on both legs. My good knee is also bothering me from overuse. I don’t know if flexing the quad will do any damage. For a few weeks after surgery I would try, but got no response. Just had to give it time before there was muscle activity in my quad. I’m 2 months out of surgery and I’m still not able to put any weight on it while bending.

  103. Tom Jaremka said, on March 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Michael C. and Bob, because of the injury and the leg being immobilized, your hips are going to be “out of wack”. Your good knee is going to ache because of all the weight on it. Believe me, my good knee STILL hurts and I’m over 100 days post-surgery.

    Everything will heal in good time. Remember, most doctors will tell you that this is a 8-12 month surgery-rehab-recovery. Bob, It is still hard for me to put all my weight on my leg, but it’s coming around. LISTEN to your rehab doctors, too. The tendon will heal in a couple of months, but it’s the muscle that needs to regain it’s strength. That is what takes all the time. Getting the muscle to where it used to be is what takes the longest.

    Michael C. , with your leg locked and in a cast, there is always the possibility of a re-rupture, but, as it was explained to me, the newly attached tendon is not under any strain. All the weight is on the cast, not on the leg, or tendon, so it’s pretty safe. They use fishing line for sutures, so they won’t let go. If you have a hip to ankle cast, you won’t be able to bend your leg, anyway. If you have a leg immobilizer, the doctor will tell you to not even try bending your leg. You won’t be able to bend it, anyway, because of the swelling. Just be careful going down stairs!! After surgery, you shouldn’t have alot of pain, either. Your scar will be about a 6″-8″ vertical incision right over your knee. 2-3 weeks after surgery they will remove the staples from your wound and then 4-5 weeks after that the cast will come off and you’ll go to rehab. You guys will be walking around really well in July.

    Before I had this injury, I NEVER heard of a “quad rupture”. Now, I woudn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

  104. Michael C said, on March 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    All;

    I can walk comfortably on one crutch like dr house does, hip pain has been alleviated. You know people have been saying to me, take a month off! why stress your leg!….and that is true, you risk not walking ever again…but the other side of it is the more you stay out of society the more your life deteriorates…if i stayed home from work for a month I would almost be “phased out” because I need to stay on top of things day to day. I need to find the point where the risk is acceptable to get to work so I have a job to go back to.

    The repair to my bicep was the endobutton, the tendon had a metal clip on it which held it against the bone through a hole on the other side. Very strong, low risk of tear, today 6 months later it is 80% strength of the other one simply because muscle had to be redeveloped.

    Tying such a huge muscle as a quad to a bone with some sutures seems not very strong, but I guess thats the best medicine has to offer right now.

    the thing that is killing me is what I should have done to stop this injury. Bad judgement and rushing things too fast.

    Michael, Tom, when you got into a car to get home after surgery, how did that happen? right now I am forcing my torn quad leg in the front seat by discombobulating myself with stress on the leg and back and arms to get in and out of a car. how is that done where your leg cannot be stressed at all? the toilet I noticed my knee wants to bend badly sitting down, I would have to hold myself up like a ring gymnast the whole time. It seems tough enough to get the leg on a bucket.

    When walking even on crutches getting your repaired leg forward involves a quad. mine is disconnected now but I feel it firing as if it is trying to work, and i can feel it. I guess thats why time in bed is important.

    All I know right now life asI used to know it is over until I get pieced back together in the operating room with the surgeon (the most critical person on the planet to me right now) tomorrow at 10:45.

    Enough talk on my part. Lets do this. See you guys on the other side. Michael C.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Michael C,

      For quite a while I was a back seat passenger-luckily my girlfriend was willing to drive me to and from work. It was quite a while before I could sit in my truck (that was the only time I thought it would be better to have a car).

      My trick was to lower myself so my butt was on the seat, then I’d slide back using my hands. When I had to get out, I’d slide forward and stand up using my crutches or the door. I got pretty good at that.

  105. Bob Gamble said, on March 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Michael C. I don’t know about anyone else, but my wife had to lift my leg into the car. I would put my left leg in, and she would pick up the right and get it inside. I would slide it over once I was in.I could not bend my knee well enough to drive until 7 weeks after surgery.
    I would use a crutch as a tool to lift my leg. I turned it upside down and slid my foot under the pad that goes under the arm. then I would grab the botton skinny part of the crutch and lift my leg into bed, or up on the ottoman in the living room. I would take a crutch into the bathroom and hold onto it while I was sitting down. I would extend my repaired leg out as far as I could and slowly lower myself by only bending the good leg. After a while, the good leg began to hurt from added stress. This was the most difficult part, after a few weeks you find that you are able to lift your leg, which makes getting in and out of the car, and getting in and out of bed easier.

    It is still difficult for me to sit in the bathroom, still have to lower myself slowly, but at least I can bend repaired knee somewhat normally. I too, am very concerned about returning to work. I’m a UPS driver, and need to be able to carry packages up and down steps 9-10 hrs a day every day. I’m only 41 and have two little kids, 7 and 3. I worry about being able to support them. Been at UPS for 16 years, don’t know of another career where I would make similar money and benefits. Wish I had an office job. This surgery is difficult at first, but you will adapt well. Don’t push it too hard,rest and ice work well after surgery. Best wishes to you.

  106. Tom Jaremka said, on March 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Michael C. , good luck with the surgery, brother, I’m sure you’ll be fine. This is not an easy injury to rehab, but it can be done and you’ll do it, I’m sure.

    Bob, I’m 104 days out of surgery and was just told by my doctor to return to some light skating. The only way to strengthen my leg is to use it, so I will take it easy, but work my leg back into shape. You should be able to start going up and down steps in the next 2-3 weeks. The one thing that amazed me about my recovery was how quickly I progressed after 60 days, post surgery. You’ll be able to walk and use the stairs, but you’ll just be EXTRA CAREFUL. My doctor just told me that in 3 months I won’t even remember which leg is bad.

    There is probably some tightness right above your knee. That will slowwwwwly begin to release and losen up over the next couple of weeks. That’s where all the stitching is done. If you can ride an excersize bike, do it!! Walk up and down stairs, slowly. In 2 months you’ll be working overtime with no problems. You’ll be a little uncomfortable, but you’ll be able to work, brother. Keep working on it and you’ll be fine.

    • Bob Gamble said, on March 14, 2012 at 10:39 am

      thanks Tom

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 14, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Tom,

      Enjoy the skating. Being from Maine, I miss the ice-no skating here in Tallahassee.

      As you said, the knee will have that weird tightness. Heck, mine still has that and my surgery was 3 years ago. But, the knee works fine and that is what matters. Plus, I have a cool scar and the chicks dig a man with cool scar. :)

  107. Michael C said, on March 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    All;

    I just got home from the hospital, I made it safely into my ez boy recliner. When I woke up from surgery i had no nerve block and no pain meds, man
    that was very painful. The doctor said I had a clean tear, pretty much textbook, repair went smoothly.

    it has been 4 hours since surgery, Tom had said he didn’t need meds. Your a littler tougher than me Tom, I had to have a percocet. With the percocet the pain is pretty much gone. It is starting to wear off, but the pain is tolerable. I want to take as little as possible, pain seems to be getting better.

    I am just so happy to have my quad back, the moral is so high right now because I know I can move forward.

    In the hospital before surgery i tried bending my knee, it was painful past 40 degrees. Hoping that was because kneecap and whatever else in there was out of alignment.

    Again this is an awesome thread, appreciate everryone filling me in on their experiences. Outstanding. Best of luck to everyone healing. I am 3 hours into it, long road ahead. Mike C.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      Mike C,

      Glad to hear you made it through the surgery smoothly.

      One thing you will find is that a big challenge is getting the knee to bend, once you are ready to do that. Many of your PT exercises will be aimed at restoring flexion. I was surprised by this myself, but in retrospect it made sense: the tendon had been repaired and had been locked in place for a long time. It was a bit scary working on it-I always worried that the tendon would just go “pop.” Eventually I got all the flexion back.

  108. Michael C said, on March 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

    All;

    It has been almost 24 hours since the surgery, i have been off the percocets since 9:50 pm last night, the pain has gotten too bad, i had to pop 2.
    i don’t know how you guys did this, it is insane. I walked twice on crutches very carefully, I can’t put weight on it, I have to walk backwards….

    I am dreading having to sit down to go to the bathroom, it is going to suck so bad. I have been taking colace every so often, not eating a whole lot, but i have severe constipation problems with painkillers. I know it has less than 24 hours, but this is rough. It has to get better.
    i am hoping the tenderness and 0% confidence in my completely useless right leg goes away within a week or so.

    The dr told me to take aspirin for blood clotting, I have been moving my feet and have a compression sock for the clotting.

    Much respect to you friends and Michael creating this thread, knowing you got through it is giving me confidence I will make it through this. The bicep tear i had doesn’t even compare to this. Man I really went and did it good this time. Michael C.

    • Bob Gamble said, on March 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      I had the same problems Michael C. They gave me a spinal block plus femoral blocks. I had no feeling below the waist for about 10 hrs after surgery. Stayed overnight at the hospital because I was unable to wiggle my foot for about 3 hours post op. Pain hit my like a train the next day. I used the pain killers for maybe a week after surgery, mostly at night to help me sleep. It’s difficult to sleep in that brace, it’s like being shackled. There will be tenderness around the incision for some time. They gave me presciption aspirin to prevent blood clotting. Try to stay off your feet if possible, the brace caused my calf and ankle to swell if I stood too much, or didn’t elevate leg. The first week post op is the worst, but you’ll see improvements soon.

  109. Michael C said, on March 16, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    60 hours post op, i am starting to not need the painkillers, my primary focus right now is the toilet. The pain has gone away enough such that i can walk there, I don’t need to have my wife empty my pee container. I had chest soreness from the anesthesia, that is starting to go away.

    i haven’t been eating that much, but every percocet i take i pop a colace. Following Michael’s advice to get that first bowel movement in.

    i had said i wanted to go back to work Monday. That plan is out the window. i will be happy if i go back the following Monday at almost the 2 week mark. As a matter of fact work is not too important right now, i am focusing on trying to just be able to be mobile with some stabilty.

    Being off percocets means constipation will end. Sounds pathetic but this is one of my life’s goals right now.

    i tell you what, without my wife taking care of me I wouldn’t say my life is in danger, but the repair would and i would have a really hard time.

    You guys are so right, my surgeon, although a master knee surgeon with 22 years experience, doesn’t volunteer any information. The best advice is hearing people actually going through this psychotic injury. I tore my arm up, again i just left it alone for 6-8 weeks and it healed and i rehabbed it and at the 6 month mark was lifting 80 pound bags of cement with it.

    Having to use your leg to walk on really screws up the entire healing process. Michael C.

    • Rosemarie said, on March 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

      As one of my Doctors told me, if we would have told you ahead of time how bad it would be after would you have gone through the operation? You need to have it done and unfortunately when people find out about the recovery after if the Doctor comes out and tells them about how bad it is they won’t do it. I have had 3 rotator cuff surgeries, 4 knee surgeries, an ankle surgery and I know that the quad surgery was worse than any of them but this last year I had back surgery and I’ll tell you what guys that tops them all. I have an extremely high pain tolerance level and this sure beats the quad surgery. To move your bowels try also taking prunes, prune juice and anything with fiber in it. Don’t try straining because that will really make your leg hurt. You will get there, it just takes time and you have to do the PT and listen to your Doctor because you don’t want to have to go through this again.
      Rosemarie

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Michael C,

      You are wise to keep dosing yourself with Colace. My whole life I have been as regular as a clock, but the medication had the predicted side effects and that was rather unpleasant. It also helps to hydrate regularly and eat foods that promote such activity. Not being constipated was actually a major milestone for me-it is funny how life goals can change like that. :)

      My girlfriend and friends really helped me out with my recovery-going it alone would have been…horrible.

      Med schools are supposedly trying to teach new doctors to inform their patients about procedures and so on, but even if they do this it will be quite a while before that change significantly impacts the system.

  110. Darryl Wesby said, on March 17, 2012 at 1:48 am

    So I’ve been doing rehab for 2 weeks and let me tell you it is NOT fun! The two most difficult are stepping up on a stair and standing on a stair on the bad leg (right), lowering the left leg until the heel touches the floor, then standing straight up again. My right leg has NO strength in it! But as frustrating as it is, I do them every night at the gym after work (plus twice a week before work at rehab), 3 one minute isometric squats, 3 minutes on the balance board, one legged leg press and 30-45 minutes on the bike. Fortunately the train staion near my house and the one near my job both have escalators so I had no problem getting to/from work. Now I take the stairs and though it hurts a little, it hurts a little lessevery day as the leg gets stronger. I know longer have it go out on me as I walk down the street and I am hoping to return for the last month of my softball season (August). Of course, playing catcher as I do, I think I may have to change positions for the rest of this year (1st?, 3rd?, DH?) but next year I want my old position back.

    Bottom line is, the first few days in rehab are hell but you will see improvement daily if you work hard at it.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      Darryl,

      Once you get the flexion and strength back you should be good for catching. I had my surgery on April 3 (2009) and started running (2.3 miles) at the start of September. That was a good day.

      • Darryl Wesby said, on March 18, 2012 at 12:33 am

        I’m pretty sure I’ve made quite a bit of progress. I can now walk up or down a flight of stairs without holding onto the handrail and am not afraid the leg will give out. In fact, it only happens every once in a while now. It’s just the frustration of the leg always being sore. As I am better able to do an exercise I either add more weight, increase the height of the stair to make it more difficult, increase the time of the isometric squats, etc. I know it is making the leg stronger but I can’t help but get tired of feeling the pain every time I get out of my chair, walk up/down a stair, or seeing a bus/train already at the stop before I get there and know I have to get the next one because I can’t run for it.

        Plus, my softball team had a team meeting today to set up our tournaments for the year. I will miss playing in tournaments in Connecticut and Phoenix (April), Atlanta (May), Philadelphia (June) and Boston (July). Minneapolis (August) and Chicago (September) are my goal now. I’m hoping I can have Michael’s success and make it back by the fall. Keep your fingers crossed, I know I will!

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm

          Darryl,

          Sitting on the sidelines is a hard thing. When I was able to get up and about, I volunteered at some races. It was nice being back in the events, although I could not compete. Being part of a team/club does help-it is nice to still be a part of something even while recovering.

          You’ll be back out there, good as new. Maybe even better. :)

          • Darryl Wesby said, on March 22, 2012 at 1:39 am

            On Tuesday I went to my PT for the first time in 10 days (she was away last week). She gave me a series of exercises to do as homework and I did it and a few more every day. She was very impressed with the progress I’ve made and changed 3 of the exercises to make them more challenging. I thought they were tough before but when I was finished with my session I was exhausted, drenched in sweat and just wanted to go someplace quiet and lay down. It was 9:30 am and I had to go to work!

            These are so tough she told me no exercising until we meet on Friday. These will be every other day but I am going to try and do them every day. The quad will not retear and the image I know we all have in the back of our mind of it retearing during rehab will not happen. The orthopedist saw me today and said the Easter tournament is ut but Memorial Day is very possible and 4th of July is likely if I keep making progress. So I won’t miss much more than half the season after all.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

              Darryl,

              It is great to hear that your PT is going along well. It is amazing how hard it is to rebuild the leg and get back things like being able to walk.

  111. Darryl Wesby said, on March 17, 2012 at 1:50 am

    sorry about the typos :-)

  112. Michael C said, on March 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Rosemarie;

    Basically without this operation you can’t really ever walk again so I definetly would have done this surgery even without anesthesia! (allthough that I might regret!)

    The thing that makes me nervous is once in a while I will get a quad spasm…i was sleeping peacefully, then all of a sudden i wake up in a jolt and my quad tightens and spasms against the knee. Oh boy do i know it is connected, I could feel it yanking on it.

    Again this only lasted a second and is an involuntary muscle spasm, i would hope the sutures and the repair was designed well enough to withstand this type of thing. Michael had said his quad would fire away now and then, I am nervous because i am only 3 days into this. Of course there is no load so the sutures should hold up to the flexing of he muscle. Funny I search the entire internet now metion of this type of thing at all. Hopefully because it is a non issue.

    72 hours out now, there is no pain now but when i walk around on crutches no load it gets painful and i have to lay down again for the pain to subside.

    • Rosemarie said, on March 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      Michael, I had quite a bit of muscle spasms and they told me that it was quite normal. It is scary when it happens. Make sure that you drink liquids because my therapists told me that keeping hydrated does help some. I know it is quite scary because no one tells you what to expect and when the strange things happen you do start to wonder if this is normal or not. I wish with all of my surgeries that I would have know what to expect because I think that would have put my mind at ease when they happened. Like my one therapist told me expect the unexpected!!!

  113. Michael C said, on March 18, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Friends;

    It has been almost exactly 4 days since they cut me open, I had a major milestone this morning, has lifted a huge burden off of me. After taking about i would say 20 colace and 2 laxatives, i was able to have a bowel movement, painful and slow, but definitive. I can’t even imagine if i didnt take laxatives what would happen. But now that i am off the percocets, and i will keep pounding laxatives, it should get easier….

    thus stuff sounds funny/ridiculous, but it is very real and even worse than the surgery for me. i can at least get to the toilet and sit down fairly quickly, and stay in a comfortable postition. Outstanding.

    Also rosemarie, very true what you said, i have been pounding water also, i get a spasm once in a while, but when i do i always feel the slight tug on my knee. Have to also realize that muscle at this point is probably so weak it has no strength to pull off anything. Again my bicep healed to a point where I don’t even know i injured it, i expect the same with this, although i am sure much more work. good stuff.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Michael C.,

      Having been there myself, I know how you feel. Unfortunately for folks who go through surgeries, they are often not told about all the “little things” that are actually a big deal when you are living through them. Like dealing with the toilet.

      When I was going through my experience, I was surprised at the lack of information available-the web certainly is very helpful for learning all those important but overlooked details.

  114. Tom Jaremka said, on March 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Michael C. and Darryl, glad to hear you’re both doing well. At 108 days post-surgery, I was able to get out and skate a little with my hockey team. Although my tendon is 100% healed, my quad muscle is very weak. I couldn’t skate with any authority, but I was able to manuever around and stretch out my leg. The game was followed by an ice bag and a good night sleep. The day after was a bit of a struggle, though. BOTH knees are really hurting, but my flexibility and manueverability are progressing.

    Riding my bike REALLY helps to regulate the pain. Riding stretches everything out and takes the pressure off of the knee joint and the rest of the muscles. I was told by my doctor that I wouldn’t be able to hit the ice until June or July, so this is nothing short of a miracle, for me.

