KNEEtalk

The SPECIALIST'S OFFICE => Ruptured patellar tendon or ruptured quadriceps tendon => Topic started by: EngKnee on April 08, 2004, 04:33:06 AM

Title: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 08, 2004, 04:33:06 AM
Last week I ruptured the patella tendon in my left knee and as you all know my life has changed since that happened.  My surgery is scheduled for Monday AM and I feel confident in my OS as he has had 27 years experience in his field.  He told me that I would not be able to put weight on it for three weeks after the operation and that I wouldn't be able to start bending for six weeks and that's with the aid of a motion brace.  This is NOT arthoscopic surgery, he will have to cut and drill four holes in my patella to fasten the tendon.  How much pain should I expect to be in?  How long will it last?  Will I ever be able to go back to normal?  Is this a routine type procedure?  I would like to converse with folks out there in cyberspace who have experienced this particular surgery and how they made out and any advice they might have for me going in.  John
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Janet on April 09, 2004, 05:37:52 AM
John:

Good luck as you start on your knee journey. A ruptured patella tendon is not a fun injury (as I'm sure you've already figured out). I had a similar injury, a ruptured quad tendon (which is on the thigh side of the patella). In my case, I had open knee surgery to repair the tendon. I was in an immobilizer for about two and a half months, then went to a hinged brace. But during that time, I was weight bearing after the first week or so. I started PT at about three weeks post-op. I didn't return to work for about 3 months (I have a desk job), but then only for a couple of hours per day. I didn't get back to work full time for about nine months.

If you go to the top of the page and do a "Search" for patella tendon (or similar search words), you will find others here who have had your injury. I know I was told that it would take 12-18 months before I "forgot I had an injury." But I had complications and it has now been five years, I have had four surgeries, and my knee will never be normal. I would not expect that to happen to you. Just remember that the people you talk to on this forum are usually ones who have NOT had a smooth recovery. Good luck!

Janet
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 10, 2004, 12:13:32 AM
Thanks Janet, I sure hope I don't have similar results to yours as it sounds like a living hell that you've experienced.  My OS hasn't given me the least impression of this outcome which has me worried a bit.  But it may be that it is a completely different set of circumstances in that my tendon is the lower one and it evulsed from the knee cap itself, not sure if that has any bearing on it or not.  I sure hope my recovery is more timely than what you experienced for I will have to go back to work at some point in the next year I'm sure.  Thanks for letting me know how to find stuff on this board, I appreciate it very much.  I will let you know how it turns out if you want, I am looking forward to recovery as this injury is very painful while in limbo. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on April 11, 2004, 07:24:22 PM
Hi EngKnee, just read your posts about your patellar tendon repair in last few days. Hope it's going well post-op. I ruptured mine completely one month ago, below the patella. I'm 45, about 165lb. Was repaired in France (I'd been skiing there), with neutralisation wire loop put in. I'm now back home in UK. French rehab protocols seem more conservative than here...French surgeon wanted NO motion for 4 wks then very gradual passive movement. But Brit ortho consultant prescribed physio from 3 wks and I've quickly managed to get to 90 degrees passive flexion. Subjectively, I'm really glad I've been able to get moving early rather than waited 4-6 weeks when I'm sure everything would have locked solid. Very little pain now and starting to put a little weight on the leg (not supposed to, though!). I'm feeling optimistic about outcome although I know it will be frustrating when I get into the real PT phase. Hope that encourages you at the stage you're at, let us all know how you're getting on. What kind of work do you do (or is the user name a giveaway)?
Cheers! Nigel.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 11, 2004, 09:49:28 PM
Nigel, thanks for the reply to my post, yours was encouraging and I will try to experience it too with the help of the OS and god.  I go under the knife tommorrow morning and don't expect much to happen for at least a week or so since I won't be able to move the knee or put weight on it for at least three weeks per my Docs orders.  I consulted another OS staff and they indicated two weeks would be enough so I guess it's open to interpretation as to the length of incapacity or maybe its the method by which each OS performs the surgery, not sure which.  I will keep this thread alive with my progress and anyone else who can share similar experiences please by all means contribute.  My OS has not recommended any PT post op but did say he would give me exercises to perform in order to regain strength in my knee, time will tell on that.  Best wishes, John C. aka engknee
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 11, 2004, 09:55:52 PM
Nigel, sorry I didn't answer your queries, I do work as an engineer aboard ships and don't expect to be able to work anytime soon also I was wondering what exactly a nuetralisation loop wire is, it's purpose etc., I'm not aware of that terminology.  My OS has told me that he would drill four holes in my Patellar, (kneecap) and attach the tendon with screws, not sure if it's four tendons or just one  screwed four times for extra strength. Any ideas? John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on April 12, 2004, 02:00:10 PM
John: in my case the neutralisation device is a wire loop. One end goes through the patella and other goes through the top of the tibia (shin bone). It's to keep pressure off the tendon while healing. Looks like a bit of old fence wire on the xrays, but seems to work. Will probably need to be removed at some stage.

Sounds like your repair might be to a rupture at the patella end of the tendon rather than a mid-section break? Presumably several screws necessary as the tendon is quite wide where it meets the patella. But maybe the gurus can enlighten!?

I'm finding the swelling and stiffness decreasing daily. Ice and elevation in the evenings (when swelling is worst) helps a lot. Also massaging the knee to loosen the skin tightness. Got 100 degrees of flexion this morning! (op+4.5wks).

I have a desk job so I've been back at work since op+1wk - commuting into London has given me a lot of practice on crutches, there are an amazing assortment of stairs and obstacles on our ancient Tube (underground railway) system.

Anyway keep in touch and good luck!

Nigel in UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 13, 2004, 03:57:22 AM
Thanks Nigel, I am back at the school where I'm staying to finish a course started before all this happened.  My surgery went well, no complications were revealed to me so I assume none happened.  The rupture ocurred exactly where you assumed and four holes were drilled for that reason.  My leg is elevated with ice being applied, not sure how much good it's doing since there is quite allot of dressing over the incision for the cold to penetrate.  I had a great dinner tonite as the food in the school's cafeteria is fantastic and I feel absolutely great, what a relief!!!  My OS set me at ease before the surgery downplaying the procedure as pretty routine and also shared with me that I should have 100% movement and confidence in a four month period, that doesn't sound so terrible.  I'm very lucky to be at the school at this time since at home I live alone and it would be extremely difficult for me since I can't drive, here no worries as everything is being attended to.  I hope the worst is over and I can get on with my healing.  Keep in touch and keep the faith!  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on April 14, 2004, 09:31:45 PM
John, fantastic to hear your op went well, and you sound in good spirits. Don't worry if you have some down days (or weeks!) too, I've had a couple. Just take it easy as you can meanwhile.

I can well believe you'll get 100% recovery. Our kind of injury/repair, although a major op, seems pretty straightforward compared with some of the things I read about on this board. My PT was very pleased today as I'm up to 125 degrees ROM after 5 wks - 135 is considered full range I think? - although still not allowed to start any active exercises or weight bearing until 6wks when the brace comes off. Maybe that's when the fun and games will really start.

Good luck with yours!

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 15, 2004, 12:44:40 AM
Nigel, you were right about good days and bad days last night was a tough one for me as I think I overdid it on my knee and boy did it let me know.  Swelling and pain increased as I was going in the rack for the night so I remembered to elevate the leg with a pillow and put more ice on it so I could at least get some sleep. Today much better but I won't be taking anything for granted any more.  the wire loop you have in yur knee, do you have to have that removed? I think yur ROM is fantastic and I only hope to have that kind of motion in the weeks to come.  I have to go back in about 8 days to get the staples removed, nothing until then just rest and elevation I guess.  What kind of pain medicene were you on?  I'm on percocet 5 mg and it's not very strong, at least not last night it wasn't, I've been eating them religiously every four hours and it helps quite allot.   The weather here is bloody awful, almost as awful as the speech by our president bush last night, that's enough to make you sick.  Hope all is well with you. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on April 15, 2004, 05:31:43 PM
I completely ruptured my Patella tendon (mid) at the end of January. Was able to put some weight on it a few days after the op and bagan passive flexing on a CPM machine at the same time. Think that was the key to getting good ROM.

went back to work after 5 weeks. before that it was just too painful.  Still having problems at work with my kee swelling and muscular problems due to my leg being straight out all day. Think this is because I was given the cheap option of a lightweight removable cast. Think a hinged post-op brace would have been better, but I didn't have the choice.

Now 11 weeks post-op with good ROM (don't know how much) and just 3 more weeks to go before i can finally get rid of my immobilisor.  

Things do improve. I'm now walking at home without my cast. The key to recovery is doing you PT exercises to get your quads going again. Don't give up, at first nothing will happen, but they will come back.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 15, 2004, 06:48:08 PM
Rosbif, misery loves company I guess, I think it's great that we all can share our experiences here on this bullletin board, it's so helpful.  I see you are from Germany and I find it very interesting that methods of recovery do vary somewhat dramatically between docs.  I am not even a week post-op so I don't have any experience to share on recovery just yet but I do know that you have to keep it elevated and rest it as much as possible during this critical time because the more I try to do the more pain I have to endure, so it's all about rest and elevation at this point for me.  I have been told I have a four month recovery for full range of motion and confidence which in my line of work is very important.  Sounds like you are doing well despite the cast and are on the road to full ROM, good luck. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on April 15, 2004, 07:29:30 PM
I certainly wouldn't recommend the German system (I'm English working out here). I had to wait 4 days post-op before I spoke to the OS to find out how it had gone. This only hapenned coz I pestered the nurses.

I would certainly recommend getting a CPM machine at home (if your OS allows this). This really made a big difference to me.

i'm just hoping to get back playing hockey by Autumn.

hope your recovery goes well

Tony

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 15, 2004, 07:41:59 PM
Tony, not sure what a CPM machine is?  My doc hasn't talked with me either post surgery so I have to assume that all went well but it could be that he was on vacation when he performed the surgery and hasn't gotten back to the office yet, I'll have to inquire soon to find out.  Is this machine something they have in the US?  How much does it cost to rent or do you have to purchase one? John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on April 16, 2004, 03:26:26 AM
John

I too ruptured my patellar tendon (or should I say my ex OS did it for me), yep...he snapped the sucker in half and told me 4 days later! my recovery has been long and somewhat grueling due to massive amounts of scar tissue in the joint...the new OS that took over my care was able to somehow repair the tendon damage...I dont think I have a wire loop, but he did drill holes and ran sutures through. I spent two weeks in the hospital due to this mess. I then spent 10 weeks on a CPM set at 45 degrees (that is the level of bend my knee would tolerate post repair in the OR before everything fell apart) I was not to contract my quad at all for 10 weeks and had to be non weight bearing on that leg...I also had to wear a knee immobilizer at all times when out of bed...even in shower. I am now 5 months post op, I go to PT weekly and swim 1 to 2 miles every day to increase my quad (it turned into a rubbery blubbery mess) because my knee will not bend past 45 degrees (this will be operated on by a arthrofibrosis specialist in June). My leg no longer hurts like it did but still feels weak and achey after standing for long periods of time. I returned to my job part time at 12 weeks post op and will stay at that level till scar tissue is removed in June. Post operatively I had no complications from the surgery although I do think I have some sensory nerve damage on the area below the scar. The scar has healed nicely (8 inches) and I dont experience much swelling now. Pain during the 10 weeks post op was a challenge though. Worked my way through demerol, loratab, and ultracet. I was also on bextra which I continue to take daily. Otherwise no pain meds. While I dont know the specific protocol for care post op as patellar ruptures are very infrequent, I do know that passive ROM on CPM was important as was protecting the repair by not actively contracting the quads. Dont overdue it as this type of injury truely needs time to heal...will give you plenty of time to use your laptop in bed and watch CNN (my choice for news as my feelings politically echo yours). I did experiece frustration at trying to make it to the bathroom when I really had to pee bad though, and straight legging it on the toilet is an obstacle you are probably wondering how to get around (there is no way). Anyways, take it easy!!!!

Kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 16, 2004, 05:00:59 AM
 :) Kim

Thanks for the post and the encouraging remark to me and my stubborn-self.  I'm sorry to read your story of the bad OS and subsequent long recovery period and restricted ROM, hopefully not permanent.  I still haven't talked with my OS to see how the surgery went but I should  see by his orders that he doesn't want to see me for 10 days to remove the staples, duh, so it's probably alright.  I've had similar experiences going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, some nights on an hourly basis or so it seemed in my blurred state, haven't had an accident yet.....I have been going to class in a wheelchair with the left leg elevated and that was cleared by the OS so I guess it's ok.  Good Luck and keep in touch. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on April 16, 2004, 11:56:56 AM
Hi John,

a cpm machine is a Continous Passive Motion machine. It bends your knee for you without using the muscles. this link explains it better: http://www.bupa.co.uk/health_information/html/healthy_living/physical/knee/rehab.html

You can rent them. Think here it cost the equiv of $20 per day, but my insurance covered it. You only need it for a few weeks, just until you are able to bend you knee easily yourself. You really should ask your OS about getting one as it is essential for getting good ROM back.

By the way, how did you rupture your tendon?

hope this helps. ;D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 16, 2004, 08:19:23 PM
Tony,  Thanks for the info per CPM machine I will talk with my OS about it if I can ever get ahold of him.  I got my injury while thinking I could play some harmless pick-up basketball on a rubber surface, ie an unforgiving surface.  I was just dribbling the ball down the court and trying to be cool by not paying attention to my feet and looking around the court for someone to pass to and then Wham!! ??? :-[ :-/ :o :( all these thoughts went racing thru my mind at once but I knew by the sound of crunching walnuts that it was more than a sprain, then I observed by kneecap being out of its traditional place and hole instead, I knew I was done playing for awhile.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on April 16, 2004, 11:37:01 PM
Kim, we "tendon team" all sympathise with you, you've had a ghastly time. I can now see why the OSs (especially my French one, and to a lesser extent the Brit) stress keeping the immobiliser one for 6wks+. I've been a bit naughty this week taking it off in the office for an hour or so at a time. From here on I'm not tempting fate!

For me pain relief hasn't really been a big problem since about week 2. In the UK all the over-the-counter painkillers are combinations of aspirin, paracetamol (=Tylenol?), ibruprofen and lastly codeine which is a bit stronger but causes constipation!

By the way, how did the rest of you bust your knees? I was skiing, just hit an icy lump a bit hard in a turn and it went snap. But I'm pretty sure it was a result of a bang below the knee about 20 years ago while I was in the Army. I thought I had it finally cleared up some years back but from what I've read you can build up "microtrauma" to the tendon which finally causes the failure. A healthy tendon takes 17 x bodyweight to break. Apparently once you turn 40 you're more likely to break the tendon above the patella but still in my case (I'm 45) the previous injury was below so that's where it broke.

Here's to quads of steel for us all by Christmas!! What about a "before and after" competition?

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 18, 2004, 04:58:28 AM
Hey Guys and Girls how's it going?  Not much in the way of activity lately so I figured I'd ask the burning question that we all wanted to ask, that is, how do you take a bath with a knee that doesn't want or can't be moved?  Since my injury on Mar. 31st, I've had two assisted baths, just two!! ::) Of course I've given myself the ol "spit bath" where you just wet a wash cloth and wipe yourself down along with the occasional shampoo session daily but an honest to goodness, feel fresh and clean bath, naaah! :-[  I've had to enlist the help of a long-time friend's wife who just happened to be a nurse, to help me with my now weekly ritual.  The fact that she's a nurse helps to keep embarrassment to a minimum and then only the first time, now I have no reservations at all to strip down and amble my way to the tub in front of her since it's all about keeping a pathetic gimb clean. 8)  I'm sure you all have stories about this all-important aspect of recovery, by all means, share it with the group. John C
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on April 18, 2004, 04:11:49 PM
Re baths and showers, I managed okay. At first just leaned into the shower and at least got my head/top half done. With crutches was able to get in/out properly (but carefully!) after about wk2....blissssss!!

I think you can shower while the staples are still in (I certainly did) but they say don't get immerse knee in the bath until staples come out?

I stayed out of bath until about wk4, tried but leg was too tender without the immobiliser. But now (10 days later) I'm hopping in with no trouble. A good place to do passive ROM exercises as deepish water gives a lot of support, also a chance to massage the knee with various gunk my wife leaves around the place. Never thought I'd become Aloe Vera Man but needs must.

A week or two and I bet you'll be able to go solo. Sorry!!

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 18, 2004, 05:45:35 PM
Nigel, I forgot to mention the most important aspect to my latest post, that is, the stool inside the tub, without it I doubt I would be able to get in the tub at all.  I'll be happy to be able to do it myself thank you when the time comes but until then I will enjoy the kindness of my friendly nurse.  I like it especially when she does my feet, incredible stuff ;D   John C
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on April 19, 2004, 12:34:22 PM
I ruptured my tendon whilst waiting for a taxi. I was stood between 2 friends, next moment I'm on the floor after some drunk went flying into the back of my knee. think his shoulder connected with my knee. Unfortunately he wandered off before the Police arrived so I can't sue. My knee was around to the side and I couldn't even stand on my good leg as the pain was so bad.

ref showers - I started off with a bin bag around my cast, but after a couple of weeks started showering without my cast and just being very very careful. Luckily I have a very low shower basin.

My hospital was on the most famous gay street in Hamburg.
On my first morning in there a very effeminate male nurse came in with a wash basin asking if I wanted a bed bath. I politely but very quickly declined  :o.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on April 22, 2004, 08:13:01 PM
EngKnee/John,

Just seen the ortho at 6 wk point. Good news is he's okay'd me to lose the brace, start active PT and go to full WB as soon as I can bear. I've got 130 degrees of ROM which he said is extremely good at this stage. Quads are shot to hell of course which is to be expected...I can't even lift my heel off the ground when I'm sitting down with leg straight out! Amazing.

Only bad news is he said they need to open the whole knee up (top to bottom) again eventually to take the wire out. Bit of a bummer as I thought it could be done with arthroscope. Wire can stay in if it causes no trouble but apparently they often break eventually.

How are you doing?

Cheers, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 22, 2004, 08:24:21 PM
Nigel,
Great News except for the extraction procedure which I was wondering about earlier.  Tommorrow I get my staples removed from the knee so that is some progress I guess.  I too have trouble lifting my ankle off the ground when lying down and I was wondering if I am able to try to work that to the point where I can do it more easily lest I can't do it at all.  I'll have to inquire tommorrow about that.  Looking forward to getting out this weekend, plan to go to a Redskin party where I'll be able to oogle the cheerleaders and get my picture taken with the super bowl trophies, big deal for me.  Might even try to sneak a trip back home in WV to check on the house......I don't want to try too much just yet.
John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on April 22, 2004, 09:33:10 PM
John - they didn't let me do any active leg lifting until now in case I pulled the tendon repair apart. Maybe another example of different protocols in different countries. I think US medics favour aggressive early rehab where possible and I have to say that might be right for a lot of people. I've been pushing the boundaries of what they've said I can do, and so far got away with it.

I've just tried walking without crutches this afternoon, and I can just about manage it...sloooowly.

Should be more comfortable after your staples come out. Then you can start loosening up the skin over your kneecap.

Redskins? - you in DC, then?

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 22, 2004, 11:45:25 PM
Nigel
Yes I'm a hopeless Redskin Fan, I live pretty close to DC when I'm home and now that I'm in Md. on the eastern shore I'm only about an hour and change away from the stadium.  They are having open house on Sat. where we can meet the players, coaches, cheerleaders et al and enjoy Draft day where we get the fifth overall pick from the nation's best collegiate footballers.  I'm looking for big improvement this year with Coach Gibbs coming back and a bunch of talented new players.  I've got to get out some as this knee business is very boring to my usually great social life.
John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Janet on April 23, 2004, 05:54:51 AM
I'm so glad your surgery went well. You still have a long road of rehab ahead of you, but it's great to hear things are going well now. Dont' be surprised if you have good days and not so good days, encouraging days and frustrating days. One day it will all be worth it.

I had trouble in the shower because I couldn't bend my knee at all. After a couple of weeks of sponge baths and washing my hair in the sink, a real shower felt so good! I would just go in with my crutches. I couldn't never take a bath because I couldn't get in and out of the tub.

As for me, I ruptured my (quad) tendon with a simple fall on a wet floor at work. I went down in a hurdle position with my leg bent behind me. I was able to get up and walk with pain, and I think I tore it all the way when I tried to go downstairs to get to my car. I'll never again laugh at those stupid commercials: "Injured in a slip and fall, call (some attorney)"!

Janet
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on April 23, 2004, 12:03:05 PM
Nigel,
Not being able to lift your leg straight up is a little alarming at first, but after a couple of weeks of PT you'll be able to manage it no problem. I'm 12 weeeks post-op and now gradually increasing the weight in my ankle weights for the straight leg raise. Although I still have to wear my immobilsor when not at home. Seeing OS on Monday, so hoping I can get rid of it.

Pity about the wire removal. My OS used a dissolvable wire, so no need to go in and remove it. Apparently it should dissolve completely in 3 months.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 23, 2004, 05:00:05 PM
I wonder why on earth one doc would use a dissolvable wire and another would use one that doesn't so he has to go back in there and remove it, doesn't much make sense to me. ??? ??? Maybe they have an explanation of  it that would satisfy even the harshest critic. I go to get my staples removed today so maybe my doc will let start doing something except what I'm doing which is absolutely nothing.  This helpless feeling has got to start to go away or I'm going crazy  :P  My class here in Md. ends in two weeks at which time I'll have to figure a way to get back home to WV. that should be a royal inconvenience to somebody close to me.  Hopefully someone will have the day off so they can come and rescue me.  When I get home I'll have a whole bunch of new obstacles to hurdle in that I live in the country and I won't be able to drive. This should be fun.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on April 23, 2004, 06:53:12 PM
John, before my surgery a junior doctor told me they would have to remove the wire after 3months. However, when I spoke to the OS after the surgery, he told me that he had used the dissolvable wire so that wouldn't be necessary.

I know all about inconvenience. I live on the 4th floor of a 100 year old apartment building. NO LIFT :o . The quads in my good leg are now huge from going up and down all those steps with my immobilisor on. Think when my immobilsor comes off I'll be walking in circles.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 23, 2004, 10:12:03 PM
Rosbif aka Kim I think,  That is incredible what you've endured on crutches, I can't even imagine trying something like that but if I had to I guess I'd just do it like you did, amazing stuff.  I got the staples out just a couple of hours ago and was fitted with a new adjustable brace, set at zero of course, so I feel like I'm finally making some progress.  Also he surprised me by saying it was OK to put weight on the knee as long as its straight, so far I haven't really put much on it because I'm not used to doing it yet but I will try a little at a time until I feel comfortable. It feels abnormal to put weight on it now, imagine that.  Little steps add up to normality I hope.  The tough part for me now is to try and not put on any extra weight as I'm not doing any exercise to burn it off.  I'm sure I've put on at least 10 pounds in the last month and I've got to stop having sweets like ice cream and brownies.  Now where is my nurse I need a bath badly. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on April 23, 2004, 10:35:27 PM
I LOST weight post-op, I think it was being out of reach of the snacks for a while!!

John, I too was chewing the carpet at your stage at not being able to get about. But within a week or so of that I found I could get in my wife's car and, (a) because it's an auto transmission (unusual here in UK) and (b) because it's my left leg that's hurt, I could actually drive it! Well at first I couldn't because it was just too uncomfortable, but by slackening off the top straps of the immobiliser and tilting the seat forward I could fit. Hope you have the same experiences.

Rosbif, what exercises did they give you for quads (and which do you think worked best)?

Nigel


Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 27, 2004, 04:10:42 AM
 ;D  Hi All Hope everyone is doing well, at least as well as I am today  8) What a difference a day makes, last fri. I had the ol' staples removed and the Doc gave me the goahead to put weight on the leg so I very gingerly took his advice and started to put some weight on it, it felt real stiff at first, as to be expected I guess.  On Sat. I went to the Redskin Draft Party at the stadium near DC and I walked and walked and walked to the point where I was tired but didn't feel the least bit of pain at that point, so I walked some more.  All told I probably walked over a mile, all over the stadium, the field, the parking lot for over a five hour period, I did rest some but for the most part I was on the go all day.  It was tough to keep up with the cheerleaders but I tried my best ::)  On Sunday I woke up early expecting alot of pain and discomfort and lo and behold I felt great!  I then took Nigel's advice and tried to get into my Truck, very gingerly at first but I did it and it felt absolutely wonderful to be able to go somewhere on my own for the first time since Mar. 30th.  I was fitted with the adjustable brace this time set at zero position and will have to keep it at this angle for four more weeks until end of May.  The Doc didn't recommend any exercises at this time but I feel like I could probably do some but haven't tried too much yet.  Life is good again!  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on April 27, 2004, 11:56:54 AM
Good Morning, Unfortunately I injured my right leg so driving is out. Also I drive a manual so it wud be a bit tricky. Think I really got a bad deal with having a cast instead of an adjustable brace. Spend half the time in my physio sessions just trying to release some of the tension from the muscles in that leg, from having it straight all day (now for 13 weeks).

For quads I'm now doing a lot of straight leg raises with ankle weights. Full arc extensions are still a bit too painfull and difficult. Hope things will improve after the end of this week when I remove my cast for the last time.

Rosbif (Tony)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on April 29, 2004, 02:06:17 PM
Will finally take my cast off for the last time tomorrow.

Saw OS on Monday. He had a look at the knee, got me to walk a bit without the cast and said it was ok to get rid of it. But then looked at his notes and saw that the OS who did the op, had put 14 weeks post-op with cast (until 6May). So the OS changed his mind and said keep it on.

Its really a bad system here in Germany. I wasn't able to choose the OS coz it was an accident and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. But you cannot see the OS who did the Op after you leave the hospital. The new OS didn't really seem interested, I guess because he didn't do the op.

Anyway I've had enough of wearing the cast  >:( and its coming off.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on April 29, 2004, 11:13:33 PM
Way to go Tony, there is hope after all.  My new found freedom is great but my knee still looks terrible, all hard, swollen and numb to the touch, is that the way your was?  I walked all about an old Coast Guard Cutter today in Balt. while on a field trip with my class and was able to get around pretty good without crutches, just the slow careful limp.  My leg looks wierd with my calf muscle almost nonexistent and flab on my thigh up to my rock hard knee, looks totally different from the good leg.  It's still great to be driving though, will try to get home to WV this weekend to check out the homefront. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on April 29, 2004, 11:53:36 PM
Hi Tony & John, glad to hear everyone gritting teeth and looking forward to being brace-free. I've been a week now - they said I should wean myself off it but I threw it straight under the bed and there it stayed. Been to the gym and doing static cycling and rowing machine, quad muscle tells me "you're having a laugh, aren't you?"

Just had this snippet on an email from an old family contact - I told him about my knee and here's what he sent back:
Title: As an aside I Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on April 29, 2004, 11:56:02 PM
...continued (sorry hit the alt-s by mistake!):

"I remember my grandfather showing my sons his left knee cap which was liberally spread about his knee. As they marvelled over this he told them that he had been kicked by a horse when he was twelve. They asked what he did next, to which he replied "Went on to school - couldn't afford the doctor". Tough or what? The strange thing was, even at 89 years of age, that knee was completely mobile with no hint of arthritis. Perhaps we should all be kicked by a horse now and again!"

Best, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on April 30, 2004, 11:45:02 AM
Hi John, yes my knee was very swollen and numb for quite a few weeks after my op. Still a little swollen and a small numb area, but it has improved a lot. My quads turned to mush but didn't have any problem with the calf muscle.

Did u have any luck getting hold of a CPM machine?

seems you a lot more mobile than I was at your stage.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on April 30, 2004, 11:18:37 PM
I suppose none of us are going to win beauty contests at this stage. My knee seems to stick out further than it should and when I get tired it feels like the kneecap is overhanging and, well, drooping. I wonder if that's because the quad muscle isn't strong enough to keep it held up? I did some static cycling and rowing yesterday evening and this morning knee felt really good and tightened up, but this evening..drooping again! Anyone else the same?

BTW can't do straight leg raises at all yet, let alone with weights!

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on May 01, 2004, 12:17:46 AM
Nigel

actually i must admit...my scar is quite beautiful...for a scar. thought for sure it will be ugly with a zipper like appearance from the staples...but alas, it is very nice, almost invisible...(i am a nov. 03 patellar tendon rupture done by the hands of my old fired OS)...anyways, yes my quad is still mush compared to the right leg yet i am limited in what exercises i can do until my arthrofibrosis procedure is done in june. i think (as explained to my by cincinnati sports medicine) that quad atrophy does cause the knee cap to ride lower due to the shortening of the patellar tendon. it was stressed to me to get back in the water (i am a recently retired competitive swimmer) as kicking with fins will help build up the quad and keep the knee cap from being pulled lower (this is called patellar baja)...seems the expert on this is heather m. on the forum...you can usually find her posts in the soft tissue healing area. my pt also told me of an exercise to build up the VMO. take a small ball and place behind the knee and stand against a wall (heels to the wall) and press back into the ball...you will feel the burn...great exercise and low impact...i would take it easy on major flexion exercises and high impact so as not to cause further problems if your knee cap is riding low...hope this helps!...i can feel my quads getting stronger daily by swimming 1 to 2 miles every day...and yes i could not do straight leg lifts at first either...and then it just happened!

kim from atlanta
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 01, 2004, 01:08:24 AM
Kim, thanks, that's really interesting. Not sure what the VMOs are but I gather part of the quad muscle?

I've been lucky enough to get back good ROM (now virtually full) quite quickly post-op, so that has tempted me to start high flexion exercises like rowing machine - but maybe I should take it easy on that. My PT recommends slow static cycling with the seat height set slightly low and a high-ish resistance setting to work the quad. I'll definitely try that ball-against-the-wall trick (if I can find one the dogs haven't chewed). I can believe swimming would be good, it's just never been my thing. Maybe I'll just kick a bit in the bath.  ::)

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on May 02, 2004, 06:13:04 PM
nigel

the vmo is the tear dropped shaped muscle (very noticeable on bikers). it is that muscle above the knee cap on the medial (inside) part of the thigh...this is how i can best explain it. i think it helps with patellar tracking and stabilization and thus is very important, ask your PT or OS about it...especially since you sound like your knee cap is moving more that it should.

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 02, 2004, 09:20:47 PM
Kim, Nigel, Tony, Janet et al,  This thread continues to amaze me in it's helpfulness to those afflicted with our plight, I for one am learning all sorts of information about things that we took for granted and assumed would take care of itself.  Lately I have noticed a noticeable improvement in my knee, topically speaking, I have used vitamin E liquid on my scar and have seen the lines of the scapel become less and less visible.  The pain has subsided and last night I even slept peacefully without my brace fully cinched up for the first time.  When we all get over the hard part which it seems like most of us have, we will have a new understanding of the importance of the muscles surrounding our knee and in all liklihood we'll be paying more attention to those muscles in our daily workouts.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 03, 2004, 02:21:14 AM
Kim, many thanks for the anatomy lesson. I see what you mean now. I tried the exercise with the ball and will keep at it even though (because?) it hurts!

My knee cap seems to have tightened up and lifted in the last couple of days and I now have some quad function (ie I can actually lift my heel about 12 inches when seated). I've read others on KG saying their quad started to wake up all of a sudden after a few days of exercise, and that's exactly what's happened to me.

Today I stomped around all day without immobiliser, crutches or safety net. A bit Grinch-like, but a huge improvement. Fanntushhticc. As of yesterday I can climb stairs unassisted, just like real people, but I still have to come back down one at a time. What a difference a few days makes once you're out of the *%^$# immobiliser!!

My only niggle is a pinching pain at the top of the inner calf, an inch or so below the knee when I flex it. Feels like something sharp-ish is trapped inside. I don't think it's the wire in there, feels like slightly lower down. Real bore. Hoping it will go away.

You're right John, what a great board. Almost worth busting a knee to find it... ;D   But seriously, it makes me realise how much some people have to put up with. Now I know I've actually had it pretty easy. Touch wood. ANyone skiing next season?

Best to all, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 08, 2004, 06:40:13 PM
Hey chaps, how's it going? I had bit of a setback a couple of days ago, had to hit the painkillers and frozen peas for about 24 hrs, knee swelled right up. Medics x-rayed me to see if wire still in place - apparently yes, and my knee has since got much better, so a bit of a result in the end. They say I probably just over-did the exercise and paid a price for it. Just thought I'd share that in case anyone else has same experience - I suppose while things are still healing you have to be aware it's still a delicate state even if it feels stronger. But, as ever, a bit of rest and ice work a treat if you hit a snag.

Have a great weekend.

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on May 08, 2004, 07:01:17 PM
Nigel

I told you guys to take it easy! remember...I am the furthest out post op (and the only girl) I think. This is  a slow, long and difficult recovery process due to the severity of this injury (remember, there are very few of us world wide who are members of this club). Your quads will come back...just takes time. I still think your doc screwed up by putting a wire in that has to come out, mine was disolvable...too much risk for infection to have to reopen...and I wonder if this might not slow the healing process down. I would certainly discuss this with your surgeon. Cheers!

Kim from Pennsylvania by way of Atlanta
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 08, 2004, 08:29:58 PM
Well, that's me properly told off...but listen to Auntie Kim chaps, SHE KNOWS!!!
::)

Dissolvable wire!?? That's the kind of thing that put Americans on the moon! Over here we're lucky if we get an old piece of coat-hanger. But actually, Apollo 13 is one of my favourite films ever (I'm a Tom Hanks fan anyway).  The bit where they fix the carbon dioxide scrubbers with duct tape and old flight manual covers is priceless. Maybe it's a guy thing, sorry Kim.

Take care.

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on May 10, 2004, 12:05:20 PM
Hi guys, back after a week holiday and a week without my immobilisor. Had to take it easy and use my crutches for the first 5 days just as a safety net. Had a couple of major buckling incedents so it was I good job I had them. Been without crutches since Friday. No problems but still have to take stairs one at a time (I live on 4th floor (believe that is the 5th floor in the States?) with no lift).

Makes life so much easier not having to wear the immobilisor. Knee still very weak, swollen and loose, but gettin there.

Tony
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 10, 2004, 12:24:33 PM
Tony, wie geht's?? Glad to hear you've taken off the stabilisers. Remember not to go on any of the big roads without a grown-up.  ;D

Take it easy.

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on May 10, 2004, 04:12:07 PM
Thanks Nigel. Think your german is better than mine.

Got rid of the stabilisers, now just need to lose the "Slow Moving Vehicle" sign off my back. Think a bit of time in the gym and swimming pool is called for.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 10, 2004, 06:28:33 PM
Yeah but remember to add ballast or something to the good leg or you'll swim round in circles.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 10, 2004, 06:40:14 PM
OK guys and girls, I've been away as well and apologize in advance for my inattention to this forum but allot has happened in my absence I see ::)  Glad to see that people are up and around and I am happy to report the same as today marks the first time that I'm walking without my brace and my first foray into the shower without a brace or assistance, what a relief ;D Of course it's still swells up on occasion and I have to rest it from time to time but I am sleeping without the brace as well and that is much more comfortable.  I don't go back to the doc until May 25th for the initial adjustment but I plan on being ready for that by testing my confidence and mobility in the meantime, very slowly.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on May 11, 2004, 04:21:47 PM
Hi John, Nice to see you're improvin. Sleeping without the brace really is a big improvement of quality of life. I started doing without OS approval, I'd just had enough of sleeping with my cast on.

I tried a couple of stairs in the normal way yesterday. i.e. not dragging my bad leg up. Felt extremely odd and un-natural. Anybody else had this feeling?
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 11, 2004, 05:17:03 PM
Tony, I think it's great that you are able to get around as much as you do and that you are doing stairs without your brace, I'm having a hard enough time just getting around the house, all on one floor mind you, without my brace and feel very funny trying to do the steps without the brace.  My concern is that since we are doing this w/o OS orders are we doing any harm by this?  I noticed four holes or indentions in my knee, are they where the holes were drilled in my kneecap?  They are located on either side of the incision and seem to be evenly placed vertically along the scar.  I know it's going to be extremely difficult for me to bend when the time comes :-/ but I can't wait to get on with this.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on May 11, 2004, 05:36:55 PM
John, I'm quited amazed you haven't started bending you knee yet. I was started on passive bending 2 days after my op.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 11, 2004, 07:28:33 PM
Tony, that is incredible as I can't even imagine trying to bend my knee that soon but I was told not even to put any weight on it as well so they were really taking it easy, maybe because you had the wire insert you were able to bend sooner, not sure why but that sounds like a possible.  Maybe some of our other posters will share their experience on this.  If you were bending then I guess me walking on it w/o a brace is A-OK.  We haven't broached the subject of injured-knee sex yet but I find it quite annoying sometimes when I can't do what I want and have to patiently await my partner's whim in order to feel like I'm part of the equation if you know what I mean, kinda detached but still enjoying every minute of it, gimps need love too!!! 8)  It's real tough to remember what it was like to have a good knee at this point maybe it will be different once I start bending but right now I can't even think about the pain associated with that first bending motion and how is it going to be effected, the OS?  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 11, 2004, 11:54:34 PM
John - I'm also surprised they haven't got you doing knee flexing yet. Like John I was started on passive flexing early on - though in my case 3 wks not 2 days!

Passive flexing is bending your knee leg using your hands, or gravity, rather than with the leg muscles. I would definitely press your OS on this as you can't do much to walk properly until you have at least 90 degrees range of movement (ROM). The longer you leave it, the longer it will take to get the ROM.

By the way I think knee-bending and weight bearing are completely different things from a rehab perspective and it doesn't follow that if you're okayed for flexing you also have green light for WB. Anyone explain this better?

Tony - know what you mean, stair climbing feels definitely a bit "floaty" and I have to go up quite quickly keeping a rhythm. Which is probably what you'd do if you had two good legs.

I'm now commuting on the trains/tube into London every day with just a stick (cane) as a security blanket and it does help a bit on the stairs. Also can cut a dash with it around the office - my childhood hero was John Steed in the Avengers (Tony will know) with his sword stick/umbrella. I can walk almost normally at a slow pace, but when I speed up I'm still lame. Feels like the kneecap is "heavy" which I think is just lack of quad strength. But improving.

Finally, re the sex positions question John, I'm not going there on this thread...but maybe you should wait until you've been okayed for active physio!  ;) John Steed would have laid back and thought of England.

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on May 12, 2004, 12:57:46 AM
You boys are bad!!!  Attempting stairs without your (cast?)...do you mean immobilizer (neoprene thingy with velco straps and a hole in the middle?)...your quads are most likely atrophied to the point of a raisin, thus you are lacking the support, strength, and stability of you knee...the potential for buckling is significant and thus could end up rupturing the tendon all over again. You do not want this to happen again, do you? the stairs are not going to speed up the healing process or build the quads...do the excersises, go to PT, get a cane...this you can use to steady yourself if you must go up the steps without your brace. Do the ball against the wall exercise, Estim (hurts like a mother...) and leg lifts...be good and follow your instructions! again I must point out...sounds like a huge difference in post op care...this could be because most O/Ss have never taken care of patients like us. I was put in a cpm right in recovery from the surgery...set to 50 degrees, 24 hours a day for 10 weeks (mostly at night the last 4 weeks)...out of bed I was totally non weight bearing. Sitting on the potty sucked as did sex (sorry but not fun for me)...I did not ask my husbands opinion. I now walk unassisted, swim 2 miles a day and should have my full flexion back after my procedure in June at Cincinnati Sports Medicine...but I have learned to be PATIENT!..and yes, I am back at work as a nurse practitioner chasing little kids with tongue depressors and needles. So your futures also look bright. I was even told I shoud be able to resume most athletics I did prior....think I will give up skiing and jogging though...but I cant wait to get back on my bike...and yes, I can chase my 9 yr. old around and almost catch him...we actually have races up the stairs to the shower...and it is a lot of fun. He usually beats me but I almost catch him. I think the holes next to the scar (not sure which of you chaps this is) might have been where there were drains placed post op. Do you remember this in your post op drug induced haze? I cannot see where the wires were run through my knee at all, but I did have 2 drains  into my knee post op for about 5 days...maybe this is what the scar is. Hope this answers some questions...and remember Auntie Kim knows best!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 12, 2004, 01:16:10 AM
Kim - what's Estim??

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on May 12, 2004, 11:58:32 AM
Nigel, Estim is Electro Stimultion. It uses electric pulses to stimulate the muscles. Not supposed to be much use unless you are doing your quad exercises at the same time. I haven't tried it.

Kim, about 4 days post op I was put in a Neofrakt lightweight polyurethane removable cast. http://www.neofrakt.com/introductie_neofrakt.htm

think the hospital used this because it was cheaper than using a hinged immobilisor.
I'm still doing stairs the crippled way. I've tried 2 of the about 70 stairs upto my apartment in the normal way. I didn't feel any pain, but it did feel odd. I've seen some advice to start practising stairs by using a couple of phonebooks to step up on to and then build up to stairs later. Tried it last night and it does seem to work. Pity your thinking of having to give up some sports. I'm hoping to get back playing Field Hockey goalkeeper, but think I have another 3-4 months minimum before I can try.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 12, 2004, 05:07:31 PM
Auntie Kim, Nigel, Tony et al, I am really confused and surprised at the discrepancies in our individual programs.  Could it be that our injuries were that different?  My rupture was at the kneecap to the tendons that secure the lower leg and I believe yours were to the upper, also my tendons snapped right at the kneecap while some of yours snapped mid-tendon, this might be an explanation as to the differences not sure.  I am concerned enough to begin the question my OS's post-op care and will give him a call sometime soon to see if he can help to assuage my fears.  I hope I don't need my OS's opinion on everything regarding my day to day existence, I'm from the old school that states if it feels good, do it! 8)  cheers John C
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on May 12, 2004, 05:29:44 PM
John, my rupture was also below the knee. Not sure exactly as the OS was not exactly forthcoming with information.

Did you have the same op? Tendon sewn up and holes drilled through knee cap and leg for a wire loop. If it was you really shud speak to your OS about getting a CPM machine. I have basically got full ROM now, which is mainly thanks to the machine.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 12, 2004, 09:46:19 PM
PT Crew, I just spoke to my OS and he indicated to me that it was his experience to let the tendon fix heal for a while before he starts bending, just his way I guess.  He wants the repair to have a chance to gain integrity before we bend it. He said the tissue remodels to gradual stress and I quote.  He also was very pessimistic about me walking around without the brace but I assured him that I was being real careful and not overdoing it to which he said that he doesn't want to have to repeat the procedure.  I forgot to ask him some more questions as we do when in that situation, I wanted to ask him what he thought of me going into my hot tub?  Part of me thinks its ok and another part says no way, what do you all think?  Here in West by god Virginia it's hot and humid already, kinda like summer makes me want to get out and play, NOT. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 13, 2004, 01:19:38 AM
John, very dangerous for me to comment as an amateur, but I have to say it sounds like your OS is being ultra conservative. This surprises me as even my French OS was happy to go to 60 deg of flexion after 3-4 weeks (although admitedly protected by a wire), and I actually went to 90 deg+. I wouldn't suggest you go against advice, still I am surprised nonetheless. But, as Kim stresses, it will be VERY important to do any exercise in a controlled way as part of a PT programme, not just hack around and put multiple and inappropriate stresses on an unstable joint.

Have you read the Annunziata & Ignacio paper on PT repair on eMedicine? If not I REALLY recommend it. See
http://www.emedicine.com/orthoped/topic246.htm .

In particular they say: "Multiple authors recently have attributed an earlier return to preinjury activity to a more aggressive rehabilitation program with an emphasis on earlier range of motion." Note that's ROM (ie passive flexing), NOT weight bearing.

I can't imagine that the hot tub would be a problem. Wish we had one. I think for sports injuries generally it's recommended to alternate ice with local heat, which all encourages drainage and circulation. Anyone help with this?

Cheers, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on May 13, 2004, 02:48:26 AM
Guys

I too am a below the knee cap tendon rupture. I also have an extremely conservative O/S who took over my care after the O/S who ruptured my tendon and was mmediately fired. My O/S repaired the tendon (I also had massive amounts of scar tissue everywhere from the scope last August...you can read my sob tale under crisis in late November of last year. After he did an inital suture job they then flexed my knee to the point where the repair came apart (45 degrees) at this point they did the permanent repair and kept me on CPM up to 45 degrees, he was concerned that if not kept moving more scar tissue would develop. but did not want to jepordize the repair.  Remember that the CPM provides passive ROM so does not contract the quad like active ROM. The Estim was started at 10 weeks post op when I was cleared to start PT (I told you he was conservative)...it was basically to wake up the quads and get them firing again...I only did it 3 times a week for 4 weeks at PT...once I could do a straight leg raise on my own we stopped the Estim.  I have a jet tub jacuzzi in my house and looked forward to my soak. I just had to figure out how to get in and out when no one else was around...no swelling after, and it felt good to just let the leg float (I had no open wounds at this point). Applied ice pack after. While my case may be different then some of yours my recovery was based on the tendon healing (and it is the same tendon that you all are dealing with)...scar tissue would be addressed later...that is why I am having more surgery in June in Ohio. My O/S consulted with this specialist once it was determined that my joint was bound down by this. My rupture was an iatrogenic injury unlike your many sports related injuries and thus complicates everything, but none the less I feel my tendon is now as strong as it was before...I followed my O/Ss plan very closely...he actually had me terrified that if I even went to the pool to watch swim practice I could rupture it again if I slipped on the concrete. I also read the article posted in email above and printed it out. I think the caution stressed is that even once the tendon is healed the quads are weak and thus may cause buckling of knee and injury to the repair. My Pt also has me stand on a step with my affected leg while other leg is about 6 inches above the ground and I do reps of flexing in sets of 5. I also have a giant rubber band attached to a stairway railing that I put my affected leg in and do lateral crossovers against the resistance. I am fortunate to have a gifted PT. I honestly think that a good PT is quite important and if you are seeing one who isnt doing 1 on 1 with you for an hour, then you should find someone else. Hope this answers some questions.

Kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 14, 2004, 12:39:52 AM
Hey guys, walking practically normally today without support or a limp, provided I don't go too fast. Downhill is a bit shaky.

This evening at home I must have forgotten I was a cripple for a second and tried to leap up the first two stairs in one! Soon realised my mistake  :o, but it's nice to feel mobility is coming back fast.

Hope all's well with all.

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on May 14, 2004, 12:09:13 PM
Hi Nigel, sounds like your recovery is going very quickly. I was operated on end January and am only just starting to do the odd stair upwards in the normal manner. Havn't even tried going down stairs normally yet.

I have developed a bit of clicking in my knee which is a little worrying. Hope your recovery continues.

Tony
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on May 14, 2004, 12:13:28 PM
Nigel, forgot to mention. Think your were very lucky having your op in France. The health system there is excellent. I lived there for five years and was treated for a badly torn calf muscle.
I went straight to see the doctor from the local first division football club. He had a radiologists and PT in the same building, so he was able to organise everything immediately. It was a cheaper and far better system than here in germany.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 18, 2004, 02:15:53 AM
Tony, Nigel, Kim et al, just got back from a weekend jaunt to Boston to witness my daughter's graduation from college and was happy to read the latest posts upon my return, sounds like everybody is doing well on their respective recoveries.  I too am fairing pretty good as I was able to get thru airports and cabs and even the subway system without too much trouble, those coblestone streets are kinda tough though.  My knee looks almost normal with little swelling lately and I was able to raise it one time without thinking about it in the forward direction without pain or discomfort.  I guess time will tell on my complete recovery but as for now I'll have to trust the horse I've chosen to ride and make it to the finish line intact.  Keep up the good work folks. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: misslover on May 18, 2004, 02:15:50 PM
i know how you feel i have all these questions myself as i am going throught the same now i have my operation the beginning of june except my operation is on both my knees! as i am only 17 i did not understand all this talk so can i ask a favour could you please let me know how yours went as i would like to talk to someone who has been through it as i am so scared!! thank you good luck and i hope it goes well
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on May 18, 2004, 05:59:30 PM
Hi Misslover, welcome to the patella tendon cripple section. My op went fine. Woke up after it, with a bit of pain but nothing over the top that a few drugs couldn't deal with. I can't imgine what it would be like to have both knees done at the same time though. I had my leg in a removable cast for 13 weeks and relied on my good leg for going up/down stairs etc.  It will seem as though your leg(s) will never work properly again for a few weeks after the op, but then you will hit a point where you get massive improvements (probably after about 7-8 weeks). Don't let it get you down and just make sure you get a good physio and put lots of work into getting your muscle strength back. Hope it all goes well and don't worry too much about it ;D . Tony
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 18, 2004, 06:27:26 PM
Misslover,  Love the name but don't envy your position at all with your knees, both of them, to be operated on.  None of us on this thread has had that situation but we've all experienced different bouts of treatment, I used to be the rookie knee person, now you are, welcome to the club!!! 8) How did your knees get hurt?  Where are you located?  We have folks on this thread from all over the world.  Tell us a little about yourself and you can read the five previous pages to learn who and what we are about that will bring us all up to speed.  Hang in there and I hope you become a regular contributor to our message board.  Good Luck, John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 18, 2004, 11:31:04 PM
Hi Misslover, welcome to the team!

Had any kind of op before? If not it's nothing to be scared of. Having had both general anaesthetic and epidural (lower body pain block) myself, I've found both ways actually quite relaxing, although the epidural is pretty weird because you can feel the operation going on but no pain whatsoever...promise!

It might be a shock how big they make the cuts to do tendon repairs. Will look a bit scary when you first see the scars, staples/clips and all. Don't worry, it looks gruesome at first but heals quickly and the scars should virtually disappear after a while. Be prepared for a LOT of swelling, makes your knees look like balloons and "all wrong" but they'll gradually get back to their original shape.

First few weeks post-op will drag but as John and Tony says it then gets much easier.  PROVIDED you take care of yourself and do the physiotherapy exactly as you're told. Sorry, I sound like I'm lecturing my kids! But take note anyway.

Do you have good support at home when you get out of hospital? Loads of practical stuff on this site for post-op coping - hang out on the board as much as you can before you go into hospital.

Ask us any questions you want. Sorry you've got to have this work done, but nice for us to have a new person...we were getting a bit boring!!

All the best, Nigel in England
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on May 19, 2004, 03:33:00 PM
Just when I was starting to get too confident about my recovery I stepped onto an uneven bit of pavement last night and my knee hyper-extended quite violently. Bloody painful at the time but know aparent damage done. Bit of extra swelling last night but no pain this morning. Will teach me to look where I'm going. :-[
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 19, 2004, 05:24:49 PM
Close Call Tony ::) I think one of the most important aspects of our recovery is not getting too far ahead in our minds about where we are in the healing process.  I struggle with this every day as I gingerly walk around my flat with no brace, no net as it were, as my doctor instructs me that I'm taking risks unnecissarily in order for me to feel like I'm making progress, are we acting without reason?  I think NOT!  We are human beings who got hurt and are
trying to get better every day that's all.  We will make mistakes or missteps that is a given we will hopefully learn from them and get better at not repeating them, that's all we can do.  I'm glad that you are alright and I hope we all can learn from your episode and try to be cognizant of every aspect of our movement in our daily lives. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on May 20, 2004, 09:49:32 PM
Hey guys and gals,

Seems like you wouldn't mind an addition to your club. I'd best start by introducing myself:

I'm a 31 year old Kosovar Albanian, who ruptured his Patellar Tendon below the knee playing basketball 2 weeks ago (May 7th) and had a surgery the very same evening (about 4 hours after the injury).

Considering that, as you may well know, Kosovo is far from posessing the latest of the medical techniques and has some very conservative doctors, I am quite concerned about how my rehabilitation is going to progress.

To make things even worse, I happen to be a 2.00m tall person (that's about 6'7") weighing around 130kg (that's about 270lb). So, there's no wonder I have two wires planted on my knee instead of one, and of course they're not the disolvable sort - that would be just too luxurious for this country.

I consider myself lucky to have been operated by the best OS there is in this country and the top physiotherapist is awaiting my appearance as soon as my OS gives the go ahead, which won't be any time soon.

As I said, the doctors here are very conservative and my leg is at this very moment covered in thick cast, which I'll have to keep for another 4 weeks at least, before I can put a brace on and start moving the leg again.

3 days ago I first started using the crutches and have been instructed to put very little weight on the injured leg, which I find a bit difficult, since I'just getting used to them.

I am undergoing a very strict diet, hoping to get rid of some of the weight and have been spending some time exercising the upper parts of my body to at least give myself some ease when lifting my body (and the extra 15kg of cast I have on my leg).

Tomorrow I'll be having my staples removed and expect a visit from my OS to discuss further development. Considering my special circumstances (size and weight), I have a feeling this development is gonna be very long and painful, which really gets me depressed at times, including now.

I am known to be a strong-willed person who doesn't give up easily, and I don't intend to break down just yet.

I have a question, though: What would be an approximate time when an average person with this injury would be able to be partially mobile, meaning without crutches and possibly with a cane? 10 weeks? 12? I would probably have to add a week or two more for every stage of recovery because of my unusual circumstances.

Thanks for 'listening". Wish you all a fast recovery.

Fis

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 20, 2004, 10:45:02 PM
Fisnik - welcome to another victim! First one we've had from Kosovo on this thread, I think!!

Probably you've already read back through our "case notes". In my case, I started walking without 2 crutches at about op+8 wks, but via one crutch then a stick (cane).

Today I hit op+10 wks and to celebrate I spent the whole day without my stick. That included walking a mile or so around London at practically normal walking pace, as well as up and down lots of stairs. A little discomfort by this evening, and a slight limp when going downhill.

But I don't think I'll be running around very soon, I'm guessing it will be 4-6 wks more at least before I'm ready for anything like that. Holding me back at this point are: (a) knee still tender below patella; and (b) quad muscle atrophy means some lack of stability in that leg. I believe this is quite normal at this stage and I'm happy to "listen to my knee".

Don't know if I'm typical, but maybe not far off. You are younger than me (I'm 45) so you might do better quicker, but don't push it as tendons take a long time.

Hope that helps! Keep in touch.

Nigel (UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on May 21, 2004, 12:36:23 AM
Cheers, Nigel!

That was a very comforting reply, mate. Very happy to hear you're up and (not just yet) running. Makes me more optimistic about my case when I hear positive things like yours.

Glad you enjoyed London today. I quite miss it (lived there for the past 12 years, came to Kosovo last year) and have planned to spend a part of my summer there, but alas, unpredictable things happen and they somehow have a tendency to mess things up.

My only problem is that my OS insists that my case is very very special (the sheer size of me and the fact that I have 2 wires on my leg) and needs time to heal, and he also insists that my leg does not move for at least 6-8 wks after the op, which concerns me a bit, because from what I could gather, the longer the leg is immobile, the longer the rehab takes.

In the end of the day, I am in no real hurry. Of course I want to see myself back in my feet as soon as I can, but I'm willing to sacrifice the time as long as the knee gets back to it's shape properly. It is tough to move a guy my size around, and I'm sure my knee knows this best.

I am lucky that I can do 90% of my work from home, although there are things I'll be missing from not going to the office, but that is acceptable for the moment.

I live on the fourth floor in a building without a lift and the cast I'm wearing is extremely heavy, so I don't see myself going out much for the next few weeks.

Are there any food supplements (vitamins or the like) that help the healing process? I've come accross some vitamin supplements that claim to have some effects in ligaments and joints, which I plan to take, although I don't really believe they will help much.

I also happen to be a smoker, and from what my doctor told me, since smoking lowers the blood circulation in the body it is very strongly recommended to quit in order to have a speedier recovery. So guys, since I now consider this forum as a place where I can find a bit of comfort about my state, wish me luck and give me a word of support, because as of tomorrow, I'm quitting the darn thing!

Nigel, my wife will be in London from Sat 22 until Tue 26 of this month and if there is anything you can reccomend for treatment please let me know so she could purchase it there, since most of the stuff is unavailable in this country.

Again, thanks for the reply and thumbs up to everyone!
Fis

P.S. I am deffinitely the only one from Kosovo in this thread, since there has only been one case like mine in Kosovo in the last 5 years, and the guy is probably quite okay now.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 21, 2004, 01:39:49 AM
Tony in Germany (aka Rosbif) can tell you all about stairs. He lives a few floors up without a lift, I think.

Sorry, lotions and potions not my thing, so can't really say much about the vitamins. Someone did tell me recently there's now solid evidence that fish oils are good for joints, but can't vouch for that and not sure whether there would be much effect over a short time anyway...anyone any knowledge/view?

The only thing I used was E45 cream (presumably anything would do) to soften up skin over the knee. Became really tight around the scar for a long time, although now almost back to normal.

There does seem to be a body of opinion about getting early passive motion going - Rosbif used a ROM machine although I realise that's probably not obtainable in Kosovo. I would have thought the wires would give enough security to allow for some motion and flexing, not weight-bearing of course. I was allowed to start passive ROM exercises at week 2 or 3 even though I had to wear the brace at all other times, including in bed. But your OS probably knows what he's doing.

I wonder whether your doc would agree to put you in some kind of half-brace to leave the knee open, even if he feels the leg must be kept straight. Then you could manipulate the patella gently from time to time. My physio got me doing that from week 2. Apparently it helps to avoid scar tissue and stops patella sticking to your femur.

Did they say they would leave your wires in place, or do they have definite plan to remove them? In my case they want to leave alone unless it breaks, removal means a full-size incision again.

Cheers, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on May 21, 2004, 02:33:04 AM
hi guys and welcome to the newbie!

just a quickie...CPM machines can be purchased online and possibly through ebay. check the medical supply site on ebay or check medical equiptment companies online that sell used equipment. Passive ROM is not the same as active ROM, quad is not contracted on a CPM machine but the CPM keeps the joint moving thus prevents scar tissue buildup and a frozen joint...thus prevents a delay in healing. i was on my machine right out of the OR. got to go.
kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on May 23, 2004, 01:20:40 AM
Hey guys,

The newbie is getting used to the crutches, and he's moving around carrying all his weight + the heavy cast on his leg with much more ease than 3 days ago.  ;D

Won't be before end of next week that I'll be able to talk to my OS, as he's abroad, but apparently I've got 2 more wks (with 2 already gone) in heavy cast and then 4 more on a brace, but I suspect it will be a moving one.

The botom line is, I'll be immobile for 8 weeks and that worries me a bit. The swelling has gone down a bit and the cast is a bit more comfortable.

Does it make a difference if I contract my quads on the injured leg from time to time? I do feel a sensation around my patella every time I do that, but no pain. Will this help my quads retain some of the power? Also, does it make a difference if I stretch my foot and make circular movements? I'd guess thiss stuff can only help the leg.

Has anyone got any tips on what I should do? Apparently, it seems like I have lost some weight according to the people who have not seen me in the past 2 weeks. I have a bit of a problem getting on a scale to weigh myself because a) I'm in crutches and b) scales one can find in this country don't go above 100-110 kilos, and I'm definitely heavier than that.

Still exercising the upper body parts and undergoing the strict diet. Hopefully I come out a new man after all this.

Nigel, according to my OS's directions 2 weeks ago, I'll be wearing the wires for a while before they decide to remove them (at least 6 months).

Cheers to all,
Fis
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 23, 2004, 07:05:54 PM
Fisnik, I'd say foot exercises are probably fine and a good thing to keep your calf muscle in some sort of shape. But watch you don't do too much of that quad contracting, even statically. That's putting direct strain on the repair I think. Maybe you can work up to that soon, but I'd take your physiotherapist's advice on that.

Don't worry too much about your quad, just accept it will turn to blancmange short term but they will come back. The main problem with prolonged immobility is "freezing" of the joint, which I believe can limit the range of movement (ROM) you get back. But I bet you'll be fine. You're quite young and it's not like you're going to be in a cast for months and months. I had my wrist in a solid cast for 6 or 7 weeks a couple of years ago, and after it came off it felt like I'd never be able to bend the joint ever again, but after a month or two and some not-too-hard physio I had full ROM back.

I guess some weight loss is normal after any operation. I lost 4 or 5kg. A good start in the right direction!

Cheers, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on May 23, 2004, 09:30:55 PM
I don't seem to feel any pain when I contract my quads. In fact, I hardly ever feel any pain at all, except when, in some ocasions, while moving the leg to get up or sit down, I yank the cast quicker than I should. Sometimes I get the feeling nothing's happening down there and then get a tingling sensation telling me there is something going on.

I hope this weight loss is not just because of the op, as I seriously need to lose weight before I start the rehab, hence the strict diet.

Wife's in London right now and she's getting me a few kilos of E45  ;D and some ankle weights to keep my healthy leg in shape. They can eventually be helpful sometime during the rehab, too.

I guess I should just relax and wait for the time to pass until the OS says it's time for rehab. I forgot to mention that my tear was very bad, according to him, because it not only tore completely at the base of the patella, but it tore vertically in the middle, too. Must be quite bad, eh? Hence the moving restrictions.

Oh well, I can only hope for the best. Nigel, you seem to be quite experienced in getting yourself in cast.  ;) Things you say, though, are very comforting.

Cheers,
Fis
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 25, 2004, 07:24:24 AM
Welcome Fis to our thread and our predicament, thanks to Kim for finally giving me the courage to get rid of my OS in Md., I haven't moved my knee either passively or otherwise since my operation over 40 days ago.  I get to move it 10 degrees tommorrow with my brace adjustment, big deal.  I'm afraid I'm going to get frozen knee if I don't do something radically different soon so I'm going to get a referal to a new OS near my home in WV and hopefully we can get going on a newer approach asap.  The knee feels OK but looks kinda grotesque with swelling on either side of the patella almost constant.  I asked my OS about all the different techniques discussed here on this thread and all he said is that he is very conservative in his approach, to me that's not good enough I want action!  I'm hoping my new OS will level with me and tell me what needs to be said regarding my rehab or lack thereof.  I'm glad we have new blood to keep this thread going. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on May 25, 2004, 12:49:09 PM
Hi Fis. I was in similar position to you. 120kg and 4th floor with no lift. Because of this I had my leg in a light weight removable cast (abt 2 kilo max) for 13 weeks, although I was walking without it in my apartment after about 7 weeks. I was put on the CPM machine 3 times a day from 2 days after my op. I think this was a big help, so you should ask your OS about one.

hope your recovery goes well
Tony
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kneeDave on May 26, 2004, 02:18:43 AM
EngKnee:

Hang in there, it's not fun, but does get better.  I broke my left patella on March 2d, had surgery on the 4th.  Luckily I didn't have to get any hardware put in, and I think that "only" suturing was required.  My OS encouraged me to put weight on the bad leg (IN the immobilzer, however) and to do passive and assisted movement with it to increase ROM after the surgery.  But my situation was different from yours.  While it is not so fun, especially at first, moving around was and is the best thing for healing as the blood flow gets going, etc.

Don't be too alarmed when your quads atrophy away and your injured leg looks like a stick.  I was not too happy about mine being in this condition, but after a few weeks of adding stationary biking and straight leg lifts with weights, it is coming back.  Even being able to put weight on it will help, once you are able to do so.

The little advances are what made the difference for me: being able to shower, sit in the front of the car, drive, etc.  Also I am fortunate that my work is not very physical and I have flexible hours.

While I was unable to use my left leg for much, I did sit-ups and push ups, which were especially good while I still had to use the crutches.  Even when I had to use the crutches (about 3 weeks ago) it was nice to get out and "walk" outside.  You might want to pester your doctor about doing straight leg raises in your brace too.

Anyways, hang in there!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kneeDave on May 26, 2004, 02:42:07 AM
Fisnkik, EngKnee and co:

If you can't get access to one of those passive movement machines, you can always do it by just holding your hands under your knee, supporting it and gently moving it.  This is easier to do on a level such as a couch.

Quite a variety in post-op treatment!

I suppose that everyone's injury is slightly different, and also general condition, age, etc. matter too.  I'm 31 and in pretty good shape (was doing heavy weights, running and playing soccer prior to injury) so this may partly explain my OS's more aggressive approach to rehab.

Hang in there gang!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on May 26, 2004, 02:45:23 AM
john

hang in there! you are only 6 weeks post op and so far you are doing great. the tendon really needs about 10 weeks to heal (it is not stretchy, thus cannot tolerate tension until healed)...i would absolutely advise against straight leg raises (even in immobilizer) until you get the ok from your O/S...i think the previous poster has a different injury then the rest of us...straight leg raises put incredible strain on quad and tendon! dont do this till you get the okay...i think it is better to be conservative over too aggressive...remember, i wasnt allowed to do anything either...but i do think a cpm would be a good idea as this does not put strain on tendon because quad does not actively contract (i dont mean set the thing at 135 degrees at top speed! mine was set to 45 degrees and was slow and smooth!!! and yes, expect to have swelling still...you had a major knee surgery!!!! give yourself a year to get back to normal and do it the right way! you will get there! kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 26, 2004, 10:29:32 AM
Hey Gang, thanks for the encouragement ;D, today ended up to be a most beneficial sort in my rehab as the old OS, the one I was thinking of firing, came thru with not one but two adjustments, out to 30 degrees and showed me how to do the next one in a week or so AND gave me the OK to do some simple exercises.  I feel much more relieved at this juncture and I deserve all the reinforcement that I received here today, thanks to Dave, (where did he come from?) for his advice as well, keep posting!  I went to a baseball game tonite in Baltimore and felt much more mobility in walking with 30 degrees of motion in my knee plus my team, The NY Yankees, smoked the O's which was an added treat to my night out on the town.  All in all I want to reassure everyone that I'm feeling much better now that I see incredible improvement in my ROM with no pain and finally I got a plan to exercise and regain my leg strength, this was a big positive step in the right direction.  I tried to get the old OS to give me up to the new one but instead he tactfully gave me what I needed to hear and deflected any thought of being replaced, pretty cleaver I thought. ;)  I hope the rest of us are enjoying a good week as well, excuse me I've got to go do my exercises.......John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 26, 2004, 11:10:09 AM
Hey John...what's this "smoking O's"? Is that some recreational drug they have in WV? Is it Oreos? Do they have some pain-numbing effect (maybe like bourbon biscuits for us Brits)?

I think we should be told!!  ;D

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 26, 2004, 11:19:01 AM
 ::)Common' Nigel, the smokin' O's are to describe our local baseball team the Orioles, anyone should know that ??? I must admit you were pretty close when you alluded to oreo cookies as the O's are sometimes referred to as the oreo's but you can't get high off em, at least I've never heard such a thing..... :-X we used to get..... :-X at the games.....a real long time ago when they allowed such shenanigans, I'm showing my age here....anyway the Yanks beat the O's by 11 to 3 thru the chorus of O's fans chanting Yankees Suck, Yankees Suck.....You'd have to have been there I guess 8)  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on May 29, 2004, 07:33:25 PM
hey mates

i recieved an email from a fellow patellar tendon rupture survivor. i referred him to this website so i imagine he will be posting soon. he emailed me a few articles regarding this injury (coincidentally the one posted on the www.arthroscopy.com website is an O/S right around the corner from where i live. personally. i would not consider him an expert in this area but the article has some great pics. hope all is well with the "hop along" gang...3 weeks till surgery in cincinnati..at least i will get to see the brood x cidada gang in action...i remember then from 17 years ago when we lived outside philly...millions of the little buggers...we loved to stick them on each others backs! kim

here are the sites:

www.emedicine.com/orthoped/topic246.htm
www.arthroscopy.com/patendrep.htm
www.SMA.ORG/SMJ1999/JUNESMJ99/ENAD.PDF
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 29, 2004, 09:14:31 PM
Would love to see Brood X in action. I gather there's selective advantage in a "prime number" breeding cycle...then predators have to match it exactly or miss the boat??!!

I'm getting on pretty well here in UK (touch wood). Planning to get on a horse tomorrow for first time since op. Think it will be fine, I'm pretty flexible now, just a bit wonky going down stairs and walking downhill. PT is basically just gym work now, no problem with most of it although my lower leg raises are hopeless, can just about manage it without any added weight. Think I'll just have to chill out on that and work up slowly, it doesn't really affect my mobility anyway.

We went to see "The Day After Tomorrow" last evening. Plot is dreadful, but great SFX --- including in real life, they turn up the a/c in the cinema. Take a coat!! Harry Potter/Azkerban on Monday with the kids.

Cheers, Nigel


Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 29, 2004, 10:54:50 PM
Hi Nigel

Can u give me a clue how I can contribute to this board
following my xchange of e-mails with Kim.

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 30, 2004, 12:36:13 AM
John K. ,  ;)You already have mate!  If you want to catch up with the rest of us and what we've experienced so far just read the first six pages of this thread and then post as necessary as you already did, it's that simple really.  Nigel, I can't understand your inability to do leg lifts, do you mean lifts dedicated to the lower leg? John C
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 30, 2004, 01:07:13 PM
I have been following your various posts and you will all have realised that we have suffered a very - very rare injury and from experience, the majority of Orthopaedic Consultants have very little knowledge as to the treatment and rehab of a Ruptured Patella Tendon.

It`s no consolation to fellow sufferers that there have been so far only 14 fellow sufferers WORLD wide who have registered on the Arthoscopy.com message board, but this valuable site has been taken over by Scammers, originating in the USA,Canada and Eastern Europe.

In my own case (which seems par for the course) I slipped on ice outside my house in January 2003, emergency operation, eight weeks in a cylinder cast, twelve weeks with two crutches, then one crutch for another four weeks and then a walking stick/cane for ten months.   I am 68 years young - so that does not help.

Like others, I have managed to have three baths in all this time, and must take extra care in the shower

Once the cast is removed, the knee bend kicks off (excuse the pun) with about 30/35deg bend and the physio will start to strenghen the quadriceps.  It took me about 4/5 months to reach the important milestone of 90deg bend.  The good leg is 134deg.  The Consultant states that anything over 90deg is a bonus and now some 16 months later, I have 116 deg and will not reach any more.

Driving is of course quite a problem - the first three months my wife used to place me in a prone position on the back seat of the car.  It was nearly five months before I could drive again, but the drivers seat must be as far back as possible.

Lets not kid ourselves, I only know of one person who regained a full bend after 14 months, but he was a very fit policeman.

I was chewing antinflamatories like sweets, but they did not help - however, I have three Co-Codoamol 30/500 tablets each day and these Do help.

I have recently been placed on water tablets because it was explained to me that during the operation, some veins in the leg, above and below the kneecap are sealed, thus restricting the circulation of fluid.

Several good tips worth noting..........

Sleep with a pillow between your legs.

Purchase a "Pedal Exerciser"... in the UK, look at
www.physio-med.com.

An ice pack or a bag of frozen peas (beans if you dont like peas).

It is ironic, that since I retired some five years ago, I am a volunteer in the out patients department of the North Manchester General Hospital - of all places in the Orthopaedic/Fracture clinic, so I see the Consultant/Surgeon and staff every week and I do get lots of advice which I will only be too pleased to pass on.

Please do contact me if you require any further tips, but meanwhile I am off to Vancouver 31 May for two weeks vacation and I am not looking forward to a ten hour flight.

Best wishes to fellow sufferes :'( ??? :)

JohnK/Manchester UK  
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 30, 2004, 05:39:26 PM
John K., You are so lucky to be going to Vancouver, I am guessing B.C., it's such a lovely place.  While there I imagine you will be taking ferry boat trips to Victoria and Seattle, relatively cheap and scenic to boot.  Last time I was through that part of the world I had some alcohol confiscated on my entry into Canada from the US so be careful of this, declare everything!  You can add allot of experience to this thread and we all appreciate your insights.  I have taken to homeopathic remedies with regard to inflamation lately and it seems to be working.  If anyone is interested I will be happy to post my magic cure. :-X Happy Memorial Day to everyone on this thread regardless of your country of origin, it is this weekend that we Americans honor our war dead and that of all our allies as well, it's a time to reflect on how lucky we are to be living in a relatively free society even though we have a limp.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on May 30, 2004, 09:49:52 PM
John C - what I meant by lower leg lifts is this: sitting on a chair with leg hanging down at 90 degrees, then raising the lower leg until it's horizontal (or as close as I can get). I'm supposed to work at this until I can do it against a weight - at the moment it's a struggle just to lift the weight of my leg. But coming on slowly.

John K - sounds like you've had a tough time. Although I have no statistical evidence, I'm surprised that you say you don't think many people get back full ROM. I would have thought most people do achieve pre injury range, or as near as makes no difference. I'm 11 weeks post-op and have virtually full ROM (about 130 degrees). I'm an averagely fit 45 year old. I'm just saying this because I wouldn't want anyone reading this thread losing heart about getting back to normal. We need to bear in mind that posters on this board are often people who've unfortunately had post-op complications, or multiple knee problems - not necessarily reflective of the average person who snaps a tendon, is repaired and gets over it okay. Also, not sure how rare patellar tendon rupture really is - my OS (a generalist, not a knee man) says he's seen quite a few. But it's not common, that's for sure.

Hope you enjoy Vancouver, it's a great city. Very big Asian community there - fabulous Chinese food. We were there last year - took the short hop over to Victoria to go whale watching, which was fantastic.

Went riding (horse) today for first time, not as bad as I thought it would be although lack of strength in my left leg meant it won't be winning any Grand Prix dressage prizes! But nice to get back to it.

Cheers, Nigel

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on June 01, 2004, 05:43:13 PM
Nigel, I'm also struggling with Full Arc Extensions (lower leg lifts). Find it very difficult, a bit painful and have a bit of clicking in the knee. But I understand all this is normal until the quads are strong enough to hold the knee correctly in place.

I've just started attempting downward stairs in my building. Luckily I have hand rails on both sides, so I can do it resonably securely.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Teresa_S on June 02, 2004, 08:16:33 AM
The CPM machine is a continuour passive motion machine that the injured leg is strapped comfortably into and it is set to the degrees of extension and flexion that the physcian feels is appropriate. the knee is continuously moved from extension to flexion at a speed precet or determined by the doctor. I bought mine off Ebay for abount $350, and the one I had rented was around $48 daily, and soon exceeded the $350. I used it continuously for awhile. IT is often recommended that people sleep in them  immediately postop, depending on the diagnosis, and never be out of them for over 4hours for the first 2-3 weeks. I thought they were pretty well univerally used.They were always used for total knee patients for weeks postop and immediately in the recovery or patient room. It may not be needed in your instance. IT is a way of starting passive rehab that doesn't usually increase pain significantly.Hope that explains it. THe leg is comfortabley padded and supported at all times, is why it doesn' hurt, as the machine is always supporting the knee. Keep us posted. On my last MRI, both my quad and patella tendons were about 10 times normal size, and the radiologist thought maybe severe tendonitis, but the quad, according to my OS , was the result of his cutting it in two. Quad sets were really hard and I had to use biofeedback to even start strengting it. Teresa
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on June 02, 2004, 05:26:21 PM
Teresa, thanks for contributing your vast knowledge to this thread as we are all becoming better acquainted with our knees and their problems healing >:(.  Sounds like you've been through allot to get where you are now and your description of the cpm machine was the best one yet on this thread.  Unfortunately my doctor hasn't prescribed this treatment to me although I have brought it to his attention, maybe it's too expensive or something but it sounds like you are sold on it's benefits.  I can move my knee just 40 degrees at this point in my brace and the swelling has gone down quite a bit lately so I've been feeling bold and walking around without my brace when in my house. Will this machine make me feel more confident to walk without the brace?  I'm trying to justify the expense in my head so I can convince my doctor to write for one.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on June 02, 2004, 07:49:08 PM
John, I used a CPM machine 2-3 times a day for 30-45 minutes. Used it for about 6-7 weeks. I could really tell the difference if I missed a day.

Don't know if it will make a difference when you're walking at home, but it will make a big difference when it comes to getting full ROM back.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: just on June 02, 2004, 09:23:17 PM
Hi, I managed to sever the patella tendon 3 weeks ago whilst playing football on a beach on my honeymoon.  I had a deep 10cm horizontal cut from the volcanic rock which severed the tendon but not the sheath. The doctor on board the ship sutured the tendon and the cut. We got back to the UK and the hospital don't seem to think that I will need any further surgery as I can lift the leg but have been put in a leg brace and will be going back in 3 weeks to see how it is going. When I was at the hospital they only took x rays and did not do a MRI is this normal ? Should I ask for a MRI scan when I go back ? I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has had this type of injury before and what sort of rehab they went through.

Thanks

Justin
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 02, 2004, 11:18:03 PM
Justin - bad luck with the knee.

I don't think MRI is very common for this kind of thing - certainly not on NHS anyway! I've not had MRI for mine, either in France where they operated or on return to UK. Anyone on the thread have an MRI??

The best "Haynes Guide"  8) to patellar tendon repair I've come across is the one on http://www.emedicine.com/orthoped/topic246.htm
which is referred to by others in earlier posts.

Go easy with the repaired leg as you don't want to risk a full rupture and tendons take a long time to heal.

Let us all know how you get on!

All the best, Nigel (UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on June 03, 2004, 03:16:49 AM
hey mates

following my patellar tendon rupture (thanks to that jerk O/S that did it to me) my new O/S ordered an ultrasound (done by a physician not a tech)...it was easy to see where the rupture was and how far my quad had receded up the leg..(i managed to watch while the tears of despair were running down my cheeks)...i then had an MRI...this may have had more to do with the scar tissue but I am not sure...I do remember being extremely uncomfortable for it and got an additional dose of demerol IV on top of the epidural in my back...i would think that an MRI would be better in Justin's case as it does layer slices and the ultrasound may not be able to penetrate the sheath to see the repair. if the tendon was fully ruptured the repair would probably have been done differently...wire vs. suture...due to the unelastic quality of the tendon itself...(no flexibility...no elasticity) and the need for healing of tendon before active ROM...i question whether a MD on a cruise ship would even be qualified to do this kind of repair as it is extremely uncommon. (yes...it is very rare but  there seems to be a run of us lately)...so again i would have this looked at by a very experienced O/S who has taken care of this type of injury....i thought you guys would find this interesting...most patellar tendon ruptures occur in the male 35yrs. plus, somewhat out of shape recreational athlete...often occurs playing basketball and overdoin..."showing off?" (just kidding) weekend warrior!...should have been drinking a beer and watching the game instead of playing it!...and i know i am not in this group as i am female, 35+ and in incredible shape!!!!...and damnit ENG...you should demand a CPM from your O/S...they are covered by ins...OR SIGN A MEDICAL RELEASE AND GO SEE SOMEONE ELSE!...you are in the U.S. and your insurance certainly has DME coverage!!! i want to see you get better on time...not later.  a CPM will help with passive ROM and flexion which it sounds like you may be having problems with....and in reality this injury can take up to 18 months to repair...heal. do you guys think we could write a book and start charging these O/S for advice???? 2 weeks and counting...and yes, i am scared.
love, auntie kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on June 03, 2004, 06:59:23 AM
Auntie Kim, you're the bomb ;D and you hit it right on the head when you described the out of shape, weekend warrior type who is most suceptible to this particular injury.  Thanks to Tony or Nigel for posting the website of the particulars of the injury as they have shown me more of the why it happened to me :-[  I do need to do whatever has to be done in order to get better in a timely fashion as my occupation depends on it.  I still haven't gone back to work and I couldn't if I wanted to.  That's what I'll use to get my outdated OS to agree to more treatment.  I have been doing my exercises and have increased the setting on my brace to 40 degrees lately and I do notice more confidence in the knee and less swelling and no pain just stiffness when I try to take it beyond the setting w/o the brace.  Sorry for the poor chap who got injured during his honeymoon, hope it didn't cramp yur style too much ;D, I can't believe that the ship's doc was able to patch you up so quickly like that, good for him if it turns out alright!  This thread continues to amaze me and keep me on my rehab 8)  Frats, John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 03, 2004, 10:52:42 PM
Hey Kim - what's all this about "should be drinking beer instead of playing"? Let me tell you, our kind of Weekend Warrior drinks beer, THEN plays.  :P At our age we need the muscle relaxant effect.

And what about that Justin, what exactly should he have been sticking to, instead of playing football??  ???
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on June 04, 2004, 04:29:23 AM
mates

i can think of a lot of other ways of rolling around in the sand on my honeymoon that dont include a football...and probably burns more calories!!!! sounds like our beer swigging weekend warriors are getting a little antsy in front of the t.v.!  ;D...

cheers

kim

ps
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on June 04, 2004, 07:23:54 AM
 :-[Ok guys, I admit I was completely sober when I did my knee but I'm not going to say what I did in the sand on my honeymoon ;D, I can't even remember being married it's been so long ago..... ::) Kimmy I love it when you talk dirty :P  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on June 05, 2004, 01:16:12 AM
Hey everyone,

Long time no see. Been very busy working these days, and haven't been writing since there was nothing to tell, really. I was stuck in the heavy cylinder cast unable to flex the knee at all and, apart from having stitches removed about 2wks post-op. The only exiting thing was getting used to the crutches and being able to sit on the toilet seat. And oh, I turned 31 yesterday.  ;D

Today, however, 4 weeks post-op to the day, was much more eventful:
For starters, I went out  after a month of house prison and noone could convince me to come back home. The first 5 hours of the day were spent queuing at the hospital (hospitals in Kosovo, by the way, are in awful state and they resemble Timbuktu rail stations in Indiana Jones movies), waiting to see my OS, which I finally did. He decided to remove the cast and put an adjustable brace, which was very relieving, especially since he had said earlier that I should be keeping the cast for 8 weeks.

Had an ultrasound, which, according to him, looked quite good and the tendon appears to be healing slowly, but surely.

He reccomended a CPM machine, which is unobtainable in Kosovo, so I need to urgently arrange one from abroad, so I can start flexing that knee - perfect timing for this kind of exercise while watching Euro 2004 soccer championship. Any other ideas than Ebay? Much easier for me to obtain one in Europe, so if any of you knows where I could get hold of one, gimme a shout, please.

He also set my brace to 20 degrees and told me to keep that setting while walking around in crutches, so the knee bends a tiny bit, which for me is really a big improvement, considerin that initially he wanted me completely immobile for 8 weeks.

Had also a chance to ask loads of questions, and I actually impressed him with the knowledge I had gained about this specific injury. Also gave him about 50 pages of printouts I got from the web, in case he hasn't read any of them.  ;)

Doctors here can be very nasty if you appear to be telling them what to do, but he was quite grateful. I kept asking him why haven't I started flexing the knee while everyone else started doing that in week one post-op. He stated that he didn't want to take any chances because of: a) The rarity of this injury, b) My unusual body size and weight, c) The wires they have in Kosovo are of poor quality and seem to snap easier, hence the reason he put two of them inside my leg (not dissolvable, of course - wouldn't be surprised if he'd said they're made of wool or something) and d) He was worried I might do something against his instructions (yes, I look a bit rebellious and arrogant, but sincerely I'm not - must be my appearance). He simply thought that the first month is very critical and he didn't want any complications, so he played the safe card.

Bottom line is, I am very happy to have gotten rid of that heavy cast - feel like a bird wearing the brace. I'm also happy to be bending the knee a bit (yeah, I know, 20 deg is nothing, but it's a start). I'm happy about the fact that I can put quite some weight on the injured leg and don't seem to feel any pain, and that is a good sign, right?

Content with this morning's outcome, I decided to spend the rest of the day roaming the streets of Prishtina, which was very relaxing, especially while visiting my favourite coffee places. Glad to see friends again, particularly those who didn't have a clue about my injury and looked in disbelief at my crutches. Had some comments about my weight (loss), which was very encouraging, too. Most thought I'd gone back to London or something.

Overall, although a day late, today's day was a perfect birthday gift.

I think I wrote a bit more than I intended. Well, can't be bothered to edit stuff out. Too tired from the busy day, so I think I'm off to bed earlier tonight.

Have a good one, all!
Fisnik

P.S. I truly identify myself as a lame Weekend Warrior who thought he could actually fly and ended up immobilised for god-knows-how-long.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: biged on June 05, 2004, 03:28:40 AM
Hey guys and gals :)
My name is Ed and I ruptured both my patella tendons in both knees.  I am 6 weeks out now and just wanted to intro myself.  I am so excited to be able to talk with people that have gone through the same pain and trama I have. I live in Charlotte NC (and of course the weather is beautiful up here on Lake Norman where I live so the cabin fever is driving me nuts)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on June 05, 2004, 04:43:10 AM
big ed

i would say congratulations on joining our club but i dont want you to throw your cane at me...in this thread you should be able to: know that you are not alone...but close to it. we are all going mad from being house bound and attached to our laptops and computers. we all think...but might not admit it...its kind of nice not working. most of us are out of shape weekend warriors (except for myself of course). we know more about our injury then our orthopedic surgeons. we could probably write a book and become wealthy... at least in euros. we smile and we cry. we just wish we could sit on the toilet like the old days. we support each other and chuckle at our various ingenious ways of figuring out how to do something without our legs. we dream about someday kicking a football (soccerball) or dribbling the ball down the court without crumbling into a sack on the ground...(except me of course). we give each other the strength to meet each day head first...and pass on the tips on how we did it. we are all united in our cause (to get our quads out of the jelly stage) even though our countries are not. and we pray that a fire alarm wont go off so that we dont have to run down 4 flights from our flat. we wish the mailman would have sympathy on us and bring our mail to the door. we wish we  could potty train our dogs...or at least teach them to use the litter box. we have all become comrades and probably all have the same scar. we all know that some day we will be the same as before even though we dont always hear that from our doctors. we would not be friends if we had not found knee guru. welcome. and may your recovery be faster then the rest of us!!! fat chance against me though!

cheers

kim from atlanta (and the only girl/woman here) and a nurse practitioner to boot.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on June 05, 2004, 05:43:41 AM
Auntie Kim,

You definetely are an inspiration to us lesser mortals (read: weekend warriors). Although your last post didn't exactly answer the question I keep asking myself all the time (Will I have trouble because I spent the 4 post-op weeks without bending the knee at all?), it at least managed to cease my violent shaking (I AM dead scared) and stopped me from being on the verge of crying.

In case you're wondering, Ed, it was me who wrote a very happy-go-lucky post a few hours ago when I felt really happy about bending my knee a couple of degrees. Now, after reading a bit more about CPM use (which, incidentally, is inexistent in my country), I come to realise that my OS should have made me use one weeks ago and nearly started crying from worry of how it will affect my rehab in the future. These mood swings seem to one of the most common things we have here, and I'm glad I have a chance to share this with someone.

Has any of you guys (and our muse, Kim) gone through what I have? 4 weeks post-op without flexing the knee AT ALL? How will this affect my ROM and should I lose all  hope of getting my leg back to the previous state of should I still fight?

