The SPECIALIST'S OFFICE => Ruptured patellar tendon or ruptured quadriceps tendon => Topic started by: Vazcular on June 05, 2014, 12:53:48 AM

Title: Torn Quadriceps tendon, Grade-2 ACL tear, and more.
Post by: Vazcular on June 05, 2014, 12:53:48 AM
Hello everyone. I just found this forum and glad I did. My injuries occurred while digging a trench to replace a pipe. The ground gave way and I landed on the pipe directly with the upper part of my right kneecap. There was too much noise to hear a pop, but I knew something was torn. I weighed a solid 245lb when the fall happened. The trench was just shallow enough to keep my hands & arms from bracing the fall. So my right knee got the full force of gravity. The injury occurred on March 7th, 2014. It wasn't until May 13th that the tendon repair/reattachment surgery was done. Insurance issues, orthopedic rescheduling, etc... Just a nightmare there. The initial MRI showed the following -

1) Grade I intrasubstance tear involving the body and posterior horn of the medial meniscus.

2) Grade I injury of medial collateral ligament.

3) Partial tear of anterior cruciate ligament.

4) Near total tear of the distal quadriceps tendon.

5) Bowed patellar ligament.

6) Moderate joint effusion, with a Baker's cyst.

7) Diffuse subcutaneous contusion / edema around the knee joint.

I'm 33 years old, 6' 1", decent shape for my weight, non-smoker. Only real concerns were pre-hypertension & low HDL. I'm now four weeks post surgery. My leg is still in a brace & locked. My next appointment is on the 18th of this month. I am in the USA, most relatives live in the UK. I have some general questions for you -

1) My job was construction & remodeling houses. Which requires plenty of heavy lifting, balance, awkward squatting positions, etc... How long am I likely to be out of such strenuous work? I was a private contractor so I don't qualify for workers compensation, unemployment, or even temporary food stamps. Am I going to be out long enough for SSDI?

2) While I got hurt I was just getting back into working out as I did when I was in my teens/twenties. Will I ever squat again or am I stuck with the leg press machine and my right leg always lacking?

3) Will it be likely for me to run even up to 90%

Thanks for any and all advice & support.


Title: Re: Torn Quadriceps tendon, Grade-2 ACL tear, and more.
Post by: SellaVee on June 09, 2014, 10:34:38 AM
Hi Danny

I'm surprised you've had no replies - only thing I can think of is that you've suffered so many injuries at once (ouch) that none of us has had exactly the same experience.  I ruptured my patellar tendon and pulled a bit of bone from my kneecap so I only had 2 things to worry about.

I think you will be out of work for a while.  The delay in surgery means longer rehab.  I expect you've suffered muscle atrophy in the affected leg.  I've read that it takes 3 times as long to rebuild muscle tone as it does to lose it, so if you've been immobile for 2 months you'll need 6 months to recover.  That's just a rule of thumb.  Everyone is different but most of us agree it takes a long time.  I went back to work part time after 4 months and used the lift (elevator) a lot.  My job isn't physically demanding.

Almost a year later I still hold the hand rail when going down stairs so I never carry a tray of cups and bowls down if we've had breakfast in bed but I can manage a laundry basket balanced on my hip.  I can crouch down (squat) but I choose not to kneel on my damaged kneecap though physically I can.

I have read of others being able to run distances and others who can't run at all.  One guy reported a big improvement after he lost a lot of weight.  I'm still working on that one as months of inactivity don't help.

Most people report that one leg remains weaker, especially if you don't keep working at it.  My experience is that if I don't work out 3 times a week I see a difference.  I don't use a gym, but I do have an exercise bike and a treadmill at home plus various other bits.  I do Pilates for balance and core strength.  I'm a 61 year old female living in the UK.  You are much younger so you should do much better than me.

My advice would be

a) find the best physiotherapist you can afford - this is the best money you will ever spend

b) keep exercising as instructed

c) read the forum boards for each of your injuries and see what people advise.

Rehab is tedious and it can also be tearful, but you will get through it.  Positive Mental Attitude is our motto!

Title: Re: Torn Quadriceps tendon, Grade-2 ACL tear, and more.
Post by: Stuart Rulka on June 09, 2014, 10:37:54 PM
Danny, my sympathies on the extent of your injuries! I agree with Sella most of us would have been hesitant to respond ,having suffered relatively modestly by comparison. This is generally a helpful bunch!
  One thing I can relate to is being self employed. I had a relatively straightforward  RQT and was fortunate to have surgery 15 hours later. Being saddled with $1000 a  day expenses I returned to work three days later. I am fortunate to be mostly sitting at work. My PT was on holidays so I did not start for two weeks but a week later I was peddling a bike and three weeks after that resumed hiking. I am fortunate that Vancouver's Grouse Grind requires  hikers to descend by gondola so it was a perfect setup.
  Bottom line is you can do anything you put your mind to! Listen to your body ( one of our catch-phrases) and remember inactivity means loss of muscle tone and longer rehab.
   I was off for 6 weeks but the toll on my cardio-vascular system was immense; ten months later I am still only at about 90% of where I was. You are much younger so should recover faster once your injuries have healed.

You WILL get there!   Good luck and be patient!
Title: Re: Torn Quadriceps tendon, Grade-2 ACL tear, and more.
Post by: fishy on June 19, 2014, 05:02:36 PM
Fishy here.  I am in agreement with SellaVee and Stuart.... your injury is substantially different then the norm, but there is enough similarity for our comments to have some merit.  I am a double RPTer, 67yo male and I am about 13 months post surgery.  John42 will follow up with you (he is our ring master....) but I can summarize... you have had a major injury that will require lots of patience, rest, ice, elevation, PT, med's, etc. The amount of time to heal will vary, but something around a year is the norm.  Keep posting, read everything you can on this site,  and stay positive.  Welcome to the club.....
Title: Re: Torn Quadriceps tendon, Grade-2 ACL tear, and more.
Post by: Vazcular on June 23, 2014, 12:51:54 AM
Thank you so much to you all for your support. I'm considering possibly changing orthopedics to a more sports related one. My insurance has a decent list and Houston does have some great doctors and therapists.
Title: Re: Torn Quadriceps tendon, Grade-2 ACL tear, and more.
Post by: Vazcular on July 14, 2014, 02:23:44 AM
Orthopaedic appointment on Wednesday. My guess is he'll order another MRI to check the status. No improvement in the tenderness on the inside of my knee. Still feels sore and tender to the touch.
Title: Re: Torn Quadriceps tendon, Grade-2 ACL tear, and more.
Post by: Vazcular on July 19, 2014, 05:44:21 PM
OK, had to reschedule it for the 23rd.  Any estimates on how the 9-weeks from injury to surgery for the ruptured quadriceps tendon will effect my ability to get back and work in say construction type work where I would be standing most all of the day, climbing ladders, lifting heavy objects, and weird angles?

I surgery only repaired the quadriceps tendon.  Nothing else was addressed during the first surgery almost nine weeks ago.

Is the meniscus likely scar tissue at this point?

Is a 40% ACL tear certainly going to require surgery for me to work physical jobs again.

Thank again.  Any input is greatly appreciated.