    When you’re rehabbing, don’t be afraid to “push” it, a little. As soon as you can, ride a stationary bike and practice walking up and down stairs, very slowly, forward and backward. My doctor told me that the biggest problem with rehabbing is that people tend to stop when the pain gets too much. Guys, you have to work through the pain, push through it. Then, ice the crap out of it to reduce the swelling when you are done.

    When I was skating, my leg hurt like hell, but as I skated more and more, things started to feel more tolerable. Plus, my teammates would not let me down. They encouraged me to keep skating and work through the pain. By the end of the game, I felt pain, swelling, throbbing and discomfort. But it was a HUGE victory for me, personally.

    Everyday is a victory for all of us, boys!!

    • Darryl Wesby said, on March 19, 2012 at 12:52 am

      I know the feeling. I had a partial tear and riding the bike is the only thing I can do in the gym so before I started rehab I went to the gym just to stretch and after all my stretching I would ride the bike for 45-65 minutes. I knew I should stretch it to help break up the scar tissue and since riding the bike wasn’t painful, I do it every day. I’ve been “pushing it” since I started rehab, adding exercises to my workout she never gave me and telling her about them to make sure it wasn’t harmful. I’ve added isometric squats, single leg presses and now single leg extensions (20lbs!) right now, I was loooking at the hack squat machine today and tried one with no weight – DON’T try this at home…or the gym!

      I know I have to do it, the alternative (quitting) is not an option!

      • Darryl Wesby said, on April 6, 2012 at 2:23 am

        I know I haven’t written for a while, sorry about that. I had to shut it down for a few days. It seems I was overtraining a bit. I would do to rehab in the morning before work, do the exercises, go to work and then go to the gym after work and do them again. I also do them in the gym on my non rehab days. I was doing side to side shuffles like basketball players do (works on lateral stability) and I felt the hamstring go so I stopped right away. I told the PT and she said I was doing too much quad work and needed to dial it back. On Monday (9pm) and Tuesday (9am and 9pm) and Thursday (9pm) and Friday (9am and 9pm) I was doing it 3 times in a 24 hour period.

        Plus, we’ve added exercises over the course of rehab and instead of replacing the old ones I just add the new ones. Without a doubt the most difficult is the one that simulates walking down a stair. With all the weight on the bad leg, I have to lower the other leg, touch the heel to the floor and straighten the leg again. WOW! It hurts now but it HURT when I started doing it 2 weeks ago.

        I have a funny story about Tuesday’s rehab. The PT laid a bunch of straps on the floor about 3 feet apart and told me to jump over the first one. I thought she meant to jump over the space between the straps so I did. I landed and the PT and her other client in the room were staring at me. I asked what was wrong and she said “I told you to jump over the strap, not over the space between them!

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 6, 2012 at 9:31 am

          Darryl,

          Stairs will be your nemesis for a long time. When I went back to teaching after my surgery, I quickly realized that I had to navigate about six sets of outdoor stairs and numerous indoor stairs to get to all my classes. Naturally, the elevator in my building broke down and was out for the remainder of the semester.

          Good jumping. :)

          • Darryl Wesby said, on April 7, 2012 at 1:22 am

            My PT did some tests on my leg today, measuring range of motion and strength and said that in her opinion the quad is healing nicely and it is now time to up the intensity if I want to play at all this season (as if the intensity could get any higher on my part!) She said it won’t retear so now she wants to start doing some strengthening exercises. She added two new movements that made me want to die! The first sounds simple. I stand in a comfortable position, lower myself into my catching position, and explode out of it and jump straight up as high as I can (she said that will help me when I have to come out of my crouch to field a slow roller or to go after a foul ball). The other movement is a standing lunge. She wants me to try and do 3 to start out and work my way up to 10, and then 3 sets of 10.

            The important thing to remember while doing all these exercises is to not ignore the hamstrings. I had a slighty pulled hamstring because I haven’t been working them but now every night after work I go to the gym and do standing leg curls and while stretching I now turn over on my stomach and do 3 sets of flutter kicks for 1 minute each time. Then I do my rehab exercises. I have no other life right now, but I have a goal.

            But the best thing to happen today is at the end of my rehab session this morning, my PT told me to skip the gym this afternoon, rest my legs, and on Saturday when I go to my team practice she wants me to catch for a couple of batters in batting practice and let her know how it felt when she sees me next week! At first she said I could catch an inning of the scrimmage, but she thought about it and decided she didn’t want me fielding that slow roller or going after that foul ball just yet. It felt so good to hear her say that I almost teared up! I’ll post later today to let you know how it went.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm

              Darryl,

              Good to hear that your recovery is going well. Good advice about the hamstring-it is easy to focus on the hurt part and forget about the rest.

              Probably best not to slide into home yet, but it is good to hear that you’ll be back on the field.

              Mike

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Tom,

      Congratulations on getting back on the ice! Fortunately, the quad will come back-I remember how pathetic mine looked when I finally had all the bandages and such off.

      Those stationary bikes are awesome for this sort of injury. My PT showed me how to use the pedals to stretch out the tendon and, of course, I used it for the aerobic exercise as well.

  115. Tom Jaremka said, on March 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Darryl, if I can be back on the ice at 108 days post-surgery, you’ll be able to run out an infield grounder by the fall. The daily grind of having pain from doing very common activities will subside, little by little. This morning, I went bike riding with my grand daughters and found riding up a hill, very painfull. Even walking down the hill was very painfull. Now, after an hour of resting and walking, a little, my leg feels better and stronger.

    You’ll have to manage your pain, Darryl, but don’t stop rehabbing because of the pain. Work through it!! Pain is just a huge part of this crappy and debilitating injury. When you are playing ball in the fall, you’re teammates will push you through the pain and discomfort. Until then, everytime the pain shows it’s ugly head, think about you and your buddies playing ball and how much fun you’ll have. You’ll get through it!!

    My rehab doctor told me that the leg will be 100% healed when the scar is no longer red or pink. That usually takes 6-8 months. My scar is still a little pink, so I’m just going to keep doing whatever it takes to strengthen my leg and someday I’ll look at my scar and say, “what scar”?

    • Darryl Wesby said, on March 19, 2012 at 1:05 am

      I’m looking forward to that first infield single. I know the dull ache I experience all the time will soon be a distant memory. Managing the pain isn’t a problem. I am a very active person and playing the catcher position in competitve softball on a very good team means lots of pain. Pulled and torn hamstrings, shoulder injuries, hand tendon injuries, etc, as well as all the bumps and brusies from the collisions at home (they were all out) happen all the time. I can manage the pain and I have never considered stopping, I WILL play again this season. In fact, I’ve decided the best way to deal with this is to work on my swing and return with more power. Cruising into 2nd instead of rounding 1st and going back should help! :-)

      To push myself to get back, I am going to travel with the team to all the tournaments and coach 3rd, keep the scorebook, hit grounders in warmups, etc. Nothing as minor as a torn quad is going to end my playing career, not a chance! otta go to bed now. It’s 1am and I have to get up at 6 to be at rehab before work (8-9).

      • Darryl Wesby said, on May 28, 2012 at 1:37 am

        Well, my team went to their first tournament since I got hurt in January and…we won the whole thing! It was a tournament in Philadelphia and in the championship game we beat another team from New York that we had never beaten in the year I have played for this team. I was a coach (1st and 3rd), I kept the scorebook, and I caught 4 innings in one game and DHed part of a couple others. The manager was extremely careful and limited me to about 10 at bats over the weekend and pinch ran for me each time I got a hit. I can now plant the right leg and swing with power (I put 2 over the fence!) and I can jog to 1st base but that is it. He said he is more concerned with having me healthy for the World Series in Minneapolis in 3 months and that until then I will be in what is basically extended spring training. Any suggestions for exercises to aid my running? The leg feels a bit weak when I jog so I figure I will slowly try to build that up.

  116. Michaal C said, on March 18, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    All;

    I am going stir crazy siting in my chair (i have only recently been going back and forth to a bed and this chair to move around a bit), and i can’t
    help but think about how little information there is regarding the repair.

    Lots of sites describe the surgical technique and rehab but nothing about the nature of the repair. It would be nice if the dr said, you can grab the tendon and the kneecap and you would not be able to break the sutures, these things are quite strong, or the repair was tested to handle 40 pounds of direct load or the tensile strength or whatever. i was just told to be careful. So we all keep our legs straight and try not to put weight on it.

    Also is the tendon repair a linear process? Is there a great adhesion to the bone in the first week say, as opposed to the later weeks of the healing…

    i might sound nuts, but you think about a lot when you sit around all day. Also again i am trying to move around here and there, but i am in a chair 95% of the day, maybe more. The first week, were you guys just bedridden?

    i am feeling better you guys hit it right on the money it is a slow and painful process. The body has got to have a better mechanism of fixing tendons. The current way is not working for me!

    This will be the first night i sleep in a bed and not a recliner. Again i am babying the repair. Whether I walk again depends on some needle and thread!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Michael C,

      True-there really is not much info out there.

      Based on what my doctor said and the speed of the PT, the repair is pretty solid right from the get go. However I was warned that a fall that bent the leg could tear the repair. When I started PT, they took it easy at first but soon were having me actively try to bend the leg. At that point, the repair is quite good.

      While I am not a MD, I’d say that you want to avoid bending the leg at all until the doc gives the OK. The line holding the tendon to the bone is strong, but not unbreakable (also, the tendon could be torn again). The impression I got was that as long as I kept my brace on, I’d be fine. The doc did say I could take it off to shower, but said that if I slipped and fell, I could tear the tendon again. So, I showered using the shower head with a hose, leaving my brace on. It only came off when I was lying on my bed and I wanted to wash the leg. I was totally paranoid about it and this served me well. :)

      Once I got the green light for PT, I followed the directions exactly-they told me the repair strong enough to easily stand up to the recovery. I was still very careful, though.

      So, my general advice is be careful, but don’t be too worried-the repair should stand up well against the activities the doctor okays. Just avoid taking chances that could result in an unprotected fall.

  117. Tom Jaremka said, on March 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Michael C. , LOL…….relax, man, take a breath!! I know that I had surgery on Thursday and went back to work the next Wednesday. Like you, I slept in a recliner for many, many nights just to stay comfortable. I wasn’t used to having people do things for me, so I didn’t ask anyone for help. I just did everything by myself because I needed my brain to know that I wasn’t going to let this crappy injury get the best of me. My wife tried to reason with me, my grand daughters tried to help me and my parents tried to convince me to take it easy, but nothing worked. I should have been more willing to let people help me.

    As time goes by, you’ll make great strides, quickly. It will take your body 4-6 weeks just to get over the shock of surgery and for all the anesthesia and drugs to get out of your body. After that, the healing will begin to take effect and you’ll really start to feel better on a daily basis. I was told by my doctor, after my 8 week visit, that the seutures that they use are like “fishing line”. He said that my repaired tendon is much stronger than the tendon in my other leg. Your repair is no different than mine, so you’ll know when to NOT baby it, anymore.

    This is the time to be discouraged and upset about the injury, as you sit in your recliner. In about a week, as you get around a little more, your attitude will change and you’ll feel stronger and more mobile. The worst is over, every day forward is going to be much better for you.

  118. Michael C said, on March 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    All;

    5.5 days out from surgery, pain in knee is gone, replaced with hip and back pain from laying down consantly. Standing up and walking yields pain and swelling in the knee though.

    I sit here and i cannot help but think of what michael said as well as my dr. They said there is always risk of retear. I am trying to quantify what that means. I am lying around once in awhile getting a muscle spasm, I do feel it yanking and some pain near the knee. thats the extent of the attack on the repair right now.

    Does the retear risk consist of wrecking on crutches? I can see a bookbag catching a crutch, tear victim falling forward in deperation and sheer terror as he lets out a bellow of absolute pure torture of having to go through this living hell again. Man it is so easy to fall on crutches absolutely not acceptable.

    I feel horrible for rerupture dudes. Maybe an early fall on crutches can result in saving the tear by letting the head take the hit, a concussiion is a day in paradise compared to this craziness.

    I am feeling better, bored, sitting patiently waiting for my muscle to glue back so I can share in the joy of rehab like every one…very jealous. Michael C.

  119. Michael C said, on March 22, 2012 at 1:32 am

    All;

    Almost 8 days out, I am feeling pretty good. I go to the Dr Monday, will see what he says. You guys gave me a great understanding of what I will be up against in the upcoming months. My last question is about how long will it be before I can walk with the straight leg brace without crutches? I think that is a great milestone, because you can almost have a normal life, it is just a little uncomfortable. Good stuff! thanks all. Michael C.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 22, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Michael C,

      I was on my crutches for quite a while-mainly because of the brace (hard to walk with the leg locked in place). However, once I the doc/PA had me adding more flexion to the brace, I was able to get around without the crutches. As I recall, the brace was off after about 8 weeks or so.

  120. Tom Jaremka said, on March 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Michael C. , congrats, man!! Glad you’re feeling better. I had a hard cast and never used crutches, but I think that you’ll be able to walk without crutches when YOUR body tells you that you can. Strap the leg immobilizer real tight and try to walk a few steps every once in awhile. Be careful, but you need to get blood flow to the wound so it will heal, so try it every now and then. After 6 or 7 weeks, your doctor will tell you to lose the immobilizer and walk without it. When you are sitting in your easy chair with your foot elevated, wiggle your foot to get the blood flowing to the wound.

    After playing hockey for many decades, I’ve learned that you cannot “baby” an injury. The body is a remarkable thing, but you need to push it. Over the next couple weeks, you’ll take a few steps, here and there, then suddenly you will feel stronger and more confident. Then everyday things will get better for you.

    I’m at 122 days post-surgery and my knee is still swollen, my quad muscle is still weak, my leg still aches when I walk up and down stairs and I still need to ice my knee every night. But it feels a little better, everyday!!

  121. Dave Levon said, on March 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I am 8 weeks post surgery from a complete quad tear and I have a question. Has anyone torn their quad a second time ? The therapist was telling me if that was to happen I would lose much of my ROM for good.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Dave,

      I just had the one tear. The doctor did not say much about a second tear, beyond it being “bad.” A second tear would seem to be worse than just one tear, but how much that would impact the ROM would probably depend on a variety of factors.

  122. Michael C said, on March 25, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Dave;

    I am wondering the same thing, with my right bicep as well as my quad 11 day post surgery. My distal bicep tear has been healing for 6 months. WWereas the left bicep can say do 50 lb curls, I haven’t gone past 25 pounds simply because of fear. The tendon gets sore and I get nervous. At age 39, the small satisfaction and pleasure I get from weightlifting with somewhat heavier weight is absolutely not worth the months and months of these crippling debilitating tears.

    The biggest fear in my life is re-tear. I am not shying away from physical activity, just going to evaluate things more to see the potential risk.

    My PT from the bicep tear told me re-tears result in slight loss in ROM and more often muscle strength. Whenever the muscle is not anchored at both ends for a period of time it lies in a contracted state, which slightly damages it, thus the repair can never be truly 100%, was told bicep would be at 93% strenth or something like that.
    Quads probably feel like they get to 100%, but sit in a leg press machine with a lot of weight, one might notice it.

    I have utmost sympathy and respect for people who survive both double bicep tears and double quad tears. These injuries are just devastating. Double bicep tears you cannot even feed yourself, or clean yourself up in the bathroom…..it is just unimaginable. I am so lucky I didn’t tear both biceps and both quads.

  123. Dave Levon said, on March 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I asked the PT today what would happen if I was to tear the tendon a second time either now or in the future and she confirmed there would be a loss of ROM and strength. Of course there are a number of factors that would determine how much you would lose. I go back to the doctor in April and I will ask him. Thanks to all who wrote on this site it helped me alot.

  124. Michael C said, on March 26, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    All;
    All;

    You guys are fortune tellers, I am right on track. Was at the dr today 12 days out of surgery, fitted with a hinged brace locked at 0. Too early to remove the staples, that will be done this Friday 16 days out.

    Man my quad looks like hell. It has shriveled up to a little bigger than my calf. Horrible to see. One of the most beautiful sights however to me was when I flexed the remnants of what was left of my quad, I saw my knee move with it.

    The dr decided to bend me, about 10-15 degrees, quad felt tight. Huge fear of that, the whole thing is just super weak. Putting weight on that thing bent when the time comes is going to take some nerve.

    The thing I am slightly nervous about that Michael the author had mentioned was in the hosital right before surgery I bent my knee about 30-40 degrees and it was painful, assuming because the kneecap was out of alignment. The surgeon said everything from what he saw was ok, so I have to remain positive that it won’t be an issue during rehab.

    Wishing healthy tendons to all! Mike C.

    • Dave Levon said, on March 27, 2012 at 7:53 am

      I am a little over 8 weeks since surgery. Last week they put me on a stationary bike and I was not able to pedal in a complete circle. This week I was able to pedal the bike for 10 minutes forward and backward for 10 minutes with no problem. What I have to begin doing next is being able to step up and down on stairs. Right now I have no confidence that my leg will bear the weight. Its a good thing I’m doing this in the pool because I’ll fall a few times. They have a small platform in the middle of the pool that I practice stepping up and down and then balance my weight on one foot and then the other. I’m getting better but its a slow process.
      I am still using the hinged brace when I go outside and its set at 105 degrees

  125. Bob Gamble said, on March 27, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I’m about 11 weeks post op and I still cannot put weight on a bent knee. Knee buckles if I do. I’m just beginning to go up steps. Started stepping up on a 2″ box and was still using a handrail to pull myself up. Very frustrating, but I think I’m still in the norm for recovery times.

  126. Tom Jaremka said, on March 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Great to hear that you guys are doing well and are very positive. I’m 117 days post surgery and the leg is weak, but feeling very good. I did some light skating, last week and will do a little more, this week. The knee still swells up quite a bit, but that’s just part of this inhury. I try and ice it every night, before bed. Once in awhile it seems that my knee weakens a little as I walk and I stumble a bit, but that’s really all the problems that I am having.

    My scar is becoming more and more invisible and is blending in with my skin color. Hopefully, the next 6-8 weeks will see a vast improvement in my mobility and leg strength.

    Hang in there, boys………..better days are ahead!! TJ

    • Dave Levon said, on March 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      Tom do you wear any type of brace on the leg when you skate or walk ?

  127. Michael C said, on March 27, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    I have this rom brace locked straight on exactly 2 weeks out now, and other than the pain going away, thats the only progress I made. It is hard to sit upright, after awhile my knee just aches…and walking is tough because now there is less support with the brace as opposed to the immobilizer. I can put weight on it at least.

    I can’t go back to work yet because sitting in a seat for 8 hours without my leg up is just gonna ache. I will go back monday, no ifs ands or buts almost 3 weeks out.