Gimme some hope, pals, as the articles I'm reading about this surely don't. My mood resembles that of my wife during her last pregnancy - one minute I'm the happiest guy in the world, the next I'm crying like a baby, not to mention hours of anxiety, laughter and fear in between. And the diet I'm applying in order to lose weight (and be fit just like I used to more than a decade ago) makes me crave for even weirder things than she did during her nine months.

At times, I see roasted chckens everywhere I look...hundreds of them! Chocolate with mayonaisse? Damn, I would kill for one of those! I think I'll just nibble on a carrot instead and shut up.

Fis
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 05, 2004, 04:26:40 PM
Fis, can I chip in a comment on this CPM machine thing? I'm sure they're brilliant and several people on KG speak very highly of them. But if you can't get hold of one, that doesn't mean you can't work on getting ROM. I was never offered a CPM machine, the physio just got me to do my own passive flexing several times a day.

Basically, you just need to move the knee joint without using the muscles. There are lots of ways to do that. The best way I found (at my PT's suggestion) was to sit on a high-ish chair with my bad leg resting on my son's skateboard. Then, use my good good to rock the skateboard back and forward gently, causing the bad knee to bend and straighten. I sat in front of the TV in the evenings and did that.

Also, I was back at work from early on post-op. I used to take off my leg brace while I was sitting down at the desk, with my bad foot planted on the floor, and rock slide my castored office chair backwards and forwards with my good leg.

I think these things, although they were low-tech, contributed to my good experience in getting ROM back quite quickly.

Provided you don't put any active tension on the muscles, I think you can safely work at your own speed to build up ROM passively. At first you'll only be able to get a few degrees of bend, but you should progress steadily.

Hope it works for you.

Best, Nigel



Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 05, 2004, 04:49:28 PM
Fis - BTW, forgot to mention...I think your 4 weeks without flexing will be no big problem. Plenty of people go 12 wks+ in a full cast. Anyway, actually you ARE flexing now - to 20 degrees in your new brace. Obviously if you can start doing passive ROM exercises before too long (with CPM machine or without) it will help you get full ROM back quicker. But try to relax meanwhile and don't sweat it.

If you'll excuse me for saying it, the mood swings problem sound like a crash-diet issue, not a knee issue!! Don't starve yourself or you're bound to end up feeling miserable.

Talking about overcoming an injury, we watched the drama-docu film "Touching the Void" (on DVD) last night. It's the one about the two climbers who got in trouble on a 20,000 ft mountain in Peru. One broke his leg (badly - shaft of femur straight through the knee joint, YUGGHH) near the top, his partner tried to lower him down in stages but then had to cut the rope. Won't say any more, or I'll spoil the story. An amazing study in human endurance and sheer bloody-mindedness, and well worth watching if you get a chance.

Cheers, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Omaha on June 05, 2004, 06:06:44 PM
Hello, I have been following this board now for a couple days and decided I should contribute.

I completly ruptured my patella tendon on May 4th playing basketball.  Surgery was on May 7th.  I am 6 foot 5 inches so the OS used 2 wire loops for support.  If the wires need to be removed the OS says a small incision will be made on the outside of my leg and he will just pull them out.

I woke up in post-op with a hinged brace and polarcare ice unit on.  Surgery was at 11:00 and I was on my way home at 5:00.

Week 1  -  A lot of pain.  Polarcare ice unit ran almost non-stop for the 1st few days.  Pain was all but gone by the end of week 1 and I stoped taking meds.  I will return to work on Monday.

Week 2  -  Visited the OS.  He said all went well and set the brace to 30 degrees.  Started Physical Therapy.  Very passive exercises up to 60 degree ROM.  Instructed to leave brace at 30 degrees for weightbearing and 60 degrees when doing passive ROM.  I could not reach 60 degees.

Week 3 - More of the same untill I visited the OS.  He was much more aggressive.  Changed the weight bearing to 60 degrees and the passive ROM to 90 degrees.  Started to attempt strait leg lifts and lower leg lifts.  Quad is mush and I could not do either one.

Week 4 - PT "encouraged" the ROM to 90 degrees.  He was assisting the the leg lifts at the beginning of the week, but I can now do both unassisted.  It is truly amazing how fast the improvements can come.  I have not been able to reach 90 degree ROM on my own.

Mood  -  Rollercoaster ride.  One day you can't believe how pathetic you are for not being able to lift your leg and the next day the improvement comes along to pull you out of the funk.

My next goal - I need to work on the quads so I can get the OS to let me stop using those bleeping crutches.

I have appreciated reading everyones experiences.          
                                                                  John
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on June 05, 2004, 06:06:53 PM
Nigel,

You could be right about the diet and mood swings, but if I ate as much as used to and kept still like I do now, the bed would probably break by now.

Not only do I have to be careful not to gain weight, but I'm actually trying hard to lose some in order to make the rehab easier, and I am succeding. I think I can cope with mood swings provided that a lighter, stronger (and hopefully handsomer) version of me comes out of this injury.  ;D

Come to think of it, my worst moments are actually during late nights, deprived of dinner. Once upon the time, pizza delivery used to be a perfet cure.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on June 05, 2004, 06:21:11 PM
Wow, John (Omaha)!

We seem to have so much in common! I am 6ft 6in and I also have two wires, I also ruptured my tendon playing basketball and we had surgery the same day!!!

The difference is that my OS is much more conservative than yours and I live in a country where CPM machines are nonexistent. You seem to be improving extremely fast!!!

I'm curious, how heavy are you and how old (if you don't mind sharing this with us)?

Fis
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Omaha on June 05, 2004, 06:25:10 PM
I am 33 years old and my current weight is 240 lbs.  Which is down 10 lbs, seemingly all from my right leg.          John
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: just on June 05, 2004, 10:15:03 PM
Thanks Nigel & Kim,

I must admit that I never thought that my leg would be the thing that got injured on the honeymoon. You are so correct about not playing footie.  Hopefully depending on how the leg goes we are going to rebook and do the whole honeymoon again next year including the three weeks that we had to cancel. I am now 4 weeks into the injury and the leg is still in a brace at 0% have small amount of pain but have been off the pain killers for three weeks.  I can lift the leg on, where were you all at this stage ?

Cheers

Justin
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Croaker on June 06, 2004, 01:15:30 AM
Hello,  
I hope you have room for another clumsy Yank.  I ruptured my Patellar Tendon on the 22nd.  I've been in a weight bearing knee immobilizer since then.  I had surgery on the 26th and go in on 7th to get the stitches out.  I'm about to go out of my mind with cabin fever.  I'm glad I found this site so I can communicate with people dealing with the same issues I am.   Below is the story of my adventure.  
Thanks,
Patrick

I went out for a hike on Saturday the 22nd in the local forest lands.  Stepped off a Forest Service road about half mile east of Alsea Falls, Oregon,  just right or just wrong, either way I slipped a bit. Only about a 3 foot drop at 55 degree angle or so. Nothing major right, so anyway I hit the bottom and knew I'd tweaked my knee so I tried to stand up... and fell down and tried to stand up again, and fell down.
I call to various deities in colorful ways and none responded. Now I knew I was truly hosed. Alone in the woods, no cell phone, 50 yards from my truck. I started feeling my leg cause I thought I'd broken it. OK lower leg bone intact, upper leg bone intact, hmmm mushy hole where I had a kneecap before.
So I figured I dislocated my kneecap. I tried to push it back into place as it was resting up on my thigh about 2 inches north of normal. After almost pissing myself I found out I couldn't put it back.
I crawled up the embankment to the road and was laying on my back when I heard a car coming down the main road about 75 yards away. I started yelling, they went past and I heard them slow down and reverse. The pulled up to the Forest Service road and then yelled to me "Are you OK" I thought to myself, well no you idiots, I'm on my back laying in the road. I told them I'd hurt my knee and need a hand.
They drove up to me and asked again. Like I was some crazy guy trying to trick them.
I gave them the run-down on what happened and the Father backed up and got out of his car and came over. He helped me stand up and that's when I found out I had no control of my lower left leg.
He got his teenage kid out and they helped me to my truck. They didn't have a cell phone, didn't have a clue where they were. They even asked me directions to Alsea. I figured these folks were going to be absolutely no help so I said I'd be ok and sent them on their way.
I got into my truck by lifting my left leg and putting it in, any bending of my leg hurt like you won't believe.
I tried to start the truck but couldn't get the clutch to depress enough so I got out and splinted my leg with some duct tape and 2 steel rods I had in the back. Now I could hobble around so I went to the edge of the road and got a stick to push in the clutch.
Got back in the truck, got it started and found out I could catch the clutch with my toes and shift.
Home I went, about 30 miles. Got home, honked until my wife Gail came out and told her I'd screwed my knee up and we need to go to the ER.
They diagnose it as a Patellar Tendon Rupture.  Orthopedic Doctor says only way to fix it is cut and sew.
I had surgery on Wednesday the 26th and now I have a 6 inch incision running straight through my left knee.
I can't bend it and won't be able to for weeks.  
The first half of the summer is hosed.  I'll have to see what July brings.   I might be in a brace by then, now I'm in an immobilizer, so I walk like Frankenstein and not for very far either.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 06, 2004, 07:28:49 PM
Hi newbies - Biged, Ohama and Croaker. Hey what is this, Patellar Tendon season in the colonies??  ;D

Loved hearing your story Patrick, made me wince anyway. I had nothing like such a problem as I got bloodwagonned straight down the mountain by very efficient Frenchmen. Although that was after I had tumbled a fair way down with a floppy leg and my ski still on...fortunately just a couple of friends nearby, who had heard that kind of language before.

Omaha, your treatment regime sounds quite dynamic and sounds like you're doing well. Good luck to all, any questions and those of us further down the rehab road will be happy to tell you how it was for us.

Any more tendon bunnies lurking out there? Come on in and say hello...no-one here bites (well Kim does but only if you don't follow your rehab instructions  ;) )

Nigel (in UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on June 10, 2004, 03:54:38 AM
heeeyyyy

just watching out for my cubs! I'm a nurse and i can't help it.

kim

ps

what a bone cruncher of an injury from oregon...how you ever dragged yourself onto the road let alone tried to push your knee cap back into place....makes me queasy just thinking about it...definately deserves a parargraph in Outside Magazine. almost as good as the guy who cut his hand off out west after getting it caught under a 1  ton boulder....Oregon, you are the poster child!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on June 10, 2004, 06:45:43 PM
Not been doing my exercises much recently as have recently found out I will be unemployed at the end of the month :( . Doesn't really put one in the right frame of mind for leg exercises.

However am getting better at stairs and unemployment will give me plently of time to go to the Gym and do some work on my quads. At least the German government are generous with unemployment benefits
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on June 10, 2004, 08:31:29 PM
ros

so sorry about your job...seems everyday here in georgia someone i know or meet has or is going to be let go. they keep saying jobs are coming back here but i dont know of anyone who lost their job that has found one to replace it...maybe in the service industry, blue collar, manufacturing but not upper level higher paying positions. and when you lose your job here the government does not pick up your health insurance...and to carry it on your own is out of many peoples reach financially...i guess that is one benefit to the health system in europe over the private health system here. anyways, keep your chin up and your leg! what do you do for a job anyways? here in the us the medical field is a pretty stable field to go into...i talk many (men and women) to pursue this route from nursing to rad tech... it's not just for women anymore.

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on June 10, 2004, 11:20:30 PM
Tony, brother I feel your pain man, I just know you will find an even better job in the future if you don't give up hope.  I am doing ok with my knee lately, my rom is at 50 degrees and I'm doing my exercises, I can't believe how this thread has taken off in the last couple of weeks, it's great to see ;D, misery loves company.  I can actually go up stairs with the normal gait one after the other with a little hitch and not as fast of course, I found out during a trip to NYC recently when I had to hump it up to the subway platform and just came to do it quite by accident.  Can't go down steps this way yet only up but I'll take it.  I need to do more exercises as well, how many is enough?  If I thought that doing them all day long would speed my recovery I would attempt it, my doc never told me how often or how many reps to do but I guess the more the merrier. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on June 11, 2004, 01:08:32 AM
Hey guys,

Rosbif, really sorry to hear you lost your job. I wish you good luck finding a better one as quick as possible. As a web designer, I experienced the ups and downs of the Internet while I lived in London, and really felt it when the dot-com bubble burst back in 2001, especially after 9/11. Had to change 6 jobs in a period of 18 months because companies kept goin bancrupt. At the time, I thought it will never get better for me, but eventually it did, so do not lose the faith.

It's 5 weeks post-op tomorrow for me and nothig much has been happening here. My OS insists I stay put for another week before I start any rehab, even CPM.

Had a brace fitted last week and set to 20 degrees and been doing well with it, going up and down the stairs and all (with crutches, of course). Quads are mush and the only exercise I was allowed to do is contracting the quads.

Found a CPM machine on ebay and ordered it. A friend of mine in Washington state agreed to bring it over , since he's coming to Kosovo this Monday. OS said that the CPM machine will help me and was really happy when I told him I will donate it to the Orthopaedics Ward when I'm done with it. Cost me only 450 bucks (new ones seem to be quite expensive) and I hope it works.

Gotta hang on for a few more days like this and hopefully things will start changing sometime next week.

I have no idea how long the rehab is gonna last. It'd be nice if everyone summarized their rehab experiences in a couple of paragraphs, so we can do a comparison.

Not much fun sitting and waiting, but if my OS says so, I got no other choice. He obviously does not want to take any chances and is being very precautious.

Not much of an update here. Hope you guys are doing better.

Cheers,
Fis
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Teresa_S on June 11, 2004, 02:22:18 AM
Hi, I , too, ordered a CPM from Ebay, and it works fine, but was a little difficult to get together, and I hope you ordered a pad kit, or can make one that doesn't slide. The CPM is great to sleep in also, and of course you can keep up the amount of flexion and extension you get, if the OS agrees. Good Luck, I got mine in about 4 days here in the states.  I thought if they rent for about $50 daily paying the $400 I paid was a good investment. Teresa
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on June 11, 2004, 05:20:42 AM
Apparently, the CPM I ordered is patient ready, so I suppose there won't be any problems putting it togedhe and, yes, I ordered the soft kit. Hope everything goes ok and I get the machine over here and start the rehab.

Do you guys think I'll have problems recovering because my OS refused to let me move the leg for 6 weeks?
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on June 11, 2004, 06:42:31 AM
Fis, calm down dude ;), we are all still going thru rehab with our respective knees, there is nobody here who  has gone all the way thru it successfully unless I'm missing something here.  We have a few who are further along and are doing quite well but I don't think they are "out of the woods" yet.  Like you, my OS was also from the old school and didn't perscribe any CPM machine, and didn't even put the wire loop like you had but I was weight bearing after the staples were removed and I see a little improvement on a daily basis.  Auntie Kim is the most experienced poster and seems to know more than the rest of us.  I was told four months by my OS so I figure that means I'm only half way there.  My knee still feels wierd, tight, hard and numb in places but I continue to try to go back to normal use by doing the things that I would normally do being careful not to overdo it.  I had a buckling incident the other night as I was walking around without my brace and I tripped over a shoe, I was so mad at myself for that but the knee hung in there and didn't hardly swell or hurt, that's progress for me.  Keep your chin up and be patient. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Teresa_S on June 11, 2004, 09:42:17 AM
After both of my last two surgeries, my OS didn't order any PT for 4-6 weeks, and in fact, ordered, rest and elevate. IT made me so mad, because when I did get to go to therapy, I worked to the point of tears, and ready to give up for the first two weeks, and made wonderful progress, and then all of a sudden, both after two weeks, the joint went backwards, got hot , swollen, and the therapist could not force it to move. So, I couldn't believe he did the same thing the second time around, and identical things happened. I worked so hard and then could not force the knee to bend and work . IT took me forever to work my quads effectively the first time, as it felt dead. Anyway, good luck, I have had my scar tissue back since the first of March, and am playing a waiting game, looking for the right physcian. Teresa  I have been off work since 02-15-02111 31 months, and no income, thank god for my disability pay. Teresa
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on June 11, 2004, 12:40:40 PM
Thanks your messages of support.

Kim - I work as a shipbroker. Already have a few possibilities for new jobs, but they are only possibilities. Being in a foreign country where I don't speak the language doesn't help matters, but at least I can live on the amount of benefit I will get whilst unemployed. Would be a lot tighter financially if I was home in England.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on June 11, 2004, 06:29:49 PM
Decided to stop feeling sorry for myself today. Have applied to do a law conversion course at a University back in England.
Already been told by one University that with my qualifications they cannot see a reason why they won't offer me a place.

Will start in September. so 2-3 months to get my knee working properly.

Tony

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 12, 2004, 12:09:27 AM
Hi Tony, the thread's gone mad this week, just catching up with it.

(I'm going to go off-topic so the rest of you just tune out for a mo...) Really sorry to hear about the job. I had v similar experience a while ago, after 15 years in marketing jobs. I too looked at law conversion training but was some friends in the professional advised me it would be really tough to find a job afterwards (I'm 45 and there are lots of out of work lawyers at the moment). But I assume you're planning to specialise in shipping law? That's a real specialism so presumably more job prospects?

Anyway, I eventually decided to re-train in environmental consulting and I'm also off to college (Cranfield), to do a Masters starting in Oct. Getting good experience meanwhile with a consulting firm in London. Get in touch off-line if you like, I'd be interested to compare notes on the career stuff. Where are you going to study? If it's in the south-east somewhere let me know and we can have a beer.

Had a sticky week knee-wise, overdid it a bit and paid the price for 48 hours or so. But it's amazing how it's just settled down again now, like it never happened.

All this CPM talk is making me feel very low-tech. Hey, but I do have some very trick crutches with ergonomic handles, if anyone's interested?...!

Cheers, Nigel

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on June 12, 2004, 02:17:20 AM
cubbies

i think you all would make great nurses! why not consider nursing as a career path! they don't make you wear a cap anymore.

kim

ps

trying to pack for cincinnati...i will post over the weekend with my OPINIONS (which obviously carry some weight around here) and...rambling thoughts as usual...and some rehab protocols. talk to you guys soon.
k.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on June 12, 2004, 08:01:14 AM
Auntie Kim, Good luck on your trip to Cinncinatti, are you going to have your surgery done this time out?  If you are then we will all be thinking about you and hopefully your LAST operation.  By the way guys don't want to become nurses they just want to be with them after work. ;D John
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 12, 2004, 02:13:56 PM
Actually we probably WOULD want to be nurses, if they still had the old uniforms...  ;D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 14, 2004, 08:48:30 AM
Hi Folks

Been away two weeks and the board has gone mad with new recruits to the Ruptured Patella Tendon club.

Must inform members, that since the Consultant discovered that I had Veinus insufficiancy ( water circulation problems as some of the veins above/below the kneecap had sealed up) prescribed water tablets and this has done the trick.  This removes all the excess fluid from the leg.

Still have 117deg ROM seventeen months since I ruptured the Patella Tendon, but relieved of swelling and pain but will always have a limp.  

The least of my worry.

Have meanwhile been to Vancouver,Victoria and a twelve day coach tour of the Canadian Rockies.

FANSTASTIC except the nine hour flight from Heathrow to Vancouver - squashed up like sardines in a British Airways 747.  Sat on the stewardess seat - (not her knee) ;) at the very rear of the aircraft to get more leg room and stretch the leg.

Like wise, on the return journey, sat next to the window on the back row of the 747 - perfect.  

Leg feeling much better - however cannot chase blondes!

JohnK/ Manchester UK ;) ;) ;)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on June 14, 2004, 06:01:23 PM
Hey John K. how bout those redheads? :P Sounds like yu had a great trip to the NW, did you see any whales?  I'm interested in yur plight and the water pills, I'm only a couple months out from surgery and my knee still feels pretty stiff and unnatural with some swelling, I have been prescribed leg exercises by my OS and increased ROM, 10 degrees/wk, tommorrow I will increase to 60 degrees, but I still feel like I'm a long way off from normal operations.  When you say you will always have a limp that really got me, as I hope I don't feel that way in a couple of months.  Is there something you could have done early on to prevent what you ended up with?  I take it you can't run either. JOHNC
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 14, 2004, 06:57:15 PM
Hi JohnC

Have a look at my original posting page 7 about 2 weeks ago - you have to realize that you have a long way to go before you reach the first milestone of 90deg -  average 4/5 months after your operation,bearing in mind that the normal leg will have a 135 deg bend, your next step is to work upwards to stretch the Patella Tendon to reach 110/115 deg. This took me about 12/14 months which is normal. Then depending on how young and fit your were, you might get past this and reach 130deg - lets hope so.

The swelling will continue for quite a long period - the best cure is leg up and an ice pack on the knee.

My Consultant said from the very outcome, that whatever bend you reach after 12 months is as much as one is likly to get, but in practise I got a bit more. This does not restrict any activities but any sport involving kicking/running etc is out.  Most members of the Ruptured Patella Tendon club will end up with some sort of limp/impediment and be thankful thats all.

The water on the knee was only diagnosed some four weeks ago when I complained that my leg was always swollen and this could be an isolated case.

Did not bother to see the whales - as I have seen them in other parts of the world, nevertheless, the Rockies are super - on a par with the Swiss Alps. :o ::) 8)

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Croaker on June 15, 2004, 02:43:39 AM
Hi Folks,

I back again, with a few questions this time.  This isn't my first go round with knee surgery.  I had an ACL repair and a Medial Meniscus repair way back in 1979.  They were done at RAF Lakenheath.  The pain I'm feeling now is far greater than I remember from my previous surgery.  I'm on my third try to stop taking the pain meds and wow this ferret won't stop chewing on my leg.  Does anyone have a suggestion?  Heat, cold, massage, anything?  I know the doc is going to turn off the meds spigot soon.   I also have a question about swelling, at least I think it's swelling.  Just between my knee and the top of my tibia it looks/feels swollen.  If I push on it it just dents in like I'm pushing on clay or putty, it fills back in.  What gives?  I go back to the OS on the 24th to get a hinged brace.  Can't wait.
Thanks,
Croaker
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 16, 2004, 11:51:33 AM
JohnK, welcome back from BC.

Having just recent your post I must say I was disturbed by your comments (a) that it is "normal" to take 12 months+ to get past 110 deg ROM; and (b) that "Most members of the Ruptured Patella Tendon club will end up with some sort of limp/impediment...".

What is your basis of evidence for this? I find both comments surprising: the medical accounts of this injury that I've been able to find state that most patients make a pretty full recovery including resumption of sports. The accounts I've read look for full active flexion after 6-8 weeks as a rehab goal (which, of course, not everyone will attain).

It sounds like, on the one hand, your recovery has been slow and painful, whereas other the other hand (leg?) I have been, maybe, pretty lucky - 130+ ROM after 8 or 9 weeks and now walking without a limp after 3 months. And my point is?...we're both individual cases.

I think it's important for people at the early stages with this injury to realise that they have every chance of a good recovery and that, as with any orthopaedic injury, a positive approach to rehab can make a big difference. This requires focus on the best potential outcome while also understanding that there MAY (not will) be some residual problems to work through.

So I wondered what source you have for your outlook on recovery? If it's based on one OS's opinion I think we need to be cautious. But if you have access to any stats-based info it would be great if you could share.

Best, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 16, 2004, 03:49:43 PM
Hi Nigel

Your thoughts are noted, however my facts have been colated over the last 17 months since I sustained my own injury.

Following the statistics on two message boards, some 28 persons (mainly in the States) have suffered a Ruptured Patella Tendon.  There are no doubt others who have not made themselves known, although in this day and age, most injured persons research their injury on the Internet.  I have over a period in time been in touch with various Consultants/GP`s etc, who all confirmed that the rehab period for any injury to the knee is a long process in particular if the Patella Tendon is ruptured, by the very nature of the tendon. It is also a fact that the Consultants consider an ultimate shortening of the Tendon to be in the range of 20/30%.

It`s true that some individuals will get a full ROM quicker than others and I would be the first to be delighted if I heard or knew of anybody who reached a full ROM regardless of the time frame. I do in fact know of one, a young,fit policeman who lives in Staffordshire,and it took thirteen months to reach this stage.

I am glad that I found this message board as our purpose in life is to give tips and comfort to fellow members of The Ruptured Patella Tendon Club.

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK ;) :) :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on June 16, 2004, 05:54:18 PM
Hi everybody, you too Kimmy, why is it that mostly guys rupture their patellar tendons while girls only dream about it.....Hey Croaker, the best way to combat pain and swelling in the early stages for me was ICE and ELEVATION, take it easy and just chill, you won't be climbing any mountains right away dude.  Your story is a great one probably the best one on this thread but the best advice I can give you during the early stages of post op is to relax and do the ICE and ELEVATION, use two pillows if you have to.  It's not fun but you will feel a whole lot better, I guarantee it.
Now as for recovering the max amount of ROM issue before us, that one has alluded me so far since I'm only at 60 degrees at eight weeks post op, increasing 10 degrees/week.  Am I to assume that 170 degrees is the optimum where I can bend my knee all the way against the strain of the tendons?  When I push my knee to the limits, past 60  it feels real weird and tight, is that normal?  Almost like the bones aren't lined up, is that the case?  Yesterday I hurt a distinct crack from the knee when I was exercising it, is that good?  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 16, 2004, 06:00:38 PM
Hi JohnC

Get your Consulant/Doctor to measure your good leg -
it should be in the region of 130/135 deg -

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 16, 2004, 11:15:21 PM
JohnK - I have virtually full ROM (well, 130+ but can't quite sit on my heel on that side). Maybe the French surgeons are specially good!

Not myself convinced that KG and other web board posters are 100% representative. Also I have suspicion that medics generally tend to be over-pessimistic about outcomes, not wanting to set expectations too high. Last time I had injury (broken wrist) I was told I probably wouldn't get full ROM, but in the end I did.

Hard to get a fix on age range of RPT sufferers - apparently mainly under 40s (olders tend to break above patella, not below) but of course Kim points out Weekend Warrior phenomenon!! I gather a lot of basketball players get RPT so maybe more in US than UK? (over here we call it netball and it's a girl's game!  ;))

JohnC - the advice seems to be "work in the pain-free zone" but I think you have to push it a bit to build up the ROM. As I described to Fis, I found the "office chair shuffle" a good way to do ROM exercise in background while at work. I introduced a bit of side-to-side as well as backwards and forwards movement - seemed to help to ease up the joint. But that variation was my own, NOT advised by my PT!

Not sure about your noise though - sounds like you're popping rivets or something  ???

Not been to PT this week but started driving my own car - a manual g/box, not my wife's auto I've been using so far. Seems to be good exercise, if only on the basis that it hurts like b***ery after I get stuck in traffic!

Nigel

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Omaha on June 18, 2004, 12:44:23 AM
I just got back from my 6 week follow-up appointment with the OS.  He is happy with the progress.  I have been crutch free for a week now and have obtained a 100 degree ROM.  I can walk with close to no limp until I get fatigued.  The OS had me put the hinged brace at 110 degrees.  He wants me to start weaning myself off the brace completely.

I was instructed to start going for full ROM (passive) at week eight and to start working with heavy weights at week 10.  I look forward to sleeping without the brace this evening.                  John
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 18, 2004, 12:57:52 AM
Omaha - sounds like great progress! What weights work have you been prescribed? Is it resisted lower leg lifts?
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Omaha on June 18, 2004, 01:36:21 AM
Nigel - currently doing lower leg lifts and strait leg lifts with a small ankle weight.  Currently 3 lbs.

Started with a 1 lb. weight progressing 1/2 lb. at a time (as tolerated).  Doesn't sound like much, but it feels like it.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on June 18, 2004, 03:52:38 AM
omaha

are you sure that you should be using weights at this point? i could be wrong but passive ROM usually doesnt include weights. for the rest of you cubs....patellar tendons take approximately 10 WEEKS to heal!!!! after that it is a slow or fast climb up that mountain to full recovery. and again from the journals....it can take up to 18 months to recover from a patellar tendon rupture....some earlier...some later....i would assume that during most repairs some of the tendon is lost (have to make those edges nice and shiney and strong) so i doubt that full rom is likely but definately can come close. i lost about 1cm in my repair but my surgeon that will be doing my surgery on tuesday thinks he can get most of my range of motion back. i dont care if i can never do yoga and wrap my leg around my head...i just want to be able to ride a bike again. talk to you guys after tuesday...if i am not seeing triple...i will be in the hospital for 3 days post op (jewish hospital of cincinnati at kenwood)...hmmm...i guess a rabbi will come visit me instead of the nun (she was very nice) at my last hospital.

bye

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on June 19, 2004, 05:42:12 AM
Hey everyone, it's me again!

Unlike Omaha's case, whose physique, injury and surgery seem to be nearly identical to mine, my first PT session started today (yippeee!!), 6 weeks post-op to the day, thanks to my persistency, since my OS initially wanted me to stay immobile for at least 8 weeks.

A couple of days ago, I was happy to receive my e-bay purchased CPM machine (thankya all for the advice), only to be dissapointed soon afterwards when my uncle, in his attemt to help me see if the machine works, blew it up by connecting it to a 220V power supply (the European standard), forgetting that U.S. voltage goes only up to 100V. Yeah, it's a bummer, and I hope the electrician I sent it to will be able to fix it, otherwise it'll be 450 USD down the drain.

At this very moment, my knee bend is about 30 deg, and so is my brace. The PT had the kne iced, massaged and then flexed, before putting it inside this tubular magnetic thingy and then into some electrical impulse thingy afterwards. All felt nice and relaxing, without pain, except the passive flexing, which hurt a bit, and the feeling of the tendon stretching was a bit weird.

As usual, I start bombarding her with questions about other similar cases she had and their outcomes, so she tells me about some good recoveries and some bad ones. What scared the heck out of me was when she told me about some guy who was late with his rehab by starting it 4 weeks post-op and had problems afterwards. I started shaking when I reminded her I was 6 weeks post-op and she wouldn't say whether I'll be having problems with the late rehab or not, insisting that it's still early to come to a conclusion.

Overall, I'm quite happy I finally started the PT sessions, but at the same time I'm scared stiff thinking about the possible problems I might have. Another thing that confused me is when my OS said I'd be reaching 90 deg in a cpl of weeks, while the other OS, who assisted my OS during my surgery, told me that it'll take 3-4 months before I'll be able to flex  up to 90 deg.

It's been a very long day today. I better get some sleep, as I will need to be going to myPT first thing in the morning.

Will keep ya posted with my development.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 19, 2004, 07:42:55 PM
I came across an interesting summary of outcome research in patellar tendon surgery. The article is about tendonosis rather than rupture but, still, I think it may be applicable:

"Patellar tendon surgery has a rather unpredictable outcome. A review of 23 papers found that for surgery the combined excellent and good results were between 46% and 100% (42). In the three studies that had more than 40 patients, authors reported combined excellent and good results of 91%, 82%, and 80% in series of 78, 80, and 138 subjects, respectively. The mean time for patients to return to preinjury level of sport varied from 4 months to greater than 9 months. A long-term study (43) of outcome in patients who underwent open patellar tenotomy for patellar tendinosis showed that only 54% were able to return to previous levels of sport activity. In two prospective studies (17,44) that evaluated time to return to sport, most subjects required more than 6 months, and often 9 months, to return to full sporting competition."
Cook et al: see http://www.physsportsmed.com/issues/2000/06_00/khan.htm

It emphasises the big range of outcomes. But the 'typical' times to return to competitive sport seems to be in the 4-9 month range. This may be non-representative of us because it is probably skewed towards professional sportspeople, but it shows what's possible - it doesn't have to take a year or more.

The article also notes that complete rest is not an effective treatment because the tendon collagen needs some tension to heal. I assume this is why the newer, more aggressive rehab regimes seem to work - always assuming you don't overdo it!??

Anyway I found it an interesting article generally, and at the end it has some good stuff on rehab methods.

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 21, 2004, 01:17:06 AM


Hi Nigel

Indeed a very interesting article - perhaps you should also have a look at the article at

www.medscape.com

You must register first ( I used "nurse") and then
read "Primary Patella Tendon Repair"

I trust you find this of interest. :D :D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: just on June 21, 2004, 01:00:13 PM
Hi Guys,

Had my 6 week followup and the hospital are happy that the tendon is healing and that they will not have to open it up again ( Which is good news ).

They have advised to wean myself of the knee brace but to still use the crutches and will be starting physiotherapy this week. So have not had the knee brace on at all for the last 3 days and boy has that improved my sleep not having that on. Can put some weight and can bend the knee a bit but does feel very tight ( am not going to push it till start physio ). The hospital seemed to think that I would be looking at around 6 months for full recovery.

I will let you know what the physio says.

Cheers

Justin




tendon severed playing football on beach 07/05/04
operated on by ship doctor within 1 hr 07/05/04
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 21, 2004, 01:20:18 PM
Hi Justin


Just a little tip given to me by my Consultant -

Sleep with a small pillow between your legs -

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 22, 2004, 01:32:42 AM
All - the Medscape article (per John K's post above) is well worth a read if you're into all the med research stuff. I'd come across it before but only in summary.

If you don't want to sign up to Medscape... it's a study of post-op outcomes among 13 US servicemen with PTR (almost all from basketball!!) where they imposed an "early mobilisation" regime - ROM started 2 wks post-op. All had cerclage wire put in.

Results:
(a) good potential for full ROM and return to previous activity levels for more than half;
(b) of the 13 studied:
    -  2 had persistent knee pain in everyday life.
    -  Clinical and function scores varied widely.
    -  12 returned to full military duty, at average 13 months (but a big range - 4 to 29 months).
    -  2 had wire removed, following break or irritation.

Okay these were not average people, they were mostly in 20s and 30s, but I wouldn't say being soldiers implies they started with very high level of fitness (US military basic fitness standard I think involves running 1.5 miles).

Fisnik - don't worry that these results were for "early mobilisation" - apparently they did another study of 5 "early mob" versus 5 "cast for 6 wks" patients and found no difference in outcomes!

I'm now 14wks post-op. Tried a few steps of jogging while out with the dogs yesterday - not painful, a bit wonky but interesting to find that I could at least break out of a walk if there was something after me!!

Best, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: just on June 22, 2004, 02:23:27 AM
John,

Thanks for that I will give it a try. Must admit slep has been better without the brace but you are always concerned that you will bend the leg in your sleep.

Have got my physio appointment on Wednesday so will update you on how it goes after then.

Cheers

Justin

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

tendon severed playing football on beach 07/05/04
operated on by ship doctor within 1 hr 07/05/04
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on June 22, 2004, 03:35:17 AM
Hi all,

Nigel, a great summary you wrote there about the Medscape research. Couldn't resist reading it myself and found it very interesting.

Seems like my physio is a bit agitated my OS sent me to see her 6 weeks post-op rather than earlier because my patella seems to be a bit stiff when she tries to move it left-right and up-down. It was my third physio session today and it seems to be making a big difference every time. The stiffness of the patella seems to be giving way, especially when moved left-right, since she could move it much easier today compared to the first session.

Still waiting for my CPM machine to be fixed, while in the meantime my physio decided to move my brace from 30 deg to 45 only after 3 sessions, since she feels my flexing is going quite okay (knock wood). She is one tough woman and I love her. When she starts bending that knee, she really makes me sweat from the pain and won't even let me make a sound.

Knee still swollen (not much) and still numb on the left side of the knee region, dunno if that is common 6 weeks post op.

Extremely happy with the PT outcome so far (knock wood again). Progress slow, but every little change is noteicable. She's determined to get my flexion far enough to be able to sit in a car, since she felt sorry when she saw me being carried out my best friend's jeep's boot like a piece of luggage.  

Started going to the office and applying Nigel's office chair technique, which seems to be working well. Cheers for that, Nigel.

Overall, every degree I gain only makes my grin wider and I hope it goes all the way, just the way the late Burt Lancaster used to do it.  ;D

Cheers all,
Fis
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on June 22, 2004, 05:11:52 AM
hi cubs

here in beautiful cincinnati (it really is)...surgery tomorrow at 1pm...so i will touch base with you all when i am not seeing triple...at least my surgeon is cute!!! 3 of him doesnt bother me!!!!! he drew his initials on my knee for surgery tomorrow...in atlanta, they make the patient do it themself! will be in the hospital about 3 days then rehab here in ohio for about 2 weeks...lots of dead cicadas around but havent heard much buzzing. dr. l is pretty optomistic about getting my flexion back.(45 degrees as of today...but because of pre existing scar tissue, not the tendon itself) will keep you guys posted.

cheers...arrrgggh

kim, your faithful poster of the opposite sex.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Jaci on June 22, 2004, 08:55:56 PM
Hello, Kim.

I'm a regular poster on the soft tissue problems board (arthrofibrosis  :P). Just want to send my wishes for successful surgery and smooth rehab.

You're in great hands with Cinncinati SportsMed. I've read dozens of articles authored by their staff. It really is the place to go for complex knee problems such as yours.

Take care.

Jaci
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 22, 2004, 09:37:34 PM
Hi all


At 3/4 months rehab, you should be looking to purchase a Pedal Exerciser - cost about pds 35

In the Uk have a look at

www.physio-med.com.

I found this a super execiser machine

JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 22, 2004, 11:21:03 PM
Fis - I had same patella "stiffness" when I first started physio. I'd guess very normal post-op. Mine eased up gradually and now has about as much "give" as the good side. I was told to massage the kneecap every day to keep it mobile - up/down and side to side. have you still got a lot of swelling?

Kim - good luck tomorrow. We've never thought of you as "the opposite sex", only as the fairer sex.

We promise to be good while you're away but do us a favour and don't read back through the posts we make while you're away....

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on June 23, 2004, 03:13:41 PM
Hi Nigel,

My physio says that patella is giving way slowly, especially when moved left-right. She said she'll put my brace to 60 degrees today, since I fully reached 45 yesterday. Now, considering that I jumped from 15 degrees to 45 in my first four PT sessions, am I to assume I'll be getting my ROM back fairly quickly? Unless it gets stuck somewhere along the way (which I truly hope won't happen).

The knee is stil swollen, but not much, and seems to be going down slowly every day. Its left side is still numb, though.

Just had my CPM fixed, so looking forward to start using it tonight.  :)

Kim,

Hope all goes well and we see you back in here soon, before we start becoming careless and messing up our bad knees when our weekend warrior syndrome starts kicking in.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: just on June 23, 2004, 08:26:13 PM
Just got back from first physio session and they were very pleased. I managed to bend 70 degrees unassisted and 90 degrees assisted which is way more than I thought that I would be able to do. Have been given some exercises to do and as Nigel said have been told to massage twice a day around the patella and round the scar that I have.  They have got me walking with the crutches rather than no weight bearing at all which has made it a lot easier.

What exercises did you all have that you found worked best ?

Kim best of luck for your op.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 23, 2004, 10:47:55 PM
Justin - 90deg? -  sounds like a bit of a result!

Have you been told to do passive or active ROM exercises? I assume passive, and they'll have told you to raise and lower your knee by hand (ie NOT using the quad muscle) while sitting up in bed? That seemed to work for me.

Also, I'm thinking of patenting my "office chair" passive ROM exercise. Basically: put foot on floor with seat height set so your thigh is nearly horizontal. Roll chair (on castors) back/fwd using good leg, thus flexing/straightening the bad knee as far as you can manage. You can also swing side to side a bit to introduce some lateral movement in the knee.

No idea if this is method is "physio-correct" but it worked for me and Fis said for him too. And equipment is free - only downer is you have to go to work to use it!

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on June 25, 2004, 04:09:28 AM
hello from beautiful cincinnati

hah!! i have you all beat...i am at 120 degrees flexion...on my own! will post when i get out of hospital either tomorrow or the next day...good drugs on board, needle in the back...tube out down there (was a real surprise when i woke up), tube out the knee, and a tube in the arm...and a really cool motorized ice thingy around my knee. and i feel great, no pain and minimal swelling...got to go pee...hah...guess i cant use that as an excuse. will talk to you all tomorrow with all the details and secret scoop.

bye
kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on June 25, 2004, 06:14:57 PM
Great to hear from Momma Bear sounds like she's doing OK so far, we'll find out more when she comes off the meds.... ;) sounds like everyone is doing pretty good today making progress and feeling that there is a life after knee surgery.  I go to my doc on Monday and am planning on giving him more reasons to give me a referal to physio so that I can know that the best rehab is being performed, failure is not an option for me and since I'm kinda lazy sometimes I need more supervision and direction regarding my exercises.  I'm in the process of re-roofing my home and am working as the ground man picking up and schleping worn out shingles, now that is great exercise I hope ::)  I'm at 70 degrees ROM but still feel unnatural when I push it to the limit with very little lateral confidence.  I tried to go without my brace for a longer time period and paid dearly for it with the old swelling and pain, had to break out the ice pack for that one :-[ but I did get a bit of sympathy from the ladies present.  Hope all is well out there in RPT land. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 30, 2004, 12:31:45 AM
Hey, where's everyone gone on this thread? All got better??  ;D  ;D

I had good OS session last week, he's moved me onto a higher proportion of strengthening exercises, including half-squats on one leg. Can just about do them. Completely overdid it at physio (which is now circuits in hospital gym) yesterday and now hobbling about...but in a "good way" I think - no pain no gain.

How's Kim? You should be over in England, at least you could have your feet up watching Wimbledon. Hope they took that catheter out before you drained away altogether...  ;)

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on June 30, 2004, 04:57:48 AM
Nigel et al, Kimmy probably hasn't come off the meds or her surgeon yet 8), but I am happy to report my first visit to the physical therapist and he thinks I'm doing OK so far but started me on more rigorous exercises, electric stimulation of the muscle above the kneecap and repetitive movements of the knee with a strap around my foot, not bad for the first day.  I'm at 80 degrees ROM now and hoping my disability insurance will come through so I can make it through the summer.  The roof is halfway complete and the pool is crystal clear today.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 30, 2004, 11:48:12 AM
John - electric stimulation? I'd watch where they put those electrodes if I were you...

My other good (I think?) news was that I was told the wire loop can stay in now for ever - unless it breaks - no need to open up again to take it out.

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on June 30, 2004, 01:48:33 PM
Been a bit busy recently. Have now started going to gym. Able to do 50kg (5 sets of 20) on the leg press with just my bad leg. Hopefully that should start to build up my quads. Tried using an exercise bike but thats still a bit too uncomfortable.

Now using both legs properly to go up and down stairs (4 floors). Think thats also helping to buld up the strength.  Still way off getting back to playing Hockey though!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 30, 2004, 02:56:23 PM
Tony - what's the leg press, is that pressing outwards with foot flat, or lifting lower leg against a weight (presumably not if you're doing 50 kilos!!)  :o
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: just on June 30, 2004, 03:27:28 PM
Hi Guys.

Nigel they have got me doing straight leg lifts with a band and a few other using the band. I have been lifting up with the quads and over the last week I recon that have progressed to over 90 degrees unassisted but tomorrow will tell when I have my next physio session.

I think that I overdid it the other day as well as the knee has been telling me. What were your experiences as you started using the leg and bending it ?

Take care all of you

Justin
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 30, 2004, 03:42:26 PM
Hi All

As I have suggested before - get a "pedal exerciser" - a super device.  You sit in a chair and pedal away - not expensive.

I heard from Momma Bear some four days ago in response to a get well card -  I suspect that she is hiding away amongst the bushes like those black bears I saw two weeks ago in British Colombia.

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK ::) :D :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on June 30, 2004, 04:11:57 PM
Justin - I got/still get post-exercise pains & stiffness - mostly 12-24 hrs later. Tends to be at sides of knee and down around the shin bone, rather than in quads or hamstrings. Some swelling also when I really go for it. As ever, ice and elevation seem to be the answer.

Sounds like you're getting on pretty well. How's the walking?

Working from home today during the tube strike. As you can see, getting distracted from work by KG. Must go and take dogs for a walk...another cop-out!!

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on June 30, 2004, 05:25:17 PM
Nigel - it is pushing outwards with foot flat.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on June 30, 2004, 06:58:27 PM
hi guys

i am doing great!!!!! i am still non weight bearing for 3 more weeks....have only fallen twice...once out of wheel chair and once with crutches. i am able to bend 102 on my own now. pt is gruelling...have to go daily...and today they will decide if they want to tap my knee to get some fluid out....will help bend further. if i can get to 110 by friday i can go home to atlanta. leg looks good, no bruising, incision and holes look good..pain is real minor, only take pain meds in am, before pt, and bedtime. seeing a lot of cincinnati...beautiful city and the weather has been great since we came over a week ago. the hotel staff has been wonderful...even got a gift from one of staff...a beautiful little prism to put in the window. the only thing that really sucks is not being able to walk on the leg due to the microfracture that was done during the operation...has to do with stimulating bone marrow and stem cells. love my doctor...wish i could take him back to atlanta....we would even consider relocating here if the opportunity were to arise...beautiful city with lots of culture....and traffic is a dream compared to atlanta...and it is nice to be away from confederate flags draped all over cars down there. hope you all are doing well, i will keep you posted on friday as to what the verdict is. and yes, the catheter wasnt so bad....getting up to pee now is not the easiest task when i am hooked up to the cpm and ice machine at the same time...you guys should look into getting one of these ice machines...sold on ebay, one brand is by breg polar care...mine is by ebi...the best thing i have ever used during a post op. kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Croaker on June 30, 2004, 08:38:06 PM
I'm still here.  A bit bummed. Went to see the OS last Thursday, on my previous visit he'd said I would get a flexible brace to replace the immobilizer.  No such luck, "lets give it two more weeks".   New target date is 8 July.  He did say I could take the immobilizer off and start bending the knee.  I'm using Nigel's office chair exercise.  My OS said to bend it until it was tight,  then go a bit farther, to the point of discomfort, but not pain.  I'm approaching 80 degrees now and the swelling is really down.  I do get a feeling of having everything being ripped out the back of my knee if I push it too much, it goes away after a while.  
I went back to the scene of my accident this weekend.  The drop is closer to 5 feet and the slope is almost 90 degrees.  How I every thought I could just step down that  I'll never know.  
Patrick
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on June 30, 2004, 09:49:07 PM
Hey guys,

Thought I'd give you a little update, too. I've been going to PT sessions daily and the physio is very good. Still doing passive flexion exercises and I have just reached the 90 deg mark today, which is great after 9 PT sessions, I think. Been using the CPM machine, which finally got fixed, and that seems to help, too.

Can't tell if my swelling has gone down much, since I keep looking at my knee all the time, but mum said it has gone down considerably since last week, when she last saw me.

For the first time today the physio asked me to lie face down so she could bend the leg from behind. It was very painful, but as Nigel says, no pain no gain. She said the 90-110 degree region will hurt more than usual, so I'm in for some painful sessions for the next few days. She also says that the knees sometimes tend to "lock" at 45 and 90 deg, so I'm a bit panicky about that. You guys know anything about this?

I'm also starting some work on my quads, doing straight leg lifts while standing. Can't do a straight leg lift while laying on my back yet, but I can feel the power coming back very slowly.

Decided to work from the office from yesterday, so it feels great to be outside again. :)

Momma bear, great to hear you're doing well. You inspire every one of us.

Laterz!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on July 01, 2004, 02:34:42 AM
ouch

they tapped my knee with a big giant "fear factor" needle and got seventy five cc's...then they made me go do wall/heal slides...torture...they said as long as it wasnt hurting them i had to keep doing it. got to 105 post tap...so i am going to go home on saturday. knee looks great and swelling had gone down but they thought by tapping it would help move things along...i asked them for a bite block and they gave me a shot of novacaine right into the joint. the tap syringe needle was at least three inches long...i could not watch but all the other knee pt patients saw me go off to the treatment room and they all really started working hard and not making eye contact with their therapists...it wasnt fair. but anyways it is done and my knee doesnt feel like one of those little bottles with a ship swimming around in it anymore. talk to you later. kim, glad to hear everyone is making progress...remember baby steps.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: just on July 02, 2004, 09:20:24 PM
Hi All

Had my 2nd physio session yesterday and boy does my leg ache. I managed to bend 120 degrees and she got me lying on my front and bending the leg using the other leg to put some extra weight on it, that was the worst exercise I have ever done. She has now also got me walking with just the one crutch if I need it or without and made me do 15 minutes on the bike. I think that I overdid it a bit on the walking but you have to practice dont you..

My physio said that she had read a article that said if you did 2000 leg lifts it is the same as running for hour and half, and so promptly has told me to do 2 15 minute sessions of leg lefts. Hope you are all getting on ok and have a good weekend..

Cheers

Justin
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on July 08, 2004, 06:29:48 AM
Hey Everybody how's your knee feeling today?  Not much posting for awhile so that means all is well right?  I'm happy to post my PT is working greatly and I feel a whole lot better about my recovery due to it's results.  I'm gaining strength in the muscle just above the knee so that I can do straight leg lifts without the brace with little deflection, no weights yet though.  The swelling is still there but very little discomfort even when I strain against my 90 degree ROM.  I can almost walk without a limp and life is much easier today for me.  Hope everybody is experiencing similar results, let us know how you're doing.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on July 09, 2004, 05:25:47 AM
hi guys

i am doing well too though physical therapy is a killer. daily for two weeks and then three times a week for six weeks. non weight bearing for two more weeks...so still hobbling around with crutches. flexion is at 108...i just aabout die when i reach that....oh the pain of the wall slides. and then the cattle prod zapping my quad while i am doing timed straight leg lifts...pain meds are worthless for pt but i feel pretty good after...can actual ride the recumbant bike now. knee looks good, new incison is healed and scope scabs almost gone. swelling off and on....icing all night off and on my cpm...got this cool motor ice machine...my best friend. sure do enjoy being able to sit on a toilet too....except the hopping to the toilet....ahhh...sure do miss my [email protected]@..glad all is going better...lets see who gets to 150 first!!!...keep doing your exercises and ice, wall slides, heal slides and pat mobs....i dont like those either. lets get psyched about the olympics coming up...especially the weight lifting...that oughta make our knees flex in pain....dont know if i can watch for fear of actually seeing a tendon rupture..eewww.

bye

talk to you soon

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on July 09, 2004, 12:54:35 PM
Hey all,

Firstly, a quick update:
I'm 9 weeks post-op today. PT going really well (knock wood). Reached 110 degrees in 15 sessions. Swelling gone considerably down, but still present. Yesterday began quadriceps exercises, i.e. straight leg lifts with assistance and I'm happy to be moving onto a new rehab stage. Also visited the OS, who admitted he was surprised with the progress and the ultrasound looked quite good, according to him. The only problem I had with the OS were his vague answers.

So guys, I need your opinions:
As I was reaching the 90 degree mark, I started having sharp pains above the patella. Physio kept saying that it was because of the quads stretching, while the OS said that it could be the wire, too. The interesting thing is that I feel the same pain during the flexion around the 90deg area and during the extention around 45deg area.

I also asked my OS how long my wire was and would it stretch too much if I tried to do a full flexion. He didn't rule out the possibility of the wire breaking if I tried to do full flex.

So, my question to you guys is: As I'm nearing the full ROM mark (which I hope I'll reach soon), the progress seems to hurt a bit more and go a bit slower. What causes it? What if the wire is not long enough and stretches too much? Can it break? What problems can arouse if it breaks?

Thanks everyone.

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on July 09, 2004, 01:23:14 PM
Hi all

In response to Fisnik, quite a number of RPT patients have had their tendons held in place by wires, mostly persons who are tall and heavy which applies in your case.   In several cases, the wires snap and the wires are then removed, but this reduces the ROM once again.  The swelling above the knee cap is I suspect  the Tendon acting against the stretching, bearing in mind the Tendon is like a piece of elastic.

Some of you may have noticed that the message board on www.arthroscopy.com has been scrubbed due to the mindless attitude of evil spammers.  A great pity, as I have been in contact with some RPT sufferers in recent times, who have not registered on this message board despite suggesting to them that they should do so.

In recent times, the basketball player from Holland who has Ruptured both Patella Tendons (poor chap) and the lady who has ruptured her Patella Tendon Twice......

I am still having problems with swelling, 18 months on...

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on July 09, 2004, 10:20:38 PM
Fis, I had various sharpish pains when I was about at your stage. One was just on one side below the knee and I thought wire was broken but an xray showed otherwise. The pains have now gone away pretty much. The OS told me the latest xray shows the tension has not come off the wire now that the tendon has taken up the strain, and so he feels wire can now stay there for good, no need to operate to take it out.

Progress does tend to slow up I guess, my quad is taking a long time to come back but I haven't really been pushing it last few weeks. But this morning at physio I went on the treadmill and managed a few minutes at a medium-paced jog...that's a first. PT told me I didn't appear to be limping although I felt like I was, a bit.

Have a great weekend, all.

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on July 13, 2004, 04:23:40 AM
Hi all,

Can't believe its been soooo long since my operation and I have just found this superb board!! Just spent the last 2.5 hours reading every post. Glad other people are suffering like me   ;)

As a newbie, here is my summary:

- Did my leg playing volleyball (a first for this board). Jumped, landed, and bang, the knee moved, and snapped the patellar tendon (another weekend warrior!!)
- 30 years old, and another one of the giant brigade on this board, 6'7", and 18 stone (whatever that is in kg)
- After the initial injury and trip to A&E, they sent me home for a week. When I returned, the doc didn't like the fact I couldn't lift my leg off the bed, and decided an ultrasound might be useful. And hey presto,. they found the tendon severed!

As per previous posts, I do just have to share one sob story I have had. After the Op, the doctors moved me back onto my hospital bed from the operating table, and then woke me up. Unfortunately, when they moved me back onto my bed, they had left my ankle dangling over the end of the bed!! Total agony!! 5 shots of morphine in 20 mins didn't help until the leg was raised when I got back to the ward 10 mins later. Not a good start to rehabilitation   :-/

Anyway, I had a full cylinder cast on after a couple of days of the Op. Have to keep it on till 2nd Aug when I next return to hospital. That'll be a total of 6 weeks in the full cast (staples were taken out after 2 weeks). I am really hoping they cut the cast off and put me in a temporary brace and start the PT when I go back on the 2nd Aug. But as "Auntie" Kim has said, slow and steady.

Luckily my work has been good in letting me have all this time off work. Going slightly stir crazy in the flat (4th floor, but I have a lift  ;D ) but with food shopping delivered to the door, and a collection of about 230 DVD's, I am keeping sane, just. Although a good woman would be a help   ;)

Good to hear everyone is progressing, and their is hope at the end of the tunnel for me.

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth, UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on July 13, 2004, 12:03:10 PM
Hi Andy

Welcome to the RPT club - you are member 29 since December 2002 that I know about. A great pity that your hospital sent you home for a week before any action was taken to sew your tendon back again and stick you in a cast.

You should find that your cast will get loose in a couple of weeks as your swelling goes down - dont leave it, just go back and have the cast replaced - in my case three times in the eight weeks.

Dont kid yourself - you are going to be off work for some time..........

Keep posting
Best wishes  JohnK/Manchester UK  
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on July 13, 2004, 04:34:53 PM
Hey big man (Andy),

I am one of the few who has a pretty good idea what you in particular are going through, mate. Not easy for us bigger blokes to be in this situation is it?

I'm now 9 1/2 weeks post op and have reached around 120 deg ROM, walking with one crutch (doing ok without it, too) with a brace fitted.

Mate, the first 6-7 weeks for me were hell, and I assume you're not having much fun yourself. All I can say is hang in there, buddy, 'cos things do get better. Takes some time, but things like being able to properly sit in a toliet seat or front passenger seat in a car will be considered big achievements pretty soon.  ;D

DVDs are lifesavers!

Just discovered that my knee has become a very good weather predictor. Last night, just before I was leaving to watch Spider-man 2, I had some immense pain and wasn't able to move the leg at all! When I came out of the cinema it was pouring very heavily and I got soaked since the car was not parked very close and I had no umbrella.

Sorta makes me feel a bit like a super-hero, having a weather sense now...

Nigel, you were right about the sharp pains. They have subsided a bit and I feel much better. Managed my first unassisted straight leg lifts yesterday. Was very happy about it.  :)

Oops, there comes the pain again... I can hear the thunder miles away, too.

Off to my PT session. All the best to everyone.

Fis
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on July 14, 2004, 01:49:36 AM
Andy, welcome to the club. Sorry to hear they've put you in a full cast. Did they tell you why? Most of us seem to have been allowed just a brace. I would ask for their reasons for the cast. Did they put stabilisation wire(s) in?

If you can manage the travelling, and you have an office job or similar, I'd suggest trying to get back to it as soon as you can. I found although the travelling was a real pain, the exercise generally was really a good thing and anyway I would have gone mad at home. But don't expect to be offered a seat on public transport just 'cos you're on crutches - at least that was what I discovered on the tube! Practise your "martyred" look.

Now (4 months post op) getting back to normal, my knee just feels a bit stiff especially first thing in the morning, and sometimes in the evening if I overdo it. Exercise-wise I can't do more than a wonky jog, mainly due to general muscle weakness rather than the knee itself, but cycling etc is fine. Physio is now focused on strengthening exercises eg one-legged dips on the injured leg. Quad muscle getting stronger even though it looks pathetic.

Cheers for now.
Nigel.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on July 14, 2004, 11:22:28 PM
Hi Nigel,

Good questions mate, but I have no answers. I have seen a total of 5 doc's whilst, and after, I was in hospital. None of then were really forthcoming in telling me exactly what was done and why. I am sure I haven't even seen the doc who actually did the Op. My own fault really, I should have asked more questions. But as with most UK doctors, they all have too many patients and not enough time to tell us what is happening. Its really up to me to ask the questions!

On my next visit on the 2nd, I am going prepared with a list of questions. I did get told before the Op they would be putting wires in. However, I do not know if they did, and what type, i.e. disolvable or not. As for the full cylinder cast, they just said they did not want the leg bending. A pretty basic answer I know.

As for getting back to work, my attitude in the short term till I go back in August is to rest the leg as much as poss, to give the tendon time to heal. Once they cut off the cast, and test the leg and get the results, then I'll decide on going back. Although I am lucky in being able to work fully from home on broadband, and to be honest for getting to and from PT, it would be easier to work from home in the first few weeks.

Talking of PT, how many times are you guys/girls going? What sort of PT are you doing, and how long are the seasons lasting?

As per John K's comments, I am going to have to go back into the plaster room for a new cast. Its slipping down the leg when I am up and about. Should be interesting checking out the leg comparison when I do   :)

Time to go and get some grub,

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth, UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Croaker on July 15, 2004, 07:05:20 AM
Hi All,
I went to my OS last Thursday and received a hinged knee brace.  At first I was all smiles and laughter from being able to bend my leg after 8 weeks in an immobilizor.  Life isn't such a bed of roses now though.  No work for my leg for weeks and now it wants to be a slacker.  I can bend my leg to 90 degrees without pain, anything past that is inviting the pain weasel back.  The OS says we will start on PT next week.  Oh Joy!
Good luck to us all,
Croaker
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on July 15, 2004, 11:01:03 PM
Andy - to answer your query, my PT experience (NHS) was as follows:

1. Started PT at op+3 weeks (my brace was removable). One session a week - about 20 mins. Passive range-of-movement (ROM) manipulation, pressure massage around tendon area (gritted teeth!) and a few sessions of ultrasound.

2. From op+6 wks (when brace removed and started weightbearing), moved to 2 PT sessions a week of about 45 mins, in hospital gym with group. Active flexing - ie moving knee with leg muscles rather than by hand/gravity. Circuits on equipment - rowing, static cycling, leg raises etc.

3. Throughout, also did daily exercises at home/office as instructed by PT. Also I go to a private gym when I get a chance.

Don't know if typical. But I suspect it's what you do in your own time, rather than the actual time with the PT, that makes the difference. What have others done??

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on July 16, 2004, 02:16:38 PM
Hi all,

I am 10 weeks post-op today. Started my PT 4 weeks ago, after 6 weeks of being completely immobilised (4 weeks in full cast, 2 weeks in an adjustable brace set to 15 degrees).

Been doing PT for 2 hours every day (except Sundays), lasting around 2 hrs. That includes 15 mins on some electrodes running electricity around my injured area to improve blood circulation, ice treatment, aggresive patellar massage for about 10 minutes, passive ROM exercises for another 25 minutes (painful bugger), magnetic treatment for 20 mins (helps blood circulation, wound heal, etc.).

After reaching 110 degrees last week, started doing more aggresive quads exercises, including straight leg lifts and side leg lifts. Straight leg lifts were extremely tough and painful at first, but are becoming easier every time I do them.

Yesterday I reached 120 deg with my physio's help, can't reach it yet by pulling my leg. The post-90deg flexion exercises are going a bit slower.

Been using one crutch for the past 4-5 days, and going around the flat and office without it. Hoping to ditch the crutch by end of July, ditch the brace by end of August.  :)

I notice that everyone's recovery time is different. Mine seems to be quite slow, but I'm quite happy with the results so far.

Will be going to a spa with a rehab centre very soon. They say it helps a lot.

Cheers,
Fis
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rico on July 16, 2004, 06:01:38 PM
Hi All,

Well i guess i am also a member of the RPT club now...

I have ruptured my patella tendons from both legs on the 9th of June 2004 during a baseball match. It happened while decellerating after a sprint to second base.

I am 27 years old working as a structural design engineer living in Rotterdam the Netherlands and have been playing baseball for 18 years now and also been doing bodybuilding since about 7 years. The doc said that my muscles were too strong compared to my tendons. I was at the time of the accident just over 100 kgs (220 lbs)...

All in all it has been a little more than 5 weeks after my surgery. I had the typical treatment from what i read on this board. With the tendons put together with sutures and metal wires. The night after the operation was hell!..So much pain..but i got a cast from ankle to midsection the next day and the pain was tolerable since than.

My treatment from than was a little different than what i have read here because i was put in the cast for a total of only 4 weeks without any movement. I was first told that i would be in this irremovable cast for a total of 12 weeks which rather scared me. But after 4 weeks the cast was removed and i was send away.

The docters in The Netherlands are a lot like the UK docters from what i have read here  >:(..not much info is given and they are very busy..

I was hoping to get a hinged brace but that was not how it worked they told me..

I started Physical Therapy last saturday with a sport therapist who is actually pretty good. He has accompanied the Dutch Olympic team as PT the last years and is the personal PT of Feyenoord (professional Dutch football club)..

But he told me i was a very rare case with ruptured patellar tendons in both legs  8)

My PT is three times a week about 40 minutes per session which mainly involves (aggressive) massaging of the kneecap and passive movement of the knees.. (painfull) !!!

After three session my right knee has a ROM of about 75 degrees and my left leg about 60..

I am currently taking:

*Glucosamine 1500 mgs/day
*Chondritrin 1200 mgs/day
*Vitamin C 2000 mgs/dag
and lots of protein (30 grams/day) to speed up the healing process..

The above supplements aid in collagen formation . (Tendons  consist mainly of collagen type I) I have not seen this posted anywhere in this thread but i can advise you all to use it.

The protein is essenial for muscle hypertrophy because my thighs  have shrunk from about 76 cm (30 ") to 52 cm (20 ")

I plan to keep ypu all updated of my progress and i am glad to have found this board for excellent information and "soulmates"  ;D

If there is anything special that you guys are doing to speed up recovery please let me know.

Take care,

Rico
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on July 16, 2004, 07:18:02 PM
Now that you mentioned it, Rico, I found some vitamin supplements here in Kosovo (made in Croatia) designed for people who have joint problems.

Two pills (reccomended daily) contain:
Glucosamine 500 mg
Chondroitin 400 mg
Vitamine C 200 mg
and some other stuff.

Been taking them for a month and a half now and don't really know if they helped, but I assume they did, 'cos my OS was surprised with my progres after the latest ultrasound check-up.

Maybe I should increase the dose.  :)

Also, a friend of mine who's about to graduate in medicine in Austria, has read somewhere that eating Haribos helps your ligaments 'cos it apparently contains Collagen Hydrolisat, whatever that might be. I haven't tried it 'cos I just can't stand Haribos and you need to eat around 200 grams to get the reccomended daily allowance, so it didn't fit with my diet.

Maybe some professional could tell us more about the effects of supplements in ligament/tendon healing?
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rico on July 16, 2004, 08:07:50 PM
Hi Fisnik,

Good to hear you are doing pretty good on your recovery. I would definately up the intake of those supplements you are taking. Because the recommoneded dosages for tissue repair are somewhere in the range of the dosages i am taking.

Haribos :)..yes... i can imagine you arent taking those.

I have done various searches on the internet regarding tissue repair and have found these are the main supplements which can aid in recovery. Also the use of flaxseed oil or fish oil....(essential fatty acids) might be usefull..

Also Human Growth Hormone is usefull (as advised by my Physical Therapist) but he said he wasnt allowed to tell me that, but i am still researching that subject..

Take care,

Rico





Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on July 16, 2004, 11:17:31 PM
Rico - I found your info on supplements really interesting. To be honest I hadn't even thought about what I've been eating since my injury. But my quad atrophy does seem to be taking a long time to improve so maybe I do need to up the protein, either by supps or maybe just eat a lot of steak and eggs!! My normal diet is pretty poor, too many carbs I'm sure.

My PT said that muscle strength doesn't correlate exactly with muscle bulk, but still...

Just off to Sri Lanka for a couple of weeks, where the food is mainly veggies, so maybe I should take some protein supplement - what does that look like, is it a powder (I've never taken any kind of food supplements in my life so I'm completely clueless about these things)?

Ran (well, jogged) properly on treadmill for 500 metres today, I found after a minute or so I started to level up after a wobbly start. Told I need to work on glutes as well as quads to get stability.

Cheers, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on July 16, 2004, 11:28:43 PM
Welcome to the RPT sanctuary Rico and thanks for the info on the supplements, I love it when docs or other professionals tell you something and then tell you he didn't say that.....real nice... ;D   Ol Fis sounds like he's doing pretty good too, keep up the good work dude.  Rico it must be bloody awful to have both legs out of commission, does this mean you are in a wheelchair ??? If so I feel for you brother as my time in the wheelchair was brief but the feeling of helplessness lasts a long time ::) I hope you have yourself a nice nurse to look after your bathing and stuff 8) it's great to get another person from another country, we should have a map of the world on this thread and color in the active countries we would be surprised by the numbers I'm sure.  Hope all have a nice weekend, here in West Virginia the weather is very nice, 80's, not much in the way of humidity and sunny.  Good luck to all with our situation. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rico on July 17, 2004, 11:26:08 AM
Quote
Rico - I found your info on supplements really interesting. To be honest I hadn't even thought about what I've been eating since my injury. But my quad atrophy does seem to be taking a long time to improve so maybe I do need to up the protein, either by supps or maybe just eat a lot of steak and eggs!! My normal diet is pretty poor, too many carbs I'm sure.

My PT said that muscle strength doesn't correlate exactly with muscle bulk, but still...

Just off to Sri Lanka for a couple of weeks, where the food is mainly veggies, so maybe I should take some protein supplement - what does that look like, is it a powder (I've never taken any kind of food supplements in my life so I'm completely clueless about these things)?


Cheers, Nigel


Hi Nigel,

Yes correct, a protein supplement is basically a powder which you mix with milk in a blender and than drink..They usually taste very good and can be bought at any sportshop / vitamin store easily. You can also buy these on the internet though..

I typed 30 grams of protein in my previous post that i was taking but that should have been 300 grams. Allthough 200 grams of that is from regular food like chicken, cottage cheese, milk fish and meat...and the rest is from two protein shakes..

Diet is an important factor during life and especially regarding recovery after an injury. If you dont feed your body with the correct "fuel" it will not be able to heal properly :)

In Sri-Lanka i think you will be able to eat lots of chicken breast..but maybe a protein supplement isnt a bad idea in your case :)

Have a good trip bro!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rico on July 17, 2004, 11:36:13 AM
Hi John,

Thanks for the welcome :)

Yes it was quite nice hearing the inside information of my PT. And i kinda laughed afterwards after hearing him say..I am actually not allowed to tell you this...but.......  8)

They know how it works especially when working with professional athletes all day...who seem to recover in a miraculous time span after injuries..

But i want to give it some more research first before I decide what to do..

Too be honest yes i have been through a very depressive 5 weeks now. I used to be very active with sports 6 days a week and quite a busy social life too. But indeed in a wheelchair now and kinda stuck at home...

But i have a lovely nurse at home :)
My wife is a school teacher and is enjoying her 6 weeks summer holiday now allthough she hoped for another type of holiday hahaha..so i am well taken care of :)

A nice weekend to all !

Rico

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: just on July 17, 2004, 04:15:42 PM
Hi All

I am now 9 weeks post injury and repair and have now got up to 130 degrees unaided and a bit more when they assist. I am managing to walk without the crutches at all now and have been told only need them if going long distances or where there are loads of people. I have been doing all the exercises that have been set by PT but have also started back down gym. Decided to splash out on some personal training sessions and had the first one last Monday he had me doing squats and lots of stretches was a bit nervous about him stretching my leg at first but was ok once I had relaxed. The next day the leg ached a bit but once had stretched out and iced a bit was ok. Walking is getting a lot better and the gym sessions are definitely helping am going to start swimming as have been told that really helps.

As my injury was from a cut I had quite a big scar and have been taking multi vitamins and have been massaging the scar twice daily with vitamin E oil and the scar has really gone down I would recommend it .

Hope you are all getting better...

Justin
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on July 17, 2004, 09:20:12 PM
Justin - sounds like great progress. Good luck!

Rico - just got me some whey protein powder (tastes disgusting in water, going to try in milk). Also glucosamine sulphate tablets. Assistant said 1500mg a day to have a good effect as a treatment rather than just prevention. This ties in with what Paul Clayton says in his book "Health Defence" (seems to be the bible as far as our family is concerned). He cites 2 studies where glucosamine has boosted tissue healing rates by 170%. So I'll give it a go.

Incidentally he also says chondroitin is a cheaper alternative to glucosamine, but probably less effective...any views??

Cheers, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rico on July 17, 2004, 10:26:58 PM
Quote
Justin - sounds like great progress. Good luck!

Rico - just got me some whey protein powder (tastes disgusting in water, going to try in milk). Also glucosamine sulphate tablets. Assistant said 1500mg a day to have a good effect as a treatment rather than just prevention. This ties in with what Paul Clayton says in his book "Health Defence" (seems to be the bible as far as our family is concerned). He cites 2 studies where glucosamine has boosted tissue healing rates by 170%. So I'll give it a go.

Incidentally he also says chondroitin is a cheaper alternative to glucosamine, but probably less effective...any views??

Cheers, Nigel


Hey Nigel,

Yup try it with milk, that really makes a difference :)...if you add some icecubes in the blender it might even taste like a MacDonalds milkshake!...

I am using both clucosamine and chondritine. They work in different ways regarding joint support. And i would advise you to take them both. They are not that expensive..so it probably wont hurt..

Just had my 4 th PT session this morning and got complements from my PT on my recovery..he said i am doing really good..I am able to walk with crutches and have about 90 degrees ROM in my right knee and slightly less with my left knee...

We started with electro stimulattion today and will try to head to the gym this week to start some upperbody excercises because i am losing weight really fast now :(

Take care all!

Rico
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rico on July 20, 2004, 01:41:55 PM
Hi all,

Another little update from the Netherlands. Just got back from my 5th PT session. ROM increased again by a few degrees so i am quite happy about that. Walking with crutches is getting better too. After 10 minutes of aggressive patellar massage we started with passive stretching. The pain was very bad..but its nice to see a little progress :)
Than we started active flexion excercises with the help of electronic stimulation this was quite painfull too especially in the tendon area. But i survived :)

He again said that everything went really smooth. Especially regarding the fact that it has been nearly 6 weeks post operation..

I'll keep you all posted!

Take care,

Rico
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on July 20, 2004, 04:54:34 PM
Rico, you're the man!  Glad to see you are acclamating to the pain, you and pain will be friends some day and when that happens nothing will stop your progress.  It's when you start really liking the pain that we will have to keep a close eye on you and refer you to one of our most gifted posters, Auntie Kim, she has a wealth of knowledge on this subject and will be happy to share it with you I'm sure ::). Seriously though I think your patience in this situation is laudable, keep it up and you will get better, attitude is everything, little things mean alot and frustration is normal, all cliche's aside you are doing great keep us informed.  I saw my kneecap today for the first time in awhile since the swelling has gone down some and that in itself was a tiny victory even after three months post-op, little victories are the key to this thing. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on July 21, 2004, 03:17:59 AM
Evening all,

Thanks for all the info on PT. Its good to know what I am going into.

Rico, welcome to the club, good to hear you are getting around on crutches already. I also look forward to the pain of PT, when hopefully I start it in a couple of weeks, if I get my plaster off.   :-/

Talking of plasters, I finally managed to get out of bed early enough in the day to get to the hospital plaster room and get mine changed. I got fed up of moving around and it slipping down my leg every 2 steps. My leg was an interesting sight for the first time in 4 1/2 weeks since the Op. The calf muscle didn't look too bad, but the thigh muscle was just skin, bone, with a bit of jelly!!

Even though it will be painful, PT can't come soon enough!!

Keep up the good work all,

Cheers,

Andy
(Portsmouth, UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on July 22, 2004, 05:41:16 AM
hi guys

dont think i have forgotten about any of you because i havent...think about all of you and hope each day brings at least one more degree of bend. i am packing for a vacation next week to sanibel island...havent been anywhere since the dominican republic a year ago. i posted my progress two days ago on the soft tissue board but was promptly deleted when i went over the max characters...i was mad as i had spent forty five minutes typing. anyways i am doing good...hopefully off nonweight bearing this friday. i am at 114 degrees at pt but i have to scream in agony to get there. i am at 105 on my own but my leg is still jelly since i still am on crutches....they did start me on a medrol dose pack to see if i can get a little more bend...knee looks good but still about plus 1 edema. i started back at the pool for practice too. i will keep my mouth shut regarding the posting recomending HGH but i do recommend .taking glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM...they are tough to swallow  though. well got to go...will get back in touch from the beach next week

bye

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on July 22, 2004, 01:10:39 PM
Hey Kim, great to hear from you and great to hear you're mending well. Know what you mean about the size of the pills, those glucosamine are like small landmines. But not as bad as getting our youngest (8 yrs) to take his antimalarials every day (we're off on a trip in a week's time).

Incidentally,I came across an interesting thread, on www.chiro.org about glucosamine. It looks like it has never been shown in studies to improve joint regeneration...although it HAS been shown to reduce pain in knee arthritis. Anyone seen any first-hand research to show that glucosamine actually benefits tendon regeneration?

Andy - yep, it's a shocker when you see how quickly your quad has turned to blancmange. It's frustrating when you start PT as the quad won't "boot up" at all at first so it's hard to get things started, but it does come. As soon as you're allowed to, start tensing the quad muscle (without actually moving the joint) as I think this at least gets the nerve pathways woken up (any physiologists out there?).

They'll probably give you a range of exercises as you have to get overall strength around the leg, obviously the main quad muscle but also the VMO which (I think) is on a separate bood supply.

My injured side thigh is still 3cm less in girth than the good side, but improving now that I can do more exercise on it. My missus looked a bit bemused when I got the tape measure out the other evening!

Cheers, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on July 22, 2004, 05:43:23 PM
Hi Guys, nice to see this forum still going nice and strong and even a few new members.

My knee is still improving slowly but surely. Just the odd buckle, but nothing too painful. Been very lazy on the physio side. Just spent a week in Italy with a private pool. Swimming really seemed to improve things. Think I was a liitle over optimistic on getting back to play hockey. Think there are a few more months ahead before that happens.

Tony
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on August 03, 2004, 07:12:39 PM
Hi all,

I returned to hospital yesterday for my 2nd appointment post op. I finally had my full cast removed to be replaced by a "cricket-bat splint" to keep my leg straight. I should be starting physio next week.

I finally did confirm that in my surgury, no wires were used. I did have holes drilled through my patellar and tibia, with only sutures used through them, and connected to my ruptured patellar tendon. Maybe a first for this board, no wires used for a full rupture.

Regarding PT, get this, it will take 4 working days for my notes to get through the hospital system from my clinic to the PT department, which are part of the same hospital. Then I have to phone PT to get my first appointment. This makes a mockery of the exact words of my doc, "you require urgent physio to get the knee moving again"! You can't beat the NHS  :D

Anyway, its good to get out of the cast at last.   ;D

Cheers,

Andy
(UK, Portsmouth)

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on August 03, 2004, 07:18:08 PM
Hi Andy

Glad that you are now at stage two.

According to my Consultant, they only use wires if you are tall and well built !!!!!!!!!!

Four days for your file to walk from one clinic to another clinic in a NHS hospital is quite normal, so get ready for the next stage.

Did they measure bend having taken the cast off???

Best wishes   JohnK/ Manchester :D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on August 04, 2004, 01:08:29 AM
Hi John,

Well, given I am 6'7" tall, and around 17.5 stone, it was surprising to me they did not use wires.  ???

As for measuring bend. When my cast was taken off in the plaster room, I put on the cricket bat splint (which I had been given when I was waiting for my op 6 weeks previous), and waited to see the doc back in the clinic waiting room. When I saw him, he didn't even take the splint off, so no bends for performed at all. He bearly even looked at the joint, which to me looks a lot different to my good knee, with swelling on the inside of the joint  >:(

But hey, he's the doc, and they always know best, right? Even though he was the 6th or 7th doc I have seen in the same hospital, and doesn't know me from Adam.  ???   ::)

One piece of good news though, this afternoon, a small step was taken closer to normality. After lots of practice, and courage (with little to hold onto and no splint on!), I managed to step into the bath to have a shower, for the first time in 8 weeks. It was tense, but rewarding in the end. Hopefully thats one step forward, just waiting for the 2 steps back next   ;D

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth, UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on August 04, 2004, 04:27:34 AM
Hi All, it's great to see that the vets are still around this thread and that they are doing well.  I too have good news to report since the last post, my knee is finally starting to feel semi-normal;  that is, what I remember to be normal some four months ago, my memory isn't the greatest after all.  I just got back from a week at the beach in NC ( where the hurricane is currently hanging out) and I found a two mile walk on the sand surface was just what I needed to strengthen my knee muscles to the point where my pt thinks I can go without my brace and I've gotten almost full ROM to boot.  It's been a long road but I now see the light and fully expect to be brace-less soon, as soon as the doc gives the OK. 8)  Might just keep it around for some nostalgia just the same ::) The knee cap area is still swollen compared to the good knee and the cap itself seems to be riding somewhat higher but I'm gaining confidence more and more each day.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on August 04, 2004, 08:49:36 PM
Hey guys,

A quick update from me.

Just over 12 weeks post-op and things seem to be going really well (knock wood).

3 days ago I officially reached full active ROM, without assistance, and can now bend the injured leg the same as the healthy one. That was a great relief.
;D

Been crutch-free for the past 10 days and I'm really getting around quite easily with the brace, including going up the stairs unassisted (leg still a bit shaky, but getting stronger every day). Going down the stairs is harder and I still ned to hold on to something for that.

Been doing straight leg lifts for a while now and can actually see my quads getting their shape back (used to have quite an impressive quads) and I can manage lifting 2.5kg (that's about 5lb) in straight leg lifts. Lower leg lifts are still a bit hard and a bit painful, but I can manage about 10 of those whenever I try. Physio says that will improve as quads get stronger. She also says that I can remove my brace when I'm capable of lifting 1.5kg in lower leg lifts (active extension). Been doing okay with walking carefully brace-less around the house.

Physio says I don't have to go see her any more since I got my ROM back and my quads have started improving, and has instructed me to visit a swimming pool every day, do a set of exercises and get on a stationary bike as often as I can. Need to take out a 15 year old bike from my dad's attic, fix it a bit and bring it to the office. :)

Swelling has considerably gone down and the difference compared to my other knee is very small now. Need to take the tape measure out and see. 3 weeks ago my swollen knee was 3cm bigger in perimeter than the healthy one, and my left quad was 5cm smaller than the healthy one.

Overall, I am very pleased with the development so far (knock wood again) and it's up to me now to improve this, so I intend to get on with it slowly and carefully, hoping to remove the brace by the end of this month. To be honest, it looks quite cool on my leg and everyone's calling me the Terminator, so I might wear it until the end of the year just for the fun of it.  ;D ;D ;D

Great to hear everyone's doing well, and I really wish all the newbies fast recovery. Fells weird to be considered a veteran on this board. Still remember the days when I admired Nigel's recovery and wished for those days to come. They eventually did and you'll be surprised how quick everything will go once you start the rehab. So hang in there!

I wonder how John (Omaha) is doing. His rehab was so aggresive, he's probably preparing for the Olympics or something. John, if you're still reading this board, do drop us a line or two.

Cheers everyone, and thank you for all the support you've been giving me in the past couple of months. Wish I had a chance to buy you all dinner sometime.

Fis
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on August 05, 2004, 04:01:44 AM
okay guys

two glasses of wine....and i am ready to type!!! so glad to hear that everyone is making progress...baby steps count! i am so glad that our friend from albania? slovakia? fisnik? is doing great! i really was worried about him being such a big teddy bear with a soul...it is okay to cry once in a while you guys! and being the only female i have no problem admitting that once in a while i let my armor down and rust out the face plate.

cant wait to hear how nigels trip to sri lanka? was...where in the hell is sri lanka???!! guess you can tell i grew up in the usa! are there alligators? crocodiles? anancondas? army ants?....oh god...i hope nigel can limp fast!!! i swear i was swetting bullets (and i am an antigun liberal KERRY fan)on those bike trails on sanibel...you guys....there were alligators everywhere!! and not the kind that you see on national graphic home pets....these guys were the kind that stalk the water wells in sub? africa...sri lanka? just waiting for a ""slim"" athletic beautiful blonde to come walking by with a walking stick of course! (and yes, i am all the above) but you know....they did not want me....I WAS TOO FAST!!!! thanks to my husband and the cool bike we rented that had a wheel  chair slapped on the front! i was....lance...for a week.

anyways....i am doing great also! i can walk again!!!! i know i may never be able to match you guys in a squat match! wait a minute,,,,hmmmm....think this is worth investigating.

my knee is still a little swollen....but i can bend to 114 degrees (remember 122 is my max thanks to that talented surgeon last august) and no one stares at me when i am at the pool...dammmn i am doing good. went back to work part time on monday (love my pediatric patients) and i can do a squat!!!! it has been years since i could do that. i truely believe that dr. l in ohio has a gift when it comes to surgery. i can even sit on the toilet....

anyways i am so happy you guys are doing so well...keep up the good work! and come visit if in georgia (sorry about the politics here) though...and i am coming back to europe next summer with my niece! italy! again! cant wait...maybe some of us can meet up

bye

auntie kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on August 05, 2004, 10:33:08 AM
Welcome back Aunty Kim to the land of walking - we are all delighted that you will now be able to chase all!! us young men.

I`m afraid it`s back to school for you......... Sri Lanka is the Island south of India, used to be called Ceylon. A wonderful place for holidays, although a little hot spot in more ways than one at the moment :'(

I am still still suffering (after 18 months) with Venus Insuffency - non technical term means that some of my veins below the Ruptured Tendon have sealed up causing a restriction in the circulation of fluid in the leg.

Ooooooh it`s painful, but should clear up in a few weeks.

By the way you are not the exclusive women with a RPT - I am in touch with a female who lives in Acton - Antelope Valley, Southern California who has Ruptured her Patella Tendon TWICE.

She has running in her back garden raccons, great horn owls, golfer snakes and rattlers :-[ :-[

Can you beat that!!

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: wingnutwillie on August 08, 2004, 01:15:34 AM
I wish I had found this page a year ago, I ruptured my Inrfrapatellar tendon (June28/03) and had to get it reattached to bone as well as mended back together above the patella. I'm wondering if anyone else is having trouble with scar tissue build up. I was just told by my OS that'll I have to go back in in Sept to get some of the scar tissue removed. Also can anyone kneel properly or is it just something that'll be uncomfortable for good. It's a tough injury and I'm glad everyone here seems to be recovering well.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on August 08, 2004, 07:32:30 AM
Hey all, I'm new here. I'm a 19 year old girl who has been suffering knee pain for a year and a half after twisting my knee playing sports. My doctor decided to to arthroscopy after multiple MRI's came back inconclusive. He found a torn meniscus and also did a partial lateral release. However, the pain persisted and I began to rapidly form scar tissue. I would then have two MUA's and another arthroscopy, to no avail. He eventually sent me to a pain management specialist who put me on multiple medications including Actiq (a breakthrough-cancer pain medication), Neurontin, Skelaxin, Bextra, and also did multiple lumbar sympathetic blocks (he had thought I was suffering from RSD). None worked, and I was still in severe pain. Physical therapy also did not work, it only made the pain worse due to aggressive stretching to maintain range of motion (which was my biggest problem).

Finally, a couple weeks ago I got a second opinion and found out that both my menisci were torn, my kneecap was dislocated, AND my patellar tendon was COMPLETELY ruptured! My doctor said it probably occured during aggressive stretchfing at PT or during one of the manipulations, but now I'm facing open knee surgery this coming Tuesday (the 10th) to repair the tendon and meniscus, while sliding the patella back into place. He also said he's going to insert pins in my tibia to prevent scar tissue from forming. I will also be in a full leg cast for 6-8 weeks which makes me a little nervous about the possibility of scar tissue redeveloping (  :o )

While I've had a couple knee surgeries before, they were all athroscopy and this is definitely more on the "major" side than a scope or MUA. For anyone who's had this type of procedure happen, could you give me any tips or advice for post-operative care? I don't want to have the same thing happen again (go another long period of time in severe pain and frustrated due to lack of answers from doctors). Also, I want to make sure I can rehab correctly and effectively for a 100% recovery. I would like to live a normal life again, my knee has taken away that liberty for too long now (ugh).

Thanks!

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on August 08, 2004, 12:45:04 PM
Hi Wingnutwillie & Patricia - welcome to The Ruptered Patella Tendon club----- A pity that you did not find us earlier.

You are the 29th and 30th member on two message boards since December 2002 - so you will realise that a Ruptured Patella Tendon is a very RARE injury.

To Wingnutwillie - kneeling is a problem area because as you will realise the Tendon has been sewn or fixed by wire back onto the kneecap and one cannot put their weight on the knee when kneeling.   I kneel on my good leg and then pull myself up using both hands.

What ROM (range of movement) do you now have in your injured leg?, how did you do your injury? which part of the world do you live in? and most importantly how did you find the experience of your Consultant/Physio?