    I am remaining positive you guys are giving me inspiration, but this is just hell on earth. I can’t even believe this type of injury exists. These two weeks were an eternity. I can’t believe it is going to take another month to even entertain the idea of thinking about walking. Man bad times, bad times.

  128. Tom Jaremka said, on March 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    David, when I walk, work, or ride my bike, I DO NOT wear any brace of any kind. When I skate, I just wear a Walgreen’s bought knee brace with duct tape under it to hold my knee cap in place. That’s right, you heard me…..DUCT TAPE. The tape holds the knee cap in place while the brace supports the knee.

    When I took my cast off, January 29th, 8 weeks after surgery, I decided that I needed to gain confidence in my leg and in my mind, so I refused to wear a brace. Believe me, every step was planned and taken with much precaution. Even in the snow, I took it VERY slow, but gained confidence, everyday. I worked on ROM by riding my stationary bike. As soon as I could make a full revolution, my leg felt great!

    Today, at 118 days post-surgery, I was able to walk down the stairs without turning sideways, or using hand rails or any assistance, at all, today. I walked down the stairs like a regular person with no pain or discomfort. It felt GREAT!! My doctor says that the stitches inside the leg, that were holding everything together, are starting to break away and things are returning to normal.

    Dave, Michael and Bob, you guys are right, this is as debilitating an injury as anyone could ever have. The recovery and rehab are VERY frustrating, too. However, after a little while, you will make great strides, quickly. Playing hockey for over 45 years, I’ve had teeth knocked out, punctured ear drums, stitches beyond belief, broken wristes, knee surgeries, ankle surgeries, shoulder surgeries and many other injuries. But NOTHING, NOTHING compares to this injury, believe me. But you guys will get back to normal in a couple of months, I promise.

    At night, before bed, take a hot bath and soak in the tub. That will losen the knee joint up. Then, get out and put an ice bag on the knee. That will reduce any swelling. When you get up in the morning, your knee will feel better, believe me. BOYS, WE CAN GET THROUGH THIS!!

  129. Michael C said, on March 30, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Ok here we go. Went to the doctor, staples out 17 days out, would closed up pretty well. Dr bent my knee 10 degrees, it felt very tight. The best way I can describe it is it feels like it is 150 years old. I am to start PT next week, goal 0-30, then following week 0-60. I have no idea how thats gonna work, it is just gonna suck. It is getting better though, I feel it getting stronger, and it is just a huge muscle and joint.

    I went through the same thing with my bicep, man it did not feel as tight, it never really felt tight ever until the 160-180 degree mark.

    My wife needs to go on a trip May 1, 7 weeks out from surgery. My question is at that 7th week, will I be able to drive a car? I would need to to bring my kids to school. Can this be done?

    Things are starting to crumble around me, lawn is 8 inches high, this lawn co. is not getting back to me, wife is going nuts from extra work, and that stinking backboard less pole is sitting there tormenting me everytime I see it. I used to run around saving the world, now I have trouble putting on a pair of socks. I need my leg back!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 31, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Michael C,

      Regaining the flexion for your knee will be a slow process and a little bit painful. In my case, I was assigned various exercises to strengthen the quad and stretch the tendon. These included various exercises aimed at bending the knee. For passive stretching, I would put folded pillows under the knee so my leg would be bent while I rested, was reading and so on. I also used the exercise bike to stretch, plus when I was biking on it I would bend my knee and place my foot on a chair with the brace locked to my maximum allowed flexion so it would stretch. The repair should be pretty good by this point, but you’ll still want to avoid 1) rapid stressing of the tendon (that is, sharp, fast attempts to bend the knee) and 2) excessive force on the tendon. After all, these could injure even a normal leg.

      I had my surgery in April and was able to easily fit in my truck at the start of June. So, you might be ready to drive in 7 weeks, depending on your progress and your vehicle. My truck’s seat does not recline and it is a small truck, so I needed to be able to bend my leg a lot to drive.

      In terms of better news, I was able to do yard work even with the brace still on. I got pretty good at hobbling about, pushing my wheelbarrow. :)

  130. Dave Levon said, on March 31, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Went for a walk today for the first time without the brace. I felt I was walking normal but my wife kept telling me it looked like I was throwing my left leg out and then kind of stiff legging it. She finally took a video to show me. Anyone else experience this ?

    • Bob Gamble said, on March 31, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      Dave, I’m still walking like Capt. Ahab. Foot on good leg points north when walking, foot on bad leg points almost east.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      Dave,

      Yes-I was walking ugly for quite some time. When I could start running again, it was ugly. Part of the rehab is relearning how to walk normally. The knee will probably always be a bit “weird” (to use the medical term), but it will eventually be mostly normal.

  131. Tom Jaremka said, on March 31, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Dave Levon, after 119 days, post-surgery, I STILL walk a little “stiff legged”. It’s because of what Michael C. is experiencing, which is the tightness in the knee. Over time, that will all disappear. For now, we all have to deal with this type of “discomfort” in one way or another.

    My doctor also told me that I would walk with a slight limp out of habit, which I can understand. He also said that there would be swelling in my knee area for 6-8 months. The swelling can also cause a slight limp when walking. My theory about this whole thing is that as long as I can put some weight on my leg and live a semi-normal life, it’s better than where I was a month or two, ago.

    I played hockey last night, again. My leg felt better than two weeks ago, when I last played. This morning, when I woke up, I had alot less swelling than before, also. So I guess things are getting better all around. I just need to strengthen my leg muscles.

  132. Michael C said, on April 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Yeah as Tom said the thing is when I started to bend my knee, at the 10 degree mark I could feel how tight my quadricep was. My only hope is it gradually stretches out. I am sure during the surgery the muscle is shortened a little because they have to cut and prepare the tendon, and it might be stretched far down to make sure it adheres. With my quad so tight I don’t know how I am going to deal with having to bend 0-30 next Friday, which will be 3 1/2 weeks out. I will be surprised if I don’t hear squeaking from the bones. If anyone tries to bend my leg 30 degrees outright I almost feel like i might take a swing at them!

    Did anyone have a lot of problems going from 0-30 initially? i guess I should be able to do it but it feels like it will have to be slow tedious and painful. Beauiful. I can’t wait.

  133. Tom Jaremka said, on April 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Michael C., remember one VERY important thing, I was in a solid cast for 7 weeks before I had it cut off and was able to bend my knee at all. You’re 3 1/2 weeks out of surgery and you’re already going to bend your knee. So, in reality, you’re a month ahead of where I was at that time. In my mind, you’re doing great!!

    I just finished mowing my lawn, which is really a fantastic rehab excersize. Pushing that mower forward and pulling it backward is really an excellent way to rehab and get your yard work done. My leg strength is slowly coming back.

    Michael, also remember that you have a TON of swelling in the knee. Having alot of swelling really hinders your ability to bend your knee. As the days go by, you’ll start to feel better and more comfortable standing on your leg. As the swelling goes down, 30 degrees will seem like a cake walk. Pretty soon, you’ll be looking to do 90 degrees and more.

    Good luck. You’re wayyyyyyy ahead of me at 3 1/2 weeks, brother.

  134. Michael C said, on April 2, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Tom;

    My knee has been locked straight for about 4 weeks total now including before the surgery…man 7 weeks…insane..this would be a great form of torture, I have had enough of this straight leg. Tomorrow is 20 days, definetely stronger. Someone had mentioned the diverse medical opinions regarding rehab. It is a simple fact the tendon takes 6-8 weeks to adhere fully. I am somewhat old school in that I don’t think anyone should be cranking on the joint before full adhesion, or at least later on, but again bending it minimizes scar buildup, and I guess mildly loading the tendon passively makes it have some sort of better mesh in healing from what I hear.

    Whatever, at 3 1/2 weeks when these guys want me to start bending, theoretically it is around 50% adhered or whatnot, I guess bending 0-30 can’t hurt it too much. I guess.

    Personally walking is great, but I think life for me would be acceptable if I can do captain ahab without sticks. That way I could carry stuff and do some light work around the house. If I fall i could just go down flat and use the hands keeping the leg straight. I will be honest, I have had a few scares but I haven’t gone down. Oh man no way. You wreck on sticks you don’t know where your going!

    • Rosemarie said, on April 3, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Michael, trust your Therapists and Doctors, they know what they are doing. I know that it is hard but there is a reason for what you are going through right now. You don’t want to jeperdize and have to go back and do it all over again. The therapists know how far to push it and please trust their judgements. You need to have a good therapist to work with. It’s rough, I’ve been there too. I’ve worked in a therapy facility and I’ve seen too many men who don’t want people to think that they are babies and try to push it further and too fast for the proper healing and then they don’t understand why the surgery was not a success. The Doctors don’t tell you everything beforehand because there are too many people who will not go through the surgery knowing what is in store after and all the work involved. That is why you see a lot of people hobbling around that never had surgery because they were afraid. I’ve used Loftstrand Crutches which are better than regular crutches because they seem to give you a little bit more control. It’s hard and painful bending the knee but it will get better each and every time and one thing that you must remember is make sure that you do the exercises that the therapist gives you. I’ve seen too many people who will only do the exercises when the therapist is there and not at home and then wonder why they are not making progress. Remember that not only did they work with that tendon but they also had to cut through muscles, ligaments, nerves and tissues. Everything takes time to heal and everyone heals at their own pace. I’ve had one achillies tendon reconstruction, 3 rotator cuff, two knee replacements, one knee scraping, one quadricep tendon repair and now back surgery and I’ve learned not to compare myself to other people and their healing pace because everyone is different. Nerves only regenerate at 1 cm per month. Just don’t get anxious, you will get there and you will be back to your old self again but you just have to have patience (which I’ve learned that men do not have)!!! Take care

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      Michael,

      I was fairly active even with my leg locked in place. My neighbors did give me some odd looks when I was shuffling about behind my wheelbarrow, though. :)

  135. Dave Levon said, on April 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Ten weeks post surgery. Today I walked for approx. one hour and then went to therapy. At therapy I rode the stationary bike for 10 minutes, did squats, some stretching exercises and was able to bend my knee 112 degrees. Feeling stronger every day.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 5, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Dave,

      It is great to hear that you are making progress. Walking really helps-I was very glad when I could walk for extended periods of time. Since I could not run, I’d walk my running routes to get in some exercise. That is a bit slower. :)

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  137. Michael C said, on April 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    23 days have passed since surgery and I can now walk with one crutch, and very slowly without crutches with straight leg. The leg can handle all of my weight. If I walk too much though the knee gets sore. Tomorrow I have 1st therapy session, I assume they will be working on the scar and start bending up to 30 degrees, will see how that goes. I can actually walk up and down steps because it can bear weight. Life is a lttle less of a struggle now.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 6, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Michael C,

      Good luck with the therapy. My first visit was more of an evaluation with some minimal exercise. After that it got much more challenging.

  138. Tom Jaremka said, on April 5, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Michael C., congrats man, good news!! I was just mentioning to my wife that my knee was sore, today. It seems that the injury has good days and bad days. Even my good knee is a little sore, lately. I think it’s just because I’ve been using that leg alot more in the last 4 months. Hopefully, over time, both knees will get much better and I can enjoy the summer.

    Things will get better everyday for you, too. You might have a bad day once in awhile, but you’re on your way to a full recovery.

    • Michael C said, on April 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks Tom, I did go to the therapist yesterday, I was able to get it to bend to the 30 degree mark, it was tight. 30 degree is not as much as I thought. I can put all of my weight on it for short periods with the brace, and I am getting around on 1 crutch. I can get up stairs with the bannister alone now. Mike b is inspiring me, I am at almost 4 weeks, I was able to weed wack the house, is pretty easy, just move slowly and swing it around, most of the work is standing in place. I am working up the nerve) to cut my grass, it is 2 acres. The only tough part about it is getting on the lawn mower (I have a zero turn). Once on it, I just sit down and enjoy the ride, the deck is such that i can keep my leg straight on it. This injury is bad, but 4 weeks into it, i can just about hobble about without crutches, that brace makes it all possible. Outstanding. My poor wife is taking car of 2 kids and a crippled husband and working full time. This one crutch thing with a free hand lets me help her.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm

        Michael C.,

        30 degrees is a good accomplishment. I remember being glad to be allowed 10-just being able to move was quite liberating.

        You should find that you’ll be able to be quite active, even with the brace. It is awkward trying to do things, but possible. I put in some concrete steps while I was recovering. I’d swing my busted leg out of the way and lower myself on one leg (I called that move “the crippled crane” so I could put the “stones” in place. As I saw it, some folks get around with one leg (or even no legs), so I figured I could get by. :)

  139. Tom Jaremka said, on April 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Michael C., it sounds like you’re on your way to a quick recovery. On Friday, I worked on my dack all day going up and down the ladder, kneeling down and getting up and walking all over the place. Then, I went to hockey and played my first full game since the surgery 137 days ago. Today, both my knees are swollen and sore, but it’s a good type of sore. I kind of figure that after putting myself through an entire day of beating up my body and my knees, I have no fear of a recuring injury. Even at hockey, I never thought about getting hurt or tearing up my leg. I just played, had fun and thanked the Lord that my surgeon knew what he was doing.

    If I can come back from a full rupture and still play hockey, anyone can. We are all correct on this blog, this is a debilitating, painful, inconvenient, injury. But if you can work through some pain, trust your body and get a little help, you’ll get back to a normal life within a couple of months.

    Tomorrow, I will mow the lawn and go for a bike ride. 4 months ago I couldn’t even dream that I’d be doing any of that kind of activity. Keep pushing forward, boys!!!

  140. Michael C said, on April 13, 2012 at 12:33 am

    4 weeks 1 day since surgery, 3rd pt appt tomorrow. This is the week where I am supposed to go 0-60. I went this monday I was able to get to 30 consistently,
    but I could not go past that. I can walk without crutches, I can swing my leg forward better now, I see doing quad sets actually moving my foot around slightly.

    When I get to 30 degrees and try to go farther, it is just super tight. How is this overcome? I go to PT twice a week for 1 hour. They bend it for a few minutes and
    get a measurement. It seems like I need to spend a full hour bending it back and forth, maybe just going past the tightness point just a little, and do this over time.

    is this something where as time goes on, the quad will loosen up and it will be easier to bend, or you just have to keep streching and bending and loosen it by forced stretching. Man what a nightmare this is going to be.

    • Dave said, on April 13, 2012 at 7:05 am

      Michael, it just takes time. My PT said that the repaired tendon will go just so far and then it just stops when you are in the early stages of rehab. The recovery is not linear – you may make zero progress one week and add 20 degrees the next. Don’t get hung up on how far you are “supposed” to go at any particular point in time. I was able to get to 50 degrees pretty quickly, and then struggled for weeks to get to 80. It’s also not relevant to compare yourself to other people – everyone heals at their own rate. You WILL get there – it just takes time, patience, and exercise (but don’t overdo the last!).

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 13, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Michael C,

      Stretching the tendon does get to be a bit tedious and painful. In my case, I would do the exercises I was assigned and also rest with a “ball” of t-shirts in pillow case under my knee (being a runner, I have about 100 t-shirts). When riding my exercise bike, I’d bend my knee and lock the brace so it would stretch quite a while. I was careful not to over-do it, though.

      You’ll need to work at it to get the flexibility back. While some will come back from just moving about, most of the gain will be from direct stretching.

      • Michael C said, on April 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm

        Dave/Mike;

        Yes what you guys are saying makes sense. I did go to the therapist today, I was able to get to 34, it loosened up 10 degrees during the session, from 24 to 34. Last week it only went to 30. I stop after it gets tight and uncomfortable. So now my rehab begins, the next 3-4 weeks is stretching starting to strengthen a bit. Very good, wish me luck. Mike.

  141. Mary Lynn Nix said, on April 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I read about your surgery and it was the same as my husband’s last June except they didn’t give him blood thinner because they said it wasn’t the best thing to do with this type of surgery. The rest he had same as you.During that two week period we had home health nurse and physical therapist to see him and he was trying to do everything right! At the end of two weeks he died of a blood clot to the lungs! It has been so difficult for all of us! He was an amazing minister for a large Church and they are grieving too! The surgeon said this was rare without the blood thinner to happen! His only answer was God! The blood thinner problem has always been a question to us! Your doctor gave it to you. His surgery was for a complete rupture of the quadricep tendon and the muscles were torn from the kneecap and had to be attached! Wanted to share and receive reply from u about the blood thinner Thank you Mary Lynn

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      Mary Lynn Nix,

      I am terribly sorry to hear about your husband’s death. I’m not a medical doctor, but I am somewhat surprised that he did not get blood thinners. I had to get daily shots, plus I had the compression socks on my legs to help with the circulation. I would think that a thinner would be a standard thing, but there could be good medical reasons for not using it, such as pre-existing conditions that might make a thinner risky.

  142. Tom Jaremka said, on April 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Mary Lynn, my prayers are with your family. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I begged my doctor to NOT give me blood thinners after my surgery. He not only insisted, he was very blunt about the problems that can occur without their usage. I’ve also heard that some doctors will prescribe aspirin, 3 times a day, but “cumadin” was his blood thinner of choice.

    About 2 weeks after my surgery, I had a bout with “post surgical vertigo”. When I went back to the hospital they were so concerned about a blood clot that they put me through every heart, blood and vascular test known to man. The emergency docs were continually asking me about taking my cumiden and checking my blood levels, constantly. My leg was in a locked cast for 7 weeks, so I guess the blood thinners served their purpose.

    Michael C. , my knee is STILL tight even after 4 1/2 months. Time will heal the wound and it may take several months for the knee joint to loosen up, but if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes. I have good days and bad days. This injury is as serious as it gets for a leg injury. Give it time to heal properly and you’ll be fine in a few months.

  143. Michael C said, on April 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Mary Lynn, I am very sorry for your loss. I can relate to the danger of blood clots. Right before surgery I asked the Dr if I would be on blood thinners, he said it was not necessary, but he did put on a compression sock on my good leg and told me to take aspirin once a day. Tom what your saying is interesting because 1 week after surgery, even on the aspirin, I got dizzy and lost periphereral vision in one eye, and felt very weak. I am not sure what it was exactly but I popped 2 aspirin immediately fearing a clot…it passed after 10 mins. After that episode I was more mobile, walking whenever I could and moving my feet as much as possible.

    I am off aspirin now, not sure if that is a good idea, but after almost 5 weeks I am walking a decent amount with the straight leg. I think the biggest danger right now to me is a fall.

    Again I am sorry about your husband, this is a horrible injury which has the potential for so many other complications.

  144. Bob Gamble said, on April 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Mary Lynn, I’m very sorry for your loss and you are in my thoughts and prayers. My doctors were emphatic about taking presciption strength aspirin after surgery to prevent blood clots. I’m only 42, and have relatively normal blood pressure. I made sure I took them every day, for a month after surgery.
    Did anyone have problems with their balance? I still have difficulty walking after 3 months. Still have a severe limp, and loose balance if I have to step around or over something. Fell the other day when my knee buckled, rolled my ankle a little, but the tendon held up. Still very weak although I’m increasing the amt. of weight I’m using in my rehab exercises.

  145. Michael C said, on April 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I just came back from the dr, at 4.5 weeks out…this is the week I am supposed to go from 60-90…right now I am at 34….the dr is not happy, he says he wants me at 90 at a week and a half from now, I should be at 60 currently. Explained it will be harder to bend later and will have problems if it is not loosened. I have bent it a total of 20 mins or so at the therapist, it is time to start bending and loosening at home I guess. He also said to soak it to loosen things up. My therapist is more conservative, he says go at your own pace.

    I guess I will work on this at home, slowly bending and stretching it to loosen it up. The therapist can only do this for a few minutes, I however, can do this bending all night if I have to (with the understanding of not overdoing it) I am a little nervous the quad at the knee area is tight. You guys do any of this bending at home? what do you guys think? I hear of this motion machine, maybe I need that. Oh man I can’t believe I did this to myself.

    • Dave said, on April 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      Michael,
      Although every patient is unique, the goals your doctor has set seem a little aggressive, and your therapist is saying exactly what all the therapists say – go at your own pace. In my case, I didn’t even come out of the brace and start PT until the 4 week mark, and while I got to 50 very quickly, it was a slog to make progress for some time. I did eventually get to the goal of 135 degrees at 12 weeks, but there were plateaus where I seemed to make very little progress. Soaking in warm water may have the same effect as the heat that PT usually starts out with in that it promotes blood flow and relaxes the muscles, but the tendons take quite a while to stretch, and they don’t stretch easily.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      Michael C,

      I had various assigned exercises to do for when I was at home and spent quite a bit of time stretching. I also would lock my brace at the maximum allowed extension while I was riding my stationary bike (one legged). That gave me some extensive “passive” stretching, plus the exercise seemed to help by raising my body temperature even in the inactive leg.

  146. Tom Jaremka said, on April 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Michael C, it sounds to me like you have some scar tissue build up. Scar tissue build up makes your knee stiff and hard to bend. Every chance you get, massage your knee cap and area around your knee cap. That will loosen up the scar tissue and allow you to bend your knee, more easily. Every night before I go to bed, I take ahot bath to loosen up the knee joint, massage my knee for a half hour, then ice my knee for an hour. In the morning, I massage the knee, again, for 15 minutes. Heat – massage – ice.

  147. Michael C said, on April 17, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I believe also the Dr is too aggressive by one week. This being the 5th week, I think by the end of it I should be at 60 degs, and the end of the 6th week maybe 90. I don’t care as long as it bends more and more as time goes on I am happy, but it is so hard and so slow.

    I worked on it last night for 2 hours, stretching it, I put a heating pad with a wet rag under it. I am looking at it, it seems to be at 40 degrees. What I am feeling is a tightness right at the tendon insertion point into the kneecap, and the muscle at that point as well. Even at rest the muscle feels tight there. 6 inches past there however the quad is jello.t
    You would think the entire muscle would stretch and be tight like a rubber band all the way up.

    I am wondering if this feeling is normal, that at a certain point it just won’t bend anymore. It appears if I bend my knee a few thousand times it will loosen up, but it is so super slow and tedious.

    If I am at 40 now I think if I work on it this week I can get to 50 or 60. I tell you what though, once I do get to 40, it doesn’t just stay there, if I sit for awhile and try to bend again i have to re loosen it up and stretch to do it again.

    This is all fine, the only thing that makes me nervous is the dr says if you don’t get this to bend soon, your going to have ROM issues later and a hard time.

    Going to therapist wed going to see what his take on this craziness!

    Again I appreciate the time your guys put into this board, this helps out greatly!

  148. Dave Levon said, on April 17, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Went to the Drs today 12 weeks post surgery. He was very pleased with my progress and cleared me to start playing golf. He also advised me that the knots on the sutures used to sew the tendon back in place may start to bother me around the one year mark and may have to be removed. Anyone else ever had this problem ?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      Dave,

      I didn’t have any problems and my doctor did not mention this. It might be that the sutures used on you were different or that my doctor just neglected to mention this. I did, however, have a suture “emerge” from the wound while I was recovering-but that was apparently a suture from closing the knee that just failed to dissolve.

    • Dave said, on April 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Dave,

      Interesting that you should mention this. The sutures at the bottom of my kneecap appear as small bumps – one is more prominent than the others (I guess I have bony knees!). The orthopedist offered to remove them, but they’re not causing a problem unless I bang that spot on the knee against something hard.

  149. Darryl Wesby said, on April 18, 2012 at 1:34 am

    You guys think your doctor was too aggressive? Check out what happened to me. I went into PT on Friday and found outthat it was my final session! Because it is only a partial tear the orthopedist prescribed PT twice a week for 4 weeks! She said it is now just a matter of me strengthening the quad by doing the exercises on my own. I’ve been doing them in rehab and every night at the gym and I have made fantastic progress but this is something I did not expect. I have about 10 exercises I have been doing and 3 sets of 10 plus 30 mins on the bike or treadmill means I am in the gym about 2 hours a day on my own. But I still think I would prefer a little positive reinforcement from a PT once or twice a week. My next visit to the orthopedist isn’t for another 4 weeks.

    So how many exercises is everyone else doing? I stopped by her office today with some questions and she actually gave me a couple more to start doing in a couple weeks. One of them is jumping off one foot like I am shooting a layup. You can imagine what happened when I tried it today! She said once I can jump off each leg with authority I will be able to go back to catching for my softball team. Judging by the negative vertical leap when I did it today, I still have a ways to go.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Darryl,

      My PT was longer, but I had a full tear. I did have quite a few exercises, as I recall.

    • Rosemarie said, on April 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      Darryl, depending on your insurance your Therapist should have been able to request additional visits for you after the initial ones. Normally a Doctor will write a script for so many visits and then the therapist sends a report to the Doctor at the end of those sessions and if additional visits are needed they request them.

  150. Michael C said, on April 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I just came back from PT, last week I was at 34, the therapist cranked on my knee back and forth for like 1/2 hour….for brief instances it almost reached 60 degrees it looked like, but my quad tendon at the knee is so ridiculously tight. The PT even said I am the tightest he has ever seen.

    He measured and I am at 40. It can bend to 60 if cranked back and forth, but if he held it there man that would be absolute agony.

    Every time I sit down now I am bending my knee to where it starts to hurt in hopes that it stretches out. It starts to get painful at a certain point and if I go past it is fairly painful. My joint feels great, the tendon is the tightness area.

    The therapist said you have to be persistent and patient and focus on repetition. Will loosen up gradually. The rate it is going though it seems like it will be months before I get to 90.

    Has anyone had to have their leg cranked over and over to get ROM back? even with scar tissue I don’t get why it won’t just bend. Man this is total crap.

    • Rosemarie said, on April 18, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Michael, if you have a rocking chair at home sit on it and keep rocking with your leg underneath. This was one method that I used. Also if you have a wood floor put a wash cloth under your foot while sitting down and keep trying to go back underneath where ever you are sitting with your leg. These were two of the home exercises that my therapists gave me to help get my ROM up.

      • Michael C said, on April 19, 2012 at 8:52 am

        Ok this is good to do, but the problem I am having is at pretty much the same point, 35 – 40 degrees I get this tightness and past a certain point it is super tight and I feel like I am going to tear something….it is just not loosening up…I am trying to figure out if it is normal or there is something wrong in there…is it possible the tendon adhered to something else in there, or it could possibly takes weeks and weeks for me to get to 90..it is 5 weeks out and I have been doing this rigorously for 4 days now…..I guess I just have to keep stretching, see how it progresses over 2 weeks, and tell the dr the results.

        • Michael C said, on April 19, 2012 at 11:27 am

          Dave you had said you had gotten to 50 quickly, then it took awhile to make progress. That seems to be happening to me, I am basically at 40, but it doesn’t seem to want to progress.

          What made that progress slow? was it muscle tightness, or did you have pain bending the knee where the tendon is? I feel my tendon is still hard and swollen, maybe the body doesn’t want it to bend more just yet. Trying to figure out if is normal or some sort of scarring has done me in for good. Trying to put my fragile psyche at ease! Thanks!

          • Dave said, on April 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm

            My PT guy said that the quad tendon will give to a certain point and then it is like stretching iron – it doesn’t budge. Each PT session began with heat, followed by ultrasound, manual massage, and then controlled stretching done by the therapist. He would measure ROM every other session – that helps the feeling of accomplishment! I then spent time in their gym under the supervision of the PT technician doing controlled exercises to both strengthen and stretch the warmed-up muscles, followed by ice packs.

            I was also discouraged that I could not get to where I was “supposed” to be, but it just took time and patience. I hit plateaus at about 50 and 80 degrees, but just kept at it and it was at 135 at about 13 weeks.

            My surgery was over 2 1/2 years ago, I’m almost 60, so I don’t put the demands on it that someone who is still playing ball might, but it doesn’t really have an impact on daily activities. I still stretch the quad muscle at the gym, but I do that for both legs – it’s still a little tight at the very end of the range of motion, but otherwise my quads on both legs stretch about the same. The one thing my PT told me to avoid was doing seated leg extension exercises, as they put an enormous strain on the tendon and don’t really help the quad muscle as much as you might think. See http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/avoid_lifting_injuries/The_Seated_Leg_Extension.php) for a better writeup than I can give.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm

              Dave,

              Good point about the leg extensions. They used to be rather popular, but now there is some concern they are not as good as once thought. I still do them, but they are combined with other exercises to balance the workout.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 19, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      Michael C,

      I did hear about some cases in which PTs supposedly had to “crank” the leg to “break” scar tissue. I’m not quite sure if that was a “medical myth” or the truth. My own experience was far less violent-just a gradual increase in ROM.

      • Michael C said, on April 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

        Mike/All;

        I just came back from PT, they measured me at 50 degrees, from 38 last week. The thing is they have to stretch and stretch and it is super painful, but when they held it at 50 or so, it gradually loosens up and the pain subsides. I have been from 23, to 34 to 38, and now 50. It is a struggle, but it has to be done.

        I tell you what, at 5 1/2 weeks that repair is strong it held up no problem with stretching with all of the pain I could bear. The guy bent it to 60 he said briefly.

        What this tell me is I can inflict more pain on myself in stretching, there is no way I could hurt the repair myself, I would be crying in sheer agony before it got to that point.

        Again therapist said you have to force the body out of the protective mode and break up that scar tissue….man it works, but is painful. So 5 1/2 weeks out I am at 50. Time to start kikinsumaz!

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm

          Michael,

          Having inflicted a stretching injury or two on myself before I even had the injury, I’d still recommend being cautious-while you probably cannot re-tear the tendon, you could still pull something. :)

          • Michael c said, on April 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm

            yeah mike, you had said it would be a challenge getting the knee to bend, man you weren’t kidding. It takes persistence and patience. At the therapist I was at 50 with pain, after gradually stretching since then my brace is saying 55, and that is comfortable. Again the the therapist deals out pain over 10-15 mins of stretching, but i can spend 2-3 hours just going back and forth less violently. I just never thought it wouild be so painful. Will take heed, doing gradual stretching to just when it starts to hurt. Wow what a journey this injury is….3-4 weeks to heal, next 3 -4 weeks ROM, then strengthening, then learning how to walk again, and finally a normal leg. Insanity!

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm

              Michael C,

              Fortunately, once you get to the full ROM, then you’ll be done. It does come back-my leg is at about 99% of the original.

  151. Tom Jaremka said, on April 23, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Hey boys……….it’s great to hear that we are all healing up, some quicker than others. I’m at 19 weeks post-surgery and had a bit of a setback, 2 weeks ago. I’ve been doing some serious rehab on my own and my doc allowed me to get back on the ice and skate a little. About 2 weeks ago I was walking down the stairs and my knee locked up, a bit. That caused me to stumble and I ended up wrenching my knee pretty good. There was some pain and swelling, but my ROM really declined due to the swelling.

    I went to the doc and he shoved a 4″ needle in my knee and took out some blood. So, for the last 2 weeks I have been taking it easy and relaxing with hot baths and ice packs. Today, my knee feels really good, possibly as good as it has been feeling since before surgery. Although I was upset about the setback, my doc explained that there is going to be setbacks and delays in healing.

    I guess the good thing about the setback was that the repair held through my wrenched knee and my stumble. Right now, I have more confidence in my knee than before. I needed to take a step back in order to take 2 steps forward.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      Tom,

      Stairs are the enemy. :) Sorry to hear about your injury, but it is great that the repair held-that is certainly a good sign. Good luck with the rest of the recovery. Best to stick to the ice and stay of those stairs…

  152. Michael C said, on April 24, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Tom at this stage of the game your tendon is probably as strong as it gets, and the quad is still strengthening I would think. Happy to hear leg is still connected!
    I am 6 weeks tomorrow, went to PT today and measured at 72. I will probably get to 80 by Friday, and see the Dr going into week 7 to see what he wants me to do next. I will take heed from your guys and use the death grip on the hand rail technique when the time comes.

    You guys who are further along, does your knee resemble your good knee? My swelling has gone down, but my bad knee resembles a round ball with a pointy kneecap which has 0 definition. I am hoping it kind of goes back to the same as the other one, with of course this not so subtle 5 inch scar.

    The PT guy said they will probably open up the brace a bit for walking soon, that makes me nervous, not sure how the quad is going to like that.

    • Bob Gamble said, on April 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Michael C. I’m a little over three months post-op and my knee still
      resembles a wad of gum.

  153. Tom Jaremka said, on April 25, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Yea…….my knee STILL resembles a 12″ softball with a line going down the middle. But I’ve had 3 surgeries on my right knee, so actually, both my knees look like 12″ softballs…….LOL. As long as I can walk and skate, I don’t care if they resemble my sister in law!!

  154. Michael C said, on April 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    It is 6 1/2 weeks now, I have given all I have to get to 85…I am struggling to stay on track with the doctors orders of 90 by end of week 6. I have been doing the wall heel slides….I don’t see how my leg is ever going to get to 140 or so, but i said that when I was stuck at 50 also….

    I noticed if I work outside let straight for a few hours, I go to bwnd my leg i have like 30 degree ROM…i have to stretch it for a few mins to get back to 80….if I stretch for a few hours, to the limit with pain involved, i can’t do the straight leg walk until I warm it up and get it used to straight leg weight again…

    Again i think this week they will open my brace to 30..I tried seeing how my leg would like that…as expected it won’t…it doesn’t like weight on a bent knee…I also can’t do a straight leg lift yet…the PT says ok, 6 week straight leg lift…he is in for a big surprise that is not going to happen.

    I have only been doing this bum leg lifestle for a relatively short 6 weeks now, but it has become a rough way of life.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on April 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      Michael C,

      Adjusting to it is rough-I started keeping a mental list of what I couldn’t do, then realized that would make me crazy. :)

      Fortunately, things get better-I focused on what I could do and the improvements I made. I certainly got some great one-legged balancing skills out of it. :)

      • Anonymous said, on May 1, 2012 at 5:19 am

        Joe F, Ive been sitting here reading this blog for a couple of hours and was wondering if anyone had experienced what I have been dealing with since the last of Feb 2012 ? I think Dave asked if anyone had retorn a quad, well I am one ot those who tore it the 2nd time 7 wks after the first surgery.I am at home tonite after my first PT visit. and you guy have really helped me I am so glad that I found this site.I truley believe I have experienced everything all of you had and then some to say the least.

        t

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 1, 2012 at 10:37 am

          Sorry to hear about the re-tear. That was my nightmare during my recovery, so I wish you the best of luck!

  155. Tom Jaremka said, on May 1, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Michael C. , you’re at 6 1/2 weeks and your ROM is coming along. I still had my cast on at 6 1/2 weeks. So you’re way ahead of me at the present time. Remember, everyone heals differently. You’ll have good days and bad days. Just keep a positive attitude. Your tendon repair is still healing at 6 1/2 weeks. It’s still very tight and very fragile. This injury takes 6-8 months to heal and rehab. I’m at 5 months post-surgery and I am rehabbing and pushing myself everyday. But I know that it will be 3-5 more months before the stiffness, tightness and discomfort go away.

    • Michael C said, on May 1, 2012 at 9:49 am

      Yes Tom, things seem ok, I see my ROM slowly getting better. I saw the Dr yesterday, he said keep working on ROM, no weight at all, just passive motion. Ok thats fine. He said open up the brace to 30 degrees and try walking. I had to contain my laughter actually. I don’t see that happening, there is no way I am going to wreck and hurt my knee again.

      how should I approach this? the 30 degrees is good for swinging the leg forward, then planting with a stiff leg and hope it sticks. if my leg buckles I don’t think the 30 degree lock is going to keep me from falling. It seems to me the quad shouild be strengthened or tested a little bit to see if it can do anything at all. I know my quad right now is only good for causing me grief and torment. This wed is 7 weeks.

  156. Tom Jaremka said, on May 2, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Mchael C. , I think his thinking is that the more you open up the brace, walk and put weight on the leg, the stronger it will become. Your job is to take everything VERY slowly, so you don’t re-injure yourself. My leg really started to get better when I would climb stairs and ride my bike. Naturally, I would go up and down the stairs very slowly, for about 15 minutes, twice a night, backward and forward. It hurts like hell, but it’s all part of the healing process.

    If you walk and do things slowly with complete fluid motions, your knee won’t lock up. Usually, the knee locks up when you are going to fast, either walking or using stairs. My knee still locks up once in awhile, but it’s part of the healing process, too.

    The good news is that in about 3-4 weeks you will see an amazing change in a short time. The knee will losen up, a bit, and your ROM will greatly improve. You’ll see steady improvement after that. By July, you’ll be limping, but with less discomfort and more ROM.

    Have a positive attitude and an open mind. Remember, everyone heals differentyl and adjusts to rehab differently. Better days are ahead, bro.

  157. Jimmy said, on May 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Hello all, nice threads. Left knee quad repairs soon, I feel much better after reading this blog. Why is it restricted to drive if the left knee is the injured one? What exactly is weight bearing? Does walking with a crutch considered putting weight on the knee? Which is better after the surgery, crutch or walker? What about sex life after the surgery, I have not read anything about that. Thank you,

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Jimmy,

      In my case, the problem with driving was that I could not bend my knee enough to actually fit in my truck. My foot worked fine, so I could have worked the pedals with no problem, if I could have sat down properly. Depending on your vehicle and height, you might be able to drive sooner than I.