To Patricia, I am suprised that your Doctor/Consultant,Surgeon did not pick up that you had Ruptured your Patella Tendon - but this may due to the rarity of this injury.  You now have a very long road to go after your operation and suggest that you read all the posts on this board to get an idea whats in store for you and your rehab process.  One thing that you do have in your favour, is that you are very young and the healing will be quicker.

Which part of the world do you live in??

Wishing both of you a speedy recovery and look forward to your replies.

JohnK/Manchester UK

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: wingnutwillie on August 08, 2004, 06:30:52 PM
Hi John,

I injured myself playing baseball, I collided with another player and there was knee (his) on thigh (mine) contact. From what the doctor told me my quadracepts spasmed and ripped the tendon in half above the patella and off the bone at the base. This was all just over a year ago. I was in full extension with no weight bearing for 9 weeks (good times). I now have full ROM, with the exception of some bad days. I was fortunate to be living close to Banff, Alberta, Canada at the time of the injury, my OS is one of the surgeons for the Canadian Ski Team and knew what he was doing. He will be performing the next routine in September to clean up some of the scar tissue that has built up in the joint and is causing me quite a bit of problems. I was interested in reading some of the other peoples cases in here and it seems that recovery time varys so much, I can't imagine even trying to flex my knee let alone weight bear after only a couple of days. On a interesting note I'm from a small town (Golden B.C, 3500 people) and we had two of these injurys in a matter of months, my friend did his in snowboarding shortly before I did mine in. We went to two different Physiotherapists and had two totally different recovery times, I actually regained full ROM before he did. Thanks for the follow up I appreciate it.
Doug
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on August 08, 2004, 11:21:02 PM
John,

I was both frustrated and relieved when I found out about my patellar tendon being ruptured; on one hand I was very disappointed in my original doctor for missing it all this time, yet I was relieved to know I'm finally on the right track now. Many people have told me to consider a lawsuit against the original surgeon, but I don't think I'm going to take it that far. While it's true that I've missed a year of school (and haven't been able to work) and have suffered depression due to the whole situation, I feel like this does seem a little out of the ordinary (the injury itself and HOW the injury occurred), so who knows.

Now that surgery is merely two days away, I'm starting to become very anxious about post-op care and the pain/discomfort itself. I guess I shouldn't get myself worked up too badly because I've already dealt with a lot of pain this past year and a half (I'd say walking on a ruptured tendon for months(??) was pretty crazy!), so maybe it won't be as bad as that. I'm also very nervous about lying down a lot of scar tissue again. My doctor (who is a knee specialist) told me to remain as calm as possible, nervousness does lead to more scar tissue forming (ugh!).

I've spent the past year in and out of a CPM, I'm wondering if my doctor will put me in one again post-op. I've read through many of the posts in this thread (which really calmed me, made me feel better to know I'm not alone and many people HAVE had success)  and it seems like each case is different in regards to the use of a CPM or not.

I do have another question though for anyone who's had the same injury -- how long had you been injured before being operated on? I've read a few articles online that state surgicial treatment is neccessary between 2-6 weeks after the injury for best results. This worries me because I may have been walking on the ruptured tendon for up to OVER A YEAR (the doctor compared MRI images from May of 03 and July of 04...it happened between that time frame) and I've been told there IS the possibility that the tendon may not be able to be salvaged and that there is the potential for many complications to arise during surgery. Has anyone had a similar experience, and if so what happened and how is your knee now?

Thanks, and I'm glad to be in the club (I guess! I'd rather have a good knee, but I'll take what I can get :P )

Patricia

I'm from New Jersey, btw :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on August 09, 2004, 07:05:05 PM
Hi all,

And a big hello to the newbies Patricia and Doug. Sorry I can't really ask either of your specific queries.

I haven't got as far as kneeling yet, far from it, haven't even got the go ahead to straighten the leg yet!!  :-[ And I thought I had it bad having 9 days in between injury and surgury, but Patricia's injury puts that well into perspective. Good luck Patricia with the surgury, I am sure I speak for the board in saying we are all thinking of you in there.

A quick update from myself. I rang up this morning to get my first physio appointment from the NHS and initially got given a date of the 25th Aug, meaning 2 more weeks of in-capacity, and 11 weeks in total since the injury. Anyway, I managed to argue them down to an appointment of the 19th Aug. Makes a mockery of my doc's words, "you need urgent physio to get your knee moving again".

Hey ho, things can only get better    ;D

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth, UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: just on August 10, 2004, 01:23:25 AM
Hi Guys

Welcome to all the newbies I hope you all recover as soon as possible.

A quick update from me, I am now 13 weeks post injury and op and have now been discharged from both the knee surgeon and the physio. I have now got back to having only about 5 degrees difference between the legs and getting closer every day. Have been going to the gym again and am now using the step machine and doing squats to increase the strength of the knee, I must admit I tried putting the treadmill speed up a bit the other day and soon realised that I am not back to running quite yet but not to far off.

The two things that I have found that have helped me are massaging vit E oil into the scar to reduce the scar and I found a site where I purchased a cold compress knee strap which you keep in the freezer and that has really helped to get the swelling down. The two knees nearly look the same now apart from the 10cm scar which is getting thinner.

Anyway that is enough from me I hope your surgery goes ok Patricia and all the rest of you keep improving.

Justin ..

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on August 10, 2004, 03:20:04 AM
patricia

you should not only be disappointed in your surgeon for missing the tendon rupture,  you should be very angry. dont settle for just having a knee that gets by, a patellar tendon rupture can affect you for the rest of your life. your surgeon could have easily picked up the rupture by doing an ultrasound or an mri. he breached the standard of care in your case and was very likely negligent. it sounds like he blew you off...especially with the RSD diagnosis. patellar tendon ruptures should be corrected immediately, an unrepaired tendon can result in both quad atrophy and patellar baja....both potenitially life long debilitating situations and long rehabs.

i know my tone is strong and i dont want you to cry...but i speak from experience. my tendon rupture was done by a surgeon. i am almost one year post tendon rupture and just now regaining a minute portion of my life that existed before he did it to me. i went in for a scope and he destroyed my leg over the course of 2 months. hopefully your youth is on your side and your repair will be handled by the most experienced surgeon in your area, and you will regain full flexion and mobility but you need to have someone as your advocate as you go through this surgery...your parents, a relative...SOMEONE!

if you want to read about my story go back into the archives from november 2003 under the crisis forum...devastating injury. while my story is different then yours it is very much the same. it has taken me a year to face what has been done to me and i have some difficult roads to cross ahead of me but i wont look back!!! feel free to email me by private message...by the way...i think you and i are the only ones on this board who have iatrogenic injuries...meaning they were done to us by a medical professional not by playing basketball. and by the way i am a nurse.

good luck and make sure they take good care of you in the hospital!!!

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: hjumper on August 10, 2004, 04:35:59 AM
I am so happy to find this board. Googling "Patellar Tendon Rupture" on the web seems to return more results about using patellar tendon to repair ACL injuries than actual cases of PTR.

I ruptured my patellar tendon just below the knee about six weeks ago while jumping up off my left leg. The first set of doctors did not believe that I ruptured my PT on the way up. According to them, patellar tendon is typically ruptured when one falls on a single leg awkwardly or hit by somebody else, but in my case it ruptured simply while jumping up. Ironically, I was probably in the best shape of my life in terms of strength and flexibility.

I quicly learned how to walk with crutches wearing a knee immobilizer before surgery. After the surgery, the doctors initially wanted to keep me in a full immobilizer. The immobilizer was very uncomfortable and painful. The second day after surgery, a nice doctor succumbed to my pleas and put me in an adjustable IROM brace locked into 180 degrees.

It is interesting to read so many different post-op approaches to the same type of surgery on this board. I was told that I can put some weight on the leg using crutches the 2nd day after surgery while wearing the brace. I found this quite comfortable, though walking for extended periods of time was not possible as the swelling tended to increase if I did not keep my leg up. However, while readjusting my brace on the bed, bending my knee even about 10 degrees was very difficult. I was told to wear my brace 24 hours a day and keep my leg fully extended for 6 weeks.

At the 2 week checkup, there was not much swelling left except for some scar tissue on the outside of the knee cap. My staples were removed and I was told that I could put full weight on the leg. I was able to easily walk (or hobble) without crutches, althought not for long distances as walking without bending your leg can be pretty hard on your back.

At the 4 week checkup, my quadriceps muscle on the repaired leg was pretty much fully atrophied. It was really scary, there was almost nothing between the skin and the bone. At this point, the doctor told me to start working on passive straight leg lifts  (lift the fully extended leg up and keep it in fixed position) while laying on the bed. I was supposed to do 5 sets of 30 seconds, three times a day. Initially, this was very difficult, there was some pain and I did not make it to 30 seconds beyond 2nd or 3rd set. It also felt like my quadriceps was not contracting at all during these lifts. However, after a few days, I was able to do 5 sets of 30 seconds and I could feel the muscle starting to contract. By the second week, I could do 5 sets of abouts 2 minutes three times a day. I also could do extended leg lifts where I slowly raised and lowered my leg instead of keeping it in the raised position.

At the six week checkup, I could clearly see some muscle rebuilding on the repaired leg, though it was still very atrophied compared to the healthy leg. The doctor wanted to set my brace to 45 degrees flexion (from 180 to 135 degrees) but the particular brace I had could only be set to 40 or 50 degrees, so it was set to 40 degrees instead. I was able to bend my leg about 35 degrees very easily, but the last 5 degrees was somewhat painful. Even with only 40 degrees of ROM, walking, sitting or getting in/out of a car was substantially easier. In about 2 days, I was able to bend my knee to 40 degrees (while keeping my heel supported) with no pain or resistance, so I readjusted the brace to 50 degrees of ROM. Again, it was easy for the first 45 degrees, but it took another couple of days to get to 50 degrees comfortably.

It has been exactly 6 weeks from my surgery now and I am starting to feel much more hopeful that I will be out of the brace by week 12. I can go up stairs with low steps using my injured leg (of course, holding on to the railing) so the quad must have gained quite a bit of strength in the last two weeks. I can also do about a 5 sets of 80-100 straight leg left lifts while laying down or sitting in a chair with no pain.

I will start physical therapy this week but I have no idea what kind of a program I will be getting. Here in the US, the doctors and therapists seem to be somewhat isolated from each other, maybe due to liability issues. My knee cap is still surrounded with some scar tissue, so it is not moving around as much as I would like. Maybe the therapist can help me with that.

I will try to post progress reports on this board as I make progress through my PT program.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on August 10, 2004, 09:09:10 AM
Thanks for the kind words, everyone. My surgery is now just a few hours away and I'm getting more and more anxious, however I'm also kind of pumped at the same time. It's an amazing to feel like this may finally be solved and I will finally be on the "road to recovery" instead of the "road of uncertainty". It'll be a tough road, of course, but I found a lot of comfort in reading through many of the posts on this board -- hell, this board has been so helpful these past few days, I wish I had found it earlier when I was struggling through all the uncertainty and excrutiating pain. *sigh*

Kim --

Oh believe me, I was VERY frustrated in my surgeon for not discovering this. At the time, I felt as though HE gave up on me, I became so depressed after learning that he was just "shipping me off" to a pain management doc. I felt like the PMD wasn't going to FIX the problem, he was only going to mask it by giving me drugs to make me feel better...not actually BE better. Probably the lowest I've ever felt in my life, and I've been through some pretty tought times.

The thing that really upsets me is how much my physical therapist would tell me that there was nothing structurely wrong with the knee and that it was essentially 'all in my head'. Yet, every PT session I'd point out SPECIFIC spots of pain (below my patella, where the tendon is, to the right side of my knee, and on the top of my knee where the quad starts). I didn't have general pain, I didn't have shooting pain -- it was SPECIFIC. How could that just be in my head?

There was a point where I just wanted to settle and live with my knee the way it was, I was so convinced by my PT that it WAS in my head. It was awful. Suffice to say, I'm NOT going back to that particular facility to rehab when the time comes again.

You're completely right, this SHOULD have been discovered. It's very frustrating. Enough for me to want to get the phonebook, look up the first attorney I see and file a lawsuit against the practice.

I will try to keep you all updated on my surgery, post-op, and the rehab itself. I probably won't be around for a little bit because it will be hard to get to the computer (the comp in my house is on the top floor, I'd have to go through two sets of stairs to get to it...not fun on crutches and in a heavy cast!), but I'll make an effort :)

Well, keep me in your thoughts guys! I'll surely be thinking of you all!

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on August 10, 2004, 06:59:13 PM
Hi all,

Just had to say, I am a lot happier today.  :)  

Decided to lean on my private medical insurance and got an appointment with my local BUPA hospital tomorrow morning to start my physio. The thought of waiting till the 19th for the NHS was too much to bear. Given the massively various recovery timescales of everyone on here, thought it would be better to start earlier rather than later to start bending the knee.

Welcome Hjumper, good to hear your recovery has gone so well, so far, keep it going.

Cheers,

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: hjumper on August 11, 2004, 02:44:22 AM
Thanks for the nice comments, Andy.

I was thinking some more about the difference between my post-op treatment and some of the other posters on this board who were allowed to do ROM exercises much earlier than my case. I think one of the fundamental differences is that the surgeon did not put a wire between my Tibia and the Patella in my case. The tear was very close to the patella, so the surgeon stiched a number of sutures from the knee cap to the remaining portion of the patellar tendon. This was probably the reason why I had to keep the leg in fully extended position for almost 6 weeks after the surgery. The reason I was able to put weight on the within a week of surgery was probably because this is safer when the leg is fully extended (180 degrees) in a brace and all of the rest of the ligaments, tendons etc. around my knee were not injured and in very good shape.

I have a question for those of you who have went through the RPT surgery. I have an area right next to the patellar tendon on the outside of the knee where there seems to be some "extra stuff" under the skin. The doc told me that this is probably not scar tissue but leftover blood clot etc due to minor bleeding that occured after my incision was closed. Have any of you experienced this? The size of this area is slowly but steadily decreasing, so I am not too concerned, but currently, it appears to be preventing the patella from moving side-to-side completely, which is affecting my ROM.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on August 11, 2004, 07:55:58 AM
Hi Hjumper et al, I'm glad you found this site as well since your surgery and post-op was similar to mine I can hopefully help with your situation.  Not sure what the bulge is on the side of your patella but if the doc says its a clot then it probably is.  I am four months post-op now, braceless for the first time 8), and able to leap small steps with reckless abandon ::).  My ROM is at 115 degrees and I'm deep into PT doing all kinds of exercises that I couldn't do just two weeks ago.  I'm balancing on my bad leg without too much trouble, bicycling for ten minutes but I could do more, and doing leg lifts with five pounds of weight on my ankle, this is leading to  more confidence in my walking around.  I try to do a couple of miles daily on a hard, flat surface but the best therapy so far has been walking on the beach, at least that's the best progress I've made in four months after a week at the beach and walking two miles plus/day.  You are at the beginning stages so take it easy until your doc/pt tells you to do more, I didn't even start pt until after almost three months post-op and I'm doing pretty good, everyone else on this thread started much earlier and did well but they all had the wire loop which I didn't have either.  My doc told me that it might be a year before the knee feels normal, whatever that means, I hope he's wrong as I want to get back to work asap.  Good luck in your recovery, be patient!  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on August 13, 2004, 09:53:37 PM
Nigel, I always wondered what a "pathetic quad muscle" was until today that is ::) while doing escentric leg extensions on the machine my left knee (the bad one) started fibrullating uncontrollably, twitching as it were unsolicited by me at which time I asked my PT about it and he told me that the muscle is just now starting to get stronger, after four months it's finally starting to get there?  I guess I have a longer way to go than I thought.  My ROM is at 118 8) and I have no problem walking without my brace anymore or going up and down steps but......won't be playing basketball anytime soon or climbing mountains either, maybe I can play some golf though!  Haven't heard much from you lately, what are you up to man? John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on August 14, 2004, 12:03:17 AM
i guess i will have to come up and visit john to walk on the beach as my favorite shoreline is about to get pummeled by hurricane charlie...sanibel island. :-[
and yes, walking those long stretches of beach really helped build my leg muscles up too.

john, i also have quad shaking when my muscle is being pushed to the limit...kind of freaky to watch it quiver and shake...glad to hear that yours is coming along. i still have not managed to walk down stairs yet but then i just started walking after 4 weeks the first day of my vacation on sanibel...made it to 113 yesterday...got a shot of cortisone/lidocaine in my knee last friday and it seemed to really help. maybe you want to ask your o/s about that.

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on August 14, 2004, 03:00:43 PM
Hi all, I'm back, anyone miss me?? Fantastic 2 weeks in Sri Lanka (Kim I'll send you my old Collins school atlas - the one with all the bits of the ol' British Empire in pink!).

Beaches/swimming etc seems to have done knee good. Especially walking at waist depth through heavy surf, got knocked over a couple of times but beer broke the fall. We did lots of exploring, game park, etc. Main achievement physio-wise probably was climbing the Sigiriya rock fortress - 930 steps (see http://sigiriya.org). Coming down was hardest. And %*@! did the knee remind me about it next day!

Yep, there are some crocodiles but mostly saw marsh crocs, they're pussy cats (apparently...). My neice trod on a poisonous snake but got away with it.

Knee feels pretty good now, can run up stairs, jog a bit, quad muscle is coming back but slowly, still a bit skinny above the knee. Just gets stiff when I have to sit still too long (eg 11 hr flight in Economy!).

Great to see lots of new RTP sufferers on the board: We Happy Few, We Band of Brothers...

Cheers, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on August 14, 2004, 07:15:46 PM
Hey Nigel, good to have you back on board with your pathetic quads and all that good beer karma you have, sounds like an exciting trip to Sri Lanka.  I was there to Colombo years ago while working on the ship so I didn't have much time to do the sight-seeing bit, only the bar hopping bit which wasn't too bad, is the hotel inter-continental still a happening place?  I remember the precious gem trade was pretty hot too along with the.....well lets just say the ladies with suspect moral tendencies, oh yeah you said it was a family trip.  Anyway here in West by god Virginia we are bracing for heavy rains as a result of the hurricane Charley so I guess I'll batten down the hatches.....how bout those Olympics? John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: hjumper on August 18, 2004, 03:40:57 AM
It's good to read that many of the RPT victims are on their way to a good recovery.

I went to my first PT session last week. It was nothing high tech, mostly different types of straigth leg lifts and ROM exercise by sliding heel back and forth. I was able to bend by knee 65 degrees which is better than I expected. My doctor expects me to be able to increase the ROM by 10 degrees every week, so if everything works well, I should be able to reach about 120 degrees in 6 weeks. My  therapist wants me to do 3 sessions at home every day, though I think this is not very practical. I can usually do one or two full sessions per day, and then I do my own version of the exercises -  the ROM exercise in the office chair which was suggested in this forum or going up the stairs at work using my injured leg for stepping up every step.

At this point, inside of the knee (right side of the PT on the left knee) is in pretty good shape. There is minimal swelling and/or scar tissue and not much that limits ROM. The outside, on the other hand, does not look so good. I do appear to have a lot of scar tissue just on the outside of the tendon. I almost reach a hard stop at 65 degrees as the knee cap apppears to refuse to move any further. Hope this will get better over time.

Within the last week, I have gained noticable amount of strength on my left quad. Now I can go up the stairs without holding onto the handrail, though I still cannot walk down. Observing the healthy leg, it looks like one needs at least 80 degrees of ROM to be able to walk down stairs.

As for the olympics, the high jump competition will be pretty good as there are 11 athletes who jumped 2.32+ this year. Of course, yours truly won't be competing for obvious reasons... :-)

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on August 18, 2004, 12:44:23 PM
Hjumper - sounds like good start on physio. Don't worry if the ROM progression isn't a steady 10deg/week, I think that's just a medics' rule of thumb (or knee??). Just keep at it. Hope your scar tissue/blood clot problem resolves itself, try not to get too discouraged meanwhile. I had a persistent twinge of something rubbing on the inside of of my knee for several weeks, but eventually it just went away.

I'm sure 3 "proper" exercise sets a day is ideal, but I never managed that. I just tried to be as active as possible generally (and I'm thinking of patenting my "office chair" method!!). Also did lots of flexing of the ankle (eg foot rotations while sitting at the computer)...although I'm no expert I think it must be important to get back lateral movement around the knee as well as the flex/unflex movement. Also, my physio explained you mustn't ignore the other muscle groups (hamstrings, adductors etc), and even torso strength, as they all contribute to knee stability. As I've been getting back to normal that's helped a lot.

Incidentally it's been interesting to see that US posters seem to be told to keep wearing a brace long after the first 6 weeks of full immobilisation. I was told I could get rid of the brace as soon as I felt comfortable after that, while building up to full weightbearing. I never used a hinged brace, just went from the straight-leg brace to nothing. Seemed to work for me. Anyone know why the US medics like braces - is it something to do with the American love of technology...?  :) Or as Hjumper suggests is it a liability thing?

Cheers, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on August 18, 2004, 04:52:29 PM
hey  nigel

glad you had a nice trip and did not get bit by a snake as i avoided the alligators on sanibel. your trip up that "rock" "mountain" "sacred place" reminded me of maachhu picchu in peru. yep...i did the 4 day inca trek into the ruins and i know i could not do it again...looking at your pictures made my knee hurt!! you might want to look into doing the trek to maachhu picchu...definatedly a knee killer but quite spiritual.

by the way...i did not have a hinged knee brace at all after my rupture. i was on constant CPM and had to put on a soft knee immobilizer when out of bed for 10 weeks then i was weight bearing as tolerated with assist...crutches, trekking pole. i do remember when i was in ohio for the scar tissuesurgery in june that there was a guy in PT who had ruptured his quad tendon. he had the "mother" of all hinged braces on and had to wear it 24 hours a day...as i recall they increased the flexion weekly with a turn of a dial attached to the hinge. i imagine that this type of brace helps with maintaining the stability of the repair until the tendon regrows together. probably a difference in health systems and benefits. here it is pretty standard to get a CPM machine after all knee surgeries yet seems to be less common outside the U.S. maybe the reason i did not get the brace was because of all the scar tissue, they put me on the CPM to keep the joint moving and prevent more from  forming.

i am now at 113 degrees flexion...my max is 120 since they had to remove a chunk of the tendon in november to repair it. my knee is still a little warmer then the other one but swelling is down. PT still is grueling...now do a circuit of weights, machines and then the final torture...hands on bend. takes me about 2 hours to get through the program. i would say that my leg is improving...slowly...but definately better....still feels different and somewhat uncomfortable compared to the other but not like it used to. i did get a cortisone shot into the joint a week ago and it seemed to help with increasing my flexion.

got to go to PT

bye,

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on August 21, 2004, 07:06:26 PM
Afternoon all,

Just thought I would add to the recent good news by all. I have had my first 3 PT sessions in the last week and a half. I am now upto 35 degrees bend. I am over the moon about that after 9 weeks at 0 degrees!!

A couple of days ago, I was given my first weight bearing exercises, and I can really feel them working now. My quad tendon is extremely tight, which is slowing my progress. Even after just 2 days though, my walking with crutches, but without my leg splint, is really coming on. The physio has no plans to give me an adjustable brace, given the relative strength I have got in my leg.

I only have a couple of concerns with my scar still "welded" to my tibia and patellar, but with some good moisturising lotion, it has been getting a little bit better over the last week. Also, like hjumper, I do have quite a bit of tough, hard scar tissue on the outside of my patellar which may need further surgury according to the physio, but I'll cross that bridge should it be needed later.

Now that I have started PT, I am well pleased, and am looking forward to the pain at the 2 PT sessions a week I am getting, if it means my ROM gets better.   ;D

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth, UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on August 21, 2004, 10:52:17 PM
Andy, great news of your recovery, keep up the good work.  You know it is WORK by now but it will be worth every minute of it come months from now when you are almost back to normal.  I'm at 123 degrees ROM now with the help of my PT, and he is massaging the repair again to help the scar tissue to dissipate, I think.  I'm not sure why your doc kept the staples in for so long and why he didn't have you weight bearing sooner either, it seems they all have a different way of doing the recovery utilizing all the things that have been posted here.  Like you I didn't get all the fancy stuff but I am going to regain close to full use of the knee when it's all said and done, might take a little longer but I feel confident that I will get there eventually.  It's so much better today than just a few weeks ago that it's not funny.  Progress not perfection is the rule of this injury to me.  I have to go and do more leg lifts now that I'm in the mood. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on August 22, 2004, 08:59:00 PM
Andy - the scarred area "sticking" over the knee is pretty standard, I think. I had that for a long time but it's really loosened off now (5 months on).

Engknee you said it, progress is name of the game. Having spent most of Friday on my feet I found I was hobbling about on Saturday morning. But then walked about 5 miles in the afternoon and my knee felt good as new by the end! Weird.

Cheers, Nigel

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on August 23, 2004, 02:20:15 AM
Hey guys, I was finally able to hobble to the computer so I figured I'd give you all a little update on my condition.

Surgery was a little over a week and a half ago, I was in a LOT of pain after the procedure (which lasted a little over two hours long). I ended up having a hamstring augmentation to reconstruct the tendon, my worst fear. However, doc says this may be a good thing in the long run because it may be more stable in the future. We'll see.

Anyways, in regards to pain, I was given two percocet and more morphine shots than I can count -- so many that I actually passed out for about 10 minutes due to extreme levels of pain medication in my system. After all of that, you'd think my pain levels would have subsided a bit, but they didn't at all. Oh well.

I'm in a full leg cast right now which is probably the second worst thing about this whole mess (aside from the pain). Problem is, the cast is digging into the back of my achilles and it's causing very painful blisters. I've tried putting bandaids back there, cloth back there, tried putting a sock on...you name it, I tried it. Nothing worked. Finally, in sheer desperation I had my mother find a saw in the basement and I cut off the bottom part of the cast. It gave me a little relief, but now the blisters are breaking, which is pretty much restarting the pain cycle again. Thank God I'm getting a new cast tomorrow.

I also ended up getting my knee scoped, my meniscus was badly torn. Ouch.

It's been really hard to get around, especially on stairs, so I've pretty much been camped out in the living room these past two weeks.  Bathing is also very difficult because the only shower in the house is in the basement, which doesn't even matter because I'm not allowed to shower; I'm only allowed to take sponge baths. So, in the dog days of summer, I'm stuck taking lously sponge baths every few days, which is NOT fun at all. Yuck. I'll be thankful for either the weather to cool down or to finally get this cast off (in over four weeks...), ugh.

I hadn't had any major slips or falls until today, though, when trying to go up the stairs my crutch missed the step and I put all my weight on my bad leg. I screamed bloody murder at the time, but the pain as since subsided. I didn't feel anything snap or pop, so hopefully I didn't do any damage. Close one though.

Like I said, my second post-op appointment is tomorrow, I'll be getting my cast changed and hopefully will be able to solve the the cast-rubbing-against-the-ankle-problem as well.

Wish me luck!

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on August 23, 2004, 05:16:41 PM
Hi all,

Cheers John and Nigel for the words of wisdom.  

And welcome back Patricia. Sorry to hear about your cast. They can be real pain if you don't get a good one. I did notice that it did take at least 3 days with my 2 that I had put on, for my leg to adjust to each of them. But I was lucky where I did get good ones put on where padded areas were added at the top and bottom of the leg to avoid rubbing. I think as other people have said though, if it does hurt, even after a just one day, get back to the hospital and get another one. Its their job to avoid pain, not add to it.    >:(

As for your fall, that reminds me, I had one bad one as well. Whilst getting out of bed at night, I managed to trip over my own crutches that I had left on the floor. My bad leg tried to take the strain, but couldn't, and I ended up on my back on the floor, after almost smashing the glass sliding doors on my wardrobe. Luckly they did slide  :)  One things for sure, which you have probably learnt, I did my best not to do that again. Having one leg out of action certainly makes you concentrate more on where you are putting them, and your crutches!!   :D

It was 8 weeks before my first shower. I to had sponge baths for that time. And as with you, its happended during the best of the British summer. Which, as you can imagine, is nothing like the summers you get over that side of the pond, but its still hard work sitting in the living room all day.  

Its hard to accept, it took me a few weeks to do it, but the best thing I found I could do for my knee, was to do nothing. Sit back, leg up, and relax.  

Good luck at your next appointment, hope your new cast is better than the last.     ;D

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: hjumper on August 24, 2004, 04:51:00 AM
Today is the exactly 8 weeks from the day of my surgery. I went to my third PT session today an I am up to 80 degrees ROM! :) I could only schedule one PT session last week instead of two, and it was with a different therapist who was a bit on the conservative side. After about two weeks of work, I am very comfortable with straight and lateral leg lifts (with leg fully extended) now and I can do about 30 (slow) reps at a time. The swelling around the knee has come down quite a bit in the last two weeks, though it still looks nothing like the healthy knee. The firm mass under my skin on the outside of the knee cap seems to be slowly disappearing, so I am a lot less worried about it now. I am also feeling much more comfortable walking. I can even stand on the injured leg and balance myself comfortably. I was also given OK to sleep without my brace at night. If my recovery keeps going at this pace, my goal is to reach 120 degrees ROM 12 weeks after surgery and get rid of the brace.

Nigel, I do think that I could survive perfectly well without the brace at this point. I have been able to take a standing shower (obviously without the brace) for quite some time now. Initially, I was using my temporary knee immobilizer fromt he emergency room to get in the shower (since it was much easier to put on and off) but I could walk to the shower without a brace by the 4th week. (This is probably not recommeded for most people as I probably had stonger than average ligaments and hamstring muscles at the time of the injury). At this point, the brace is  only there to protect against an accident as my left quad is still pretty week and the at a ROM of only 80 degrees, any stumble could potentially put a lot of stress on the repaired tendon and the knee.

Patricia, sorry to hear about your pain and cast problem. I also did have very serious pain after my surgery - I had to stay at the hospital one extra day since I had to be on morphine for more than 24 hours. Luckily, most of the pain quicklywent away. I was off morphine in about 36 hours after surgery and I was compeletely off pain medication by the 10th day.

As for your problems with the cast, I can appreciate how awful this must be. Although I was not in a full cast, I was in a weird immobilizer for about two days that etched big purple areas in my hamstrings and the upper portion of my calves. After persistent complaining, I was able to get them to give me a different brace (IROM) that solved the problem. In your case, it may be more difficult because of the cast, but as Andy pointed out, as you are had serious pain, there may have been something wrong with the way they did the cast and they may have to do it again. Even though cutting part of if may have given you comfort, I am a bit worried if the piece you cut out of the cast might have somewhat reduced the functionality of it.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on August 24, 2004, 05:44:08 AM
Well guys, I went to my appointment today and *huge sigh of relief* got my cast changed. Feels so much better now. I had the doc put extra padding where the problem area is, he said that should definitely make things easier on my skin.

hjumper -- thankfully the piece I cut out DIDN'T reduce the functionality of the cast itself, I was worried about that myself but the doc said I used good judgement in the amount I cut, so thankfully there was no problem there.

I also asked the doc to switch my pain meds for me, I've built such a high tolerence to percocet at this point that it just doesn't work for me anymore. I'm now taking a combination of ultracet and advil which seems to be working well so far. Hopefully it will continue to work. Vicodin is out of the question for me because it seems to make me very sick...ugh.

I can't wait to get out of this cast, unfortunately I still have a long time left in it, but I guess I'll take what I can get. From what I've read on here, it seems like I'll be a lot more comfortable in the IROM brace (or whatever it's called, sorry heh) afterwards. I talked to my doc briefly about that today and he said he's going to order one for me so I'll have it in time for my next visit, so that's good. In the meantime though...it's the big white monster attached to my leg for me. *sigh*

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Croaker on August 24, 2004, 08:08:31 AM
 :)
Went to my OS today and got a full release.  My quad isn't back to 100% of pre-injury strength but he's said I don't have wear a brace or do any more therapy.   My ROM is almost the same as my other knee.  No swelling and the pain is something I can live with.  I got the OK to get back on my mountain bike so I'm going to start riding again.  It has been almost 3 months since my injury, how time flys when you're having fun.  
Good Luck to all on the forum
Croaker
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on August 24, 2004, 11:18:45 PM
Croaker, I'm glad to hear you have made so much progress but the short time period that you were able to make it was nothing short of exceptional.  Please enlighten us as to how you were able to do something as phenomenal as you did in 25% LESS time than most of us?  I am impressed totally dude! John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Croaker on August 24, 2004, 11:47:48 PM
One of the things that stand out is I've been in either a weight bearing immobilizer or brace since the injury.  I've been able to walk, granted without flexing my knee, this entire time.  I went back to work two weeks after surgery and I think that mobility kept the quad atrophy at a manageble level.  I'm amazed at the different methods OSs are using to treat this injury, some very conservative and others like mine that are more aggressive.  
Croaker
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: hjumper on August 30, 2004, 10:06:28 PM
Here is my weekly status update:

It has been 9 weeks since my surgery. At the last PT session, my ROM was measured to be 100 degrees. At this point, I am pretty confident that I will reach 120 degrees by the 12th week and get rid of the brace for good.

I can walk pretty comfortably without the brace at home, but I still wear it (ROM limited to 80 degrees)  when I go outside all the time. At 80 degrees ROM, walking with the brace is pretty comfortable, I can walk at a reasonable pace for 20-30 minutes.

The swelling is getting better every week. I have a feeling that the brace causes some swelling by restricting blood flow. The knee looks much better in the morning when I get out of the bed but the swelling increases slightly throughout the day. Flexibility, on the other hand, is much better at night and somewhat stiff in the morning.

I keep doing my various leg raise exercises. They almost don't challenge me any more. Last week, I started doing heel pushes with knee bent to 50-60 degrees sitting in a chair. This is almost like a static leg press exerice. I also walk up the stairs using my injured leg with the brace on for additional strength workout. Couple of weeks ago, I was having some balance problems but now, I can do this very comfortably. After stepping up using only my uninjured leg for the last 2 months, it feels weird to step up using the injured leg. I still cannot walk down the stairs off my injured leg. The therapist also showed me an exercise where you stand sideways next to the first step of the stairs (facing parallel to the edge of the step, injured leg closer to the step). You go up on the first step using the injured leg, put the other foot next to it and then bring the  uninjured leg down. This was somewhat challenging at first, but after a couple of days, I can do it comfortably.

When my legs are fully extended, the knee cap appears to be in the same position on both legs, but when I bend my knee to 45 degrees, the knee cap on the injured leg appears to stay on a lower position. I am assuming that is either because the repaired tendon is not flexible enough at this point or because there is still scar tissue under and around the knee cap.

I feel that I could easily start working out on a stationary bicycle at this point to regain my cardiovascular form back, but the PT wants me to wait at least another week. Even though the quad muscles on the injured leg started making a comeback (i.e. I can flex them to pretty hard tension), it still looks very weak compared to the healthy leg. My best guess is that I will be able to achieve about 50% of the original strength on the injured leg by the 12th week.

Good luck to everybody on this thread on the way to recovery!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on August 31, 2004, 01:44:44 AM
Evening all,

Great to here everyone's progressing well. Patricia, good to hear your more comfortable, as well as you can with a cast on.   ;)  Hjumper, superb progress, and Croaker, wow!!

Can't say my progress is quiet up to your guys standard, but I am still progressing. 2 and a bit weeks into my PT and I'm upto 55 degrees so far, but it is slow. The good news is I am now completely out of my splint. With 55 degrees, walking isn't perfect yet, but its a hell of a lot better than having a straight leg.  ;D

My thigh muscle is still waaayyy behind my good one, but there is enough overall strength in my leg to support my body when moving about. I am not quiet upto walking any distances, but I feel comfortable.

Managed to tick off a few "things to do since my injury" this week as well, like putting on a sock, and cutting my toe nails  :-[  Small progress, but progress   8)

Keep up the good work all,

Cheers,

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on September 02, 2004, 01:20:51 AM
 8)Hello all on June 13th I tore my patella tendon in two, it was a complete total rupture. I had the surgery two days later! I was out of work 1wk and on the cruches, two weeks. By week four I was playing pool volley ball and hobbling around theme parks all day while on vacation..  Week 7.5 PO I had full rage of motion and my PT was cut from twice a week to three times a month. I have another doctors appointment this Friday I think he's going to release me from PT all together. I workout on the knee atleast twice a week and have even managed to run a bit ( up to full speed yet ) I do atleast 15-20 mins cardio four days a week with weight vest. Will I make it back before the end of the season.....Only time will tell but I don't feel like I'm rushing it but I'm taking what the leg/knee gives me... Always Ice, strenghen and rest when possible....... It's all good!
Trust in God! Believe that! ;)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on September 02, 2004, 01:26:06 AM
Welcome to the Ruptured Patella Tendon club!! ;)

You must have had the fastest recovery known to all members on this board. Three months in total - seems incredible.........

What degree bend do you have today - any swelling or has your leg/knee returned to normal.

How did you do your accident?  What is your aagen and what part of the world do you live in.

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on September 02, 2004, 01:43:35 AM
I'm soooo not done yet but I'm getting there!!! But you guys are doing great!! Everyone keep up the good work! You know your body better then anyone else...listen to it.. :D

Oops!  I guess I was wrong, I ruptured my patella tendon 6/13/04 I have been released as of
9/3/04.... Is that cool or what... I'm getting my b-ball
game on!!!!!
8) I can't believe it  Doc. Johnson of Indianapolis,In is the man!!!!!!! 82 days!!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: just on September 02, 2004, 01:43:37 AM
Hi All,

Glad to hear that everyone is getting better. I am now 16 weeks post injury and have got full rom back. I have been walking without the knee brace since week 6 I agree with  Nigel it seems that in the uk they get us of the knee brace asap.  I have found that the knee is getting a lot stronger and I am now managing to jog on the treadmill and am using the step machine. Knee still lets me know when it has done enough, but the quads are def getting better not quite the same.

The good news is that we have got the insurance money through and have rebooked our honeymoon. Have rebooked the whole trip and have been given the honeymoon suites. If play football on the next one will prob have more than a knee to worry about.

Good luck to you all,

Justin
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on September 02, 2004, 10:27:20 AM
Hi Folks

Have you noticed that we have not heard from Aunty Kim for some time -----   I have been in contact with her and she needs some help to get back onto this board.

Any Ideas!!!!!!!!!!  her e-mail is [email protected]

She writes

 ""I lost my accout on knee guru and thus cannot log in. it no longer recognizes me and i have no idea what my password is...that is why i havent been on for a while. i also cant see if i have any messages either. i tried to figure out how to contact knee guru regarding this problem but there is no email address to send a note. so i might have to come back online as a new person...but i dont wont to lose my 3 star posting. that is why i am kind of hanging out here in the shadows....any ideas?

i am doing pretty good, PT 3 times a week and i went back to work part time, my leg still is uncomfortable and i cant go down steps yet but i am getting around better. my flexion seems to be stuck at 113 degrees presently but i dont think that is bad since the max the surgeon was able to get for me was 122 degrees. i can get to about 100 on my own and my PT pushes/ bends it to 113. my quads still look like jelly but are slowly coming along. they better get with the program as i am going to italy next june for 2 weeks with my niece for her high school graduation present...leaving harrison and dave here in atlanta."""

Meanwhile I am starting to see progress after 19 months - the swelling through water retention in my leg seems due to incorrect medication for blood pressure and the medication has now been changed.  

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on September 02, 2004, 11:05:15 PM
okay

now i can get on from the lap top but not my main desktop computer which is the one i use. the "a" key sticks on this old lap top. i still am coming across as a guest on the other computer so do any of you have any ideas how i can patch back on via the desktop?

and by the way, the last part of johns message does not apply to me, my legs are quite lovely and i dont have water retention or high blood pressure!

bye
kim   ;D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Heather M. on September 03, 2004, 12:54:17 AM
Kim,

Use the computer that works to check your login details (password or whatever).  Actually, though, you should be able to auto-fill the user login if you have MS Word on the computer that's giving you fits.  When I go to the login page, as soon as I start to type my user name, the computer auto-fills the rest with a drop down menu of suggestions.  Just click on the correct one.  

Also, you can check all your account settings on the computer that works, setting them up so that you can log in next time from the computer with keyboard issues and not be impacted.  For example, if your password also has an "a" in it I would change it on the laptop that works so you can access your account from the computer which has a sticky a key.

Beyond that, you may need to contact the kneeguru and ask that a new identity be created for you with the history of your old one.  Maybe the new computer you are trying to use has something blocking cookies, which help keep you from being prompted to log in each time you visit a site.  So you might want to reduce the security settings to medium as opposed to high if this is the case.  Ostensibly, you just have to log in once or twice with lower security settings to get a cookie and have the bulletin board recognize you from it during all future visits.  Unfortunately, if you get a new PC or a new internet provider, it can mess up all the logins at your favorite web pages...

Hope this makes sense.

Heather
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: hjumper on September 03, 2004, 01:50:19 AM
Login to kneeguru site from the computer that recognizes you. Click on "Profile" on top and there, if the passwords are filled, you might be able to set a new password. If this does not work, try changing your e-mail address. When you try to login from the other machine, if you enter your user name but no password, I think there is an option that will e-mail you a password or at least reset your password.

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on September 03, 2004, 03:39:31 AM
just to let you guys know, i did email knee guru for a "forgot password" cookie?? remember i am a nurse not a co ;Dmputer whiz. each time i did this i would check my email for my password and nothing was there. i got a prompt to check the spam folder...and voila...there was a password (not the one that i gave)...hmmm...never knew how things ended up in that spam folder to begin with! i will try the new password on the desktop and see what happens. i blame all these problems on my husband...he is the one who wanted to reformat the hard drive not me...i just wanted a faster connection....i was ready to throw the computer out the window when he caved  ;D  so now i have a faster connection, a new internet provider and a huge mess (he also decided to go wireless during this)...and remember, my husband is an artist, not a keyboard whiz...thanks for the directions heather but they were way over my head....sort of like when i explain something to one of my patients and they have the most dumbfounded expression on their face! have to lay off the medical jargon.

anyways, i hope to be back on board and thanks for your help and i am glad to hear that so many of you are doing great!

kim

ps

i am typing this on our old piece of junk that wont die...this so called laptop that weighs at least 10 pounds and will never be on my body anywhere near my knees.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on September 03, 2004, 07:58:42 PM
Off and running again in just 82 days, I'm sooo excited!!! ;D Doc Johnson cleared me today!!! He's the man, I can't belive it!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on September 05, 2004, 01:21:36 AM
hi guys

just thought i would let you know that joe (PT) bent my leg to 120 degrees yesterday and i didnt even want to punch him when he did it! and i walked the whole way around the block with out my stick (just a glass of wine) and. my 140 lb newfoundland "Juneau"...first time in a year as yesterday was my one year anniversary of my scope from [email protected]#**ll! i feel inspired to go stand in line tomorrow at the pool for hours just to ?maybe? meet michael phelps...

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on September 06, 2004, 10:21:15 PM
Hi. Hope you're pulling through, EngKnee....

WOW, what a resource :o Here's my sorry tale. I've just ruptured a patellar tendon... the second time I've done it! (so forgive the length of the posting)

The last time was eight years ago in Chile. Right leg. It just snapped as I was running with the kid. Great surgeon. I was in plaster six to 8 weeks, then started very painful physio to free the knee up again. Got full mobility and strength back, though...

This time, Thursday (26 Aug) I was playing table tennis with a friend in France and... bang - the left leg snapped. I knew straight away. But the local hospital disagreed, said I had probably only ripped a bit of cartilege or bruised the knee, that a ruptured tendon was very rare, and that I should continue my holiday. Oh, he also said I could drive  >:(

I managed to find an ortho specialist - but it took to the Saturday evening. One look and he agreed - patellar tendon gone. But, can't you believe it, there was a possibility of a surgeons' strike the following. He said I was fit to travel and I flew back Monday (August 30th) with a brace on and crutches.

Thanks God for the National Health Service! An hour after arriving at the John Radcliffe in Oxford, I'd been seen by an ortho consultant. By the next morning I'd been operated on, with an ortho consultant, a radiologist consultant and a consultant anaesthetist!

They repaired the leg, which was a mess. Drilled Patella, neutralisation loop. Now I’m seven days post op. Big difference from last time is the split cast and physio insiting on flexing the knee (which is up to around 25%).

Trouble is, I HAVE to start a new job – big job – in two weeks. Any tips to speed up recovery? I can take it easy for the next two weeks. Nigel, I’m going to have to commute to London – any tips would be welcome…

Cheer… and solidarity  ;)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on September 07, 2004, 06:12:06 PM
Spend sometime in a swimming pool, It helps moblity and swelling... ;) Atleast that helped me...
Good Luck!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on September 08, 2004, 12:54:50 AM
Well guys, I just hit another bump in the road...seems my knee doesn't want to cooperate AT ALL anymore.

So I woke up on Sunday morning feeling pretty yuck-o. My knee hurt badly, and I had a lot of your run of the mill flu-like symptoms. I also noticed blood all over my cast. Great.

Called the on-call doctor, he told me to get in ASAP to get the incisions checked, I'd need my cast changed (at the least) but I probably had an infection. Being the holiday weekend at all, I wouldn't be able to get an appointment until at least Tuesday. Problem is, my doc is in surgery on Tuesdays, so that meant Wednesday was the earliest I could get in, unless I wanted to see a different doctor.

Felt even worse on Monday, so I called on Tuesday just to see what was up...turns out my doc was going to be in the office in the afternoon for a little while and would fit me in right away. Yey!

So my OS cut a window in the cast, and there was all sorts of fluid, blood, and other type of drainage all over the place. And yup, he could tell right away that my body rejected the sutures and I had an infection. Lovely.

I got my incisions cleaned up good and a new cast put on, doc cut out another window in the new cast (which I can call the big BLUE monster this time!)  and wants me to come back in tomorrow morning to get my knee drained. He also gave me a script for an antibiotic to clear up the infection.

Problem is, the infection will most likely not be cleared up in two weeks, which is when I should get my cast off. Now I'm looking at an additional one-to-two weeks in the cast. UGH! I'm not liking this!

I guess if anything I should be relieved that the problem was spotted before it got any worse...I'm really glad I got into the office instead of shrugging it off as PMS-problems or a general "not feeling so hot" type deal. Oh well. Guess it's like Murphy's Law...if it can go wrong, it will!  ;)

Hope you all are having pain-free days! ...and I hope I'll have a pain-free night! Yikes!

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on September 08, 2004, 05:45:41 AM
patricia

so sorry you are having so many complications...hang in there, it will be a long journey. i am now at my 1 year anniversary from the scope that ultimately resulted in my tendon rupture. many tears were shed, many pain pills were swallowed...and it was truely hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. while my knee is not perfect and will never be the same as before i found a surgeon who gave me part of my life back and i truely thank him for it...there were many bumps along the way, some more like mountains then hills but i crawled over all of them and i know that each day i am a little bit better then the day before. so it is okay to cry, curse, have a temper tantrum...we are here to support you.

i also had to have my knee drained (fluid not pus) but it was the biggest darn needle i had ever seen. it wasnt as bad as i thought it would be. make sure you get on antibiotics. the sooner it will clear up. delayed treatment only complicates things more! and if your knee is hurting you and the meds arent working call your doctor for something else. true pain is not drug seeking. pain can slow healing down. dont be afraid to ask for something else if what you are taking isnt helping. okay?

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on September 08, 2004, 05:49:20 AM
part of my above reply got deleted. patricia, next time you feel something is wrong go to the ER, dont wait till the office is open...delayed treatment can make things worse. that is what ASAP means!!!!

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on September 08, 2004, 05:53:27 AM
kim -

I've had my knee drained twice before, not too fun. The worst was the first time though, I was only 13 years old and I had no clue what the heck was going on...I tensed up so badly (I'm a very tense person by nature) that I think it just made things worse.

I'm on an antibiotic right now, so hopefully I can get this cleared up as soon as possible. Not fun though!

As far as getting in for an appointment, I really didn't know what else to do. The on-call doctor told me that I *should* be okay until Tuesday (I called on Sunday), it was just so tricky with the holiday and all. Had it not been the holiday, I would have definitely gone in on Monday. The doc also said that if I started to feel any worse then I should just go ahead and go to the ER. I was able to tough it out and I doubt that I caused any further damage (*knock on wood*), but of course if something like this (God forbid) ever happens in the future, I'll definitely get it taken care of ASAP.

Like I said, it's Murphy's Law over here! I didn't think I'd get a stupid infection...but hey, if it can happen with my knee, IT WILL!  :o

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on September 08, 2004, 07:42:38 PM
Hi Folks


Having been away for a few days vacation, I see that the board has been hit by a number of new messages :------- ;) :D

AFF2   Have noted that you are up and running 82 days after having Ruptured your Patella Tendon.  I am of the opinion that you are pulling our leg!!!(excuse the pun).   It takes between 8/12 weeks for the Tendon to heal and weeks of physio to reach full ROM.  How come that you are different to everybody else or more importantly is there something we ought to learn by your experience!!!! :)

 Manxman - welcome to the board - Not heard of anybody doing the same injury again so many years apart.   Assume that you are in a full cast and on crutches - You are going to have a nice job hobbling and negotiating the London underground system and then commencing a new job on top of all this.  Hope it`s a sit down job where you can elevate your leg!!!


 Poor Patricia :'( :'(   What a weekend you must have had - chin up and keep smiling - it will take time but walking down Manhatten will have to be put on hold for the next few weeks - think of all the money you will save.   Like the photo of your knee - cool !!!!!!!!!!!

Best wishes to all :D :D

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on September 08, 2004, 09:47:10 PM
Hi All, it seems as if this thread is burning up lately, that's a good thing and I'm glad that everybody seems to be making progress even though to some (Patricia) it seems a long way away.  My personal recovery seems to be in a lull as it were, my leg muscles seem to be getting stronger but the kneecap itself seems to be so much bigger than the good knee both in length and width, what's with that?  It also seems to be riding a little high on my leg compared to the other one.  It's almost like they took out the old patellar and replaced it with a bigger one.  Looking at it next to the good one it still looks swollen and all puffy.  I can reach 130 degrees ROM now so that's good, my good leg goes to 141 so I'm almost there but it's been quite awhile if you know what I mean.  I can't wait for it all to end :P but I'll try to be patient and keep to the regimine. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Marcia on September 08, 2004, 11:15:27 PM
I am writing on behalf of my husband, Hugh ( he is computer shy, but since his accident he can turn the computer on, big improvement).  He ruptured his PT on 19/03/04 in the calf shed ( he is a farmer) turning to catch a young calf.  He felt something snap and landed on the ground where he had to stay till the dairyman found him a couple of hours later. ( He now carries a mobile phone.)
He was operated on and leg in a full cast for 6 weeks. he goes 3 times a week for physio and to the hospital gym and hydrotherepy and his leg is much stronger but  the knee will not bend, he has 55 degrees after nearly 6 months.  
Can scar tissue stop the knee from bending and can manipulation break it or do you require an operation to remove this?
What does ROM mean?

Marcia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on September 09, 2004, 12:24:26 AM
Marcia

I had a lot of trouble getting mobilility in the knee after the first time when I had a full cast. I needed very aggressive physiotherapy to break down the scar tissue. It worked. But I would check with both the physio and the doctor first. It was painful, but long term it was worth it.

I think ROM means range of movement, but correct me if I'm wrong.

I just got back from the physio today - a week to the hour after the op. I have a split cast on - and I managed a 50 degree bend! Having done both, there is a lot to be said for the split cast and physiotherapy as soon as is possible.

But don't worry. Talk to the doctor and physio to make sure there is no other reason, then get the physio to turn it up a notch... and be ready with either soothing words, painkillers or a decent whisky - or all three ;)

Good luck
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Heather M. on September 09, 2004, 12:25:18 AM
Marcia,

Your husband's case is unique because he has a patellar tendon repair.  I *believe* that makes him  ineligible or a bad risk for a simple closed manipulation (also called MUA, manipulation under anesthesia, where the patient is sedated and the knee bent forcibly to rupture the adhesions).  That's because depending on how much of the scar tissue is in there or how tough it is, the adhesions could actually be stronger than the repaired patellar tendon.  I just don't know of anyone who had a plain MUA in that situation--my surgeon will NOT perform them at all.  His preference is to go in surgically and do an arthroscopic lysis of adhesions (LOA, cutting the scar tissue and removing it with suction) with a manipulation done before closing to verify that the patient has full ROM.  That stands for Range of Motion, and includes bending (flexion) and straightening (extension).

Anyway, it is certainly not uncommon to have scar tissue problems after a patellar tendon repair.  I think it's one of the more common complications, a result of being immobilized so the tendon repair can heal.  I would to a LOT of talking with the surgeon and see what other options there are besides an MUA.  There are people posting in this thread who have had their patellar tendons (healthy ones!) ruptured during an MUA.  Other people have bone breaks, quad tendon ruptures, or an even worse return of scar tissue--this last happened to me.  There is not a lot of agreement on how to treat scar tissue (arthrofibrosis) because it is a VERY RARE complication.  And arthrofibrotic knees don't respond well to traditional therapies and procedures in some cases.  While it's true that MUA is probably the most common procedure done to address scar tissue, none of the 'scar tissue experts' or doctors who have made it a point to research and write about arthrofibrosis use MUA alone as a treatment.  The risks of other issues are high, and its effectiveness with respect to extension or straightening the leg are questionable at best.

Anyway, there is a whole section dealing with scar tissue.  See the soft tissue healing problems and look up threads with MUA, LOA or lysis of adhesions, scar tissue surgery, ROM, Flexion and Extension, etc.  You will find lots of information.  Chances are your husband is not like me--I have a genetic problem with forming too much scar tissue.  His is likely due to a traumatic injury and immobilization after tendon repair.  It would be important to know how long his leg has been 'frozen' and whether he has developed any of the complications  of arthrofibrosis, such as severe chondral lesions or patella baja.  

All I can do is urge you to read up on this condition and methods for treating it.  You may need to get another opinion from an OS that sees a lot of scar tissue cases in the knees, and does a lot of revision surgeries or fixing of knees that have already had surgery.  Be sure to ask your doctor lots of questions, like what are the possible complications of MUA.  I had one, and was not injured or damaged by it...but neither was I helped.  It did restore my flexion to 135 degrees, but my extension was still lacking and I had tons of scar tissue under the kneecap and wrapped around the patellar tendon that did lots of damage.  Usually, it's better to get the scar tissue out sooner rather than later....

Heather
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on September 09, 2004, 01:26:21 AM
Marcia,

In your husband's case, an MUA (manipulation under anesthesia) would be a very bad idea and would not be advised by his OS. An MUA is where the patient is put out and the doctor will basically stretch the knee and manually break up the scar tissue until maxium ROM is achieved. So yeah, an MUA would snap the repair, which is obviously NOT what you'd want.

That means that your husband should have his knee scoped and have the scar tissue broken up that way. Scar tissue can be a very serious problem, so do not hesitate to talk to his OS about it -- and he'll probably (most definitely) suggest breaking up the scar tissue this way. An MUA would be too violent for the repair, and like I said, would probably snap the tendon again and your husband would be back at square one again.

Please keep us updated on your husband's condition!

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on September 09, 2004, 12:44:55 PM
Thanks, Patricia, and hang in there. You have had a really tough journey. You'll get there.

I think there is a difference between the UK and US protocols. I think - I may be wrong - that the Brits are less keen on MUA. As I say, I had some scar tissue last time, but it was broken down gradually in physio and the tendon was fine. I don't want you to think, Marcia, that further surgery is the only way. But do talk to your doctor and physio - I'm just a patient, not a doctor or practitioner. It may be that they need to up the amount of physio or make it more aggressive.

I have to say, though, after my experience first time in Chile, then this time in France and then here, I have a lot of faith in doctors in the UK. Good luck.

On another point - SOCKS - anyone any tips to get them on? I can't reach!!!! Suit and no socks looks yeuchhhh! ::)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on September 09, 2004, 03:14:05 PM
Hi all,

Slow bending and scar tissue seems to be a common topic lately, so I'l add my comments of my injury so far.

The bend is upto 90 degrees, with (painful :( )pressure applied, and about 75 degrees totally weight-free. This has been acheived by my 8th physio appointment now, over 4 weeks. I was either in a cast or splint with the leg totally straight for 9 weeks before physio started. My main problem in getting this far has been the muscle wastage in my thigh, causing the thigh tendon to shorten. This has been stretched a lot in physio to help me get this far.

However, now I am starting to really feel the effects of the scar tissue around my patellar tendon. The knee cap does feel as though it is pushing down. It almost feels as though it is bone on bone grinding of the patellar on the ends of the femur as the leg is bending. Having nice knobbly knees,  :) the good knee cap does does raise away from the knee, but the bad one just cannot coz of the scar tissue.

I am going back to the docs on Monday to discuss my progress.

Just to end on a positive note, my physio is happy with my overall strength in my leg. I am able to walk around comfortably, for upto 20-25 mins before the leg starts to feel tired. I am also managing going up stairs without support of hand rails. Going down is still supported, but thats getting better as well.

One note for Manxman, the great sock debate. I'm afaid I haven't got an answer to that one. I ended up going just over 11 weeks without a sock on my bad leg. I tried all sorts of methods using my grab stick I had been given by the hospital, and wire coat hangers!! I treated it as just one of those things I would have to live without, but put it on the list of things to do when the knee gets better!  Although I did have the benefit of being signed off work for the duration of injury so far  :)

Keep up the good work all, and don't lose hope to those that are struggling. We'll all get there, eventually  8)

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on September 09, 2004, 07:00:16 PM
AFF2   Have noted that you are up and running 82 days after having Ruptured your Patella Tendon.  I am of the opinion that you are pulling our leg!!!(excuse the pun).   It takes between 8/12 weeks for the Tendon to heal and weeks of physio to reach full ROM.  How come that you are different to everybody else or more importantly is there something we ought to learn by your experience!!!!  
[/b] ???
I live here in Indianapolis, Indiana and a Patella tendon rupture is handled a little diffrent here. Pluse my Doctor is just off the chain! He's great! The only thing is he has released me to do everything except return to the field
( American Football Field ) Doctor Johnson had the rupture repaired within 72 hours of the tear, which makes a big difference. I also think his knowledge and conveying information to me as well as expectations of
what I should do an precautions as well as mistakes..
Knowledge and knowing your body are the keys....Just ask my wife, she's very happy I'm on my knees again!!! :)

If my experience can help anyone just drop me a line. ;)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on September 09, 2004, 08:34:01 PM


Hi Folks

Continuing the  ""big sock debate"""

Get a young lady to do it for you - it`s the only way acceptable!!!!!


JohnK/Manchester UK :D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Heather M. on September 09, 2004, 10:34:05 PM
There seems to be some bipolarity in the way scar tissue is handled here.  Many doctors who are familiar with the problem want to treat it aggressively.  That's because when scar tissue is left in the knee for prolonged periods of time, it starts to cause mechanical changes.  In my case this involved adhesions wrapping around the patellar tendon and causing it to shrink and contract due to trauma and changes at the cellular level.  So the critical thing is to get the scar tissue out of the knee within six months of onset (usually within six months of the surgery that caused it).

However, a lot of doctors are not familiar with scar tissue and the problems it can cause.  These tend to take a wait and see approach.  If you have a lot of scar tissue in your knee, and you are not making any progress in PT, then this approach can turn out very badly.  If you are slowly improving in PT, then the approach seems fairly logical.

So my OS's rule of thumb is that as long as the patient is expieriencing steady progress, it's okay to watch things.  But when the patient stops progressing and even backslides, he's very aggressive with procedures to get the scar tissue out of the knee and keep it from coming back.

Heather
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on September 09, 2004, 11:25:00 PM
af

while i dont doubt the progress you have made, your surgeon is not the only expert (if at all) regarding tendon repairs. most orthos dont see tendon ruptures during their entire career so surgical procedures tend to differ from one practice to another. regarding the rupture, it is essential to repair it as soon as possible...idealy within the first week to prevent shortening of the tendon and receding of quads. if you look through the posts, you will realize that almost all here had there repairs done within 72 hours. the big difference seems to be casting versus bracing, and wire loops versus no wire. some of us have also had wire loops placed that were either disolvable or permanent. those of us here in the US seem to have gone the disolvable route. why? not sure. which way is better? not sure. cast versus brace? not sure which is better either. one thing i do know is that a ruptured patellar tendon takes a minimum of 8 to 10 weeks to heal. if your surgeon wants to let you do things more aggressively, that is his choice. personally, i would not want to risk rerupturing the tendon because i felt the urge to go run 2 miles. weakened and atrophied quads can result in other injuries such as patellar instability, buckling,and patellar maltracking. is the risk worth it? i would think that all of us should follow our own recommended plan which can be tweeked by the physician based on progress made. so i think it is important that we dont do comparisons and feel compelled to change our plans based on another posters progress. i think it is important to look at each of our protocols and talk to our surgeons if we do have questions or ideas that we might want to try. while my surgeon was very conservative in my post op protocol it was done in my best interest, non weightbearing for 10 weeks without brace, weightbearing with brace and constant cpm while in bed. my repair itself was very fragile and was at a great risk for falling apart. so am i upset that i couldnt go running or riding sooner then others? nope. i am happy that i have not had any setbacks along the way, of which i feel i would have had i returned to physical activity too soon. but we are all different and that obviously plays a huge part in our bodies abilities to recover. i have found it extremely valuable to read about all of our journeys along the way and i commend all of us for the progress we have made...big or small!

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Marcia on September 10, 2004, 01:32:20 AM
Hi
Hugh was at the hospital this morning and it was decided that the wire would have to be removed and the knee manipulated and he went in this afternoon and will go to thearter tomorrow. Not bad for the NHS!
Hopefully that will allow the knee to bend without any more problems.
Marcia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on September 10, 2004, 08:50:24 AM
8 - 10 weeks??? I'm sorry if my post offended you but I'm only telling you what my experience has been why would I say something other than the truth ??? My ortho has been doing this for years and he's does a great job. I honestly have never heard anything about 8-10 weeks for the tendon to heal, it was more like 6-8, with PT starting week five.  But I was informed that I could get into the pool while on vacation after my staples where removed after week three. Not swim! but enter the pool and wade around...Important! your knee will burn and peal if exposed to direct sun light shortly after PO. Maybe my doc is more aggressive and that's why a large number of our athletes utilize his services.. Bottom line he gets the job done. I'm not trying to instill bitterness in anyway shape our form I'm just sharing my experiences. If you are offended by a professional utilizing a different approach, read this post, take it for what it's worth an move on...I'll still be up and walking in the morning....Later ;)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on September 11, 2004, 01:28:21 PM
Hi Manxman,

Sorry for delay in replying. I got back yesterday from a week in Norway (UN disaster response exercise, my knee stood up well though to be honest I spent most of my time in the tented control centre, not too much running round...).

Congrats on your new job. Know how it is...I had to start my latest project, in Holborn, the week after busting my PT back in March!! Come to think, today (11 Sep) is the 6-month anniv today of my injury, but a much bleaker anniversary for many people, obviously.

London commute seemed daunting at first. I called them to find out about disabled access. Basically, there isn't any. Was told the nearest tube station to Holborn with disabled access was Westminster, but there was bus from there to Aldwych, "but it's only 5 mins walk from there". Leave you to imagine what I said.

Main problem with the tubes are the short flights of stairs between interconnecting platforms, and then from station concourse to street level. Escalators are not too bad on crutches, the first time is, well exhilerating but you soon get the hang of the timing required (crutches on/off first then swing both legs). No big deal IMO.

The stairs are easier going up than down, I held one crutch in my fingers while using the rest of that hand to support myself on the handrail. Most strenuous was the walks on the level, you really need padded handgrips or better still those with ergonomic handles. Actually I have a pair with those and you're welcome to them if you want them. A friend in London has just finished with them after a broken leg - let me know where you are and we'll get them to you.

On the trains you have to overcome your (I'm sure) natural modesty. Otherwise you won't get a seat most of the time...most people are buried in the Metro or their paperback and don't notice you. Once you get out of the cast it's actually good to stand, it's just like the balancing/strengthening exercises they give you at physio!

I was lucky and never missed a day's work except for physio/ortho appointments. People at work were great, they are a pretty active bunch and most had some experience of crutches etc. The lift broke one day (6th floor) which was "character forming".

Hope all's well. If I can help in any way, or you can give those crutches a good home, let me know on the board or off-line (email [email protected]).

Hi to all my old friends on the board by the way, will enjoy catching up with everyone's progress...once I've unpacked!!

Cheers, Nigel


Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Marcia on September 12, 2004, 04:32:35 PM
Hi

It has been the wire in Hugh's repair that has been preventing any more bending and when the swelling and pain goes he is hoping to see great results.

With the extensive physio he has doing his leg is strong so hopefully it will not be long before things improve.
Marcia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on September 13, 2004, 01:52:36 AM
Good news, Marcia.

Thought some of you might be interested in this from the BBC website:

"Scientists have found nutritional supplements can stop the muscle wastage associated with extended periods of physcial inactivity.
The loss of muscle strength can be a problem, for instance, for people confined to a hospital bed.

A University of Texas team were able to check the process by giving volunteers drinks containing essential amino acids and carbohydrates.

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism."

Have a look at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3644036.stm.

An abstract of the original is at http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/gca?gca=89%2F9%2F4351&sendit=Get+All+Checked+Abstract%28s%29

Not sure what this means. Can anyone recommend a "Essential amino acid and carbohydrate supplementation" that's available over the counter?

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on September 14, 2004, 03:29:45 AM
Ugh, guys it's getting tough to keep my chin up, especially today.

Went to the doc AGAIN to get the infection checked, it's not getting ANY better at all so the doc went in and tried to clean out the knee himself. He finally cut out the stitches (my body rejected them so badly), and he also tried to scrape all the yellow stuff (puss?) using a scalpel. I was on a lot of morphine at the time, but nonetheless it was VERY painful.

Problem is, I have very bad circulation in that leg (from a previous injury, I have nerve damage in that leg), which means theres a bloodflow problem in the knee -- he can't get the incision to bleed! He was trying everything he could to get it to bleed today, he finally succeeded and I bled pretty badly in the room, which was quite nasty.

So after he was finished gouging things deep inside my knee, I was left with a VERY large hole. The big incision expanded so badly that it's literally a HOLE now. Because of this, he's sending me to a plastic surgeon to see what they can do, it won't heal on its own at this point.

Ugh, I really wish my body would stop freaking out, seems like if I get injured my body just doesn't know what to do so it just shuts down! It's extremely frustrating and painful (you wouldn't believe how much pain I am in right now), very upsetting too!

I'm trying hard to stay positive. Just a bad day, that's all. Hopefully it'll look better when I go back to the doc on Wednesday (that's the fifth time I've been to the doc in a little over a week!), so PLEASE keep me in your thoughts!

Hope you are all having painfree-knee days!

Patricia :'(
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on September 14, 2004, 07:14:07 AM
patricia


hhhmmm...i am a little bit concerned about this. did your o/s put you on a new round of atbs? when are you going to be seen by plastics? asap or when they can work you in? an infection in the knee is not to be taken lightly...early treatment is prudent and i dont want to see you go through another grueling weekend untreated. by the way, is this o/s the same one who did all your previous procedures? try and keep your chin up...it is going to be a tough rehab...no question about it...but it will get better...hard to say since i remember people telling me the same thing and all i wanted was for someone to take the leg off!! things did get better...not perfect...but better. so hang in there! and demand to be worked into the same day schedules or go to the ER...you may have a better chance of seeing plastics there.

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on September 14, 2004, 07:56:32 AM
kim -

Yes, he did put me on another round of the antibiotics, he's definitely on top of everything right now. As of right now, I am going back to the office on Wednesday to see how the knee looks; that will determine when I should see the plastic surgeon (whether it should be immediate or if we can give it a little time).

As for you other question:

No, this is not the same OS as the one who did my previous procedures. I went to this OS in July for a second opinion after my pain management doc really pushed that there had to be something wrong that my doc was missing. Turns out he missed a LOT of things, I had quite the screwed up knee all along!

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on September 14, 2004, 03:25:42 PM
Hi all,

Marcia, good luck to Hugh on his PT. 6 months seems a long time for the wire to stay in, and now its out, hopefully it should help the flexion. It will be painful in getting it going, but it will get going again.

Patricia, our thoughts are with you and your extended recovery!! A bit off topic, but your "hole" in the leg reminds me of the person who was in the next bed to me in the hospital ward. He was on holiday in Portsmouth visiting family, and went fishing with friends. Whilst fishing, a bug bit his shin a couple of times just below his leg. He just swatted it off and thought nothing of it. He then noticed after a couple of days it was infected, and went to hospital, and they operated the next day, leaving him with 2 holes in his leg, just below the knee. For the first couple of days he was in a lot of pain also, but it did get better, and enough for him to go home after the third day. He still had to see a local district nurse to get the dressings changed regularily, and was also asked to see a plastic surgeon also. This just shows how the easiest of things can cause so many problems. Like Kim has said, keep badgering the docs, and it will get better.  

As for my progress, had my PT today, and was able to get my leg around to 105 degrees bend. I was very happy about this. Unfortunately,  ;)  , after seeing the doc yesterday, I am now able to go back to work full time, subject to continued PT. Reality bites!   :D  

Keep up the good work all, and grit your teeth through it where necessary (as I am doing at every PT session  8)   )

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on September 14, 2004, 06:17:32 PM
Well done, Andy. Hmmm. I'll have to rethink the idea of fishing being my only sport from now on ;)

Patricia, hang in there. We're all supporting you. It's hard sometimes, but you seem to be making progress, slowly - but steadily. Keep speaking up when you are not happy, demand an explanation. You are a patient - which means you are not an object and more than a customer. I never stop asking questions - which is probably why the nurse laughed out loud today and showed me my medical notes, where it was written: "patient is journalist and can look after himself"!!!! ;D I'm not sure what they meant... You do need to check and question doctors. Mine today absent-mindedly put down that I needed an appointment in four months!!! I pointed out he meant four weeks. That's quite long enough, thank-you :)

Anyway, if it will help you, I have now had four tendon problems - two patellar tendon ruptures and operations on both Achilles tendons. Apart from the latest snap, the other legs are fine. You'll be back enjoying yourself once through this and it will all seem like a distant dream. And it does teach you things - patience, for one. And in my case, to slow down!

Best news was, I complained hat I hadn't had a badge when I went to the clinic today, so the nurse came into the public waiting area and stuck one on my shirt with a tortoise saying "I was monstroucly brave" :D If they haven't given you one yet, Patricia, make one for yourself!!!!

Cheers

Manxman
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: hjumper on September 18, 2004, 01:23:40 AM
12 weeks from the date of my injury and I finally got rid of my brace after my 12-week check-up visit with my surgeon. I am also allowed to workout on the stationary bike or swim, but no running or jumping yet.

There is still some swelling around the kneecap but it has improved significantly over the last two weeks. ROM is around 115 degrees. The improvement in ROM has slowed down over the last few weeks. My PT doesnt like to push hard. She said I am doing pretty good and no need to rush things. She thinks in my case, flexibility will come naturally over the next few months as the swelling completely goes away, so there is no need to do assisted bending of the knee. Stationary bike should also help improve flexibility.

My left quad still looks much thinner than the right, but  the actual strength improved quite a bit over the last few weeks. I can walk or go up the stairs without noticeable limping, however, going down the stairs is still a problem. I have to lead with my left leg unless the steps are really low. Overall, the best thing is that now the knee feels pretty stable and I have very minimal pain in the immediate area surrounding the tendon.

I am hoping that I will be allowed to jog after my next check-up in 6 weeks...

Good luck to all RPT victims on the board on their way to full recovery!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on September 22, 2004, 03:23:44 PM
PAIN AND PILLS....

When is pain good pain, when doesn't it matter and when should you watch it? ???  I've started my new job - which involves getting the underground (tube) into London. Knee is a bit sore today (day 3) around the kneecap where the tendon is tied in but nothing major at all and I can keep the leg up all the time. Should I worry or is this a healing pain?

And pills. I'm taking a multivit and vit c, but the physio seemed pretty sceptical about Glucosamine, Chjondroitin and/or MSM. Any views?

Hoep you're all hobbling back to full recovery :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on September 22, 2004, 03:34:51 PM
Hi Manxman


Pain is always to be expected around the knee area for
some time - however are you still in a cast?

Are you taking pain killers - Co-codomol or anti inflamatories?

Best wishes to your new job

JohnK/Manchester UK ;) :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on September 22, 2004, 05:42:47 PM
Hi All, I don't know why but it seems like forever to put a post reply on this thread, do you all experience a long wait on dial-up?  hjumper is doing great with his brace-free life now but be careful not to overdue it man, it took me a month longer and I just recently quit PT and I've noticed a lot of improvement lately just by being patient, I have almost full ROM, strength is getting better and I can even squat to do menial repairs around the house, not sure if it's ship-ready yet but I go to the doc in a couple of weeks and maybe he'll pronounce me fit. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on September 22, 2004, 08:02:21 PM
EngKnee - what do you call a "menial repair" at home...last we heard you were up on the roof, wasn't it? I've no excuse any more for ignoring the Honey-Do list, just had half-dozen of the house doors off their hinges to plane them, I can kneel (just about) on bad knee though not very comfortably, so instead tend to adopt a kind of "Yoda-Half-Lotus" position when I need to sit on the floor.

Manxman - I think it's hard to say what is "good pain". However I did certainly have some discomfort while I was at your stage, especially after walking or standing around. Felt like the kneecap was a lead weight and was pressing down on top of tendon. That's more or less gone now (6 months after surgery) although I still feel it a bit if I overdo things - usually 24 hours later. Not serious though, just a reminder of the injury.

I've been going to the gym for 45 mins every morning for last couple of weeks (I've got some free time as I'm starting a long postgrad course at the end of this month). Can run reasonably well although I've really been sticking to static cycling/rowing and resistance machines. I can feel the wire grating a bit under the skin and the kneecap doesn't feel like it's tracking perfectly smoothly. I have an OS appointment tomorrow - first for a couple of months - so will ask about that. Anyone else at the 6 months+ stage can share anything? I think I must be the only one still with a wire left in?

Cheers, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on September 22, 2004, 08:11:46 PM
Re: Glucosamine etc. I started taking them, but then did a web search to see if I could find any evidence they might actually work for PT rupture. Came up with no studies that demonstrate any benefit with knee/tendon injuries generally, although some benefit with knee arthritis. So not proven as far as I'm concerned, though I'm probably a bit of a sceptic about vitamins/supplements generally.

Anyone found anything (I mean actual clinical evidence) to contradict this?

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on September 22, 2004, 08:32:22 PM
Hi JohnK, Nigel and EngKnee... what a team ;D

John - yes, I'm stil in a cast. It's not a major pain, just discomfort at the point where the patellar tendon goes into the kneecap. I know the surgeon drilled the kneecap and then sutured the tendon in as well as using the wire, so I'm sure it's normal. I just wanted to be sure I wasn't overdoig it. The right knee is very sore - which is a bit worrying as that was the one that went 10 years ago.... ??? I've got painkillers, but I'm not taking them - I wasn't prescribed anti-inflammatories, so I decided not to bother. And after your comments Nigel (which confirm my assessment) I'm not about to invest vast amounts in Glucosamine. A multivit and vit c it is then (they were free!)

Thanks for the feedback people. Good luckl on the road to recoevry. Make sure it's smooth for whe I get there :D
Cheers
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on September 25, 2004, 12:09:29 AM
nigel

wondering how your appointment with your O/S went regarding your wire...keeping it? or taking the bugger out? glad to see you are back to a lot of your favorite activities...running still has no appeal to me...but you go right ahead!

john c.

glad to see you are almost back to normal....will those legs be steady for those big seas? maybe you could practice on a trampoline like i do which has helped with my balance and propreoception...does anyone else do this? i balance on a trampoline on my repaired leg (one touching only) while throwing a 4 to 6 lb ball at another trampoline which shoots it right back at me and i have to catch it while maintaing my balance.

patricia

how is that knee healing? getting around a little better? incision healing? have you started PT yet? or still in that cast? i still dont know why they have to keep you in it but seems like patellar tendon rupture repair procedures are pulled out of the magicians hat. my thoughts are with you and i want you to know that i sincerely care, i know how tough it is!!!

where is our dear friend from kosovo and our friend the backpacker from oregon? and who is this manx man anyways...and where did his name come from? does he have a manx cat at home like i do? and where is our ocean liner salesman? too busy playing rugby i assume...and gentle john from the UK? ,i guess that as each of us gets better we can stand on our own two feet a little easier, and its "back to life"...but you guys, i will always be here since i also have arthrofibrosis and i have made it my mission to never let another unsuspecting person have a MUA and end up with a destroyed joint like i did...so i am hanging over in the soft tissue forum with the other cool chicks...heather, jaci, jennifer, janet, sarah, pam and chris....

peace to all and dont break a leg!

kim

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on September 25, 2004, 02:26:39 AM
News hasn't been all that great. While I did have my cast removed this week (hoorah!), everything else hasn't been so good. I went to the plastisc surgeon, who wants me to use something called a Wound VAC; don't know much about it, but I don't really need to get into that now because now I'm not even sure if I'm going to be using it or not.

I *did* start PT on Thursday, but my session was cut drastically short because the therapist (I'm at a new facility, new therapist guys! :) ) wasn't sure how much he could "torture" my knee in terms of ROM with the large hole still in my skin.

It did feel good, however, to find out that my doctor and the therapist had a meeting the night before I started PT and created a whole new program for me. Doc is making sure I have the best care possible, and I feel really safe knowing that.

I went to the doctor today, and he was still not impressed at the rate of the healing. He wants me to go to a Wound Clinic on Monday with him so we can hopefully find something that can speed up the progress. He also ordered a third round of the antibiotics (new drug this time), because the infection has yet to clear up either. Ugh.

So, until I go to this Clinic, I'm not allowed to bathe (I had just started showering again, too!). Sucks, but oh well.

BTW, I'm in an IROM brace now, if I didn't mention that already.

Therapist is getting me a home electrical stim machine (sweet!) and he's really pushing for the CPM. However, I can't really do much bending until the hole closes somewhat. This creates quite the problem, especially with my history of scar tissue problems. My doctor is especially concerned with this as well, he fears that if we cannot get the knee moving within the next week or two, I will be back in the OR for another surgery.

I guess I have to take the good with the bad, eh? :(

Pray for me guys!

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Heather M. on September 25, 2004, 03:17:08 AM
Patricia,

In the past, I've had wounds stay open more than three weeks.  While I was on antibiotics the whole time.  What that meant was I wasn't on the right antibiotic--it knocked back the infection, but didn't get rid of it.  And since the body will not allow the wound to close in the presence of infection, that meant my wounds stayed open.

To underscore the importance of the right antibiotic--I had a staph infection--a nice little hospital bug.  Not a superbug, thank God, but definitely one that had been around the corridors and OR's for a while.  I was on Cipro for over three weeks (that was after three days of IV meds before and after the surgery).  That's probably because I'm allergic to anything in the penicillin family, but can take the man-made stuff.  So Cipro it was.  But it wasn't doing the whole job.  The infection did subside, and I certainly didn't have pus, redness, or heat at the site of the incision.  But within 48 hours of completing my three week course of Cipro, I was back at the clinic with fever, nightsweats, drainage of synovial fluid from my knee (ewwwwww), redness of the wound, and a general feeling of being ill.  To say nothing of the blinding pain.  I had the knee aspirated and cultured (no good after all the Cipro, we knew, but had to try to get a culture).  Then the OS wanted to wash the knee out arthroscopically...it would have been my fifth scope in 7 months.  I said I had to go home and get my family down to watch my dogs and me, so we agreed to schedule the scope for Monday (it was Friday).  In the meantime, the OS sent me home on Levaquin (very expensive, but strong).  Within 36 hours the hole in my knee closed like it had been zipped shut.  The infection was gone and I felt like a new person.

Unfortunately, the infection left behind a nasty amount of scar tissue, which I had to have removed 5 months later...but that's another story.

Just wanted to tell you my little story to say that there is hope with the right meds and therapy.  If your wound won't close, a wound clinic sounds like just the plan!  Hoepfully they will help you get on the right meds and get past this.

Heather
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on September 25, 2004, 02:51:15 PM
Hi all,

I am still progressing as the weeks go along. I am up to about 120 degrees bend, when I give the leg a tug  :) . It is more difficult bending using just my leg muscles when standing, getting only around 90 degrees. But it is feeling a lot better.

My PT has changed this week from one-on-one, to a group session, with another 9-12 others. We all have various knee injuries, but I am the only RPT sufferer. I am now doing about 1hr 15 min group sessions, twice a week.

I have been able to ride the static bikes in the PT gym, with normal peddle settings, for about a week and half now. I am going to get my own bike out of the garage and give that a go this week. This will be a massive step forward for me, as I don't drive, and before the injury, cycled to and from work. Given my progress on the static cycle, getting going should be ok, its just the stopping and starting which should be fun, testing the strength and control in my bad leg. All I can do is take it easy, and slowly.

I have been back at work full time for 2 weeks now after 3 months off. It has been weird having to iron shirts and put on trousers, instead of just shorts and t-shirts  :D . One good thing has been that I am walking in and out of work daily, about a 25-30 min walk. I have been clocking up a few miles over the last 3 weeks, walking daily to help my strength and bend with regular motion. I have found this really useful.

Patricia, glad to hear you are out of the cast and into your brace. Hope your appointment on Monday goes well at the wound clinic, and you get the right treatment to get that infection beat!

Keep up the good work all,

Cheers,

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on September 27, 2004, 12:13:44 PM
Hi all,

Just catching up after a busy w/end - big party at home (Ab Fab theme). Dancing for a couple of hours full-on...great knee exercise. Now more exercise carting the Bolly/Stoli empties to recycling centre.

Saw my OS on Thursday (or rather, ANOTHER new one, they don't seem to keep 'em long at High Wycombe General). He saw me for about 2 mins then signed me off. Wire will stay in place for forseeable future, unless/until it breaks in other words. Have quite a lot of scar tissue around tendon but it doesn't seem to be getting in the way.

So that's me out of here (medically at least), after 6 months...it's been a gas!! Will try to keep up with you all via the board, and if anyone's passing this way (south Buckinghamshire) let me know and I'll buy you a beer.

Bye for now.

Nigel

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on September 28, 2004, 08:47:58 PM
Hello all! Dose anyone have any ideas on how to breakdown scare tissue????  8) Just wondering what others have or had done?
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on September 28, 2004, 09:35:32 PM
There seem to be different approaches in different places. The final option seems to be surgery, but in my case (the first time, years ago :-/) I managed to do it with careful (though painful) physio with an excellent physiotherapist. Best thing is to discuss it with your OS and physio. Is there a problem? Is it interfering with the running?

ANOTHER POINT - My wife is planning a long weekend family holiday in December - probably going by train from the UK to Paris or Prague, doing a bit of sightseeing and sitting in warm restaurants  ;D It'll be 10 to 11 weeks after my scheduled release from plaster (two weeks away and counting). I'm now at about 80 degrees bend when doing physio (I've a split plaster on), but the quadriceps are still weak. Can anyone suggest how much/far I'll be able to walk by then, assuming normal recovery?
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on September 28, 2004, 09:44:06 PM
AFF2?? You have made remarkable progress on your injury, congratulations are in order for such a fast recovery.  Are you at full ROM?  I'm not sure the exact nature of scar tissue but it has been discussed on this thread quite often so I think I know a little about it.  Some folks have so much of it that they have the tendency to rush to the surgeon to have it removed, most folks on here say that's a NO NO. :-/  I think with an injury like the one we sustained we ALL probably have a little scar tissue to deal with and it can probably be dealt with best by exercise and massage in a timely fashion before it gets out of hand or gets worse.  I feel it when my knee feels stiff sometimes so I exercise and massage the area until it feels better and loosens up some.  On rainy days, like today here in WV, it seems to be worse so I'll go down in my basement and work out on the stair-stepper until it feels better.  I think in my case the scar tissue is pushing my knee cap up and away from the joint to give it a slightly displaced look but I'm not positive about that just guessing with some experience and reading what others have posted on this thread.  Keep up the good work!!  Nigel, I would love to have a beer with ya someday, it's great to hear from ya. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on September 28, 2004, 10:18:25 PM
Hi Folks - in particular to Manxman .......

Have noted your intention of visiting Paris or Prague in December - I have been to both many times - from a sightseeing point of view with your limited walking, Paris would be better because you have the choice of three hop on/hop off sightseeing tour busses -  which will avoid much walking.

There is no doubt  that Prague is in my opinion the finest city in Europe, and I have been to every country in Western/Eastern Europe - but a lot of walking,particually in the old town on cobbled streets.
  If you want any further advice, dont hesitate to contact me.  Hotel rooms are very difficult to obtain & they are pricy.

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK :P :P
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on September 28, 2004, 11:26:01 PM
Hey Manxman,

11 or 12 weeks out of plaster I bet you'll be able to get around pretty well. I kept one of those folding walking sticks handy (mine folded up to about 10 inches long so could keep in a small rucksack).

As John says, Prague is challenging terrain. Especially in Dec if there's snow. But if all else fails you can sit in Hotel Europa and drink Staropramen.

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on September 28, 2004, 11:31:42 PM
Well guys, it just gets worse and worse.

I went to the Wound Clinic yesterday, and the doc did a series of tests including a diabetes check, thyroid disease test, joint-infection test, and a standard culture. Out of all of that, at least I know I do not have diabetes.

Worst case scenario is that the infection has spread deep inside the joint. Hopefully that's not the case, but if it is then I'd need to go into immediate surgery to clean out the knee and maybe even get a joint replacement. Thankfully, it doesn't seem like I have this because I don't present any of the major symptoms. Of course, it IS possible to still have it, sometimes you don't suffer from any symptoms and can still be very sick.

After the tests and cultures, the doc numbed my knee and cleaned it out. Unfortunately, it started draining a lot (which it has been for a long time), and the doc had to stop. He did clean it out decently, so he wasn't too worried about that.

The draining WAS a problem though, because it appears that the fluid is from the bursa behind my kneecap, apparently it's "busted open" and is leaking (his words). NOT good. Doc then insisted we do go forth with the wound VAC, which I am getting tomorrow. It sucks because the VAC will be connected to my knee 24/7, I'll have to carry around the machine that will be connected via tubes in my knee in order to get around but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. *sigh* I'll also need to have a nurse come in every few days to clean the machine and change the dressings and whatnot.