      Mine was weight bearing from day 0, in the sense that I could stand using the leg that had been operated on. Naturally, I took it very easy on the leg. I went with crutches since they were the only thing I had. In general, I’d say the crutches are better for mobility, but a person who needs a walker (or already uses one) would probably go with that.

      In the case of sex, it would depend on what you were doing. As long as you are not straining the repair, then it should be okay-but check with the doc to see what you can do.

  158. Michael C said, on May 6, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Hi Jimmy, the restriction would probably be due to your leg being locked straight for 4-6 weeks after the surgery, you might have trouble reach in the pedals with the other leg. If you can get it in there and have your right leg reach gas and brake, man thats all you need. I drove at 6 weeks with a right tear being able to drive with two feet. When I was able to bend my leg around 45 degrees I could keep my right leg up enough to pivot on and off the gas, and broke with my left leg.

    Weight bearing is the ability to put any amount of weight on the torn leg with it locked straight. Full weight bearing is when you can stand on that leg with it locked straight in the brace. A straight leg locked puts very little strain in the quadricep. Thats the beauty of this injury, very quickly you can start walking with a locked leg because it is easy on the quad (very tough on the hips though)…in about 1 week after surgery I could put all of my weight on it, and about 3 weeks I could walk on it with the brace without crutches. I used crutches really for balance and to take slight load off of that leg. The great thing is you don’t have to keep it up in the air like you would with a broken leg or something.

    As far as sex goes, I abstained for about 3 weeks, for 2 weeks i was too uncomfortable to even think about it…at 3 I was able to stand up with no crutches and do the deed…From my experience 2 1/2 to 3 weeks you would be somewhat functional to do stuff, the limiting factor is discomfort, at least for me.

    The only painful part of this surgery is 3-4 days after, managed with painkillers, and afterwards it is just annoying, nothing unbearable. Basically from my experience it is about 2-3 weeks or so recovery from the surgery, and rehab at about 3-4 weeks for basic rom exercises.

    Massive amounts of experience on this thread, these guys helped me out greatly, I am 39 yeas at 7 1/2 weeks post surgery, I have 100 ROM, and can finally do a straight leg lift. i walk without crutches with a brace having to plant my bad leg locked, then bend it to swing forward. it will be some more weeks before i can walk normally.

  159. Bob Gamble said, on May 6, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Jimmy, the main problem you will have with driving immediately after surgery is lifting your leg into the vehicle. My wife hd to lift my right leg into the passenger side for me. It will be difficult getting in either side because you will not be able to lower your self and bend the knee. I think doctors are also wary of allowing patients to drive when wearing any kind of brace.

  160. Michael C said, on May 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I am at 105 now, doing quad strengthening, bent knee can bear some weight, still walking like hop along cassidy.

    I am just reminiscing about the horror of all our injuries, looking back on it i am realizing how devastating an injury it is, lying on the ground with leg partly destroyed after my rapid descent from the ladder, the feeling of the knee exploding, feeling bones protruding where my tendon was…I had no idea what was ahead as I was loaded into the ambulance for a good 2 months worth of pure unadulterated hell so far. Actually I can’t imagine hell being any worse. That first excrutiating toilet session 5 days out, the pee bucket because I couldn’t walk the first day, the morbid fear/danger of wrecking on crutches…constant fear of dropping dead from a blood clot….swinging that chicken bone in and out of a car to get to the Dr….the painful knee cranking to get it to move….I have been in pain in one form or another 24/7 for 9 1/2 weeks now. This injury has to be eradicated from this planet, it is completely unacceptable.

  161. Tom Jaremka said, on May 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Well boys, 5 months and 1 week after surgery, I have been officially “released” by the orthopedic surgeon. I am back on the ice, skating at about 70% strength but with some “discomfort”. I’ve never really had what I consider “pain” after the original complete tear on November 23rd. My surgery went well, my rehab went well and the healing process is going along well, too. Having a solid cast on for 8 weeks was a little tough, however.

    Believe me, I still have discomfort going down stairs and when I skate. But between heat and ice packs I can work through it. My hockey teammates call it “non medicinal pain management”. It kinda sucks because my non-injured knee has become very arthritic due to over use when I was recovering. So now, BOTH of my knees ache on any given day. Icey-Hot works very well after a hot bath and ice packs, too.

    Michael C. , you are correct, “unadulterated hell” is a good description of this injury. But I learned something about my body…….at 52, I don’t heal like I used to, but I can tolerlate alot of pain and discomfort. I learned that ice, hot baths, diligent rehab and stretching really help this type of injury. I learned that a great and honest doctor can help get anyone through this injury.

    My doctor is also a hockey player, which is why I picked him to operate on me. He knew I had a reason to get better and a purpose for getting through this injury. I wanted to play hockey, again. PERIOD. I saw many people in rehab with the same injury as me and they were in rehab for 6-8-10 months. As soon as my cast was off my focus was on skating. I needed to get strong enough and trust my doctor enough so I could live my life, play hockey and ride my bike without a second thought about a recurring injury. Every night I did my excersizes and along the way, invented a few new ones. I pulled a tire around my neighborhood, forward and backward, every other night. I climbed stairs up and down, forward and backward, every night. I rode my bike every night. My life turned into rehabbing my leg. I became obsessed with rehabbing my leg. I needed to prove to myself that I’m not an old man and I’m not too old to play hockey.

    Well, so far it has paid off. Everyone on this blog has been really helpful and very understanding. I will still update on this blog as often as I can. Remember, the one thing we have in common is that we aren’t just writing about this injury, WE LIVED IT!!

  162. Michael C said, on May 12, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I am 8 1/2 weeks out, the PT wants me to keep the brace on outside only, but i stopped using it it isn’t doing anything and it keeps riding down my leg. i can do a leg lift, full knee extension, i can walk slowly without a limp, but still normal pace i have a limp even though i put some weight on it when it bends backwards…the thing now is weight on a bent knee. if i slightly bend it i can do a 50 50 weight distribution, but past a certain point it will just collapse.

    Now seems like a dangerous time, because being thrown off balance can result in a fall, and maybe a retear…even if i wore the brace it is open, it isn’t going to stop a fall.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      As I recall, my brace was off at 8 weeks. I wasn’t too worried about a tearing it from just falling over, since my flexion had reached the point that I could handle a normal fall. If you have full ROM, then you should be okay (a non catastrophic fall will just bend the leg, while a catastrophic fall would bust you up brace or no brace, I suspect).

      I had collapsing problems as well, which were a bit scary. I was a bit worried when I gave up the brace, but I had no problems. You’ll want to be careful, of course.

  163. Anonymous said, on May 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Right here is the perfect blog for anybody who wants to understand this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that’s been written about for ages. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

  164. Dave Levon said, on May 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Just over 100 days days post surgery and I am done with rehab. Three times a week for the past 3 months has gotten me to a 135 degree ROM which is the same as my good leg. I am back to playing golf, walking 2 miles a day and my knee continues to feel stronger every week. The therapists were great and seemed as happy as I was as I progressed. I am 60 years old.

  165. Michael C said, on May 17, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Waddysay fellas. I am 9 weeks 1 day, I have stopped doing ROM exercises since 110, my leg seems to be loosening up on its own just by sitting at my desk all day, I would say is at 120 now. Things are strengthening but it is tough because all of these PT exercises are accompanied by discomfort at my kneecap. Leg lift is fairly easy now, I am starting to lose the limp while walking. Life is becoming normal again for me at 9 weeks. This injury is intense but relatively short. That being said it will be I am sure awhile before I can run or do any significant sports activities, what probably 2 months. I tell you what, I eventually have to get back on the ladder, but from now on no heavy items up the ladder, always go up forwards (I fell backpeddaling up it), and when falling land on some area where there is no joint!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      Michael C,

      The first time you get back on a ladder will probably be a bit weird. I actually had to pause for a split second the first time for my will to override my worry. I did tell myself I was just checking the ladder. :)

  166. Michael C said, on May 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Ok it has been 11 weeks 2 days, what is left for me now is waiting for this kneecap soreness to dissappear, and getting enough strength to get it up the stairs. I guess this is just going to take awhile. Everything is getting better but it is just so slow. ROM is at 120. I am hoping in about 3-4 weeks I can put my full weight on a bent knee, and get the remaining 20 degees of rom.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      Good luck with getting the ROM. It is just a matter of time. I’ve found that my knee still causes some minor problems, but I’m not sure how much is the injury and how much is the 46 years of use. :)

  167. Dave Levon said, on May 31, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Has anyone else experienced this problem: I will be out walking and all of a sudden I take a bad step. It happens so fast I’m not sure if the knee fails to bend or its something else. It throws me off balance and at times is painful. I am approx. 130 days post surgery.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 1, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Dave,

      That happened to me quite often and was a bit scary at first. I found that even after being fully recovered my knee would “go out” for a split second every once in a while.

  168. Tom Jaremka said, on May 31, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Dave, yes, that does tend to happen with the recovery. I am at 6 months post-surgery and sotimes when I am walking, it seems that my knee doesn’t bend properly and I take a misstep. It’s a little painful, but that is due to the swelling that still exists inside the knee joint. I hear that the swelling won’t go away until a year after surgery, or so. Just try to deal with the discomfort and continue to rehab and live your life. If you worry about it, you will slow down the healing process.

  169. Dave Levon said, on May 31, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Thanks for the info. I just worry about falling down the stairs.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 1, 2012 at 10:05 am

      That is a reasonable worry. I still tend to hold onto the handrail when using stairs-just in case.

  170. Dave Levon said, on June 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    As do I. I also still tend to turn my body to the side when I walk down stairs but its getting better.

  171. jimmy said, on June 7, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    4wks post op, out of full cast, into cylinder cast after 2 wks. Doc said I will be out of the cylinder cast and be put in an immobilizer. I have had a couple of missteps like you guys had, but thanks to the cast, nothing happened. Do you guys think it is wise to purchase a stabilizer such as the McDavid #428 Pro Knee Stabilizer to use after the immobilizer is removed ? just to be on the safe side…

    http://www.mcdavidusa.com/store/item.asp?DEPARTMENT_ID=725&ITEM_ID=12

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      While I am not an MD, I’d say that you wouldn’t need the stabilizer after you are out of the medical brace. I went “bare” knee after the doc had me out of the knee brace, although I did use the brace a couple times after that. Of course, it could be helpful psychologically-knowing that you have some extra security for the knee could help with doing the PT and getting about. In any case, it shouldn’t do anything negative and I use knee braces from time to time when my knees act up from running.

  172. Tom Jaremka said, on June 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Hello boys, glad to hear everyone seems to be healing up and getting used to a normal life, again. At 6 months and 2 weeks post-surgery, my knee is feeling better, every week. It’s difficult to play hockey more than one night a week, right now. The grind and torture that goes along with playing sometimes has a negative effect on my knee for a day, or two, afterward, but for the most part, skating is a great rehab excersize.

    I have to remind myself that I was originally told that it would be a year before I could play hockey. And now, at 6 months, I still have some healing to do even though I am skating. So I am 4 to 6 months ahead of schedule. Hopefully, things will continue to move forward.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      Tom,

      It is great to hear that you are making such excellent progress. You got back to skating long before I was able to get back to running.

    • Anonymous said, on June 13, 2012 at 12:55 am

      Well, Memorial Day weekend I went to Philadelphia with my softball team for a holiday tournament. I was the DH for a few games and I caught a few innings in one game. We won the tournament, our tournament first win of the year. The coach told me my job is to use the next 6 weeks as an extended spring training to be healthy for the World Series in August.

      A couple days ago I went to my orthopedist and after running a few tests he said the torn quad is healed but my quads are weak. He didn’t think I needed any more PT so he told me I should hire a trainer at the gym. My problem now is I use Bally’s, and that is NOT a good place to find a trainer. They are more “fitness coaches” in my opinion.

      Does anyone know a good trainer in NYC?

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm

        Glad to here that you are fully healed. Getting the strength back will be a lot of work-I remember how my quad basically vanished. Unfortunately, I don’t know a good trainer in NYC.

        After my PT ended, I did my re-training myself and got my quad back fairly quickly.Since I needed to focus on the quads, I did squats and leg extensions, plus plenty of hill running. My Tae Kwon Do workouts also helped a lot-plenty of kicking.

  173. Tom Jaremka said, on June 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Sorry, I don’t know a good trainer in NYC. But in order to get some strength back in your quad, do some very basic legs movements. Like Michael said, squats are a good start. I still pull a tire, attached to a rope, around my neighborhood. I also bought some 5lb. leg weights and just stand in place and bend my leg at the knee. It’s all very basic movements that strengthen the quad muscles. Also, riding a bike is a great way to work the muscles.

  174. Jesus said, on June 19, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Just blew my Quad Tendon completely on the last day of my cruise this past Saturday June 16th while I tried to be Lebron James on the basketball court. Im an avid runner/biker/swimmer and am always doing stuff around the house, lawn/handy stuff etc… The first few days have proven to be incredibly difficult to deal with mentally. Things that I took completely for granted like going up a single stair or climb into shower seem almost impossible. Im still in the process of getting a date for my operation but reading the above postings has given me a wonderful resource to gauge when I may be back to running. I had already signed up for the ING 13.1 in Miami in late January so this will be my goal.
    Is there any exercised that I can be doing prior to operation that can prevent the muscle atrophy. Ive been doing calve stretches, massaging the quad, flexing calf and quad… to see if any of this helps keep the muscle active. Ive also heard of electrode machines that stimulate the muscles and give them a work out, without actually working out. I just want to be in the best possible position coming into the surgery to come out and begin my healing process asap…
    Thanks…

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Jesus,

      Since the quadriceps tendon is torn, the quad will be out of action until it is healed (trying to exercise it before it is healed runs the risk of a re-tear). So, it is going to atrophy a great deal. You can, however, work the other muscles and keep your cardio up. I rode a stationary bike using one leg, plus did the Bowflex thing (Amazon conveniently had a sale on one about the time I was able to get up and about).

      Once the tendon is firmly re-attached, you’ll be in PT, with considerable focus placed on getting the quad back in shape. It should be back to normal surprisingly quickly. I had my surgery at the start of April (2009) and ran at the start of September that year.

      • Jesus said, on June 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm

        Mike,
        Thanks for this great blog. I just got back from the Ortho Surgeon and upon his review of the MRI discovered that the tear was very rare/unusual one as the tendon tore in the middle and not from the patella. I had no previous history of knee injuries, pain, tendonitis. Nothing. I practiced TaeKwonDo for many years and been active all my life. Now i’ve been referred to a specialist that specifically deals with these type of tears. Apparentlely theyll be using a cadaver tendon to graft in place of the torn one. My neighbor is a PT and gave me a heads up that this type of injury takes longer to heal and rehab…

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 20, 2012 at 12:55 pm

          Jesus,

          Glad to help. When I had my tear, I had to go all over the place to learn bits and pieces. So, I decided to put it in one place to help other folks in the same boat.

          That is an unusual tear-you might have damaged the tendon at some earlier point and then it gave out at that weak point. I’ve known a couple runners who have had cadaver grafts-fortunately the news was good and they were back to running.

          I assume that the rehab will be basically the same-it will be a real test of your patience and will. I found it very useful to do all the exercises that I could do, such as one-legged stationary bike riding. When I could finally work the leg, I had to relearn how to walk and all the TKD forms. I would be out in my forms area holding the paper guide trying to get the moves back. Fortunately, one can teach an old dog old tricks. :)

  175. Michael C said, on June 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Checking in 15 weeks since my tear. Wow. At this point I can go up and down stairs without holding the rail, but I am nervous about it. I can walk completely normally, since at this point my quad can bear a decent amount of weight. For awhile I was planting the leg straight and only bending when weight was coming off on the back stride.

    My ROM was measured at 128. I can now do a shuffle jog, first time I can do any hint of running in 4 months. My kneecap pain is slightly there, and I am definetly aware even though there is no pain that it was tore….In the morning it is stiff and weak and I have to gradually get it to bear weight over a minute or two..

    Man this ordeal is coming to an end. I will have come full circle when I perform the feat which gave me my tear in the first place, mounting a 100 pound glass backboard to a pole.

    this time I am using a makeshift crane with a pulley to hoist it up, no ladders involved (except for screwing the bolts in). this way if I drop it the backboard gets injured, not me! Once I get this done, I can put this injury behind me and try to forget about the enire fiasco. Man what a year of h*ll this has been.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 23, 2012 at 11:37 am

      Glad to hear that your are more mobile and able to work those stairs. I was nervous about them for quite some time, thanks to the seemingly random “knee failure” that would sometimes strike me. Luckily, I never fell. It was like the knee had a cruel sense of humor, though. :)

      Good luck with the backboard. It took me a while to get back on a ladder and even now I am not a big fan of doing it. But, I suppose it is like the horse thing-you have to get back on and give it another chance to kill you. :)

  176. Tom Jaremka said, on June 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    I’m glad to see Michael C. is walking and back to a normal life. I told you that by July 4th you would be walking…nice job. I’m at almost 7 months, post-surgery, and last night at hockey I finally felt “comfortable”. I was able to cross over and stop without wincing in pain. Today, I am really sore, but that’s still the healing process.

    Jesus, all I can tell you is start at the end of this blog and scroll backward. You will see progressions of healing and as you go backward, you will see the good, the bad and the ugly. After playing hockey for over 40 years, my body has had its share of injuries, stitches, surgeries and basic aches and pains. But this tendon injury was, by far, the worst. As you heal, your entire body aches because you can only use one leg. Your hips come out of line, your back hurts and, at times, it seems like things will not get better.

    But slowly, things will heal up. It’s more of an inconvenience injury than anything. Just like all of us, keep the faith, work hard, work through the pain, listen to your doctors and rehab techs and most of all, don’t rush it. Let the injury heal correctly. Good luck!!

  177. computer support said, on June 24, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Hey would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a reasonable price? Cheers, I appreciate it!