Aside from that, the doc told me to stop PT and that I wasn't allowed to start bending the knee until further notice. DAMNIT! HUGE problem. I told the doc about my scar tissue problem and he said 'oh well, I guess you'll just need to have the scar tissue removed surgically after this...we need to get this wound closed"    

Finally, the doc is sending my to another specialist to discuss surgery options. Apparently, I WILL need surgery to close up the wound after I use the wound VAC. There's the possibility that the wound will still close up with just the antibiotics and the wound VAC, so I'm praying really hard right now that that will happen and I can avoid another TWO surgeries.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Ron22 on September 29, 2004, 12:05:37 AM
ouch..sorry pattie..hope you're doing okay with all of this.... u really need a break..keep praying for u..and sending a huge hug and healing thoughts your way..

take care

ronnie
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on September 29, 2004, 05:00:43 AM
EngKnee,
8) Thank you for the advice. I've been wondering about that the scare tissue and how it also maybe affecting the slight numbness. I'm just trying to work thru the weirdness of the new knee..I'm use to feeling some pain in it from the tendonious but now it's pretty good.  I had a complete tear in two, there was no pain or feeling what so ever. From the stories I've heard I think I got lucky with mine. I think it's odd how I've become more aware of people rupturing patellas all over the place. Last year I never remember seeing this at all.. I'm sure that with PT my cost where somewhere around 11.000 is that about the same across the board????
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on September 29, 2004, 11:55:52 AM
Once again, thanks guys. This board is really a boon. Paris over Prague it is, then (although knowing my wife, the destination is likely to change). But perhaps I should rule out climbing up the steps of the Eiffel Tower :D The folding cane is a great idea, too. My father in law has one with a little flask in the top - just right for a shot or two of a decent Highland malt ;)

Patricia, hang in there. You really are having a b*m time :(You will come through and we're all behind you. I don't know if it helps, but your posts help us all to keep going. I hope you've got good friends who are spending time with you. Don't just sit alone. You can still have fun - and one day this will be behind you.

Cheers - and sending positive vibes from the RIGHT knee - which went eight years ago and is proof you can recover well...
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on September 29, 2004, 11:57:53 AM


Poor Patricia - we are thinking of you having a very rough time - just hope that they have tested for MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphlococcus) - this has been a great problem in the UK hospitals due to poor cleaning and poor hygene.

Keep your chin up..........


JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on September 30, 2004, 06:35:50 PM
Hi all,

Patricia, ouchie!!  :o  As the other have said, our thoughts are with you. There will be light at the end of the tunnel, and we're all here for you pushing you along. Hope the VAC process goes well.

AFF2, scar tissue is a tricky subject. I like many others were worried about it when I finally came out of my cast, the the few weeks after. It was solid as a rock, and did seem to be hampering my bend, as it covered most of it!!

But as the physio has progressed, both my bend, and the scar tissue has improved. I massage it, with some Vitamin E lotion, everyday, plus the exercise has helped in difussing it. I still have it over the patellar tendon, about the size of a playing card. Its slighty softer now, but is noticeable to the eye. As long as it does not restrict my movement, I am going to leave it for now.

As for the cost of all the treatment, getting mine through the NHS, it doesn't cost a bean. Whether the treatment is any better or worse, is a question I cannot answer  :)

Keep the progress going all,

Thanks

Andy
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on September 30, 2004, 09:25:44 PM
Andy_H
Hey we had our work done the same day! :D
I still ice atleast once a day and take anti-inflamatories.
I think the turn around was rather quick for some reason
but I also think I have a ways to go. The knees sure don't look the same any more.. I also massage it once a day and it's weird because I can feel the tendon in there but some places on the knee I can't feel my finger touching the knee... Strange! ???

I only wish we had the NHS as an option! Out of pocket cost even after insurance are pretty steep!

Patricia I  will keep you in my prays and I hope others will to.. Stay up!

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on September 30, 2004, 09:27:03 PM
Maybe not the same day but close!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on October 07, 2004, 01:22:41 AM
AFF2, close but no cigar  ;D

On the subject of your knee not being the same as before,I have that same issue. I don't take anti-inflamtories or ice anymore. I haven't taken A-I's since the week after my surgury, and haven't iced since the first couple of PT sessions. I think the differences between our need for these is the time it took us to get back on our feet post surgury.

As for the the look, when I stand up straight and look down, my knee looks like a Telly Savalas crome dome  :o I used to have knobbly knees, but no more! Due to my scar tissue, I still can't feel the tendon itself. And when I touch the knee, their is very little feeling, the same as yours.

I have resigned myself to the knee never looking like the other one. Now I am getting close to full bend, as long as it doesn't cause me pain or restrict my bend, I can live with it.

Patricia, hope you are able to give us some good news on your next post. We're all thinking of you  :)

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth, UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on October 07, 2004, 12:31:38 PM
Don't worry, Andy, the knee will eventually go back to looking something like normal - on the basis of the one which ruptured eight years ago and seems to be holding up fine, even with the additional pressure of putting up with the other one in plaster... Your legs won't look like Marilyn Monroe's but they may end up looking better than Marilyn Manson's  ;D

Now, although I did my first one eight years ago, I also suffer from old age ;) and my memory is going. I hope to get out of plaster next Tuesday. I have a split cast and I'm very close to 90 degrees bend, but there has been quite a lot of wastage on the quadriceps (3cm at last measurement). Can anyone tell me what the normal protocol is (preferably in the UK...). Is it normal to be released from plaster at 6 weeks? Are you then told to do physio and start walking as normally as possible or is there an interim stage - ie brace or lightweight splint? Any other tips? I think I have abused the hospitality of the mother in law enough (I've had to stay in London to get to the new job - it's been hell. Woken up with a cup of tea, driven to the station, hot meal and a glass of wine waiting at night.... hold on a minute, why do I want to get btter ;D) and it'll be back to commuting on the main line trains. Given that the missus is off for a two week business trip and I really need to be around for the kids in the evening, that's not a bad thing, but again, any tips on the first week or two out of plaster very welcome.

And Patricia - hope it's going well. There are plenty of people out here rooting for you!

TTFN :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on October 07, 2004, 01:20:08 PM
Hi Manxman

As you will know, once the cast is removed, the leg will feel very light.

Don`t  try and be clever and run at once - work on it slowly to build up strength in the quads first.  Reaching the magic 90deg is the first achievment.

Are you still taking any pills?

Only a suggestion from my Consultant ---- sleep with a pillow between your legs - it takes the weight of the injured Tendon.

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK ::) :D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on October 07, 2004, 04:41:21 PM
Hi,

Manxman, thanks for the advice.

As for your queries, I was in plaster for 6 weeks after my Op. When it was removed I was advised to start physio as soon as I could, although being the NHS, they couldn't fit me in for 2.5 weeks!! They told me to wait 4 days for my notes to hit the PT department before I made an appointment, which due to timing over a weekend, was actually 7 days. My advice would be phone straight away, and get the appointment as soon as you can, which should still be longer than the time for the notes to get to the PT dept. I ended up wasting a week of my recovery for this.  >:( As such, I did lean on my private medical insurance, and got a weeks worth of physio before the NHS took up the baton, so losing only 1.5 weeks in total between cast off and physio starting.

Whilst waiting for my physio, I was using a cricket bat splint, which I had handy at home from waiting for my Op. I did find this very useful in providing support, whilst being light enough to be better than the full cast. I was also using my crutches out of the flat. Once physio started, it was only about a week and a half before I was able to ditch the splint in the flat and start to get back walking again, with crutches to hand just in case  ;) And only a couple of weeks more before the splint got ditched altogether.

As John has said, just take it easy. Wait for the physio to get going before you try and be too adventurous, i.e. going up and down stairs, or running. Just listen to what your knee is telling you. And the pillow between the knees is a great suggestion, I found it very useful.

By the way, I have managed to get back on my bicycle now, and have been riding in and out of work this week. Even in this short time, my knee does feel more flexible, and is taking only 4-5 steps in the morning to get going again. Makes me wish I had a static bike at home so I could have used it between PT sessions, or gone to a gym. But hey, I am on it now, and its all good  ;D

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on October 07, 2004, 07:58:32 PM
Hellllo All!
Hey Andy_H,
Funny thing, I was just told by my Ortho that I shouldn't be leg press the 695 that I have been pressing and he wants me to go back down to between 3 & 400 pounds.Now, how, where and when should I make gains???  I felt like if it feels good do it but it appears that the feelings not the same between the Doc and myself! If it's reps at low weight then how many reps are we talking???? ???
Anyone keeping up on Patricia?
How was the trip?
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on October 07, 2004, 08:58:28 PM
Thanks, guys :)

No pills, John 42. I've been put off by physio who has said there is no evidence of improvement plus newspaper articles suggesting little evidence of improvement for mega vitamins - but I'm happy to be persuaded...

(What I AM doing is - having convinced the missus that Egyption holidays were not ideal and initially considering a short break in Paris - planning a Mancunian mini break! Back home for me... an exotic trip for the Chelsea girl I married! ;D)

Thanks for the advice, Andy____H. I've got a splint from the time the French doctor refused to accept I had ruptured the tendon (meaning it took me 6 days to get from France to a UK hospital with the tendon ruptured... Ouch :'() The static bike is an interesting option. I'm likely to be stiffed on the physio, though. I have a session immediately after the consultant (already booked) but I suspect I'll have problems after that as I'm working in London and the physio is officially in Oxford - and as I've started a new job with the tendon, the private medical insurance won't cover it....

Hey ho... and thanks again :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on October 07, 2004, 09:05:23 PM
Hey AFF42.

Do you mean 695 lbs - reducing to 300/400 lbs? Seems very very high to me at this stage in recovery. I recovered full range and strength on the right leg (in fact better than the other leg) doing raises with a max of 30 rpt 30 lbs something like two months after my first op. Leg presses, according to even bodybuilding sites, "place(s) intense stress on the thighs, quadriceps, buttocks and hamstrings." Do listen to your doctor. Speed is not the important thing at this stage, just a full recovery....

Cheers
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: hjumper on October 07, 2004, 09:50:27 PM
The recommendation to me was to do leg press one leg at a time at a much lower weight and very high reps.

However, my PT-person says that doing squats (with initially no weight and then with minimal weight), lateral movement exercises and repetitive low-height jumps on a small trampoline is much better than leg press for gaining overall strength and balance.
Title: 'Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on October 08, 2004, 12:22:13 AM
Hey Hjumper, could you describe some of those workouts. That sounds interesting. I'm always looking for something new and ways to improve.... Thanks! I figure a little change never hurt anyone.... Man, let's compare some notes ! :D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on October 08, 2004, 12:32:36 AM
Hey guys, sorry I haven't been posting much, it's been a rough few weeks and I haven't been in the best of spirits lately.

I currently have the Wound VAC plugged into my leg, it's definitely not the most enjoyable of things. Basically it's a machine that suctions the drainage out of the wound and speeds up the granulation. Problem is, another incision has opened up so while the VAC is doing its job on the big wound, the little one (one of the scope incisions) is draining more than ever and is SO painful. :(

It's also very frustrating because people are constantly staring at me. I have a long tube connected to my knee, which is connected to a machine I have to carry around. It has a strap so I can tote it with me, but people find the need to make me feel awful by shooting me dirty looks. I can't stand it.

I'm also going to PT every day, have the CPM at home finally, and also have a personal stim machine for home use. I'm pretty much always connected to something. My range of motion is suffering, and I'm getting really nervous that there's a lot of scar tissue building up in there.

My doctor thinks the reason my body is reacting like this (the constant drainage and opening of the incisions without them being able to close up again) is because my body is horribly rejecting the sutures holding my newly-constructed tendon together. If that's the case, then he'll need to go in with a plastic surgeon and take the sutures out and find a new material to put in there. He said the sutures are supposed to be non-reactant, but about one out of every 1000 patients will have a reaction to it. Of course I have to be that ONE person, eh?

Aside from all the health drama, I'm really suffering, mentally speaking. My spirits are very low and I'm having a hard time keeping my chin up. My doctor tells me to go out and try to have some fun, but it's impossible when I'm always supposed to be hooked into some machine or in a lot of pain. Plus, it doesn't help that after going through this for over a year and a half, many of my friends have since abandoned me. I pretty much have nothing going for me. It's just a very difficult time right now.

I'll keep you all updated. Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts and wondering about me.

Patricia  :'(
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: hjumper on October 08, 2004, 12:44:14 AM
Quote

Hey Hjumper, could you describe some of those workouts. That sounds interesting. I'm always looking for something new and ways to improve.... Thanks! I figure a little change never hurt anyone.... Man, let's compare some notes !

I guess the easiest one is the single leg leg-press. You place your injured leg in the middle of the leg press platform and lift with only one leg. Given that most of us have a weaker leg after RPT surgery, this makes sure that the recovering leg is getting a good workout. It also works out the leg muscles that help maintain balance and control to a greater extent than the regular leg press with both legs. I also think it is a bit safer as the amount of weight you are working with is less and you have the option to engage your healthy leg in case you run into a problem.

The squats are typically done with a large (about 60cm diameter) plastic ball between your back and the wall. You transfer your weight to wall through the ball, which makes it possible to stand straight as opposed to leaning forward. This helps isolate quad muscles as opposed to gluteus maximum (hip) muscles. You lower your body (rolling the ball on your back) to a comfortable height and hold the positio. Initially, I was able to bend my knees to about 60 degrees. Now I can go down to about 90 degrees. As you get stronger and more flexible, this can be turned into a standard squat exercise where you go up and down at a slow pace. I use difference foot placement (narrow vs wide) for different sets.

In order to gain the balance and strength to be able to jump again, I work with a small "personal" trampoline. This is a circular trampoline, about  1m in diameter, strong enough to support an adult's body weight. Initially, I was doing double leg jumps, for about a minute, jumping not more than a foot off the trampoline.

These are pretty advanced exercises and require that your tendon have completely healed, so don't attempt without consulting with your doctor and/or therapist.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on October 08, 2004, 01:11:41 AM
hjumper, have you ever heard of the star? That when you have a slight bend in your knee ( maybe something like 5 degrees ) and with your good leg taping all 5 points around your side 10 times each while supporting and balancing yourself with your silghtly bent knee. You might what to ask your PT person about this first . I also take a small ball place it between the back of my knee and the wall with a slight bend in the knee and then straighten it out while pressing back against the ball. Thus causing the knee to flex and contract  the muscle and squeeze the ball against the wall. I also hack/box squat but only very light weight. I also preform weighted step ups 3 postion. I have a weight vest and a wooden step/ box  that I can work side angles and front left and right and also backwards.  My weight vest can go anywhere for 10 -50 pounds so now I'm just working my way up in weight an reps.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on October 08, 2004, 05:14:28 PM
Hi Patricia,

Great to hear from you again, even if you are not in the most positive of moods. I wish I could give you some practical advice and support, having gone through the same extended problems you have, but I can't. My surgury and recovery is easy compared to yours.

All I can advise is what I would do in your circumstances, in not to let these problems beat you. Don't get even, get MAD. SHOUT, scream, swear, break something, but avoid your leg please! Get a box of pencils and break them into little pieces. Buy some oranges, position yourself over a sink, and sqeeze the "pulp" out of them. That leg of yours is NOT going to beat you!!

You say you have lost friends, but you have gained quite a few here on this board. You can be reassured we will not abandon you. Any frustrations, disappointments, sadness you have, we're all here to listen, and help where we can. With most probably with more practical help and advice than mine.  ;)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, THAT LEG OF YOURS IS NOT GOING TO BEAT YOU! It takes will power and belief in yourself, you can do it.

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: hjumper on October 08, 2004, 10:50:30 PM
Great advice Andy! Patricia, try any which way you can to channel your frustration in a non destructive way. Listening to classical music and drawing pictuers calmed me down quite a bit when I had an infection after a knee operation (almost 20 years ago) that forced me to stay in the hospital for 10 extra days.

AFF2, I do something similar to your star exercise. I put my healthy foot over a sponge soccer ball, press it down as much as I can and roll it around my injured leg in both directions. This helps improve balance and coordination around the injured knee.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on October 09, 2004, 03:01:26 PM
Absolutely, hjumper....

Patricia, we're with you. Firstly, don't worry about people looking at you... It's better than them not looking at you ;)

Seriously, though, worrying about people looking at you assumes they're being in some way critical. They're not, and anyway, what does it matter...

Your friends... Have you tried calling some and suggesting they come and spend time with you? Sometimes people get embarrassed and don't call (I'm terrible at asking for help or for company!)... and if they don't all come round, at least you know who your best friends are...

Hjumper's idea is good, too. Have you a project you could get stuck into? I know it sounds daft and it's hard to get started, but having something to complete is a real motivation - and there have been lots of talk about people with a positive attitude getting better quickly. The first time I did my tendon (right leg) I put all the family photos in albums - it may sound boring, but they're the only ones in albums. The rest are all loose in boxes! :)

Then I had to commute to London - at least a three hour journey - only there were a number of crashes which meant the journey was hell (tho not as bad as for the victims of the crashes, which luckily, I missed). So, I started studying for an MBA by distance learning. I've just got it with distinction and won a prize for the university's best student. That's led to a bigger job, more responsibility, more money.

Of course, doing the left leg just before starting wasn't great, but I used the time to complete another management qualification - and I'm now in the running for another prize...

So, you can turn this time into a really positive period  that can have lasting positive effects on your life. Most people are rushing around all the time and don't have the space. But doing the leg/s in means you have to slow down. It's hard to start a project, but you learn so much about your own strengths and determination - and then when people look at you, it's because they're impressed with your determination, not your plasters 8)

So don't give up. Hang in there, we're behind you... albeit from a long way away (England)... and think about what you can use the extra time you have because of Stupid Knee

Cheers
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on October 10, 2004, 02:32:21 AM
Hi Patricia,

Me again, full of useless advice  ;). Here's another way I describe my situation.

When I talk about my injury, I call it a life changing injury. The reality is I will think about my knee in everything I do, not trying to over strain it. I will probably never play volleyball again. I won't get to use my specific volleyball shoes and knee pads that I ordered on the internet and were delivered the day after the injury (you think I jest, but it is true, a real bummer  ::) )

But then again, its just one change that has happended in my life so far, and will continue to change in future. My (messed up  :) ) family, my life at school, onto university, onto my 1st real job, and the 2nd 300 miles away, and now the 3rd 600 miles from the 2nd(!), not to mention the relationships in between, all have changed my life. The announcement we had at the office (a BIG BLUE office, can you guess?) a couple of weeks ago saying our job roles are due to move to another country on the other side of the world, with us not welcome to follow the jobs  :o,  is just another life change I will have to adapt to.

Throughout it all, I have learnt to adapt with what happens. Change where and how I live to get by as best I can. If I can do it, anyone can  ;D

This injury has, and will change your life. But you can control it. Use some of the advice the other guys have said, find your distraction to get you through this, and onto the next change in your life. If everything was the same all the time, life would be boring.  8)

Anyway, that's enough of my late night rantings.

Bye for now,

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on October 11, 2004, 10:56:47 AM
THanks for the well-wishes and suggestions everyone, it really does mean a lot. It's nice knowing that I can come here and find all the support I could ever ask for :)

As for an update on me, things still aren't all that great. I had my nurse come in on Saturday to change my Wound VAC dressing. Everything was going fine until she took the gauze off my other open incision, which had thick pus all over it. She started pushing on spots around the incision and all sorts of stuff would come out of the incision. It was awful. She said that I should call my doctor immediately about it because it looked very infected and was a concern to her, especially since I was already on antibiotics.

So I called the doctor's office, who contacted an oncall doctor. He told me that I could either go to the ER and meet him there where he would surgically clean out my knee, or wait until Monday so I could see my doctor and then he would probably do the surgery himself. Said that if it got any worse or if I developed a temperature to definitely make a trip to the ER.

Thankfully I didn't get a temperature, but it did get somewhat worse. Later on during the day, I took the dressing off and noticed that the incision had now been bleeding. WHenever I'd push on one particular spot about an inch or so away from the incision, a lot of pus and blood would come out. It was also very hot, red, and painful. I didn't go to the ER (still opting to go to the doc on Monday...I did contact the oncall doc again and he said this was okay), but now I'm very nervous.

I don't know what's going on with my knee. I'm still very frustrated, but now worried and scared. Please continue to keep me in your thoughts. Hopefully I'll find some answers on Monday.

Patricia :'(
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on October 11, 2004, 03:31:47 PM
Keep your spirits up, Patricia.

Just a thought, and I know doctors don't like to be told things, but it's worth stressing that you're on antibiotics but stil having this problem. There have been some cases in the UK of antibiotic-resistant infections (antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus  or sometimes methicillin-resistant S. aureus [MRSA]). Once spotted, they're relatively easy to sort out.

Also, if I were in your position and had a problem, I'd go straight in to A&E and not wait. Apart from anything else, things will just prey on your mind. Surely it can't do any harm, other than losing your time, and you'd set your mind at rest quicker. Of course, I know things are different there than in the UK, but you have a right to insist on the best care.

Good luck, keep us informed and remember, we're right behind you (if a little lame ;))

Manxman 8)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on October 11, 2004, 07:01:17 PM
Well I went to the doctor today, had to see a different doc than my normal one because he had the day off (of all days, of course!), but this doctor (who is a close friend of my doctor) suggested going in ASAP to clean out the knee and maybe even take the sutures out. So, tomorrow afternoon I'll be back in the OR for my fifth surgery in just over a year.

He's contacting my doctor as we speak, so I'll probably receive a call shortly with more details. *sigh*

Pray for me.

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on October 11, 2004, 09:24:24 PM
Your such a strong person that we all can learn so much from, your courage and strength inspires us all.
Keep your head up and stay strong you'll have that train back on track sooner than you think! ::)
I'll keep a candle burning for you..... Our prays will be answered... :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on October 11, 2004, 10:04:35 PM
Hi Patricia,

You give the saying "no pain, no gain" a whole new meaning!

We all wish you the best for your next turn on the operating table. Please post back soon with some news, good or not so good  :)

Byeee,

Andy
(Portsmouth, UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on October 12, 2004, 03:49:42 AM
Well, I have a little update on my situation.

After I saw that doctor, I went home and received a phone call from my normal doctor. He said he wanted to see me today and that he would meet me at the office in a half hour. So I went back to the office and he said he didn't want to perform the surgery because he didn't feel it was necessary. I was very upset at this point because my knee had been draining very badly and bleeding a lot as well. The pain was basically unbearable. He said he still wanted to let things take its course for the time being.

However, literally seconds after he said that he noticed that something was coming out of the smaller incision that had opened up. He looked at it, took a pair of scissors, and then proceeded to pull a suture out of my skin. It was actually one of the sutures that was supposed to be in my tendon. He got pretty worried at that point.

So, he called the plastic surgeon I had seen a few weeks ago and had me go over there right away. The plastic surgeon looked at everything and said that I'd definitely need to have my knee cleaned out because there's a lot of garbage inside of it. He also said that it was possible that there was a hematoma(sp) inside of my knee that had liquified, which would cause all the bleeding. Yuck.

He also took a culture of the small incision, saying that it's possible I could have a different infection in THAT particular incision.

What I thought to be the final decision was that I'd stop PT for the rest of the week and then have my knee cleaned out on Thursday and then resume PT and everything else.

That wasn't the end of it though.

Just about an hour ago I received a call from my OS. He said he had been thinking about the situation for a while and decided he *did* want to do more than just clean my knee out. He wanted to get the sutures out and "gently" manipulate my knee, while also breaking up the scar tissue during the surgery itself. Finally, he was going to make the smaller incision larger so it could drain more easy. If it can drain out better, then maybe it could close up and that would be that.

All in all, surgery has been delayed two days but it's going to be a more complex procedure than originally anticipated. It will be performed by not only the orthopedist, but the plastic surgeon as well.

Hopefully this will put an end to all these complications, eh? Until surgery though, I'm just going to rest -- no CPM, no PT, no Wound VAC...nothing. Just rest and more rest.  

I'll keep you guys updated.

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on October 13, 2004, 12:25:51 AM
At least they're moving with purpose. Do rest and let us know what happens.

In comparison with your news, mine is progressing. Plaster off today after six weeks, but another four weeks in a cricket bat splint. Things seem to be going OK. I'd like to move faster, but - and your story Patricia puts us to shame - it's better to take it easy. Lots of exercises and knee bending. Wire loop being left in. I'm at 95 degrees, which at 6 weeks I reckon is pretty good :)

So hang in everyone out there.... and especially Patricia. Let us know how it goes...
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on October 13, 2004, 06:29:02 PM
Hi everyone..
Im a former pro bball player who in april completely ruptured my left patella playing SOCCER :-*..
since this is not a common injury im SO HAPPY that i found u guys..i´ve been through hell and now im on my way back..I was in a cast from heel to buttcheek ;)for 2 weeks and then in locked don joy for 6 weeks.. i have the wire around the kneecap and back to screw which is inserted where the shin meets tendon..i hope and pray that im gettin it out nov 23..
my question is:
Do any of u guys know if this type of injury is carreer ending..???do u know of any famous atlehtes who been through this...
sonshyne
;D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on October 13, 2004, 07:11:48 PM
Hi Sonshyne

Welcome to the "RPT club" - as far as I know, you are the 32nd person world wide on two message boards to have suffered this very rare injury since December 2002, ( the first in Denmark).

You will be able to access lots of useful information from fellow sufferers on this message board - please keep the message board in touch with your progress. :o

The most famous person to have had a Ruptured Patella Tendon was RONALDO, the famous Brazilian football player - it`s perhaps no consolation that he was out of action for two years, but he did manage to return to proffessional football.  It is certain, that you wont be putting on your soccar boots on for many months, but we keep our fingers crossed for you.

With best wishes
JohnK/Manmchester UK :) ;)

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on October 13, 2004, 11:31:21 PM
Hi Sonshyne - and John 42. Hey, since I've snapped the left tendon (8 years ago) and then the right - ie not at the same time - do I get a special prize ???

I love the fact that Ronaldo is the other top athletic sufferer. The injury - of the patellar as opposed to the quadriceps tendon - is supposed to be a younger man's injury (Clinton - that's the US prez - snapped the quadriceps). It's particularly nice since I'm closing in to the 50 mark (couple of years to go yet :))

So, Sonshyne, you can get back to top level - but speaking as someone who ended up having another tendon injury) you may want to consider your future sporting career and decide whether you need to ease back a bit :(

First day in the office without the full plaster - just the cricket bat splint. Left leg v sore. Anyone else had this? I presume it's the other leg compensating.

And John... after the info on the board about where to go at Christmas - one creepy thing is that we were considering the Taba Hilton... so now the idea is Manchester! Back to roots for me, but it'll be a culture shock for the Chelsea girl I married! ;D

Cheers
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on October 14, 2004, 01:39:59 AM
Hi John and manxman..
So far my my progress has been positive..
My PT says that im doing a very good job and i haven´t had any complications so far..my ROM is 110 but thats because of the wire he says..
PT says that with the progress im making i should be back on the soccer field in april..(im a 6"8 goalkeeper) ;D
and my plan is to go to the UK for a tryout next summer..so i can prove to myself and to all of u that everything is possible if u want it bad enough and u work hard for it..

I might see u in manchester someday
john ;)
to all of u outhere
remember to never lose the faith and always do the best u can to get well...life is what u make it..thats my belief..
Stay strong.Sonshyne ;D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on October 14, 2004, 02:04:33 AM
Hi Guys,

Havn't posted for a while as a lot going on. Moved back to England (from Germany) and have started a 1 year law conversion course at university (aged 33  :o).

To remind you had complete ptr end January - 13 weeks in removable cast.

Still feel that the knee is very weak and am getting frustrated about not being able to do any sport (keen field hockey & Squash player). Have been very lazy with exercise though.

Has anybody else started sports again? How long did it take?

Tony
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on October 14, 2004, 02:15:01 AM
hi tony..
From what i heard it takes about a year to make a comeback.. this is not the time for lazyness..rehab and hard work is the way..
Best wishes
Sonshyne ;)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on October 14, 2004, 07:26:21 AM
Funny thing I've noticed that the NFL has taken notice of mystery behind the ruptured tendons. Given the numerious incidents that have occured and the dollars
spent on the athletes they have setting out the season. Something good may come of these studies. We may just gain some insight into what causes this and why tendons weaken ??? Maybe?
I figure any info might be handy to have.. :D


Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: invent on October 14, 2004, 11:15:21 AM
Hello All,

Ruptured my left patellar tendon 2 years ago and didn't know it at the time.  Just thought it was a bad sprain...

Long story short: I am now celebrating 2 weeks post op.  

I am off the pain killers but my groin is killing me from where my OS streched out my quad.  I am not sure what to expect for recovery time... but I can already take a few steps without the aid of crutches.  Is this normal?  

No cast... but a leg brace that has been locked to 0 and in 10 days will be moved to 30 degrees.  

Also, are there any tricks to healing the scar (i.e. Vitamin E, etc.)  I have an 8 inch scar down the middle of my knee.  (No staples)

Also... I think I have cabin fever... and have had a difficult time sleeping.  

Any advice, words of encouragement or just plain words would be welcomed.

Thanks in advance.

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on October 14, 2004, 02:28:13 PM
Hi Invent

Welcome to the RPT club - surprised that you could walk around two years without having your Ruptured Patella Tendon repaired.

If you read some of the posts on this message board, you will soon establish that you have sustained a very-very rare injury and it can take anything up to two years to get back to normal (if there is such a thing).

The best advice I got from my Consultant, was to sleep with a pillow between my legs - this takes the weight of the injured tendon.

Keep posting details of your progress and do ask us if you request any further information.

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on October 14, 2004, 02:31:10 PM
I read an article few months ago..the reason nfl guys has weaker tendons is because of the many cortisone injections they get..(Had a few myself) the problem is....while u are outhere doing your thing and feeling great..the cortisone makes the tendon weak and anti-flexible..try to see if can find anything about Antonio McDyess(NBA.ex NYC Knicks) I believe that he was out of action for 3 years..he started too early i think..
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on October 14, 2004, 02:31:13 PM
Hi Manxman

Rupturing both legs is very rare, although in your case, eight years apart is indeed very - very rare.

You are however not unique, because I am in touch with a gentleman in Melbourne who at the age of 54 years, fell downstairs and ruptured both legs.   He is quite a bad way and it will take a very long time to get walking again.

If you are intending to visit Manchester UK, then get in touch and we can sway yarns over a drink.

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on October 14, 2004, 02:33:44 PM
Hi Sonshayne

My Consultant informed me that if somebody is on Steriods, then this also weakens the Tendons.

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on October 14, 2004, 03:40:56 PM
Hi Invent, John 42, Sonshyne...

Agree with John, Sonshyne, how did you manage to get around for two years ??? I had six days in France when the doctor refused to diagnose a ruptured tendon (despite me telling him in perfect French what it was... "une rupture du tendon rotulien" ;D) I was in a cricket bat splint and in pain, though the rose wine helped ;)

Also agree on the cortisone/steroid (my understanding is that cortisone IS a steroid). Cortisone injections are/were common as a pain management tool. I remember a Sale Harriers 800 metre runner snapping his Achilles tendon in the Olympic semi finals after cortisone injections. I had one - against my will. I was on a treatment table and the doctor injected me. I sat up and agued furiously, but it was too late.

The pillow between the legs is great, John. I'll take you up on the beer! Legs a bit sore today, but taking it slowly....
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on October 14, 2004, 08:08:50 PM
Hey Tony, it's good to hear from ya dude.  I have the same trouble doing my exercises lately, I think I have a false sense of security going on.  My knee has improved tremendously from what it was just a couple of months ago but I do need to keep exercising.  Saw the doc last week and he wants me to be evaluated via a Functional Capacity Evaluation in order to determine if I'm ready to go back to work on the ship, that should be interesting.  Anyone know what this entails or if I could possibly reinjure the knee by trying to perform this test?  Should I study, sic, for it by doing massive exercises first?  Maybe I'm just blowing this thing out of proportion but I definitely don't want to go thru this disability again.
Invent:  how the heck could you have ruptured your patellar tendon and not known of it?  That is beyond my comprehension but come to think of it there are many things that fall in that category.
Sunshane:  welcome aboard and you are 100% correct about the exercising, it's just that some of us are exercise-challenged, so to speak ???
Patricia:   Your condition is utmost on all our minds and we are all praying for your complete recovery, keep the faith! ;)  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: invent on October 15, 2004, 02:20:49 AM
When I injured my knee... I thought it was just a bad sprain... I rode around on crutches for a few weeks and apparently scar tissue formed over the rupture and acted as a new tendon.  This allowed me to walk normal in a short amount of time.

It really wasn't that painful of an injury or I definitely would have sought immediate care.  I have however, always had a high threshold for pain

I knew something was seriously wrong when the swelling went down, but due to my job demands and my first born due in a couple of months, I failed to visit a doctor and decided to live with the injury until I could find a better time to allow myself to recover.  

Hence, 2 weeks ago I opted for surgery.  Now remember, I always seemed to have a high threshold for pain... but this surgery broke me down.  It has got to be the most pain I have felt in my life (as most of you know).  

In case you are wondering how I did this... I was playing in a soccer game, jumped between two players and got knocked in the air, which caused me have an awkward landing on my left leg.  

I am an ex-pro soccer player (2nd division) and ex-pro football player with no history of steroids or cortisone ever.  Retired at 26 from both sports and now at 31, I am serving as a media director for a large US company.  I also own two other businesses.  

I just want to thank all of you for posting such detailed descriptions of how your progress is going.   As much as I wish I wasn't.... Thanks for letting me part of this club.

- Invent  




Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on October 17, 2004, 06:19:29 AM
Well guys and gals, I had my surgery on Thursday (10/14). I'm still in a lot of pain and discomfort, but hey -- it's nothing new :P

So, like I mentioned earlier, I had two surgeons operate on me -- my OS and a plastic surgeon. They cleaned out the knee (scar tissue and infection), however could not go inside the joint to clean out more scar tissue because of fear that the infection would spread deep inside the joint (very bad!). So, that is somewhat of a problem, but we'll just have to deal with that later.

Doc said that the tendon was scarred down to the bone! He said that even though I told him before that I develop scar tissue very easily/quickly, he still was surprised to see how much was in there.

They also took out all the sutures that they could find (apparently they were all over my knee...kind of scary, seeing as they were SUPPOSED to be in my tendon :P ). My plastic surgeon said that that should cut back on the pain now that the sutures are out; I hope he's right!

The plastic surgeon also made the smaller incision that had opened up bigger. It's now a good few inches long, maybe about a half an inch wide. It's nice and nasty looking, but it's supposed to help with the draining problem, so I'm on board for that.

Finally, my OS did a "gentle manipulation". He got my knee to 90 degrees, but didn't want to go any further for fear of tearing the tendon. It's only been eight weeks since the surgery, so it would have been VERY risky to go further. He said that he will probably have to go back in and clean out the rest of the scar tissue after the infection finally clears up; the joint itself is still pretty scarred.

I tolerated the surgery pretty well, but when I first woke up I had terrible coughing fits. I also had a steep drop in temperature; when I woke up I was freezing even though I had tons of blankets and heating lamps on me.  Yikes! The nurses told me to keep a close check on my temperature, which so far has been normal, no drop or hike. At least that's good, eh?

As for the coughing fits though, that stunk pretty badly. I was coughing so badly in the hospital that my chest, ribcage, neck, and jaw were absolutely KILLING me. Even today, I'm in a lot of pain. And yes, I'm still coughing a lot. My mother looked at the back of my throat today and noticed a little blood (from coughing so much; according to a nurse I spoke with), which was kind of scary. She also said my tonsils looked VERY irritated. Funny, I've NEVER experienced this many problems after a surgery, but I guess each operation is different. Maybe the tube down my throat really bothered me this time around, who knows.

Aside from that, I'm re-starting PT on Monday, also seeing my doc for a second post-op appointment on Monday (saw him Friday, day after the surgery). I *do* have a few stitches in my knee (to keep the two large incisions closed), and I also have a different type of sutures in my tendon. Doc is going to keep a very close watch on it, make sure that my body doesn't reject THESE either. I hope so, I don't think I could go through this mess again!

Time to lie down, get back in that damn CPM again (lol)...BTW -- if some of this didn't make sense, I apologize; I'm <i>very</i> medicated right now ;)

I'll keep you all updated when I can hobble back to the computer!

Patricia  :-X
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on October 17, 2004, 12:29:25 PM
Hi Patricia

So glad that the Op is over and hope that you will now be on the road to recovery......  keep us posted of your progress and most of all, keep you chin up.

It`s nearly two years since I Ruptured my Patella Tendon and I see progress despite only being 117deg.

I was last weekend for a vacation in Berlin, and must say that the leg stood up well to all the walking.

I would send you a get well card or flowers, but the message board does not allow transposing these for you.

With best wishes
JohnK/Manchester
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on October 17, 2004, 03:45:35 PM
Hey Patricia, glad to have you back with us. I was keeping fingers crossed (crossing the knees was a bit painful). It sounds positive. Sorry the coughing is making things difficult, but John42 is right, progress comes, if sometimes slowly :)

So, here you are... (http://www.dmitchell.com/cards/flowers.jpg)

My leg is progressing - coming up to five days in a cricket bat splint (what is that for our US friends?. I have to say that at home I'm managing without and gradually trying to strengthen the knee. The bending takes time. I'm wondering if the restrainng wire has an effect. Anyone have any experience/views? How far can you get with the wire in?

Hang in there everyone, and especially Patricia...
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on October 17, 2004, 09:56:03 PM
Manxman,

The wire shouldn't stop you as far as I know. I still have a wire (it's being left in "permanently") and I have full ROM.

So no excuse to stop with the bending  ;D

Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on October 17, 2004, 10:04:24 PM
Thanks, Nigel. Oh well, back to the exercises :(

It does get sore and swollen at the end of the day - though it's only five days since I've been out of plaster, and I seem to remember that's normal...

Don't forget to get in touch when you're in limping distance :D

Cheers...now where was I. Ah yes, straight leg raises...
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Fisnik on October 18, 2004, 02:41:07 PM
Hey guys,

Long time no see!  ;)

Greetings from sunny California (well, it rained for the first time today after months of sun). I'm in Sacramento visiting my wife, who was sent here for a 3 month training programme.

A quick update, 5 1/2 post-op: No crutches, no brace, full ROM, no swelling, a bit of stiffness first thing in the morning or after sitting in a car for longer periods, still pathetic quads due to laziness, walking normally with no particular side-effects if I walk longer distances.

No problems doing straight leg lifts, but lower leg lifts seem to still be somewhat difficult. Has anyone had this problem? Any particular exercises to improve this?

I arrived in CA two weeks ago and I'm having a helluva good time. Went to LA and Las Vegas last week, where I finally married my girlfriend of 14 years and 2 kids.
;D

Will be in London on Tue 26th all day, before flying back to Kosovo on 27th. If any of you is in town on 26th, we could have a drink (or two).

Glad to see everyone making progress here! Patricia, you hang in there, girl, 'cos you'll overcome this in no time. Thumbs up to all the rest of you "weekend warriors" and thanks for all the help, advice and support you've given me when times were hard.

Cheers,
Fis
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on October 20, 2004, 03:47:08 PM
Hi Fish..
Standup with your back against a wall,place a bball in the lower back and one between your knee and press it..then do squads 4x15..this will help your quads and your balance..
Sonshyne
6"8 250lbs former bball player with squirky knees ;)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on October 20, 2004, 05:30:31 PM
Hi Fis,

I'm over 8 months post-op and still having trouble with lower leg lift. Getting easier but still a lot of crunching and grinding when I do it.

I'm amazed of people saying the were only diagnosed 2 weeks after the injury. I was left lying in th estreet in complete agony when I did mine (knee was also dislocated) I couldn't move at all and had to get a friend to call an ambulance.

Tony
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on October 20, 2004, 08:05:56 PM
Hi Tony

Likewise, after I slipped on ice outside my house, I lay there an hour before the newspaper girl was delivering the papers and saw me lying on the drive.  In no way could I stand up as there was no Tendon to support my right leg.

Interesting that no two persons are the same and I am still battling on two years later -  I have learned to take each day as it comes and hope for continued improvement.

JohnK/Manchester UK :D :(
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on October 20, 2004, 08:07:06 PM
First time, I was rushed into hospital :) Second time, I was rushed into hospital only to be sent home by French doctor who said it was not serious >:( The pain was there, but once I'd got a brace and kept it stable, the pain went down (or maybe the alcohol and my pain threshold meant I didn't feel it ???) I then had to be driven across France and fly back to England on Ryanair before getting to the hospital (God bless the NHS :D)

Sorry to hear you're having problems. I'm quite pleased with my progress. Seven weeks on and I'm regularly walking around at home or close to my office without any plaster or splint and the exercises are going well - if slowly and certainly not full range. Have you talked to your doctor about scarring and/or any problems caused by the wire loop?

Hang in there. Wonder how Patricia is....

8)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on October 21, 2004, 04:00:57 PM
How do you know when/if the wire has snapped? I've had very vague answers from the medics. The knee is progressing well, but the odd sharp pain to theright of the kneecap - nowhere near the tendon...

8)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on October 21, 2004, 06:12:53 PM
Hey guys --

Progress is VERY slow. Instead of taking it one day at a time, I've been reduced to taking it one hour at a time. I guess if it gets me by...

However, it ends up translating to very long, boring days. I have nothing to do. Doesn't help that all of my friends are away at college or are busy with their lives in general. I've grown extremely stir crazy in my house (I just hate being stuck in my room at this point), I dunno what to do with myself anymore.

Problem is, the only thing I can really do is focus on my knee, which my doctor tells me to try NOT to do (in order to keep my sanity). So, I'm left working "harder" than I should be, causing more pain. These past few days have been torture. My whole knee has been hurting, especially around my hamstring. I find it a little weird though, I haven't really had too much pain in the hamstring since a few weeks after the surgery (I had a hamstring augmentation, BTW). Now it just feels extremely tight and painful; I'm experiencing sharp pains in it and also behind the knee itself. I know I just had a manipulation, maybe that's the reason why it feels so tight and painful?

My tendon has also been hurting a lot more lately. I *have* been getting a little better in the CPM, but I'm kind of stuck at an impasse right now; feels like I can't get any more motion all of a sudden. *sigh*

I guess the scar tissue still left inside the joint is a problem, I do feel it when I'm in the CPM, it's so damn painful.

Worst problem though is my pain meds. I keep on running out! Percocet harldy works for me, and I just end up going through it so quickly. I've tried Dilaudid (didn't work), Vicodin (didn't work), and Ultracet (doesn't work well)...I feel like I'm running out of options without having to go back to my pain management specialist again. I *don't* want to do that. Ugh. I guess I have a lot to talk about with my doctor tomorrow, eh?

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on October 21, 2004, 10:09:49 PM
Nice to have you back with us Patricia. Of course it's hard and you have our sympathy ;)

"I guess I have a lot to talk about with my doctor tomorrow, eh?" - I know I'm getting old fast, but it helps me to write down the things I want to find out from the doctor and go through the list. If I don't I always come out thinking I've missed something :(

You say all your mates are away at college. Is there any distance learning course you could do? I did an MBA recently by distance learnign and it's had a major impact on my life - plus I enjoyed it. It would give you something to do and they can be really useful later on if you pick the right course... Just an idea. It might take your mind of stupid knee ;)

Hang in there....

8)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on October 23, 2004, 06:48:27 AM
Went to the doctor today, discussed a LOT of things...here goes:

He was quite pleased with how the incisions are healing now. Says it's *good* that they have been bleeding a lot; means there's bloodflow in the knee again. Since the fourth surgery (patellar tendon reconstruction), I had pretty much lost a lot of circulation in my entire leg, no feeling whatsoever around the entire knee and it wouldn't bleed at ALL. Still suffering decreased sensation and nerve damage but at least there's that oh-so-important bloodflow.

Doc is letting me start up PT again, also letting me stim my quad and I can ice the knee again hoorah! Initially he wasn't allowing me to ice the knee because it would constrict the bloodflow, and as you can very well imagine now, that's a big no-no! He said that while it's still a concern of his, he'd like me to be as comfortable as possible. As long as I continue to bleed, things will be a-okay. But if I start to drain a lot (with no blood) again, then to stop icing and to immediately call him.

BTW, back to the incisions -- they still basically look like two big holes in my knee, but at least they're starting to properly heal. Looks like I won't need the Wound VAC anymore (THANK GOD! I *hated* that thing!). Even though they look really nasty and disgusting, there's at least granulation and like I said earlier, bleeding ALONG with drainage. That's very good!

Scar tissue is still a concern (especially since there is still a lot left in the joint itself), but at least it looks as though we don't have to worry about the incisions opening up worse; that was the problem, I couldn't really do anything with the opened incisions, they'd just get worse and worse when I worked on my ROM. UGH. But anyways, the scar tissue issue (tee-hee) will be dealt with later; if I need another surgery, so be it. I probably will, but I'm gonna stay positive and hope for the best.

I still am on antibiotics (both oral and topical), and probably will be for another few weeks but I guess I gotta deal with that, eh? Sucks, but whattaya gonna do?

*Finally* I can really start rehabbing now, it's been LONG enough! He said I can start as early as Monday, which was music to my ears. I was also able to talk to my therapist as well, he ended up stopping in the office on the way out of the building (my PT is in the same building as my doctor), so that was good to let him know what was going on.

In terms of the painkillers, my doctor agreed that while it stinks that I have been on the percocet for so long (14 months now), it's necessary. I completely understand, I just don't like being on them for such a long time. He also gave me a script for a larger amount of the percs, which was what a desperately needed. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I couldn't even get in my CPM after I ran out of the pain meds; he realized his error in not giving me enough and agreed to give larger portions.

I'm seeing him again on Wednesday, hopefully I'll have made some progress in PT by then. I hope so!

Unfortunately I'm not in the clear yet (and probably won't be for a *long* time), but it was nice to hear some encouraging news for once. I just hope the news gets better and better with each day. :)

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on October 24, 2004, 10:12:07 PM
Patricia, the news you've given us makes us :) :) :);Your whole attitude seems one of hope instead of dread and this is great stuff.  Of all the posters on this thread your case was by far the most difficult and we all felt diminished by your troubles and emphatic that you get better with everyone offering their experience and hope.  It worked!!!!  You are getting better and despite the worst efforts of your physicians you kept at em until they came around to your struggle and made it their own business to think harder to solve your needs, and now you can rest your nerves a little. 8)  Keep up the good work!  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on October 25, 2004, 03:12:46 PM
Hi Manxman..
The pain u are having, could come from the wire "around" the kneecap..I just recently found out that the wire is going around it cause i was having the same pain as you..a little massage around the kneecap will help you a little bit, but remember to keep it elevated.
Sonshyne ;)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on October 25, 2004, 03:20:11 PM
Hi Patricia

So good to learn that you are making SOME progress,
albeit slowly, just keep at it and keep your chin up.

I think that you are due some more flowers!!!

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK




Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: BigBadD on November 01, 2004, 08:35:08 PM
Hey folks.  Got room for another?

My story - I ruptured my left patella tendon playing in a yearly flag football game for charity.  Was in the last couple minutes of the game.  "And there I was ..." running a deep route, trying to adjust for the ball and suddenly felt like I got kicked below the kneecap.  Took a spill (head over heels apparently) and that was pretty much it.  Ambulence ride, ER, etc ...  Admitted that evening and had surgery the next morning.

Just over 2 weeks post op.   IN the STUPID imobilizer of course.  Having the stitches taken out tomorrow.  Would love to start PT ASAP, just to break up the boredom.   Wonder what the OS is going to say ... ???

Quick question - from what I've read so far in this thread, it seems like I was "weight-bearing" somewhat early.  The day after surgery, they showed me how to use crutches, puting some weight on the bad leg.  Unusual?

Some many more questions.  And so much more frustration (summed up by saying "THIS IS SUCH BS!").  However, reading this thread already has me optimistic.  Thx folks.

D



Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 01, 2004, 08:40:10 PM
Welcome aboard, bigbadd. Not the best club to join, but I suppose it's better than nothing, eh? :P

I'm not sure I'm the best person to answer your questions, seeing as my case is a lot different than everyone else's in this thread, but I'll give it a shot anyways.

After my surgery, I was placed in a full leg cast for six weeks. I was given crutches as well, and told that I could do partial weightbearing AS TOLERATED, after the first 72 hours (which were to be spent in bed or on the couch with two pillows beneath my ankle). Hope that helps somewhat :)

Feel free to ask any questions, that's what we're here for! This thread is a great tool as well, sometimes you'll find the answers to most (or even all!) of you questions without having to even ask them!

Good luck with your recovery and rehab and PLEASE keep us updated on your progress!

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 01, 2004, 08:51:54 PM
Okay, now for a little update on me...

I'm back in PT daily, and I'm slowly progressing. I'm seeing a "team" of physical therapists, my doctor wants me to have the best care possible.

Unfortunately, two of my therapists argreed that I'd need to have my knee cleaned out again because there's just too much scar tissue inside. The PTs can get SOME ROM, but not nearly as much as they'd hope. I should be able to get about 90 degrees by now, but I'm nowhere close. Sure I'm at 90 in my CPM, but that translates to about 60-65 on the goneometer. Ahh well.

I'm also using all of the different machines to help decrease the scar tissue buildup and hopefully promote healing of the tissue. One of them  looks like a computer mouse with a laser on the end. Weird!

Seeing the doctor today, I'm hopefully getting the stitches removed. We'll see, though. I have yet to be on target with anything :P

I'll keep you updated, thanks for the well wishes! Hope you're all doing well! :)

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on November 01, 2004, 09:32:13 PM
Welcome a board bigbadd! These people are a great source of encouragement an advice. Help and support is at the tips of your fingers.. These guys are great!

Pat- to be so young, your are very strong!! Man, you go girl! Keep your head up. 8).. I'm sure by next summer those legs will be kickin! Later! ::) Post a picture then. 8)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Janet on November 01, 2004, 09:36:41 PM
Patricia:

I have been reading this thread because I started with a similar injury that nobody talks about: a quad tendon rupture. That was five and a half years ago, and I'm still here....so that says something about the state of my knee! Anyway, if you want some good information about scar tissue formation and the problems it can cause, go to the "soft tissue" section and read away. There are a lot of threads there and so much information. Scar tissue will not go away on its own, and can cause all kinds of permanent damage. I know you are working through a ton of trouble (I'm very impressed with your attitude and progress) and the last thing you want to hear about are more possible complications, but at least you can be aware of potential scar tissue damage.

Janet
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on November 02, 2004, 12:04:38 AM
Thanks Sonshyne - saw the doc today and he said the same, so that's fine. Thanks for he advice :)

Don't worry, Bigbadd (and welcome to the club). It's usually weightbearing as tolerated. My doc was quite happy for me to weightbear as long as the leg was not flexed...

Good luck. You're in good company here 8)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 02, 2004, 12:36:42 AM
Guys and Gals-

I just got back from the doctor. Feeling pretty good, I must say. I DID have my stitches removed! I was actually really excited to get them taken out merely for the fact that that was the FIRST time something actually happened when it was SUPPOSED to! Gives me hope that things are finally looking up! Hoorah for me :)

My doc also opened up the brace to 90 degress, says it'll make me work harder. Although the next few weeks are going to be extremely painful, at least it's the "good" type of pain.

We discussed the possibility of having to go back in to clean out the scar tissue. He told me that he couldn't really give me a definite answer as to if I'd need another surgery or not because he didn't want to inevitably disappoint me in the end. That basically told me that he thinks chances are pretty decent I *will* need another operation. Ahh well.

He gave me scripts for both percocet and ultracet, says to use the percs when I'm in extreme pain and before/after PT. Otherwise, use the ultracet for "everyday pain". Sounds good to me!

Other than that, I'm to continue with PT daily and really work the knee at home. He says I can start driving a little, too! :)

I'll be seeing him in a week, so that's when I'll post my next update.

Again, hope everyone is doing well and is having a pain-free day!

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on November 02, 2004, 12:39:51 AM
Hi BigbadD

Welcome to the RPT club !!!!!!!!!

You will be in a cast for another 4 weeks or so - if it works loose, then the leg swelling is going down - get down to the hospital and have a new cast put on.  This is very important  - dont try to put lots of weight on it for the first 4-8 weeks.

You are then in for a long haul to rehab .
Best wishes - keep us posted of your progress.

JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: BigBadD on November 02, 2004, 08:57:07 PM
Hey folks,

Almost 2-1/2 weeks post op (I'm counting).  Staples came out today (what an ugly sight ... ).

Bad news - 4 more weeks of being locked at zero.  F#@%!  ('scuse that).  No PT till then.

Was hoping to start some form of PT sooner, but I guess that isn't going to happen.  

SITTING .... I really want to get back to work, even if its just part time.  Big problem I have (besides fatigue) is just sitting upright in a chair.  I'm not a very flexible person to being with, and have had lower back problems in the past.  Sitting with a straight leg is a challenge.  Anyone have experience with this?

Patricia - I saw your last post.  Glad to hear that you had a good check up.  You're a fighter and its paying off.  Keep it up.


D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on November 02, 2004, 09:22:52 PM
Hi BigBadD

One suggestion was to sit on a chair with caster wheels and put your injured leg up on another chair.

Six weeks in a cast is normal and then the rehab commences........ugh.

Which part of the world do you live in???

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: BigBadD on November 02, 2004, 11:55:13 PM
Hi John.  I'm a canuck (Canadian) living in sunny warm Hartford, Connecticut, US.  

Ok .... maybe it isn't sunny and warm, but I am in Hartford, CT.

Actually one thing that I did find interesting was the approaches taken by OS's all over the world for this problem.  Guess I'm on the conservative track.

Thanks for the roller chair suggestion.  Problem I have is sitting in a chair with my leg up, even at chair height, due to the back problem / lack of flexibility.  Think I'll have to find a way to stretch a bit in the meantime to help with the flexibility.

Cheers,

D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: BigBadD on November 03, 2004, 12:08:49 AM
By the way .... did anyone try pushups, situps or stretching while in the STEWWWWPIDDDDD immobilizer?

I know that leg is going to waste away, but I don't want to lose too much weight.

D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on November 03, 2004, 12:21:55 AM
hi Bigbadd,

have a word with your doc/pt about getting a cpm machine. It passively bends your knee for you. I was put on one two days after my op

Tony
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: tburgoyne on November 03, 2004, 05:26:02 PM
Hey everyone:
I am a voice of experience as I ruptured my right patellar tendon 4 years ago at age 27 playing hoop and am now in an immobilizer 2 weeks post op from rupturing my left patellar tendon.  I now have matching scars and have done something most OS consider very rare.  both injuries were playing basketball.  I am immobilized still but after 2 weeks am allowed to start weight bearing with crutches as tolerated and am encourage to start passive range of motion exercises (consists of taking brace off while seated on the floor and using my hands behind my thigh to left my leg to bend the knee joint.  Little by little you will progress, but if you already have this passive range of motion, PT is much easier.  I must say that my right leg 4 years out is fully recovered and at pre op strength.  I returned to playing hoop competitively about 1 1/2 years after surgery.    I am not looking forward to this long road, but atleast I know what to expect.  I am sticking to golf now, no more hoop.  Any comments or replies are appreciated.

Tom
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on November 03, 2004, 07:10:33 PM
Hi Tom

Welcome to the RPT club --- :-* :-*You are  number 34 to have registered on two |RPT message boards since December 2002.  Very rare to do in both legs - albeit 4 years apart - Did your OS put this down to any weakness i.e. on steroids etc????.  At least you know that you are in for a long haul.

As for BigBadD - a few further tips as you are the new boy!!!!!

Have a look at the following web pages - they will give you lots of knowledge of your injury and importantly, read all the threads on this message board.



www.emedicine.com/orthoped/topic246.htm

www.arthroscopy.com/patendrep.htm

www.sma.org/smj1999/junesmj/enad.pdf

www.medscape.com
You must register first - suggest ""nurse""

www.Knee.1.com

You should also start looking for a pedal exerciser - not expensive - have a look at

www.physio-med.com
for ideas

Sleep with a pillow/cushion between your legs - takes the weight of the tendon. This was one of the best tips given to me by my Consultant surgeon.  (A young blonde would be a good substitute !!!! :-* :-* ;)

Best wishes  JohnK/ Manchester UK   ::) :P

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on November 03, 2004, 11:29:18 PM
Hi tburgoyne,

As another double tendon rupturer - mine also several years apart - you have my sympathies :-/

In my case, the rupture happened both times while playing sport - but was put down to excessive sport (athletics, steeplechase) years ago that gave me jumpers knee. No steroids in my case. Like you, after the first, I got back to full fitness and even jogged again and played tennis, although I stopped ski-ing. Now, like you, I'm planning to cut back to things where I don't stress the knee - cycling and swimming - especially as I also have had operations on both Achilles tendons...

From what you've said, you have exactly the right attitude and the right approach. I was very aggressive in my physio after the first one but am taking it carefully now. There's no reason, though, for not getting back to fitness... and improving my fly fishing! ;)

Welcome aboard... just mind the step ;D

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on November 04, 2004, 12:23:44 AM
Hi all,

Its been a while since my last update. First off, welcome to all the other single leg newbies, and Tom as a repeater  :) Patricia, great news, progress at last, keep it going  ;D

I am still going to PT twice a week, in a knee group class. I had a bit of a hiccup a couple of weeks ago where I was putting in just that little bit too much effort with some of the high knee exercises, and ended up straining my quad tendon on the bad leg. I have been easing off the exercises to help it heal a bit, and it was better at the PT yesterday.

I've still been riding my bike everyday to and from work, but I have also extended this to riding in and out of hospital for PT as well for the last 3 weeks or so. As others have said, its a great low impact exercise. I would recommend it on a static bike, or pedal machine, as soon as you all have enough bend. And ride home from physio is down hill, which helps  ;)

Last week, for the very first time since my injury, I actually knelt down on both knees. It was the weirdest feeling. I knew I'd lost a lot of feeling in the knee, but when it was fully bent when kneeling, it was very numb. No pain at all, which was great, just a strange feeling.  :o

Keep up the good work all,

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: tburgoyne on November 04, 2004, 06:03:28 PM
Hey all

Thanks for all the replies. I am now 2 weeks and one day post op.  Still a good bit of swelling.  My thigh is starting to shrink already.  I said to myself I was done playing basketball after this but I can't imagine it.  I played since I was small and am now 31.  I cant imagine just stopping.  My predisposition was the presence of painful patellar tendonitis my last 2 years of playing ball in college.  From what I understand, this jumpers knee condition causes small micro tears in the tendon thus weakening it and also can cause degeneration of the collagen.  This is something I was never told in college, I thought it was just an inflammatory response that cold be controlled with ice and anti-inflammatory meds with no long term repercussions.  Boy was I wrong.  I wish I would have known so that I may  have taken steps to reduce my risk of these two life altering injuries.  I will never be able to squat down ever again.  Anyway, I am going to quit before I depress myself.  Talk to you all again soon.

Tom
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on November 04, 2004, 06:42:46 PM
Tom, welcome to the forum on RPT and related rehab issues and thanks to John for being the thread historian of sorts, we definitely need one.  I was especially taken by Tom's story since we both incurred the injury playing basketball and also the fact that we had advanced tendonitis in both knees and were never told of the consequences of continuing to play our beloved sport.  I remember a long time ago when I visited a doc about my knee pain and swelling and he asked me what I was doing before it manifested itself and I told him I was playing BBall, he very simply told me to quit playing.  I remember laughing it off thinking he was kidding.  He never told me that to continue would cause a RPT, what a pity, it could have saved me alot of aggravation.  One time when I got my knees treated by an osteopathic doctor friend of mine he injected Lidocaine in the back of my knees, both of them, in a very difficult procedure and not one to be taken lightly or done by someone who doesn't know the intracacies thereof.  I remember this provided immediate relief and lasting relief for years.  I wonder if that procedure did anything like what the steroidal treatments being discussed here lately?  Anyone ever get these type of injections before?  I definitely don't want to go thru this surgery ever again if I can help it so I don't think I'll be playing basketball ever again, something about tempting fate comes to mind.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: tburgoyne on November 04, 2004, 09:54:05 PM
Hey John

I noticed that you lived in Martinsburg WV.  I grew up in Wheeling, and was an all state bball player in 90 and 91.  I played college for Wheeling Jesuit University.  My family is still there although I moved to Salt lake for work a few years back.  My sister is an attorney in Martinsburg and my brother in law is in to politics.  His father is a local physician with the last name Reisenweber.  Just thought I would throw that out to see if you know that family.  Take care

Tom
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on November 05, 2004, 05:32:33 AM
Good to hear from everyone and just lovin the board ... Everyone have a great weekend! ;D
Onward and upward, your getting better everyday!! Believe it!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: BigBadD on November 05, 2004, 06:00:56 AM
Hey folks,

Just thought I'd put up a quick post to see how all are doing.  Nothing new to report really.  I got cleared to go back to work next Monday (finally).  Not really sure how I'm going to manage everything.  I'm still pretty dependent for a lot of things.  But nothing to do but give it a shot.

Tom I guess we had surgery on almost the same day (Oct 17th for me).  I completely hear what you're saying about thinking hard about giving up hoops, etc.  I've been really athletic my whole life too.  Hoops and football - neither of which seem like great sports to do after recovering from this injury.  I kept thinking my sports career is over.  Buti n the back of my mind I know that when it comes to it, I'll try again.  It'll be a cautious try, and who knows if i'll ever be explosive again (even if my leg allows, mentally who knows) .... but bottom line is I'm gonna take my time to heal but I will play again.  Might not be like before, but in the back of my mind I know I'll play again.  (Maybe I'll play the old man game .... good set shot and lots of fouls instead of good D ...;) )

Some of the other stuff you mentioned kinda hit home too.  I've had knee problems for a while too.  Tendonitis in both knees.  I always though it was also an inflamation type issue, that you just learned to deal with via ice and advil.  I've got to revist that.  My OS things that previous degeneration (tendinosis he called it) led to this.  

On the subject of treatment, early this year, I went to see my regular MD about my left knee (the one that ruptured).  It was bothering me after activity, especially after leg workouts.  One specific spot on my knee cap (a bump) was the center of pain.  I got referred to physio.  The treatment helped, but I have no idea EXACTLY what they did.  Basically it was some sort of active diffusion treatment where a medicated pad was placed on my knee, using electrical potential to get the substance to transfer through the skin.  At the time, and based on what my PT told me, I thought it was someting to help reduce significant inflammation.  I had this treatmetn for 2-3 weeks, along with backing off of the weights and hoops.  Things were pretty much normal after.  But in light of the fact that I ruptured a tendon in that knee months later - I'm going to have to find out exactly what it was that I was treated with.   Did it lead to weakening the tendon?

Well, thats my two cents for today.

Best to all,

Onwards,

D  
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on November 05, 2004, 06:39:15 AM
Hey Tom, what a small world it is huh?  I know of the name you mention of the doctor, but not personally.  However I am involved somewhat in politics and may know the sister and brother-in-law, need to elaborate or email off-line at [email protected] with info. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ian99 on November 07, 2004, 10:31:26 PM
Did your surgery help?   My right has been bothering me for 7 months  and last nite, out of the blue I woke with sharp pain in my left knee - the SAME thing tons of pressure/pain going downstairs or going from standing to seating.  I had been doing light cycling before about 10 days ago but laid off entirely at the suggestion of hte latest PT I have been seeing..   Now both knees are hurting and I am losing my mind
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on November 08, 2004, 03:08:55 AM
Ian, you have a PT for your knees so you obviously know you have problems right?  You sound like you are experiencing patellar tendonitis of some degree.  Did you exert yourself playing sport before the pain and swelling set in?  Most of us all had the tendonitis before we ruptured the tendon and didn't even realize it.  If you read all the posts on this thread you will see for yourself all the stories, experiences and details surrounding our collective disabilities and hopefully gain insight on what to do in your own case.  I look at the tendonitis as a precursor of sorts to the rupture but am not sure what to do to avoid the inevitable (in my own case).  There may be certain exercises one can perform in order to strengthen the tendon and alleviate the tendonitis, find out for yourself if that's possible before you rupture the tendon and end up like the rest of us.  Good Luck to ya!  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ian99 on November 08, 2004, 03:43:01 AM
thank you - I am working on it.  Its frustrating to be do everything I have been told to do have things get worse...  that said, I read some more posts here and the stuff on this board is so extreme I feel like a major weenie whimpering on our stairs...
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: AFF2 on November 08, 2004, 03:50:17 AM
I'm with you EngKnee. I've noticed since my injury that a large number of people have had prior tendon problems. Tendonitis seems to be the common factor in most cases. I had Tendonitis prior to my rupture. I just made the mistake of not taking Ibprofen prior to physical activities and here I am. I just wonder If anyone has even bothered to put together a study of these cases???
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on November 09, 2004, 03:19:32 AM
I also had tendonitis. Was worse in what is now my good knee. Had two cortisone injections in that knee to play hockey at University (so painful it put me off needles for a very long time).
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on November 09, 2004, 05:08:05 PM
Hello everyone! Its been about 7 weeks since rupturing  the patella tendon in both knees.  Since this has happened over 4 years of weightlifting is down the toilet.  Im really nervous about rebuilding lower body.  None of us have a crystal ball to look into but what do you guys think?  Im getting alot of mixed answers from my gym buddies about rehab and making a full return. Thanks for any and all reply's and good luck to all of you!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on November 09, 2004, 05:42:10 PM
Hi Corey

Welcome to the RPT club - I make you member 35 worldwide since I started the count on two message boards since December 2002.

However, both knees  :'( :'(

Thats going to be a very long - long haul to recovery.

My first suggestion to you is to read as many posts as possible on this board - got lots of valuable input - keep us informed of your progress and dont hesitate to ask questions.  You will find that you have fellow sufferers on both sides of the pond.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery :-/ :-/

JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 09, 2004, 06:10:08 PM
Hey guys -

Went to the doctor yesterday. He was a little disappointed with my ROM (which is hovering around 90, I can get about 75-84 on my own), but otherwise was happy with my progress.

I gave him an update of what I was doing at PT, and he told me NOT to use weights during straight leg raises. I was surprised, seeing as my physical therapists all had me using weights, but oh well. He said that it would put too much pressure on the tendon and he doesn't want to take ANY risks, even with one pound weights.  :-/

He's starting to open up the brace more, but still requires me to stay on the crutches. I'm growing more and more tired of the crutches every day (I've been on and off of them for nearly a year and a half now). Ugh!

I'm starting to worry that I'll need a sixth surgery to clean out the knee again, but I guess I shouldn't get too ahead of myself. I'm working the knee as hard as possible without putting too much stress on the tendon, but it's difficult when it just feels like it won't budge. It's even painful trying to do patella-mobilization, which is a concern for not only myself, but my therapists as well.

I am continuing laser therapy as well, hopefully it continues to do its job. My therapists say hopefully by the end of December the holes in my knee will have fully closed. I guess that would be a nice Christmas present, eh? :P

BTW -- it seems like I'm the hot topic at my PT facility. News has spread about my "story" and everyone is always telling me how awful they feel for me. I'm one of the youngest patients (I'm 19, most of the people there are in their 20s-50s). Their jaws literally drop when they hear about everything I've gone through (five surgeries, having my knee wrecked by my phyiscal therapist and original OS, etc). I even brought one of my therapists to tears telling her how brutal I was treated at my previous facility.  :'(

Well I'd go on, but I'm sure I'm boring you all by now. I hope you're all having pain-free days. I know with the cold weather coming it must be difficult for a lot of you guys (it is for me!).

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 09, 2004, 06:15:16 PM
corey -

Welcome to the club, eh? I guess it's not the best club to be involved with, but at least it's something! hehe :P

Definitely look through this thread, there's 27 pages of a LOT of good material. I'm sure you might even find the answers to a lot of your questions without having to answer them!

As for your question regarding weightlifting, I'm not really sure if that's down the toilet, but I would think that unfortunately with your situation things have been jeopordized. I'd think it would depend on your OS and what s/he thought, since they would be the ultimate deciding factor there. I wish I had an answer for you, but I probably wouldn't be the best person to answer seeing as I'm currently rehabbing a ruptured patellar tendon as well. You'll definitely receive a lot of replies though, so don't fret. I'm sure a few of the posters here who are further along in their rehab would be better suited to help you out, but like I said, definitely talk with your doctor about this. :)

And if you have any further questions, don't hestitate! It's going to be a long recovery, but you can do it! Heck, if I can do it, anyone can!

Hope you're feeling well!

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on November 09, 2004, 06:23:30 PM
Hi Patricia

What good news you have for us - away with all the doom and gloom, it will be worthwhile in the end.

Keep your chin up - keep reporting - the "boys" are thinking of you  -   we must send you a few more flowers.

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on November 09, 2004, 06:57:19 PM
Anyone up for a round of leap frog? LOL! Thanks for the reply's. So much information to catch up on since Im new to the site and its comforting to see Im not alone.  Its funny what you take for granted until its suddenly taken from you.  I cant believe how so many of you have had to go thru multiple surguries! We will all be knee specialist when this is thru. Thanks again.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rico on November 09, 2004, 11:47:24 PM
Hi All,

Long time since i posted here, but have been following the thread al allong. I was the dutch guy who also ruptured the tendons from both knees..This all happened the 9th of june..

4 weeks cast, than PT staring week 5, 3 times a week..which had been reduced to two times a week a few days ago. I was in constant pain, the first 16 weeks, but since my wires were removed i was REBORN!!..virtyally painfree..which was really amazing...my ROM increased so much..my left knee was stuck at 90 degrees max..but without thee wire 125 degrees is easy..my right knee can almost touch my buttocks when i stretch it..

So i am doing really well...walking is easy, have tried a littlebit of jogging (really slow and carefull...but will wait a bit more with that..

I also hit the gym again..working my legs three times a week now..and only doing balance excercises with my PT..

Corey..i see you are also a gymrat..same applies to me bro...muscles get stronger but the tendons wont.....basically the tendon was overloaded bro..

A few tips from me:

- keep the calorie intake high...nevermind if you get fatter these days..you can shed that off later..your body needs nutrients to heal..so high in proteins and high in calories..
-Vit C @ 3000 mg a day for improved collagen production
-Glucosamine and Chondritine

Just take it easy and you will see that things return to normal pretty soon...

I still cannot do squats very well..(5 reps max with no weight..) leg extensions are also a no-no but regular legg presses are quite easy...

My life has been rough the last 5 months ( i was pretty depressed at some point)...but when i look back it all went pretty fast..

Keep the faith and it will soon be okay..

Take care all,

Rico
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: tburgoyne on November 10, 2004, 12:08:30 AM
Hello all again

It is now a day short of 3 weeks since my surgery and I am feeling much better now and off crutches.  Obviously still the brace with no bending.  HOwever, passive motion of my knee is increasing as I work with it.  I start PT on Monday and look forward to getting back the range of motion and eventually strength.  Two  things to say:
1-  a lot of us had tendonitis which is now commonly called tendinopathy which is a breakdown or degeneration of the tendon in what once was thought to just be an inflammatory disease.  Thus the cause of the eventual SNAP!!!
2- as I frequent the gym myself, I also realized that no matter how good you feel (muscle wise) the tendon does not get stronger as you lift only the muscles so do not over do it.  Take it easy and the truth is, even Ibuprofen and antiinflammatories are not going to heal the damage that is done with patellar tendonitis.  People like me that had it in both knees and continue to play those sports are ticking timebombs.   As you all know first went my right and now my left.  Golf is still looking really good this spring instead of basketball.  Take care everyone.

Tom
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: BigBadD on November 10, 2004, 01:02:51 AM
Hey folks,

Patricia - nice to hear from you.  Sending you good karma for a smoother ride the rest of the way.  

Corey - sorry bro, but welcome to the club though.  How did you snap both at once?  Guy, I hear you about years of weightlifting down the tubes.  I've dropped 20+lbs since the accident.  I'm trying hard to force myself to eat more, and I'm taking protein/meal replacement shakes to help out.  Gotta keep the weight up even if its pudgy weight.

Some my fellow gym rats - what are you doing in the meantime?  I bought a couple of those rubber resistance bands.  What a sorry sight ..... (makes me laugh though).

Another question for all.  Is there anything at all that can be done to aid a damaged tendon?  Has anyone seen any studies on treatments or supplements?  I'm thinking in a preventative sense .... I don't want to go through this again.

Cheers,

Dan

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on November 10, 2004, 01:42:46 AM
BigBadD- I have had"tendonitis" for the past few years which seems to be something we all had in common before the final "snap".  I have a full time job but just for a little extra dough was working as a bouncer at a night club/ music hall.  We have  pretty large crowds sometimes exceeding 500+ needless to say thats alot of drunks that kept us plenty busy, anyway as luck would have it, its 2:30 am the place is empty except for one drunk who refused to pay his tab.  We toss the guy, he wonders to a nearby alley and finds a brick to toss at us.  I was in a run towards the fool and during the confrontation blew my right knee. There wasnt really any pain just that my leg was like spaghetti then the left knee went and with that I felt and heard the popping sensation and hit the sidewalk like a ton of bricks. I reached down and could feel that my kneecaps werent where they were supposed to be. Anyway as far as lifting is concered im still able to hit upperbody pretty well. My braces are off which has allowed me to be a little more aggressive with some of the movements. I know its frustrating not to be able to do the things we once did and I feel for all of us.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on November 10, 2004, 03:05:29 PM
Hi all..
Im 2 weeks away from gettin the wire out..and that scares me a little bit..Can anybody tell me about the procedure??
Im now almost 8 months post Op and im feelin great..they call me 6"8 ballerina on trampoline at the pt clinic ;D 118 Rom (best ever)so my mood is going up for the first time in months..even though the weather in Copenhagen,Denmark does make life a bit sad these days..(Cold,rainy,windy)..

To all the Bball heads..u guys are on a risky track..i retired at age 26 with chronical tendinitis in both knees addicted to iboprofen and diclon..(i took 800mg a day)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 11, 2004, 01:38:02 AM
Well, I just got back from PT with a bit of discouraging news. My therapist says that she thinks I'll most likely need to have my knee cleaned out (a manipulation is out of the question). Told me that when I see my doc that I should definitely bring that up with him and take it from there. She is pretty much convinced that I'll need another surgery, though. Says that there's just too much scar tissue to break up and it would be absolute torture for me to endure that much pain (again), while it would also be difficult for her and my other therapist to try to stretch me because it's like trying to break a thick piece of wood.

Ugh.

Patricia  :-[
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on November 11, 2004, 03:10:23 PM
Hey everyone!
Patrica-   Really sorry to hear the bad news.  It cant be this bad forever.  Everyone take care c-ya.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on November 12, 2004, 03:12:09 AM
any RPT victims used a knee brace to get back to playing sport?
Would be interested in hearing as I'm getting bored of not being able to do sports.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 12, 2004, 08:09:38 AM
Hey folks -

Discussed my latest dilemma with my other therapist tonight at PT, he said he would call my doctor tomorrow and see what's going.

Basically, the problem is that I'm stuck at 90 degrees. If I'm lucky, I'll hit 92-3, but that's with a lot of pushing and extreme pain. My other PT agrees that it does seem I'm stuck and probably won't get very much further, but he also says that my doctor probably won't want to operate until my other "holes" are fully closed. One of them looks pretty decent, but the main hole (the big incision that opened up initially) won't fully close for another month or two, even more (according to one of my therapists).

This is where we have a problem. I want to go back to school in January, and if *that's* when my doctor would want to operate, there's a big problem. I need to have more ROM by January, I need to be able to somewhat walk around the campus and be able to drive to the school (which is about a half hour away) as well. I'm basically told that I won't get more ROM because of the scar tissue and the walking is an issue because I *am* still on crutches, and will be for a while it seems. The worst part, however, is that if I don't go back to school in January then I will be dropped from my mother's insurance and I will no longer have any form of healthcare, meaning I'd lose everything. So, I simply cannot wait until January for the surgery.

So, as I said, my therapist is going to call my doctor tomorrow and tell him my situation. My therapist agrees that I shouldn't have to wait, because I need to get my life back on track again. I have therapy at 10:30am on Friday, so hopefully by then I'll find out a little more as to what's going on. Maybe I'll even get to talk to my doctor as well (seeing as my doctor is in the same building as my PT facility.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, I really need to get this surgery ASAP. Of course I'd rather not have to be operated on for a sixth time, but it needs to be done and I simply cannot wait.

I'll be back with an update after PT tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have some (good) news.

Patricia  :-/
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 13, 2004, 02:07:31 AM
UGH. Well, that did not go how I had hoped for it to go.

My therapist said he spent last night writing up everything he wanted to say, and actually went over it in preparation. :P Cute, eh?

Well anyways, he called my doctor this morning, and left a message for him. Says he left a good long message, basically reciting his entire speech. However, he hadn't received a call back from the doctor by the time I was in the office for PT (I went in at 10:30 this morning). I was a little disappointed, but hoped that he would receive a call sometime during my appointment.

Unfortunately, he still didn't receive a call. He told me that after I left (I was his last patient for the day), he'd run over to the office and personally talk to my doctor and then give me a call with an update on everything.

And unfortunately (again, heh), I never received a call today. Now I have to wait until Monday to find out what's going on. UGH, I hate having to go through a weekend with important things on my mind. I'll try not to worry or think about it, but that's just not going to happen.  :-/

Soo0o, I'll be calling the office first thing Monday morning to find out what's going on. Hopefully I'll find out more then. If not, then I'll call the doctor's office myself and try to get in for an appointment ASAP.

BTW -- now I'm just not progressing much at all at PT. I've been stuck in the low 90s for almost three weeks now. Hell, that's with being pushed hard, too. I can only get in the mid-eighties by myself. I don't think I'll be able to get much further without another surgery.  :-[

Hope you guys and gals are doing well. The weather is really taking its toll on my knee today, my tendon is KILLING me. Stupid rain!

I'll give an update as soon as I find out what's going on.

Patricia  :'(
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on November 14, 2004, 07:00:35 PM
Hello to all! today makes 8 weeks since the "snap"and I start PT Monday morning. Bright and early.  Ready to start hitting lower body.  Wake those quads up! Hope everyone is steadily making progress in some shape or form. c-ya.
Patricia- keep us posted.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 15, 2004, 11:35:47 PM
Saw the doctor today. I am now scheduled for surgery two weeks from tomorrow. Ugh. It will be my sixth surgery since August.

I would have the surgery sooner but my doctor wants to have my opened incisions close up a little more before he goes back in. Plus, having surgeries less than six weeks apart isn't the best idea.

I'll be having a manipulation and my knee will be cleaned out through means of scope. I'm not so much nervous about the scope (I've had my knee scoped five times now), but I'm nervous about the MUA. Having an MUA on a reconstructed patellar tendon (only three months out from the reconstruction) is VERY risky. I had an MUA last time as well...well, a GENTLE MUA, but even then I was very nervous. At least I have one of the best knee specialists in the tri-state area working on my knee. I completely trust him.

He said for the time being to focus on strength rather than range. The ROM will be fixed with the surgery, but I *will* lose a little strength after the surgery so it's better to try to gain as much strength now. Makes sense.

I'll keep you guys updated on everything.

Patricia  :-/
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: tburgoyne on November 16, 2004, 06:37:49 PM
Corey

Goodluck with PT.  I am starting today with my first PT session and it is 4 weeks post surgery.  There must be 2 different schools of thought as to when to start PT.  I have about 40 degrees of motion right now from passive motion exercises.  I saw my OS yesterday and he was very pleased with how everything looked and was glad that I could do a leg lift without my brace.  Hopefully a couple months of PT and I will be feeling pretty normal again.  Everyone take care.

Tom
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on November 17, 2004, 04:37:25 PM
Tom, good luck with the PT.  Keep me posted on how things are going. Yeh its interesting the different time table some patients are on due to their doctors opinion of when to begin thearapy.  How is your quad responding?  Im impatient but I was kinda curious how your strength levels were, thats something that Im really wanting to see improvement in.  I think your body has a unique way of bouncing back when demands our placed on it especially if you were athletically inclined to begin with. Anyway stay in touch.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: BigBadD on November 17, 2004, 07:33:54 PM
Hey folks,

4-1/2 weeks post op.

Not much new to report on my front.  I've been back to work for the past week and half.  Feels good to get out of the apartment and do something productive.

It is funny how different OS's have different schools of thought.  Wish they were a bit more flexible based on the patient.  My OS is concervative.  I still have 2 weeks before I can start PT.  I'm going to get in touch with him and see if I can start some form of PT a bit sooner (passive?).  Its tough to describe, but my leg has been feeling more like a leg than just an injured appendage.  I feel like my body is telling me things are happening and its time to start doing something to help with the healing.  

Patricia - Best wishes - you'll get that ROM back.

Tom - really nice progress bro.  Keep it good, and good luck with the physio.

Corey - those quads will come back.

AFF2 - You're still the man.

All - ONWARDS!

D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on November 17, 2004, 08:28:56 PM
Hey got a question for you folks.  I spent 6 weeks immobilized, was not prescribed a cpm mach. so this whole bending thing has really just started about a week and a half ago.  I just started P.T. and the braces have come off.  Ive got between 60 and 65 degrees range of motion but Im not sure if thats considered good since Ive only had about two weeks of "freedom" and only one dose of PT, or is this average or below average.  Beleave it or not my therapist has never worked with someone who has ruptured both tendons at once and kind of gave me a puzzled look when I asked her the above question. Sooo it looks like Im going to have to turn to you folks for some real world advice!  Appreciate the help.  
Corey
P.S.  There is considerable pain in my right knee, but almost none in my left. Whats up with that?    :-/
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 17, 2004, 08:37:17 PM
Corey -

I would say 60-65 degrees in the span of a week and a half is INCREDIBLE! Being immobilized for six weeks is harsh on a surgically-fixed knee because of the possibility of forming a lot of scar tissue. I'm surprised that you wouldn't have received a CPM after your brace was unlocked. From my personal experience, I was in a full leg cast for six weeks and then in a locked brace for a good amount of time (well, I had the brace unlocked and then locked again after my most recent surgery). However, after the brace was unlocked, I did get into the CPM. I would think, even though you have two ruptured tendons, you could still be able to get into the CPM, but looking at this thread it appears that everyone seems to have somewhat of a different protocol.

In terms of whether your ROM average or not, that's hard to say as well; each person responds differently, it all depends on the amount of scar tissue you form, your pain tolerence, etc. For me, when I started passive ROM, I only topped out at FIVE degrees. However, my body likes to lay down a LOT of scar tissue (thus the reasoning behind all my MUAs). So, I'd say you're doing great, and to keep up the great work! The ROM will come rather slowly, but as long as you can get a few degrees each session you're well on your way.

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 17, 2004, 09:20:19 PM
I have a question for those of you with single patellar tendon ruptures. Have you guys experienced a lot of pain in your "good" knee? Ever since July (before I even knew I had a RPT), my left knee(good knee) has been KILLING me. I tried talking to my ex-physical therapist about it, but she just disregarded my concerns. I guess I shouldn't worry about her too much, she was a Devil-woman all on her own... ::)

Anyways, after I tried talking to my PT, I talked to my chiropractor about it. After examining the knee, she said it was very likely I tore my meniscus. I've torn my menisci in my right knee, I know what that feels like and this certainly DOESN'T feel like that. So...I just let it go and chalked it up to run of the mill patellofemoral pain.

However, most recently the pain has gotten worse and I'm starting to feel/hear a lot of clicking at the spot of the pain, at its worst when I'm going up/down the stairs and getting up/sitting down from/in a chair. Maybe it IS my meniscus?

I spoke with one of my PTs about it last week, showed her where the pain was, and she said it was likely I had severe tendonitis in my good knee! Said the clicking could very well be from a torn meniscus or just some loose cartilage in general, but is fairly certain that I have tendonitis. UGH! I'm nervous to mention it to my OS, I don't know why, but am. I've been wearing a tendonitis knee band the past few days, it only seems to help when I'm walking. I still have pretty bad pain on stairs and getting up/sitting down (and the clicking sensation remains as well).

I'm rambling now, I know...but do you guys think its possible that I will rupture my left patellar tendon? Are my chances increased because of my right PTR? And finally, is there anything I can do to maybe prevent such an injury? I guess I really should talk to my doctor about it...I just don't want to find out I'll need my left knee scoped because of torn/loose cartilage or a torn meniscus.

Sorry for the long post...I tend to get a little wordy sometimes, eh? :P

Otherwise, I'm doing pretty well at PT. Working on strengthening the knee, not focusing on ROM at all. I'll still stretch the knee and take a crack at the stationary bike, but I'm not being measured or anything. I wouldn't be surprised if my ROM has dipped below 80 at this point. Ahh well. If I'm going to be having a scope anyways, I might as well focus on other areas. My only problem seems to be that some of the exersices hurt my back. Yeah, thanks to my ex-PT, I also have a damaged back (I have a herniated disk, degenerative disk disease, and disks that are nearly fused together). Ehh...I'll worry about THAT later...I have enough on my plate as it is!


Hope you're all feeling well!
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on November 18, 2004, 04:23:50 PM
Patricia, thanks for your input and really sorry about your situation.  Seems like there is deffinately a link between tendonitis and rupture, at least thats exactly what happpend to me and apparantly others on the thread.  Best of luck with everything your dealing wiith.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: tburgoyne on November 18, 2004, 05:52:20 PM
Corey

My first day of PT went pretty well.  I was able to get to 58 degrees and I was happy considering only 4 weeks post op.    I already did some weight assisted squats while lying down with only 40% of my body weight.  It is nice to be able to do something especially when you can use a weight that is less than yourself.  they also hooked a strap around my ankle and did some weight assisted leg extensions.  the weight allowed me to extend my leg with less weight than what my leg weighs.  Obviously with the limited ROM I did not go down very far.  They then did some electric stim and ice for the swelling.    I have a home regimen that I do 3 times a day while not in PT.  It consists of quad sets (tightening thigh muscles), heel slides (passive bending), and leg raises (no brace, lifting leg off ground and hold at 6" off the ground for 2 seconds).  I do these exercises 3 times a day and still ice down atleast once or twice a day.  