  178. Jesus said, on June 26, 2012 at 7:14 am

    So I’m 4 days post-op and having some difficult periods with injured knee. 1st of all, good news…the Doc was able to sew the tendon back together without having to graft. Meaning I wont be needing a 2nd surgery later to remove it. When I woke up from the operation I was so out of it and so screwed up that they immediately decided to admit me for the night. I couldnt sleep not 1 second the 1st night. The morphine they had lined me up with was way too strong and the other option, percoset, throws my blood pressure haywire and makes me have hallucinations. My next option, Vicodin, gives me an uncontrollable itch which is a common side effect from what the doctor explained. They began giving me Benadryl which worked out good cause itd make me sleepy and knock me out. This worked for the first 2 days but my body has created a tolerance for it and no longer works. A PT visited me in my room the morning after the oper and had me walk with crutches a few steps. Barely putting too much pressure on the inj leg. Felt like I was going to have to learn how to walk again. My first day back home I did about 30 min walking with crutches. The knee felt good. Still very swollen and very uncomfortable from the stitches. Today I plan to workout upperbody using rubberbands… at this point im pretty beat up from the lack of sleep. Cant get used to sleeping in 1 position facing up without sleeping to the side. I tried but brace pulls at the knee and the pain becomes unbearable. Am trying to avoid using any sleep aides such as Ambien…

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Jesus,

      Glad to hear that they just had to stitch the quad-that will really cut down on your recovery time relative to the alternative. Sleeping will be rough for a while and you can expect weird nightmares involving your knee. It took me a while to adjust to sleeping with the brace-I had my leg propped up on pillows and would lay very still. Fortunately, I had plenty of experience sleeping on narrow cots and bunks and those old “skills” came back quickly.

      If you can get a stationary bike with a pedal strap for the foot, you can ride that one legged for some decent cardio. I got mine from a friend-he had just bought a fancy bike and had his old one in the garage.

      I also got a Bowflex-Amazon happened to have a special on them ($200 off and free shipping, I think). Money well spent. Free weights were out, but the bowflex was perfect for doing “weights” with a non-working leg.

      • Jesus said, on June 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm

        Today was a bit frustrating. After no sleep I was still able to conquer a nice workout involving walking with the crutches for about 1/2 hour and bought elastic bands (cheap mans version of bowflex…lol) and did a very productive upper body workout. Was trying to stay off the pain killers but couldnt resist after midmorning. Besides having those horrible nightmares and hearing that popping sound from the tendon snapping over and over and over again In my mind, I am also having a problem that every time im about to dose off, my knee jumps. Like a nervous knee jerk. Uncontrollable. I tried airing out the knee, tightening, everything…and knee would still have that nervous bounce every time i was about to nap. I drank 2 vicodins and 2 benadryl and finally fell asleep for 2 hours. The trick to keeping the knee from doing the nervous jerking action was to keep it tight and warm…
        I went to renew prescription for vicodin and pharmacy said I had already taken more than I was supposed to and if continued would probably lead to liver failure. Im now in the process of calling doc for an optional pain killer. Day 4 post-op hasnt been the greatest but I guess success is measured in tiny wins along the way…

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm

          Jesus,

          The knee jerk is rather scary-that really freaked me out. I kept worrying that it would pop the tendon. Fortunately, the repair is really strong and it can stand up to that sort of stuff.

          I was prescribed muscle relaxants to help with that. At first, I tried to not use them, but eventually had to use them for a couple days just to keep those spasms in check so I could get some rest.

  179. Anonymous said, on June 26, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Coming up on 6 months. Knee joint has loosened up, I’m limping much better these days. I haven’t fallen down while walking since early May. Still difficult on the steps, though. Knee feels like it’s going to snap while I’m descending. It’s stil very weak. They put 100 lbs on the single leg press machine, and I couldn’t budge it. I can’t budge the therapists hand when he puts resistance on my ankle. Therapists thinks that the OS will put me through to work therapy soon. Anyone have to go through this? Is my progress seem normal in the 6-7 month post op range?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      Anonymous,

      It is normal for the leg to be very weak after the recovery. As I recall, my quad was all but invisible after I got out of my brace at 8 weeks. It was a long time getting any muscle definition and mass back.

      It does sound like you are a bit behind, but people vary a great deal in terms of their base strength and their recovery times.

      • Jesus said, on June 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm

        June 27 -Day5 post op/Day11 post accident was a good day. I got myself completely off the pain killers, did no exercise…had my stitches removed which was easier than I imagined. Am a bit stronger and getting the hang of the crutches and the 1 legged ways… stairs are still a challenge, getting in and out of car is still an undertaking. Best move of Day5 was being able to make love to the wife. Felt like 16 year old teenagers going at it…lol Very limited to what I could do but was enough to recharge my engines. Sleeping is still difficult. Cant fall asleep till 2-3 am and wake up early… nightmares still happening. Last night I had a continuation of the one I had the day before. And I only remember these dreams/nightmares as im having them…just weird. I keep reminding myself this is not getting better in a day…

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm

          Jesus,

          Stairs will be your nemesis for quite some time. When it came to cars, I had to ride in the back seat, stretched out sideways, for quite some time. I have a small pickup truck and it took me a few months to get enough flexion to drive. Naturally, my first drive was to the doctor. :)

          • Jesus said, on June 29, 2012 at 9:33 am

            Day6 PostOp/Day 13 Post Acc went to my 1st therapy session. Was excellent. Not much involved except 30rom, moving the patella, measuring calve/quad, icing and electrode stimulation. Did some walking with 50% weight bearing. After hours at home, felt I had to get out and get some fresh air so went to get cofee and felt great. Sleeping still difficult. I went to sleep late and ended up staying awake till 3am and waking up at 630am.
            Mike, when did your swelling finally go down. When were you able to get feeling on the knee/side of knee.
            When were you able to walk without crutches? When did you begin jogging/running again? thanks for being a great gauge of what to expect for this frustrating injury…

            • Jesus said, on June 30, 2012 at 9:37 am

              Day7 Post Op went well. Beginning to use crutches with ease. Did a 45 minute morning workout using elastic bands. Was able to go to movies, have some cocktails at night. Spent most of the day airing out my leg without the leg brace. Felt good…

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 30, 2012 at 11:46 am

              Jesus,

              Good luck with the progress.

  180. Bob Gamble said, on June 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    I’m the anonymous post from the other day, don’t know why my name didn’t show. Any one know what work conditioning/work therapy is like? Is there a time limit on it? Is it a diagnostic therapy, a test to see if you can resume your normal job functions? Glad to see all are well.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm

      Bob,

      Good questions. For my PT, I just got what seemed to be the usual therapy-at least based on my research. The doc said I could go back to work after two weeks, but I’m a professor so all I need to do is be able to get to my classes. For more physically demanding jobs, there might be some tests to see if a person is ready to go back and there might be some specific therapy.

    • Rosemarie said, on June 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      Bob, Work Hardening (Work Condiioning) therapy is a therapy to prepare you for your return to work. I worked at a physical therapy facilty where we did it. They will have you working with things like lifting, pulling, pushing etc. The therapist will want to know as much about your job as possible and then they will make a program up to work with you to prepare you to return to work. They will start you out gradually and keep increasing the weights, lifts etc. If you were injured at work it should be covered by Workman’s Comp. and they will determine how long of a program that you will have.

      • Bob Gamble said, on July 1, 2012 at 11:19 am

        Thanks Rosemarie

  181. Bob Gamble said, on June 28, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Saw OS today, thought he was going to put me through to occupational therapy/work hardening. Asked me about my pain,manipulated my leg(heard crunching!) Gave me a shot of cortisone and stopped PT for now. Don’t know what to make of this. A few hrs later, UPS called me and asked me if he was releasing me to full duties. Don’t know what to make of that. Lots of confusion right now about this injury. Don’t know how much more it will improve. Tired of limping. I’ve been walking quite a bit on my own(about an hour every night) and doing some pool striding, he told me to stop that for now also. He thought that the muscle is being fatigued and the result is swelling under the kneecap. Still weak difficult carrying my 3 year old.

    • Jesus said, on June 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      Bob, you dont qualify for Long Term Disability with UPS? Perhaps you should try another physical therapy place specializing in sports medicine. Im fortunate with my job to get 3 months 100% paid short term disability but in order to qualify for long term I must “quit” which makes no sense. I hope I dont get there. Before the operation I researched where I was getting operated and also where I was doing therapy. Which doesnt guarantee anything 100% but helps my odds. Got operated at UMZ Sports Institute in Miami which takes care of the Marlins, Panthers, Dolphins, Heat, Buccaneers amongst other pro teams. The PT place Im going to is state of the art. All covered by insurance so might as well choose a place that betters my odds. I have a 3 year old as well, and am enjoying every second of free time I got with him this summer. Cant do much yet with injury but improving day by day… hope Im feeling good enough to hit the pool on July 4th. I might not get out for 8 hours, (just because I probably wouldnt be able to without crutches and help…lol)… were you okay with getting a cortizone shot? Not too fond of that…

      • Bob Gamble said, on June 28, 2012 at 9:57 pm

        Jesus,
        I’m in Pittsburgh Pa., and my rehab clinic is associated with the University of Pittsburgh which also takes care of the Steelers, Penguins,Pirates, as well as the athletes at Pitt. It is top notch. My injury was at work so I,ve been getting comp. I thought I would be close to returning in July, since my injury was on 1/4, but still struggling. I probably had tendonitis or tendonosis prior to my injury, don’t know how much of an effect that has had on my rehab. I was suprised to get a shot today, don’t know if that was meant to get me back to work sooner. Hopefully I won’t have to rely on them to keep working. From what I’ve read, they can weakon tendons long term. Enjoying the time with my kids, but it’s difficult telling them ‘no’ when they ask to go to the pool, or the amusement park. Not an enjoyable way to spend your summer.

        • Jesus said, on June 29, 2012 at 9:15 am

          Bob,
          That is awesome. Sounds like a great place. The cortisone shot caught me off-guard because studies show that even one injection degenerates the tendon in the long term. Were you operated soon after your injury? or was it held back because of workers comp? I’d definitely consider a good workers comp lawyer. I was able to go under the knife and get the zipper knee 6 days after the injury. Couldve been 2 days sooner if I wouldve chosen. I cant see myself in 5.5 months still dealing with many of the issues that are driving me crazy now…

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 29, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Bob,

      The crunching could be scar tissue breaking. My PT said that what often happens is that scar tissue forms in a way that it has to be broken for the knee to move freely again. In my case, that did not happen-no crunching.

      Swelling could be a problem-I didn’t have that in the muscles, but I had plenty of swelling from the fluid build up. Since the leg isn’t moving normally (which keeps the juices going properly), that can be a problem.

  182. Bob Gamble said, on June 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Jesus and Michael
    I had the surgery 1 week after the injury. I improved greatly in the first 8 weeks,was able to lift my leg and hold it out straight about 3-4 weeks post-op, and got back full ROM in about 8-9 weeks. My strength has not improved much since early May, that’s my main concern. I’m only able to leg press about 60lbs with my bad leg, only able to do leg extensions with 15-20lbs.( When I was in my 20’s I could squat 500lbs! ) They gave me my shot while using an ultrasound image. The PA administering the injection said I had quite a large scar at the repair site and some chondromalacia from the surgery. My knee does not appear to be significantly swollen although measurements taken at therapy show that it is. I actually feel that my leg has loosened up a little over the last month, but with increased activity and use the pain has increased.Ii’ve tried to rehab this on my own within my limitations so it is very frustrating not to be further ahead. It also seems that no one in the network(Drs. Rehab,Insurance Co. and Company) is on the same page. I guess there are no definite answers with an injury like this, but everyone has a different outlook on it. Very stressful dealing with this, been having “nightmares” about falling down, and looking down a long flight of ice covered steps with a package in my hand! Thanks for continuing this Michael, best source of info I have found in my months of internet research on this injury. You ought to consider teaching a course on the psychology/philosophy of dealing with a traumatic injury! You’ve already accumulated enough “students” on this site to fill a lecture hall. Thanks again.

    • Jesus said, on June 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      Spoke to my PT about your symptoms and he explained Chondromalacia is difficult to attack. Rest, ice, compression and elevation…with a combination of swimming exercises would be best to tackle it. I think the more you try to do with it, the more you may be setting back your rehab. You started off great. Im about to turn 45 and what got me in this mess was wanting to be a teenager again out on the basketball court while on vacation on a cruise ship. I remember what I could do back then, it was alot more than those punks were doing on that court…lol Except I was a jump away from being out of commission for a few months and they werent…
      The rehab place im going to is part of the same Sports Medicine institute I got operated. So far it seems like one follows what the other needs done. They are both on the same page. But as things went south for you after a few good weeks, I have to keep my goals in check. Mike should definitely make this a course. Most of it is mental. The sitting around doing nothing waiting to heal and get back to what we were. The course would work great for people with Quad or Patella tendon tears which are almost identical in their healing process…

  183. Tom Jaremka said, on July 4, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Hey boys……..I realize that everyone who is on this blog is on here for a reason, a bad reason. But everyone has to realize that with an injury like this, alot of things happen to your leg, knee and hip that make the healing process difficult.

    After my 8 weeks with my cast, I too had crunching in my knee joint for awhile. It’s called “calcium deposits”. It’s nothing earth shattering or that bad. You just have to work the knee joint and loosen everything up and get it all back to “working condition”. What worked for me was massaging my knee and the knee area every chance I could. That breaks down the scar tissue and loosens everything up. Get on a stationary bike as soon as possible. Getting ROM back is everything.

    PAIN is just part of this injury. The worst pain is behind you, though. The injury is the worst pain and everything after that is just “discomfort”. Again, ROM is important, but so is breaking down scar tissue and getting over the mental part of the injury.

    The best advice I can give you all is to “let your body heal itself”. I am at 7 months post-surgery and although I am back on the ice, playing hockey, I still have to massage my knee, ice my knee and put heat on my knee about 4 times a week. The “healing process” takes about a year. Even though I feel about 80%, I know that I cannot forget about the healing process. I have several months to go, but it’s all on my own. The rehab center and doctor visits are behind me. The best rehab I can do for myself is riding my bicycle, skating, walking with weights on my legs, and basic leg excersizes all on a daily basis.

    There are serious mental issues and PAIN issues that you have to deal with all the time. Walking up and down stairs, walking up and down a hill, getting in and out of your car, bending down to pick up anything and trying to live a normal life, are very difficult things to deal with on a daily basis. The other day, I dropped my car keys and had to make myself bend down to pick them up because both of my knees were hurting. Again, it’s a mental thing. Work through the pain and work through the discomfort.

    Lastly, everyone’s body heals differently and reacts differently to surgery and pain. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t feel your healing process progressing. It takes TIME for this injury to heal completely. Depending on your body, it could be a year to a year and a half. That’s alot of days, boys!!

    Michael C……..I told you three months ago that on July 4th you would be walking, but with a limp. Well, it’s July 4th and my guess is that you’re doing just that. Good luck and happy 4th!!!

    • Jesus said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:18 am

      Tom,

      If youre back on the ice playing hockey at 7 months, you give me hope to be running by then as well. Doctor told me it’d probably be closer to a year before I begin running. Im at 2 weeks post op now. Am beginning to take several steps in the house without crutches. Im taking off the brace and wrapping the knee to go to sleep… trying to workout upperbody every other day. But youre right, its all about time.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 5, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        Jesus,

        I was running at the start of September, 2009. My surgery was at the start of April, 2009. I was water running well before September. My first run was ugly looking, but I was happy to be able to run.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 5, 2012 at 11:55 am

      Tom,

      Good advice. Also, everyone in the quadclub gets that cool scar. It is a great conversation starter.

  184. Bob Gamble said, on July 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Did anyone ever take a cortisone shot? So far(1 week) it has done more harm than good. My knee now feels swollen and weak, and my whole leg seems to ache from my foot up to the mid-thigh. I have read that over time these shots degenerate the soft tissue around the knee so I don’t understand why I got one. My job is enough to wreck the knee on it’s own, don’t need any outside help.

  185. Tom Jaremka said, on July 6, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Hey Bob, what you heard is true, cortizone does more harm to the soft tissue, than good. Many years ago, I was a pitcher in the lower minor leagues. Between the ages of 15 and 20, I had more cortizone shots in my shoulder than I care to remember. All I know is that today, my right shoulder is “bone on bone” and it hurts when I raise my arm to put on a shirt. Cortizone is just a steroid that “masks” a true injury.

    In your case, give it time to work. Usually, with a cortizone shot, they tell you that it will take 10-14 days for it to take full effect. I’m sure by next week you’ll be feeling better.

    Believe me when I tell you that this injury takes alot of time to heal. It will heal, too. Don’t try to rush it. Your entire leg will feel weak and useless, at times. However, you’ll start to see very small improvements over periods of days and weeks. To this day, my leg still has serious “discomfort” during the day and at night. You’re about a month behind me with your injury, too. I’m sure you can walk, but with a limp. My knee is STILL swollen and it looks as big as a softball, at times. But I just keep riding my bike, skating, icing it, heating pad on it, lite excersize and swimming pool aerobics.

    The warm weather helps, though!! Heck, it was 103 here, today.

    • Bob Gamble said, on July 7, 2012 at 1:20 am

      Thanks Tom,
      The Dr. also suspended my PT until I see him again on 7/23. Told me to give the knee a break. I was walking for at least an hour every day, and doing some striding in a pool a few days a week. Nothing “high impact”, but enough to cause problems. My job involves stepping up at least 24 inches to get in/out of truck, and carrying sometimes heavy packages up and down steps. Pushing/pulling loaded carts,and squatting down 100 tmes a day to lift the heavy stuff. There are no easy days, heck there aren’t even 8 hr days anymore. Years of overuse, and strain on the joints, with many years ahead. i’m very concerned right now. Maybe I’ll hit the Powerball tomorrow night and be able to retire young!

  186. Jesus said, on July 7, 2012 at 9:31 am

    My Doctor is very conservative and PT says I probably wont be doing stationary bike till about the 2 month Post Surgery mark. Im at 2 weeks now and am dying to get some cardio in and get moving again. I crutched for about 1/2 mile today and felt great. Practically anything I tell my PT im doing he cringes and says im not supposed to be doing it. It aint easy doing nothing ….

  187. Tom Jaremka said, on July 7, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Hey Bob, I can understand your concern. Like me, you have a very physically demanding job. Believe it or not, when you decide to go back to work, you won’t be close to 100%, but you’ll be able to work. Your body will adjust to the demands and you’ll get through it. It’s not easy, you’ll have very painful days, but you’ll get through it. Actually, the work that you do will help in your healing process. The lifting, the stepping, the walking will all help you. There will be days when you take a few “Aleve” and go home in alot of discomfort, but you’ll be able to adjust to working with some pain, everyday. The body is a remarkable thing.

    I learned that sometimes the best medicine was to just “shut it down” for a week, or so. Just lay in your chair and ice the leg and relax. Don’t push it……..let it heal. Guys who are active tend to keep pushing through this injury and sometimes we forget to just “rest” the leg. Believe me, you’ll be back in the truck, soon. Just hang in there, brother.

    Jesus……..I know that this injury sucks, man. When you’re athletic, this kind of injury can break your spirit. All I can tell you is to keep focussing on getting back on the basketball court, or back in the gym, or, in my case, back on the ice. Don’t listen to people who say, “you’re too old for that” or “you should quit because you’re too old”. You’ll get through this and in a few months you’ll be back on the court or in the gym. In a year, you won’t remember the injury, it will be a blip on the radar.