The quads will come back.  However, don't rush it at the expense of the tendon.  Muscles will come back but that tendon really has to heal and lay down healthy tissue.  Take care everyone, I am off to my second PT session.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on November 19, 2004, 12:00:30 AM
Hello again.  I had pt Monday and just finished another dose of it again today. Happy to report that I gained 15 degrees R.O.M. in both knees putting me up to 75 and 80. My therapist told me however not to expect such gains all the time, leave it to her to bust my bubble. LoL!   tburgoyne- keep us informed on your therapy sounds like your doing good. Its only been two months since the surgery but man it feels like forever,I know you all can relate to that.  I really miss lowerbody workouts at the gym. Ive dropped down from 250 to 223lbs, all of it being due to now having toothpick legs!!! Sooooo skinny.  Oh well, really hope everyone is still making some progress and if ya are please post it. Love hearing the good news!! Take care.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kims22 on November 20, 2004, 08:02:59 AM
Hi,
I'm new to this so bare with me! Looking to find someone that has had a tendon debridement because of patellar tendinosis. I'm suppose to have the surgery, but have been trying everything to avoid it.  I've had this for over a year and have had PT (5 weeks in July and am just finishing another 10 weeks). My PT is going to try the medicated pad next. If that doesn't work, he said I should do surgery. Is it worth doing the surgery? How long is recovery and what does it entail? Can it get you back to sports?
Thanks,
Kims22
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on November 22, 2004, 09:23:40 PM
Hi Patricia

Although I am currently on holiday in sunny Israel, I have been looking at the postings during the past 14 days.  I see that you must undergo another operation and we all hope that this does the trick and bring you on the final road to 100% recovery.

For myself, I have to see a vascular Consultant next week, to establish why I am getting hardly any circulation in my leg, which my doctor states is a possible side effect of the RPT some two years ago.

Meanwhile, off to the beach for a long walk - about 32C or 86Fr and very peaceful.

Best wishes to all members of the RPT club ;) :D

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 23, 2004, 01:14:09 AM
Hey guys -

Saw the doctor today, everything's looking good for Tuesday. He initially said he was thinking about changing the date to Thursday, but I didn't want to put the surgery off any longer. About midway through his thought process, he also changed his mind and agreed with me. *whew!*

He was a little concerned that my shin was VERY swollen and painful. I had noticed that the past few days it was painful to the touch, but never thought anything of it. He told me to make sure I spend the week until the surgery elevating and icing not only the knee, but the leg as well because he'd like the swelling down for the surgery. He put another ace wrap on my shin to compress the swelling, so now my whole leg is practically wrapped up!

At least I don't have to go to PT every day until after the surgery, that was a load off of my shoulders. I had been going every day for a little while now, but he said I could go today, Wednesday, and Friday; not to worry about Tuesday and Thursday(Thanksgiving) because I should rest up for the surgery itself. Good deal.

Had a bit of a scare at the office today though, when I was getting off the table my brace managed to hook itself on the corner and I went crashing to the floor. Had my doctor not rushed over to catch me I would have slammed into the floor face first. We had a good laugh about it afterwards, but it was definitely a little scary there for a minute, hehe.

Hope you're all doing well, and again, thanks for all the well-wishes. Hopefully this WILL be my last surgery for a while, I'd rather not keep up at the pace I'm at right now!

JohnK, I hope your vascular doctor can solve your circulation problem! I know from experience, having poor circulation in a bad leg to begin with is NO fun. I already have poor circulation in my right leg thanks to a sickness I had when I was younger. Had some nasty nerve damage in the leg and to this day the circulation is crummy. Doc thinks that contributed to my incisions healing VERY slowly. Ugh! Can't catch a break, can we?! Anyways, good luck JohnK. I'll be thinking of you! :)

Patricia  :-/
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on November 23, 2004, 03:41:41 AM
Hello to all!  Hope everyone has a great holiday, just because we limp doesnt meen that we cant still reek havock at the table!  Im planning on going nuts!  Havent heard from some of you, everyone please stay in touch.  Patricia-  Good luck with everything.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on November 23, 2004, 02:41:54 PM
Hi folks..
Just got back from OS...
He was not positive about the wire coming out..but then at my own risk he was willing to do it..so in mid january im going to get it done..what do u think?
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 23, 2004, 08:53:55 PM
sonsyhne -

Maybe your OS may not be "positive" about the wire coming out, but it's YOUR life that all this trouble is disrupting, not his. However, I am curious as to what you meant by "not positive". Do you mean that he didn't think it would help?

Do you know what the risks are in removing the wire? I don't know much about it because I didn't have the wire myself, so I'm very interested to learn a bit more about it. I would say though to seriously weigh your options; what other routes did your doctor suggest? If this seems to be the only thing that can allieviate the problm, then I'd definitely go for it.

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on November 24, 2004, 07:45:56 PM
Need some input guys.  Therapy has been going well with my left knee and leg.  Im starting to see results and improvement everyday, however the pain in my right knee has only gotten worse, to the point of seriously disrupting practically all exercises.  Im getting the run-around and so far no real answers.  Its kinda making me nervous because there is such a substantial difference between the two knees/legs.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on November 24, 2004, 08:27:12 PM
Hi Corey

Firstly no two knees are the same and in reading all the posts on this message board, you will realise that no two RPT have the same problem - however in your case with two RPT which is very rare, nobody can give you a positive reply because we are not Surgeons, Consultants, Doctors etc.  

I am of the view that you will have to go back and see your Consultant/Surgeon, and if he cannot give you a positive response, then try and see an Orthopaedic Consultant/Knee Surgeon.    Dont sit back and wait for the world come to you. :'( :-*

Best wishes and keep us posted

JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: BigBadD on November 25, 2004, 04:56:20 AM
Hey everyone,

I just wanted to wish everyone the best for the upcoming holiday.  Eat, drink, and be merry.

Patricia how did everything go?

Corey my man sorry to hear about the right knee.  It may not be unusual to have your knees respone differently, but I'd have a chat with the OS to try to get a definite answer.

D

PS - Starting PT next week.  How many times a week do you folks go?  

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on November 25, 2004, 03:01:29 PM
Hi all,

Not much to update on myself. My physio is still going well, and I reckon I am at full bend. The biggest problem I have is the lack of thigh muscle which means I can't really put a lot of power through the leg. And when I try, the quad tendon tells me about it!!  :o

Corey, as per the other comments, get back onto the OS, and hopefully they will find the solution to your right knee problems.

D, when I started physio, I went twice a week with a physio working with me one-on-one, each session being 30 mins long. After about 6 weeks of this, I got put into the knee therepy group sessions, working with 8-14 other people in the gym at the same time, with the one physiotherepist, but this is also twice a week, and lasting 1 hour each session. I would say twice a week is your bare minimum you should go to PT, 3 times even better if you can get it. But regardless of how many times you go, when you get given a set of exercises from the physio, making sure you stick to them in your own time at home it the real trick to improving your knees. There were a couple of specialist machines that helped me in the PT gym, but my best improvements came with me sitting on the floor at home doing my exercises.

Patricia, good luck in your next, and hopefully last, surgury!!

Sonshyne, sorry I can't advise on your problem, as I didn't have a wire, mines just sutured up, and they will be staying indefinately.

I celebrate 6 months since injury in a couple of weeks. Its been a 6 months to remember  :-/     ;D

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on November 27, 2004, 07:39:38 PM
Have spoke with therapist, doct. ect... thats where the run-around is coming from!  Sooo screw it. I'll do it my way and they can scratch their heads and babble to someone who actually has the patience so sit through the sh#@! Best of luck you guys C-YA
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: BigBadD on November 28, 2004, 06:47:43 AM
Corey-Thinking about getting a second opinion?  Whatever the avenue, good luck with it.  Do what you have to do to get answers and results.

D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on November 28, 2004, 02:24:00 PM
Corey, maybe I missed something earlier in the thread, but why are you keen to have the wire removed?

I have a "standard" cerclage wire, put in in March. A loop through patella and top of tibia. Both OSs (France and UK) have said no real need to take it out, it shouldn't cause any problem in future, but if it does they will take it out as/when.

I did have a problem early on in rehab with pain on the inside of the knee and they xrayed to check the wire  hadn't moved. Since then everything has progressed fine (though I've been lazy with the gym recently so leg is still a little weak). However I'm not aware of any problem with the wire being in there now that tendon itself has healed.

How do you know if the rehab probs you're having are being caused by the wire?

Cheers, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on November 28, 2004, 09:14:39 PM
BigBadD-
Nigel     -   Hey you guys thanks for your input, I really appreciate it.  I wasnt getting much info. from my doc or therapist thats why I turned to the board since you people have gone throug the real world of rehab.  Beats me but long story short I reversed the order in which I performed my given excercises and as if magically my right knee suddenly almost instantly felt better!  All this time I have struggled to get 4 or maybe 5 reps out of my right leg doing leg extensions when suddenly did over 100 reps before I finally stopped counting!!  Like I said this is something I just stumbled on but it worked.  Im now using bodybuilding techniques actually using the Hack Squat machine. Partial reps to failure followed by forced reps. negatives, dropp sets, static contraction, or compound sets including leg extentions. My left knee/leg  responds well to any exercise with or without warm-up it just hammers out the reps no sweat, the right however requires a very particular and exact exercise regamine in a specific order but WOW the pain really subsides enough for me to get through any and all exercises.  Beats me but it seems to be doing the trick. BigD my advice is to no doubt listen to your therapist but man if you have any knowledge of weightlifting or powerlifting use some of those techniques of course dont if your knees are screaming nooo!!! Anyway, thanks again everyone for your help or advice looks like I got a little lucky this time.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 29, 2004, 01:50:41 PM
Hey guys -

I see my doctor today at 11am, I'm a bit nervous right now that he may put off the surgery because my incisions STILL aren't fully healed yet. Well, most of them are, but the biggest incision still is pretty open, which is a problem. Last week he said he'd still operate on Tuesday but wanted to see me the day before surgery (today) just in case...I'm probably getting myself worked up over nothing because it *is* a lot better than it was a week ago. Ugh. I just don't want to come home with bad news, I've had enough of that for awhile.

I also have a question for you guys. The past few days, I've been having a LOT of trouble doing a straight leg raise. I can hardly lift the leg all of a sudden (I've had trouble, but not this much...). I'm wondering if it's just from overuse or is there something wrong? It also feels like I can't straighten the leg all the way without a lot of pain. A few days ago I was having trouble walking, I kept on hyperextending the knee and it was causing me a lot of pain. Maybe it just *is* an overuse problem? I'll let my OS know about it, hopefully everything is okay.

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on November 29, 2004, 08:02:51 PM
Just lovely.

I don't think I can handle much more of this.

Not only is surgery postponed by a WEEK, I'm also not allowed to walk, drive, go to PT, go out, do anything at all. Basically confined to my bed for the next week. Brace has been locked again as well.

My OS is having me get an MRI because he fears I may have done more damage to the knee. I told him my problem with not being able to straighten the leg the past few days (along with my hyperextension problem), and after feeling around he said he's concerned there might be some damage inside the knee again. I'm praying REALLY hard that the tendon didn't snap again, or even tore a bit. I can't deal with something like that.

The worst part though is that the surgery is scheduled for FIVE PM!!! And then my doc's secretary tells me that the time could "fluctuate"...great, just great. I told her that I NEED a set time for the surgery because of my lack of options for a ride, she says there's nothing she can really do about it. UGH...no one will work with me, will they!? The best I got out of her was to call her the Friday before and see if there has been any changes...but of course, call no later than 12pm because she won't be there. d**nit why can't she just call me?!

I'm so tired of all of this. I really can't take much more...I was supposed to go to Philly on the 11th, now that's obviously out. I can't even live my life anymore. I'm so tired of false hope. Maybe I should set my expectations incredibly low so I won't continue to be disappointed....


Patricia    :'(
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on November 30, 2004, 02:38:22 AM
dear patricia

i wrote you a long response yesterday...and [email protected]#mn...i went over the max and  off me email went into computer land. sorry i have not been on for a while...i needed a break and as such it is taking me a while to get through all the posts. anyways...i gather you have a serious scar tissue problem on top of all the others...this was my problem also...this could account for the lack of extension you are experiencing. i hope the tendon is okay and i am pretty sure it is...you can tell if it is ruptured by looking for and indentation above your knee cap. patricia...i know your surgeon has been great but i really think you need to be seeing a KNEE GURU....one that specializes in both scar tissue and destroyed knees...which i had also. please hop on over to the soft tissue healing problem forum and post a message to heather m. she is the resident scar tissue queen on this board...she can at least offer some support and ideas. why dont you see if you can contact cincinnati sports medicine and speak to dr. noyes or have your surgeon consult him as my surgeon here in atlanta contacted his partner dr. lindenfeld on how to proceed on my mess of a knee last november...just to put it back together took 8 hours. my surgeon sent me north to see them once he realized i was way out of any atlanta surgeons expertise. i thank him for that. while it might not be feasible for you to travel there...your surgeon can at least consult regarding your serious scar tissue problem which more then likely was the culprit behind your patellar tendon rupture...and your first doc that did it to you just like my first doc during a mua. hang in there and at least fire an email off to heather...i think she is heading to cincinnati in the near future to see dr. noyes. also missmyknee...pam who is considered a salvage job has also been to see him and is scheduled for surgery in either jan or feb 05...dr. noyes is tops regarding salvage jobs and people come from all over the world to see him. i chose to see his partner since he was the one who was consulted on my case...and he has given me my life back. hang in there and i will be thinking of you.

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on December 02, 2004, 12:01:03 AM
Have some good news to post.  Therapy went well today.  Im up to 115 rom in the right knee and 95 rom with the left and have only gone to pt 3 times.  Im doing all the excercises at home with the weightlifting equipment here and soon will start back at the gym.  Much cheaper to just pay my gym fee than to pay the co-pay at pt for each and every single visit, what a joke!
Patricia-  Cant believe your run of bad luck, really sorry.
BigD- Keep us up to date!
Everyone-  Good luck
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: BigBadD on December 02, 2004, 01:09:17 AM
Hey everyone.  I've been reading, but I've been slacking on posting (guess that's why I'm a "minigeek" still)

I had a visit to the OS yesterday.  6 weeks post op.  Went well - I was happy with it.  First bend - got to around 45 degrees.  Oh the pain.... But it was a good pain.  Doc cleared me to start PT (couldn't get a slot till Monday though).  In the meantime he gave me a slew of suggestions on what to do to help get the ROM and strength back.  Gonna start wading in a pool.  Doc seemed optimistic about recovery, which was encouraging.  Doc was going to set the brace to 90, but decided on 45 instead and said to progress to 90 as I feel comfortable.  People at work today said it looks like I'm moving around a bit quicker on the crutches.

Patricia - I feel for you.  Kim seemed to have some good advice on avenues to explore.  Your path has been very tough, but I'm sure it leads to something good in the end.  You've come a long way and I'm sure you'll get there.

Cory my man, glad to hear you're progressing.  Sounds like things are going well.  What kind of regiment are you doing at home?  Try pool workouts to if you have access.  

Hope everyone is doing well.  

Onwards,

D

PS - How are some of the original RPTer's doing?  Love to hear how its going now.  You're posts were very helpful in getting an idea of what I was going to have to face.  Drop us a line sometime.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on December 02, 2004, 06:37:53 PM
Hi Brothers and Sisters of the RPT club, I hope all is going nicely for all, even sister Patricia who seems to be getting the brunt of all the negative energy lately, hang in there girl, listen to auntie Kim who always has good advice, or just say the Serenity Prayer a few times a day and that should help you get through the tough times.  I'm about seven months post-op and life has gotten alot better for me but still have a ways to go yet.  My problem has been my lack of exercise regime on a daily basis as my PT sessions have been curtailed by insurance rules until the beginning of the year.  I have been walking a couple miles/day but not much else.  When faced with the prospect of running late for an appointment/train and I have to hot step it some I find that my knee lets me know that I'm still in rehab, you know what I mean, the sharp pain returns :( >:( ???, and I wonder if I've been doing all I can to get the knee back  to close to it's original strength, the short answer is NO!  I need to do much more and starting today I plan on getting it together and get back to the exercise regime that was suggested months ago for me to get back my strength.  Nigel, are you experiencing this same difficulty?  I challenge you to do the same thing and we can both feel like we have done all that we can do to rehab, what do you think man?  Let's get busy. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on December 02, 2004, 06:52:37 PM
Hi Folks

Am reporting to one and all, still suffering from a circulation problem.

Been to see the Vascular Consultant today  :-/ :'(...

Nothing can be done to relieve the problem - this can happen whilst repairing the Ruptured Patella Tendon after it gets mashed up.....

Informed to wear a very compact elastic bandage and keep the leg elevated  ???

Getting very cheesed up and frustated.... told to get walking, but the Consultant does not have a leg with 110deg bend :-[

Reminding everybody - sleeping with a pillow between the legs keeps the weight of the damaged knee.

However - looking outside the window , we have freezing fog, so no walking this afternoon.

Best wishes to all RPT club members

JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 02, 2004, 06:59:47 PM
THANK YOU everyone so much for your inspirational words, believe it or not they really help.

I guess I'm taking the whole ordeal a bit better now, mentally speaking. I'm still very sore (even when I'm not walking around and the brace is locked...which worries me), but I guess that's nothing new or nothing I haven't experienced before, eh?

I'm still really bummed about not being able to go to Philly the weekend after the surgery, but at least the rest of my family still gets to go, eh? I'll still have my grandmother around to help me if need be (which scares me...an 86 year old woman helping a 19 year old! Shouldn't it be the OTHER way around?! :P ), but it does really stink that I can't go. Ahh well, as long as the rest of my family has fun, I'm happy for them.

The incisions are looking great now. FINALLY. Not closed all the way still, but they are shrinking more and more each day. My doc has me still doing the wet-to-drys, but instead of twice a day wants me to do it as much as possible -- at LEAST four times a day. He's also having me really scrub the incision with soap and water, AND using a saline/q-tip (well, it's not exactly a q-tip...it's some sort of medical thing heh) combo to also get in the corners and deep down in the incision to make sure it stays as clean as possible. It makes the incision bleed quite a bit, but that's actually a GOOD thing because it promotes bloodflow, which after all this time STILL is a big problem of mine.

Hey...how come he didn't have me doing this sooner?!  :o

With the brace being locked, my knee is tightening up even worse. I really hope no more scar tissue forms in this week, but with me you never know,unfortunately. Seeing as I'm not allowed to do any PT or home PT, my severely atrophied muscles are starting to look even worse yet. It's amazing how long it takes for one to BUILD that muscle, yet it can all vanish at the drop of a dime!

Kim - Yes, I do have a very "serious" scar tissue problem. It's been my downfall for the majority of these past few years, and it likely contributed to my rupture. You think it could be causing the extension problem? I guess I never thought of that because the scar tissue always affection my flexion, not my extension. That's why everyone was baffled when I was diagnosed with the RPT, because I *still* didn't have that much of an extension problem (I just couldn't do straight leg raises correctly). My doctor said that if enough scar tissue "latches on" to the tendon area, it can almost ACT as the tendon itself and mask the true problem. I found that VERY interesting. I did post in the soft tissue healing forum, but I didn't really get any responses for my questions. That was actually not the first time I tried posting in the forum; each time I try, I never get any responses. Maybe I'm not posting in the right thread or something, I dunno.

corey - I'm SO happy you're doing better! Yeah, co-pays are UNBELIEVABLE. Mine are tweny bucks EACH visit, and I go SIX times a week! That's 120 a WEEK just for rehab! There's definitely something very WRONG with that, eh?


BigBadD - I guess my thinking is that if my scar tissue problem still isn't getting any better after this next surgery, I WILL look into an arthrofibrosis specialist. I know there is a good specialist in Southern New Jersey (a bit of a drive, but I'd rather stay in state because transportation is tough for me to get when I'm not allowed to be driving much or at all). Anyways, I'm very excited to hear that you are progressing nicely. You're doing a GREAT job! Progress comes slow, unfortunately, but if you can keep it at a steady pace than all is well with the world! :)

EngKnee - lol, hey "brother" John :) I'm sooo tired of this negative energy, but you know what? I'd rather take up the majority of this energy than you guys. I hate seeing other people suffer, in pain, or downright discouraged and depressed. Sure, if I had the power, I'd turn back time and NONE of us would have gone through this nasty injury called the RUPTURED PATELLAR TENDON, but hey -- what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. And when I look through this thread, I see a TON of incredibly strong people. Maybe it's not the best club to be a part of, but at least we're in it together, and that gives me some solace.

Well, I guess I should stop babbling now, hehe. I'll probably post here again before my surgery (at least this week is going faster than I thought it would). Hope everyone is feeling well!

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 02, 2004, 07:11:12 PM
Oops, looks like John K. snuck in with a post before I could submit mine!

I had a nice little edit written out, but it turned out to be too long and deleted my entire response...*sigh*

Anyways, I basically said that I know how it feels when it seems like your doctor almost expects you to be able to live a normal, everyday life when you have such a tremendous injury. A month or so ago my doctor was telling me to "go out, have fun...hang out with your friends, go to the movies or the mall!", yet I have the big monster of a brace locked at 30 degrees! UGH!  ::) It's like, let's see how THEY respond to a ruptured patellar tendon!

I'm sorry you didn't receive better news from the Vascular Specialist. I'm just wondering though, how about wearing a compressed stocking? I'm not sure if that's what you meant by the bandage, but I wore one in the past and it does help somewhat. A few years back when I was first diagnosed with nerve damage/circulation problems, my VS suggested the stocking. Of course it doesn't eliminate the problem and it's not the most comfortable thing in the world, but it DOSE help.

BTW -- the pillow tip is GREAT. I started putting a pillow between my legs after the reconstruction, and it really has helped.

Well, I'm running on again!  ;) I hope you have a great day, and get some rest! If the weather is yucky out, then stay in and rest up, eh!

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on December 02, 2004, 08:35:34 PM
Hi Patricia

It looks good for next week - just hope it goes well for you - we are all praying for you.

Yes - the Vascular Consultant stated I must purchase a Compressed Stocking class 11 - which is very tight and difficult to put on - most important to put on when a walk is anticipated.

Will advise further

Best wishes to all  :o 8)

JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on December 03, 2004, 03:07:03 AM

Really short on time but at least wanted to say hello and I hope your all progressing in some shape or form.  BigD- Catch up with ya soon on some therapy tips. Do you have any weightlifting equipment at home?  Thats been the "miracle drug" for me.  Chat with all of you later. take care.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on December 03, 2004, 02:13:03 PM
okay patricia

i am still trying to sort out all your posts. you say you have a problem with extension but also have been hyperextending sometimes to? do you mean that you cant straighten out your leg most of the time now without pain...and less frequently you feel it is "bending or bowing"? in the wrong direction?

hmmnm....let's see. your knee has been through he##ll and...not back yet. both flexion and extension problems are related to scar tissue. when i went to ohio this past summer for my 5th operation i was stuck at 35 degrees flexion (unconscious that is)...and at -5 degrees flexion. after my huge clean out (scope and open) i spent part of each of my PT sesions with me heel elevated on a weight and a 2 pound weight over my knee. while this was not at all comfortable, it helped maintain my extension  post op. i had scar tissue through the entire joint, obliterating all gutters, under the quad muscles, under the knee cap and encapsulation the patellar tendon....while my second surgeon here in atlanta did an excellent job putting my knee back together with extensive wiring he had never seen anything like the scar tissue filling my entire knee joint...that is why he consulted a specialist on this problem before he proceeded with the 8 hour surgery.

continued...
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on December 03, 2004, 02:26:48 PM
it was decided during the rewiring/ tendon repair that the main goal was to repair the tendon and address the scar tissue (arthrofibrosis) problem at a later time.

patricia...most ortho surgeons have never dealt with scar tissue in their entire careers...they think by putting us through barbaric procedures such as closed MUAs it will fix everything...yep...worked well on us huh? MUAs should never be done without a scope at the same time! we are living examples of what happens when a bad surgeon (who think they know everything) end up destroying our knees and possibly our lives.

as it stands right now...there are 4 expert scar tissue surgeons on this planet...these top surgeons have become experts not necessarily by choice but by doing research and becoming published. and then by doing the surgeries to clean out the scar tissue while at the same time developing a very specific post of rehab protocol to prevent the scar tissue from returning. people like heather, me, janet, sarasmile, and jennifer have shown up on their doorsteps with not much left of their knees hoping for some return to our previous normal pain free lives. some of us have done better then others but all of us are better today then prior to seeing one of these knee gurus.

these gurus are: Dr. Steadman in Vail, Colorado. Dr. Noyes and Dr Lindenfeld from Cincinnati Sports Medicine in Ohio, and Dr. Wojits in Ann Arbor, Michigan who trained with Noyes and Lindenfeld.

your case is complicated because of the tendon rupture and your massive ability to form scar tissue...like me and like heather, janet, jennifer....all four of the above surgeons have pioneered arthrofibrosis surgery. they have fine tuned the rehab protocol which most PTs have no idea how to handle. you seem to be in this same mess that we were all in before being seen by one of these specialists...repeat, failed surgeries (you and i being the only tendon ruptures)

continued
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on December 03, 2004, 02:42:50 PM
i would suggest that you have your surgeon contact one of the above (dr. lindenfeld might be a good choice as you and i have the same very unique situation) i would bet that you and i are on of only 2 people in the world with this specific problem.

i feel until a consult on this is done you will be in  this continued pattern of failed procedures. i know that is is all complicated by the nasty infection that took a ride into your knee during one of the surgeries...but the more surgeries you go through with failed results....the more chances for infection to return. it is obvious that you do need to have more procedures done but maybe the number of these can be reduced by a more specific protocol that addresses the scar tissue and the tendon.

i too could not do a straight leg raise for almost 4 months after the tendon repair. your quads are probably mush from lack of use...and they go quickly. the good thing is they will come back....not as quickly as they go and i am sure you realize that from all of our posts in this section.

patricia....i too felt complete and utter despair. i wanted my leg cut off just to end the pain. i could not see a light at the end of any tunnel....i am glad my surgeon here in atlanta said " taking your leg off is extreme....you would regret it" go to ohio and let them take a look. i did...and i can now walk normally over 1 plus years later. can i do everything i did before? no...i have no aspirations to go jogging or to go skiing (that makes me sad) and i look at the stairs in my house with the utmost disgust. but hey...at least it is not as bad as some of these guys who live on the fourth story of a building with no lift. but they too have figured out how to deal with them.

so listen to what your soul is telling you. a nice surgeon who is compasionate is always a good thing especially during these times of managed care/ bush medicine where most are out the door before you have asked that first question. but they are just one small part of it all, please ask your surgeon to consult one of these specialists....you wont hurt his ego...he is probably as flabbergasted as you and will appreciate your input. unfortunately you are still a teenager in his eyes and he knows what is best for you...but you have us also to help.

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 03, 2004, 09:52:44 PM
Just got back from my MRI, then went to the doc's office to give him the films. Caught him just in time, they were all leaving for a CHristmas party! :P

So, the MRI looks good, aside from a very nasty looking joint. OS says there is a LOT of "artifact" in the knee from all the surgeries I've had. Kind of funny because that was the first film he saw, and because of all the junk it looked like I had NO tendon whatsoever, which freaked him out at first. But once he looked at the next slide, everything looked in tact.

Which brings me to my next little revelation -- I have screws in my tendon!! Remember how I had to get all my sutures taken out because my body was rejecting them? Well apparently he replaced the sutures with a couple screws instead. I never knew!

Anyways, aside from all of that, surgery is good to go on Tuesday. Wish me luck everyone! :)

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on December 03, 2004, 10:35:52 PM
Hi Patricia


Good news   - wishing you all the best for Tuesday -

Keep your chin up

JohnK/Manchester UK

p.s.   I got my compressed elastick stocking today..

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 04, 2004, 09:01:49 PM
UGH, well I just found out that my surgery time DID change...only to be LATER! Instead of 5pm, it's now at 5:30, and I'm the last case of the day as well! Know what that means? Yes, it's going to be delayed EVEN LONGER! I probably won't be in the OR until 6pm! The nurse was telling me to "eat as much possible" the night before, but damn, that's crazy! Argh....

Patricia  >:(
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on December 08, 2004, 04:54:27 PM

BigD- Whats the latest?  Hello to everyone.  Hope your all doing well.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 08, 2004, 10:04:51 PM
Hey all -

Had my surgery yesterday, the 7th. Turns out I needed a meniscectomy as well as the MUA/scope, which I wasn't too happy about but oh well.

Good news is that the tendon looked great and the screws are nice and in place.

I had a scare post-op however when I stopped breathing and had to be put on heavy oxygen for two hours. Apparently a ton of nurses came running over to me and it was a really scary incident, but they were able to stabilize me with tons of oxygen. I also needed to be covered with this big bubble thing, which was weird. I guess it helped me breathe easier.

When I first came out of OR, I was in excrutiating amount of pain (never experienced pain that bad post-op, even after reconstruction) that wouldn't go away, so the nurses loaded me up on all the painkillers in the world. My anethesiologist came in and gave me a ton of fentanyl, which helped a bit, but that's when I started having the breathing problems. They actually wanted to keep me overnight, but I was stable enough to leave after quite a few hours in recovery, and tons of pleading just to rest in my own bed instead of the unfamiliar confines of a lovely hospital room (the oxygen did help). Nurses said that if I have any problems just to go to the ER ASAP. Sounds great, eh?

BTW, my surgery ended up being at 4pm, not 5:30 as first thought. Thank God.

Apparently my doctor was nervous about me and actually sat with me for a good twenty minutes; I didn't know he was there because I couldn't even open my eyes, I was too out of it. It was DEFINITELY scary. I don't know why my reaction was so poor, but hopefully I'll never have to go through something like this again for a LOOOONG time.

I'll write more when I feel up to it, I'm still very out of it and in a lot of pain. I'll keep you guys posted.

PS~ of course my brace had to break today. Hopefully my PT can fix it, if not then I'll need a new one. Gotta love how these things ALWAYS have to happen to me!  >:(

Patricia  :P
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on December 14, 2004, 12:36:30 AM
Hi all,

Just a quick update from myself. Been to see the docs at the hospital today for the last time, they have washed their hands of me  ;D , 6 months since the injury. I also had last Friday a one-on-one physio review, in which I was confirmed to continue with my bi-weekly group sessions until the end of Jan, and another review.

Something that made me smile was what the physio said to me (it was the first time I'd seen him one-on-one as my normal physio is off on maternity leave), "you would have been better off breaking a bone". 6 months and counting on the recovery, I can see why  ;D ;D

Quick word for Patricia, going home on the same day as surgury, you really are amazing. That takes a lot of heart and belief in yourself. We all hope its lucky number 7 for you  8) And good to here from auntie Kim again, with words of wisdom to all, and especially some to our hero, Patricia.  ;)

I'm off to bed now, got to get up early for PT.  :D

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on December 14, 2004, 02:08:56 AM
Good stuff Andy  :) Six months sounds about right. I've just been signed off after three months - which I'm not too happy about as I'm still getting back to normal. Things are progressing amazingly rapidly - no jogging yet, nor do I really want to, but I did break into a hobble for a train which was amusing (to others at least) ;) However, the medics seem very happy to do the interesting heavy, complicated stuff, but less interested in the mundane follow-ups. The physio continues - but just once a month - with me trying to do exercises in the middle. Since I'm commuting three hours a day (not usually a problem) it cuts the time I have left to do exercises. Some swimming seems to have helped and I cycle to the station (five mins) and back every day....

Overall, though, great progress - nothing like what you're having to go through Patricia. Hang in there. You're building up amazing strength of will which will doubtless prove to be what you need at key moments in your life :)

All the best to.... what is the collective name for patellar tendon rupturees? PTRs, no, boring. Pa-tend-ees (pronounced Pay-ten-dees)? No... Suggestions please... ;D

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: chris941 on December 14, 2004, 06:01:39 AM
Hello all, my name is Chris. I recently broke my petella. I'm only 15 years old, but i've already torn my ACL in my other knee playing football in 8th grade, and now i've broken this knee as a sophmore while wrestling. I really need some help. The doctor has said nothing about surgery, i've been in a full leg cast for 6-weeks, coming off next week and I really don't want to go through surgery. Do you all know what he might say? It was a very very small chip off the front of the patella, in fact, the doctors at the ER saw the x-ray, saw nothing, and sent me home in a knee mobilizer. Next day, we went in to my doctor, and he told me I had a very small chip, and I needed to be casted for 6/7 weeks. When it happened, the knee dislocated and popped back in on it's own immediately. I am very worried about any torn ligaments, do you think there are any I should worry about? I can completely walk on the knee, and have been for 4 weeks, while in the cast, with no pain whatsoever. Please get back to me, I get my license in about 20 days and want to be ready to drive!! Please send back info, it will be very much appreciated. Thanks guys.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on December 14, 2004, 05:45:42 PM
Hi Andy & Manxman

Six months rehab/physio is the norm, I suspect because most physios just dont have experience dealing with RPT injuries.

I am now putting on my thinking cap to suggest a collective noun for RPT`s.............


Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK ??? ;D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 15, 2004, 03:00:02 AM
Well guys, I found out why my quad has been hurting so much. Get this -- it's torn. Yup, my quadriceps muscle is torn, that's why I'm in so much pain and it feels so tight. Happened during the maniulation. Apparently this is somewhat "common" during MUAs.

So this marks the second time I was injured during an MUA. Granted, I'm not upset AT ALL with my current OS, he always stresses the possibility of complications and at least outright TOLD me what was going on, instead of my ex-OS who injured me badly and never even told me about it or at least ordered a simple x-ray to see that something was wrong (he ruptured my patellar tendon as well as tearing both my menisci).

Yesterday at PT I reached 95 degrees, today I only got 83. I'm freefalling at this rate, but at least it's understandable. However, I fear I'm headed for a seventh surgery if I cannot gain ROM soon. Ugh.

PT has me heating the quad while icing the knee. Feels great, but the pain is still pretty bad. I'm actually considering calling up my pain management doc to get some relief, especially for my spine which has taken a beating these past few months. Thanks to my ex-PT I have a herniated disk in my back, degenerative disk disease at NINETEEN, and two fused disks. After I finally get all my knee problems sorted out, I will take care of my spine. It's my lumbar region, which of course makes things worse on my knee because the back pain also causes general leg pain as well.

I'll keep you all posted on everything.

Patricia  :'(
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: BigBadD on December 15, 2004, 03:19:37 AM
Hey everyone,

Wow have I ever slacked on my posting.  Gotta get better at it.  I enjoy hearing how everyone is doing so I should post more myself.

Well I just past 8 weeks post op now.  Had a few PT sessions, and am goign 3 times per week.  I thought I was starting at 45 deg but it was closer to 35 or 40.  Latest measure is around 60, maybe a bit more.  I was happy with the initial progress but I nervous about how things will progress now ....

Having a bit a bend makes a world of difference in so many ways.  Things are generally improving in terms of mobility, being able to sleep at night, etc.

PT consists of heating various types of bending, quad contractions, calf strengthing, and calf stretching.  No muscle stim or ultrasound which I thought was odd.  I try to repeat the PT session on my one at least once a day in addition to trying to bend it all day long at work.

So now the questions (lets compare notes):
-  Anyone doing much else in PT?  Just wondering if there is anything that I'm missing that I might help based on your experience.
-  Swelling.  I'm icing every evening to try to get the swelling to go down.  My knee is pretty swollen.  The thing I find odd is how solid my knee is.  Typical?

Patricia, sorry to hear about the quad.  Hope things turn around for you.  I have a couple of herniated discs as well.  Being in an immobilizer was awful for it, but I'm hopeful that it will come around again.  I'm focusing on the knee, but trying to do little things to keep my back health in mind.  

Corey - whats the latest for you?  

Tom - Where'd you go???  

Nice to hear back from the original RPTers.  Stay on top of the personal PT.  Go for a FULL recovery.

Chris - Sorry, but I don't have much in the way of advice to offer.  Listen to your doc, and take the PT VERY SERIOUSLY.  I'm sure you'll be driving soon enough.

D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on December 15, 2004, 07:23:05 PM
Hello All! I've been reading the posts here since a few days after my surgery on 11/14/04. It's been a whole month since I have surgery. Seems so long ago. I injured myself playing basketball on 11/10/04. I collided with another player and our knees hit. The impact was so great, it blew out my knee. I knew something bad happened. I was able to walk a bit, but there was no stability.

I drove myself to the ER and they just gave me an immobilizer and meds (no X-rays). They thought it was just a severe sprain. I saw my own Dr. the next day and he sent me to a OS. The OS new I had a RPT when I could not do a straight leg lift. The MRI revealed his diagnosis. I had surgery a few days later. It went very well. It was outpatient (in at 8am, out at 5pm). They wanted to keep me, but I said "no".

Had a cylinder cast on for 16 days and now have a hinged brace on. I walked on my bad leg same days as surgery with crutches of course. I hated the cast because of its restrictions (sleeping, bathroom, no driving, etc).  I doing PT 3x a week. Started last week. Reached 90 deg flex on the 2nd day. Haven't gone beyond that yet, but I'm optimistic I will this week. I work on my quads and ROM every day.

The knee feels good. Swellings going down slowly. My OS projects me to be near full strength in 2 more months. I'm being aggressive and conservative to get back to PIS (pre-injury status). I'm glad to hear so many encouraging stories and pray everyone will reached their optimum ROM. I'll be giving updates regularly.

Be well!
smarty
Owings Mills, Maryland USA
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on December 15, 2004, 07:33:06 PM
Hi Smarty

Welcome to the RPT club - member 36 on two message boards since January 2003.

I think that your OS is optimistic at two months, but wishing you well -

Keep reading our posts and dont hesitate to ask us any questions.

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on December 15, 2004, 11:55:52 PM
Hi all,

D, to add my thoughts on your physio queries:
- Your exercises are almost exactly the same as mine. I never had any stimulous applied or ultra-sounds, it was all my own effort. The only thing I would say is not to concentrate on the bend too much  :o Sounds strange to say this, but you have to balance the bending with periods of straightening as well. My physio pulled me up on this when I was walking, in that I was concentrating on bending my leg so much, I had forgotton how to walk properly, in that I was not straightening the leg when pushing off the bad leg when walking. I'm not suggesting hours of straight leg, we all had that in our casts  >:( but do mix it up for few minutes every day.
- As for the swelling, yep, had some of that. Not as much as I thought I would. My knee didn't necessarily swell up a lot, it just got damn hot  :o But your knee being solid is normal, just lots of scar tissue build up. Mine managed to get a lot softer over time, about 2 months after starting PT. Daily massage with some lotion did the trick for me to get the scar tissue moving, good for the scar as well. Others here haven't been as lucky. Basically, keep monitoring it yourself, and tell the physio if you feel the scar tissue is stopping the bend progressing.

Hope that helps.

Chris, sorry, but not sure if you will get much help from this board with your chipped patellar. I see you have posted elsewhere, and got some good responses. Hopefully you will get the advice you need from the right people in the know. However, if you ever feel its getting you down, read our Patricia's story on this board, and you will realise if she can get this far with her problems, we all can  ;D

Welcome smarty to the group. You really are getting going quicker than a lot of people here. Just listen to your knee, and it'll keep you upright. Keep up the good work. Good to hear the doc did the straight leg lift test, that's always a give away for a RPT injury. I had to wait 7 days between injury and diagnosis for the doc to try this test  ::)

Hey Patricia, never rains but it pours with you  :'( A quad tear and dodgy back. We're all crossing our fingers on you not requiring another surgury.  :)

Keep up the effort all, we'll all get there, eventually,

Cheers,

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 15, 2004, 11:58:23 PM
Hey guys, I have a bit more of an update today.

Just got back from a 2 1/2 hours of physical therapy TORTURE, got a little more information on my latest complication.

My other two PTs also agree with the diagnoses of the ruptured quad muscle, they're going to put their heads together and create a new protocol that will not stress the quad but still work on ROM. I am NOT to do any strength training. Before my doc at least had me doing straight leg raises with the aid of my mother (or anyone else who was around) at home, but I'm not to do that, either.

So, I'm receiving a combination treatment of ice, heat, deep tissue massage, stim, and ultrasound. I had my first ultrasound treatment today, it was definitely weird but I'll get used to it. Fun fun. Aside from all of that, I'm also working on ROM by riding the stationary bike back and forth (not around), sitting in a chair and pulling the leg back with my other leg. I also use a strap wrapped around my foot and pull my leg back gently to stretch the knee.

Unfortunatly, my PTs all came to a conclusion about my knee that has always been in the back of my head, but never wanted to hear the actual words said out loud. Basically, they think I'll never regain full motion. I'll be lucky to max out at 100-110 permanently, which isn't all that great but it's doable. I knew this was probably going to happen, I just didn't want to have it come true, you know? Ehh...I'll deal with it, and I'll be able to come to terms with it, I just need time. It's a huge blow for someone as athletic as I am.

Hopefully I won't be headed for another scar tissue-related surgery, but if I am, so be it.

Hope you're all doing well, and welcome to the club Smarty :) Don't shy away from posting here -- unfortunately we all have a little too much experience in this area, but fortunately for you that can come in handy, eh? :P

Is everyone ready for the holidays?

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: BigBadD on December 16, 2004, 03:43:05 AM
Hey all,

Posts on consecutive days ... I deserve an award.  Maybe losing 'mini-geek' status.

PT session was cool today.  Nothing really amazing as far as ROM to report, but today felt like good progress on the short term goal of getting to 90.  PT measured 60, but I think he was being stingy with the degrees.  I feel good about it though.  Gonna start taking my brace off at work so I can bend my knee more during the day.

Andy, thanks much for the info.  What you said about straightening makes sense and I can sort of feel it already (after bending its tough to get back to straight).

Smarty welcome to the club.  Another hoopster, eh?  We really gotta get together and play hoops when we're better.  You sound like you're doing really well.  

Patricia: "... ya gotta believe ..."  Thats been my personal sports quote for years, and now I'm passing it on to you.  I hope amazing good suprises are ahead for you.  Keep you goals high.  I'm rooting for you.

Ok kids, I'm outta here.  Be good to your knees!

D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on December 16, 2004, 05:33:58 PM
Thanks John, Andy, Patricia and D for the warm welcome. I'm going to be vaery cautious with my PT. I want to get back to pre-op status quickly, but want to have a sound knee and no set backs also. I do my own reps at home as instructed by my PT. I have very little knee pain before and after PT, but during PT, the flexing to get the ROM is the most painful part. An older guy who had the injury about 5 years ago suggested I take my meds and eat something before my sessions. That's been working well.

I have the swelling and scar tissue to fight through as everyone else here.

D - I'm in no hurry to play hoops again. I think I'll start playing tennis or something "non'contact" again when I'm fully recovered. The fear of re-injuring myself has made me retire from all contact sports. I'm just too old..... ;)

Question to the panel.....how long did you have your hinged brace locked at zero degrees? How long did it take you to flex it (15 deg, 30 deg, 45 deg, etc). I have mine set at 15 deg flex.

Have a great day (pain free) all! THINK PROGRESS!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on December 16, 2004, 07:31:55 PM
Hi Smarty

As soon as your cast is removed, one should have a ROM of 35deg -  It takes about 4 months to reach the magic 90deg - having reached this stage, then you must try to reach 115/135deg within 6/12 months.

Your good leg should be about 135deg.   Dont overwork the Tendon it`s still very weak for about 3/4 months.

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 16, 2004, 07:42:44 PM
Smarty -

It also depends on how aggressive your plan of attack is. After I got out of my cast, my brace was set at zero for at least a month. I eventually worked my way up to having the brace open at 120, but the past month I've been set at zero again. My case is VERY different than most, so it's hard to compare notes here, but I figured I'd just give you a little briefing on the possibility of difference in protocol. My OS is being very cautious with my knee, it has had a lot of trauma (surgically and non surgically).

I agree with the suggestion of taking your meds before PT. If stretching when you have your worst pain, you could even cut it closer by taking the meds about 15-20 minutes before you begin to stretch. That way, the medication will be kicking in when you start to stretch and will cut down on the pain a bit.

Good luck!

Hope you're feeling well,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on December 16, 2004, 08:03:13 PM
John - Thanks for the reply! I have reached 90 deg 1 month post surgery. My cast was removed 2 weeks ago. My knee feels strong but I'm being cautious and have my brace set at 15 deg (better than zero). I don't use crutches (haven't since cast was removed). I'm being aggressive under my PT's supervision, but being smart not to overdo it. I see my OS 12/30 and want to impress him with my progress.

Patricia - Thanks for reply! I've read your history and it's unique to this group. I do hope your healing gets on track and you have minimal complications going forward.

God Speed!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 16, 2004, 08:08:17 PM
Smarty -

Oh wow, you're off crutches already, too? My doc STILL has me on crutches, and my surgery was in August! Then again...I've had two more surgeries since August and have had more than my fair share of compilications, LOL.

What type of strength training are you doing at PT? Do you use a stim machine for your quads? That's the worst part -- the feeling that your leg is a STICK. The stim unit really helps build up those severely atrophied quads while providing a nice amount of pain relief. If you're not using one, definitely look into asking your PT or OS about getting one. They are Heaven-sent! :)

Patricia  :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on December 16, 2004, 08:29:33 PM
Patricia - I threw the crutches to the side after I got the brace. My OS said use them "as needed". I don't need them; my balance is pretty good and I'm "very coordinated"... :). I guess it all depends on the individual.

My PT consist of quad stimulation with the machine (my favorite part). It really does help. You're right, this machine is great. I wish I had one at home. My qauds are shot! I do my heel sweeps, straight leg raises (when the quads wake up after stim), side leg raises, side leg sweeps and leg pulls using healthy leg. I get my ROM flex at the end of each session. Very painful, but necessary.

Session #5 tomorrow! Can hardly wait.... ;)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 16, 2004, 11:35:34 PM
Smarty - you should look into getting a personal home unit. I have a handheld stim machine for home use, I use it about three times a day at home and then once at PT (I go daily). I LOVE it.

And, yet another update on me (as if you guys aren't already tired of hearing about it) --

Well, I left a message with my pain management doc to call me back ASAP. He wasn't in the office today, of course (just my luck), but I was told he'll call me back tomorrow. If he doesn't I'm going to have a conniption, I swear.

I haven't seen him since before my patellar tendon reconstruction, so I'm worried he's going to make me come into the office for an appointment, which I simply cannot do at this time. All I want is to get a script for the Actiq, the medication he had me taking during stretching sessions at PT and at home. I'm VERY nervous though at this point that it will be a lost cause and he won't agree to it, but I have hope. There really isn't any reason why he wouldn't do it, but you know me -- I don't have a lot of trust in doctors these days, ESPECIALLY him, who said he "didn't feel comfortable with the level of pain I was in". BS!

I'll keep you updated on everything, I pray that phone will ring tomorrow and I'll hear his voice. If not, I'll just make another call and make the secretary PERSONALLY give him the message.

Oh, BTW, I also see my OS tomorrow as well. I have a LOT of things to discuss with him, it seems. Ugh. When will this ever end?  :'(

Patricia  :-[
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: corey on December 17, 2004, 01:24:12 AM
Hello to all!  Its been a little while since Ive posted. Wish only progress to all.  BigD- Good to hear from ya.  For myself progress in r.o.m. came quickly but then stalled at about 100-105.  Every single degree since has come along very slowly.  Its not just the patella tendon, but quad tendons and the whole sha-bang that seems to forget what their job is!  I think patience is the key, something I have very little of!  Whatever you do dont slack not even for a minute!  I have been very aggressive but I do notice that when it comes to improving r.o.m. it takes extra effort.  I get to a point and thats exactly where I stall when I let only a day or two go buy without doing the strecthing routine. Its as if my knees are saying " Were only going to do what you make us do, nothing more. Na Na NA Na Na!!"
Goodluck to all, especially the newcommers.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on December 17, 2004, 01:14:07 PM
Hi all, just came back from a trip and found masses of RPT messages on the board. So thought I'd say hello, I haven't posted for a while.

Now 9 months in, things are pretty much back to normal. Most days I don't think about the knee, though running down stairs is sometimes a reminder - still a little weak in the affected leg, which occasionally hyper-extends - not painfully though. I'm sure I'd be 100% if I kept up a good PT regime but as I've been bone-idle for the last 3 months the quad is still a bit fuzzy...not enough to bother me as I'm not into running-about sports at the moment, I can hill-walk with the dogs as much as I like without any problem afterwards (well, not the knee anyway, a few other aches though).

Wire loop has been left in place, though I can't detect it now. But did wonder when I came through airport security yesterday, I kept beeping at the gateway and they had my belt buckle off me before it stopped. Was it triggered by my iron resolve, or my magnetic personality???  8)

I'm hoping to ski again this season...at least I'm looking forward to those mountain lunches!

Anyway, good luck to all, stay positive and be lucky.

Best to all.

Nigel




Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on December 17, 2004, 01:27:36 PM


Hi Folks

The festive season is only seven days away -

FESTIVE GREETINGS TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE "RPT" CLUB, may the New Year only bring good health and speedy recovery to all RPT sufferers.

Lets hear from those members who have not been on the board for some time - let`s hope that they are walking/skipping without knee problems.

Best wishes

JohnK/Manchester UK ;) :) :o
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on December 17, 2004, 07:40:28 PM
Hi Guys..
Sorry for lack of posts :-[...Haven&acute;t done any pt for a month..my team fired the coach and since i&acute;ve only played one game this season they terminated the deal they gave me in jan and refused to pay for my rehab..so they left me with a bill (2000 us)..that i had to pay NOW!!!!pretty frustrated...i do not have a steady paycheck (havent had since my surgery)..so now i have to deal with pt bills from now on to.. >:(..Which can be a whole lot if your insurance don&acute;t take care of it..which mine doesn&acute;t..so here i am.. Xmas is coming..my bills are way over my head..and i am uemployed from jan 1..my knee is coming along just fine..but PHEW..the next couple of months will be mentally TOUGH...

But im a warrior..so i will get through all this crap..
and one day end up as a GK in the Premier League ;)
Merry Xmas to all u RPTigers  
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 17, 2004, 08:23:08 PM
Okay everyone, here's the latest in "As the Knee Turns"... (hehe)

Today was pure torture. I was only reaching about 70 degrees today (my worst yet), so I had two PTs with their hands all over my knee trying to get me to AT LEAST 90 degrees. It was excrutiating, I cried, I screamed, but I let them do it, which counts for a lot. I could have easily said "no" or "stop it", but I didn't, I let them do it and I'm proud of myself for that.

Anyways, after the torture, my emotions were all out of whack. I gimped across the hall for my doctor's appointment, and after the secretary asked how I was feeling, I started bawling. Pretty embarrassing in a room full of people, but ahh well...whattaya gonna do? I had like four or five people hugging me and counseling me, it did help.

OS told me to STOP PT until further notice because it's just irritating the knee more and more, which will only cause the scar tissue to form quicker. There's no point in literally torturing me if it's not going to help the situation, rather only make it worse. I'm only allowed in the CPM and doing SLRs, NOTHING else.

He also changed his mind about seeing a team of PTs, he now wants me to pick the one who I feel is giving the best treatment and stick with them. I felt awful having to choose between the three, I like them all, but in the end I decided to choose the PT I thought challenged me the most, which incidently was the one female out of the three,  ;D . Nothing against the guys, but she really does help me out the most, both mentally and physically speaking.

Doc wants me to see a pain management specialist...get this...he's like "I'm going to give my colleague a call, Dr. Michael Rudman, and I want you to see him..."

Get this, Dr. Rudman IS my pain management doctor!! I thought it was pretty funny seeing as I put in a call for Dr. Rudman yesterday, and my OS mentions the name anyways without even knowing I ever SAW him! :P

Soo, we're going to work out a better way to relieve the pain, whether it be stronger medications again or nerve blocks, who knows. I'd rather not have to have the nerve blocks again, but I'll do anything to get my knee better now.

He put me on a muscle relaxant for my quad, so hopefully that helps. I'm taking Skelaxin (used to take it in the past, nothing new). He's also going to talk to Dr. Rudman about putting me on some sort of mood stabilizer or something...he didn't go too in depth about it, but he mentioned it.

So now I'm waiting for a call from my OS and PM doc. I'll update again when I know more information.

Thanks everyone for your kind words and understanding, it means more than you need. In situations like these, we need the most friends we can get, and I really consider you all friends. :)

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on December 20, 2004, 04:17:10 PM
Patricia

Thanks for the suggestion on getting a personal stim machine. I'll look into one. I've got to get my quads going. I know it takes time. I feel them contracting regularly. I can do straight leg raises occasionally.

I had a great PT session on Friday. Hit 90 deg flex again (32 days after surgery), walked without brace to the stationary bike and did some light peddling. The pain was unbearable to push to 90 deg, but necessary. I see my OS on 12/30 and want to show him my progress. My PT is treating me aggressively. He knows I want to get back to pre-injury status quickly.

Try to stay as positive. Your situation is the most difficult I've heard here. I pray you find a comfort level very soon.

Take care all!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 20, 2004, 07:34:06 PM
Okay well I'm seeing the PM doc tomorrow at 3:30. The doc left a note for his secretary to make SURE to get me in within the next two days (today and tomorrow)...I feel special and important  ;D

Ugh, it's only NINE degrees out today in northern New Jersey, which is taking a beating to my knee and ankle (I have prior ankle problems too).

How is everyone else holding up?

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on December 20, 2004, 07:52:52 PM
Hi Everybody in RPT-Land, I haven't posted in awhile so I thought I'd drop in and give my two cents worth here.  I am eight months post-op and doing quite well actually, not running and jumping around mind you but I'm not in any chronic pain and my ROM is normal or should I say pre-injury status or thereabouts.  My only regret is not doing the stringent exercises, two hours worth, on a daily basis in order to strengthen the muscles around the knee to where I have confidence to do the running and jumping (NOT).  Whenever I want to do something out of the ordinary I have to take the time to evaluate my ability to do it without taking the chance of a re-injured tendon, this is a bummer for me not to be spontaneous anymore and just be able to do stuff quickly without a thought or care in the world.  Patricia is our most dedicated sufferer and we can read between the lines that this ain't no picnic for her and neither is it for anyone else here.  I have to wait til the beginning of next year to go back to my PT and get evaluated so I can go back to work on the ship, I don't think I'm ready yet but I will trust that the health care professionals know what they're doing on this.  I hope you all have a nice holiday season where ever you are, me I'm going to where the weather is much warmer, I'm off to Arizona for the holidays, see ya around. John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on December 21, 2004, 05:20:30 PM
Hi All!

I had a great session at PT yesterday. I reached 106 deg flex (6 weeks post-surgery and 6th PT session). It was painful to get over 100, but a progressive pain. I'm on the stationary bike and the quads are kicking in, allowing me to do straight leg lifts. Quads are contracting like crazy now and feels good. My knee was sore after the session, but the drugs kicked in and I iced it later in the evening. The knee's getting stronger every day. I'm in no hurry to play any sports any time soon.

Happy Holidays!!!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 22, 2004, 02:11:38 AM
Alright everyone, I just got back from a long day at the pain management doc and hospital.

He agrees that my muscle is ruptured, therefore is causing my latest problems with ROM. He seemed more than willing to help me out this time around, I guess after talking to my amazing OS he felt a little more comfortable with the situation.

So, after a lot of talk, we decided to try to wean me off of the percocet and re-introduce the ultracet for in between PT sessions (especially in the CPM). If I still need the percocet, so be it, but we're really hoping to get me off of it now.

He thought the Actiq was a great idea, so I'm going to start taking that again right before I'm about to be stretched at PT. For those of you who don't know, Actiq is a lollipop type medication that has fentanyl in it. It's very potent and is normally used for breakthrough pain in cancer patients, but can be used for other things (not common, however).

Finally, he's giving me a higher dosage of the Skelaxin. Instead of 400, I'm taking 800 like four times a day or something. I could be off with the how-many-times-a-day part, but I know it is 800 instead of 400.

Hopefully all of this gets me back on track and I can FINALLY start my rehab process again, eh? I'll see him again in January, so hopefully by then I've made a bit of progress.

As always, I'll update when I have more information. Hope everyone else is doing well. I'm excited that I actually left a doctor's appointment with a feeling of relief and contentment!

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on December 22, 2004, 03:17:09 PM
Hi Patricia!

I hear optimism in your words and I'm happy for you. You've had some journey and you'll look back at this situation as a source of strength. There's a light at the end of this painful tunnel.

Think progress everyday!

Happy Holidays!!!!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on December 24, 2004, 04:57:09 PM
Hi all,

Happy Christmas, have a good one all   8)

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: BigBadD on December 24, 2004, 06:25:41 PM
Hey everyone.  Just wanted to drop you a quick note to say Happy Holidays and best wishes for the New Year.

Thanks to all RPTers for for sharing you experiences and providing encouragement.  Couldn't have made it this far without you.  Looking forward to all of us getting all the way back.

Here's to good times and good health in '05!!!!

Onwards,

D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on December 24, 2004, 06:34:22 PM
Hi Folks


Happy Christmas from Manchester U.K.


JohnK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on December 24, 2004, 09:04:25 PM
....and from Oxford, UK  8)

Here's to a great recovery fpr everyone here - especially Patricia - in the New Year...

Cheers
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on December 25, 2004, 02:42:59 AM
wishinh you all a warm and snowy holiday and to john k....loved the card. thank you. kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 28, 2004, 02:07:15 AM
So, I just got back from my first PT session in about a week or so and....

I got to 103 degrees BY MYSELF!!! HOLY MOLEY!!!!  :o :o :o

I couldn't believe it, with the pain meds and the muscle relaxants I'm FLYING HIGH here (well, literally... :P ). It felt SO good today to get PAST 100 for the first time in a LOOONG time (especially since the last time I was at PT a week or so ago I was at an afwul 70 degrees!).

I'm so proud of myself right now. I didn't think I'd ever make such a push like this. The difficult part now is to MAINTAIN that ROM, but God, I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present right now.

Granted, my (ruptured) quad is on FIRE right now, but I'm actually "enjoying" the pain; I know it was WELL worth it.

Sorry, I'm rambling now, but I'm just so excited tonight. I feel like I'm on top of the world.  ;D

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 28, 2004, 02:40:47 AM
Oh, I forgot to mention something...

After I did my assisted straight leg raises, I did partial leg lifts, I'm not sure what they're called, maybe calf lifts? It's the one where you slightly bend your knee and rest it on something (sometimes a PT's leg or a soft-foam cylinder) and you straighten the knee.

Anyways, it absolutely KILLED my tendon. When I was in extension, it felt like my knee was getting stuck right around the tendon and I'd have a lot of trouble getting the knee back down. It almost felt like a spasm, or trying to break up a loose piece of scar tissue. It was really painful, though. I couldn't get more than about five of them done.

Has anyone else had an experience like that? Should I merely chalk it up to extreme weakness or scar tissue?

Thanks in advance, and I hope everyone has a great New Years!

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on December 29, 2004, 08:10:27 PM
Congrats Patricia! Isn't progress a wonderful thing? The excercise you are referring to, I do recall doing and having the same results (shakin, ect). My PT told me it was the scar tissue loosening up. It's all good. I see my OS tomorrow and want to impress him with my progress. I don't think he expects me to be at 112 fexion after 6 weeks and doing some advanced excercises.

How much did it hurt to get to 103 deg? Does your PT assist you in getting more bend? Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on December 29, 2004, 11:45:08 PM
Hi all,

Way to go Patricia  8) That's great progress. I'd agree with the Smart one :) , I also had a lot of scar tissue which would restrict my bend. It really did cause my knee to feel as though it was grating against the tendon. The straight leg extensions really did take a lot of time to get good at. Out of all the exercises you can do, that one is really testing out the tendon, and surrounding muscles, coz you are having to really fight gravity to straighten it. Bending it came a lot easier, as you are realising  ;)

A good deal of massage over a number of weeks, with Vitamin E lotion, did the trick for me getting the scar tissue moving. Its still there now, but it is moving  ::) I am sure your's will follow on in time.

I'm progressing well so far. Did some laps down and up the stairs in my block of flats earlier today(I live on the 4th floor). Single stairs, sideways, double stairs, etc.... The quad tendon reacted quite well after (which I have struggled with over the last couple of months), the real effect I had after was in my shins. Nothing too painful, just tight.

Keep the progress going all,

Cheers,

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 30, 2004, 06:24:09 AM
Thanks everyone!!

I topped out at 110, I'm not going to get much better, ROM wise, at this point, so I'm really excited that I've pretty much hit the ROM I'm going to be stuck at for the rest of my life. Yeah it stinks that I lost a good 20-30 degrees, but whatever...gotta look at the positives of the situation.

My quad has been on fire lately, but I HAVE been working in some more strength training now. Even though I can only do a VERY small amount of exercises due to the ruptured quad, I'm doing what I can and that really is helping, even if just a bit.

PT also doesn't want to stress the tendon too much which is still a big concern with me because I nearly damaged it again overworking it too soon.

Hope I continue to improve daily! I'm not used to actually seeing PROGRESS, usually I'm either stuck or falling backwards! This feels GREAT!

Hope you're all feeling well!

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on December 30, 2004, 09:00:12 PM
Hi Folks


Good news from Patricia - :) :)

110deg not bad - I have 111deg and that will be the maximum I will get - just got to live with it - can do most things - a bit hard walking up and down hills - keep at it.

A VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHLY NEW YEAR TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE RPT CLUB - MAY WE ALL WALK BETTER IN 2005  :-* :-* :-*


JohnK/ Manchester UK :) :) :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 31, 2004, 06:49:55 AM
Well, I had a rough day today. Ever since last night, I was having a lot of trouble getting any ROM at all, felt like there was some scar tissue in the joint that just wouldn't budge. I was having pain with everything I did at PT, and when it came time to stretch I was getting nowhere. I ended up topping out at 95, which is a step back, but I guess I'll just chalk it up to a bad day. PT said she could feel my knee getting stuck, so we just tried to push through it as much as possible to hopefully break it up. I felt a bit of popping, so I'm just praying that I did manage to break most of it up. The thing that sucks though is that because of the holidays I don't go back to PT until Monday. I'm going to have to work REALLY hard not to lose any more ROM. God knows I can't go through any more setbacks at this point, eh?

My quad really tightened up tonight, I'm currently heating it to try to get it to calm down a bit. Stinks because my tendon is also not wanting to cooperate, it's been killing me the past few hours. My knee is falling apart in the span of 24 hours! (well, not really, but gee...I want consistant progress now!)

Hope you're all doing well and happy holidays! :)

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on December 31, 2004, 02:07:45 PM
Sounds like you're doing OK, Patricia. There will inevitably be bad days as the knee readjusts, but it does sound as if you're on the right path. Hang in there and celebrate those small breakthroughs... :)

Happy New Year, too, to everyone. What's happening in Asia puts our problems in perspective. So we've got a problem with our knees. People out there have lost everything. A feeling reinforced as I've just discovered two friends have cancer.... PTR is a sideshow compared to this.

So enjoy the New Year, celebrate our small successes on the way back to fitness and think how lucky we are.....
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on December 31, 2004, 09:16:06 PM
Happy New Year All!!!

Patricia! We all have our "good days" and "bad days" through this difficuly process. Manxman said it all when he referred to the Asia tsunami catastrophe. I count my blessings that I have two legs (although one's stronger than the other). Only time will heal my knee. In the beginning I tried to rush the process, but I came to the conclusion that I'm young and strong and have time. I want my knee to heal properly. I know you have the same philosophy.

Just a quick update.....saw my OS for 6 wks post-surgury follow up. He was very pleased with the progress I've made. He said I can stop using the hinged brace as soon as I feel comfortable enough to do so. He prescribed "active" exercises for PT, which I started yesterday. My quads are slowly coming back. My OS said I should be ready to play basketball again in a few months. I looked at him and said "I'm retired".

I look forward to limping into 2005.... :)

Much prosperity and progress to all!!!!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on December 31, 2004, 09:37:27 PM
Just a quick note --

Oh I know I will have good and bad days, however, with my extensive and unique case, a bad day usually means a complication so I'm definitely going to worry a bit. :P Once I string together enough good days, I think that mentality will start to fade, though. :)

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on December 31, 2004, 09:42:19 PM
I hear ya Patricia! Even though we share the same injury, our situations are unique because our bodies are different. There are so many variables associated with an injury.

Take care!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Jenell on January 05, 2005, 02:08:22 AM
Hello,
I am new to this and not sure if this post will work.  I notice that Patricia is in NJ.  Can you provide your doctor's name?  I am also in NJ.  I dislocated my knee 4/2004.  I was in a locked brace for a month.  I had PT for 5 months.  The end results it that my kneecap is 1 inch higher than it used to be.  The doctor said I have an overstretched patellar tendon and there is no operation to correct this.  I have quad. atrophy as well.  I'm looking for any kinds of opinions or advice.  The doctor thinks I should try to live with it as is.  I used to ski and play softball.  Now,  my knee looks very odd due to the kneecap being too high.  I feel I have no protection when my leg is bent.  Any ideas ?  Thanks! Jenell
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 05, 2005, 02:20:20 AM
Janell -

My doctor is Dr. John Hurley out of Tri-County Orthopaedics in Morristown, New Jersey, which is in northen New Jersey. He's one of the best out there, he saved my life! I had previously been seeing Dr. David Lin, part of Dr. Mark Reiger's group at The Orthopedic Center in Cedar Knolls, New Jersey. Here's Tri-County's  website: http://www.tri-countyortho.com/index.htm

Dr. Hurley's profile: http://www.tri-countyortho.com/hurley.htm

If you want more information on him or my situation, or have any questions in general feel free to message me or send me an email. :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 05, 2005, 02:27:51 AM
And now for yet another update on myself...

Went to the PM doc today, ended up upping my dosage on the Actiq, it quickly wore off after the first few days of great gains. We both agreed that I cannot afford any more setbacks at this point, so while it stinks to have a higher dosage, it'll be worth it in the long run.

He also FINALLY put me on a sleeping pill, however, he wants me to try it out for about a week and see how I like it or if it even works. If not, he'll try something else.

In terms of progress, I've made minimal gains lately. Scar tissue seems to be a problem again, but I'm trying to work through it. Hopefully with the aid of the higher dosage Actiq, I'll be able to push through it and just break it up. Also, my hamstring seems to be giving me trouble now. I've NEVER had hamstring problems before, but my PT thinks that my hamstring must have endured a lot of post-operative changes after the patellar tendon reconstruction (my doc DID use part of the hamstring to reconstruct the tendon). So, tomorrow she's going to try an ultrasound/massage combo on the back of my knee (as well as my quad) and hopefully it'll loosen up again.

Aside from that, nothing else really to report. I'll be seeing my OS on Friday, I guess I'll find out more then.

Hope everyone else is feeling well!

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Jenell on January 05, 2005, 02:30:50 AM
Thank you Patricia!  I am about an hour from Morristown.  I will check to see if he is in my insurance plan.   I might go to him for a third opinion!  

Jenell
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 05, 2005, 02:36:05 AM
Jenell (woops, sorry for misspelling your name in my first post) -

I HIGHLY reccommend him, he's really a great doctor. He treats every one of his patients as though they were his own blood. He truly CARES about everyone he treats, something I personally find rare in the medical-world these days. He's highly educated in his field and specializes in knee pain and injury (along with shoulder problems and sports medicine), so he's definitely the right guy to go to. He was my second opinion. I went to him after being told by countless doctors and PTs that there was NOTHING structurely wrong with my knee. Go to Dr. Hurley and what does he tell me within the first five mintues? "It seems as though your patellar tendon is ruptured." Wow! You could imagine how shocked/surprised/angry/relieved I was! :)

Let me know how everything goes, I believe Tri-County is taking in new patients. Make sure to ask for Dr. Hurley, there are quite a few doctors in the practice. While they're all great as well (I've seen McBride and I've spoken with Willis a few times myself), Hurley is definitely the guy you want to go to.

Best of luck!

Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Jenell on January 05, 2005, 02:42:15 AM
Thank you Patricia!  I wasn't going to try for a third opinion - but I think I might call his office soon and make an appointment.  I feel like I don't have anything to lose at this point!  Best of luck to you with your knee as well!  

Jenell
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on January 10, 2005, 07:52:33 PM
Hi Guys, quite a long time since I posted. I'm now 11 months post op, but still feel like I'm some way off playing sport again. Knee still feels weak and I think I have a major problem with hyperextension. Made the mistake of kneeling on a hard surface a few weeks ago. was very painful :o. Will see a sports injury doctor for the first time in about 5 months next week, so hopefully will get some good advice.

Tony
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 11, 2005, 02:03:53 AM
Heh, guess you guys thought you were done hearing me complain, but I always find something new to vent about!  :o

So, I saw the OS on Friday. He seems pleased with my progress, which is great and everything, but I feel like he is starting to get ahead of himself. He told me to discontinue use of the CPM and start going to PT only 3x a week instead of 5x. This confused me because I'm still really struggling with getting AND maintaining ROM, I don't feel like I'm ready to give up the CPM or go down to PT 3x a week yet.

I think my OS was a little stressed out though and may have not been thinking; he had been on vacation the week before and was very backed up with his patients. He's already overworked as it is, but this past week he's been over his head with patients and surgeries, so I think he may have told me the wrong things. I talked to my PT about it today and she agreed with me, she thinks I'm not ready to give up the CPM or go down to PT 3x a week. She told me to call my OS and explain the situation, hopefully he'll agree and let me continue using the CPM. In terms of the PT, I still have a month left on the previous script so for now at least I can still go everyday. Maybe after the script is up I WILL be ready to go 3x a week, so at least that situation was aleviated.

Anyways, sorry for rambling here, I'm just a bit confused and frustrated myself. I love my OS, but he tends to go back on a lot of the things he says -- he works too much for his own good. He's such an incredible man, he wants to help out as many people as he can, but sometimes you need to draw a line, he shouldn't be overworking himself this much and it's not fair to his other patients either because they have to wait so long to see him sometimes and end up getting mixed up information. He's never done anything WRONG, but more often than not I will receive a call from him or be asked to come back into the office because after "thinking it over", he decided to go another route or do something else. It can be frustrating sometimes.

Okay, my little rant is done, I'm stepping off the soapbox. Thanks for listening guys and gals, it really means a lot. I'm so thankful I found this board and the people I've gotten to know both on and off the board, you all really have helped me out SO much.

Hope everyone is feeling well!

Best wishes,
Patricia  ???
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on January 11, 2005, 04:34:04 PM
Hi RPT Members!

I hope everyone's progressing well in the New Year. Here's my latest progress report with history:

Rupture tendon on 11/10/04 playing basketball.
Had surgery on 11/14/04.
Cast removed 11/30/04.
OS recommended hinged brace removed after 6 week follow-up with OS on 12/30. He's very pleased with my progress.
Completed 1 month of very agressive PT (going 3x week) yesterday (1/10).
ROM is 120 as of yesterday. I'm doing all active PT. PT projects about 1 more month of PT.

My knee feels great after nearly 8 weeks post-op. I figure I'll be back to pre-injury status in 6 mo.

Patricia - I always like to hear your progress. Hang in there.

smartguy

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 11, 2005, 07:53:39 PM
Well everyone, I'm feeling a bit better today. After PT I decided to stop by the office seeing as it's right across the hall from the PT center and I talked a bit with my doc's secretary after (he's in surgery today, he wasn't in the office). She said not to worry at all and that she'd take care of EVERYTHING; I can keep the CPM for as long as I need. She'll make sure that the prescription for the CPM doesn't get cancelled and she'll let me OS know that I *do* still need the CPM. My PT says I definitely need to hang on to it, and I'd just feel more comfortable myself with it around. Granted, I don't LIKE being in the CPM, but I know it's good for my forever-struggling ROM; I can't afford to lose any more ROM or build up even MORE scar tissue at this rate, I don't want another surgery for a LOOOONG time!

smartguy - Go YOU! Sounds like you're doing amazing! It puts a smile on my face to see you guys making a lot of progress, I'm really happy that there does seem to be hope for us fellow RPT Members. I hope you continue to improve, and it sounds like you are well on your way to the road of recovery. Hoorah for you! :) Keep us updated with your progress, we love hearing how you are doing!  ;D

Hope everyone else is feeling well!

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on January 11, 2005, 08:41:58 PM
Hang tough Patricia! Easier said than done, but you must take each day as a new challenge. When I first was injured and the OS told me the "process", I was so distraught because I didn't want surgery or a cast or PT. There was no other way so I prepared myself physically and mentally for the long haul. When an active person can't get around as "normal", it drives them crazy and that's how I was. I was in a hurry to heal fast, but I didn't do anything to jeopardize the healing process. I'm being aggressive and smart.

Each of us is different. I'm still a long way from 100%. Just taking it one day at a time.

Be Well!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on January 12, 2005, 12:49:12 AM
Anyone had experience of a snapped stabilising loop? Finally convinced the medics something was wrong - and the good news is that it's just that, a snapped loop. Options were to leave it or operate. Currently awaiting operation (who knows when). I'm reluctant to push the physio exercises with a snapped piece of wire in the tendon --- butu would be grateful to hear of anyone's experiences....

Cheers 8)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 12, 2005, 01:06:31 AM
smartguy -
Oh you better believe it's a slow process! I'm going on two years now with a severely injured knee, six surgeries, reconstruction, screws, scar tissue, infections, plastic surgery -- you name it, I've pretty much had it or had it done! My tendon reconstruction was in August, I'm still barely able to do a SLR because of all the complications and surgeries I've had since. It stinks, but I've learned to cope with it and stay positive. It's definitely hard at times and I so badly want to just throw in the towel, but I know that'll solve nothing. Gotta keep our chins up, it WILL get better! :)

I've been getting pretty antsy myself, wanting the darn thing to just heal and become strong again so I can go back to doing the things I love. Only problem is, my expectations are a bit unrealistic at this stage of the game. You are right, we all are different in terms of injury and recovery. As opposed to many of those in this thread, my tendon rupture happened during a surgery (or even during stretching at PT...still not positive) instead of during a sport or an activity. My injury was chronic because I walked on a massively damaged knee for months up to a year without knowing what was truly wrong with it. The important thing with patellar tendon ruptures is to have a repair done as soon as possible. I face a lifetime of complications and questions and a certain TKR at an early age (I've already been told, I'm not assuming) because of all of this. I was also told that in all likelyhood I'll never be able to play sports again. It stinks, it really does. But I'm coming to terms with it. It's difficult, and you're right -- it's very hard to come to terms with such an injury like a RPT both physically and mentally.

Anyways, I'm just rambling now, so I'll stop myself before I get too carried away, hehe.

Again, good luck with your rehab and make sure to keep us updated, as always. :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on January 12, 2005, 03:07:13 PM
Hi all,

My progress is going well. I went to physio yesterday and got told my bi-weekly group sessions are going to be extended through February, instead of finishing by the end of Jan, which I am very happy with. I still have a lot of work to do on the quad to get the strength back. I have also started this week my own running training program. Having come next to last whenever we went on cross country runs at school, running was never my forte. However, on PT advice, it should be good to help build up the quad, and maybe drop a stone or 2 in the process!  ;D And when I say running, I am starting off on a run/walk exercising program, taking it easy to start with, and running on grass land only. So far 2 x 20 min sessions over, and no ill effects, so far  ;)

Janell, you came to the right place for advice, if Patricia doesn't know, no-one does. She is the fountain of all our knowledge and an inspiration to us all.

Rosbif, Tony, your on the right track getting back with the doc. Kneeling is really something I do not like doing. We do some at physio, but on nice mats, but it still feels very weird with little real feelings felt through the knee itself. I haven't knelt on just the bad knee yet, I only kneel on both, and have no plans to do so anythime soon.

Smarty, cracking good progress so far. Keep it going, and like you said, be smart, listen to the knee and take it from there. 6 months is the "standard" benchmark for recovery I have been told, and the way you are going, I am sure you will hit it   8)

Manxman, sorry I can help you with that one, I had my tendon repaired with sutures only. But I'd agree with you, easing back on the PT is a good idea.

Patricia, I understand your frustration with you OS. You are right to keep on asking all the questions you can and discussing it with your PT and his secretary where necessary. I ended up seeing 8 docs in total, and never actually talked to the OS himself  :o , and all of them were very busy. I envy you in having just the one, and him actually knowing you name  :D . And don't worry about the rambling, keep it coming whenever you need it, you'll always get a couple of dozen ears on this board which will be listening, and throwing back our answers and support where we can.

Got to go to lunch now, my tummy is rumbling. Bye all, keep up the good work.

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on January 12, 2005, 03:48:44 PM
Hi Folks

Manxman is worried about his wire loop snapping - understand quite common - I have been in contact with Conrad who lives in Staffordshire - he had the same problem - operation to remove the broken wire and then restart the rehab process - suggest you contact him at [email protected] on my recommendation. :o

Rosbif - having difficulty kneeling - it`s the same problem for after all knee operations - just got to live with it and find an alternative solution. ???

Noting that Patricia is making "some progress" !!! :) ;) :o

I am off to Benidorm, Spain for two weeks sunshine, nice and flat there - ideal for walking with a "limp"

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 13, 2005, 02:37:18 AM
Hey all -
So my left knee (my "good knee") has been absolutely killing me again. When I'm going up and down the stairs (the gimp way, mind you), I feel a LOT of pain in the left knee along with some clicking and crunching. Last summer my chiropractor said I probably had a meniscal tear, which made sense to me because I've suffered from meniscal tears before and it does feel very similar. The pain would come and go, but lately it's coming more than it's going. I'm also experiencing a lot of pain in the tendon. My PT said I probably have severe tendonitis in the knee; I'm prone to tendonitis and the chances of rupturing my other tendon greatly increases because of already rupturing the other patellar tendon.

Anyways, I never got it checked out, and I'm wondering if maybe I should finally tell my OS about it or even talk to a GP about it. I've been favoring my right knee for two years now and my left knee doesn't seem like it has too much left in it anymore; I've put most of my weight on it for a long time now. I was talking about this with a man at PT today who is in need of a double TKR. For most of his life, his problems were always in one knee, but because he had to favor that knee and put a lot of weight on the "good" one, he wore down all the cartilage and tore the menisci up nice and good, thus needing both knees replaced. I'm basically worried that at this stage of the game I'm starting to do some damage to the good knee if it's not already somewhat damaged already (ie the torn meniscus).

Anyone have any input or suggestions? It would make sense to talk to my OS about it, but at the same time I'm thinking he's just going to tell me basically what I wrote in this post, therefore I won't get any new information or ideas for treatment. I guess the worst-case scenario would be an eventual scope on my good knee to clean it out, otherwise I'd just have to do some PT on it and make sure it's nice and strong seeing as it's taking the brunt of my weight anyways.

Thanks in advance and sorry for rambling (as I tend to do!)

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on January 13, 2005, 07:14:34 PM
Patricia, sorry to hear about your Good knee ::) but if I've learned anything from this injury it's that it CAN happen again to the Good knee if we're not careful.  It makes sense that when we ruptured one knee that the other knee was probably in almost as bad of shape :( that's why I've decided against playing basketball in a game anymore due to the probability of the other knee rupturing, I don't want to go thru this again now do I? :P
Tony, having trouble kneeling?  You've got the wire loop don't you?  Maybe that has something to do with it as I don't have much discomfort kneeling so far and I don't have the wire loop, coincidence, maybe. My knee is feeling better lately, hiking the trails in Sedona must have been helpful to me.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Nigel on January 13, 2005, 07:23:54 PM
Manxman,

Bummer about the snapped wire. Hope mine doesn't. Did they say how they can remove the bits?

Just come back from Sri Lanka - been there since 28 Dec on disaster relief. Didn't think about the knee all the time I was away! (well okay once or twice...  :) )

All the best to all, Nigel
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on January 13, 2005, 08:55:40 PM
Hi John,

I did have a wire loop, but it was a dissolvable one. Can now kneel on a soft surface. I just made the mistake and forgot about not kneeling on a hard surface.

be interesting to see what the quack says next week

Tony
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on January 13, 2005, 09:11:16 PM
Hi Tony

I understand that some wire loops are made of soft steel - like "fuse wire" - I talked with my Consultant this morning and he stated that some steel wires are left if they dont break or hinder walking.

I had dissolvable sutres, but I still cannot kneel on the injured knee and my RPT was two years ago last week. :'(

My main problem is trying to get out of a bath, so I stick to showers.

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK[shadow=red,left,300][/shadow]
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on January 18, 2005, 11:32:22 PM
Hi all,

Ok Patricia, here is my effort on rambling about my injury, not quite as serious as yours, but I thought I would try.  :)

My physiotherepist put an interesting question to me last week I would like to know your opinions on.

Background: I snapped my tendon playing volleyball. I had only been playing for 5 weeks, after not playing it for 9 years since university,typical weekend warrior injury :o. I did enjoy it a lot, but after the injury, I have NO intention of having the same injury again, either on the good knee or the bad one, so I am not planning on playing volleyball again.

The query from my physio is, what is my goal in me continuing with twice weekly PT sessions? I have been going to PT for about 4.5 months now, and was going to be extended to the end of Feb. I do no want to play volleyball. My initial goals of walking and riding my bicycle (I do not drive) have been met. I have full ROM. My quad is still pathetic, and I know I need more power, and this is what I am working hard at.

I did say to be able to jump and hop, but without the goal of playing volleyball, how many times do you jump and hop. Knowing I can, but don't use it would be good, but is it a goal. I do struggle to peddle on the bike whilst out of the saddle, and this is the closest I can get to a goal for me to continue with PT.

Don't get me wrong, I am not down-hearted with my progress, or recovery, I have actually been exercising more over the last 3 weeks than ever. I am now running every other day (5 sessions completed so far, more than I have done in the last 14 years since school  :D), and exercising at home for at least an hour on other days, and the 2 weekly sessions at PT. The running is just a run/walk program on grass land only, nice and soft, and an easy start to avoid further injury.

Am I being too restrictive to not want to play volleyball again? A bit like basketball, volleyball without jumping isn't really volleyball. What are all your goals?

Wow, that's been some ramble, hopefully you have not fallen asleep reading it.

Cheers,

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on January 19, 2005, 07:41:14 PM
Hey Andy/Everyone!!!


Here's my history:

11/10/04 - RPT playing basketball
11/14 - Repaired
11/31 - Cast removed
12/3 - Started PT
12/30 - Saw OC, ROM 110, brace removed
1/12 - ROM 120, active PT

My goals are similar to yours. I will never play another contact sport where I might sustain another serious knee injury. I've learned my lesson well. Just functioning normally and strengething my knee/leg is my only goal. I've been exercising and lifting weights for conditioning and will continue this program after PT. I anticipate ending my 2x a week PT sessions mid-Feb.

PT sessions consist of stationary bike, treadmill, building leg strength and quads. I'm very pleased with my rehab just over 8 weeks post-op. My OS told me pre-surgery that I'd be back to "normal" in 4 months since I'm relatively young and fit. He was right. I just have a slight limp because of weak quad and swelling around knee.

Be well all!!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on January 19, 2005, 10:20:09 PM
Hello Guys and Girls..
Just a quick update from rainy Copenhagen..Im having surgery on jan 21..they are going to remove the wireloop and im so excited..so X your fingers ;D

My quads is coming along just fine..and im looking forward to playing soccer again(in may i hope)..

smartguy- u have to be very careful about the 6 months ...no sports before app 1 year..thats whats my pt is telling me..
so be careful!!!!!
all the best to all of u

PATRICIA U ARE MY HERO!!!!!!! ;D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 19, 2005, 10:36:37 PM
I'm currently going to PT five times a week (would be going six times but my PT doesn't work on Saturdays and the doc doesn't want me seeing other PTs), and I do quite a bit ROM/strengthening, including:

-ultrasound and massage on my quad, hamstring, and back of knee
-straight leg raises, side leg raises (both sides)
-short arc leg raises, assisted
-wall squats with ball between knees (VMO)
-cable column (behind the knee, bending and straightening the leg)
-stair master only using bad leg lifiting the heel and touching down
-leg press w/bad leg, minimal weight
-pro-stretch for calf/hamstring
-standing/balancing on bad leg for 30 seconds
-step downs
-stationary bike
-assisted ROM stretching with strap and PT's help
-chair bends (sitting in a chair and gently bending the knee and holding for a few seconds, then leaning forward)
-heat on the quad
-ice on the knee and hamstring

With all of this, I'm still extremely weak and have barely any quad at all. My ROM is still lacking and I do need a strong painkiller while being stretched.

It's hard to compare my injury and progress to others because like I've previously mentioned, my rupture was chronic and went undiagnosed for a long period of time. I have been told that I will most definitely need a TKR in my 40s (50s if I'm lucky), and my knee is probably becoming severely arthritic as we speak. My doctor will never clear me for sports, barring a huge miracle, but I am slowly becoming okay with that. I haven't even really looked into my long-term goals. I guess maybe walking without a limp and even jogging again would be nice, but we'll see. I think I may carry that limp with me forever.

Hope everyone else is doing well and I'd love to hear how everyone else is progressing in their rehabilitation! I'd love to hear what everyone else is doing to strengthen and regain motion in the knee!

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 19, 2005, 10:38:34 PM
sonshyne -  ;D

That seriously made my day! Thanks for putting a smile on my face! :)

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on January 20, 2005, 03:36:46 PM
RPT Club Members greetings and salutations from frigid West by god Virginia, far away from the coronation going on today just 85 miles to the east of me, more on that on another post.  Patricia, you must have incredible health insurance to be going to so much PT.  We all do those exercises that you mentioned previously in some fashion and they take about two hours to complete, right?  My insurance covered just 20 visits which is totally inadequate for this injury and I was unawares of this fact and my PT folks failed to mention it so I'm stuck with an overage close to 2K USD, and that was only for 10 extra sessions, do the math they were charging me something like 100 USD/hour when I did most of the work unsupervised.  At least I did em then, now is another story.  I've gotten complacent to the fact that my knee is healing very, very slowly ::) I'm basically lazy when it comes to exercise after three months PT so I walk a few miles every couple of days and I figure that's all I need right?  Wrong!!!  If we want to go back to doing everything we used to do then we have to sacrifice the two hours almost every day til it happens.  I have a go back to work date of March 1, 2005, that's at almost 11 months post-op but now I have to go back to the routine of two hour workouts if that is to be possible, if I don't then I don't think I'll be ready.  I wish I had Patricia's insurance but I'm glad I don't have her pain.  Keep up the good work Pat you are doing fine.  Fraternally, John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on January 21, 2005, 12:15:01 AM
Hi All!!!

sonshyne - I will not be playing sports of any type for at least 1 year. I'll evaluate my knee then and may just play tennis, a "non-contact" sport. I would not want to endure this injury again.

Patricia - I pray you will reach your future goals. You've endured so much. I'm trying to get rid of my "limp" or "gimp".....Take care!!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 21, 2005, 12:53:29 AM
John (EngKnee) -

It helps that I have "Medical Necessity" with my insurance so I can have as many PT sessions as my doctor and PT thinks is necessary. I've been going to PT since about April of 03 now (with the exception of two months after my reconstruction and a few weeks here and there after my doc told me to take breaks), so I'm definitely thankful to the insurance company for putting up with me! :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on January 21, 2005, 11:36:05 PM
Don't you just love the English NHS. Went to see a sports doctor today, the first time in about 5 months and also the first time bacvk in England. Has referred me for PT but it will take 2-3 months before I get any :o

He reckons it will be another 6 months before I can play hockey again. On the good side he reckons the German OS did a good job, but there is a little too much movement in the joint.

Oh well guess I should stop being so lazy and get down to the gym.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: blufeathrsgold on January 22, 2005, 09:51:44 AM
hello patella tendon people, Im new to this board and I wish I could say Im having or had surgery to repair my ruptered patella tendon but the last four Orhtopedic Surgens I've seen either tell me there is nothing wrong with my knee or one told me I should have the leg amputaded and one took a look at the x-rays and ran away. I broke the knee 30 years ago, worked on it for another 15 and its now been replaced twice. I have been unable to have the Doctors here in Southern California  address the real problem, Which has always been the patella tendon. to my knowledge no one here is doing a wire or screw procedure or if they are they don't want to do one for me and the only option i'm left with is to go in for a pain relief pump.          yours;cheryl
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on January 22, 2005, 06:18:13 PM
Welcome aboard the rpt shuttle, fasten your seat belts and do your exercises! ;)  Nice to hear from a newcomer Cheryl athough her condition is very unique to the rest of us. ???  We welcome everyone who thinks they have a problem with their Patellar Tendon and desires to quit hurting.  Tony, I think you and I are alike in our exercise regime, we don't have one! :-/  We want to do the right thing but we're just too damn lazy to do it everyday, am I right man?  It's so much easier to lay on the couch or maybe walk a mile or two with the dog and pretend that we actually are doing something positive for our knee. We are but we need to do more. I quit the rigorous exercise regime when my insurance cut me off back in Sept. but 2005 is a new year and I can do some more PT if I want now but I SHOULD be able to do this stuff at home, why can't I?  I can always come up with excuses for NOT doing the exercises, ie.  It takes too long, I'll just take a walk instead, I don't have enough weights, I can't find my mat, the list goes on and on but in the end we're only hurting ourselves. ::)  I hope I can get it together to start my program of knee exercises again, starting today maybe......well maybe tommorrow....it's snowing so I can't really walk the dog too far so maybe I'll start this hour...yeah.....I'm going down to the basement right now and do the stair stepper machine, here I go.............come on Tony, let's just do it! ;D  I'll let you know how I made out.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: wb5983 on January 23, 2005, 03:56:31 AM
I am 8 weeks post-op and only have 60 ROM and that with pain. Has anyone been this slow to regain ROM and eventually regained full ROM{or close to it}
without further surgery? Thanks,I'm really getting concerned that I'm going to be crippled!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on January 23, 2005, 03:00:36 PM
Relax, wb, slow and steady is the motto with this one 8)

This is a major injury and is not something that is fixed quickly like a muscle or a bone. Tendons take a lot of time. It sounds to me - other will have their views - that you're right on the nail for ROM at this stage. Take it easy, steadily and you'll get there. I know - I've done both ::)

I now have a four month plus weight to get the snapped wire out - but it's going fine. Like others here, I've been extremely lazy on physio... work, work and commuting my excuse! Next week I'll start in earnest, honest :D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Manxman on January 23, 2005, 03:01:45 PM
Aaaarghhh! ... of course, I mean a four month WAIT ???
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on January 23, 2005, 03:09:01 PM
Hi wb5983,

Welcome to the board. Rest assured, 60 degress ROM in only 8 weeks post op, you are doing amazing  ;D. 8 weeks after my Op, I had only been a week out of a full leg cast, and was in a fixed leg splint, still waiting to do my first physio session.

It took me about 3 months of physio to get around to full ROM, and I am still doing physio 4.5 months down the line getting strength back in my quad muscle. You will find it difficult, and painful to get your ROM back. Thats something everyone here has felt. You will have a lot of scar tissue that needs to break down to get the ROM back. This does take time. Don't push too hard, listen to your knee, you don't want to do this sort of injury again by pushing too hard too early.

There are no guarentees you will get it back or you will not need another op, but you are in the early days of recovery. Take a read through some of the previous post here, and you'll see how the recoveries of everyone is different. We are upto 36 pages worth so far, but trust me when I say you will learn a lot and get encouragement from taking the time to read them. But given your progress so far, you are on the right track. Keep it going and you'll get there  8)

By the way, where are you, how did you do the injury?

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 23, 2005, 05:22:32 PM
wb5983 -

I had my patellar tendon reconstruction (with hamstring) in August and was in a full leg cast for about eight weeks (I think closer to seven, which is why I flirt more with two months instead of six weeks). My rupture was chronic -- I had been walking on a severely damaged knee (ruptured tendon, dislocated patella, and torn menisci) for months up to a year without it being diagnosed (bad doctor). My situation is a bit different than most in this thread, but I still have a lot of input.

Anyways, after I got out of my cast I was put in an IROM brace locked at zero and started PT. My gains were very minimal, if anything at all. I also suffer from a bad arthrofibrosis problem, otherwise known as excessive scar tissue. I had other complications with my knee and had to have emergency surgery along with an MUA/lysis of adhesions to break up the scar tissue. I was able to get to 90 degrees after that (it took a long time!), but again was getting stuck. Seeing as my OS had only gotten 90 degrees in the OR, it made sense that I wouldn't go much further. So, I was back to the OR for another MUA/lysis of adhesions. Now I'm topping out at about 100 and won't get much better than that.

With a RPT, it is a very slow process. You have to have a lot of patience and trust in your OS/PT because this is somewhat of a delicate situation. It WILL eventually come back, it just may take a little while. My PT always told me that it was better to focus on the ROM at first because of the importance of getting it back as quick as possible -- the longer you are at lower ranges, the more likely you are to form scar tissue (which will prevent from your knee being able to really bend). The strength will come back later, but definitely focus on that ROM.

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: wb5983 on January 24, 2005, 12:30:04 AM
Thanks to all for your responses. Had an appt with O/S on 1/21/05,He was very discouraged about ROM and want to do an MUA  2/11 if not 110  ROM by then. I am 45 Y/O male,injured it in a fall downstairs
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 24, 2005, 12:36:50 AM
wb5983 -

Do you know if your OS will be doing a lysis of adhesions (arthroscopically) along with the MUA? It is VERY important that a patient suffering from a ruptured patellar tendon NOT have merely an MUA due to risk of rupturing the tendon again. That's actually how my tendon was ruptured in the first place -- during an MUA and NO scope. If you don't know, definietly discuss it with your OS.

Of course hopefully you won't need to go this route in the first place! What are you currently doing at PT?

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Heather M. on January 24, 2005, 01:48:18 AM
I can only strongly second Patricia's comments.  You have had a ruptured tendon, so it is still weak due to the repairs.  And the scar tissue has been in the knee since LAST NOVEMBER!!  That's much too long to do an MUA now when the patient is already at risk of a rupture because of repaired tendon!  Scar tissue gets stronger and tougher as it ages, and in some patients can even reach the point that the scar tissue is stronger than the surrounding structures in the knee.  People have had their patella or femur fracture during an MUA!  Others, like Patricia, have had both tendon and muscle ruptures.

I really urge you to see the doctor and get more information.  A surgery to arthroscopically remove the scar tissue and THEN FOLLOWED by an MUA which is done only to verify that there is full range of motion is very different.  It is a much safer way to proceed with someone who has compromised tendons around the knee.

Check out the soft tissue healing problems section and the struggling with rehab section for a LOT of information on MUA's and scar tissue.  The scope to remove scar tissue is called an LOA--lysis of adhesions--and you will see lots of threads dealing with this.

Excessive scar tissue is a fairly rare problem, though it is much more common when you are dealing with serious trauma like a ruptured patellar tendon.  So unfortunately not many doctors have extensive experience dealing with scar tissue.  I had to travel 1000 miles to get appropriate treatment!

Hope you are feeling better soon.  Keep working on GENTLE and FREQUENT range of motion exercises.  You will read more on this in the sections I mentioned.

Heather
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on January 25, 2005, 06:48:02 PM
Hi all..
I had a very succesfull surgery friday....im so happy ;D
i havent felt this good for about 10 yrs..
stay strong
Sonshyne ;D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on January 26, 2005, 03:29:49 PM
Sonshyne,

Congrats on the surgury and continued recovery.

Cheers,

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Joe_R on January 28, 2005, 01:38:37 PM
Hi everyone,

Unfortunately I detached my patellar tendon while skiing on Jan 1.  I had surgery to reattach it on Jan 11, and have been in an immobilizer since.  After reading a lot of posts in this thread it looks like I've got a long road ahead of me here.

On Monday I am supposed to get a hinged brace and start bending the knee.  It feels pretty tight, so I'm hoping it's not too painful.  I am eager to start my therapy though.  I don't want my leg to completely atrophy on me...
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 28, 2005, 04:29:53 PM
Welcome to the RPT Club, Joe! Not the best club to join, but it's better than nothing, eh? :P

Unfortunately you do have a long road ahead of you, but the key is to take it slow and be PATIENT. Progress may be slow at first, but once you can get the knee moving again things should go rather smoothly (unless you'r me...but that's a whole other story  ;D ). In my opinion, the most important part is to get the ROM back first -- you can get the strength and muscle back later (and it may take a while!), but you can't do anything until you can actually bend the knee. Plus, the longer your knee is immobile, the more likely you are to form scar tissue. It doesn't happen to everyone, heck, it's pretty uncommon, but it can happen. With a lot of PT and home work though, you should be a-okay! Do you have a CPM machine?

Definitely browse through this thread though, there is a lot of GREAT information that can help you out, even answer some of the questions you may have! And if you can't find what you're looking for, definitely ask -- we're a nice bunch!  ;)

Hope you're feeling well and good luck with your rehab...keep us updated!

BTW, how did you rupture the tendon?

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Joe_R on January 28, 2005, 04:48:20 PM
Thanks Patricia.  It does help to talk to others in the same boat.

About 10 years ago, I partially tore the tendon pole vaulting.  They just did rehab on it because it was a small tear.  Over the last 10 years I have really given it a pounding, since I am a competitive lifter and thrower.  I think it just was progressively getting worse, and when I went skiing, I hit a bump really hard and it just tore off.  Luckily it seems there was no other damage.

Patience is something I lack unfortunately.  I am going crazy.  My girlfriend has been great, and I'm still able to make it to the gym 3 times a week, just doing machines for upper body for now.  Hopefully keeping in shape will help to speed recovery.

I don't have a CPM machine yet, I am still in the immobilizer and haven't started bending it yet.  The OS told me that starts on Monday, so I'm looking forward to it.  I'll see about getting the CPM machine then.  I'm dying to get started on my rehab, at least to do something.  I've been pain free since about 3 days after surgery and haven't had any problems walking around in the immobilizer, but driving is out because it is my right leg.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on January 28, 2005, 08:38:06 PM
Hi Joe!

Welcome to the Club! I've been a member since Nov. '04 when I ruptured my PT playing basketball. As imnotapunk stated, it's an unenvious injury we all sustained and it takes time to heal. I'm not a patient person either, but this injury has forced me to be more patient. I reached 130 deg ROM this week at physical therapy (10 weeks post-op). I'm doing every type of excercise possible at PT. My knee feels better/stronger every day. I do my homework every day (PT 2x a week). That's very important. I can walk without a limp most of the time now. My quad is coming back slowly and my biggest challenge is going down steps. The confidence is slow in that area.

Take it slow and bend that leg. No pain, no gain!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on January 28, 2005, 09:03:44 PM
Well everyone, here's another update on me...

I'm going back to see the OS on Friday, I'm hoping to FINALLY get rid of the IROM brace (it's been looong enough!). I don't have the best feeling in the world, however, because my doctor is being ultra-conservative with me (can you blame him?), but I'm hoping to at least get the okay to walk around the house with the brace. I'm also hoping to get a script for a regular brace to wear for support and such after I am finally out of the IROM brace.

Pain still is an issue with me so I'm going to address that on Friday. I haven't seen the PM doc in a while because he's not in my new insurance plan, but was supposed to "keep in contact" with him through the phone. Well, gee, that's a bit difficult when his office DOESN'T give him the messages and will actually hang up on patients! Ridiculous!

I'm still keeping up with PT 4x a week instead of 5x, and on the other days I'm going to the gym for light rehab. Only problem is the darn personal trainers won't leave me alone and won't let me DO anything because they think I'm going to hurt myself! UGH! I think I'm going to have to talk to somebody and let them know that I DO know what I'm doing and WON'T hurt myself. If they still won't leave me alone then I dunno what I'm going to do.  >:(

I've also FINALLY returned to school a few weeks ago, the extra walking has been killer on the knee but I think I'm managing. At least I have the handicapped spot so I can park closer to the classrooms. I also have the brace locked whenever I'm at school (or even out of the house, for the most part), doctor's orders.

Alright, well I'm again rambling...just wanted to give an update for you guys. Hope everyone else is doing and feeling well! I'll give another update after the doc's appointment, hopefully I'll have some good news (for once!) :P

Best wishes,
Patricia

PS~ My birthday is on Wednesday, I'll be turning the big 2-0  :o ;) ...hopefully I'll get a nice birthday present from my KNEE, eh? :P
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on January 31, 2005, 03:58:19 AM
A few weeks ago I was looking for a site such as this... especially as as many people I know who've had ACL or other knee surgery, I knew no one who even knew anyone who'd ruptured their patellar tendon.

I've read thru some of this thread and will be sure to read more next I am online.  It's interesting to hear about the different surgical and post-op approaches and experiences of the various members of the illustrious RPT club.

As for me, I ruptured my patella the day after Christmas playing soccer and had surgery the following day.  Because my OS has office hours far from where I live, I've been following up with an orthopaedic who has never done a RPT surgery.  Makes me a bit anxious because he may not recognize problems I could be having but OS recommended him and he has done quad tendon surgeries....

OS inserted wire.  Was told that would come out in about 3 mos.  Was also told I could return to running and soccer in about 6 months but from reading this thread and how slow I feel my recovery is going, I imagine it will probably be longer.

Currently in hinged brace, was allowed to bear as much weight as pain allowed days after surgery, realistically probably was atleast a week before was really bearing much weight.  At this point I can walk a bit without crutches in brace (not far and not stairs!) but am more comfortable still on crutches.  Or I can walk without brace but wih crutches (again not far and not on stairs) but I feel more confident without brace each day.

Still havent been started on PT, hopefully next week (tomorrow marks 5 weeks post op for me).  But do some range of motion and flexion exercises per hospital PT team.  Can bend leg some on its own but still no luck on leg raises.  Can anyone give me an idea of how long it 'typically' takes to regain the ability to do a leg raise?  I know I need to be patient but would feel better knowing its not entirely uncommon not to be able to do a leg raise yet.

Also curious about what I will be allowed to do in PT and on my own in coming months... how soon might I be able to swim?  I'm beginning to go a bit stir crazy!  Also, how long might it take to be able to sit comfortably with knee fully bent (like on an airplane)?  I normally travel extensively for my job but seeing as I've often found being a passenger in a car a bit painful, I can't quite fathom squishing into coach.

Look forward to learning more on this site.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Joe_R on January 31, 2005, 02:42:30 PM
Thanks Smartguy, it sounds like you are making very good progress.  I just got back from the OS, and he put me in a post-op brace with 30 degrees of motion.  Already I can get to 30 degrees without pain, and am walking without crutches.  It feels so good to not be locked out any more.  I got my referral for PT, and my gym has a very good sports therapist, so I'll be paying her a visit tomorrow.  Just playing around, I can do leg raises, but can't get my heel off the floor while laying on my back.  There's lots of work to be done...

Patricia, how did Friday go?  Did yo finally get rid of the IROM brace?

Lizard, welcome to the club.  I'm not sure how long it takes to get back the strength for leg raises.  Are you doing a lot of quad contractions?  That helped me regain some control.  I didn't do them hard, I just tried to get more of the muscle to move when I flexed it.  I think there is a lot of neuro-muscular retraining that has to happen.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on January 31, 2005, 03:39:34 PM
Guess when I say I can't do leg raises, I mean on the floor, straight leg, can't lift heel.  Recently i've gotten to point where can bend knee towards torso but cant keep knee locked and lift entire leg.  Still hoping for that.

OS told me to do 1000 quad contractions a day.  Doubt I do that many but I do quite alot of them each day, basically whenever I think of it.  I also do some exercises to flex ankle, to pull knee bent (with a towel around base of ankle), and mobilize bad knee using good leg to push it.  Definitely can do each exercise better now than before but I know I have a long way to go...  Dont have machine to get ROM back so it's all been on me to try not to let quad & other musles atrophy.

Trying to be patient and not push my knee too hard so it will heel but also trying to figure out when it's best to push it so it doesn't lock up.  My hinged brace is locked at 0, doc changed flexion to 30 about a week ago to help lessen my stiffness.  I can walk without it on crutches better now than last week when I first tried that but not yet brave enough to try stairs or the outside world without my brace.  (Too much snow and too many people bumping into me!)

Great to hear about others progress!  Keep up the good work.



Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Joe_R on February 02, 2005, 12:39:26 PM
Happy birthday Patricia, hopefully all will go well for you!

Lizard, one thing that helped me with that was standing leg extensions.  I put my leg out a little bit, and straightened it from the 30 degrees my brace allows to straight.  As that got easier, I lifted my leg up a bit more.

I had my first PT session yesterday.  I was really happy with it.  It hurt, but the leg raises and extensions will really help me.  We did some good balance exercises too that showed me just how much coordination I have lost.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on February 02, 2005, 09:02:53 PM
lizard

your straight leg raises will come. mine just happened without me even thinking about it....sitting on the floor at the movie theatre (yes the floor) to see "somethings gotta give"? i was quite uncomfortable as this was one of my first public appearances during my recovery and without thought i readjusted my leg and i did a straight leg raise without even thinking about it. it just happened. it is sad how the quads turn to mush so quickly though...and [email protected]**m it sure takes them a long time to come back...and yes, the road to recovery is a long process.

hope all the original posters are making it through the snow and ice without too many falls. i fell here in atlanta on saturday during the ice storm (i'm from the north but i guess i forgot how to slide across the ice. just bruised my bum..

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on February 02, 2005, 09:36:30 PM
Hiya all,

Patricia,
8) 8) 8)   Happy Birthday    8) 8) 8)
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Hope you can give us some good news in your next post on your brace and pain relief. Supurb news that you're back at school, maybe not with the school work  ;) but at least you are back there  :)

Hi to the newbies, Joe and Lizard, not the best club, but you've come to the right place for help and advice from people who know exactly what you are going through  ;D

Lizard/Joe, you are already ahead of the progress of a lot of people here, I was in a full leg cast for 8.5 weeks, and it was 11.5 before PT started. Leg raises did take a few weeks for me to get going whilst sitting down. I would say its best to concentrate on the knee bend first before getting the strength to do the leg raises, because leg raises do put a lot of stress on the patellar tendon whilst you are in the early stages of recovery. The standing leg extensions are a good method to avoid the stress on the tendon that Joe mentioned. And stairs are a big stumbling block for us all  :) I remember the early times when I tried to walk down stairs and I look like I was dipping my toe in hot water, reaching for every stair, it was funny ;D. It will take time, but you'll get it.

Smartguy, brilliant progress, keep it going.

As for me, I finish my PT next week (about 4.5 months of treatment twice a week), assuming the one-on-one physiotherepist gives me the ok, which I am assuming he will. It's been fun, but now its down to me to continue the good work they have done. I am still working hard, exercising for at least an hour, 7 days a week, and have a way to go to get the quad the way it should be, but I am determined to do it, and not go back to my lazy ways, sitting in front of the TV  ::)

Keep up the good work all,

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 04, 2005, 05:56:11 PM
Alright guys, I went to the doc today and didn't really receive the news I was hoping for, but I'll take what I can get I guess.

Doc wants me to continue wearing the IROM brace for at least another 6 weeks, THEN he'll consider putting me in a smaller brace for support and such. He also wants me wearing it around the house again; previously he had let me take it off a bit while around the house but now wants it on my leg at all times, even sleeping. And when I'm not at home, he wants the brace locked at zero degrees. Otherwise, I can open it up to 90 degrees and no more. Ugh, it's nearly 6 months since the patellar tendon reconstruction, 4 months that I've been in the brace...I feel like they should just fuse the brace to my leg permanently!! I've already gone through two of them, my PT thinks I'm going to need a third brace because THIS one is starting to fall apart too! How crazy is that?!

He was impressed with my ROM but is very worried about strength. He says I definitely have a LOOOONG road ahead of me, lots and lots of PT and such. I might as well move into the PT facility, eh? He also called my PT over to talk with her about my extreme weakness (I can hardly do a SLR, short arc leg raise...forget about full arc leg raises!), they are putting together a new program for me so hopefully I'll be able to finally get some strength back.

Another concern is my walking...I basically have to re-learn to walk. While I'm not allowed to walk on the tredmill at a steady speed, my PT has me on it at the slowest speed possible (something like .3 or .5) trying to get me to walk decently. I have a very bad limp and my gait is awful -- I basically walk with my hip, not my leg (swinging my leg out to the side, not bending the knee as I take steps). The heel-toe idea has completely vanished from my mind, it's so crazy how such a simple concept is virtually impossible to achieve again. So frustrating!

Other than that, I have to talk to my PM doc again, and then we'll see how things go. I was really hoping to get out of the brace, but oh well.

So that's my update. I guess I have some good, some bad news. Like I mentioned earlier though, I'll take what I can get. *sigh* At least I can even lift my leg at all...6 months ago I couldn't do that because I had a completely ruptured tendon!

BTW -- it's the two year anniversary of when I first hurt my knee...time flies, eh? YEAH...right...

Best wishes,
Patricia  :-\

PS~ Thanks for the birthday wishes to everyone who sent them to me. Put a smile on my face!! :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on February 04, 2005, 06:14:55 PM
Patricia - Happy Belated Burthday! After reading your latest update, I guess your birthday is "bitter-sweet". You are going through this with such great courage. I know I would be going crazy if I had as many complications as you. I'll continue to keep you in prayer.

JoeR/Lizard - Good progress! In time, you'll be able to do all the excercises and straight leg raises will come soon enough. You'll be doing them in your sleep. My quad was so weak after I got my cast off after 3 weeks. It's slowly coming back. My PT is so intensive now. I'm doing weights with my injured leg only now. I'm doing jumping excercises, high knee lifts, hopping sideways, squats, etc. I'm 11 weeks post-op and pleased with my progress. I work on my leg every day in addition to PT 2x a week. I see my OS next week.

Andy - Thanks!! I'm so determined to get as close to pre-injury as possible and so far, I'm on course. My ROM is 130 and I'm aiming for 135 next week.

Think progress!!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Joe_R on February 06, 2005, 05:07:02 AM
Smartguy, that's great to hear, definitely gives me hope.  On the second session the straight leg raises were no problem, and on Friday I did 30 slow ones with the brace on for added weight, then 30 leg extensions off a foam pad.  The swelling in my knee is going down too, it no longer seems to be the biggest part of my leg.

Squats after 11 weeks, that's great to hear.  I can't wait to get back to that.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on February 07, 2005, 09:05:36 PM
Your PT program is based on how fast you want to get ROM back and your pain tolerance. My Therapists wanted to push me because I told him on day one that I wanted to get back to pre-injury status as soon as possible without re-injuring myself. He and my OS recommended I get off the brace as soon as I could to eliminate the dependency. I worked constantly at home to strengthen the leg and I turned the corner after 8 weeks.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Joe_R on February 08, 2005, 05:44:23 PM
Smartguy,

How soon after surgery did you start pushing the ROM?  I am 4 weeks after surgery, and last week was given 30 degrees, but they don't want to risk pulling it back off the bone (I had a complete detachment).  My PT has been limited, and they don't want to start increasing the ROM until I go to 60 degrees (2 weeks away).

Thanks,

Joe
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on February 08, 2005, 05:47:11 PM
Hi Joe

Dont push it, or the tendon will come detached........ it`s very fragile at this stage - take it easy for at least eight weeks and you should be up to 90 ROM in about 16/20 weeks.

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 08, 2005, 05:52:35 PM
Joe -

The first six-to-eight weeks post-op are the most crucial. You do NOT want to push the ROM right now, the tendon is very fragile and fresh right now. Hell, after my reconstruction I was in a full leg cast for eight weeks! And even after that, my PTs did NOT push the ROM, I didn't even get into the CPM until after my fifth surgery (debridement, "gentle MUA"-doc reached 90deg, marsupilalization, lysis of adhesions, suture removal). I'm six months post-op from my patellar tendon reconstruction and my OS wants my brace opened to 90 degrees and NOTHIGN further. Granted, he's taking an ultra-conservative approach with me, as my situation is quite complex, but still, having any procedure done to the patellar tendon means having to take it slow and making sure that you don't over-do it too soon.

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 09, 2005, 11:36:21 AM
Hello everyone,   I'm a newbie who seems to have inadvertantly joined this lovely exclusive club  :-[

I had my operation last week and am whilst immobile I'm steadily reading my way through all the wonderful information you've all placed on this board.

Thank you to all of you for sharing your stories. My Surgeon did mention Physio - but only in passing!!! so I really didn't realise the enormity of what was ahead of me until I found this board.     I'm going to spend the next few days trying to read ALL the old messages

Regards,
Sarah  :'(
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on February 09, 2005, 01:51:02 PM
Hi Sarah

Welcome to the exclusive Ruptured Patella  Tendon message board - You are member 36 having recorded their RPT problems since December 2002.

Keep reading the board - it contains stack of very good information.

Wishing you a speedy recovery

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on February 09, 2005, 02:27:40 PM
Hi all,

Sarah, welcome to the club  :-\  :) When you have a sec, tell us about yourself, where are you, how you injured yourself etc....

Joe, as per the others, take it easy. I was like Patricia in being in a cast for 8.5 weeks. Tendons ain't quick at recovery, give it time, and you'll get your knee back again.

As for me, I finished my physio yesterday  ;D :( ???. 8 months since injury, and 5.5 months in physio, twice a week. I have full ROM, and good strength, but still have work to do to build the quad back to where it looks something like the other one  :D I am determined to continue with the exercises, especially as they have the side effect of improving my alround fitness, which is good for someone like me who did zero exercise and working in front of a PC for about 8 years  :-[  I did enjoy the physio, and will miss it.

Keep up the good work all,

Cheers

Andy
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 09, 2005, 10:41:02 PM
Hello and thank you for the warm welcome  ;D

To give you a quick summary (whilst under the influence of Tramadol - please take this into account if I ramble)

I'm 40'ish mother of 2 boys, living in Middlesex UK - not far from Heathrow (along with Husband and Dog)

Judging by the Doctors reactions and some of the messages I've read here, I think that my knee 'injury' came about in a slightly unusual way (i.e.  definately not a Weekend Warrior or Sport related in any way). 

From my drug hazed recollection - I fell down 2 steps in Harlesden! Heard an extremely unforgettable cracking noise but thought I'd injured my left knee.  Got up, hobbled straight-legged to my car and passed out from the pain in my right knee as I tried to get in the car!

I'm sure you can all imagine the rest! Trip via Rear Seat of mates car to a Hospital local to my home, lots of nice narcotics, x-rays which caused huge amusement to Nursing staff (due to location of my patella), nasty Doctors prodding, me threatening said Doctors with physical violence, 5 days in bed prior to Operation etc. etc.

No one mentioned the consequences of the damage,  Physio was only mentioned in passing
99% of what I've learnt has come from this message board  (thanks everyone).

I was sent home with a pair of crutches and simply told to keep my (considerable) weight off that leg! so now I'm sat here in regal splendour wearing the most fashionable bright RED plaster cast and wondering how on earth I'm going to manage!

I'm back in Hosp next week to have the many staples removed and hopefully a discussion about how things progress from here!   I initially found this site because I was wondering whether I could swap the Cast for a Brace, but judging from most of the messages I've read, that isn't likely!

I think that I'm at the beginning of an interesting albeit painful journey?  :-\

Regards,
S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on February 10, 2005, 04:33:40 PM
Smartguy,

How soon after surgery did you start pushing the ROM?  I am 4 weeks after surgery, and last week was given 30 degrees, but they don't want to risk pulling it back off the bone (I had a complete detachment).  My PT has been limited, and they don't want to start increasing the ROM until I go to 60 degrees (2 weeks away).

Thanks,

Joe

Hi Joe!

Today is the 3 month aniversary of my injury. I had a complete detachment also. I started therapy 3 wks post-op. I was at 45 deg on day-1 of PT. I hit 90 on day-2. I hit 110 at 1 mo and after 2 months I hit 130. My PTs put me on an agressive program because I wanted to get back my range and strength quickly. It was painful, but worth it. Each individual case is different. I saw my OS today and he is amazed and pleased at how well I've progressed. He gave me the option of continuing PT or going with my own program. My program is much cheaper (PT is $50 per session). I was going 2x a week. My gym at work is free.

You have to listen to your OS, your Therapists and most importantly, your knee. I have not and will not over-exert my tendon. My OS told me to be smart in my regiment. He said my only restriction is lifting heavy weights and doing squats and lifting heavy weights with my injured leg. I don't even lift weights like that.

As others have advised, don't push too hard. If it's too painful, stop or ask the Therapist to stop. There's a fine line between progress and excruciating pain.

Be Well!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on February 10, 2005, 05:08:25 PM
Sarah - Welcome to this rare Club! It's a great resource. We are all at different phases of our rehab. This is definitely a "life-altering" injury, but we have to make the best out of it.

Be well!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Justme on February 10, 2005, 05:15:41 PM
Hello Everyone,

    Like many here, I am a sports-junky.  I read this thread on a ruptured Patella tendon and would like to compare notes with those who have experienced this.  I find these boards very helpful as I have been led astray by the medical profession more than once.  

    In my case, I take the blame.  I was stretching prior to Judo class.  During class, I was thrown, landing on my left knee.  I wasn't thrown hard, but I felt the pain as I stood up.  Of course, I rested it a few days thinking it would feel better, but it didn't.  

    I had regular xrays (no MRI) which I was told was negative for fx.  Two docs told me it would heal in a few months, but it's been 1 1/2 months and it feels and looks the same.  The pain is felt when pressing the area from the top half of the patella up to about 2 fingers above the patella.  There seems to be a slight bump on the upper patella as well.  It only really bothers me when I go up or down steps, or flex my knee, then there is a stabbing pain.  

    It seems to point to the patellar tendon, but just my guess for now.

    I can live with the pain of healing.  But if necessary, I would do whatever is necessary to correct and heal  myself.  Did you have similarities in with your situation and area of pain?  What was the situation and where did you hurt your knee?  Any ideas?

    I am reading the horror stories.  What is the surgery like and what are the timeframes and pitfalls?

    I am keeping a cool head and faith while doing research.  Thanks for the help.

    Justme
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on February 10, 2005, 07:48:53 PM
Hi all,

Sarah, ah, my home county, Middlesex, a native of Uxbridge myself whilst growing up  ;D. Anyway, what you describe with your "treatment" by the docs and explanation of the injury is almost exactly word for word with mine. Physio was just mentioned in passing. NHS docs just don't seem to have the time to explain your future ::). What you must do between now and when you return for the staples to be removed, is write down as many questions and queries as you can think of. I did exactly the same, but on my 2nd visit back to the hospital, because it took me a few weeks to find this fantastic site! When the doc enters your cubicle to check your progress, get the questions out, and ask away  :D

As you have said, your recovery is almost guranteed to be painful at times, but if you stick with it, you will get there. Just remember though, physio treatment is essential for recovery (and demand at least 2 sessions a week from the NHS!), but you will have to find time to do the home exercises on a daily basis as well. Physio gets you going in the right direction, but the home exercise is the only thing to keep you moving  ;) You are probably not going to get a brace when the staples come out. With mine, they just cut a "window" in the cast to get the staples out, and replastered over the window after the staples were removed. Oh yeah, and if this is the first time you have had staples out, prepare for a strange tingly feeling when they come out, not painful in  anyway for me, just tingly  :o :o

Justme, not sure if this is the right place for specific advice on what sounds like a quad tendon injury. However, if I remember rightly some others on this board may have had similar injuries along with their Patellar injuries who may be able to help out. If not here, hopefully someone else on KNEEGURU should be able to point you in the right direction.  :)

Smarty, keep it going matey, superb progress  8)

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on February 10, 2005, 08:22:57 PM
Justme- from what i can hear..u got patella tendinitis stage 1...im not a doctor but ive had it for almost 10 years..
u can read about the symptoms on this site..get back to me..if u need some advice..
Sonshyne ;)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on February 11, 2005, 02:46:23 AM
Just a quick check in on my progress.

Still can't do my straight leg raises but the OS says once I can, they'll unlock my brace so that is a great incentive to try and try and try some more.

But the good news is my doc has cleared me to start PT and my first session will be tomorrow.  Anticipating it will be painful but looking forward to beginning the rehab phase of my recovery!!! 

I've managed to read thru the first maybe 75% of the posts in this thread and it's really been a wealth of info. Has answered lots of my questions and given me more to pepper my doctor with at my next visit.  (Such as whether the surgery to remove the wire will be arthroscopic or the whole long incision again and whether my goal of returning to play soccer is just putting me at risk at being a double rpt-er)

Liz
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 11, 2005, 11:54:26 AM
Morning everyone

Thank you Andy for your reply - I know Uxbridge well - used to work in the infamous Civic Centre (enuf said!).

I'm taking your advice and am compiling a list of questions for the Surgeons - though I was informed yesterday that I'm only allowed THREE minutes of his time!   He's definately in for a shock when he meets me! But I am looking forward to getting a look at what's going on underneath my cast (and a possible quick scratch of any available skin).  Thanks for telling me about the Staple removal feeling - I was concerned about it but feel reassured now!

If anyone has any helpful suggestions about the things I should be asking, it would be much appreciated.

I'm feeling thoroughly fed up today - I jolted my knee as I came downstairs and am in pain and worried that I've 'done' something plus I've just had a Hired Wheelchair delivered so that I can get out a bit more (can't cope on the crutches for long distances).    ::)   

Life has changed so drastically in such a short space of time  ;)     I've started writing a dossier of all the things I've learnt  (i.e.  Plaster gets HOT when applied,  it's almost impossible to sleep in a full length plaster, my neighbour comes home at 4.11 am every morning, I have muscles I didn't know existed and they HURT etc)  ;D

Take care everyone,

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SoCal RPT on February 11, 2005, 04:08:03 PM
Got room for another?

Wow great to find this site.  I have spent a couple of days reading the first 15 pages and plan on reading the rest.  Let me introduce myself.
Jeff from Southern California, 44 yr old (young) male, weekend warrior, X-watersports/bicycling/fitness fanatic.  25 years of off/on left knee pain and swelling brought on by physical stress.   

1-1-05 Complete rupture of my left patella tendon with extensive ritenacular damage while jumping (with a lot of exertion) on a trampoline.  1-5-05 tendon repair w/ titanium wire loop and retinaculim repair.  2 week follow-up visit staples removed and told I must leave immobilized for 4 more weeks and only allowed to bear 25% of weight on that leg.

Self employed and was forced back to work on 2-2-05 (boss is a d#$%).  Have been doing good hobbling around my office but I'm not very productive and am extremely tired at the end of the day.

Looking forward to this morning’s ortho appt. as new brace w/adjusting hinge to be started today.  I am also going to ask him about CPM machine usage now.  Before when I asked him about it his eyes widened and said not a good idea yet.  He also said previously that there could be more ligament or meniscus damage and if there is, then that surgery would need to be done later after this heals.

Oops time to get ready for ortho appt.  Can't wait!
Jeff  SoCal RPT
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on February 11, 2005, 06:17:45 PM
Welcome Jeff!

As you know, this injury is no fun (all work). But, be patient and disciplined in your regiment. I was so pissed at myself for getting injured (playing basketball with tendonitis in injured knee). Life goes on though. I'm glad to have made it 3 months post-op with no complications.

Be well......

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 11, 2005, 11:22:20 PM
Ugh, sorry I haven't been keeping up with this thread the past few days, I just don't know what's going on anymore with my email notifications -- I'm not receiving ANY of them anymore :(

Anyways, welcome to all the newbies in the RPT club. Not the best club to be a part of, but it's better than nothing, eh? :P

Nothing new to really report on my end, I'm still keeping up with PT but the brace is really starting to get on my nerves. I can't wait to get out of the damn thing, but it feels like that's just never going to happen! I saw my doc's secretary outside of the office today as I was hobbling to the elevator (my PT facility is in the same building as my OS, right across the hall) and she told me to keep up with everything and that I'll start to see progress eventually. I was going to mention my issues with the brace but I figured I'd hold back...if things really get bad THEN I'll just give the office a call. Oh, I guess I forgot to mention (for those of you newer posters in this thread), I've been wearing the DonJoy IROM brace for about four months now (was in the full leg cast for 8 weeks after my patellar tendon reconstruction) and I've gone through two braces already -- looks like I'll need a third because the velcro has gone to hell on this one and the hinges are sticking very badly (making loud squeaking noises...really great on the ears). Ahh well, I'm rambling yet again...

Also, to the newbies, as smartguy mentioned -- patience is VERY important. Unfortunately a RPT takes a long time to heal. As long as you stick with your rehab program and doctor's orders, you should be back to "almost normal" with time. Stay positive!

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Joe_R on February 12, 2005, 12:32:57 AM
SoCal, way to start the new year!  I did mine on the same day.

SarahJane, don't worry about the jolt.  You are still pretty sensitive, but the tendon is held in place well.  I remember waking up in pain many timed from trying to move in my sleep the first few weeks.  I was afraid I had done something many times, but had no problems.


For me, good progress to report!

I'm now 4 1/2 weeks out, and supposed to get adjusted to 60 degrees in a week and a half.  I called my doctor this morning and asked of the PT should be working on my range of motion to get ready for the adjustment.  He said that's fine, as long as I don't go past 60 degrees.

At PT today 60 degrees went with no problem.  No pain, not even tight.  That was definitely a relief.  Moved up to 2 lbs + my brace in leg raises, 30 reps in each direction, no pain, no problem.  Might go to 3 lbs next time.  Today made me much happier.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 12, 2005, 10:50:45 AM
Thanks for the reassurance Joe, 

I'm not having a lot of luck with my crutches - as well as jolting on the stairs, I nearly fell twice yesterday. 
Once from the very top of the stairs (I put my crutch right on/over the edge of the step but luckily noticed just as I started to put weight on it) and then later as I tried to get out of the house for the first time in a week!   The Porch was slippery from the rain, my crutch just went flying and I managed to save myself by head-butting a brick pillar and holding onto it for grim life!   (that'll teach me for attempting to go to the Pub on a Friday evening!) :-\

I'm begining to get vaguely terrified of the Crutches and am wondering if I'd have more luck with a Zimmer frame?   Did/Is Anyone else struggling with Crutches?    I'm also wondering if the tall ones, that go all the way up to my armpit might be easier, cos I keep putting my weight on with the ones I've got!

Gotta keep smiling - I'm lucky in many other ways and need to keep remembering this!   The knee is a minor glitch and a good way of reminding me about what life is really all about!  I will never ever take my mobility for granted again!

Take care everyone - S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on February 12, 2005, 12:34:21 PM
Hi Sara

You should try to stick to the crutches for several weeks, as this takes the weight of your injured leg.

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on February 13, 2005, 02:15:24 AM
I had my first PT visit yesterday, basically just an evaluation but so glad to be finally starting my active rehab.  Turns out my therapist has worked with a few other RPT patients of my OS over the last few years so she really knows the drill. 

Patricia - I have the same brace, have been in it since my surgery.  Is yours still locked?  Apparently once I have enough quad control to do a straight leg raise, I will get to unlock it.  My next 'goal.'  I can believe you've gone thru a few, my velcro definitely looks the worse for the wear after only 7 weeks.   

Sarah Jane - in the states I think we're all given the taller crutches.  I've had no problems with mine but my teammmates who grew up in Europe all think the shorter crutches are much more comfortable.  Probably just a matter of personal preference.  The only problem I have had with mine is coming back inside after being out in snow or rain... I have to be very very careful to dry the bottoms or they slide all over the place.  (we got three feet of snow in boston a few weeks after my surgery so i've had more than my share of practice at either being cooped up in my house or braving the winter weather)

An ortho physician's assistant who followed up with me at the hospital told me he had never seen a female RPT patient before, glad to see there are a few of us here on this board.  I read somewhere that six men do this injury for every one woman.  Just our luck, eh?

Keep up the progress everyone,

liz

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 13, 2005, 03:35:27 AM
Hey Liz!

It feels great to finally be able to start an active rehab program, doesn't it?

In terms of the brace, to quote Jay Sherman, IT STINKS! I had my patellar tendon reconstruction with hamstring augmentation and two screws inserted along with a few pins (I'm only finding out bits and pieces of this information MONTHS after the surgery! It's my own fault though, I never asked!) in August. I was in a full leg cast for about 7.5 weeks (so I tend to say two months or 8 weeks instead of 6 weeks) and have been in the IROM brace ever since. My first IROM brace went to crap pretty easily but after my sixth surgery (yes, SIXTH surgery!) in December it actually broke, so I HAD to get a new one. Thankfully my PT had an extra TROM brace that someone wasn't using anymore so she let me use it until I could get a new one. At least I was lucky in that perspective, and also lucky that my OS actually had an IROM brace in his office (usually they'll order them for each patient, or have them in stock at the hospital because a patient will normally get an IROM or TROM brace put on them right after surgery at the hospital itself). The velcro just isn't cooperating on this one though, the brace keeps on sliding down and I don't know what to do to keep it in place. Plus, I've already lost one of the little washers that help keep the pin in place that sets the specific degree marking, so the pin is always falling out which is annoying as hell.

As for your question, my brace is unlocked to 90 degrees when I'm at home but locked when I am out of the house. My OS is being ultra-conservative with me because of my extensive history and severity/complexity of my injury. Plus, I've had so many complications (not sure if you've read through the entire thread but if you have, I'm sure you've picked up on a few of my "bad breaks" :P ), he just doesn't want to take any chances with me. It can be frustrating at times, but I agree with him -- my knee is about two steps away from needing to be replaced already and I just cannot afford to do any more damage to it or have any more complications at this rate.

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Monteville on February 13, 2005, 12:28:20 PM
Hello All,
I've been searching for a site to get a better idea of what I should be experiencing from my surgery and it looks like I've found a great one.  I appreciate everyone sharing their rehab history.  Makes me feel a bit more "normal" so to speak. 

I am a U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps officer stationed in Cairo, Egypt.  I am also an ex-college basketball player that experienced pain under the left knee for most of my life.  On December 7th I was playing a pick-up game of basketball and had a few of the young kids ask me to join in their dunk contest.  Being 36 years old and a volunteer assistant basketball coach at the school I figured I'd better show them that just because I'm old doesn't mean I can't whoop up on them.  Anyway, on the third round of the "contest" I became enlightened on what the years of knee pain were telling me.  Nothing quite like hearing a pop and landing on your backside looking at a knee that doesn't quite look like a knee.  My patellar tendon had completely detached.  Of course I told the guys it was dislocated and give me a few minutes and I'd be back in the game.  As you might have guessed, I went to the hospital instead.  To top it off, my son came over from his soccer practice when he saw me on the ground.  His sympathy stopped at, "Ouch, sucks for you."  I was thinking no Christmas presents but got out voted by my wife. 

Being in the medical field I was quickly surrounded by my physician friends and we were weighing the options of me getting a MEDEVAC to Germany or the States to do the surgery.  With our troops coming out of Iraq the thought was I'd be low on the priority list to see an OS.  Therefore I had the surgery done about 20 hours later at Al Salem International Hospital located right next to the Nile River.  The thought was this would prevent the quad from shortening.  My OS was trained in the U.K. (so I'm told) but my nurses spoke no English.  Made for an interesting time.  To top it off, there are no narcotics readily available in Egypt.  Fun fun.  Thank goodness for my U.S. Embassy contacts who hold the keys to the medicine cabinet.  All in all it seemed fairly uneventful for my first surgery ever.  Of course this was right up to the point I found out there were no crutches in the entire hospital and wheel chairs in Egypt don't have the little thingy to hold the leg up.  My wife basically carried my leg to the car while I uttered happy thoughts in Arabic to the staff.  Again, kudos to the Embassy for having crutches.

Anyway, I'm 8 weeks post-op and I've been going to PT as regularly as possible (1-2x/week).  I opted for the "aggressive" therapy (start at 2 weeks post-op) versus the 6 week post-op start to PT.  I travel throughout the Middle East quite a bit and have found out crutches and a hinged-knee brace don't work too well in the sands of Kuwait :).  I just got to 100 degrees on the ROM and my therapist has opened the brace to 50 degrees.  She started me at 30 degrees on week 6 and opened it up 10 more each week since.  Needless to say to this group, I have no quad left.  I do isometrics and as of last week I am on the elliptical machine.  Can't quite do the bike yet since my ROM won't allow it.  Of course my therapist offered to "help" in this area.  I declined.  She also has me doing wall slides and 60 degree squats in addition to ultrasound and what I term "electric shock therapy" to my quads.   

Now on to some questions for the group.

When I do PT, the majority of my pain seems to come from the top of the patella.  My assumption is this is because it is the site that the #5 non-absorbable sutures got tied off.  Is this what some of the rest of you feel?

I also feel pain on the inside (medial) of the knee where I would not expect it.  Sort of over where the hinge is.  My therapist is a bit puzzled.  She isn't quite sure if it is ligament being stretched which has not had to work much as of late.  Anyone else feel a painful "pull" in that region when being bent?  This seems especially painful when I'm on my stomach and she is bending that sucker to the point I jump off the table.

Basically I am hoping you all will let me know what kind of feelings you are having in your knee.  . 

Oh yeah, one more thing.  I also have a spot along the scar under the patella that seems like it is attached to the tissue underneath.  When the knee bends the skin in this one little area doesn't want to move.  It doesn't hurt, but it feels very annoying.  I was told by a friend that I may have a suture that "migrated" and is holding the skin in place.  Whatever that means.  The therapist told me that the OS may have to explore and "dig" it out.  Not too thrilled about any "digging out" when it comes to my knee. 

Thanks for any input.  Please ask any questions you'd like of me as well.  If my experience can help anyone out I am all for it.

Marshall
 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on February 13, 2005, 12:58:16 PM
Hi Marshall

Welcome to the exclusive RPT club - you certainly have a good story to tell........

A quick summary - I think that you may taking rehab a little too fast as you are only about two months down the line.

Just remember that your patellar tendon is still very WEAK and will not stand (pun) a lot of punishment.

Keep us posted of your progress - there are many persons in a similar situation on this board to helkp you.

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Monteville on February 13, 2005, 01:24:39 PM
John,
Thanks for the quick reply.  I am seeing if I can actually attach a MS Word document.  This is what the Navy Physical Therapist in D.C. sent to me.  It is a PT rehab schedule from the Army side of the house.  It has some Army jargon in it, but it appears to be a decent schedule based on feedback from my OS.  However, I do realize all situations are a bit different and pre-injury activity status plays a role as well.

Regards,
MM

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on February 13, 2005, 02:33:32 PM
Hi all,

Well, it looks as if we have a epademic of RPT sufferers  :o

Marshall, when I was in the early stages of PT, my pain was above the patellar, but localised to the Quad tendon. Being in a full leg cast for over 8 weeks, my quad disappeared, and my quad tendon needed a lot of work to be able to stretch it. Most of this came through good massage. As for your scar sticking, that's pretty common. Mine was stuck on to patellar, patellar tendon, and the top of my tibia! Over time, it has become a lot looser, but I still have an area over the patellar tendon when it doesn't want to budge. What got my scar moving was daily massage with some moisutrising lotion, and neutral vitamin-e one. It took some months for the scar to start moving (8 months since injury now), so don't expect instant results. As for my feelings in my knee, it is still quite numb. I can kneel on both knees, and sit back now, however, I do not feel comfortable in kneeling on my bad knee on its own. I still have quite a bit of scar tissue below the patellar which doesn't really help this either. It is a lot better that the early days, but is it still there. You sound like you are doing well, but as I am sure you have read lot on here, don't push it too hard too fast, just listen to your own knee, you'll know when you are pushing too much  ;) And by the way, I had use of wheelchair with that extra bit on it to support your leg, but being 6'7" tall, it was of no use  :(, and had to use the end of one of my crutches to keep my leg horizontal  :D

Jeff, you are starting down the long road to recovery. Bummer about going back to work so soon, but as you have read before on this webiste, make the time for PT and home exercises where you can, and you'll get your knee back.

Sarah, yep, crutches take some time to get used to. Did many a slip in the early weeks. I even managed to trip over them when they were on the floor of my bedroom! As John says, keeping weight off the leg in the early days is essential. This injury is an extremely frustrating injury, you really don't realise how much you use your knee when you can't use it. But do take it easy to start with  ;D (Uxbridge Civic Centre, now there's a landmark  :o )

Liz, Patricia, Joe, keep the progress going, and reporting on here to us all.

The upcoming week is going to be my first working 5 days a week in the office, since injury and PT. One downside with progress  ;D ;D ;D

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 13, 2005, 02:53:50 PM
Andy/John  -  thanks for replies/support about Crutches - I'm sticking with them and trying my best but I'm definately not built for Crutches  ;D

Liz/Pat/Joe/Marshall and everyone else - I'm feeling frustrated and envious of you all!   I'm sat here incapacitated and you are all progressing along your rehab/physio road.   However, the advantage of being 'behind' you all is that I can use your experiences to my advantage!

Hope you've all have a great & painfree weekend!   My discovery for today ....   I can do the ironing sat down  :-\  This is not one of my best discoveries!

Take care, Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on February 13, 2005, 05:07:43 PM
Liz

to answer one of your earlier questions regarding swimming. i was allowed to get back in the pool once my tendon repair was considered healed and the vertical incision was completely closed. i think this was at about 11 weeks post op. being a retired competitive swimmer it felt great to get back in the pool. i swam about 3000 yards daily from february 2004 until my arthrofibrosis surgery in june 2004. my flexion was only at 35 degrees but dr. lindenfeld in cinncinati wanted me in the pool daily to increase my quad strength. i used fins which increased resisitance but helped with my glide.

one more thought...are you sure the OS did not use a disolvable loop wire in your surgery? mine was disolved by the time i had my 5th surgery in june. it was originally place november 03.

good luck with your recovery. you might want to ask about getting an estim machine for home use (if you dont have one already) can help with firing of the quads (hurts like a #(^$...but worth the pain in the end)

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 13, 2005, 05:58:57 PM
Marshall -

In terms of the pain on the top of your patella, I would imagine that it is your quad tendon that is bugging you. I've experienced a lot of pain in that region as well, it could be a combination of the tendon doing a lot more work than it should (because of your weak patellar tendon) along with the sutures in this area. Remember, you just had a fairly major knee operation -- the mechanics of your knee have changed drastically, so things are not going to feel "quite right" for a while.

I would imagine your other problem with the scar feeling stuck is a scar tissue problem. Even if you are not prone to developing scar tissue, some tissue will form where incisions have been made. The scar tissue can cause your knee to catch and lock when you are trying to bend it. It should eventually go away, but definitely talk more with your OS and PT about the situation -- if it isn't scar tissue and IS a suture, you may need to have it removed. Don't worry too much about having that done, I've had many sutures removed and "dug" out, both surgically and non-surgically. It's not so bad!

Good luck with your rehab and keep us updated on your progress!

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 13, 2005, 06:04:00 PM
Sarah -

Oh do not feel envious of me! Trust me, I wouldn't wish my case upon my worst enemy! I know how frustrating it can feel though, I'm definitely an expert in that area. Patience is key though -- keep your chin up and take this time to rest as much as possible! Crutches can really stink, I've been on and off them for the good part of two years! I went through three pairs of them because I wore each pair out! :P Definitely stay on them though until your OS gives you the okay, your patellar tendon is VERY weak right now and cannot support much weight. Even if you are feeling good one day, it wouldn't be advisable to throw the crutches down for a while -- the tendon needs time to heal and strengthen. I've had problems with that before, just wanting to throw teh crutches aside and start walking on me own, and nothing but problems have come from it.

Anyways, stay positive and remember that things WILL eventually get better! Take it one day at a time...heck, even one HOUR at a time! You'll get through this! :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 13, 2005, 11:13:15 PM
Oh dear Patricia - having caught up with more of the older messages on the board - I have to agree that it's probably best not to be envious of you   :'(     I'm sorry that you've had such a tough time and I hope that the future is bright for you.

I'm determined to keep smiling and stick with the Crutches!  I don't feel ready to throw them yet - I'm just sick of HOPPING everywhere!   There is just something comical about short plump 40 year old Mum's with bright red casts hopping around the neighbourhood!   And let's not even mention the Wheelchair ... ...

I'm going to take one day/one hour at a time and try to stop being such a control freak!

Take Care,  Sarah

p.s.  -  things I've discovered in the past 2 weeks - it's almost impossible to put your knickers/pants/trousers on with one leg in a plaster cast!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 13, 2005, 11:17:26 PM
Sarah - UGH I hated every minute of being in the cast, and yes it's nearly impossible getting pants over the darn thing. I guess if there's any bright side for me, at least it was the summertime so I didn't *have* to wear pants, I could just wear a pair of shorts that would fit over the plaster a bit more easy. With my IROM brace though, jeans or normal pants are out of the question. I've been wearing sweats for months now, and I can honestly say that once I finally get this brace off my leg I may never wear sweats again! :P

Best wishes and hang in there!
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 13, 2005, 11:26:51 PM
I did try wearing a skirt yesterday - for the first time in years!

And I made yet another one of my discoveries - wearing skirts and sliding downstairs on your Butt are not advisable!  In fact, there prob isn't a lot of clothing that's compatible with sliding downstairs on your bum! lols

I'm kind of glad that it isn't Summer here - I can't imagine how ITCHY the cast would be!   

This is early days - but I'm already looking at my jeans with a fond eye!  Can you get a brace over/under a pair of jeans???

Take care
Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Joe_R on February 14, 2005, 04:41:29 PM

When I do PT, the majority of my pain seems to come from the top of the patella.  My assumption is this is because it is the site that the #5 non-absorbable sutures got tied off.  Is this what some of the rest of you feel?

I also feel pain on the inside (medial) of the knee where I would not expect it.  Sort of over where the hinge is.  My therapist is a bit puzzled.  She isn't quite sure if it is ligament being stretched which has not had to work much as of late.  Anyone else feel a painful "pull" in that region when being bent?  This seems especially painful when I'm on my stomach and she is bending that sucker to the point I jump off the table.
 

Marshall,

I occasionally have the same pain in the top of the knee.  It is kind of  a"pinching" pain.  I am guessing the same as you, that it is where the sutures came through the quad tendon and got tied off.  When I see my OS next Monday I'll ask him.

I also have been getting odd pains around both knees occasionally.  I think it is because I changed how I walk, and the ligaments and tendons in the knee are just not used to it.  Lately it has been happening less, so I think I am adjusting to it, and maybe starting to walk a little more normal.  I haven't been having my knee bent like that, so it may also be something different.

Joe
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Joe_R on February 14, 2005, 04:44:19 PM
Sarah,

Try breakaway track pants.  They are roomier than most in the legs, and you can always leave the butting unsnapped around the cast.  They were a great help for me.  You can also put them on yourself, which is great for the mind too. 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on February 14, 2005, 08:34:47 PM
Greetings Fellow RPT Members!!!!

I want to respond to a few comments made by some club members:

Patricia - You have so much to share with everyone. I'm glad you are here. Your story is the most intriguing. Hang in there! I hated wearing the brace, but did so to protect my knee. The darn thing kept slipping and slidding, impeding my progress. My OS told me to get rid of it after 6 weeks and I did. It was slowing down my quad recovery.

Lizard - It's a plus to have a PT who's worked with a RPT patient before. My PTs have worked with several RPT patients and they know what they're doing.

Marshall - Welcome to the Club! So, you were in a dunk contest, huh? Wow! I blew out my knee playing basketball, but not dunking. :)  During PT, my pain was also at the top of my patella. I can't say why though. I only had pain when they bent the leg while I was on my stomach. It hurt like hell, but I appreciate it today. I have full ROM back at 12 weeks post-op today. I have a piece of stubborn scar tissue just under the patellar. It's loosening up slowly. My OS says it will decrease over time. I'm resigned to the fact that my right knee will never look like my left (uninjured) knee due to the nature of my injury. My tendon was completely detatched. I'm just happy to be able to walk without a limp at this stage. Take your time and be discipline. The ROM will come back. As for your OS having to probe your knee, if it's not necessary, I wouldn't go there. I don't want my injured knee opened again unless it's absolutely necessary.

Andy - I have the "numbness" on the right side of my patellar and scar tissue on the bottow of patellar. OS said that will subside over time. I wear a compression strap which gives me support when walking. I don't wear it during therapy or private workouts.

Some helpful practices that helped and currently help in my rehab:

 - Take vitamins daily. This will accelarate the healing. If your body if healthy, your knee will do better.

 - Take pain meds 30-45 mins before therapy to help manage the pain associated with the pulling, bending, etc.

 - Sleep with a pillow between your legs to absorb the weight of the legs and protect your knee.

 - Do isometrics as much as possible to strengthen the quad.

 - Do as many leg lifts as possible to strengthen quad.

 - Listen to your knee.....it knows its limitations.



Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 15, 2005, 10:07:47 PM
Hi everyone - hope you are all OK

I'm feeling very - 'oh dear' - I've been to Hospital today to have Staples removed and long chat with Doctor   ???

Staples didn't hurt at all - just tingled and itched.

Things were slightly different to what I'd expected because apparently I'd also snapped a chunk of bone off my Patella as well as the Tendon Rupture. 

Surgeon says minimum of 6 weeks in plaster, but because of my other medical problems (mal-absorption of Vitamins due to Coeliacs disease) that there is a possibility that it might take much longer i.e. up to 3 months.

*deep sigh. 

At least I was seen quickly, caught up with some of my mates who work at the Hosp and got some funky pics of my staples being removed!   Plus I now have a red and blue striped cast!

Take care
S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 18, 2005, 03:48:41 AM
Thanks for the compliments, smartguy. You put a smile on my face! :)

As for your suggestions, I could not agree more with them, especially on that vitamins tip -- my OS also told me to take multivitamins and vitamin C every day, as it helps speed the healing process along and will generally make you feel better overall. :)

Sarah, I went through quite a few casts when I had my patellar tendon reconstruction. OS generally made my casts white, but after my infection he gave me a blue cast because he said I looked like I was "feeling blue." I thought that was pretty cute, eh? :P Hey, at least you stand out in a crowd! :)

Hope everyone else is doing well...I'm hoping no news is good news with some of our fellow RPT-members who haven't posted recently!

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on February 18, 2005, 04:55:37 PM
Hey all -

I saw my operating surgeon yesterday.  He was fairly dissappointed with my progress, said he would have been more aggressive with my rehab then the doctor I had been following up with had been, etc, etc.  Thought I should have been out of my brace already, instead it was still locked at 0, etc. Basically he and my PT agree that the quad sets I'd been doing hadnt been working, for a few reasons, quad forgot how to work and hamstring/butt muscles were overcompensating, hence the high degree of atrophy and my continued inability to do a straight leg raise.  Said that does happen from time to time but we need to counter it with an Attilla the Hun physio.  Wants me very active and wants me weaned off my brace ASAP.  Actually he didnt really want me leaving his office with my brace but I was too scared to give it up quite yet!  Instead it's now unlocked to 30 (flexion) and I will continue to wear it out in the real world until I gain a bit more confidence.  Maybe losing it can be my goal for the next week.

My therapist did e-stim on Monday on my quad and that was the first time my left quad has actually contracted though it still wasnt enough for the SLR ... I see her again this afternoon and will probably be given a take home unit to work with for a week or two.  Hopefully that will be enough to get me to turn the next corner.

Will post again in a week or so.  Hope everyone has a good weekend,

liz

 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on February 18, 2005, 08:07:40 PM
Lizard - Sorry to hear your OS was disappointed with your progress. I think if you were working with just one OS (the aggressive one), you'd be farther ahead with your ROM and atrophy. My OS is dynamic. He knew I wanted to progress fast and he put me in an advanced type of rehab (PT 3 wks post surgery). My PTs were giving my OS progress reports. OS pushed me out of the brace at 6-wk follow-up. The PTs pushed me to get ROM back (I'm at 135 12wks post-op). Saw my OS last week and he's more than pleased. Due to my total rupture, OS didn't think I'd hit full ROM again, but I worked my butt off to prove him wrong.

It took me a few PT sessions to get the quad going to do consistent SLR. I hit 90 deg ROM on my 2nd PT session and then stalled for a week. Once the quad finally kicked in, I didn't turn back. I do at least 300 a day, 7 days a week. I work out on my own at my job's free gym. My only restriction is heavy weights. Keep doing the isometric stuff and your quad will wake up and you'll turn the corner.

Remember, aggressive PT means pain. But, pain means progress. Feel free to ask me anything.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on February 19, 2005, 09:48:30 AM
Hi Lazard - 

Considering that you are only about eight weeks post op, dont expect to get much over 30/35 -

dont push it  ;)

Keep up the good work

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: pintopat on February 20, 2005, 05:07:32 AM
Hello everyone-

I am knew to this CHAT ROOM.
Today I was surfing the web when I found this site. I wish I had found it back on 1998...

I've blew my both knees since I moved up here to the USA.
The left was on 1998 playing soccer. First time playing at "astroturf" surface. These are the worst for your knees I found out myself....

The second time (my right knee) was a year ago (Dec/27/2003) playing squash.
Then, just know Dec/1st/2004 I had a third surgery (the second one) on my left knee to correct Knee cap alignament since it was off track.

Soo...is there anyone out there that had experienced the same injured as me and want to talk about ?
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 20, 2005, 05:13:01 AM
Hi pintopat, welcome to the site!

What kind of injury did you have? Did you rupture your patellar tendon? Also, if you did, was your rupture a complete detachment or a partial? Did you have a repair or reconstruction? In terms of your allignment surgery, what type of procedure did you have done? A Lateral Release, perhaps?

Sorry for all of the questions, but I'm interested to know a little more about your history -- hopefully we can help you out! Definitely browse through this thread though, you'll definitely find a lot of insight on this type of injury and you may even find the answers to many of the questions you might have.

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: pintopat on February 20, 2005, 07:25:48 AM
Hi Patricia -
I had complete rupture of the patella tendon on both knees in different ocasions (5 years apart).
I've learned later that it could be caused by having patella alta. Which I do..did.  And also, due to my age now (40) and for liking sports that are hard in your knees as oposed to swiming or biking.

I had reconstruction on both knees. My second doctor said that this is really unusual, but educating my self I learned that once you have this kind of injury there is a 30% chance that it will hapen to the other knee or same knee again.

As far as I know the first surgery used a thick surgical line that pass entirely thru 4 holes drilled longitudinal to the knee cap. The line sew the tendon together.
The second surgery consisted of holes drilled only half way into my knee. Ancors were screwed in with surgical lines attaching the tendon together. Also, at this time a loop kevlar line was put in to keep the tendon in place for healing. The line was weaved thru the quads on the top and around the knee cap, then a screw at the Tibia held it on place.

It seems that the second surgery (my right knee) was much better. I feel it stronger. It's like now it is in the perfect spot.
However the rehab time was almost twice (or much more painfull and slow) than the first time I had. It could be because I wait almost 3 weeks to start the rehab....

Then, I after almost one year I was able to play squash again, but I totaly feel (felt) my left knee being weak / unstable compared to the reconstructured right knee.

I convinced my doctor to go for round 3. I am not sure of the process name, but it seems that it is what you called: a 'thisel' and a hammer broke my tibia where the patella tendon bonds. Then, it was moved a few mm down and rotated to the inside. The fragment of the bone was attached to the tibia with 2 long screws.

I am starting to play again,but I am not moving well yet....It will take all the way past summer so I can feel at the point I was before.

I few people say I am crazy on returning to the courts....not sure what is your background, but it would be interesting to hear.


Patrice.



Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on February 20, 2005, 07:46:44 AM
Welcome Patrice to the RPT club - As you are aware, not many people manage to rupture the Patella Tendon twice.........  Your description of the surgical repair sounds like that your Consultant knew exactly what he was doing (for change) and there is no quick cure or rehab.

Would suggest that you read the many posts on this board which you will find will give you plenty of inside knowledge.

I understand that your famous footballer "Ronaldo" Ruptured his Patella Tendon and was out of action for more than two years.

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 21, 2005, 02:14:03 PM
Hi everyone - I'm a bit worried and wondering what to do ...

Yesterday, whilst trying to get out the house, my Crutches slipped and I ended up putting my weight on my bad knee at a funny angle (kind of sideways)

it felt like the something Twanged to the left of my kneecap - it was slightly painful, but hasn't been a problem since, but I'm wondering if I should go back to the Hospital for them to check it over.

Any idea's?   I know that some of you have had Crutch related accidents   ;D  and might be able to set my mind at rest.

Thanks
Sarah 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 21, 2005, 04:20:19 PM
Sarah -

I had a similar accident only a few DAYS after my surgery (I was too ambitious :P ), I was trying to come up the stairs with two pillows under one of my arms/crutches, and a blanket wrapped around my neck. I know, I know, that's not being ambitious, that's just being stupid, but I blame the drugs and my mom not being home at the time! :)

Anyways, all the clutter around me kind of threw me off and I slipped, one of my crutches slipped off of the stair and onto the step below and I put all of my weight on my casted leg (otherwise I would have fallen down all of those stairs and who knows what would have happened), and it KILLED. I too, was nervous that I did something, but luckily I was seeing the doctor the next day anyways and he told me that it didn't appear that I did any damage, I probably just gave myself and HIM a good scare.

If you are nervous you may have did something, by all means go back to the hospital or get in to see your OS as soon as possible. It will calm your nerves either way, and hopefully confirm that you too had a scare and nothing more. :)

Best wishes!
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on February 22, 2005, 04:59:09 PM
Hi all,

Sarah, a saying you may hear a lot here is "listen to your knee"  ;). If you feel it is hurting, for any reason, whether via accident or not, it's always worth a call to the hospital. It is a lot more difficult here in the UK if you are dealing with your injury on the NHS, to find time with the a doc to answer your concerns. It goes against the British nature sometimes, but you have to be really demanding to get their time, as you have done already by what you have said in using up more than the 3 mins of time with the doc last time. If you are in pain in anyway, go to the hospital direct and and ask for advice and support, don't even call, that's why they have A&E. Knee's are delicate objects when they go wrong, and need to be looked after right for them to recover.

Patrice, good luck with round 3 in your quest for knee stability. I personally took the decision to retire from to sport which caused my injury, volleyball. But others on here, and out in the professional sporting world, do continue. It is your choice, but as I have said above, listen to your knee's, you will miss them if they stop working  :'(  ;)

Keep the news coming, good or not so good,  ;D  ;D  ;D

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)


Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 22, 2005, 07:20:08 PM
Hi,  thanks to Andy and Pat for your replies,

I did phone and speak to my Surgeons Secretary who said ...  if you are worried come straight in to A&E and we will x-ray etc. etc.

But ...my knee is saying that it's fine ;)    No pain, throbbing etc.   
- it was just a momentary twang so I think I'll leave the 6 hour wait in A&E for another time ::)

(well,  that's what I'm thinking at the moment - if I'm bored tomorrow morning I might change my mind! at least A&E is more exciting that Daytime TV!)

(think I'm going to have to go in soon to have the cast sorted out - the swelling has gone down so much I've got a feeling that the whole thing is going to drop straight off my leg soon)   ;D

Hope you are all taking care of yourselves,

S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 22, 2005, 09:34:23 PM
Sarah -

You will have to have your cast changed a few times, not only due to the swelling but also due to muscle atrophy -- your entire leg (not just your quad!) is losing all of its strength and muscle at this point, so it is shrinking in size. How long are you slated to have the cast on? I had mine on for about two months and had to have it changed quite a few times (then again, I also suffered from a bad infection and had to see the doctor three times a WEEK, he'd be changing the cast weekly it seemed). However, if you do start to feel it slide down or it doesn't feel as secure as it did at first, definitely go in and get it changed, because you risk injuring the knee again if the cast isn't supporting you like it should be. :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 23, 2005, 02:47:41 PM
Hi Patricia,   I've been told that I'll have to have a cast for a minimum of 2 months with an option on the 3rd month due to my malabsorption of vitamins (might take longer to heal etc) - I'm on week 3 at the moment (feels like longer  ::)
 
At the moment the cast is intermittently either lose or tight - dependant on how swollen my leg is???   Last night it felt as if I could move quite freely about within the cast, but this afternoon, after being out at a meeting for 3 hours, it feels much tighter!

I think I'll ring the Plaster Room tomorrow and have a word with the Head guy there - he's a lovely man and really helpful.    (and if he says to come back in - I'll ask for an X-ray as well - just to be on the safe side after my little slip and slide the other day  ;D )    PLUS - I'm getting really fed up with the Red and Blue striped cast - think it's time to go Green or maybe Purple!

Hope everyone is OK,

Take Care, Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on February 23, 2005, 04:20:09 PM
Sarah Jane,  Good luck with the plaster issue.  I was never in a cast but I've changed the size of my brace atleast 3-4 times in the past 8 weeks to compensate for my 'amazing shrinking leg.'  If only I could lose inches so rapidly through diet and exercise!

My OS has scheduled me for follow up surgery on March 16th to "yank out" the wire.  His words, not mine.  Not really looking forward to that but losing the wire should imrpove my ROM as well as eliminate the risk of the wire breaking and causing other problems... so much for my St. Patrick's day plans.

My physio lent me an e-stim unit for the weekend and its really helping the quad come back to life.  Yesterday for the first time I was able to (slightly) hold my leg up - she would lift the leg while the e-stim unit and myself were contracting the quad and boy did that quad work for me.  She's hopeful I will finally be able to do a SLR on my own within a week. 

But the truly exciting progress was taking a few steps with neither my brace nor crutches yesterday.  It wasnt graceful but I could do it.   ;D

Smartguy - I'm a few weeks behind you surgically and maybe a few more due to my quad being so disagreeable but I would be interested in hearing about what you do in PT and any exercises you think really helped your progress.  Also did you have a wire? Thanks!

Hope everyone has a good day, liz

 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 23, 2005, 07:35:09 PM
Hi Liz, thanks for the reply

When I saw my Surgeon I did ask him if it would be possible to have a brace instead of a full cast - but he wouldn't even consider it.   I also asked him about weight-bearing - I'd printed off some Research I found, but he wasn't prepared to agree that either!   ::)      I asked him how often he'd experienced this kind of injury and about the Wire being removed and he managed to be incredibly vague!

He then showed me exactly how much he knew about the injury by telling me that I probably wouldn't need Physio when the cast was removed!  :o    I CAN"T wait until my next appointment with him - he's in for a shock. ;D    I pointed out that before we meet again he might like to do some research and suggested he check out KneeGuru!!!

Can you let me know about the operation to remove the Wire?   I really do not want to face further surgery for the foreseeable future!

I was going to contact the Plaster room tomorrow - my incredible shrinking leg definately needs a new cast (Wish my waist would disappear so quickly!) but if we have the snow that is forecast in the UK for tomorrow - then I might give it a miss for fear of needing plaster on the 'good' knee!!!    I'm really not very stable on Crutches!

Well done for managing those few small steps (better than a trip to the moon I'm sure).   Who cares about being graceful when you've managed to move yourself without Crutches or Brace!!!!   Well done!!!  (I'm jealous)!

Take Care, Sarah

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 23, 2005, 07:42:38 PM
Sarah -

A bit off topic, but when I was younger a girl I went to PT with broke her leg and had to stop PT for a while because she had a full leg cast on her leg...when she came in to tell the PT her news, the therapist told her about how she'd definitely need to start PT after the cast was off because her muscles would definitely disappear...to that, the girl responded: "Well then, can I get a full body cast so I lose the extra pounds in my trouble areas?" :P I thought it was pretty cute and your response about your "shrinking leg" and waist reminded me of it. :)

I know how you feel -- I couldn't WAIT to get out of the cast, it really stinks. Do you know if you'll be put in a brace after you get the cast removed? I would imagine your OS will give you an IROM or a TROM brace because your leg will be so weak (and you won't have the best ROM in the world, being in a cast for two months is going to kill your range), I couldn't fathom you walking around with no support on that leg of yours!

Also, I'm wondering, are you going to be put in a CPM after you do have the plaster removed?

And yes, take it a few steps at a time...eventually those "small" steps will add up and you'll see a whole lot of improvement!

As for me, I have another OS appointment coming up soon...unfortunately I still have at least a couple weeks left in the IROM brace, but you know me -- I'm still worried that when I do see him, he's going to say that I need to stay in the brace EVEN LONGER. If he does say that, I will tell him right then and there that he should just fuse the brace to my leg because it's NEVER coming off! :D

I'll keep you guys and gals updated though, hopefully I'll finally have some good news of my own to report for once!

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on February 23, 2005, 08:23:56 PM
As for the wire... from what I've read on this site, not all doctors remove it.  My OS is very aggressive and always removes it as soon as the tendon has healed.  I've also expressed a desire to return to sport so the possibility of it breaking is perhaps higher? 

I was concerned that he would have to re-open the entire incision but he showed me on the x-ray where there is a knot in the wire, around the bottom of the tendon.  Said he will do a small incision there, untie the knot and 'yank' it out.  Obviously must be very painful so will be 'out' for a few minutes.  But he assured me it is nothing compared with the first surgery and said I would get around as easily the day after as the day before the procedure. 

Given that you will be cast-ed for longer than the average, your sitution might be quite different and really if there is one thing I've learned from this board its that every OS takes a somewhat different approach to treating rpt's.  I wouldn't worry about your wire until the doc tells you to (if that, I'm going to try to forget about my upcoming surgery until the time comes!)

liz
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on February 24, 2005, 12:34:53 PM
Hi all,

Sarah, I also had to go back and get a new plaster after 4 weeks after it became loose. I just turned up at the plaster room with my appointment card, which had my id number on it, said my cast was slipping and I needed a new one. They consulted a doc who confirmed my injury and they cut the one off, and replaced it there and then. The 2nd one they replaced it with was a all fibreglass one, with no plaster strips at all, so it was lighter than the previous one. But when they did do it, it did feel extermely tight for the first couple of days, until my leg got used to it, and it was fine after that, until it came off after another 2 weeks.

Patricia, as for a CRM machine, I doubt Sarah will get one. NHS treatment doesn't really stretch that far. You would be lucky to get a brace paid for by the NHS. I was told I would have to buy a brace if I wanted one! They tend to put the onus on the individual to do manual exercises to get the knee bending again. The towel round the foot whilst sitting on the floor with feet out in front did it for me.

Keep the faith all   8)

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 25, 2005, 01:25:18 PM
Hi ya,  just an update - I went back into the Hospital Plaster Room yesterday, and rather than a new cast, they cut a 2cm strip out of the old one, and then Velcro'd it back together so that I could adjust it myself for swelling or shrinkage!    I was dubious at first, but it works wonderfully - feels so much more secure and stable now.   Much less pain, and I slept better last night!

At my first meeting with the Consultant - he did seem to indicate that I wouldn't be provided with a Knee Brace  (!!!!!!!!!!!) but that a CPM machine might be available.       I am sooooo looking forward to my next meeting with him - if he thinks that I'm leaving the Hospital minus Cast and without a Brace - he's in for a nasty shock and will be having a very very bad day! :D

Take Care everyone,  Sarah

p.s.  -   I am sooooo BORED today!!! 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: fishpond on February 25, 2005, 04:31:11 PM
Last week I ruptured the patella tendon in my left knee and as you all know my life has changed since that happened.  My surgery is scheduled for Monday AM and I feel confident in my OS as he has had 27 years experience in his field.  He told me that I would not be able to put weight on it for three weeks after the operation and that I wouldn't be able to start bending for six weeks and that's with the aid of a motion brace.  This is NOT arthoscopic surgery, he will have to cut and drill four holes in my patella to fasten the tendon.  How much pain should I expect to be in?  How long will it last?  Will I ever be able to go back to normal?  Is this a routine type procedure?  I would like to converse with folks out there in cyberspace who have experienced this particular surgery and how they made out and any advice they might have for me going in.  John
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 25, 2005, 04:45:07 PM
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Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on February 25, 2005, 05:52:24 PM
Liz - My PT started right after I got my cast off at 3 weeks (Nov 31 '05). My quad was flat and my leg looked foreign to me. I did all the excercises my therapist recommended (quad contractions, knee pulls, SLR when possible, etc). I was able to do my first SLR on second PT session, but the quad would work when it wanted to. After a few weeks of PT and homework I was getting the leg up with no problem. I was out of my hinged brace at 6 weeks post op and doing more aggressive excercises (stationary bike, steps, treadmil). I moved to light weights, hopping, jumping and high knee bends at 8 weeks. Saw OS at 12 weeks (currently at 14 wks) and he was very pleased at my progress. He released me from PT and allows me to work my own program. I go to my job's gym for free and do weights, treadmill and stationary bike. I go at least 2x a wk. I don't have a limp anymore and my only problem is going up/down steps with speed. But, that's OK. I will get there.

My knee feels great. Still have swelling, but that's decreasing slowly. I reached full ROM (135) at 12wks post op. I do 400 SLR every day. My quad is looking more like the other one every day. I felt a sense of normalcy after 12 weeks post op. My family and friends forget I even had a major knee injury. Have faith in God's ability to heal you and think "long-term" in the process. Work hard to get your knee back.

I hope everyone's doing well.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on February 25, 2005, 10:08:46 PM
wow, Smartguy - that sounds amazing to me! 

I feel as if I'm going to have to completely re-learn how to walk!   Well done!   

I wish I could follow your example - but I think my knee might disagree with me!

take care,

S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Monteville on February 28, 2005, 01:53:48 PM
John,
I'm sorry you ruptured your patellar tendon, but you have come to the right place for advice.  I've been catching up on some reading in the last 30 minutes and the postings I see are right on the mark.

As far as the surgery goes I'd have to say it was not too bad.  About 90 minutes under.  I assume you'll get several #5 sutures attached in a hole they'll drill in the top of your knee.  When I woke up I was in a bit of pain but some helpful narcotics took the edge off.  I left the hospital about 40 hours after surgery ro get to my daughter's birthday party.  The leg was a bit sore for several days.  I also had to give myself nightly injections in the belly to avoid blood clots (just in case).  I'm not certain if everyone had to do this, but I got so good at it I started letting my kids give me the shot.  My daughter 7 year old daughter thought this was cool.  About 12 days after surgery I got my staples removed (about 16 of them) and the OS put me in a long-hinged knee brace.  In my opinion this is WAY more comfortable than a cast if your OS allows it.  After the staples came out I did some VERY minor bending since I chose an aggressive recovery route.  As the weeks progressed I worked 1-2 times a week with a physical therapist.  I am now about 11 weeks post-op and my range of motion is 115 degrees. 

The good news is I can now do the elliptical trainer and the stationary bike to get the quad built back up.  I am out of my brace and can walk up stairs ever so slowly.  The knee is somewhat stiff until I get things moving and then it loosens up.  However, remember this is 2-4 months out for you.  The only real pain I experience is when the evil PT lady puts me on my stomach and bends the knee up (she is actually quite nice, but makes me think up bad words when she bends my leg).  The other pain is early on in the top of the patella when the therapist bends your leg and the sutures pull at the top of the patella where the hole was drilled.  I think things will go well for you and I look forward to your experience.  Oh yeah, even after 12 weeks the patellar tendon in the damaged knee feels quite rigid (not loose and "squishy" like the good leg.).  Not certain if this is simply due to swelling or all the darn sutures running through it.

In short, keep up good spirits, give the knee time to heal, follow the OS advice, and lastly stick to the physical therapy.

Regards,
Marshall   
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Monteville on February 28, 2005, 02:21:20 PM
Smartguy,
I just wrote you a long post and I got timed out and lost it.  Bummer.

Anyway, I am very interested in your progress since I too am going with the aggressive route.  I'm 11 weeks out and have been on the elliptical machine in the gym for two weeks, stationary bike for one week, and out of the brace for the last week or so (gym is at work like you).  Thank the Lord for no more brace.  I am currently at 115 on ROM and I do all the little squat movements my therapist has come up with.   

I am curious on your patellar tendon.  Mine is quite rigid.  More specifically, there is not a lot of movement below the patella when I massage the tendon area.  Of course the healthy knee tendon is all over the place and looks good.  Not certain if this is simply due to swelling.  I also feel like I have a ping pong ball below the knee when I walk.  Sort of feels strange.  I also get a sort of dull ache in the knee when it is bent for more than 20 minutes (like when I drive).  As soon as I straighten it out all is fine again.  I know this is a lot of information, but I am very very very curious on what types of sensations you have felt and are feeling in the knee so I can compare notes so to speak.

Thanks for any input.  Off to the gym.....

Regards,
Marshall   

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on February 28, 2005, 04:48:18 PM
Monteville -

Not sure if you noticed, but the post quoted by "fishpond" was the original post in this thread made a year ago, by a poster named John (who still posts here every once and a while.)

Just wanted to let ya know. :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on February 28, 2005, 09:02:58 PM
wow, Smartguy - that sounds amazing to me! 

I feel as if I'm going to have to completely re-learn how to walk!   Well done!   

I wish I could follow your example - but I think my knee might disagree with me!

take care,

S

Hi Sarah! Although our (RPT Club) injury is similar, there are differences that distinguish the injury.I, too felt like I had to teach myself how to walk again and that's what I did. Putting weight on the injured leg was scary. I had tendenitis for at least 5 years prior to injury. I was supposed to see a OS the day before I ruptured my right tendon, but I couldn't wait to see him because he was backed up with appontments. I felt my knee wasn't in serious condition and I rescheduled. Well, that turned out to be a huge mistake or miscalculation on my part. I played basketball the next day (Nov 10, '04) and that's when the injury occurred. I was so upset with myself because I shouldn't have played on such a weak tendon.

Anyway, I resolved to get back to "normal" ASAP. I'm still dealing with scar tissue. I'm working the knee to break it up. The more I move, the tightness diminishes. Having great Physical Therapists and OS makes the difference. I was given sound advice during the first 2-3 months and never did anything I wasn't comfortable doing.

I will gladly offer any advise or answer any questions. This message board and the RPT Club helped me so much. Reading what others have done and are doing builds morale and motivation.

Be well!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on February 28, 2005, 09:29:30 PM
Smartguy,
I just wrote you a long post and I got timed out and lost it.  Bummer.

Anyway, I am very interested in your progress since I too am going with the aggressive route.  I'm 11 weeks out and have been on the elliptical machine in the gym for two weeks, stationary bike for one week, and out of the brace for the last week or so (gym is at work like you).  Thank the Lord for no more brace.  I am currently at 115 on ROM and I do all the little squat movements my therapist has come up with.   

I am curious on your patellar tendon.  Mine is quite rigid.  More specifically, there is not a lot of movement below the patella when I massage the tendon area.  Of course the healthy knee tendon is all over the place and looks good.  Not certain if this is simply due to swelling.  I also feel like I have a ping pong ball below the knee when I walk.  Sort of feels strange.  I also get a sort of dull ache in the knee when it is bent for more than 20 minutes (like when I drive).  As soon as I straighten it out all is fine again.  I know this is a lot of information, but I am very very very curious on what types of sensations you have felt and are feeling in the knee so I can compare notes so to speak.

Thanks for any input.  Off to the gym.....

Regards,
Marshall   



Marshall - Your advise to John is on target. It appears you and I share many similarities with some exceptions of course. I'm 3 weeks ahead of you. My OS advised me to get out of the brace after 6 wks post-op. I used it for another week as a security blanket. My Physical Therapist encouraged me to get out of the brace and I just walked out of one of my PT sessions witout it and never looked back. It's been in my trunk ever since.

Your ROM is pretty good. I think I hit 115 after 8 or 9 weeks. It was painful getting there. My PT pulled my leg while I was on my stomach and I felt like I was being tortured, but I knew "no gain, no pain". I do experience a "dull sensation" and a "sharp pain" while driving. I had the same pain pre-injury. My OS says it's arthritis. Stretching the knee provides relief. I take 1000mg of asprin occassionally for relief also. I no longer take the pain meds my OS prescribed after surgery. I ran out and don't feel the need use them. My knee rarely hurts after I work out. I do feel like I have a "ping pong ball" as you described, below the patellar when I walk. That's scar tissue that has shifted (according to my OS). It looks swollen and has a soft feel to it. There is some rigidity to the knee as well, but the more I bend it (stationary bike, squats, pulling) the looser it feels.

I know my scar tissue is diminishing because it's visual and the "griding" feeling is subsiding. My injured knee still feels "strange" as your does, but considering the severity of our injuries and the healing process, it's just to be expected. I've read on this board that even after 1 year +, the knee still feels foreign. I'm glad my pain is minimal and I have my full ROM back and my quad is responding to my rehab.

Feel free to ask additional questions and keep us posted on your progress.

Be well!!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on March 04, 2005, 04:33:02 AM
How's everyone doing?

Unfortunately, due to other health problems (as posted in the spiritual help/encouragement forum), I have been unable to go to PT for the past week, which really took its toll on my knee. I did get in to see my PT yesterday, and it practically felt like I was starting from square one -- I had lost quite a bit of strength and basically took two steps back in my rehab. Very disappointing.

As it stands, I'm facing throat surgery due to severe tonsilitis/sinus infection. Even worse, all of the antibiotics I had to take for my knee infections ended up making me sick; I actually have fungus (EW!) in my throat because of all the antibiotics I had to take! Because of this complication, I can't get my tonsils out yet...have to wait until my throat calms down a bit.

Problem is though, when I do get my tonsils out, I would have to stop PT for at least a month (I am told). I worry that if a week off could do so much damage, a month could be disastrous to my knee.

So, if possible, I'm asking for your prayers right now -- I could really use them. Hopefully something will work out and I can continue to rehab the knee again...I just cannot deal with yet another knee surgery, not yet. I've been through way too much already, I feel like I'm at a breaking point once again. Something has got to give at this point.

Well...my sorry rant is over now...hope everyone else is doing well.