    Everyone says that this injury is an ordinary injury that happens to ordinary people. The problem is the rehab and recovery time. In order to recover from this injury, you need to be extraordinary. The pain, the hassle, the burden, the inconvenience, the surgery, the rehab, the recovery and most of all, the sound of the tendon “popping” off your knee……..in order to survive all of this, you HAVE to be an extraordinary person.

  188. Jesus said, on July 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    So I went today to my 3.5 week post op checkup with the Ortho Surgeon. Came out a bit discouraged. Basically he’s bringing me up to 40% ROM POS and continually increasing at 10% increments on a week to week basis. Theyre keeping the leg brace locked at zero and keeping me at 50% weight bearing. I can clearly go to 70 ROM and walk without crutches but it doesnt matter. Its what he says that counts. He was visibly upset that I wasnt massaging the skin above the kneecap and around it to soften the tissue away from the patella. I was never told to do this. I was only told to move the patella. The PT never told me to do this either. Anything I inquired if I could do such as walk inside the house, vertical leg lift, bike, etc etc…was answered with a resounding no. He said this was a complex tear and unlike normal tears requires for attention to detail. So now I’ll see him again in a month… another boring month of doing nothing awaits. Thank God for the Tour de France and the upcoming Olympics to keep me entertained and living vicariously.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      Jesus,

      Sorry to hear about your slow progress. I hope things pick up for you.

      • Jesus said, on July 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm

        I thought I was doing pretty good but I guess I was overconfident.

  189. Bob Gamble said, on July 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Jesus, Your progress sounds similar to mine. I went from 30 to 70 to 90 I believe in the first 8 weeks or so. I regained full ROM by week 12 to 14. I was also completely restricted up until 3 months. I did fine up until the beginning of June when PT began to isolate the quad. Then I began to have more pain with the increased strain and activity. Over 6 months now, ther cortizone injection that I took 3 weeks ago has not worked, my knee felt better in April and May than it does now. I think scarring has become a problem for me. Take it easy, and follow Dr.’s orders. I hear that a re-tear is a very bad thing, to say the least

    • Jesus said, on July 18, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      I keep trying to remind myself over and over again that this doesnt happen overnight. The most difficult part is feeling like I can do more than what the doctor says I should be doing. Im already walking without crutches since about 2 weeks ago….no pain, no problems. The doctor wants be at 50% weight bearing for another 4 weeks till the re-evaluation. Wish I knew about the importance of massaging the skin over the kneecap and around it. I wouldve been doing it since day 1. And youre right, I dont even want to think about a re-tear. Its as much of a mental thing as a physical…itd be a killer…

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 19, 2012 at 10:50 am

        My PA did tell me about the importance of the knee massage. I’m glad he did-although it felt weird pushing it around, it definitely did help.

        The process is very slow, agonizingly slow. My coping trick was to redesign my exercises so I could get in a workout within my limitations. That helped a lot. Plus I played a lot of Warcraft.

  190. Bob Gamble said, on July 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Im having an arthroscopic procedure done on 8/1 to remove scar tissue and some other loose tissue from my surgery. Saw OS this morning. Thought I might get another shot. My rehab has hit a plateau since early June, and he felt I needed this done so I coud continue strengthening the quad. Still very weak, I walk around like I’m 75 years old, hope this helps.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Bob,

      Good luck with the surgery. At least that one has a small scar and a relatively fast recovery.

  191. Frank said, on July 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Just had surgery two weeks ago to repair a complete tear to my quadtriceps tendon. Wish I read your blog earlier. No stool softener..what a mistake. I am placing weight on the repaired leg just 10 days after surgery as I want to get back to work quickly. Os likes agreesive PT. Frank

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 28, 2012 at 10:47 am

      Frank,

      Good luck with the recovery. I was back teaching after two weeks, but getting around was a bit challenging-I had to hobble about a half mile between some classes, up and down many flights of indoor and outdoor stairs. You’ll find that stairs are the enemy…

  192. Tracey Barnfield said, on July 31, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Hi a great site. My son (21) slipped and banged his kneecap on a metal stair edge. He has a cut across the front of it. His knee is swollen. We are in Uk, he had an x ray which they couldn’t see a break. However am worried as he cant do a straight leg raise. I have an appt with his general practitioner in the morning with a view to arranging a quick MRI scan to get a diagnosis. He is in a fair amount of pain. He can straighten his leg and walk on it of some sorts with and without crutches. Our problem is that we are all due to go to Corfu in two weeks. If he has torn the tendon I suppose it will be unlikely that he will be able to go. Do you know how quick a repair has to be carried out? I assume the quicker the better. We have an appt with the knee clinic on Monday.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 1, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Hopefully his inability to do a leg lift is not due to a tendon tear. Having had lots of injuries, I know that various types of damage can interfere with movement.

      I was able to go back to work 2 weeks after the repair, but I could not bend my knee significantly for a long time after that-I was in a brace for about 2 months.

  193. Bob Gamble said, on August 1, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Just got scoped today. OS removed a large scar, and some other debris from under the kneecap. I resume PT on monday.Back to laying around with my leg elevated for a few days. It’s been 7 months since my injury. I almost forget what it’s like to be pain free and to walk normally. Hope this procedure gets things moving in the right direction. Tracey, hopefully your son only has a bad bruise, he’s too young to have this injury. His 21 yr old tendons are probably in a lot better condition than mine and he should be back to normal soon. A torn tendon should be repaired as soon as possible. If he is able to walk without his knee buckling then I doubt he has ruptured it.

    • jesus said, on August 2, 2012 at 9:14 am

      I agree with Bob, Its impossible to put any weight or walk on a torn quad or patella tendon.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Bob,

      Good luck with the second round of recovery.

      I was able to walk around with a tear, although I did fall from time to time.

  194. Tracey Barnfield said, on August 3, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Thanks for your replies. He has now Had an MRI scan and we should get the results on Monday morning, so fingers crossed.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 3, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Good luck! Is his knee cap still in the normal position? If so, that would be almost certain evidence that the tendon is at least mostly intact. If the knee cap is out of position (low), then that is a bad sign.

      • Tracey Barnfield said, on August 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm

        I had a look at the scan and the kneecap does look where it should be. Its difficult to tell whether the tendon is completely attached,it looks like it may be, but may have a small tear. Have given up trying to work it all out, as from experience what we might think looks awful looks ok to the experienced eye. He is walking of some sorts but using crutches. He can make a few steps without and I think he bent his leg up a bit higher today. He isnt taking many painkillers and has been out to the pub, so I think it must be a little better although he says it isn’t. He still cant straight leg raise and above the knee is still very tender to touch. I am not looking forward to Mondays appointment! I have spent the last 12 years visiting orthopaedic departments with three of my four boys who have had perthes disease, osteochondritis dissecans and the one who is injured now had to have a bone graft in a metarsal. All having to have surgery, but ok now, just sick of crutches and physio! Still grateful they were not serious illnesses but structural/mechanical problems.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 4, 2012 at 11:01 am

          If he had a complete tear, the knee would be visible out of place-it would be a few inches lower than normal. If he had an x-ray, it would be very easy to see the displacement, if there was a full tear.

          He might have a partial tear, which sometimes do not require surgery and heal much faster than a full tear. With a full tear, it takes months to recover.

          Hopefully, it is just “banged up” and he’ll be back to normal quickly and without surgery.

  195. Tom Jaremka said, on August 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Hey boys and girls….I’m (8) months out of surgery and although I am not near 100%, things are pretty well. I’m playing hockey twice a week and my ROM is good, but my flexibility is still questionable. Although I have arthritis in both knees, the best medicine for me is to skate. The fluid, smooth motion is easier than riding a bike, or even walking.

    I still have days when my knee has pain and discomfort, but I am able to live a semi-normal life. Even at 8 months, post-surgery, I have to watch going up and down stairs and mowing the lawn and getting in and out of a car.

    Compared to some people on this site, I am very lucky. This is a tough injury to rehab and live with, but, as my doctor said, this is a looooong recovery and rehab. He wasn’t lying.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 4, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Tom,

      It is great to hear that your recovery is going well. If my experience is any indicator, you’ll have random “knee moments” for a while. I suspect that is nature’s way of reminding us to avoid ladders and falls. :)

  196. Tracey Barnfield said, on August 6, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Well good news. The scan showed a hematoma below his kneecap. So only physio and stronger painkillers needed. We can all go and sun ourselves in sunny Corfu next week which is a big relief. Thanks for all your friendly advice, this is a great blog. I am following your other blogs too. My second son is studying philosophy at Cardiff University, he is about to go into his third year. He is finding it tough going but enjoying it too. Thanks once again.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 6, 2012 at 9:24 am

      That is certainly good news. Enjoy your vacation and the sun. Good luck to your son at Cardiff. Philosophy is surprisingly tough-I found that out myself. :)

  197. James Lande said, on August 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Hello Michael,

    Thanks very much for your Kindle writeup, and for keeping up this blog. I’m 67 years old and six weeks away from surgery for a partially torn left quad, at the VA. It has been helpful to read your post-op timeline and rehab progress, as well as read about the variety of other’s experience with their injury, surgery, and rehab. I have been looking in particular at folks who live alone and must undergo rehab without anyone to help, with some concern about the practicalities. Here’s the beginning of my checklist:

    Prep for Surgery and Post Op Living

    Bring walker into trailer
    Get a grabber
    Prepare frozen meals

    Get prescriptions filled before surgery
    Take only ID cards and driver’s license, and walker
    Shower well the night before

    After the staples are removed (a week later?)
    Shopping?
    Cooking?
    Morning back stretches (can only bend one leg)?
    Don’t sit at the table for at least a week

    Best of luck with yur running (and get a deer-fly hat)
    James Lande

    • James Lande said, on August 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      PS: The YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh2NXTbMkEA gave me some idea of the specifics of the surgical procedure for torn quad repair.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      James,

      Good luck with the surgery. Getting through the recovery on your own will be more challenging. After the surgery, you’ll be rather out of it and you’ll be mostly wanting to sleep for a few days after.
      Be sure to hydrate well during the recovery and take the stool softeners. Really.

      A hat would be cheating. :)

      Mike

  198. jesus said, on August 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Went to my 7 week post op visit with my Ortho Surgn and he was rather impressed with my progress. I have 80-90rom and been walking 3-5.5 miles a day. Began walking with crutches and then gave up the crutches when I got into the higher mileage. Doctor officially did away with brace and crutches and upped my therapy to include strengthening. I’ve really been working hard to come back and run the ING in January and at least I know that Ill be able to walk it at the very least. Very pumped up!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      That is great news! If you have access to a pool, water running is a great way to get the cardio built back up.

  199. Bob Gamble said, on August 14, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Jesus, It sounds as if you are making great progress. I had serious balance problems while walking up until about 4 months. If you are walking on a track, thats probably better than the hills and valleys of Western Pa. Try not to push too hard. If you notice any crunching or grinding in the knee joint, make it a point to tell your Dr. soon. From my experience I have learned that there is sometimes other damage to the knee that develops, or is not detected during the quad reattachment surgery. Scarring is also common afterwards. Had a “scope” on 8/1 to clean out scar tissue and other debris from the original quad tear/surgery. I found out yesterday that they also repaired a minor tear in my PCL. They drained quite a bit of fluid, and then gave me an injection”to calm things down in there” as the PA put it. I guess that means cortizone shot #2 since the end of June. Been limping for 7 months now. Maybe I’ve just forgotten how to walk normally!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      Bob,

      Good luck with the ongoing recovery. In my case, I had to go in an extra month because I had small bones growing in the tissue. Fortunately, they ended up “rounding” off and I was released. The worry was that the bones might continue to grow and cause problems.

  200. Tom Jaremka said, on August 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Hey boys…….it’s good to see that we have some people that are healing up and working through this terrible injury. And yet, we have some people who are finding out how difficult this injury is too work through and rehab. Continued success to everyone.

    I’m at 9 months post-surgery and still progressing. Arthritis has set into my good leg, due to over use when I was recovering from my surgery. When I play hockey, sometimes both of my knees feel like someone is shooting a drywall screw into each of them. Now, remember I am (9) nine months out of surgery and they told me that I wouldn’t be on the ice for at least a year. I was skating at (5) five months, post surgery. So, realistically, I have 3 months to go before I should even be skating. So I am WAYYYYY ahead of schedule.

    However, about 6 weeks ago, I had a team mate tell me about a topical gel called, China-Gel. It is an all natural gel that you rub on an arthritic joint or sore muscle and it promotes blood flow to that area in order to promote healing. At the time, I was desperate for a solution. After a game I couldn’t walk without pain for days and climbing stairs was excruciatingly painful. So, I figured that I would try anything short of a double knee replacement.

    After 3 weeks of applying the gel every night before bed and before every game, my knee pain began to subside. Slowly, I could see a progression of less pain and more mobility. I could use the stairs without any problem and my condition after a game improved drastically. As I started to feel better, another team mate suggested 100% Glucosimine tablets, taken daily. Over the last 3 weeks, my knee pain has gone from an (8) to a pain level of (.50)……hardly nothing. I can’t believe this!!! 3 months ago I envisioned my hockey playing days as almost over. Today, I am skating 2 nights a week and am considering taking on a third night.

    My ortho surgeon is a hockey player, also. I called him and told him of my success story with China Gel and Glucosimine tablets. His reaction surprised me, somewhat. He told me that my path of recouperation is exactly what he wants all his patients to do. He would rather have a natural progression of pain relief and healing over injections and surgery. For me, Ice and heat are the best way to treat arthritis, but now I am using China Gel and Glucosimine tablets along with the ice and heat and I can honestly say that I have found my own way of curing my problem.

    For those who want to try this out………China Gel can be purchased on the China Gel website. However, I get my Glucosimine through my doctor. Most Glucosimine is littered with fillers and is not 100%. My doctor gets me a 3 month supply for $50. This remedy is priceless to me.

    I hope everyone continues to progress and heal up, so that you can live a normal life. Happy healing!!

    • jesus said, on August 26, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      Tom,
      Glad to see your doing so good. Im also ahead of schedule. 8 weeks post OP and walking 4-6 miles a day. I don’t have the ROM yet to begin jogging but Im close. Im not on the stationary bike yet either which should help a lot.
      Would like to add that in addition to the Glucosamine Sulfate, my research and my personal experience has also shown that Chondroitin Sulfate and Bromelain are excellent for strengthening the Tendon and ligaments. Also google the effects of L Arginine, L glutamine and HMB. When combined they increase healing by lifting your HGH levels naturally. I don’t have absolutely any pain and some swelling still left. Im off crutches and brace since 2 weeks ago. Im beginning to get feeling on the left side of my injured left knee. Was wondering when that would begin…
      Was looking at the Bucs vs Patriots game yesterday and saw Pro Bowler Davin Joseph go down with a torn Patellar Tendon. 1st thing I thought was OUT FOR ATLEAST A YEAR…ouch… I remember his teammate Cadillac Williams suffering the same fate 3 years ago and he was out for 14 months…such a rare injury to have 2 guys on the same team live thru it..

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm

        Jesus,

        Good to hear about your progress.

        One side effect of my own injury is now I know a fair amount about leg injuries-so injury reports from football make a lot more sense to me now.

        The pros do have a significant edge: they probably get the best treatment money can buy-that will help.

        • jesus said, on August 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm

          Mike,

          Im sure you’ve posted it in a previous post but you remember approximately when you began walking without a limp? I can imagine it’s when the “rubberband” feeling goes away… I have barely any atrophy 8 weeks after surgery. But it feels like Im learning how to walk again. As soon as I stop concentrating on what Im doing, the limp begins or worsens. Im out of brace and crutches…

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 30, 2012 at 1:26 pm

            I was walking reasonably well about 2-3 months after surgery. I had my surgery at the start of April (2009) and was doing long (10 miles+) walks in the summer with no trouble. I could jog for short distances in August and was back running at the start of September. So, you should be getting towards normal in about a month, at least in terms of walking.

            But, the “tricky knee” lasted quite a while. Interestingly, running was easier than walking for me. I suspect it is because I had run so much over the years.

            • jesus said, on August 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm

              Tricky Knee meaning it gives out on you without notice? I haven’t had that happen yet but I haven’t began climbing stairs or doing any heavier positive lifting. I started swimming today. Did 1500m right off the bat… Finally got on the stationary bike yesterday… making strides…

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 30, 2012 at 8:28 pm

              Yes-I describe it as sort of a “slip-catch” because it felt like the knee was giving way, then the muscles would snap into operation before I fell. It was almost like they were napping on the job.

  201. jesus said, on September 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    As rare as it is theres already been a couple of NFL players suffering this injury in 2012. Davin Thomas of the Bucs and rookie WR Greg Childs of the Vikings. Infact Greg blew both legs. Hadnt seen that happen since Wendel Davis of the Bears tore both in ’93.
    Here’s the video of the catch he was making:

    http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2012/08/greg_childs_injury_vikings_wr_suffers_extremely_rare_dual_kneecap_blowout_video.php

    Heres also an interesting article on professional athletes coming back from such an injury….:

    http://www.dailynorseman.com/2012/8/7/3225128/where-we-attempt-to-explain-greg-childs-injury

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      A dual tear would be terrible-I had a heck of a time with just one busted leg. The NFL guys will, however, probably get the best care money can provide and this will really help with their recovery. Still, the recovery will be rough and I wish them the very best.

  202. Michael C said, on September 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Ok 6 month annivarsary Just past Sept 14th. Wow. At 6 months I can say I walk with a purpose, the ROM is what…so oh about 5 degrees off from getting my ankle to my arse, I can run, but it feels like the knee doesn’t really want to do it. I was hoping my knee would look like the other one, but it lost the definition, it looks more rounded off….whoa is me….the scar is fading, looks like in time it might not be noticible from a distance….

    I am back on the ladder, I do notice I am a lot less daring on, it, I have gained a fear of falling off it…

    You know, I tore my bicep doing another questionable activity. Your still able to use your arm with a decent amount of strength with no bicep. What happens when the quad tears. Leg is a completely useless stump of flesh. Someone needs to fix that.

    You know although it seems like my knee will eventually be completely functional, at least right now it aches now and again and it is numb in the front a bit. Kneeling still hurts, I can do it, but not for an extended period. You know they say you have to take risks in life, live a little..ski, snowboard, skydive, mount 100 pound backboards…..I tell ya what, no. Absolutely not. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever avoiding anything that can risk injury like this. Months and months of absolute fire searing unbridled hell on earth. This basically sums up my experience.