Best wishes,
Patricia :(
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on March 04, 2005, 11:33:23 AM
Hi Patricia,

Rest assured you are always in my thoughts. To find the courage to cope with all that you have gone through so far, you are a truly amazing person, especially for one so young. There are many people who would not have got this far, and your complications just keep on coming. But they will not beat you, they cannot beat you, you are stronger in mind, if not body, to get through them all!! For what its worth, my good vibes are winging their way over the big pond all the time  :)

Keep us upto date with your progress, good or bad,

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on March 04, 2005, 05:07:36 PM
Patricia - I keep you in my prayers among those who need "healing". You have been through so much and you will come through this latest obstacle. Keep your faith strong. You have a purpose in life and you're not going through all of this for nothing.

God bless!!!!

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on March 09, 2005, 04:00:17 PM
Hi Folks

Having just returned from two weeks break in sunny Gran Canaria, I have caught up with several posting.

Sorry to learn that our good friend Patricia is still having loads of problems, and hope that as time goes on these problems will resolve themselves.

As for myself, walked a great deal on the sands, however the Patella Tendon was sore afterwards - lots of PT and this has helped to reduce the swelling.

Let us hear from some regular older posters


JohnK/Manchester UK :P
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on March 10, 2005, 10:52:11 PM
Hey everyone -

Saw the OS on Monday. I was diappointed with myself because I had significantly weakened due to my throat problems, but my OS said not to be too down on myself because things like this sometimes happens, he completely understands. He also told me that I'm not giving myself enough credit -- all things considered, my progress ain't half bad, he says! He's exstatic that I can actually do a leg lift (which I could not do the first time I saw him in August), he basically said to focus on one thing at a time and eventually all those 'little' things will seem huge. I agree.

Finally, he's going to give me a smaller brace (FINALLY!) to use around the house and at PT (I think it's a Playmaker), but I still have to wear the IROM brace when I'm out of the house or at school. It's better than nothing though.

I love my doctor so much, he's not only an amazing doctor, but an amazing man as well. He's been such a huge help throughout these past few months, I only wish I had seen him from the start instead of the "doctor" who screwed me up in the first place.

In terms of PT, my therapist has been a bit considered because I have been having difficulty keeping the leg straight during a SLR, so she decided to take all weights off (for each direction) and to focus on keeping the leg straight. Again, it's a be disappointing, but I understand where she's coming from and it's more important that I can keep my leg straight before gaining strength.

Anyways, hope everyone else is doing well...I'm thinking of each and every one of you! Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers, it really means a lot. My throat is still giving me a lot of problems, unfortunately. I go back to the doctor for my throat in a few weeks, we'll take it from there (I'm really hoping I don't need *that* surgery anytime soon...I'm at least hoping to put it off until Summer.)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on March 11, 2005, 06:41:50 PM
Hi all...
Just a quick update from denmark...knee is really good..pt 2-3 times a week..started to run a little bit..quad is actually showing up now and then( ;D)..
My pt says that i will be back playing soccer in may..
Everybody stay strong and keep your head up..
Sonshyne ;)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Monteville on March 14, 2005, 09:15:23 PM
Hello all.  Just a quick update from this end.  My rehab continues to go fairly well.  I haven't been able to PT for a bit due to my travel schedule.  I got to visit "sunny" London for the first time last week to coach an international school in a basketball tournament.  I'm not certain how you all can afford to eat in that country....quite expensive :).  The knee did fairly well on the trip to England and then to the Washington D.C. four days later.  I was thrilled United upgraded me without even asking.  I got to keep the leg straight!!!  I can't say that often since I'm 6'5" and despise seats on airplanes. 

Anyway, I just came from the hotel gym where I road the stationary bike and did my little PT exercises.  I have to say, once you are able to get on the bike things progress rather quickly.  My therapist told me to pedal at 100-110 RPM on a low setting to "lubricate" the knee versus trying to strengthen the knee/quad on a higher setting.  Works like a charm.  Much less swelling and my ROM seems to be quickly increasing.  I'd say I might be up to 130 degrees today prior to the ride.  My last PT appointment a week ago was 121 degrees.  The only new thing I am experiencing is a minor "click" in the knee at times at the top of the patella around the femur when I go from a bent (i.e., 90 degrees) to straight position.  My guess is that my quad is getting stronger and the patella is being pulled up a bit higher while the patellar tendon remains a bit rigid.  The tracking of the patella over the head of the femur probably is not as loose as it could be therfore resulting in the click.  Just my opinion.  I'll talk to the physical therapist on the 18th to see if this makes any sense. 

Hope everyone else is progressing well.  Best wishes to Patricia with the throat situation.  Hope all works out well in that area. 

Regards,
Marshall   
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on March 15, 2005, 07:47:04 PM
Hey all -

Finally just read the last few weeks of posts, Patricia, I'm so sorry to hear about your continued setbacks.  Here's hoping spring is kinder to you and you can focus on getting better.   :)

As for me, I took a vacation the first week of March visiting friends who live in the BVIs.  It was a great break from the snow and ice of Boston and gave me alot of opportunity to make progress on my knee.  Including finally being able to do straight leg raises.  I often still need assistance on the first SLR (apparently I am a classic example of 'lag') but I no longer have to wear my brace! 

Tomorrow I go in for my follow up surgery to remove the wire...  not looking fwd to that but it's progress.

Happy St. Patricks Day!

liz

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Joe_R on March 16, 2005, 02:55:08 PM
Well, I made it to week 9, and have good progress to report!

The doctor took me out of my brace since I had 100 degrees of flexibility and didn't have a limp walking without it.

I also started with a new therapist this week, what a world of difference.  She works closely with me, and is much more aggressive.  I started on the bike, and was able to do a full rotation going backwards by the end, and got up to 110 degrees.  Going up stairs is no problem, but down isn't happening yet.  I also started squats yesterday, just with a broomstick.  It will be a while before I start adding weight, but I'm happy to be doing even bodyweight squats.

Glad to see that others are also making progress.

Joe
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on March 16, 2005, 09:55:35 PM
Joe, Lizard, Sonshyne and Marshall!!!

Good to here progress reports. My personal program is working quite well. I'm 4 mos post op and have very few restrictions. I just can't lift heavy weights with my legs and that's not an issue because I never did that. I'm running a bit now. I have full ROM, zero pain and swelling has really gone down. Quad is still developing the muscle mass. I started taking Glucosamine Chondroitin every day and that has enhanced my knee's flexibility. I, too had "clicking" and that has subsided. I was told by my OS that it's scar tissue obstruction and it will go away. I'm so relieved to be getting back to "normal".

Patricia - As always, I wish you well and hope you are doing better!

Take care!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on March 17, 2005, 12:19:20 AM
Glad to hear everyone is progressing very well. Makes me happy to know at least you guys and gals are able to move forward with your rehabs, there's still hope for me yet, eh?

Well, I'm going to talk with my OS about my left knee (my "good knee") next visit because at this point it's just killing me. I had a lengthy discussion with my PT about it, she did all those fun tests and such and said I definitely have some severe arthritis in the knee, my major problem being my patellar tendon. I asked her if she thinks there's possibility of rupturing my other patellar tendon, and she told me I was, unfortunately, definitely at risk -- but she didn't go into specifics as to what that risk was (which I can completely understand), but the risk is there, according to her. Oh well. She also told me something else (some sort of name of what could possibly be going on in the knee...something to do with the tendon and arthritis, forget the name offhand). She's going to talk to my OS as well.

This is crazy...20 years old and I could very well have severe arthritis already in my GOOD KNEE no less? UGH. This is the type stuff that makes me want to curl up into a ball and never leave my bed. *sigh*

Well, news isn't all that dreadful though, at least I'm making some progress with the right knee. After my latest setback it seems like I've been able to increase the weights back to where they were before I missed that week of PT, and I'm also doing the Russian Stim at home like crazy. Hopefully I'll be able to start making some real progress though instead of making up the ground I had lost previously. We'll see...one day at a time, eh?

Anyways, like I mentioned earlier, I'm so happy to hear you all are doing so wonderfully with your rehabs. I continue to think about you all each day, and I pray that soon we can all get back to living normal, active everyday lives. :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on March 17, 2005, 06:42:54 PM
Patricia - Do you have tendenitis in your right knee? I had that in my right knee which caused my tendon to rupture upon a sudden blow to it while I played basketball. Pre-injury, I had a nagging, shooting pain in the tendon area below the patellar when it was bent at 90 degs. Only extending it provided relief. I still have some minor pain occassionally, but it's more arthritis now. It's something I have to live with.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on March 17, 2005, 06:54:55 PM
smartguy -

I wish I knew. My PT said it was very likely that I had severe tendonitis in my right knee before my ex-OS ruptured it, but unfortunately we'd never be able to know for sure. I tried asking my OS about it, but he didn't really want to get into specifics about it, which I understand. But the more I think of it, the more it makes sense..I always complained of a specific pain below the kneecap (where the tendon is), yet my ex-OS never ONCE said I could have tendonitis. He kept on assuring me at the time that I had a meniscal tear and then afterwards when I STILL have that very specific pain, told me that there was nothing "structurely wrong with my knee" and that I was "making up the pain." Ugh.

My PT is convinced I have tendonitis in the left knee though, but throwing in the arthritis part concerns me. Once I talk to the doctor, I'll be able to find out more about the situation...hopefully it's not as bad as it sounds, but I am definitely worried right now. I'd like to have an MRI on my left knee, actually, not only for that but also to see what's going on with that knee as well. Last summer I was told I had a probable torn meniscus in my left knee, so I'm wondering what's up with that as well (as there still is the possibility that some of my pain in the left knee *could* be due to that...who knows though!)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on March 24, 2005, 04:04:23 AM
Yup, so I'm headed back to the OR yet again...I tell ya, these doctors just can't get enough of operating on me, eh?

This time though, it actually has nothing to do with the knee, rather, I have to get my tonsils and adenoids removed. I've been dealing with my throat since December, but only recently have been focusing more of my attention on it (hey, one medical crisis at a time!). I actually had to go to the ER on Sunday because of my throat, it had been bleeding badly and was killing me but I was just sent home saying I merely had 'strep.' Gee, thanks ER doctor...

I did see an ENT doc a few weeks ago who said I had a fungal infection (ew!) in my throat due to all the antibiotics I had to take for my knee, but apparently he was wrong too. The ENT doc I saw today (who ironically enough IS linked to my OS, apparently my OS operated on this doctor's knee a few years back and they actually operate in rooms next to each other at the hospital lol) was a great guy, I have a lot of confidence in him, so that's really good.

He basically said my tonsils were "very diseased" and if I kept them, they'd just get worse and worse as I aged. Apparently I have holes in my tonsils and had them my whole life, but they're getting bigger as I age. Lovely. Soo, I keep on getting bacteria and such caught in my tonsils, causing all sorts of infections to occur. In short, I have chronic tonsilitis and enlarged adenoids. I also have ulcers on my tonsils (WTF?!). Ouch.

So my surgery is scheduled for May 17th (I'd have it sooner, but I have to take two weeks off from classes, which is not possible right now...so I'm waiting until the semester is over). It's going to suck for my knee, though, because I'm going to have to miss at least two weeks of rehab. Argh. Hopefully I don't lose too much strength in the knee, so I'm going to have to work really hard in the meantime...doesn't help that the knee is still very weak to begin wtih, but I'm def. going to try.

In knee news, I am still trying to regain everything I've lost over the past few weeks in dealing with my throat, and it's been no easy task but I'm getting there. As I posted previously, my left knee (good knee) has really been bugging me, but I'll just take care of that later I guess. I also have to talk to my OS about getting a better brace because the new one he got me last week isn't hacking it. Until then, PT told me to wear the IROM brace full-time (oh how I love THAT! ::) ). Ahh well. Anyways, hope everyone else is doing well and I'm thinking of each and every one of you! :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on March 24, 2005, 04:12:08 AM
Hi Patricia

We all feel for you - one consolation is that you will get plenty of ice cream to eat for the first few days after the tonsil operation.

Keep your chin up

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on March 24, 2005, 07:23:21 PM
My surgery to remove the wire went very smoothly, way simpler and shorter than the first surgery.  Since I was pretty sick from the anasthesia or pain meds last go around, they gave me a motion sickness patch behind my ear this time.  Worked like a charm, didn't get sick but ever since removing it I have had headaches, felt off and my eyes have been dilated.  I spoke with a nurse practioner last night who said this can be a side effect from the patch.  Told me to take tylenol, protect my eyes by wearing sun glasses, drink lots and lots of water(Constantly hobbling to the bathroom is loads of fun!)  and call my doctor in AM.  Which I did but haven't gotten a call back yet.  Has this happened to anyone else?  Any idea how long it might last?  Or any suggestions on how to speed up the recovery?  It's been a week already and I would have to say I would rather have puked for one day post surgery than have the headaches I've had for the last 5-6 days.  Its really odd.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on March 25, 2005, 12:14:39 PM
Hi Liz,  glad to hear that the Wire Removal went ok.  The reaction to the Motion Sickness patch seems a little strange though - are you feeling better yet??   How big was the incision?  does your knee feel any different?   

I've had a tough week courtesy of the NHS - and am feeling thoroughly fed up.   I've been measured for my Donjoy and am awaiting delivery before I can start physio.

My Surgeon said that I was allowed to take the cast off and attempt to bend my leg,  which I did try this morning.  And was thoroughly and utterly demoralised.   I thought that I would be able to bend it more than I can - all I could manage was about 2 cm of movement before it started to hurt.   And boy! did it hurt - seemed to feel as bad as the day that I fell.   *deep sigh

but at least I managed to have a 'sponge bath' and shave my leg!  ;D

and I've managed to get back to work occasionally!

Patricia and everyone else - hope you are all surviving.  Sorry to hear about the Tonsil op, Patricia, but as John says, maybe icecream will make things a little better  :D

Take care everyone, and enjoy Easter, 
Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on March 31, 2005, 02:07:40 AM
Well everyone, I saw the doc on Tuesday and I'm getting another new brace because the one he gave me to use (when I'm not using the dreaded IROM brace) is just not working whatsoever. He prescribed a DonJoy wraparound Playmaker with a patella donut -- says the donut is key because it should help with the instability in the patella/tendon. I hope this one works out this time, because if it doesn't then I'm going to need a custom brace, something I'd rather not have to get (especially due to cost, the Playmaker alone costs $300!)

The unfortunate part about the Playmaker is that it is nearly as large as the IROM brace, but that's just something I'll have to deal with. No tight jeans for this girl for a looong time...then again, I haven't been able to wear jeans since before my reconstruction in August, so that's nothing new I guess. :P

The pain is still an annoyance and I'm still on a combo of percocet/ultracet (only take the percs for PT, though), hopefully the pain will finally start to die down soon but the PT and the doc told me not to get my hopes up; I may just have to deal with pain for the rest of my life. Arr. I'm still working hard at PT though, making sure I can gain as much strength (and *still* make up for lost ground due to my ongoing throat problems) before my next surgery (tonsil/adenoid removal) in May. I know May 17th seems far away, but it'll be here before I know it, eh? :( I'm not nervous by any means, although I'm sure the nerves will set in a few days before the surgery, but it's just an annoyance more than anything. I need to be focusing on my knee here, but things always seem to pop up and set me back. Ugh. It's an unfortunte trend for me, but I guess it's something else I just have to deal with, heh. I told my OS about the surgery and he said to definitely take it easy for at least the first two-to-three weeks after the surgery because I don't want to aggrivate the incisions and cause bleeding, which would put me right back in the operating room for another surgery. Better safe than sorry. I just hate all these setbacks, but I definitely will need to be patient, otherwise I could go through some nasty and potentially serious complications.

How is everyone else doing? Usually this thread is one of the most active on the board, so it's a bit surprising to see days go by between posts -- I'm hoping that's a good thing though! No news is good news, right? ;)

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on March 31, 2005, 08:41:56 PM
Hey Patricia!

Thanks for the latest update! Continue to be as positive and upbeat as possible. I know that's not easy considering your journey, but progress begins in the mind. You have to think "long-term" with this. I won't attempt to compare my situation to yours because I had no complications (so far). I'm 4 months and two weeks since my repair. I'm still working on my quad and breaking up the scar tissue. I do my own therapy 3x a week at a gym. My knee is getting stronger each day. I rarely have any pain or discomfort. I'm months away from forgetting I had the injury, but I won't complain a bit.

Do you have a boyfriend to share this experience with..... ???
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on April 01, 2005, 11:28:42 AM
Hi everyone, hope you are all relatively OK

I've just had a phone call from the Hospital to tell me that my Knee Brace has arrived.   They want me in on Monday to have the brace fitted, and start Physio!  I'm kinda glad, but scared!!  :'(

Hope you all have good weekend

S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on April 02, 2005, 05:48:31 PM
Is my Luck starting to change?????

I went to the pub with mates last night - got comfy with my leg on a chair etc.    Then more mates arrived, so I moved my leg off the chair to make some more space,  just as a very drunk guy fell over on to me and my chair,  he crashed down with his full weight, right where my knee had been just 2 second before!!    I'm still shakey thinking about what he could have done to me!

Perhaps my spate of bad luck is starting to change??

S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on April 12, 2005, 06:44:01 PM
Hi guys, quite a long time since I posted on here. I'm now 15 months post op. Will start physio again at the end of this month. Finally starting to see some definition come back to my quads,but still feels very weak with far too much hyper-extension. Aiming to try to start playing Field Hockey again in September, but at the moment that feels a long way off. :(
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on April 12, 2005, 07:23:11 PM
Hi Rosbif


Welcome back to the RPT message board - as a matter of interest what ROM have you reached?

Has your physio ever seen a patient who had a RPT?


Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on April 13, 2005, 11:02:05 AM
Could someone please give me some Advice?   

I've now got my lovely Donjoy Knee Brace, and have started Physio (very gentle knee slides etc)

but .........   I know that this is probably a really silly question, and I should know the answer ......

Should I wear the Knee Brace in bed?     I haven't been wearing it because it's too uncomfortable, 
but  over the past couple of nights I've hurt my knee quite a lot, just by moving around.

Look forward to hearing from you,

S

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on April 13, 2005, 12:30:52 PM
hi old fellows john and rosbif

i have'nt been around the boards lately either. i was finally released from PT to work out at the gym....so that is what i do 4 days a week in my spare time. treadmill, eliptical...and then weights and machines. i look in and sigh when i look at the yoga class and realize  that my pretzel contortion days are over but ....oh well. sara...i am not really familiar with your case and what a donjoy brace is. is it similar to a dynasplint in applying constant flexion to your knee? if that is what the purpose is you probably are supposed to wear it to bed...i could not tolerate the dynasplint at night...i would wake up and rip the thing off and throw it across the room. if your donjoy is meant more for support then bending your ortho might let you take it off for a certain amount of time...check with him though and if he does want you to wear it at night you might want to try taking a sleeping pill. i spent 3 months in a passive ROM bending machine and i had a hard time sleeping in it....sleeping pills were the only way i could do it.

john, i will be in italy for almost 3 weeks in june...traveling with my niece who is graduating from high school. dave and harrison will stay home on this trip...the drop in the dollar against the euro pulled them out of the trip. might you be in that part of europe during that time? i know you travel a lot so if you and your wife will be in that country in june maybe we can get together. send me a pm.

hope all is well with the old gang!!!


kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on April 13, 2005, 01:34:48 PM
Sarah -

Unless your OS says otherwise, you should wear your brace at all times, including sleeping. I'm assuming you have a TROM or IROM brace (for ROM)? If so, then you should definitely be wearing it to bed, because when you are asleep you tend to move around, and you may jerk the knee or make a sudden move that can really be painful or even cause injury.

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on April 13, 2005, 01:37:03 PM
Hi Sara Jane

Stage one - a brilliant suggestion from my Consultant, sleep with a pillow/cushion between your legs - it keeps you from knocking against the wounded knee and I can assure you that even two years on, I still have my faithful pillow in bed (and my wife does not object!!!)


JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on April 13, 2005, 01:54:51 PM
Hi everyone, thanks for the replies.

John - I have been sleeping with my knee wedged in with 2 pillows, but have still somehow managed to hurt myself twice.  Even prior to this wonderful injury, I was a restless sleeper - so you can imagine what I'm like now!

Patricia - I have a Donjoy 4titude - not the easiest thing to try to sleep in!   :-\    Unfortunately, my OS has communication difficulties, and I forgot to ask him about sleeping in the thing!
   

I think that, in light of what Patricia has said, I shall start trying to sleep with it on and check with my OS when I see him next week.   The pain was a bit too much for me to ignore!   

Will I ever sleep again????  :'(

Hope everyone is as pain-free as possible!

Take care

S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on April 13, 2005, 01:58:06 PM
Thanks Kim,  the Donjoy is mean to stop me bending the knee - so I'm off to the Doctors for a prescription for some sleeping tablets!

S

http://www.djortho.com/products/DonJoy/physdistrep/detail.asp?id=21
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on April 13, 2005, 03:26:09 PM
Hi all,

To follow the trend, it has been ages since I last posted here as well  ;)

I am 10 months post injury. I stopped the physio back in Feb. My efforts to build the strength back up in my quad have been a bit of a roller coaster since I left PT. Various strains and stresses above the knee, mainly on the quad tendon, through exercise, have slowed me down. But the last 2 or 3 exercise sessions have been quite good and comfortable. Stresses at work have also slowed me down, with my job role being offshored to another country  :o ! I just don't have the enthusiasm at the moment. The only good thing is, as I don't drive, I am cycling in and out of work 5 days a week, so that is a good suplement to dedicated evening exercise sessions.

SarahJane, the pillow is a good idea, but like you, by morning, my pillow always got kicked out of the bed. But I was lucky in not having a metal type brace like you, I was straight into a fixed splint, which was quite well padded on the splint areas, so wasn't too bad for sleeping. I do feel for you having that contraption on your leg trying to sleep, the sleeping tablets may be the only way. Either that or ask for a fixed splint to sleep in. My was called a cricket bat splint.

Keep up the good work all.

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on April 13, 2005, 04:43:40 PM
Hi Rosbif


Welcome back to the RPT message board - as a matter of interest what ROM have you reached?

Has your physio ever seen a patient who had a RPT?


Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK

Hi John,
Havn't seen the physio yet. Unfortunately I'm now living back in England and have to rely on the NHS (my student budget doesn't stretch to private). Have had to wait 10 weeks for an appointment! >:( .Slow recovery is probably my own fault coz have been very lazy with doing PT at home. Still have some pain in the knee and it feels weak! Will try to put a lot of work into it after my exams. Hockey has been a big part of my life for 18 years so I'm really missing it.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on April 13, 2005, 04:44:30 PM
Sarah, if the brace is meant for controlled ROM, then I would definitely think you SHOULD be sleeping in the brace. When you sleep, as I mentioned earlier, you will move around, and you will inevitably twist and turn the knee, which can cause a lot of pain and sleepless nights. While uncomfortable at the time, I think your knee will thank you in the long run for wearing the brace. Of course, definitely check with your OS when you can, but for now I would say wear the brace and sleep with a pillow between the knees.

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on April 13, 2005, 09:57:20 PM
Hi All! This board hasn't had this much activity in a while. I'm 5 months(tomorrow) post op. Was released from PT in February. I work out at my job's gym for free 3x a week (stationary bike, leg weights, treadmil, elliptical, etc. I reached full ROM back in late Feb. I never slept in my hinged brace. I slept in my splint from the ER room and used a pillow to protect the knee. I had little discomfort. The splint protected my knee from unconscience movement. I'll start running in May. My quad is responding well. My OS is very pleased with my progress. I sustained a horrific rupture and I'm so glad to be where I am in the recovery.

Take Care!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on April 13, 2005, 11:25:23 PM
Ugh, I'm so jealous of those of you who are progressing so well with your RPTs...I'm still waaay behind and still struggling with a lot of weakness and pain, with a long road ahead of me. *sigh*

At PT today my therapist told me that I'm definitely the most complex and complicated case she's ever encountered. Lovely! heh ...it did make me feel a bit special in some strange way, but at the same time made me feel a bit sad hah.

When my PT measured me for my new brace (custom DonJoy playmaker, which has yet to come in still!), she decided to measure my other quad just to see the comparison. My right leg is more than TWO inches smaller than my left! That's downright scary! I'm still VERY weak, and unfortunately, I'm looking at yet another setback in mid-May when I have my throat surgery because I won't be able to do ANYTHING with the knee for at least two weeks. Ergh!

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy for all of you who are progressing, but I just wish I had some positive news to report for once... *sigh*

Best wishes,
Patricia

ps~ Great to hear from some of the vets of the thread, it's nice to hear how each of you are progressing. I'm thinking of every one of you! :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Monteville on April 14, 2005, 07:25:38 AM
A quick update from sunny and smoggy Egypt.  I figured I better write since I'm ttying to catch up with Smartguy on the recovery  :D.

I am currently within 3 to 5 degrees of full ROM following my December surgery.  The quad is actually firming back up a bit and slight definition is visible.  It is still obviously smaller than the right quad which is probably as big/strong as ever for a skinny-leg guy like me.  I am doing the stationary bike and elliptical each day and started the hip-sled this week with very very light weight.  The only difficulty I still have is going down a flight of stairs.  I haven't tried to run/jog yet, but my PT has had me doing jumping exercises on a PT device to work on balance.  This is scary since I busted the knee jumping in the first place.  No pain experienced with this exercise.  I do still have a minor clicking in the patella when I go from a very bent position to straight.  There is also the issue of the "stuck suture" or "adhesion" below the patella I am trying to figure out.  My OS said he was quite pleased with the progress and told me the basketball court will be calling me again next month.  He did not want to explore the adhesion issue since it was not keeping me from progressing.  It is just slightly bothering me since the skin seems stuck in this tiny area.  This leads to strange pulling sensations when I bend my knee any angle over 90 degrees.

Overall I am quite pleased.  My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all of you throughout your recovery.

Marshall
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on April 15, 2005, 09:28:59 AM
Just want to say a quick Thank you to everyone who replied about my nightly attire (i.e. Donjoy/Nonjoy)

I wore the torturous thing to bed last night, and even though it's not very comfortable - I didn't get any pain!  ;D

Didn't get much sleep either, but I'll get used to it - the difference this morning was absolutely incredible!  No probs getting out of bed etc.

I've been to Physio this morning - and was dunked in a Hydro-Pool!   Great fun   ;D

Hope everyone is OK

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on April 15, 2005, 05:21:20 PM
Marshall - I'm glad to hear of your progress since we had surgery a month apart. I had/have a slight "clicking" as well. OS said it was scar tissue. My knee rarely hurts these days. I do the jumping excercises when I work out too. How much longer will you go to PT? I had enough after 2 months. Too expensive even with insurance. I got over the "stairs" thing quickly. I run up and down carefully now. I think back to when I had to go one foot at a time on each step. That was tough. I've also been taking Glucosamine Chondroitin for joint strength and healing.

Take care all!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Joe_R on April 18, 2005, 03:56:17 AM
I was finally released from the Doc's care and PT April 11th, 13 weeks after surgery.  I hit full ROM at 12 weeks, without any stretching by the therapist...it just came back on its own.

The doctor said that at this point my knee is as solid as the good one, and to go back to all the stuff I like to do.  Of course, my muscles around the knee say otherwise at this point, but they are coming.  I tried squats for the first time since the injury last week, and was able to work up to an easy 95 for 15 reps, so I'm on my way.

Kneeling on hard surfaces is still uncomfortable, but improving all the time.  I'm really surprised at my progress, and the therapist said she's never seen anyone progress so quickly.  Stairs aren't a problem up or down, I can almost bounce along without paying attention now.

Control going down hills is my biggest problem, my knee still wants to lock out when I take a step.  If I concentrate on it, I can walk normally, but it isn't natural yet.  Soon enough though, I can't be upset at the progress so far.

In another month or so I'll give a try at throwing again, and see how I react spinning with a weight in my hand.  It will be a few more months before I try to pick a caber though, that's hard enough for me even when everything is working right.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on April 18, 2005, 08:49:38 AM
Wow Joe,  that sounds like an incredible recovery - well done!   I'm not even going to attempt to keep up with you!  ;)

Don't know if anyone has experienced the following, and can maybe advise me ......

Last night,  for no apparent reason,  I started to get a nasty pain in the skin on the right hand side of my knee.  It's going from the top of the incision across for about 3 inches.   It feels like Bruising, or maybe nerve pain.

It doesn't hurt inside my knee, just on the skin.   And it's so sensitive that I can't even cope with having a sheet or quilt resting on it, and definately no trousers!    I'm back in Hospital tomorrow to have physio and see the OS!

Any idea's?   is this 'normal' - perhaps the nerves healing??????  :-\

take care,

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on April 18, 2005, 09:49:58 AM
Hi Sarah,

Afraid to say, this is normal, I had exactly the same feelings as you. The pain should go away, but it will still be sensitive to the touch for a while yet. Once you get going with Physio, the "normal" feeling will return. However, there is pain, and the is PAIN. If you feel it is getting too much to bear, get back to the hospital, and get some treatment. After such a serious surgury, the nerves around the knee will react, but within limits where something is wrong if the pain is constant.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on April 18, 2005, 11:18:52 AM
Thanks Andy,

I appreciate the reply - and it's exactly as you say .....  the pain has justed started to fade away.   Just feeling slightly 'bruised' now.

Thank goodness for this site - it's such a relief to be able to check about these little things without having to try contacting the Hospital or OS.

Thanks and take care,

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on April 19, 2005, 06:06:42 PM
Hello all! I'm a 'newbie' to this board and I'm somewhat new to bulletin board protocols, so please forgive me! I am a 42 yr old male who just went into 'mid life crisis' mode March 25th (my birthday)....so, of course I sign up for a competitive baseball team here in Colorado so that I can show the "youngsters" a thing or two about how to play the game 'the right way!' Well, I showed them!! Our first game of the season, two weeks ago, I'm running like a maniac around first base and I make this huge jump and slide into second base, with metal cleats. The cleats dug in, and both knees buckled --- I went down like a sack of potatos! My knee caps were displaced almost half way up my thighs and it hurt like the dickens!! Xrays confirmed patella tendon ruptures on both knees, and the next day my OS scheduled me for surgery. Three days after the accident, both knees were surgically repaired. The ruptures were clean, so tendon and patella length were preserved and the OS is optimistic regarding full recovery.

Anyway, now the hard part....the rehab! Yesterday, I was fitted with two Donjoy IROM wrap around knee braces, set at 0. I'm a little under two weeks post op, and I can move both knees and even do leg lifts. I was told that I could weight bear as much as I could tolerate immediately following surgery. Right now, I'm in 'zombie' mode....I can walk around the house...but I use the crutches outside.

I start physio on friday and I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking at two months before I can return to work (I'm a commercial pilot). So, I would really appreciate any suggestions on knee exercises and rehab that would lead to a more speedy recovery! This is a great board, and I will definitely keep everyone posted on my progress thru rehab....I guess the only unusual apect of this is the fact that both knees were injured. I wish everyone here a good and speedy recovery!! Take care ..... and from now on, I'm sticking to golf!!

Dave
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on April 20, 2005, 08:09:33 AM
Hi Dave

Welcome to the "Elite" RPT club - not the best club to be member of.  You are member 36 since December 2002 and to the best of my knowledge, you are only the 3rd person in the whole world to have Ruptured both Tendons together - VERY VERY RARE  :'(

First step is to read all the postings on this board which will give you lots of healthy :) advice and regular posters will keep abreast of your rehab. 

You are going to be ""grounded" for a lot longer than you think - the knee is a very delecate object - cannot stress enough - dont push it.

I have e-mailed you details of several web sites and rehab protocols to give you further initial guidence.

We all wish you a speedy recovery - (depends on the word speedy!!) :)

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on April 20, 2005, 05:22:05 PM
Dave --

Ouch, that sounds like a painful way to rupture your tendons!

While there have been a few cases in this thread at least of quick healers, generally speaking, the healing process can be very slow and frustrating. However, you must remain PATIENT!! Hard work will eventually pay off and you will be back on your feet again one day...but better to take it slow than to push it too far too soon and risk re-injury, eh?

Straight leg raises are probably the best thing you can do for your knees. They may feel impossible to do at first and it's definitely a good idea to have someone help you (active assisted SLRs) at first by guiding your leg up and down, but once your quads start firing again those SLRs will become a bit easier.

Other things that you may want to keep up with are ankle pumps (great for circulation), short arc leg raises (which you probably won't be doing for a little while due to weakness and risk of injuring the tendon), hip abduction (lie on your side and lift your leg), and hamstring stretches. You will start off light at PT because your tendon is very weak and prone to re-rupture right now, but again, with time, you'll be able to progress to using weights and being able to do many of the things you could do pre-injury.

You will also want to keep up with your range of motion. I always say -- focus on the ROM first, worry about the strength later. Muscle will come back with time, but if you don't work on the ROM now then you risk forming scar tissue (arthrofibrosis) and having to face more surgery. Scar tissue is generally a rare thing, but it is possible for the tendon to scar down to the bone, which can lead to weakness or the possibility for re-rupture.

Definitely keep us updated with your progress and best of luck! If you have any questions, definitely post em in here and I'm sure we can help you...unfortunately we're all veterans of ruptures ourselves, but hey, at least we can help ya out eh? :P

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on April 21, 2005, 06:35:28 PM
Thanks for the good words....I looks like this is going to be a loooong journey   :(

Patricia--your advice is well taken! Wow, you have had quite a journey yourself....it's amazing how complex the knee joint can be, and how difficult it is to return to normal. I just want to be able to get back to the point where I can walk around and be active again...nothing fancy...and certainly no more high impact sports for me! I've always been very active, so I will approach the rehab process with the same vigor and energy I've always put into sports. Patience will be key, like you said.

John--thanks again for the information. I guess, short term, I just want to be able to return to work around July---hopefully I will be able to walk up stairs by then! I start rehab tommorow and I will do exactly as prescribed...and really work hard on the home work...not exptecting any miracles, but just want to make progress. It's been two weeks and a day since surgery and I feel a little better every day...

Cheers!

Dave

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on April 22, 2005, 09:47:09 PM
Dave - Welcome! Sorry you are hear... :( But, let's make the best out of a difficult injury. I'm 5 months post op. In did my rupture playing basketball. I'm healing well. I have full ROM and have had very few complications. I had 2 mos of professional PT and do a program on my own now. I've given up competitive sports. It's just not worth the risk of another serious injury. The best advise I can offer is....keep up your regiment, listen to your knees, don't allow the PTs to push you more than you are comfortable, stay positive and think long-term. Take vitamins and sleep with a pillow between your legs.... :)

The folks here are a great resource. This board is fantastic.

Stay well all!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: PAN on April 26, 2005, 05:41:53 PM
Hi everyone ..

I have only just come across this thread and am finding everyone's experiences incredibly interested. I tore my platella tendon playing football earlier this year, unfortunately the consultant I visited noted that I was able to lift my knee (this was incorrect) .. 4 weeks later I went back and was sent to physio .. no scans were done at all (apart from an x-ray). Needless to say a month of physio did me no good at all and just made things worse. I returned to the clinic and scans were carried out revealing a totally torn tendon   :( should I sue ?

Anyway .. I am 5 weeks post op and in plaster. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home full time and am looking forward to having the plaster removed and starting to exercise. You won't believe the relief from reading that others have quads turning to jelly. I have been very worried watching the quad on the injured leg disappear !!

I go back later this week to have the plaster removed .. will keep you posted  8)

Bye for now, PAN
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on April 26, 2005, 06:19:04 PM
PAN -

I'd advise you to read through my posts, as your situation is somewhat similar to mine. My RPT went undiagnosed for up to a year, it took a second opinion to finally see that my tendon was completely ruptured (and could not be saved), I am now suing my ex-OS for negligance and malpractice.

Because patellar tendon ruptures are somewhat infrequent in the orthopedic world, they can be tricky to diagnose sometimes. However, that does not give an OS a free pass at leaving a very serious injury undiagnosed. If your OS went out of his/her way to tell you that there was nothing wrong with your knee, then you may very well have a case for negligance/failure to diagnose. I'm not so sure you would have a case because I am not a lawyer myself, but it never hurts to look into these things. Unfortunately, merely "looking into" something like this can be very pricey. For example, it took $2,500 for my current lawyer to get all of my medical records from hospitals, my ex-OS, my ex-PT and current PT, and my current OS, as well as sending all of those records to his expert medical team to review and evalute. I think that's when you have to question worth -- is it worth over two thousand dollars to you? For me, it was more than worth it because my case was so complicated and severe; unfortunately for me, the negligance of my ex-OS has left me with a permanently damaged knee and the inability to perform routine activities for the rest of my life. Sports (which was a big part of my life) are out of the question, and I'll never be able to run again. I'm also facing a total knee replacement in my 30s-40s (I am 20 years old now). Suffering from depression and great deals of pain during my two year journey, I'd say filing suit is worth it for me. You have to look into a lot of the aspects, and it can be a very tiresome and heart-wrenching experience (especially having to re-live many of the things you may not even want to think about again).

Do you know the long term effects of your doctor's negligance? If you are unable to play football again or are facing some unfortunate consequences due to someone else's error (as I am), then a suit may very well be worth it. It's something only you can determine though.

Anyways, best of luck with your recovery and please keep us updated on everything! We're all rooting for you. Again, I think it would be a great idea for you to catch up on my experience (I have had six surgeries thanks to this entire mess, my patellar tendon reconstruction occuring in AUgust of '04...I too was in a full leg cast for two months and am still in PT, have been going since Feb. of '03. My OS says it will be another year or two until I can say goodbye to PT, which is frustrating, but understandable. Unfortunately I, too, have to pay for someone else's errors and mistakes. Not very fair, is it?)

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on April 26, 2005, 06:51:49 PM
Hi Pan

You are member 37 of this exclusive club since December 2002 - not the best club in the world to be a member of.

I have just been reading your original posts which were posted earlier today - much information can be obtained by reading all the threads on this message board.

Please let me have you e-mail address so that I can send you much more information of your injury and rehab suggestions.

Keep posting

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on April 26, 2005, 08:25:33 PM
Hi and welcome to the newbies - hope you aren't in too much pain.

Can I ask a quick question to Pan and Patricia ......   I don't understand how it took so long to diagnose your Rupture(s)?

What on earth did the OS think was wrong with you?   Could you walk? 

from my experience, my pain was excrutiating - I actually passed out from pain etc..   I cannot imagine how a competent OS could fail to discover what had happened to you.

(sorry to be so nosy)

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on April 26, 2005, 09:17:52 PM
Sarah --

My OS actually was the one who ruptured my tendon and never told me. I knew something was wrong, but no one would listen to me. He even was as far as telling me that the pain was all in my head and called me crazy. He ended up discharging me, saying there was nothing he could do because there was nothing wrong. I didn't get a second opinion earlier because I had so many different doctors (pain management docs, neurologists, PTs, pain management pyschologists) telling me that there was nothing structurely wrong with the knee, so I just eventually gave up and believed that I would never get better. Finally, my pain management doc told me I should get a second opinion after an unsuccessful treatment for RSD, saying that there must be something everyone was missing. And it was just that -- a chronic patellar tendon rupture. All it took was an x-ray to show the patella baja, and then an MRI to show that my tendon was literally wrapped underneath the patella. Because I had been walking on a ruptured tendon for so long, my knee was permanently damaged and the tendon could not be saved either, I had to have reconstruction (with some fun screws and pins as well).

My current OS and my PTs all believe that my ex-OS ruptured the tendon during an MUA WITHOUT a scope. It is very dangerous to do an MUA (manipulation, breaking up scar tissue) without a scope because without going in and breaking up the adhesions first, the risk of breaking bones, tearing ligaments, or rupturing other things (such as tendons) is very high. My OS believed I had severe tendonitis that went undiagnosed, and the tendon had been scarred down to the bone, causing it to rupture during such a forceful activity like an MUA. When my OS performed the reconstruction, he said the tendon was COMPLETELY off the bone, something very rare in patellar tendon ruptures.

In terms of walking, I could not walk very well. I had a very awkward gate and swung my leg like a peg-leg when I walked because of poor ROM. The reason I could still somewhat straighten my leg was because the amount of scar tissue that had formed around the ruptured tendon acted as somewhat of a guard, enabling the knee to still straighten a bit. I could not do leg lifts, however, and was constantly YELLED at by my ex-PT -- she thought I was being lazy, but the truth was, I could not do a SLR due to the rupture.

Don't worry about being nosy, ask anything you want! :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on April 27, 2005, 01:59:59 AM
patricia

i am glad you are finally looking at the long term consequences of what was done to you. it really upset me to read about your situration and your resistance to filing a lawsuit. funny how time changes our minds! you were injured by your surgeon and it has impacted your life greatly. i am glad to see you are finally doing something about it. you have suffered more then anyone should have to. while i also have a strong case, they just passed tort reform in georgia....so it does not look  good for me. what made you change your mind?

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: PAN on April 27, 2005, 03:40:37 PM
Hi everyone ..

And thanks very much for making me feel so welcome. I was unable to walk for sure, there was no way I was able to put any weight on my leg initially and I was simply put in a brace (knee immobilised) and asked to come back a month later .. and then straight to phsyio, two months later and still the inability to raise my leg they finally realised that the torn had ruptured !!

I've forwarded you my email address  John .. your notes would be very welcome.

Your situation sounds aweful Imnotpunk .. I'm so sorry to hear about the extreme negligence. Fortunately I live in the UK and I believe that we have data protection laws which mean that we can access our records at any time. I will find out more if this is the case.

On Friday I go in to have my plater removed .. I'll keep you posted !!

PAN
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on April 27, 2005, 04:05:05 PM
OK I am 5 days post injury. My surgery is scheduled for this Friday. OS told me to expect 12-16 weeks before returning to work. I injured myself playing softball. What can I expect as far as recovery and PT. I would just like to thank everyone that has posted here it has helped alot knowing what I got myself into.

Thanks
Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on April 27, 2005, 04:25:09 PM
Shawn -

Sorry to hear that you ruptured your tendon, but you've found the right place for information and support!

Your surgery will last from 1.5-3 hours, and you will wake up in a considerable amount of pain. I'm not sure if you will wake up in a brace or a plaster (most wear a cast for at least the first few weeks, but others will wake up in a post-op brace locked at zero deg. flexion), but either way you won't be bending that knee for quite some time.

In all likelyhood, you will not begin PT for at least a few weeks. Unfortunately, a patellar tendon repair is unlike other structural repairs (like meniscus, ACL, etc) because if you begin PT to soon, you risk re-injury. The tendon essentially "needs time to rest." Because of this, it can be difficult to regain ROM, but as I have advised pretty much everyone else in this thread, you want to focus on ROM before strength in muscle -- muscle will come back in time, but you face complications when you do not work on the ROM first. You run the risk of forming scar tissue in the joint which can prevent you from bending the knee, and you may have to head back to the OR for another surgery if that happens. So take the advise of a pro -- work on the ROM at PT first. :)

You will, however, lose a considerable amount of muscle in your leg after your surgery. This is NORMAL! Your quad will feel like "jelly" and your leg may look like a stick when it is time to start PT, but it will get better. Patience is KEY! This type of injury and rehab can be a very frustrating, tedious process, but if you remain patient, things will go a lot more smoothly. When you do start PT, you will likely work on straight leg raises first, because that works the tendon pretty nicely. You'll also eventually work your way up to short arc and full arc leg raises, along with hip abductions, VMO strengthening, etc.

Don't let the pain discourage you as well -- unfortunately (I feel like I'm saying tha too much!) this can be a very painful process, so it's important to take any pain medication as your OS instructs and make sure to ice and elevate! You will need to elevate your leg for at least the first 72 hours after the surgery, so make sure you have a few extra pillows around.

It will be difficult to get around for the first few weeks, so you may want to take care of certain affairs now. Some reccommendations I'd like to make are keeping a stool in the bathroom (or something of the like) that you can prop your leg on (as going to the bathroom with a leg locked at zero can be difficult), a chair for your bath or shower (you will not be showering for a while, sponge baths will become your friend), lots of reading and viewing materials close (maybe rent or buy some DVDs), and a friend or family member (or a victim, whichever :P ) that can help you get around, especially driving. If you injured your right leg, you will NOT be driving for a long time, so you'll need to make sure you have someone to help you get around to doctor's appointments, PT, etc.

Other than that, definitely read through this thread, there are quite a few great suggestions made by myself and other posters that you should look into. We all wish you the best of luck! Please keep us updated on your progress! :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on April 27, 2005, 05:13:41 PM
Hi Shawn

Welcome to the " Elite Ruptured Patella Tendon club" - You are member 38 world wide to have registered on this board since December 2002. not the best club to belong to, but you will learn a great deal by reading all the threads on this message board.

Please let me have your e-mail address and I will send you a lot of very good webpages to have a look at which will help you to understand your very rare injury and the rehab process.

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on April 27, 2005, 07:54:24 PM
Shawn,

Welcome! I ruptured BOTH patella tendons playing baseball, so at least you have one good leg to stand on! :) My surgery was exactly three weeks ago, today, and here's where I am:


I've had two visits to PT and one post op follow up with my OS. My recovery is coming along excellent. My ROM in the right knee is at 107 and left is at 115, which is pretty incredible after only three weeks. I was given two Don Joy 'Playmakers'  set at 0 flex (knee braces) for the first two weeks. They are now set at 20. My OS said I could weight bear as tolorated right after surgery, but not to attempt any bending until the post op follow up. Patricia is absolutely right on when it comes to stressing ROM (range of motion) early and often. I was not given a CPM device, but presently I am able to ride a stationary bike. I do the bike now 30 minutes a day.  My PT regimen consists of a bunch of knee slides, leg raises, hip abductors, and quad stimulation---you can do it yourself when the 'novicane' wears off, and the PT has these cool electrodes type things that tighten your quad muscles up in order to promote quad strength, which is really important since the patella tendon connects to the quad. Patricia is also correct about the loss of muscle mass along the quad...I went from frog legs to bird legs!!

I'm still walking around like a zombie around the house and I use the crutches when outdoors (just to have something to lean on when I get tired).....speaking of tired, you will get fatigued much more easily after surgery for a couple of weeks as your body tries to make sense of the trauma it just experienced. The pain meds worked for me for a couple of weeks post op. I've been off of them a few days now. You'll definitely need to ice up and elevate after your PT sessions, and that's where you might consider popping your pain meds...right now the pain is manageable for me.

I was told I could return to work as well after about 12 weeks, and that's what I'm shooting for! Be careful not to do too much, and patience is the key, as was said earlier...I still have my good days and my 'feel sorry for myself' days, but the knees do seem to be getting stronger each day, and yours will too! Good luck!

Dave
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on April 27, 2005, 09:29:53 PM
Hiya all,

A big hello to the newbies on the board. Its a shame you are here, but you have come to the right place  ;D. If you have any questions, just ask, someone here will know  ;)

Just to add my words of wisdom on the recent posts, ROM is important, and muscle is of secondary importance. The only thing I would say is not to concentrate on the bend too much, Sounds strange to say this, but you have to balance the bending with periods of straightening as well. My physio pulled me up on this when I was walking, in that I was concentrating on bending my leg so much, I had forgotton how to walk properly, in that I was not straightening the leg when pushing off the bad leg when walking. I'm not suggesting hours of straight leg, we all had that in our casts/braces  :(  but do mix it up for few minutes every day.

Also, I was off work for 3 months. And getting back on the bicycle for me after 4 months, (I don't drive) was one of the best exercises I can recommend for recovery. It took me quite some time to get my ROM back compared to some on this board, but once I was able to transfer off the stationary bike twice a week at PT, and back onto my own 7 days a week, things got better quickly.

I'm just about A'ok now, 10 months on, and just about to a point where I don't realise I have the injury when walking or using stairs. I can feel it if I push on the bike or run, but that's getting better month on month now.

Keep up the good work all,

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth, UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on April 27, 2005, 10:01:14 PM
Hey all -

It's been awhile since I've been on the board....  basically as I've been returning to more of my pre-injury activities including traveling for work and found myself constantly short on time.  Doing as much as before while walking much slower does in fact take alot more time!!!

I guess compared with the 'lucky' quick healers and 'less lucky' more complications folks on this thread, I fall somewhere in the middle.  It took me 9 1/2 weeks to do straight leg raises on my own, my quad really gave up on me, but now I can do them quite handily and with light ankle weights. 

My biggest news of late is being able to properly bike on a stationary bike and kissing the one crutch I'd still been using goodbye on Friday.  I still walk with quite a limp because I haven't quite taught my knee to bend properly thru the walking motion but I can go much longer distances wtihout pain.   (Used to be about 100 steps, last night I took the bus to Fenway Park to watch my beloved Red Sox and I walked to the park, around the park, and all... feeling it today but still such an improvement on last month when I could not have even sat with my knees well bent for the length of the game let alone do all the walking involved).

I'm in PT every two weeks now and still have quite a list of exercises (about 1 1/2 hours worth) to do daily on my own.  Last visit my physio had me try doing leg presses with light weight.  I could do it but after maybe 5 reps I could feel the tendon popping or sliding... and my physio could feel it when she put her hand on my knee cap so I'm not quite ready for that.  Maybe by next week's meeting, I will be though.

At that point I may need to join a gym to have access to equipment to aid my recovery.  Any thoughts on whether that is really necessary? 

Good luck to everyone with their continued recoveries...

Elizabeth
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on April 27, 2005, 10:08:52 PM
Thank you all for the great advice. I will definitely keep you all updated on my progress since I won't be doing much else for a while. Thanks for the quick responses.




Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on April 27, 2005, 10:17:59 PM
Shawn, noticed you were in Massachusetts.  Where are you having your surgery?  I didn't start PT for 6 weeks but that was longer than usual and not ideal.  Basically followed up with an OS who wasnt familiar with process and was waiting for me to do a SLR before starting me in PT and wasnt realising my quad had stopped working.  My physio is quite good and has experience with the injury, at the Post Office Square Harvard Vanguard office.  I can share her contact info if that is convenient for you and on your insurance.  Best of luck on Friday.  You won't wake up happy, that we can guarantee but will be good to have the surgery behind you.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on April 27, 2005, 11:00:39 PM
I live south of Boston closer to the Rhode Island border. I am having the surgery at Faulkner Hospital. Any info you might have is more than welcome.

Thanks
Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on April 28, 2005, 08:23:55 AM
Hi everyone,   isn't this thread amazing!    I've learnt so much from everyone here!

I had no idea that it was rare to have the Tendon completely ruptured from the bone (which is what happened to me),   I thought that was normal!    :-\     (thanks for the info Patricia, and I really think you need to investigate some form of litigation)

also, I hadn't really thought about straightening my leg,  I was concentrating on the bending  (thanks Andy).

I'm in trouble with my OS at the moment - my knee has been sore because I've been pushing myself a bit too much on the Physio (according to him), so he threatened to put me back in plaster yesterday!  arghghgh     :o

Has anyone else done physio in a Hydro pool?    My PT seems to like the idea, but I'm not so sure!

Hope you are all having a pain free day  (unlike me!  :-\)

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: PAN on April 28, 2005, 09:25:28 AM
For all the new people, I can thoroughly recommend the information which John sends out. Really does give a good picture of the injury and what can be expected.

I was quite interested to see that many people were kept off work for 12 weeks. Tomorrow I have the plaster taken off and am expected back to work next week. I'm beginning to wonder now if this is wise ?

Will let you all know how tomorrow goes.

PAN
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on April 28, 2005, 11:09:17 AM
Hi Pan

The short reply is simple    "IN NO WAY" - you have no comprehensive of your very serious injury - in fact, I would be surprised if you were back at work within 12/16 weeks. Your knee/leg is a vital piece of equipment.  As soon as they take your cast off tomorrow, they will measure your legs.   A good leg has a ROM (Range of Movement) 130/135 deg and your injured leg should be about 35deg.  Then starts the physio, the object is to stenghten the quadriceps and then stretcht - stretch the Tendon until it reaches the first milestone of 90deg ROM - this takeson average up to 16 weeks, the next milestone is to reach 110  deg ROM.

DONT PUSH IT - A ruptured Tendon is a very delicate item and needs to be treated with extreme care.

DONT BE FOOLISH ( and we mean that with a good heart)

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on April 28, 2005, 04:35:43 PM
How soon you can return to work depends greatly on what you do for work and how you get there...  I stayed home three weeks (including 2 days at the hospital).  After that point, I was lucky enough to have a retired father who drove me to and from my office for another 6 weeks or so as I normally would take a  bus, a subway and walk about 20 minutes each way to and from my office.  That being said my job normally requires 40% travel and I didn't travel for work 3 mos.  I also applied for a temporary handicapped parking placard so I could drive myself to work and park there (downtown Boston) once I was able.  You might want to look into this option as for the first few months it makes things like grocery shopping and running errands much more possible.

Shawn - Any chance Dr. Troy is doing your surgery?  He did mine but at the Mount Auburn as he was on call there the day I went in but I know he normallly does his surgeries at Faulkner.  Email me off this site if he is doing your surgery, he has done many RPTs and I'd be happy to share more about my experience. 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on April 28, 2005, 09:58:22 PM
Well saw the anesthesia people today . The surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. My doctor is Webber , lizard . I haven't heard one bad work about him yet so that is a good thing.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on April 28, 2005, 10:16:22 PM
kim --

I don't think any single thing pushed me towards filing suit against my ex-OS, rather, I felt as though I just didn't have the opportunity to do so. I had contacted three or four lawyers with my case, and each rejected me, saying there wasn't enough evidence to file a lawsuit. However, when I was reccommened my current lawyer (who is nationally recognized), I had a good feeling. He was definitely going to be my last shot though; if he said I had no case, I was just going to accept that and move on with my life.

It's not really the money that I'm looking for. Honestly, I want peace of mind. I want to be able to put this behind me now. While I understand that I'll never be able to completely forget about this, as it has drastically changed my life forever, I'd like to think that I can move on a bit. I tend to hold grudges, which unfortunately can make a person quite bitter, and I'll tell you right now -- I've been very bitter over this whole situation.

I know what my doctor did was wrong, and I think he should face the consequences of his wrongdoing. I don't think that he is a bad person, but he did make bad judgment that forever changed the life of a young person. It's not fair that I have to suffer for his mistakes. Literally speaking, he should pay.

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on April 28, 2005, 10:36:59 PM
And now for an update on my progress --

I saw the OS on Monday, he was not pleased with my progress but was not upset with me by any means; unfortunately my progress will be very slow because of the significance of my situation, but I think we're both starting to deal with that a little better now.

He was a bit upset with me, however, because I am overworking the knee. After over two years of little-to-no physical activity, I am starting to become VERY frustrated. I just want to be able to be active again, but it doesn't seem like that's ever going to happen. Anyways, because I have been doing a bit too much lately, I am wearing out my weak knee; I unfortunately sprained my LCL because of this (it's my own fault, I wasn't wearing my brace at the time...I should know better!). At least it's a minor sprain, but it's yet another setback for me. I had to cut out a good chunk of my program at PT -- my PT and my OS do not want to risk the possibility of tearing the LCL, so we're being more cautious than ever (if that's even possible...my doctor has already been extremely cautious with me to begin with!).

Aside from PT, I'm not supposed to really be on the knee for the next few weeks. I guess it helps that I am having my tonsillectomy in two weeks -- then I'll be forced to rest! It's going to stink losing the little bit of muscle I do have, but again, it's nothing new for me, unfortunately.

I guess I'll stop rambling now, but I'll try to give an update on everything as soon as possible. I probably won't be around too much after the surgery (it gives me an excuse to lay in bed for two weeks straight!), but once I'm feeling better I'll be back to my antics again. :)

Hope everyone else is doing well, and I'm always thinking of you guys and gals!

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: PAN on April 29, 2005, 04:18:14 PM
Hi Folks ..

Just back from the hospital and the plaster cast is now off .. finally !! I'm now wearing a splint and still being told to take it easy and no bending of the kneee for a few more weeks .. at least that plaster is off though !!

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Pan
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on April 29, 2005, 04:52:00 PM
Hi Pan,   I remember how wonderful it was to have my cast taken off (a few weeks ago)

it felt absolutely wonderful to feel fresh air on my leg, and to be able to scratch!!   ;D

What sort of splint are you wearing?

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on April 29, 2005, 09:50:39 PM
OK I am 5 days post injury. My surgery is scheduled for this Friday. OS told me to expect 12-16 weeks before returning to work. I injured myself playing softball. What can I expect as far as recovery and PT. I would just like to thank everyone that has posted here it has helped alot knowing what I got myself into.

Thanks
Shawn

Shawn

Welcome to the "Club"! Each individual has his/her own timetable for healing. I'm 5 mos post injury/surgery. I injured my knee playing basketball. It's been a long, painful(physical therapy) process. But, if you stay positive, focused, listen to your OS and PT, you'll be fine. Do as much work(excercise) at home as you can. It helped me tremendously. I've made great progress so far, but I'm months away from resuming any sports activities. I'm more focused on healing fully to remain healthy. Feel free to ask anything here. This board is a great resource. Some additional info on my process/progress:

- Injury on 11/10/2004
- Repair on 11/14/2004
- Cast removed after 3 weeks; fitted with hinged brace set at 15 deg
- Returned to work (was able to drive with some flexion in leg)
- Started PT 3 wks after surgery
- Reached 90 deg ROM 2 wks into PT
- Reached full ROM after 6 wks into PT
- Released from PT after 2 mos
- Working out 3x a wk of personal program (stationary bike, leg weights, treadmill, elliptical)
- Take Glucosomine Chondroitin 3x a day, along with multi vitamin and 1000mg of vit C.

Take Care!



Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on April 29, 2005, 10:05:02 PM
As John stated....take it slow. My rehab was more aggressive because my OS and PT knew I wanted to get back to pre-injury status quickly, but I was very cautious and smart. I endured alot of pain to be where I am now. They stretched my leg until I nearly cried. ROM is so vital with this injury. My quad is still trying to make a comeback, but my ROM is completely back.

Bel well.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on April 29, 2005, 10:12:23 PM
As John stated....

I thought that's what I said. :P

Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on April 30, 2005, 12:13:52 AM
I was put into a removable plaster 2 days after op. This meant I could go on CPM machine immediately. Think that made a big difference in getting back full ROM. Went back to work after 5 weeks even though I had to use underground and bus to get there.
I'm 16 months post-op and still not fully recovered, but think thats because I've been very lazy on PT. Just went to PT again for first time in 8 months, but have been too pre-occupied with revising for Post-grad law exams to do the exercises. Will start properly after my exams. My aim is to play sport competitively in September.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on April 30, 2005, 12:24:17 AM
hey rosbif

so glad to hear one of the old timers is doing well!

kim

i am doing pretty good also!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on April 30, 2005, 01:24:11 PM
OK one day post op. Feeling the pain right about now. I am in an immobilizer for the next 4-6 weeks until I start therapy. First night was tough. I was told that I was given a long acting pain agent around the incision. I do believe it is wearing off right about now cause the pain is increasing. I don't go back to see the OS until the 10th. I have an automatic pain pump inserted into my knee until I take it out tomorrow. Absolutely unbearable pain right after the surgery so they doped me up pretty good with Morphine , Phentynl, and Versed. Took WAY more than I expected to need. Dressing comes off tomorrow when I take the pump out. Any suggestions on better sleep would be welcome. All of a sudden this morning I felt as if someone had put my knee in a vise, just wondering if that was normal. Felt as if someone was repeatedly stabbing me in the center of my knee. OK well I guess I have gone on long enough, just wanted to give an update. Talk with all of you later.


Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on April 30, 2005, 02:03:04 PM
Hi Shawn

Glad you made it to day one after op -   would suggest that place a pillow/cushion between your legs and sleep with a pillow between your legs -

Other than that, keep the leg up on a stool and "Dont" put any weight on your leg.

Keep posting - we are all rooting for you

Best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on April 30, 2005, 08:51:45 PM
Ok can someone tell me if my leg feeling like it is on FIRE!!!!!!!! is normal. I am assuming it is since I dont have a fever or anything but WOW is that unpleasant. If anyone can tell me how long that feeling lasts or any way to help it from feeling that way I will be forever in your debt.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on April 30, 2005, 09:42:10 PM
Hi Shawn

Place some ice cubes in a towel and then place it on your knee - this will cool it down somewhat -

This should do the trick

Best wishes

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: kdhfrank on April 30, 2005, 10:07:34 PM
shawn

even better then the ice packs is an ICE MACHINE! talk to your o/s and get one pronto...should be covered by insurance. my ice machine is made by EMPI but there are other brands as well. they are great because they give you almost 8 hours of controlled chill which helps with pain and decreases inflammation and swelling..and they are very comfortable to sleep in...a bladder wrapped around your knee...connected to a rubbermaid cooler by two long garden like hoses. the cooler is filled with ice and water and there is a motor in the water which feeds cold water around your knee and sucks it back out down the hose about every 1 to 2 minutes. you dont get that awful freezer burn feeling with it either. if you cant get one from your o/s you can buy a used one on ebay.

kim
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on April 30, 2005, 10:16:37 PM
Shawn --

The red-hot feeling in your leg is due to massive amounts of inflammation and swelling in the knee. Your leg has taken quite a beating over the past few days and has responded by filling up with lots of nasty swelling. It can be very painful, so it's a good idea to keep lots of ice on the knee. If you do not have any sort of ice pack (or you were not sent home with one by the hospital), a frozen bag of peas will do the trick. Try to ice the knee in 20-minute-intervals. Ice for 20, break for 20, so on and so forth. Also make sure to take any medications your doctor has prescribed, and if possible, take an anti-inflammatory such as Advil, Aleve, or Motrin. I'd clear it with the doctor before starting such medications though.

Other than that, take it EASY and rest the knee! Make sure to keep it elevated, foot at heart-level. That will also help with the swelling. Another good thing to do is ankle pumps; pull your ankle towards your chest, hold for three seconds, and then push away for another three. This will help with circulation, which may possible decrease the amount of inflammation.

Best of luck!

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 01, 2005, 03:11:50 PM
Ok operation plus 2 WHOLE days now. WOOHOO!!!!! Had to call the Surgeon last night because I was in excruciating pain with a slowly climbing fever. I needed to undress the wound to effectively apply the ice. He also told me to take Aleve. That helped alot. I actually got 3 consecutive hours of sleep last night. Very happy that I found this sight. It really helps to have people that understand the pain. Will keep you updated probably on an hourly basis lol given the fact I have a little free time.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on May 01, 2005, 04:01:16 PM
Hi all..oldschoolers and new ones...
Life is great now..copenhagen is sunny..my knee is almost normal (1st time in 10yrs)..my back spasms,tendonitis,etc etc..are gone..so im actually painfree..LOVELY!!!!!!and im back playing soccer..1st time in 13months (tuesday)..im still lacking quads but they are coming along fine..ive been through hell..but now im back..and im stronger than ever before..so if i can..u can..its just a matter of staying focused,determination,hard work..and...PATIENCE!i would recommend all u guys 2 get a pair of Toeflexers..that helped me alot..it strecthes your joints from the bottom and up...the best of luck 2 all of u..Sonshyne ;D
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: PAN on May 02, 2005, 09:48:38 PM
how strange .. my last post doesn't seem to have worked. Here goes again ..

Sarah .. my splint is made of blue material and has strips of metal down the sides and at the back to prevent bending .. so much more comfortable than plaster !!

Shawn .. I hear you buddy .. take it easy and to nothing to risk your knee .. the post op period is the most crucial. And just think of Sonshyne !!

Sonshyne .. it's so good to hear about your recovery .. even if it is over a year later !! It's really made me realise just how patient I need to be !!

Bye for now everyone, PAN

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 02, 2005, 10:20:18 PM
Well today has been a much better day. The swelling in the ankle and knee is still there but the burning pain is gone. THANK GOD!!!!! Changed the bandage yesterday and it looked much much better than I had anticipated. I am able to move around on the crutches much better today. The pain now is just a dull ache that is constantly there. Sleeping is still a big issue. I am only able to sleep for about an hour at a time. I think the doctor may have hit a nerve or something when he was intubating me, I have numbness in about an inch long section of my lower lip. Feels like I just went to the dentist so I am not sure what to do about that. Again a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been providing me with all this great information. I am on the positive side so far so I am looking to improving every day. Talk to you later. Hope everyone is well.


Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on May 03, 2005, 02:23:58 PM
As John stated....

I thought that's what I said. :P

Patricia :)

Yes, Patricia said it too!... ;D

Hi Patricia! Nice to hear from you again. I hope you're feeling well these days. Take care.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on May 03, 2005, 08:17:40 PM
As John said, ice, ice and more ice.  And try to figure out what pillow use relieves your pain.  For me, I typically had a pillow (or two) under my knee for the first week or so to keep the injured area elevated.  I also put some towels around my injured leg's foot cause the pressure of the blankets on my upright toes drove me mad.  Good luck.  It does get much better in time.   
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 04, 2005, 10:58:12 PM
Hello everyone. Now 5 whole days post op. Took my first shower yesterday(boy was that fun). I have been icing and elevating constantly but still have pretty significant swelling. The right side of my knee is still very numb (not sure if this is normal or not). I dont go to get the staples out until next Tuesday. I am just going to continue with the ice and elevation until then. Hope everyone is doing well, I will talk to everyone soon.


Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 04, 2005, 11:20:41 PM
Shawn --

In terms of the numbness, that is normal. In fact, you may experience this numbness for a few years even (or sometimes permanent, but this is rare) because some nerves have been severed during the surgery. For me, I still have decreased sensation in a large portion of my leg, starting from my knee all the way to midway down my shin. It sucks, but it does get better.

Keep up with the ice and elevation, that swelling should go down eventually. You'll probably notice significant improvement within the next two weeks. It takes time, so be patient. :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Monteville on May 05, 2005, 03:31:09 PM
It has been some time since my last post.  I thought I'd give you all an update.  I got flashbacks listening to Shawn's stories about post-op.  Yikes.  I'm certain Shawn will do great since I sense a good attitude about this whole unfortunate situation.

I'm 5 months post-op and I did my military physical training test today (required twice a year).  Got my 100 situps in during two minutes, 84 push-ups in during another two minutes, and an 8:40 on my 500M swim.  I normally run the darn thing, but due to the knee this was the first time to do the swim.  The point is, us RPT folks can make a comeback.  I'm still riding the bike trying to get the quad back.  It is certainly a slow process as "Smartguy" has said.  Walking downstairs is getting a bit easier but still a bit of a challenge.  I have to concentrate the whole time.  The clicking I experienced is not as bad as before, and the "stuck suture"/"adhesion" thing is still there.  The OS said he could put me under and free it up since he wasn't certain what was causing it.  I told him I'd pass on another surgery for now.  After all, I live in Egypt and am a medical officer in the Navy......Egypt is not my first choice of locations to have surgery.  My last goal for now is to start jogging again.  My form is horrible and I can't quite hold my weight well.  I run on the treadmill for 5 minute intervals while gripping the handle bars things to keep some weight off.  Feels strange. 

All for now.  Keep up the good work and recovery.  Shawn, hang in there....it will get better with time.

Regards,
Marshall
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on May 06, 2005, 09:43:26 PM
It has been some time since my last post.  I thought I'd give you all an update.  I got flashbacks listening to Shawn's stories about post-op.  Yikes.  I'm certain Shawn will do great since I sense a good attitude about this whole unfortunate situation.

I'm 5 months post-op and I did my military physical training test today (required twice a year).  Got my 100 situps in during two minutes, 84 push-ups in during another two minutes, and an 8:40 on my 500M swim.  I normally run the darn thing, but due to the knee this was the first time to do the swim.  The point is, us RPT folks can make a comeback.  I'm still riding the bike trying to get the quad back.  It is certainly a slow process as "Smartguy" has said.  Walking downstairs is getting a bit easier but still a bit of a challenge.  I have to concentrate the whole time.  The clicking I experienced is not as bad as before, and the "stuck suture"/"adhesion" thing is still there.  The OS said he could put me under and free it up since he wasn't certain what was causing it.  I told him I'd pass on another surgery for now.  After all, I live in Egypt and am a medical officer in the Navy......Egypt is not my first choice of locations to have surgery.  My last goal for now is to start jogging again.  My form is horrible and I can't quite hold my weight well.  I run on the treadmill for 5 minute intervals while gripping the handle bars things to keep some weight off.  Feels strange. 

All for now.  Keep up the good work and recovery.  Shawn, hang in there....it will get better with time.

Regards,
Marshall

Hey Marshall!!! Great progress report! You and I have similar recovery schedules. I'm a month ahead (6 mos post surgery). I had the clicking pretty bad, but it has subsided. OS and Therapist said it was scar tissue. I've been doing some light jogging, but it sure feels weird. The confidence is just not completely there. I still approach steps with great caution, but it's returning to "normal" every day.

Shawn - Keep up the good work. As Patricia stated, the swelling will go down slowly. The numbness will to. I still have some numbness on the right side of my repaired knee. If those nerves never return to normal, I accept that. OS said it's temporary.

Take care all!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 07, 2005, 04:32:34 PM
Ok , I made it through my first week. The swelling is down a bit , my ankle is about back to normal. The knee is still blown up but I expect that. The doctor told me i would be in the brace for 4-6 weeks then I would start PT. I need to find out when I can start to bear weight on the leg (with the brace on of course) I can put weight on the leg but I am not sure if I am supposed to or not. I am going on Tuesday to have the staples removed so I guess I will start a list of questions to bring with me. I am pretty sure my wife is going to leave after this. She has to do everything especially since it is my right leg and I cant't drive. On top of that we have a 7 month old boy to take care of. I will definitely be taking her on a vacation when this is over. Hope everyone is doing well and I will give more updates as I progress. Thanks to all .


Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 07, 2005, 07:59:15 PM
Hi Shawn

Well - you are on course to recovery - keep the weight off your leg - let the tendon heal -
you wont be driving for the first 3/4 months and even then the driving seat must be placed right back.

keep posting

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 08, 2005, 12:26:31 AM
Ugh, my knee has really been sore the past couple days. I think it's a blessing in disguise that my throat surgery is merely 10 days away, I'll be able to really rest up (and unfortunately lose what little muscle I do have now), and hopefully the knee will start to feel better. I'm nearly nine months post-op from patellar tendon reconstruction (with screw and pin insertion, hamstring augmentation), I still cannot do a full-arc leg extension and cannot completely do a short-arc leg extension either. I'm only using a one lb. weight with SLRs, three pounds on side leg raises. My PT program changes daily it seems, I have to cut a lot of things out often due to soreness, pain, stiffness, or other ailments (like my most recent injury -- a mild LCL sprain). Granted, I had two more surgeries since the reconstruction, but still, the complications can get frustrating sometimes. My quad is also still bugging me a lot, but I guess a quad rupture will do that to ya, eh? Doc says it's not healed yet, it'll probably take another few months before it really starts to feel better.

I'm happy to hear a lot of you seem to be progressing very well, I'm so jealous! Hopefully a year from now I'll be doing a lot better than I am now...seems like these nine months have been nine years, PLUS the additional year from my three previous surgeries with my ex-OS! UGH!

Things are, however, running smoothly with the lawyer and hopefully we'll be able to get some figures together soon. I'm thinking by the end of the month we'll be able to formally sue the ex-OS' practice. It's unfortunate that I have to sue the entire practice instead of just the doctor, but that's the way these things work, so I just have to go with the flow, eh?

Best of luck to everyone, again, glad to hear you are all doing so well!

Shawn -- hang in there. It gets better, remember! Unfortunately you will not be driving for a long time (I hear ya, I ruptured the tendon in my right leg too), so you will need to rely upon your wife and friends, but within the next three or four months (as John said) you will be able to start driving again. A big part with driving is having sufficient quad control so you can move your foot from pedal to pedal while also being able to "slam" on the brakes if need be. You cannot do such things with a weak quad, nor SHOULD you right now with lack of ROM and risk of re-injury to the tendon. It takes time, but you'll get through it! Hey, if I could get through these past two+ years, you can make it through this! :P

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: PAN on May 08, 2005, 12:36:38 AM
Hi Folks ..

I started my PT on Thursday .. it felt good to start trying to exercise. At this stage we're trying to build quads with no bending yet .. I am unable to straight leg raise at the moment, how far into PT before you guys were able to do this ?

Thanks, Pan
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 08, 2005, 10:51:12 PM
PAN -

Everyone's different. I wish I could give you a specific answer, but seeing as my situation is greatly different than everyone else, I wouldn't be of much help to you. I'd say it was at least six months before I could do a SLR on my own without assistance. I have had multiple complications and surgeries after my patellar tendon reconstruction though. However, I would guess that once you get those quads firing again, it shouldn't be extremely hard. You will need assitance for a while, but do not give up nor should you ignore your obligations of doing SLR's outside of PT. Have someone help lift your leg slowly (even if just guiding your leg up) and then help you slowly lower the leg to the ground. Eventually you'll notice that you'll need less and less help with each SLR. I would imagine that within a month or two you'd be able to do a SLR fairly easy. Good luck!

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on May 09, 2005, 02:16:04 AM
I was told to put as much weight on my bad leg as I could bear from day one.  I'm not sure if that is different than the norm since I had a metal implant surrounding my tendon which was supporting my weight but probably not as the brace protects the tendon.  In fact, in my early follow up visits, I was usually chastised for not putting enough of my weight on the bad leg rather than the opposite! 

Shawn, I don't envy your wife tending to you and a seven month old but perhaps you can remind her how fortunate it is that you got hurt outside of the snow shoveling season.  My family and neighbors all pitched in many an hour this winter shoveling me out from storm after storm after storm...As for driving, I hurt my left leg and drive an automatic so that made things easier for me.  Still I think it was about 5 weeks before I could drive myself.  Apply for a temp handicapped placard to make grocery shopping and the like easier.

As for my progress, at PT on Thursday I hit 105 degrees in all directions with greatly increased quad strength.  My physio hadn't done measurements in 4 weeks but I think I'd been at 85 at that point.  Have also added more weight to many of my exercises and was told I should be ready to join a gym, drop many of the return to status exercises and add more strength building activities after my next physio visit in 4 weeks.   ;D

Good luck to everyone.  Keep up the hardwork.

Elizabeth

 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on May 09, 2005, 10:45:20 PM
Hello all....

Just a quick update on my status....

last monday, I had a follow up with my OS and he noted the following:

My ROM in both knees are over 120 and due to aggressive PT I can do SLR's and the stationary bike. The problem, however, is that the tendons have not healed yet, and so he told the physio to back off a little! He said regardless of how 'gung ho' I am, the biology of the healing process is what's holding me back right now! I was actually told to cut back on physio sessions until next month! My OS does not feel that complete healing of the tendons cannot occur before 12 weeks (three months!).....DARN!!

I was advised to take it easy...slow down a bit and not do too much, because the last thing I need is a re-rupture of either tendon! I know everyone's a little different....I am still ok to do the stationary bike and quad exercises (because your quads can never be too strong!), but the tendons MUST be allowed to heal.  I am walking with a more normal gait --- no more zombie walk! and my OS allowed me to set my knee braces to 60 degrees of flexion for my efforts...although he won't let me go without them for at least another two months! Well, that's it from my end....

Shawn, the knee gets stronger EVERY day, so you will get out of this! I'm still trying to figure out how to repay my wife too!! She's been great....my son's 12 and is actually getting good at doing house work...It's a shame it took me getting both knees banged up for him to learn how to do chores around the house!! I continue to wish everyone the best and speedy recovery!!

Dave
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on May 10, 2005, 11:32:03 AM
Having just read Woundedknees email I'm seriously begining to wonder if I have the same Injury as you guys!  :'(

I think I may go back and double check!

After my minor glitch in physio, I'm now back up to 50 degrees.   I couldn't even imagine attempting a stationary bike etc.

I'm going to ask for a change of Consultant next week - one of the nurses confided that the one I have doesn't have a lot of experience with knee's!  apparently he's an 'elbow' man!    ;D  Definately not good enough for me!

S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 10, 2005, 11:41:29 AM
Hi SarahJane

I suspect that you are facing a common problem - i.e. that A Ruptured Patella Tendon is such a rare injury, that the majority of Orthopaedic surgeons have no experience of this injury.

Did I send you a list of useful web sites, in order that you fully understand the injury and the rehab process??

If not, please let me have an e-mail and I will resend them to you.

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK

[email protected]

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Joe_R on May 10, 2005, 11:54:31 AM
It has been some time since my last post.  I thought I'd give you all an update.  I got flashbacks listening to Shawn's stories about post-op.  Yikes.  I'm certain Shawn will do great since I sense a good attitude about this whole unfortunate situation.

I'm 5 months post-op and I did my military physical training test today (required twice a year).  Got my 100 situps in during two minutes, 84 push-ups in during another two minutes, and an 8:40 on my 500M swim.  I normally run the darn thing, but due to the knee this was the first time to do the swim.  The point is, us RPT folks can make a comeback.  I'm still riding the bike trying to get the quad back.  It is certainly a slow process as "Smartguy" has said.  Walking downstairs is getting a bit easier but still a bit of a challenge.  I have to concentrate the whole time.  The clicking I experienced is not as bad as before, and the "stuck suture"/"adhesion" thing is still there.  The OS said he could put me under and free it up since he wasn't certain what was causing it.  I told him I'd pass on another surgery for now.  After all, I live in Egypt and am a medical officer in the Navy......Egypt is not my first choice of locations to have surgery.  My last goal for now is to start jogging again.  My form is horrible and I can't quite hold my weight well.  I run on the treadmill for 5 minute intervals while gripping the handle bars things to keep some weight off.  Feels strange. 

All for now.  Keep up the good work and recovery.  Shawn, hang in there....it will get better with time.

Regards,
Marshall

Marshall,

Have you tried squatting?  I am 4 months post-op and have been squatting with weights for about a month now.  I keep it light, and do 5 sets of 15 reps.  The last 2 weeks I have also been doing front squats, just with the bar.  It was all painful at first, especially the front squats, but the muscles around the knee are responding extremely well.  No pain or unsteadiness at all on stairs now, and a lot of times I even forget it all happened.  And my legs are almost back to equal size.

Running is still awkward for me too, but I'm hoping that comes back quickly as well.  I switched to the elliptical machine for a while because that doesn't hurt as much. 

Joe
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on May 10, 2005, 05:40:02 PM
Hi John, yes, thank you - you did send me the information about physio etc.   But I'm amazed at how well  some of the others seem to be doing compared with me!    :'(

I'm 3 months post-op and still hardly able to do anything ...   But, I guess that things are better than they were 1 month ago, so I shouldn't be demoralised.

I shall review the literature and try to keep smiling!   ;)

S

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on May 10, 2005, 09:07:17 PM

Hi SarahJane,    I don't want to bum you out! :-[  This injury is so unique, and the protocols for recovery and rehab seem to vary so widely I'm not even sure if my physio really understands my injury. As john mentioned, there is quite a bit of information out there, and I have learned ALOT about my particular situation. As you might recall, I ruptured both patella tendons....so, both knees....and it was due to an athletic truama in which both tendons were ruptured near the tibula. My OS said the ruptures were 'clean' and almost identical. The result was the patella-femoral alignment and patella length was re-established with no difficulty during surgery. My OS used a suture method, and since I'm not a surgeon I can't really provide much more detail other than that the procedure was 'very staight forward'---in his words.

..within a few days after surgery, I started working gentle ROM exercises, and I continued working out upper body in my gym at home. I was told I could weight bear as tolerated on my knees while on the crutches. I was not put in a cast, just an immobilizer. At the two week point, they gave me these Donjoy knee braces....and started me in physio. The physio had me doing assisted heal slides and all kinds of quad flexes early on....they really emphasized ROM and quad strength almost from the get go. I started the stationary bike about a week and half ago....my bike has handle bars that can move the legs, so that made it almost like a CPM machine at first...now I can push. I do 30 minutes a day. As I mentioned in my previous post, this is all great, but the healing process is not complete....the tendons themselves are still 'soft'....and can easily be re-ruptured during a fall...and that's my greatest concern right now. I think the fact that both my knees were injured gave me increased incentive to go 'hard core' with my rehab....because the alternative is not being able to walk! ;) Anyway...I hope that helps explain my situation. No need to be demoralised....I am a strong believer will power and positive thinking....you WILL get better!! Take care,

Dave
























 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on May 10, 2005, 10:40:12 PM
this is a silly question .... and probably the last one that I shall ask  (I hope)  ;D

when you say ruptured do you mean ..... the tendon was completely broken at a particular place, 
and/or completely off the bone

could someone please clarify ruptured for me?   

My OS says 'avulsed' - which I assumed was the same as ruptured?   am I right/wrong?

S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 10, 2005, 10:43:19 PM
Ruptured is defined as the process of breaking open or bursting. So, technically, it should be used in the context of "broken in half" or "torn." Sarah, I did suffer from a rupture that was completely off the bone, however, which as I mentioned earlier is more of a rare instance in patellar tendon ruptures.

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on May 10, 2005, 10:47:42 PM
Thanks for the quick reply Patricia   ;)

I was just kind of wondering how other people are managing to do much, when I can hardly walk/move etc.

My tendon came completely off the bone (taking a chunk with it) - so maybe that accounts for the difference?

S

(guess I'm feeling a little frustrated and fed-up with things at the moment ..... Sorry everyone!)  :'(
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 10, 2005, 10:55:44 PM
Sarah -

NO need to apologize! Unfortunately progress is different for everyone, and sometimes some of us have that crappy luck of getting stuck with very slow healing bodies. I had my patellar tendon reconstruction (my tendon could not be salvaged) in August and I STILL can hardly do a SLR. I cannot even walk correctly still! I'm not saying that you will endure the same problems as I have and still do have, but it is not all that uncommon for the recovery to be very long and drawn out. Do not feel as though you aren't doing enough either, because there really is only so much you can do with such a devastating injury like a patellar tendon rupture. Take it from me, a person who has had waaay too much experience in this field. I'd look at people who had their ACLs done or even TKRs and see how far they progressed within months while it took me three times longer just to do the easiest, most simple task. I used to get VERY frustrated!

What I can tell you, though, is to keep up with your PT and home-PT program. Things will eventually start to get better with time...hey, things might even be getting better right now but you just may not notice it. I think you'll learn to embrace the little things by going through an injury like this. Take it one day at a time if you have to...heck, even take it an HOUR at a time! Those hours and days will really start to pile up after awhile and before you know it, a few months will have passed and you'll be well on the way to a nice recovery!

Keep your chin up, Sarah. I'm rooting for you. Coming from another person who suffered a complete rupture off the bone (granted, mine was chronic and done to me by another doctor during surgery), I can empathize with you.

Best wishes,
Patricia :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on May 10, 2005, 11:11:27 PM
Thank you Patricia ....  as usual everything you say is right (and that means more when it comes from someone who's experienced it all!!  the quiet calm voice of experience)

I'm probably not the quickest healer (and having Vitamin Deficiencies won't help). 

I need to get some perspective on this ...  and a good nights sleep would probably help!  ::)  when was the last time any of us had one of those, I wonder?!

as I'm on UK time, I'm going off to bed to nurse my wounded knee!   :o   and will start again in the morning  (with the heel slides, quad contractions etc.) 

hope everyone has a pain free night!

take care

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 11, 2005, 12:34:10 AM
Ok 10 days post op . I went to see OS today and had staples removed. His remark was the knee looks perfect so far. Also added that I shredded my tendon not just ruptured it. He gave me the quad contraction exercise to start doing. I have to go back in two weeks to see him then I start PT. The plan is twice a week for a month then three days for the remainder. He is very optomistic that I should be back at work in 12-16 weeks. I will start at 60 degrees and go from there. OK that's my update for now. Take care everyone.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on May 11, 2005, 01:33:13 AM
....never any silly questions here!! :)  ....both of my tendons were ruptured, meaning they were completely snapped in two. In fact, that's how my OS described it: "cleanly snapped." ....not quite at the bone, but close. The actual tear, if you will, was very straight across the tendon, so the OS had very little tissue, or tendon to cut off in order to sew them back together....

I'm also a member of the  'sleepless night' club....I   have not had a good night sleep since the incident....

don't let this stuff get you down...keep working and re-habbing, and in time you will recover! :)

Cheers,

Dave
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 11, 2005, 09:23:57 AM
Hi Folks

What is the correct description of a Ruptured Patella Tendon?

If you care to look at

 www.arthroscopy.com/patendrep.htm

there is a good graphic description of the injury - picture 4 "Treatment"

As my Consultant stated, a normal ROM is approx 130/135dg, but a repaired Tendon will do well if it reaches 120deg ROM i.e. a 20% shortage is regarded par for the course.   He also stated that whatever ROM is reached at 12 months, is the maximum that one is likley to reach.

Best wishes to all RPT`s.......

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 12, 2005, 01:59:23 PM
Hi all , just checking in . Haven't seen too many posts in the last couple of days. Hope everyone is doing well and are pain free.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on May 13, 2005, 04:44:42 PM
Hi everyone, hope you are all OK.

I'm wondering if anyone one else has experienced this ....

When I do my heel slides etc. I'm getting pain in my Shin -  nowhere near my knee, it's about half way down the shin.   Feels tight and as if something is likely to tear.

Any idea's what it could be?    I mentioned it to my Physio a couple of days ago, but she didn't seem concerned, but it's so painful now that it's making me reluctant to do the heel slides   :-\

Hope to hear from someone about this ...

Take Care

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on May 13, 2005, 05:12:15 PM
Hey Sarah,

I experienced the same.  Slightly less than halfway down my shin, slightly off center towards the inside of the leg.  Happened early on getting up and down, sometimes on heel slides, later on straight leg raises when I could first do them...  when I would slip, that's where the pain often centered.  It was weird.  I wish I remembered exactly what my physio said but something along the lines of it most likely just being transfered pain from the knee as opposed to a problem there.  I think she had me lay off it when it was really bad, I iced there as well as my knee (despite the fact that if it was really just transfered pain, that wouldn't really make any difference except perhaps mentally) and eventually it just stopped.  Hopefully that's all you're experiencing as well and it will go away on its own.  Good luck!

Elizabeth
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 13, 2005, 05:48:10 PM
Yup, that's exactly what it is, Elizabeth. There are nerves that run down your leg, and sometimes you can feel what should be pain in your knee in various different places. It can be quite annoying, but thankfully IS normal.

Best of luck Sarah and keep up the good work! :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on May 13, 2005, 06:24:25 PM
Thanks ladies, for your quick replies and explanation ....

it sounds exactly what I'm experiencing - and there I was thinking how great things were because I wasn't getting any pain in my knee  ;D

I shall persevere ....   I'm desperate to get back into the Driving seat of my Car!!!

Take Care everyone

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 13, 2005, 06:26:50 PM
Oh and BTW Elizabeth, I believe the term you're looking for is "referred pain," not "transferred pain." :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 13, 2005, 07:00:03 PM
I am glad I'm reading this now because I suppose it saves me from asking the question in a few weeks when I am at that point. PT begins on June 3rd so prepare yourselves for many more questions.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 15, 2005, 01:41:36 AM
Well, it's almost been a week since my last PT appointment...have to take a couple weeks off from rehab because of my upcoming surgery -- I just don't know what to do with myself! I wish I could at least go to the gym, but the doc doesn't want me doing that either! I'm so worried that I'm going to lose the little muscle I do have...hah, that's so messed up, I'm more nervous about my knee than the throat surgery itself! :P

Well, hope everyone else is doing well...thoughts and prayers are always with you! :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Ron22 on May 15, 2005, 03:12:27 AM
pattie.........hope you're feeling better........hang in there.......as trite and unreal as it sounds now...things will get better..

hugs and prayers...

ronnie
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: CC_McC on May 15, 2005, 07:42:11 AM
Hello all,

I'm a newbie very grateful to have found this board.  I wish I found it several weeks ago, as it really would have helped.  Now, I apologize in advance for what will be my long-winded story below but I have some interesting circumstances and I want to get them all in...

I suffered a complete rupture (torn off the bone) and had surgery in Chandler, Arizona on April 1 (also have a partial ACL tear, untouched for now).  Shortly before the surgery, my wife was offered a great job opportunity out of state in Little Rock, Arkansas, some 1,500 miles away.  The job was so good that we had to take it.  She had to be at work just a couple of weeks after my surgery so she left on her own to be there and my father (god bless him) came out to help supervise our movers and to drive me from Arizona to Arkansas in the back of his Ford Expedition.  I was in an immobilizer and armed with crutches as we left on April 19 after getting a clean bill of health from my OS in Arizona on April 18.

I arrived with no problems, although I wasn't much help with any unpacking.  :)  I had an appointment with my new OS just before May 1.  I don't remember the exact date, 28th or 29th, but I do know that it was before May 1 because that is when our new health insurance due to my wife's job kicks in...we hope.  There has been some talk of nothing being covered because of this being a pre-existing condition, but my wife has researched things thoroughly and seems to believe that all doctor's visits and PT from now on will be covered.  My next appointment is set for May 24--should have been sooner but this was the earliest I could get from my new, very popular and successful OS.  On my first visit, the doctor said that things were looking good and that I could start to do exercises on my own, start bearing weight on the knee, stop using the immobilizer at home, and start bending the knee up to 60 degrees.

I managed my first leg lift almost by accident while seated in my recliner chair with the leg elevated sometime in April, about 3-4 weeks after surgery.  Now I can do plenty of these at a time, and I do them in sets of 10-12.  However, I don't think the knee is anywhere close to bending 60 degrees (maybe 30-45) and I'm not pushing it.  At home, I limp around comfortably with one crutch most of the time, although last night we went out to do a little shopping for the new home and I took the immobilizer and both crutches.  I got around fine but was understandably a little tired after a while.

Now, on to the interesting part.  Since we all know that those first few post-op weeks really limit our activities to reading, watching TV and DVDs, and playing on laptop computers, that's what I did.  And while doing the last one, I managed to win a seat in the main event of the upcoming World Series of Poker in Las Vegas in July.  It's a lifelong dream, and I'm going--my flight out is on July 5 (I've managed to reserve good aisle seats all the way).  I know that everyone has different circumstances, but I'm looking for feedback on what my prognosis and best course of action might be from now until then.  I spent this evening reading through all 50 pages of this forum and it seems like I'm in pretty good shape for just six weeks after the surgery.  Can I generally expect continued, steady progress?  I'm sure I'll learn more at my next appointment on the 24th.  But most importantly, should I spring for some PT sessions even if they aren't covered by my insurance?  Or can I continue to improve steadily on my own?  I have no delusions about being anywhere close to 100% by July, but I do need to be able to fly and get around a bit.  Oh, I failed to mention that I'm 34 years old, 6'7" and 300 pounds...and the real bummer is that I had been doing really well at dieting and working out for almost two months right before I suffered the injury.  I had lost nearly 20 pounds.  :-\

Thanks for all of your posts, and thanks for taking the time to wade through this ridiculous manuscript of a first post.  I guess my main concern is how much improvement generally occurs from the six week point out to 12-13 weeks, and how much difference working with a PT makes.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 15, 2005, 08:33:07 AM
welcome to the RPT club - as you have read - not the best club to be a member of - number 39 in the world posted on the message board since December 2002 -

In the first instance, I am going to send you by e-mail three web sites which will give you a good insite of your injury and rehab process. 

Very important advice - dont push it - its a very long rehab -   and keep posting - you have many friends on this message board who are here to help you.

With best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 15, 2005, 11:11:35 PM
Welcome to the club CC my injury occurred on April 23rd and my surgery was the 29th. At this point the staples are removed and I go back on May 26th for my OS visit and start PT right after that. From what I have seen the recovery really depends on the individual. My OS says 12-16 weeks because of my job (firefighter/paramedic) but it would have been right around 12 if I had a desk job. I have been told that the 16 weeks is very optimistic. It sounds like you have a pretty good attitude about your inury and PT. My feeling is that is the most important thing. Congrats on the WSOP. Keep up with the postings on here , the people are really great and will give you ALOT of info on pretty much everything.

Shawn 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 16, 2005, 11:56:42 AM
Hi Folks

I am given to understand that Patricia will have her TONSILS operation tomorrow - Tuesday -

HEY GUYS - what about your contribution - get well cards and bunches of flowers.

For my part - Ben & Jerry`s ice cream will be required in great quantity.

Best wishes to Patricia and we look forward to seeing you back on the board.

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on May 16, 2005, 03:51:19 PM
Hello all,

I'm a newbie very grateful to have found this board.  I wish I found it several weeks ago, as it really would have helped.  Now, I apologize in advance for what will be my long-winded story below but I have some interesting circumstances and I want to get them all in...

I suffered a complete rupture (torn off the bone) and had surgery in Chandler, Arizona on April 1 (also have a partial ACL tear, untouched for now).  Shortly before the surgery, my wife was offered a great job opportunity out of state in Little Rock, Arkansas, some 1,500 miles away.  The job was so good that we had to take it.  She had to be at work just a couple of weeks after my surgery so she left on her own to be there and my father (god bless him) came out to help supervise our movers and to drive me from Arizona to Arkansas in the back of his Ford Expedition.  I was in an immobilizer and armed with crutches as we left on April 19 after getting a clean bill of health from my OS in Arizona on April 18.

I arrived with no problems, although I wasn't much help with any unpacking.  :)  I had an appointment with my new OS just before May 1.  I don't remember the exact date, 28th or 29th, but I do know that it was before May 1 because that is when our new health insurance due to my wife's job kicks in...we hope.  There has been some talk of nothing being covered because of this being a pre-existing condition, but my wife has researched things thoroughly and seems to believe that all doctor's visits and PT from now on will be covered.  My next appointment is set for May 24--should have been sooner but this was the earliest I could get from my new, very popular and successful OS.  On my first visit, the doctor said that things were looking good and that I could start to do exercises on my own, start bearing weight on the knee, stop using the immobilizer at home, and start bending the knee up to 60 degrees.

I managed my first leg lift almost by accident while seated in my recliner chair with the leg elevated sometime in April, about 3-4 weeks after surgery.  Now I can do plenty of these at a time, and I do them in sets of 10-12.  However, I don't think the knee is anywhere close to bending 60 degrees (maybe 30-45) and I'm not pushing it.  At home, I limp around comfortably with one crutch most of the time, although last night we went out to do a little shopping for the new home and I took the immobilizer and both crutches.  I got around fine but was understandably a little tired after a while.

Now, on to the interesting part.  Since we all know that those first few post-op weeks really limit our activities to reading, watching TV and DVDs, and playing on laptop computers, that's what I did.  And while doing the last one, I managed to win a seat in the main event of the upcoming World Series of Poker in Las Vegas in July.  It's a lifelong dream, and I'm going--my flight out is on July 5 (I've managed to reserve good aisle seats all the way).  I know that everyone has different circumstances, but I'm looking for feedback on what my prognosis and best course of action might be from now until then.  I spent this evening reading through all 50 pages of this forum and it seems like I'm in pretty good shape for just six weeks after the surgery.  Can I generally expect continued, steady progress?  I'm sure I'll learn more at my next appointment on the 24th.  But most importantly, should I spring for some PT sessions even if they aren't covered by my insurance?  Or can I continue to improve steadily on my own?  I have no delusions about being anywhere close to 100% by July, but I do need to be able to fly and get around a bit.  Oh, I failed to mention that I'm 34 years old, 6'7" and 300 pounds...and the real bummer is that I had been doing really well at dieting and working out for almost two months right before I suffered the injury.  I had lost nearly 20 pounds.  :-\

Thanks for all of your posts, and thanks for taking the time to wade through this ridiculous manuscript of a first post.  I guess my main concern is how much improvement generally occurs from the six week point out to 12-13 weeks, and how much difference working with a PT makes.

CC - Welcome! There's an abundance of good information on this board. How did you sustain your ruprure? I also tore my tendon off the bone. I'm 6 mos post-op (5/14/05). As others have said, it's an arduous, long rehab. But, if you are disciplined, you'll be fine.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: CC_McC on May 16, 2005, 06:03:23 PM
I came down wrong after jumping and it just snapped.  I passed out for a little while--first time I've ever done that.  :-[
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ganderson on May 16, 2005, 07:03:35 PM
Just found this site this weekend.  I ruptured my left patellar tendon on Sept 11,2004.  I was taking my 2 yr old to a restroom when I slipped.  Out went the right leg and down went my left knee.  I managed to hold on to my son, but the pop and numbness was not good. Anyway, surgery went well and I have recovered pretty well. OS removed a broken chip of the patella (pinky nail size) when he was doing the repair.   PT was painful, but well worth the pain.  I have a full range of movement.  Just a little crackly sound when I bend it, but no pain. I continue to do leg strengthening exercises 5 days a week in the gym.  Running (which I do not do much of) seems to be the only problem area.  My leg just does not work the same as it did before the injury. 

A few questions: Did anyone else have a horizontal cut incision?
                        Will my knee ever be the same (size, feel, etc)?

I feel as though I am a lucky one after reading many of the entries. 
Thanks in advance,
G in Chico,CA


 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 16, 2005, 08:10:08 PM
Hi and welcome to the RPT club -

In response to your questions, yes I had a horizontal incision, which is normal.

The main problem that you will encounter, is that is doubtful that you will be able to kneel on the injured knee and it is also doubtful that you will obtain a complete ROM - range of movement.

What did they measure your leg during your last rehab??

With best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on May 16, 2005, 10:58:05 PM
Hi, John. I had a vetrical incision about 15cm long. Agree with you about kneeling. I can just about put up with kneeling on the bed, def not on a hard surface.
Finally saw an NHS PT who seemed to know what she was doing. Although I've built up some stregth in the quads, I've got very little control over the muscles. Has changed the exercises to start getting some control.

Has anyone else had Hamstring trouble since their op? Its been a major problem for me. PT worked on them a bit today and it felt like she was sticking a knife in there :o.

Anyway, just finished my Postgrad Exams on Thursday(7 exams in 9 days), so I now have time to do the exercises.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on May 16, 2005, 11:09:36 PM
Hi everyone, once again, I'm having the doubts about whether I sustained the same injury as all of you (excepting Rosbif, so far!)   am I/we the cuckoo in the nest

I don't have a Horizontal incision!    My incision/scar is very definately vertical, and about 15 cm long ..........
and the wire goes in an oblong shape, about 3cm across, 10cm down etc.

and to makes thing wonderful ... today, I've had absolutely excrutiating pains in my knee around the wiring.

Am back in Hospital tomorrow to have check-up x-ray's plus see Consultant ...... will be confirming with him about Injury and the Physio etc.   

Update tomorrow I think!

S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 16, 2005, 11:36:33 PM
Rosbif --

I've had a lot of trouble with my hamstring post reconstruction. Granted, the OS used a good chunk of my hamstring to construct a new tendon, but I have had a lot of pain and tightness since. PT says it'll probably be a permanent problem for me, unfortunately. I used to be VERY flexible but now I can't touch my toes on my right leg, which really stinks.

I didn't have a horizontal incision. Mine (the biggest incision, at least, there are many) is a vertical incision that is about four and a half inches long.

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ganderson on May 17, 2005, 06:49:04 AM
John,

Your question  on what they measured my leg at during last rehab?  I do not remember the actual measurement, but while lying on my stomach, my PT was able to bend my leg so that my heel could touch my rear end. During the first visit, I was able to get it to about 70 degrees.  There was nothing better to actually see the improvement each week. I have worked hard at keeping my flexibility up in my leg.  As far as kneeling, the feeling is uncomfortable on a well padded carpet.  My little boy is keeping young! Hard flooring is out of the question right now.

Galen
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 17, 2005, 07:04:47 AM
Hi Galen


Your good leg should be in the region of 130/135 deg ROM - your injured leg should by now be in the region of 120 deg ROM - anything over this is a bonus.

Get the physio to measure both legs for you.

Best wishes

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Rosbif on May 17, 2005, 12:03:47 PM
Hi Patricia, sorry to here abt your Hamstring problems. I'm having trouble but they did not touch my hamstrings in the operation!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Lizard on May 17, 2005, 03:43:20 PM
I dont think my OS touched my hamstring but it's definitely given me some trouble.  Just quite tight and I quickly feel fatigued/ache-y there when I try to walk much.  My physio has me doing standing hamstring curls.  Initially without weights, now with 5 pound ankle weights to strengthen it.  And some ham stretches as well.  Seems to be helping, course as we all know progress can be slow.

My scar is vertical, maybe 5-6 inches long.  The wire loop was maybe 3 inches long by 2 inches wide, sort of oblong.

About 8 weeks after surgery, I was feeling pain around where I thought the wire loop would be so my OS did x-rays to make sure it hadn't already snapped or any other complications.  X-ray looked fine and was perhaps just more of that infamous referred pain but he scheduled me  to have the wire out at 12 weeks and it's been grand since.

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on May 19, 2005, 12:04:46 AM
Hello all!

Just an update/prog report....

Today, 5/18, I am exactly 6 weeks post op...

I am doing PT once a week, and working out like crazy on my own in the mean time.

The physio measured my left knee at 130 degrees of flexion....right knee came in at 133.

As many of you know, I have been fairly aggressive with my rehab...today I began a walking program, without the knee brace,  on the treadmill at the slowest pace. I'm working on gait. I'm starting out with 10 minutes and I'll increase it to 20 minutes by next week.

Following the treadmill, I'm doing 20 minutes on the stairmaster, followed by 20 minutes on the stationary bike. The knees don't hurt at all, in fact, I can really start hauling on the stationary bike now, which is great cardio! I'm doing this everyday.

I had my PT visit, as I mentioned, so they worked the knees pretty hard...you know, the whole package---heel slides, SLR's, wall squats, quad flexes, and alot of stuff with the exercise ball.

Following PT, I began a pool program at my local gym (24 hr fitness), and it is absolutely AWESOME! I can take the knee braces off and do flutter kicks, karioke (an old football drill) and sprints! The water is so theraputic, and takes so much stress off of the knee---it's a great work out! I would highly recommend it, if you can get to a swimming pool. Following the pool, I did a quick set of chest work---bench and flys...

Tommorow, the same cardio, but I'll take it easy on the weight lifting....

At my current rate, and the way I honestly feel right now, I think I can be back to work at the 12 week point, no problem----as long  as I don't fall down the steps!! ;D

CC---Congrats on the World Series of Poker---dude, I wouldn't miss that for the world! You should be good to go by then! Remember, rehab is all about mental attitude! You've got to KNOW you will recover....and recover stronger!

Well, take care all......this is no cake walk....I still can't believe how knobby my knees look! Man, these chicken legs are brutal! :)  Best wishes to everyone on this board....stay strong, and keep working and we'll all get through this!

Cheers,

Dave






Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: artgf on May 19, 2005, 12:25:44 AM
hello. just thought i'd introduce my self. i'm having surgery for a ruptured patellar tendon on friday 05/20/05. glad to know i'm not alone.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 19, 2005, 01:33:25 PM
Hi Artgf


Welcome to this exclusive RPT club - not the best club in the world to join - however, this message board has many members who have undergone this very very rare injury and are a willing bunch of girls and guys ready to help you once you have had your operation.

I have sent you three e-mails, giving you various useful web sites to look at so that you can absorb a lot of knowledge about your injury.

Keep us posted.

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: artgf on May 19, 2005, 04:42:27 PM
hey John K,

thanx for the welcome and the knowledge. i'll keep you guys posted. it eased my mind to know that my OS has done this type of surgery before even though he said it's pretty unusual. well i've had a good 13 yr run skating pools, banks, ramps, and such so i think its time to hang up my board. gettin' too old and the falls are harder. i'm glad i found this board. it helps me know that there are people who are willing to help each other through a pretty crappy time in their lives. thanx again guys!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: EngKnee on May 19, 2005, 05:16:49 PM
Hey everybody, I'm baaaack to say hi and update my progress.  I am now some thirteen months post-op and I feel great. My knee keeps improving with each month and I haven't been doing any special exercises in many months, just walking and normal activities, nothing too strenuous mind you...but then I'm kinda lazy anyway.  Nigel, I'm sorry to hear you still can't kneel on your knee, that's not cool, how's your bending are you at 100% yet?  My feeling is still somewhat numb but it doesn't hurt at all.  Hope everyone is progressing nicely.  John C.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on May 19, 2005, 08:28:36 PM
hello. just thought i'd introduce my self. i'm having surgery for a ruptured patellar tendon on friday 05/20/05. glad to know i'm not alone.

Welcome art! Hope your surgery goes well. How did you sustain the injury?
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: artgf on May 20, 2005, 03:29:09 AM
thanx for the welcome smartguy. i ruptured my tendon skating this totally awesome kidney-shaped pool out in L.A. i was having fun grinding and carving until i dropped in and leaned to far back. my best guess is that my back foot slipped of the tail and i hyperextended my knee and then fell hard on it while it was bent. i don't know, it happened so fast. the kicker is that i was going to stay home that morning and i seriously thought about calling up my buddies and telling them i wasn't going after all. but as you can see, i ended up going anyway. oh well. i guess it was my time. getting anxious. surgery only 14.5 hrs away. keep asking myself if i'll be alright. i've never had any surgery for anything and this will be my first time in a hospital setting. guess i am lucky that it took 34 yrs to finally see the inside of a hospital. ;) wish me luck. kinda scared. :-\
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: hulllad on May 21, 2005, 09:13:48 AM
Hi, I was just wondering if any one could offer me some advice or tell me of their own experience and how long I can expect to have pain and how long recovery may take. I am 54 years old.
I had an electric shock caused by a power surge while I was using a drill that caused a patella tendon rupture & rupture of the quadracep. This happened on 9th Jan 05  they did  knee surgery and I was in a cast for six weeks. After that I was wearing a hinged leg brace while April 10th. I have been having PT since 15 March and I am now able to get 100 degree movement in my knee but I still find it hard to do a lot of things like walking up stairs and walking any distance without the aid of elbow crutches.
I am also still having to take pain killers and ibuprofen regulary for the pain and still have some sleepless nights because of the pain after excercise. Has anyone out there had anything similar and got any advise for me has to what to expect for the future.  Kev.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 21, 2005, 09:59:17 AM
Hi Kev

Welcome to the RPT club - not the best club to be a member of.   

I have sent you a message requesting your e-mail address in order that I can send you lots of good advice on various web sites.

As you must be aware by now, you have suffered a very very rare injury -   suggest that you read the posts on this message board - this will give you lots of very good advice.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 21, 2005, 04:07:41 PM
Ok I have a really stupid question that I forgot to ask at my last Dr. visit. I am starting PT on 6/3 . Am I going to be in the immobilizer throughout PT or will it come off when I start. Second, what is everyone's feeling of wearing the brace while sleeping.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 21, 2005, 05:42:05 PM
Shawn -

At your PT visits, you will not be wearing your brace. Your OS may give you a DonJoy playmaker for stabilization during the PT sessions, but otherwise your knee should be naked. However, outside of PT, you should still wear your brace. Your leg is very weak and the tendon is still very prone to re-injury, so you WILL need that brace.

Now in terms of sleeping, doctors generally would like you TO wear the brace because when you are sleeping, you have no control of how your body twists and turns -- there is a high risk for injury. Last thing you need is to roll over in your sleep and twist the knee the wrong way, you could easily sprain a ligament or put too much pressure on the tendon. While wearing the brace during sleep may not be the most comfortable thing in the world, it's boatloads safer than no brace.

To help make things a bit more comfortable, you may want to take an extra pillow (or even purchase a body pillow) to put between your legs while you are sleeping on your side. It takes pressure off of the knees while also creating a bit of a barrier between the knees so the brace isn't resting on your good leg, which can be very uncomfortable.

Hope this helps and best of luck to you! Keep us updated! :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 21, 2005, 05:46:49 PM
BTW guys, I had my tonsils and adenoids taken out on Tuesday, and I'll tell you what -- I'd rather have knee surgery than this! There's nothing worse (in my eyes) than a sore throat, double ear aches, a bad headache, stiff neck, swollen glands, AND a fever! I pretty much feel like I want to die right now heh.

I've been out of PT for nearly two weeks now, I can tell I've already lost almost all of the muscle I had gained over the past eight months or so...very discouraging, but what else can I do? I'm still using the stim machine and doing SLRs (which have become very hard over the past few DAYS), but they still aren't really helping too much. Ugh!

Oddly enough, when I woke up from anesthesia, my knee was killing me! My calf was on fire and my knee had stiffened up pretty good, which really stunk. Oh well. It's feeling a bit better now, but it's still pretty stiff. Last thing I need is to form scar tissue AGAIN over the next few weeks...I wouldn't count it out though with my body's supernatural way of lying down scar tissue!

At least I've lost a good 10 pounds or so already...if anyone wants a sure fire way of losing a few pounds, get your tonsils out! :P

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on May 22, 2005, 08:33:39 PM
Shawn,

To be quite honest with you, I never did sleep with the knee braces on. My OS didn't have an opinion on it one way or the other. I think it depends on the type of sleeper you are....I'm a fairly light sleeper, and those stupid knee braces would definitely keep me up all night because they are so uncomfortable. I have TWO busted knees and I've had absolutely no problem sleeping without the braces for the last 7 weeks. I highly recommend the pillow between the legs thing though...that helps alot! I suppose there are risk involved with sleeping without the knee brace, as mentioned......just my two cents! :)

Dave
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on May 23, 2005, 04:48:17 PM
Hi, I was just wondering if any one could offer me some advice or tell me of their own experience and how long I can expect to have pain and how long recovery may take. I am 54 years old.
I had an electric shock caused by a power surge while I was using a drill that caused a patella tendon rupture & rupture of the quadracep. This happened on 9th Jan 05  they did  knee surgery and I was in a cast for six weeks. After that I was wearing a hinged leg brace while April 10th. I have been having PT since 15 March and I am now able to get 100 degree movement in my knee but I still find it hard to do a lot of things like walking up stairs and walking any distance without the aid of elbow crutches.
I am also still having to take pain killers and ibuprofen regulary for the pain and still have some sleepless nights because of the pain after excercise. Has anyone out there had anything similar and got any advise for me has to what to expect for the future.  Kev.

Hi Kev! Welcome to this rare club. Sorry that's you're here, but this is the place to be for this injury. The manner in which you suffered your injury make it even more "rare". As far as my pain experience, I only had it during PT. PT was very painful, especially when they stretched my leg while I laid on my stomach. It was the worse, but I had to endure that to get my ROM back quickly. I did. I'm 6 mos post-surgery and have no pain at all. I'm working out 3x a week at my job's gym. Going up and down stairs is one of the most difficult tasks after this injury. I can get up and down close to "pre-injury" now. It just takes time. I only had one "sleepless night" and that was the night after the surgery when the knee was throbbing. I have a high tolerance for pain, so it's all relative.

Future expectations: tough PT, frustration with slow progress, lots of swelling, excitement when there's any progress. The process is like a roller-coaster. Just hang in there and stay positive. Focus on the ultimate goal....full ROM (or closest you can get) and a strong, healthy leg/knee.

Best wishes!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on May 23, 2005, 04:53:19 PM
Ok I have a really stupid question that I forgot to ask at my last Dr. visit. I am starting PT on 6/3 . Am I going to be in the immobilizer throughout PT or will it come off when I start. Second, what is everyone's feeling of wearing the brace while sleeping.

Shawn

Hi Shawn! Patricia answered the question, but I'll add my 2 cents. I did not use a brace during PT. Everything I did was bare-legged. I was hesitant at first, but became more comfortable as I progressed. I did not where my brace to bed. I did use my immobilizer for a few weeks until my knee gained strength. I used the pillow for a long time after surgery. It made my knee feel safe and secure.

Take care!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SoonerGreg on May 24, 2005, 05:53:51 PM
OK.  Need advice.  I am a 33 yr old male that had surgery May 5th.  In order for the doctor to do the repairs, he had to cut my patellar tendon(90% according to him).  So according to him he had to partially unattach from the tibia, but not completely.  He used an anchor to put it back.  He put me on an immobolizer at 0%, and after 10 days it was feeling very good.  I started putting pressure on the leg, without discomfort.  I went back to him on May 18th and he griped me out for doing this.  He checked my mobility out, and opened the brace up to 50%.  He told me I need to use the crutches for annother month!  My question is, I am not overdoing it, I am getting feedback from the knee, so does 6 weeks on crutches sound like too much to you? 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 24, 2005, 06:00:07 PM
Not at all, Greg. The tendon is VERY prone to re-injury after surgery, so when you put a lot of weight and pressure on the knee, you run a risk of re-rupturing the tendon -- something I'm sure you wouldn't want to go through again.

Even though you may feel good, you should still take every precaution possible. Sure, you may be able to go through the next six weeks without a problem, but there's always the chance that your knee could give out and you can snap the tendon.

Most of us have been on crutches for AT LEAST six weeks, if not LONGER. Hell, I was on crutches for SIX MONTHS!

The surgery you went through is, unfortunately, different than other knee procedures. Many times, you are encouraged to get back on your feet and start PT to really work the knee, but that just isn't the case with a ruptured patellar tendon. There are many factors involved, but you should at least keep in mind that your tendon is very soft right now and with extra pressure on it (especially since the tendon is used a LOT when walking, straightening the knee, etc), you CAN injure it again.

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SoonerGreg on May 24, 2005, 06:19:10 PM
Thanks.  What about setting my brace to 0%, would that help at all with the pressure put on the tendon?  Also, what about using a cane instead of crutches?  I know I am being hardheaded but I am hardheaded, JK.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 24, 2005, 07:03:14 PM
Hi and welcome to the Ruptured Patella Tendon club -  Not the best club to belong to.

One would normally be on two crutches until the cast was removed and then it should be safe to walk with one crutch until such time as you are confident to walk around with a walking stick.

I have sent you three e-mails with attachments giving you a selection of good web sites which explain the RPT and the rehab.

AT THIS STAGE DONT PUSH YOUR INJURED LEG.

Best wishes, and keep posting.

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 24, 2005, 07:04:00 PM
Greg -

Setting your brace to 0 degrees flexion would help in terms of putting pressure on the tendon, but I still think that your best bet would be using some form of support outside of the brace. If I were you, I'd hold onto the crutches for at least another few weeks and then maybe asking the OS if you can shed a crutch (that is, if you are using the type that rest under your armpits) and just use one (on the opposite side of your bad leg), my OS did let me do that a few times when I was tired of being on crutches as well.

What type of brace are you using, btw? Are you using a DonJoy IROM or TROM brace (a post-op brace) or some form a ligament bracing (I know of a few people who use adjustable playmakers after getting rid of their cast or immobilizor)?

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on May 24, 2005, 10:02:01 PM
Greg,

If your OS allowed you to go to 50 degrees of flexion on your brace, then obviously he feels you can begin to put some pressure on your tendon. The tendon does take an average 8 to 10 weeks to heal.....so, during that time you do not want to put any hard core stress on your knee. However, post op protocals regarding patella tendon ruptures vary, depending on the type of rupture, where the rupture occured, and even the country you live in. Some surgeons will put you in a cast for 6 weeks or longer following surgery.....I think that causes more problems than it solves, because being immoblized for that length of time makes rehab very painful and difficult---scar tissue, muscle stiffness and quad atrophy are tough to overcome. Other surgeons suggest a more aggressive post op rehap which stresses early range of motion and quad strength exercises....I personally feel that is the way to go. The knee brace is for protection of the sutures and the tendon incase you fall or slip....but there is no reason to be totally immoblized at this point. Gentle range of motion exercises worked wonders for me. I am under the close care of a fairly reptutable OS and a great PT. The bottom line is this: Be careful....but listen to your knees. Patella Tendon Ruptures are rare, and many health care professionals, whether they admit it or not, are simply in the blind on how to treat this injury! Good luck during your rehab!

Dave
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SoonerGreg on May 24, 2005, 10:06:43 PM
I really appreciate the advice, I will keep everyone posted on my recovery.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: artgf on May 24, 2005, 10:30:12 PM
hey guys. i'm 4 days post-op and feeling pretty good. i am allowed to put full weight on my knee, with crutches of course. i am not allowed to bend it for any reason. my OS had to put a wire in there and use donor tendon cuase my tendon was too far gone(4wks from accident to surgery). everything seems to be doing fine so far. not too much pain and feeling good. thank you guys for all of the advice you provided.i was kinda scared going into surgery but the only thing i remember was the anesthesiologist saying "you're gonna get sleepy now" and then waking up in recovery. now the real journey begins.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 24, 2005, 10:44:56 PM
We're with ya, art!

BTW, I also suffered a chronic injury (more than two weeks from injury to surgery), I went anywhere from six months to a YEAR walking on a ruptured tendon, so I know where you're coming from. My OS used my hamstring to construct a new tendon. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'm sure I, or anyone else, can help ya out!

Best of luck and here's to a speedy, painless recovery! :)

Keep us updated! :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 24, 2005, 10:52:51 PM
Congrats on the successful surgery art. Now the real fun begins. I wish my OS had let me bear weight right away but I am still waiting. Keep it iced as much as you possibly can. Did your OS give you a time frame for therapy and how long you will be laid up for. Keep us posted.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: artgf on May 25, 2005, 05:08:05 PM
he told me it would be about 3 months beore i can even think about bending the knee. he wants it to heal as much as possible. they gave me a cool ice pack in recovery which they let me take home. all you do is put ice and water in the container(which looks like a mini cooler) and an air pump circulates the ice water through the ice pack. it is great!!! i think it's called a polar care unit. well i'm gonna see if i can manage a shower. got my garbage bag ready to cover my immobilized leg. wish me luck!!!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 25, 2005, 07:38:36 PM
Ouch 3 months before you can bend it. I guess I am not too bad off then. I imagine it is because of the wire. I used plastic wrap (like you use on leftover food) to wrap my leg from the top of the brace to the bottom and then taped off the top and bottom. It worked really well. I was told about the cooler thing but stuck with the ice bag. If you can grab a shower chair it does make things a bit easier beacuse it allows you to just sit there and get wet. Good Luck.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on May 26, 2005, 12:58:51 PM
Hi everyone, and welcome to the new people.   Hope you are all OK.

I'm feeling quite pleased at the moment .... my ROM was up to 65º on Monday, and is improving slowly but daily!  Plus I'm managing to sleep a bit better.

I've got an appointment with my Specialist on Tuesday to discuss whether the wire should be removed or not - I'm not sure if I want it removed yet - I've become quite 'attached' fond of it.  ;D   I'm a bit scared that the Tendon hasn't healed enough because of my Vitamin deficiencies etc.

Patricia - how are the tonsils?  Hope they are feeling better.

Take care everyone,

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 26, 2005, 04:41:21 PM
Back to the OS today. I am cleared to begin PT next week. Graduated from two crutches down to one. He also bent my knee for the first time. He bent it to about 50 degrees. Suprisingly there was no pain just a little soreness. My first PT appointment will be next Friday. He also said I should be able to drive again in about a month so I can FINALLY get out of the house on my own. And I can be rid of the brace for everything except when I am walking around so hopefully I can get a good nights sleep for once. Well that's it for now.Hope everyone is doing great.


Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 26, 2005, 04:54:02 PM
Hi Shawn

Well, that good news so far -  as far as driving is concerned, you might have to put your driving seat as far back as possible to start off with.

Best wishes
JohnK/  Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 26, 2005, 06:56:28 PM
Hello again. My OS told me that I should be slowly bending my leg to about 50-60 degrees. As I am doing that I don't have any pain but I feel some soreness and tugging around my knee. I am not trying to push past that at all but any info you can give me on what exactly that feeling is caused by and how I will get through that when I go to PT would be greatly appreciated.


Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on May 26, 2005, 07:36:01 PM
Hi Shawn

You must appreciate that the tendon is like a piece of elastic - this is the reason why you will be having exercises which stretch the tendon - the tendon around the knee has been sewn together and the tendon/muscle feels tight unlike your good leg.

So far it`s running par for the course.

Best wishes
JohnK/  Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on May 27, 2005, 08:13:55 PM
Ouch 3 months before you can bend it. I guess I am not too bad off then. I imagine it is because of the wire. I used plastic wrap (like you use on leftover food) to wrap my leg from the top of the brace to the bottom and then taped off the top and bottom. It worked really well. I was told about the cooler thing but stuck with the ice bag. If you can grab a shower chair it does make things a bit easier beacuse it allows you to just sit there and get wet. Good Luck.

Shawn

3 mos is a very long time to go without bending the leg. I had my cast on for 3 weeks and started therapy the week I got the cast off. I used crutches for 1 month. My OS was eager for me to get going with PT. I'm glad I was on the accelerated program. I saw my OS yesterday (6 mos post-op). He cleared me to return to sports and told me to protect the knee. I told him "I'm retired from contact sports unless it's with my wife".... :). My only restriction is lifting weights and bending (squats). Too much stress on the tendon. I'm content with walking and light jogging. He was very pleased with my progress.

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on May 27, 2005, 08:19:45 PM
I envy each and every one of you! I'll be lucky if I'll ever successfully do a straight leg raise without pain and weakness!

I started PT again on Wednesday at a new facility (same therapist though, thank God), it's nice to have a bit of a change but it will take some getting used to. Apparently my PT told the other PTs at this facility (which, btw, is the same facility that treats the New Jersey Nets and Newark Bears...I already saw a Bear today! :P ) my entire history, they were all over me today asking me questions left and right, it was CRAZY!

I've started out light again because of the whole tonsil thing, which stinks, but oh well, I'm over it now. I have gotten significantly weaker, but it's just something I'll have to work on.

We were talking a lot today about my progress and what we both hope to achieve in the next couple of months. My doctor has high hopes that I'll be able to do a full arc leg raise but seeing as I can't even do a short arc leg raise, it probably won't happen. My PT does also have high expectations for me because I'm such a dedicated, hard worker, but she said we had to be realistic as well. It doesn't look like I'll ever be able to achieve that full arc leg raise, nor will I likely be able to run (we're shooting for jogging someday, but I still cannot walk correctly, so we're working on that). Kneeling and deep bending is also out of the question, heck, we're not even shooting for anything like that.

Everyone keep up the good work, I'm really proud of all of you for doing so well in your rehabs and PT programs. Sure, I'm jealous, but I'm still happy for you all! :)

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on May 27, 2005, 09:30:06 PM
HI everyone. Well the day after my OS told me I could start to bend my knee is going pretty well. It feels really strange to bend it. I think it is only about a 30 degree bend but thats ok. I get to a point where it feels like my knee is just going to pop out of the skin. It isn't a matter of pain just the wierd feeling. Almost feels like a really wide elastic that I am pulling against. First night sleeping without a brace on felt kind of strange also. John told me it is a normal feeling so I will just go with that. I know I won't try to bend past where I feel comfortable , I'll leave that up to the therapist. I start next Friday and then I will be there 3 times a week. I can't wait LOL. Well hope everyone keeps their chins up. Good luck with your new PT Patricia.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on May 31, 2005, 04:51:16 PM
Hi everyone ... hope you are all well!

I've just seen my OS and he's said that he now wants me to do slightly more aggressive Physio, and that he wants me weaned off using my knee brace within the next few months!   :o

I'm surprised and slightly scared ... much as I have a love/hate relationship with my Brace, I'm absolutely TERRIFIED of doing anything without it!  :'(

Have Physio tomorrow morning, with a new PTerrorist - be interesting to see what he's got planned for me!

Ferris:   I know how you feel about the knee popping out of the skin ... it's a horrid feeling isn't it?

Patricia:  Its sad to think that you'll never do a SLR without pain or weakness, but who knows what the future holds - I'm sure that there are good things ahead for you!

Hope everyone else is OK ....  Take Care,

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on June 01, 2005, 01:20:52 AM
Well I am going to be getting my PT underway earlier than I thought. They called today and asked if i could move my appointment to tomorrow instead of Friday. I cannot wait to get started. I have been slowly bending since my last OS appt. so I am looking forward to beginning the hopefully not so long journey of PT. I will keep you all updated.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on June 01, 2005, 09:19:21 AM
Good Luck Shawn!    I've just got back from Physio this morning, and my new Physio is much more 'assertive'!  :o

He managed (by brute force) to get my knee bent up to 70º!!!   It felt like it was going to EXPLODE - I had visions of the wire breaking and bursting out of my knee like something out of a Horror Movie (Alien?)!   

I also managed 3 tiny little SLR - but ended up in tears from the Pain (plus I nearly used a very bad Curse word so loudly that the other Physio's all looked at me!  ;D)

what fun!

S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on June 01, 2005, 07:25:50 PM
Ok back from my PT eval. I got 50 degrees on my own and am allowed to go to 60. SLR's 1 set of 10 and 3 sets a day for 3-4 days then increase the sets to 2. PT seems like she really knows what she is doing and she has worked with my OS for 25 years so that is good news to me . I start 3 times a week next Tuesday. Hope everyone is good talk to you all later.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on June 01, 2005, 08:57:18 PM
Hey Shawn, that's awesome! It's good that you're starting PT relatively soon after surgery....quad strength and ROM are biggies, and those SLR's will do wonders....

I'm eight weeks post op today and here's my update:

My left knee is great....obviously still weak, but the OS has cleared me for more aggressive strength training.

My right knee has some scar tissue which has caused pain and irritation and more swelling after workouts. The ROM is better than 135, but it definitely hurts more than the right knee after walking and standing....it clicks and crunches! The swimming pool therapy has done wonders...

I still do the stationary bike and have begun a more focused leg work out routine at the gym, focusing on ...you guessed it, quads! I'm doing the leg machines with very little weight.

Has anyone out there experienced clicking or crunching on the knee? It sounds worse than it feels, but it's a weird feeling! Anyway, that's it for me....I'm hoping to get back to work the first week of July, which will be right around the 12 to 13 week point----we'll see how it goes...

I wish everyone the best.....this really sucks being a 'gimp' during the summer! :(

Dave
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Heather M. on June 02, 2005, 06:59:45 AM
Sarah Jane,

I'm not an RPT patient, but I do know a thing or two about scar tissue.  And I can honestly tell you that my doctor does not ALLOW a PT to crank on a patient's knee.  Never.  They're not even allowed to stretch me in a way that involves forced bending!!  I'm really not sure if the new, assertive PT is doing you any favors.  I had a frozen knee once, and went through almost 5 weeks of "therapy" that resembled something Torquemada came up with in his spare time.  The PT session used to start with a bucket being placed near my head....no joke.  Now I know, with a new doctor and new PT's, that this forced bending is literally the very last thing that should have been done.  It caused a lot of pain, which made my quads shut down and made the muscles in the area clamp down in anticipation of each PT session.  It also caused a lot of irritation and swelling, which further reduced my ability to bend.  It was, in short, totally counterproductive.  And with a repaired patellar tendon...good gravy, I'd think the PT should be VERY careful and be concerned about rupturing things again.  Didn't Patricia have her PT ruptured in the first place by forced bending...?

Anyway, I'm not an expert in patellar tendons, though mine is a mess and we've been working on it for years.  I just got a chill when I read your description, and then you said you couldn't do SLR's because of the pain...I'm very concerned that your quads might shut down, which would be very bad for the RPT recovery.  It can lead to problems like mal-tracking and patella baja--believe me, you don't want these!!

Does your doctor know about or approve of this forced bending?  My first OS did--he told the PT to do it.  But he also didn't know how to treat my condition--excess scar tissue blocking ROM--properly.  It was only when I saw this new doctor that I found out everything we'd been doing wrong.  I mean, I knew it was wrong before because I got no results!  But I figured out the why of it with this new surgeon.

Sorry to butt in, I just had to post something when I read your note.  Please take care of yourself and consider giving the PT some feedback about how much pain his methods caused.  Read up on scar tissue and regaining ROM.  It is something that WILL come back, I promise, if you work on it right.  It will take a long time, and in my opinion it can't be forced.  But it will come back, and you will recovery from this devastating injury.

Heather
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on June 02, 2005, 07:20:59 AM
Yes, my tendon was ruptured due to a combination of forced bending, a bad doctor, and a terrible physical therapist. Not a good recipe, if you ask me.

When my current PTs started bending my knee (mind you, I was in a full leg cast for over two months and have a massive scar tissue problem), they were VERY careful. Instead of having me lie on my stomach, I'd lie on my back, sitting up, while my PTs would put their hands behind my knee and very slowly AND gently "pull" the knee up and down. After holding each bend for five seconds or so, they'd gently bring the knee back down to the table again. I only gained a few degrees this way, but it was the only way to ensure I wouldn't damage my newly constructed tendon or anything else in the knee.

Considering the previous methods of my ex-PT, I was much more pleased with this technique. As time progressed, we'd start using other approaches; sometimes I would use a strap and pull the leg as far as I could towards my body, other times we'd have one PT gently push on the knee (while I was on my stomach) as another PT measured the ROM while making sure I didn't scoot away from the end of the table.

I still had severe scar tissue problems (because of my body's super natural way of forming scar tissue), but these methods, along with continuous use (over 18 hours at a time, with breaks in between, including sleep) of a CPM.

Because of all my complications, I a do suffer from patella baja and malallignment (even with the botched LR) as Heather mentioned. It does cause even more complications yet, but we're dealing with it. One step at a time, eh? Worse yet, I have extreme quad atrophy (along with a non-existant calf and glute), but again, we're trying to do the best we can, I am, as my PT said, one of the most complicated cases you'll ever hear of. :P

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on June 02, 2005, 05:06:16 PM
thank you Heather and Patricia ...

Your advice, as usual, is excellent.    I'm afraid that I allowed myself to get carried away in an effort to get a bit more mobile!  so, I'm back down to earth now and have been taking things easy today.

I've been doing very gentle heel slides, and have attempted a few SLR's.   Sometimes I can do a SLR with no pain, other times it hurts like **** :'(

I just wish that some of my Ortho Team/Physio's had experience with this kind of injury, but unfortunately none of them do ...  Good job I've got you guys/gals isn't it???

Thanks and take care,

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on June 02, 2005, 08:37:02 PM
I envy each and every one of you! I'll be lucky if I'll ever successfully do a straight leg raise without pain and weakness!

I started PT again on Wednesday at a new facility (same therapist though, thank God), it's nice to have a bit of a change but it will take some getting used to. Apparently my PT told the other PTs at this facility (which, btw, is the same facility that treats the New Jersey Nets and Newark Bears...I already saw a Bear today! :P ) my entire history, they were all over me today asking me questions left and right, it was CRAZY!

I've started out light again because of the whole tonsil thing, which stinks, but oh well, I'm over it now. I have gotten significantly weaker, but it's just something I'll have to work on.

We were talking a lot today about my progress and what we both hope to achieve in the next couple of months. My doctor has high hopes that I'll be able to do a full arc leg raise but seeing as I can't even do a short arc leg raise, it probably won't happen. My PT does also have high expectations for me because I'm such a dedicated, hard worker, but she said we had to be realistic as well. It doesn't look like I'll ever be able to achieve that full arc leg raise, nor will I likely be able to run (we're shooting for jogging someday, but I still cannot walk correctly, so we're working on that). Kneeling and deep bending is also out of the question, heck, we're not even shooting for anything like that.

Everyone keep up the good work, I'm really proud of all of you for doing so well in your rehabs and PT programs. Sure, I'm jealous, but I'm still happy for you all! :)

Best wishes,
Patricia

Keep the faith Patricia. I emphathize with you. Your situation is very unique. I pray you make enough progress to have some sense of normalcy. God bless.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on June 02, 2005, 09:07:43 PM
HI everyone. Well the day after my OS told me I could start to bend my knee is going pretty well. It feels really strange to bend it. I think it is only about a 30 degree bend but thats ok. I get to a point where it feels like my knee is just going to pop out of the skin. It isn't a matter of pain just the wierd feeling. Almost feels like a really wide elastic that I am pulling against. First night sleeping without a brace on felt kind of strange also. John told me it is a normal feeling so I will just go with that. I know I won't try to bend past where I feel comfortable , I'll leave that up to the therapist. I start next Friday and then I will be there 3 times a week. I can't wait LOL. Well hope everyone keeps their chins up. Good luck with your new PT Patricia.

Shawn

The feeling of the knee ready to pop out is natural. It's a strange feeling. I felt like my knee was going to explode during some sessions of PT. The bending to break up the scar tissue and stretch the tendon was sometimes unbearable. Sleeping without the brace will take time to adjust to.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on June 02, 2005, 09:16:11 PM
Hey Shawn, that's awesome! It's good that you're starting PT relatively soon after surgery....quad strength and ROM are biggies, and those SLR's will do wonders....

I'm eight weeks post op today and here's my update:

My left knee is great....obviously still weak, but the OS has cleared me for more aggressive strength training.

My right knee has some scar tissue which has caused pain and irritation and more swelling after workouts. The ROM is better than 135, but it definitely hurts more than the right knee after walking and standing....it clicks and crunches! The swimming pool therapy has done wonders...

I still do the stationary bike and have begun a more focused leg work out routine at the gym, focusing on ...you guessed it, quads! I'm doing the leg machines with very little weight.

Has anyone out there experienced clicking or crunching on the knee? It sounds worse than it feels, but it's a weird feeling! Anyway, that's it for me....I'm hoping to get back to work the first week of July, which will be right around the 12 to 13 week point----we'll see how it goes...

I wish everyone the best.....this really sucks being a 'gimp' during the summer! :(

Dave

Dave - I have and still do experience clicking and cruching in my knee. It comes and goes. The more I work my knee, the less I hear it.  My OS says it will go away in time. As long as there isn't pain, you'll be OK.
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ganderson on June 03, 2005, 05:49:48 AM
Dave,

I am nearing 9 months post op. and I still have that crunchy clicking when I bend my knee.  No pain, but it does not sound good.  I have been very lucky compared to some of you.  I have noticed that many of you have had a number of days between injury and surgery.  My surgery was the day of the incident.  Since I was an 8 hour drive from home, I decided to have it done before heading home.  There is something to say about small town hospitals.  They may not have the best known doctors, but they have very friendly and personal ones.  The care was great, so I was not the "patient from hell".

Galen
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on June 03, 2005, 05:54:48 AM
Galen --

I think for the most part, many of the people in this thread had surgery within two weeks of their injury. There are a few exceptions, including myself, but generally, when you rupture your tendon, you should get it repaired or reconstructed as soon as possible. Unlike other structural damage, a ruptured patellar tendon that goes untreated can cause many complications not only during the eventual surgery, but also during rehab and even later in life. I'm one of the select, lucky few who went months between rupture and reconstruction. Worse yet, I'll never know how long I went because of the undiagnosis thanks to my lovely ex-OS. I could have been walking on a severely damaged knee for up to a year.

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: artgf on June 03, 2005, 03:27:28 PM
hey all. went to my OS on tuesday and got my staples taken out! YUCK! he told me i can start doing slight knee bends in about 2 weeks. WOOHOO!! that's good news to me considering he said it would be 3 months before i should bend it. he said everything is going fine and that i should start weaning myself of my immobilizer in about 2 weeks time also. he gave me some quad exercises to do since my quads are mush.(i know you guys can relate) feeling pretty good 3 weeks post-op and hoping to get better. thanks for listening guys!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on June 06, 2005, 03:27:27 AM
Hey Galen and 'smartguy1968'............thanks for the words. I also had my surgery shortly after the incident. I was operated on within 2 days, and that did save me a little grief.

I guess the crunching and clicking IS normal...but, sometimes it is accompanied by a little pain and swelling, especially following PT and stationary bike work. I have friends that have had ACL surgeries and they can't believe how long it takes to totally recover from RPT surgery! This is a tough knee injury, absolutely like no other!! I continue to wish everyone a speedy and FULL recovery! Thanks.

Dave
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: DavidH on June 08, 2005, 08:33:31 PM
Hi All, I ruptured my patella tendon below the knee and tore my quad tendon while playing football on May 4th 2005. I've got a hinged cast brace and it took a month to get a PT slot. Now I've discovered I should really have been working the knee gently but it's pretty tight - I'm just wondering what experience anyone has with starting exercice at +4 weeks from the op- does the knee free up or will the scarring give a permanent ROM problem?

Also I've got a figure 8 wire in my patella and tibia and can't get a straight answer from the OS on whether this will a) be OK, b) break and need to come out, c) need to come out whatever happens, d) if it stays in , how it will work alongside the tendon - ie will it bear loads or not?

Any experiences people have to share would be appreciated.
Cheers
David / UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 08, 2005, 08:40:15 PM
Hi David

Welcome to the RPT club - not the best club to be a member of - however if you take the trouble to read all the various posts, you will gather lots and lots of very good advice.

You might have discovered that you have sustained a very very rare injury - and explains why so few OS and Physio know so little about this type of rare injury. 

Refering to your query -   some wire loops have to be removed some months after surgery, but this is no great deal - it is however VERY important that you treat your leg with great care as the tendon takes a long time to heal and is very fragile.

I will send you lots of information as soon as I receive your e-mail address.

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on June 08, 2005, 08:42:31 PM
David -

In many cases, you shouldn't start PT immediately post-op for fear of re-rupturing the tendon. I didn't start PT until 8weeks post-op patellar tendon reconstruction (I was in a full leg fiberglass cast for 7 weeks) and I did have a lot of ROM trouble, but you must know that I have an extensive history with scar tissue problems. With that said, however, it is possible for anyone to form scar tissue after surgery, though, it depends on your body's ability to lay the tissue down. You most likely do have some scar tissue that you will need to break through during PT, which can be very painful, but it VITAL for your recovery. Not bending the knee for a prolonged period of time after surgery can cause a lot of scar tissue problems (also known as arthrofibrosis).

If you cannot break through the scar tissue during PT and home rehab, you may need to have a procedure known as lysis of adhesions and manipulation under anesthesia. While not an uncommon procedure itself, the surgery is seen a lot on KneeGeeks (in fact, there's even a forum dedicated to it). This procedure involves going inside the joint by means of arthroscopy and cleaning up the scar tissue (cutting it away) and then having the OS manipulate the knee by (sometimes violently) bending the knee to break up the remaining scar tissue. An MUA can be risky, though, because of the potential to damage other structures in the knee or even rupturing the tendon again.

Definitely read through the thread, you'll find a lot of insight on your injury and rehab. You may want to focus on some of my posts, I have written a lot about my experiences with ROM problems, scar tissue, and MUAs.

Hope any of this helps and best of luck! Keep us updated!

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on June 08, 2005, 08:58:37 PM
OK first week of PT. Went the last two days. Not as bad as I had anticipated. First day I was able to get 66 degrees on my own (not sure if that is good or not but I was good with it). Had some electrical stimulation around the knee as well as some ultrasound. SLR's with brace , heel slides (don't like them very much) quad sets, and ankle raises with towel roll under knee. I go back to OS tomorrow and hopefully will be getting rid of crutches and getting a brace so I can finally ditch the immobilizer. I know everyone is different as far as range of motion but how much of an increase will I get from week to week. Today was the second day and I got 80 degrees with pressure around the joint not much pain. Hope everyone is relatively pain free.


Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 08, 2005, 09:03:30 PM
Hi Shawn


ROM cannot be measured on a day to day basis as everybody is different - however the first milestone is to reach 90deg - and then it is onwards (at a slower pace) to reach 100 - 110 and you should be aiming to reach 130/135 which is the full ROM.   Get the physio to measure your good leg.

Bear in mind, that what ever ROM you atain in the first twelve months, is the maximum you are likly to reach, but we all hope that you get back the full ROM.

Keep at it - DONT PUSH IT - best wishes

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on June 09, 2005, 06:49:40 PM
Back to the OS this morning and I am thankfully out of the immobilizer. Into a neoprene brace like I was wearing while playing sports prior to injury. Also recieved the go ahead to go all out in PT with no restrictions on ROM and the like. He told me that the stationary bike is the best exercise for this and that I should go to the gym and do it for 20-30 minutes. I should also be able to drive in about 1-2 weeks. I don't go back to him for one month but he said my therapist will determine when I can drive so I am pretty excited about that. I think that is about it for now. Good luck , hope everyone is having a pain free day.


Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on June 11, 2005, 12:13:12 AM

Hello all.....just a quick update on my progress.  I'm just about 9 1/2 weeks post op and am experiencing  what I would call my first setback :-[  My left knee is at full ROM (141) with rapidly progressing quad strength. I can do all kinds of SLR's with no problem on that knee. My right knee (my trouble knee!) is not coming along as quickly. A couple of weeks ago, while in the pool, I felt a rather pronounced crunching/grinding sensation while pushing off underwater...I backed off immediately, iced the knee at home, and saw my OS the next day. They said that there is scar tissue there which is causing 'slight maltracking.' Shortly after that, my quad muscle in the right leg pretty much shut down because of the pain and swelling! I was literally back to square one last monday!!! I couldn't even do ONE SLR!! I was very bummed. My physio went back to the electo stimulation on the quad and it looks like the quads are coming back by today.

After today's physio session, I am able to do 10 SLR's...but with way more pain than the left leg. She is also 'mcconnell taping' my right patella during my session so that there is not as much clicking and crunching going on. It seems to work. I still find that on the stationary bike, that right knee clicks everytime....and the knee gets hot and slightly swollen after riding for about 30 minutes....due to the grinding...which dosen't hurt, but feels funny.

It's just really strange how I could have such rapid progress on one knee, but not on the other! I have backed off being too aggressive with strengthening exercises....and I just hope that eventually that right knee will come around. I've read so much on other parts of this board about 'maltracking' and LR and I'd hate to have to go thru that! Oh well, at least there is a little progress each day....continued best wishes to all!

Dave
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: DavidH on June 11, 2005, 02:04:28 PM
Hi All, Lot's of useful experiences here. Thanks a lot.

Does anyone have an understanding of how ROM after surgery changes? Specificallly I don't understand if the ROM you have when you start PT is pretty much what you end up with (probably not judging by the boards), or if not, whether small repetetive exercise is what is needed. The alternative I guess is to try to 'blow through' scar tissue. I don't know if this makes sense or not and would value any advice/experiences.

I currently have about 35 deg movement after RPT surgery and the pain/block when bending is not in the tendon but in the muscles on the outer part of my leg above the knee. I just can't seem to get past about 35 degrees as it is so tight there.

Has anyone had a simlar experience?

Keep smiling everyone- although it sucks to have this happen I'm glad I've found such a supportive bunch
Cheers
David:-)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 11, 2005, 02:25:50 PM
Hi David

In general, you will have about 35/40 deg ROM following 4/6 weeks in a brace or cast.

You must bear in mind that the tendon is like a piece of elastic, and it requires stretching over the following weeks with exercises which the physio will design for you.  These exercises will be gentle at first as the tendon takes about 10/12 weeks to heal.

It takes on average 12/16 weeks to reach 90deg ROM, (in some cases quicker) and thereafter you will be having more agressive phyio to reach 110/120deg ROM and hopefully 130/135.   Let the physio measure your good leg and this gives you an idea of what you are trying to achieve.   Just bear in mind that yOU MUST NOT PUSH IT or else, you will suffer for it in the end.

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on June 11, 2005, 02:54:07 PM
HI David welcome to the club. I ruptured my patellar tendon 8 weeks ago and I am 7 weeks post op. After three days of PT I am at 90 degrees ROM. The tightness around your knee is where the repair is. DO NOT try to push through it until you are directed by your physical terrorist to do so. You will be doing all types of exercises. I started with straight leg raises while wearing the brace, quad sets( tightening and relaxing your quad repetitively), then moved to ankle lifts with a towel roll under your knee. Your PT will show you these. DO NOT try to do these until you are cleared to do so , so you don't damage the repair. Remember to ice as much as possible to keep the swelling down. That will make it much easier for you when you start PT. How did you injure yourself and when was it.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on June 11, 2005, 10:24:24 PM
Hi all,

I have just "celebrated" my one year anniversary since my RPT on June 9th 2004, and what a year it has been  ::) I hope I never have another one like it   8)

I am still progressing well, still need some quad build-up to get back to full pre-injury status, I've already got full ROM. I am still slacking on the exercise front, pressure at work (Big Blue) is taking away my enthusiasm, as well as my job ( :o ), well that's my excuse  ;)

David, you are pretty much on the same track as me. I had 9 days in between injury and surgery, and over 8.5 weeks in a full leg cast. My ROM started very slowly, but has got there with some hard work. Listen to your knee and physiotherapist, and expect to do lots of exercises at home as well as at PT. John K is spot on with the summary of ROM, it should come back. But as all that have posted here, we are all different, there are no hard and fast rules for this type of injury. However, if you have any questions or queries, someone here will be able to help out  :)

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on June 12, 2005, 10:57:26 PM
OK as you know I am out of my immobilizer and into a neoprene leg brace. Problem is is that the leg brace is so tight that when I take it off there is a ring of swelling on top of my knee where the hole in the brace is. Anyone have any suggestions to help stretch out the brace so that when I try to do PT or my at home exercises that I can have a little less swelling. Any tips would be appreciated.

Thanks
Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on June 12, 2005, 11:32:35 PM
Shawn --

You actually WANT that brace to be tight around your leg. Unless it is cutting off circulation, you want the brace to be tight. If a brace is loose, it will not support your knee as it should be doing.

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: DavidH on June 15, 2005, 05:01:18 PM
Hi Shawn,
Thanks for the exercise advice - it's good to get a reference point from someone else to see if the advice you get from the PT is well founded. My PT seems OK right now.

As far as the injury goes I was playing a game of football (soccer) whilst away on business in Cleveland Ohio on the 4th May.I sprinted into a challenge, got my foot stuck in the very poor pitch and - boom. It was just a kick around game as well- so dobly frustrating. Amyway- flew home the next day and went into hospital in Chester. Having been messed around a bit my repair eventaully got done o the 10th. A week later I got a cast brace which I'm hoping to get off next time I visit the surgeon (+6 weeks from operation).

I've been pondering buying a neoprene hinged brace and taking it with me - do you have good experience with the one you have? Also- I see one or two people- like me- have a wire in the knee. Do you have the ironmongery too? Mine seems to hurt a fair bit when I do the leg raises. I was troubled to see Nigel comment that the whole knee gets opened up to remove the wire it sounds dreadful. :'(

Anyway it sounds like you are moving on apace - good luck with the +90 degree territory.
Cheers
David:-)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 15, 2005, 06:41:27 PM
Hi David

Glad that you are making some progress -

It seems that a wire loop is used when a patient is somewhat heavier than normal - normal practice is that the OS drills some holes in the Patella (knee cap) and the sutres or wire loop fixes the repaired tendon to the kneecap.   

Some past RPT`s have had the wire left in, but several have had them removed, which is not a big OP but
you will go somewhat backwards in the ROM until you get it working upwards again.

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on June 15, 2005, 10:53:47 PM
Hi David, I actually did not have a wire put in for during my surgery so I am not able to answer that question. As far as the brace goes I would check with your OS. I was taken out of my immobilizer and put in to a neoprene DON-Joy brace without hinges. I used to wear a hinged brace during sports so I know them as well. The hinged definitely gives you more support if that is what you are looking for. I didn't have to buy a brace I was given my through my OS. If you have any questions feel free to ask or email me at [email protected] Now I am just under 7 weeks post op. I went to my 5th PT appointment today and I reached 106 ROM. I also was able to be on the exercise bike for the full 20 minutes without any real pain at all just a little discomfort. She also gave me the go ahead to start driving. My wife is very happy with that as am I since I haven't driven in 8 weeks. My PT is determined to have me at full range of motion in about a month. She is very agressive but is well aware of what my limitations are. OK well I have rambled on long enough. Hope everyone is relatively pain free.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on June 16, 2005, 05:10:52 AM
Nice work Shawn! Being able to drive again is huge! I hated being totally 'laid up' for just about 6 weeks. It sounds like your surgical protocal and PT regimen is similiar to mine. My PT has been fairly aggressive from the beginning, and now that I'm exactly 10 weeks post op, it's (the aggressive PT) is really starting to pay off. I 'tweaked' my right knee a few weeks ago, but the quads have come back. Today at PT I was able to once again do SLR's with ankle weights...the crunching/clicking sensation is not as pronounced on that right knee.

My PT cleared me to start a walking program today. I'm just walking around the local HS track...starting out with a couple of laps...working on endurance and gait....so far, no real pain...just fatigue! :) Anyway, the one valuable lesson I've learned so far is that there is a difference between 'good pain' and 'bad pain.' Listen to your knee! Listen carefully to your OS and PT...because they are there to help you know the difference. Sounds like your PT is coming along awesome Shawn...stay at it and you'll be good to go in no time!

Dave
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on June 16, 2005, 09:35:39 PM
Hello Club Members!!!

I've been reading about everyone's progress and it sounds good. Regarding driving, I drove 3 weeks after surgery, the same day I got my cast off and went back to work the next day. Being in a cast longer than the 3 weeks would have drove me crazy. I'm 7 mos post op and have been cleared to resume any sports activity I want, but I'm taking easy and just walking and biking and weights. My experience was very traumatic and I have no intentions of reliving it.
I have full ROM and no pain at all.

Feel free to contact me via email at [email protected] if you have questions. Thanks

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on June 16, 2005, 11:31:35 PM
 
I'm with you, brother! I'm done with 'high impact' sports. I NEVER want to go thru anything like this again. I've always considered myself a pretty serious athlete, but this knee injury really gives you time to take stock in what's really important---and it's not running the bases in a silly baseball game! :) I have every intention to run, bike and lift in the future as well.....but geez, I hate it when the kids call me 'coach gimp! ' :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on June 18, 2005, 01:43:45 AM
OK so as you know I was cleared to drive and to get rid of my crutches this week. I have been in PT for two weeks now. I am up to 110 degrees ROM and everything is going pretty well. My tendon is pain free, my problem is on the sides of my knee where he needed to suture the retineculum (spelling?). While bending my knee there is tremendous tightness on the sides about mid patella to the patellar tendon area. Up until yesterday it was pretty good as far as the tightness not being an issue. The last two days it has been extremely tight. It doesn't matter how much I ice or stretch or massage it , it stays tight. It was ok during PT today since I get the massage,ultrasound,and e-stim machine. I guess my question is , is this a normal occurence as I get back to moving around. If so how long can I expect it to last ( I know everyone is different just an estimation would be great). Also if you have any suggestions as to how to reduce this tightness. Thanks for your help.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on June 18, 2005, 10:17:32 AM
Hi Shawn and everyone else,

I would love to find out more about the problem with tightness to the side of the Patella, as I'm experiencing exactly the same problem.   I've tried ice/heat/massage etc., but it's so tight and painful that it's really causing me problems with Physio!

I've tried using an Ibuprofen gel/cream, which helps the pain a little but, not the tightness so if anyone can enlighten me about the cause and remedy for this, I'd be really grateful.

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ganderson on June 20, 2005, 07:18:58 AM
It is only summer, but I am looking forward to winter.  I missed last year's ski season with my injury in September.  My PT said that I should be able to ski during the 05-06 ski season.  After working out at the gym to gain calve and quad strength back, I feel I will be ready to do some mild skiing again.  Not having any other injury to the knee before, my question is will I need a brace?  I am not sure a brace will help prevent a ruptured patellar tendon injury from occurring again.  Let me know if any of you know the answer.

Galen
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 20, 2005, 07:37:42 AM
Hi Galen

Glad to learn that you have made such good progress - I know of one other person who was a ski fan and indeed his OS recommended that he should always wear some support. 

Your winter hobby puts a lot of strain on the knee which will be weak for quite a number of YEARS despite the fact that you may think that it is well and truly healed.

Look forward to the snow
best wishes
JohnK/Manchester UK

 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: smartguy1968 on June 20, 2005, 09:14:12 PM
OK so as you know I was cleared to drive and to get rid of my crutches this week. I have been in PT for two weeks now. I am up to 110 degrees ROM and everything is going pretty well. My tendon is pain free, my problem is on the sides of my knee where he needed to suture the retineculum (spelling?). While bending my knee there is tremendous tightness on the sides about mid patella to the patellar tendon area. Up until yesterday it was pretty good as far as the tightness not being an issue. The last two days it has been extremely tight. It doesn't matter how much I ice or stretch or massage it , it stays tight. It was ok during PT today since I get the massage,ultrasound,and e-stim machine. I guess my question is , is this a normal occurence as I get back to moving around. If so how long can I expect it to last ( I know everyone is different just an estimation would be great). Also if you have any suggestions as to how to reduce this tightness. Thanks for your help.

Shawn

Hi Shawn/Sarah!

The "tightness" you are experiencing is "normal". I had the same symptoms and it takes time to "loosen" up. Everything in the surgically repaired knee is "tight" because of swelling and trauma to the joint. I'm 7 mos post surgery and still have tightness. My OS says my injured knee may never look like the other knee and I'm OK with that as long as I can walk normally and have no pain. I'm 95% there with the walk and 100% with the pain.

Consult your OS when in doubt. Your PT may even know the answer. If you get conflicting answers from OS/PT, go with the OS..... :)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on June 22, 2005, 12:30:27 AM

Sarah/Shawn....I find that the stationary bike helps with tightness in the knee. The movement helps 'lubricate' the knee and improve ROM. Obviously, you don't want to strain the repair, but the more active you become with the knee, the less tightness. My knees are tight in the morning but then they improve quite a bit throughout the day. 

Galen....it's great you'll be skiing again soon! I'd go with a brace if I were you....just common sense, man. The brace will add stability both physically and psychologically! You might not need it in '07, but for this upcoming Ski season, I'd go with it!

Tommorow, I'll be 11 weeks post op! Monday, both knees were measured at 142 ROM! My OS says I'll be back to work in 3 weeks...he's really impressed with the progress so far. My right knee has bounced back....SLR's are no problem..although it's still weaker than my left knee. The OS was not concerned about it and attributed the earlier clicking and crunching to scar tissue which is still present...the knee is no longer 'catching' or mal-tracking, which is why I can walk so much better now. My OS feels that my aggressive PT has really paid off in my case...and of course we're all different...and all of the injuries are slightly different....but in my case, the early ROM excersises and quad excersises were key. I'm cleared to do leg presses at the gym now, so I'm going to start blasting those quads pretty soon! Anyway, that's my update, and as always I wish everyone a speedy and successful recovery from this brutal injury!

Dave
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on June 22, 2005, 02:46:32 PM
Hi Dave,  strange co-incidence  :o ... I started on the stationary bike at Physio this morning ...

and it does help with the Tightness ... I can't manage to complete a whole pedal circuit yet, but I could feel how effective the movements were.  I really feel that the Stationary Bike will help me progress at a much faster rate, so I'm going to try to find an exercise bike to use at home.

I managed to get up to about 87º today, but am getting quite a lot of pain to the side, and below my knee!  bizarrely, the pain is no where near the injury! 

I'm so desperate to be able to get back into my Car and start being a little more Independant!  Have been completely traumatised by scary Taxi Drivers recently  -  when I was coming home from Physio the other day ... the Taxi drivers door flew open and the driver nearly fell out into the Road!!!  :-\

take care everyone,

Sarah 
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 22, 2005, 03:33:48 PM
Hi Sarah

Delighted to see that you are making progress- not being able to drive is a b............ however, once you do, suggest that you place the drivers seat right back - this is most comfortable position.

I had a floor cycle exerciser - damm good and suggest that you look at

www.physio-med.com - they cost about pds 30, but well worthwhile to have one at home or you can get them on e-bay

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on June 22, 2005, 03:44:22 PM
Hi all,

To add, my recovery was aided immensely by cycling. Initially like you guys and girls on a stationary bike, but then on my own when I was over about 90 degrees bend. The first stages on the stationary was using one that had adjuestable pedals as my bend was so bad, but each time I used it at physio twice a week, it got better. I do not drive myself, so the use of my own bike again was great for my independence, and just as good for my recovery. I would recommend anyone if they can to get a bike of some kind, stationary or not, and use it often, when you have enough bend  ;D

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on June 22, 2005, 08:10:22 PM
Thank you all for the replies on my problem. I have come to find out that my tightness problem is stemming from tightness in my calf muscle as well as some hamstring tightness. My PT did some soft tissue release today and that seemed to help quite a bit. I also had extra ultrasound and e-stim in those areas. My range of motion is passively at 110 and at 115-120 with a little help. I measured my good leg today and found that to be 125 passively and just over 130 with help so I am not really that far away from full ROM. I have been pretty comfortable doing the bike at PT and will start going to the gym tomorrow to do a little on my own. I have only done about ten minutes at a time on the bike so far so I am going to take it slow. Hopefully that will start to help my tightness problem. Hope everyone is doin well .

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on June 28, 2005, 09:37:56 PM
Ok where did everyone go? I had to put something on here since it has been almost a week without any responses. I haven't seen this long of a gap since I became a member. Take care.


Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on June 28, 2005, 10:57:39 PM
I'm still hobbling around the board but felt lonesome on this thread ...  ;D

I am really struggling with Physio due to possibly having Bursitis of the Pes Anserine!!   :o

it's really delaying things and causing me loads of pain :'(

How is everyone else ....

haven't heard from Patricia or Liz for ages now ... hope they are OK

S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: woundedknees on June 29, 2005, 07:58:19 AM

I've been rehabbing like crazy....and getting ready to travel for the first time since the injury. I'm a little concerned how I'll manage on the airplane and trying to hobble through an airport...I'm flying into Newark, NJ. I picked up a new prescription of percocet for the trip, just in case! I'm also bringing my ankle weights so that I don't skip excercises....hopefully I'll return in tact! :-\ 

SarahJane......the good news is you ARE making progress. It may be slow, but you are getting better. Your ROM seems to be improving.....you just can never lose your will to get better!

Shawn....are you on the stationary bike yet?

Take care all....and happy 4th!!! (for all of you yanks!!!)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 29, 2005, 08:39:33 AM
Hi Dave

Dont be proud - order a wheelchair at both ends - you are entitled to this service and you will be treated
first class - and order an isle seat

Best wishes

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on June 29, 2005, 02:05:11 PM
Hi Dave, good luck with your trip. I have actually been on the bike at PT for about 6 visits now and I just started to go to the gym on my off PT days. I have had no problem with getting the pedals around since day 1. My concern now is the outside of my knee while I am in a flexed position. It almost seems as if there is a bone that is pushed out to the side. It isn't painful but it makes the knee tight. I am sure that it is just swelling underneath. My PT has been on vacation for two weeks so I have been dealing with a replacement. She returns today so I will talk to her about it. I know it is difficult to understand without seeing it but if anyone has any input on this it would be appreciated. Thanks.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 29, 2005, 07:13:54 PM
Hi Shaun

I think that you find that it is the tendon that you can feel - In my case my OS explained that the tendon was like a muscle and when it is healed, it feels like bone and is like a hard lump.

Best wishes

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on June 29, 2005, 08:35:30 PM
oooh ... had Physio today .... my Physio doesn't think that it is Bursitis of the Pes Anserine!   
so I have been offered Acupuncture for pain relief!  on the NHS!

WOW how amazing is that   (for people who haven't experienced the NHS in my area ... it's a miracle)

the constant burning pain that I'm experiencing to the inner aspect of my knee  (not along the incision/wire) is definately hampering my re-hab ...  so they offered Acupuncture!

any ideas on what's causing the pain would be appreciated.

S

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on June 29, 2005, 09:03:56 PM
Hey guys and gals, sorry I haven't been posting too much lately. I've been really busy with PT, have had to work really hard to get back to where I was BEFORE I had my tonsils/adenoids out (and I'll tell you what, that's not saying much, I'm still very weak ugh). When I'm not at PT, I'm at the gym....and when I'm not at the gym, I'm stimming/icing like crazy. I love how my knee has truly become my life over the past two years!

I need to catch up on everyone's posts so I'll be sure to post a couple replies to your questions and concerns -- hopefully I'll be able to help you guys out!

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: artgf on June 30, 2005, 02:09:09 PM
Hello fellow knee geeks! Tomorrow I'll be 6 weeks post-op and starting to bend my knee a little more now.Is it me or did everyone's knee feel like a block of wood? At first, I didn't know how I was supposed to bend my knee. It just felt SO TIGHT! But little by little I'm getting results. Going to see my OS on tuesday. Don't know if he'll refer me to PT or give me a bunch of exercises to do at home for now. I'm thinking of asking him if I can go to the gym and use a stationary bike since I read in some of your posts that cycling is good for strengthening the quads and help further my ROM. Well, I hope everyone is having a relatively pain-free day. See ya!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on June 30, 2005, 02:22:46 PM
Hi Art

You are a long way off before you can sit on a bike - you need to be over 90deg ROM before you can even think of sitting on a bike - do little by little - sorry but patience is required.

Keep at it

Best wishes
JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: artgf on June 30, 2005, 02:32:52 PM
Hi John. Thanks for your wise words. I will take it easy for now and see what my OS says on tuesday. Sometimes I lose track of the fact that I can't rush the healing process. "Patience is a virtue" and 'slow and steady wins the race" will be my new battle cries. LOL! Thanks for the advice. See ya!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on June 30, 2005, 02:50:43 PM
Just to give you a reference point Art I was 7 weeks post op and in my second week of 3 times a week PT before I got on the bike. The first time you try to pedal they tell you to just go back and forth in half-moons because you may not be able to get it all the way around the first time. Make sure the seat is up high. I was told that the first time I went all the way around to expect it to feel like I just re-injured my knee. It actually wasn't that bad. When I  initially went back to my OS he bent me to about 45 degrees then I had my initial eval with PT. Then I started 3x a week . I am now at FULL ROM . I will go back to 2 X a week now for one month. Now I am concentrating on building strength back up . Any other questions you have let me know.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on July 01, 2005, 12:19:54 AM
Hey all --

Have a question for you guys and gals...anyone having trouble with their knees outside of their patellar tendons? I've been constantly straining my LCL and now have had significant pain in the MCL region, I'm wondering if it's something I'm doing wrong or if this is common. When I first injured the LCL (diagnosed as a mild sprain), the PT said it could possibly be due to extreme weakness, while the OS said to rest as much as possible. In fact, he told me that outside of PT and home/gym rehab, I shouldn't be doing anything at all. It gets a bit frustrating because the last time I saw him, he told me I wasn't doing enough! I AM working my butt off and even had my PT (and my other PT at the other facility) talk to the OS and let him know that I'm kind of stuck here. PT even thinks I may have been blessed with chronic quad/vmo weakness.

Annnyywways, does anyone have any suggestions or are going through similar experiences? I'm growing tired of constantly being in pain both around the patellar tendon region and now outside in the other structures of the knee. I'm really nervous that one of these days the LCL (or any other ligament, for that matter) is going to be pushed too far and will snap.

Best wishes,
Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on July 01, 2005, 07:54:26 PM
Aaand things just keep on getting better...

So after months of left knee pain (my good knee, no less), I've pretty much hit my breaking point. I've been trying everything (aside from really discussing it with my OS), trying to strengthen the knee, using stim/ice, taping it, etc...with minimal results. Today at PT the pain was pretty much unbearable and my PTs started becoming pretty worried themselves. They definitely think there's something wrong at this point and it really needs to be evaluated. My next OS appointment isn't for like a month or so, so I decided to make an appointment with the GP to at least get x-rays and hopefully a script for an MRI.

My big fear though is that I have very bad mal-allignment and will need to have it corrected. I'm no doctor myself obviously, but I *did* have a LR on my right knee two years ago (by my butcher of an ex-OS). I'm not so sure at this point if conservative measures are really working (as I've been trying to take the safe route for months now).

Ugh...I hate how this stuff seems to be neverending...if it's not enough that I'm dealing with all my right knee problems, I have the left to worry about now too. I understand that I have been compensating for over two and a half years now and it seems to have really been taking its toll on the good knee...I hope there's no sort of structural damage but my PTs haven't ruled that out either. *sigh*

I'm feeling pretty bummed right now...hopefully I'll get some answers tomorrow at the GP. He's no knee specialist or anything but it's better than nothing, eh?

Patricia  :'(
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on July 02, 2005, 09:46:59 PM
Hey everybody..
SonShyne is back on the board..Update:Im back playing football again..GREAT!but its not the same as before yet..im still lacking quads and i`ve been having some trouble with scar tissue under the tendon/kneecap...it REALLY hurts when it breaks into pieces..PHEW!but its gettin better everyday..i think i have a beginning tendonitis in the right knee..i hope its because i been away so long..and its only sore for 48hrs after..so i hope its not bad..do any of u guys have a good idea how to prevent this??..to all rpt folks..the main thing here is patience..and the stationary bike should be your best friend..ifusmellwhatimcookin..stay fresh and hang in there..its tough run..
Sonshyne ;)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: DavidH on July 04, 2005, 08:09:24 PM
Hi SarahJane,
Sorry to hear that you are strugling a bit. I also have a wire in to support the tendon and frankly it's giving me hell.. It's now 9 weeks since my operation and I've had phsio for 5 weeks (4 of them in a cast brace hinged at the knee). It's a bit sobering (i find) to see the great progress some people are making despite the fact you have to be happy for them. I have about 70 degrees ROM in my knee and exercising further is just an exercise in frustration right now. The knee feels too tight to move and much of my pain comes from the wire - often also a burning pain- sometimes sharp, sometimes burning. I've also got loads of swelling from knee to ankle.

They've agreed my wire needs to come out and I hope it'll be done in the next month.

I don't know how you're doing but I was interested to see that someone else was struggling with a wire and associated problems. If you need to swap experiences you can mail me on [email protected]

good luck with the acupuncture!
Dave H/UK
Quote
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on July 04, 2005, 10:36:47 PM
Hi Dave, thanks for the support ...

I have to admit that I've found it frustrating to hear about the great progress that some people have made in comparison to my 'snail's pace' recovery, but I am happy for anyone who is recovering from this particularly debilitating injury.

Our situation sounds similar .... I can get up to about 80? but anything more than that is so painful that further progression with Physio is almost impossible at the moment. I'm feeling very demoralised about this.

I also have the extreme tightness and an excrutiating burning/stabbing pain, mine is to the inner side of my knee - about 1.5 inches away from the incision.  It's so bad that I can't sleep at night.  I'm taking as many pain-killers as I'm prepared to swallow throughout the day and am trying all sorts of STINKY Ibuprofen Gels/Creams etc.  None of these seem to touch the pain.

My OS feels that the wire shouldn't be removed until it snaps (boy am I looking forward to experiencing that!), but I'm going to have another discussion with him about this next week ... after all ... he's not the one experiencing the pain ...

However my Physio, and her Team of advisors, is adamant that the pain is not related in anyway to the Wire ... so ...
what is it related to? ... is my question but they have no answers ... hence the Acupuncture!

I'll let you know how the Acupuncture goes at the end of the week.    Please keep me posted about your wire being removed .... some of the other people who post on this thread have had it done, and it doesn't seem to be a major op ..... BUT .... any information would be greatfully accepted.

BTW ... the pain I'm experiencing is in the area that I understand is called the Pes Anserine ... but my Physio says the pain does fit the profile of Bursitis in this area .... has anyone else got experience of this?????

Hope everyone is as painfree as possible at the moment!

I'm off to bed for yet another sleepless, pain filled night   (Woe is me ... I'm obviously feeling very sorry for myself at the moment!!  need to get some perspective on this I fear!)

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: sonshyne on July 05, 2005, 11:25:49 AM
Hi Sarah/Dave..
Doctors took my wire out after 8 months(min is 6)...my story is the same as yours..had the same problems....your tendon has to heal properly...the burn/squrking comes from wire/steel..just wait and see when mine came out...my life started again....Hang in there and stay strong.
Sonshyne ;)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on July 05, 2005, 03:49:55 PM
Guess no one has any suggestions for my problem?
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: John42 on July 05, 2005, 03:56:14 PM
Hi Patricia

To be honest, I dont think that anybody on this board is qualified to give you a medical opinion as we all have suffered post operative problems following our RPT operations.  2 and a half years on, my good knee is currently paining me, and as my OS said to me last week "" I just have to grin and bear it".

It all takes time and lots and lots of patience.

With good wishes

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on July 05, 2005, 04:31:45 PM
John -

Thanks, I know this board isn't meant for a medical opinion, however, I figured I could get a suggestion or two as it seems like others in this thread have asked numerous questions regarding their recovery as well. I don't mean to inconvenience anybody though.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Patricia
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on July 05, 2005, 06:08:11 PM
Hi Patricia,
 :-\ I'm sorry,  I didn't reply to you because I hardly know what an MCL/LCL was ... I did have a look around at various sites... but I'm felt that I was too inexperienced to offer any constructive advice   (other than the stuff you already know about ... RICE etc). 

How is the pain now ... is there any improvement?   

Excuse my ignorance, but is it in the same area/similar to the pain I'm feeling?   ???

S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on July 07, 2005, 02:28:11 PM
Good Morning all. I just came from my ten week post op appt. with OS. I am now brace free, hooray!!!!!!! I have been cleared to begin light weight lifting at the gym. I was hoping to get better news as far as going back to work but I have to go back to the
OS in 6 weeks which will put me at the 16 week mark. That really isn't a problem but i was hoping. Hope everyone is doing well and pain free.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: artgf on July 08, 2005, 01:20:36 PM
Hey Shawn,

That's great news. Congratulations on being brace free!! I'm having an off day today. Just feeling sorry for myself I guess. I hate when this happens because then it just seems like my knee will never bend properly, I know it will, but days like today make it seem like it won't. Well, enough of my whining! Congrats again and keep up the good work!! See ya!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on July 08, 2005, 01:56:25 PM
Everyone here has had those days. After having a pretty good week I am also having a small setback. My quad/hamstring/groin muscles are not responding well to some new exercises so I feel like I am not very mobile again. Just take it day by day that's all you can do. Don't get discouraged because that will not help you get any better. It seems that the people who stay positive and stick with the program have a much better result than anyone else so keep your chin up. Remember that is what we are all here for.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: artgf on July 08, 2005, 02:16:10 PM
Thanks for the words of encouragement!  ;D I really appreciate all of you being here on this board. You're all very helpful and it helps to know I'm not alone. Thanks again Shawn, and I'll keep that chin up!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on July 08, 2005, 11:05:49 PM
oh well ...   

I had to cancel the much awaited Acupuncture session ....   

The Bombings in London meant that I had to re-arrange my appointments today....  :'(
Trying for another appointment next week ...

Hope everyone is Safe and painfree ... and that anyone in the London area is at home with their loved ones!   :-[

Take Care,

Sarah
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: artgf on July 09, 2005, 08:34:29 PM
Here's hoping all of the UK knee geeks are okay. Pretty scary! Hopefully you'll be able to get an appointment soon, Sarah. I had an incident at work I'd like to vent to you guys about. This new lady at work saw me limping around and asked what had happened to my knee. I preceeded to tell her about my surgery and how it's going to be a while before I am able to bend my knee, much less walk properly. She informed me that I should be walking fine now (I'm 7 wks post-op) because she had arthroscopic surgery on her knee for a torn ACL and she was fine after a month and her husband did the same when he had his TKR. She insinuated that I wasn't trying hard enough to walk correctly and that I should be doing exercises etc. I told her that my injury was pretty rare and traumatic since they had to open my knee up completely and that I was following my doctor's orders. This was the first time I had ever spoken to this woman so she didn't make a very good impression. She made me want to choke her but I just shut my mouth and limped back to my desk. I don't understand how someone who has gone through knee surgery could be so insensitive. Anyways, i just needed to vent. Hope everyone's pain-free and having a good knee day!
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: ferris_1972 on July 10, 2005, 12:20:54 AM
Well Art wish I could say I was suprised but there are just too many people in the world like that. I personally would try to find a picture of our surgery and email it to her just to show her what the difference is. But you were probably right when you just ignored her. I probably would have gotten myself into some trouble. Good luck.

Shawn
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on July 10, 2005, 01:00:51 AM
 :'(
oh dear ....  I do know how that feels ....

I get it every other day from a particular 'so called' friend .......  he seems to believe that I should be driving, working full-time in an Office and doing all the family Shopping, housework, ironing etc (particularly as his wife has just had a minor knee op recently and recovered within days!).

The fact that I'm working from home, that I can't drive, or do the shopping etc. and that I am doing Physio constantly seems to offend his view of what women should do ....   (oops .. I'm venting ... )

it is sometimes very hard to ignore people  ... tonight when I heard these opinions (yet again ...) I really felt very 'picked on' and I got quite defensive and 'assertive',  then afterwards felt silly because  it really isn't worth discussing a RPT with people who have no comprehension of the injury!

isn't it sad that my 'so called' friend thinks that I'm a lazy, skiving cow who is making the most out of a minor injury ... but that's his problem!
the opinion of people who don't have the courtesy to attempt to understand what has happened to me is not going to affect me!  arghghghgh.....

SORRY!!   .....We've touched a raw nerve for me tonight!

S

Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: Andy___H on July 11, 2005, 02:48:05 PM
Hi,

If you are looking for pictures, show em these, pictures near the bottom of the page : http://www.emedicine.com/orthoped/topic246.htm. Pretty grusome stuff  ;)

Cheers

Andy
(Portsmouth,UK)
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: SarahJane on July 11, 2005, 03:45:48 PM
hhhmmm .....  ::)

in a couple of those pics they appear to be using Dinner Forks to hold the knee open!

YUK! :P

S
Title: Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
Post by: imnotpunk on July 11, 2005, 10:59:19 PM
Hey all,
Saw the OS today for my left (good) knee, he's sending me off for an MRI with a diagnosis of a meniscal tear. Looks like I'm headed towards my first surgery on the left knee and I'm NOT happy abo