    Good luck healing to all, and all who helped me the first few months, you guys are great! Mike C.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm

      Michael C.,

      Good to hear that your recovery is going well and that you have so much flexion back. It is amazing how much being able to actually bend the knee means after such an injury.

      Yeah, your repaired leg will look like that for a while. I was horrified when I saw my quad-all that hard earned rock solid definition had turned to…pudding. When I could finally run, it felt a bit weird-but actually better than walking. The good news is that it should come back fairly quickly once you are able to get fully active again.

  203. jesus said, on September 17, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    3 month anniversary of repair coming up on 9/22. Have been off crutches since week 2, off brace since week 6, have been doing bike, swimming, elliptical and a lot of walking for a few weeks. Was given the green light as having a normalized gait 2 weeks ago. I worked so hard to get my gait normalized that one morning it just clicked and its like I had learned how to walk again. I felt so accomplished. My ROM is almost 130 out of 140 max and have a hyper 5 ROM which is back to normal. Am now beginning to do stairs and some jogging. Just began working again and had to switch PT. New PT is a bit more aggressive in his approach. Love it. Its a lot of hard work. A lot of listening to your body’s response. A mental challenge of monumental proportions. Lots of research, lots of youtube video watching and lots of determination. Makes you appreciate everything you take for granted. Whether its sports, dancing or just walking on the beach with your spouse, everything that’s important comes into focus. No longer is running a sub 7 minute mile important. Just being able to run your first 50 yards and keeping those haunting sounds of the tendon popping out of your mind is an achievement. Work at it guys, and work it at it some more. Itll come back… patience and perseverance are the key. Thanks to Mike for this great blog. Ive learned a lot so far from everyone that’s had to go thru this journey…thank you

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Jesus,

      Great to hear that your recovery is going so well! You’ll be back to running at your old speeds, perhaps even faster.

      • jesus said, on September 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm

        Mike,
        I’d also like to add for injury newbies that running in water was a great help. The key for me was knowing what the next step was. I knew muscle atrophy was coming and I worked since day one to keep it to a minimum. I foresaw the day I’d be given the green light to begin cardio so I worked extremely hard to keep in peak shape so when my leg said you could run, I COULD RUN. Swimming is fantastic. Biking is a key component to gaining back the extensor lag/speed that wipes the limp away. Its a combination of working on mechanics, increasing quad and hamstring strength and getting back the speed to be able to get back on the running trails or whatever sport you indulge in.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm

          Jesus,
          You are right about water running. I still have my aqua jogger and use it when I am injured-fortunately this is not common. Plus, it is nice in the Florida heat.

  204. Tom Jaremka said, on September 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Hello boys……..it’s great to see some progress being made in recovery and rehab. I’m coming up on 10 months post-surgery and I’m feeling pretty good. I still take 100% glucosimine tablets and put on my topical healant called “China – Gel”, daily. I can skate 2-3 nights a week and be able to recover quickly enough to work the next day or mow the lawn. 2 months ago I could barely skate one night and be able to walk the next day!! So the healing is progressing, but slowly.

    My injured leg still looks like a giant “knot” at the top of my knee, but it feels pretty good. I still massage both of my knees every night, ice them, heat them and medicate them. I guess that my nightly ritual is taking very good care of my knees. I spend about an hour each night just working on my knees. I guess if that’s what it takes to get me ready for the next day, I’ll do it.

    If this has taught me anything, it has taught me that I have a high tolerance for pain, I have become patient with my own healing process on my body, and I have the greatest family and friends in the world. Without this blog, my teammates, friends and family, this injury would have been much more difficult to overcome. Thanks to all and let’s keep moving forward!!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 26, 2012 at 11:35 am

      Tom,

      Great to hear that you are skating that often and able to recover quickly.

      I recently started “foam rolling”-at first I dismissed it as one of those silly fitness fads, but after looking at some of the scientific literature, I gave it a shot. It seems to work well.

      • Jesus said, on September 26, 2012 at 11:44 am

        Love that foam rolling Mike. Glad you mentioned it. Definitely works. Thought it was a fad as well till I gave it a shot. Also using CEP compression socks after a long run and helps alot with recovery.

  205. Jesus said, on September 26, 2012 at 11:39 am

    3 months and 3 days later reached full ROM. Therapist is running out of exercises. I go see OS on 10/1 and discussing leaving therapy and continuing my own strengthening/conditioning program. Gaining back my strength and speed on the running circuit. Swimming improving every time I go out there. Biking is getting smoother. Still have some quad/hamstring atrophy but very minor. No pain but still have to loosen up the knee when I wake up. Just signed up for the Rock n Roll half Marathon in Miami Beach 11/18… not aiming for any PR, just finishing is a victory. Was told originally by OS that the Miami ING on 1/27/13 was an impossibility, now Im signed up for one 2 months before…gotta love it… keep working at it guys/gals, it could be done. The impossible is possible..

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      Jesus,

      Good luck at the half marathon. I did a very slow 5K as my first return race and did a 1/2 marathon months later. It was good to be able to run again.

  206. Bob Gamble said, on September 27, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Hi All, Still having some difficulty at 8 months. Walk daily and go to PT twice a week, but have not gained much strength back. Limp comes and goes. Walking down steps is stressful. I still have some buckling in the knee. Still off work .Had a scope on 8/1 to remove debris and scar tissue so that I could continue therapy, but I don’t think it made a huge difference. if anything, the knee grinds and pops more than it did before the scope. I can only do 75 lbs on the 1 legged press machine, and can only do about 20-25 lbs on a single leb extension. Don’t know how much more I can do. Very frustrated.

    • Jesus said, on September 27, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Bob, I added L Arginine, L Glutamine and HMB to my daily supplements and research shows that they help alot in raising the HGH levels which assists in the collagen synthesis and speeds up the repair of the tendon. I added that to Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Bromelain. Im currently in the beginning of my 3rd month and am doing 150 lb leg presses with one leg 30x, 4 sets. If you have access to a swimming pool, running in water and swimming help a great deal. Bridge or Hill repeats are great for building the quad and hamstrings. The mechanics dont come back till atleast 80% of ROM is back in conjunction with wiping away the injured legs muscle atrophy. At the very least try adding walking atleast 5 miles twice a week. Doing stairs is last on the list. That doesnt come till all the other components are met; Strength, ROM, stamina, extensor lag speed, and dont forget the mental aspect. Keep working at it Bob, good luck…

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 27, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Bob,

      It might be that the scar tissue and debris slowed down your recovery. I can understand your frustration with the slowness of the process-I had a hard time maintaining my calm while I was getting back to normal. But, you should start making improved progress now.

  207. Bob Gamble said, on September 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Thanks Michael and Jesus, I hope that there is not continued, additional scarring from the 2d surgery. The OS also repaired my LCL and I think part of the meniscus. He doesn’t come right out and tell me everything that is involved. I’ve been loading up on Omega 3 fish oil because I’ve read that it is a natural anti-inflammatory. All I can say is that I feel like I just ate at Long John Silvers every day for months.

  208. Dave said, on October 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    I have not written anything in awhile and I am 8 months post surgery for a complete quad tear. Just as I was finishing rehab I tore my meniscus on my other knee but that recovery was pretty fast. At 8 months I walk approx. 2 miles twice a day but continue to have slight to moderate pain with every step. I also experience tightness and swelling and occasionally take that bad step. Is this the norm ?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 4, 2012 at 10:18 am

      Dave,

      That does match my experience. I had “knee slips” long after I was fully recovered and even now I still have some minor knee problems, apparently due to the scar tissue. It’s not bad enough to warrant any surgery, but it does remind me of the injury.

    • Jesus said, on October 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      Dave, I think the 1st thing to understand is that everyone heals different. I think its great that your walking 4 miles a day. Perhaps if this hasnt worked you need to switch it up a bit and work some spinning or biking, swimming, running in water (if you have access), single leg presses, single leg curls, eliptical, or other less impact forms of exercise. Its a combination of those exercises that help the extensor lag speed and assist in the elasticity of the tendon. Ive recently began using a product that was recommended by a teammate on our local running team called Energel by Fuse. Its a roll-on sold at GNC. It helps warm up the knee for exercise and has willow bark which prevents and assists with swelling. Its worked great, just look at the feedback on the product. Are you taking any vitamins, minerals to help in the collagen synthesis of the tendon for stronger/healther/faster healing? Are you at full ROM? Do you still have muscle atrophy in the injured leg? Im 3 months 2 weeks post surgery and still have the tightness and the swelling; stiffness in the morning. No bad steps yet. My progress has been phenomenal though, I cant complain.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm

        Jesus is right. In my own case, I found that a variety of exercises helped. The pool running (wearing an Aqua Jogger) was really good since it allowed me to exercise without the impact of running and I was in the water when it was 90-100 (ah, Florida).

  209. Tom Jaremka said, on October 3, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Dave, I am at 10 months post-surgery and I still have swelling, tightness and “discomfort”. Even my good knee has problems……..LOL. Remember, this rehab and recovery is very tough on your lower half. You lose strength, mobility and confidence. For awhile, even my hips were out of line and that, along with my injury, really made it difficult to walk without any discomfort.

    The only thing that I can tell you is give your body “time” to heal properly. Keep walking and massaging your leg and you’ll be fine. That occasional miss-step will go away, shortly. Mine seemed to go away at around 9 months. The thing is that it will go away and you won’t even notice it. One day you’ll realize that it is gone and you’ll realize that you’ve conquered a part of the beast they call “The worst leg injury possible”…..LOL.

    After hockey, I still have to ice my knees and put a heating pad on them. It takes a pro athlete about 16 – 20 months to completely recover from this injury. It takes guys like us about 2 years to have a 100%, complete recovery where we don’t even have a second thought about the leg.

    Keep going strong. You’re on the right track!!

  210. Dave said, on October 4, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Thanks for the advice.

  211. Norm said, on October 5, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Last Saturday I stepped on a cover to an underground gasoline tank at a gas station. The cover was defective, and while falling I heard something pop. X-rays were negative for fractures. The pain is tolerable and I have been trying to continue to work a little bit by getting around on one crutch with very little weight borne on the affected leg. I run a small business so there is no such thing as sick pay for me. It really doesn’t hurt too much to bear weight, and I can walk, but since I also had a strain/pull/tear of the upper front quadriceps,. I cannot straighten the leg completely without moderate pain to the upper front muscles of my thigh.

    Early this morning I had an MRI. The clinic called me late this afternoon and said I had a 50 percent tear of the quadriceps tendon. I have an appt with an orthopaedic surgeon on Tuesday. I did a little research on the injury and am now freaking out. Looks like I might need surgery (I cannot perform a straight leg lift) I run a small ebay business and with slow sales because of the economy, I am barely able to keep up up with my bills, which is okay. But without me (sole employee) the business ceases, and income stops.

    Can anyone give me some encouraging information.

    Thanks.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 6, 2012 at 8:05 am

      Norm,

      Sorry to hear about your injury-that is terrible. The bad news is that the repair will put you in a brace for a while and you’ll have a tough recovery. The good news is that a partial tear should heal faster and there is some chance you might not need the surgery.

      If you do need the surgery, you’ll be in a brace for quite some time (or possibly a cast) and you’ll go through a period of recovery and rehab. With a partial tear, this should be shorter than a full tear.

      I was out of work for two weeks, but I was only down for a couple days. I was exercising and putting together online classes a few days after the surgery. Provided that your eBay work does not require heavy lifting, you should be able to keep working.

      Good luck!

  212. Norm said, on October 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Thanks for the info, Michael. Question: When they say 50 % do they mean a partial tear of half the width of the tendon or a full tear of half the depth of the tendon?

    Also, I don’t see the dr until tuesday. Am I risking further damage if I try to do a little work. I can walk, albeit slowly, with no pain, by using one crutch to hold some of the weight, and by keeping my leg stiff and straight. In fact, when keeping the leg straight and locked, I can put full weight on it with no pain.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      Norm,

      A partial tear could mean several things. As you said, it could mean that there is a tear “across” the tendon or a “through” the tendon. In any case, a partial tear is better than a full tear. My tendon snapped up into my upper leg, so the doc had to go digging for it. With a partial tear you might be lucky and either recover without surgery or get a less extreme repair.

      With a partial tear you could damage it more, but it would probably require something substantial rather than just walking-but I’d be careful. I walked around with a full tear, although apparently I should not have been able to do that. The second doc I saw put me in a soft cast (the first just gave me a prescription and sent me home) to immobilize the leg. If the doc did not put you in a cast, perhaps it is okay for you to be walking about. Or perhaps not.

      If you get the repair, you’ll probably have your leg locked in a brace or cast for quite a while.

    • Jesus said, on October 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      Norm, It wouldnt be considered a partial tear unless it was actually torn thru in width or tore from the patella or quadricep muscle.. An MRI would easily pick this injury up. I had a COMPLEX TEAR which means the tendon tore in the middle..not from either the quad or patella (knee cap). My injury probably dealt with the most conservative approaches towards rehab after therapy and I was in crutches till my 2nd week and off the brace after 6 meaning that your injury, since it doesnt require as many sutures and invasive surgery, will heal much faster. Some minor tears dont require any surgery at all but I would definitely depend on the recommendation of an expert. One thing you have to remember is that life has its bumps and bruises. You got away rather easy this time. You will be able to do ebay albeit be in some discomfort for a few days after surgery. Your leg should be immobilized immediately if it hasnt been already. If your tendon finishes its tear due to a bad gesture or an unexpected heavy lift you will definitely be going thru a much more complex and challenging therapy and discomfort. Youre knee hasnt been dislodged or brought out of place. That wont be the case if you have a complete tear. If you are going to actually be required to have surgery you cant wait too long as the tendon shrinks and the surgery becomes much more complex as well as your chances to make a full active comeback become more of a long shot. The best of luck to you and keep us updated on your progress…

  213. Norm said, on October 8, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Thanks for the response, Jesus. I see the surgeon tomorrow morning. The MRI characterized it as a 50 percent tear of the tendon, with the patella (knee cap) very slightly displaced. It didn’t show up on the ER x-ray taken on Saturday, but it definitely showed up on the MRI taken this past Friday. I was fitted with an immobilzer at the ER. It was too big because as a former college athlete (baseball) , I still have very big calfs and thighs, but I am only 5’6 inches tall. To accomodate my thighs they gave me an XXL, which was way too long, and since I also tore or badly strained my upper right quad muscles, with my leg immbolized in a straight position, the quad muscles were very painful, and also, it was nearly impossible to move,. even with crutches. So I haven’t been using it. Spent two days in bed on hydrocodone and muscle relaxers, which pretty much knocked me out. Was up and around after that, using, at first, two crutches and then one, walking slowly but still putting a little weight on the bad leg. I did this all week, and apparently if it did further damage, it is only at a 50 percent tear as of Friday. Saturday I did very little. Sunday I was in bed all day, more so probably because of depression caused by recently learning of the seriousness of the injury and worrying about whether I would harm it further and/or how I was going to make a living until recovery. Today I worked for a few hours, sometimes walking easily with no support, sometimes with a walker, and sometimes with one crutch. I very consciously keep my bad leg straight when walking, and try to put as little weight on it as possible. Also, I had a friend come over and he helped me with anything over ten pounds. I was very careful about using my arms only in lifting anything. Funny, though, because I can put full weight on it, (and I have balloned from 155 playing days to 230 at age 55) with virtually no pain. Perhaps I am being reckless. I can bend it to a ninety degree angle when I sit with no pain,

    The surgeon may very well admonish me tomorrow for not wearing the immobilzer. I spoke my phone with an old college friend who is an MD, and he suggested that I be very careful, and that if I insisted on walking, I should get a walker. Lucked out and found one at an estate sale two blocks away for ten dollars. Like you, he told me that if I tear it completely I will be in a lot worse shape because the tendon will retract and they will have a hard time pulling it out to reattach.

    There is very little on the internet on partial tears, and some of the experiences of people my age with full tears isn’t good. Very painful, cast or immobilzer for six weeks, followed by months of PT, and some folks have problems even after a full regiment of therapy such as the knee slipping out, problems with stairs, pain and stiffness, loss of strength, etc. I can handle the pain, being out of work for maybe a week, and PT. But I am coccerned about an extended period not working, and with permanent disability.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 9, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Norm,

      With a full tear I was down for about three days (the surgery day and two days after that). I was able to one-leg my exercise bike on day 4 and I got a Bowflex shortly after that. The doc kept me out two weeks, but I was able to get around reasonably well after about a week. I think the main worry was the risk of being knocked down by accident or falling while getting around all the stairs. After two weeks, I could navigate stairs and get around between classes (my longest journey was about .2 miles across campus with multiple outside and inside stairs).

      The main problem is that the repaired leg is locked in place. However, I was able to carry stuff using my backpack. Driving was also a problem-the leg won’t bend enough to allow driving for a while.

      Complete recovery is almost certain-the success rate is very high and with a partial tear it is hard to imagine that you would not be back to 100%.

  214. Jesus said, on October 8, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Norm, as I soon found out, this is one injury that youll need family and friends to help out. Youll learn alot and have an opportunity to pay it forward once its over. Meanwhile all you can do is take it one day at a time. You will not completely finish that tear unless of an acute action such as an unexpected flex of the quad as you straighten your leg or other swift reaction. An immobilizer assures that you wont be going up for layups anytime soon. Partial tear NON-COMPLEX, meaning not in the middle of the tendon can be treated by immobilization for 6+ weeks. This keeps the tendon in place and it reattaches to the bone. If the tear is complex and thru the center of the tendon it will need surgery within 3 weeks. The faster you begin the process that faster youll be back in action.Keep that weight in check cause inactivity will surely add on a few more pounds. In a worse case scenario, not involving a full tear, you should be back to 80% within a 3 months. Massage the leg, try keeping atrophy to a minimum…keep your cardio up by doing elastic band exercises or upperbody light weights concentrating on high repetitions. This injury is as much a physical test as well as mental one. One day at a time, one step at a time…

  215. Norm said, on October 9, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Appreciate very much Jesus your taking time to answer. I will know a lot more tomorrow after I meet with the Surgeon. My MD friend, who is an opthamologist, was faxed a copy of the MRI report and he said I definitely needed surgery. I have not seen the report. If quicker is better I will forget about holding off for a couple of weeks and trying to get in a couple of weekends of garage sales before the garage sale season ends, and follow the advice of my doctor.

    I was 170 until I took off time from my career to take care of my father, who had alzheimer’s. In six years balloned up to 240, and in the year since he passed its been a struggle to lose the weight. Its all on my gut. Decided to change direction and opened up a small business selling collectibles, mostly on ebay. Enjoy the heck out of it, but its labor intensive.

    Thanks for all of your encouragement.