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Author Topic: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon  (Read 391293 times)

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Offline sball

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2007, 08:36:53 AM »
Hi. I'm new to the website and new to the ruptured quad tendon problem. I managed a complete rupture of the right tendon while falling down stairs in the UK in December. I live in Dubai and only managed to have the repair done 2 weeks after the slip. I am now 15 days post op and still in plenty of pain, especially at night.

I'm in a canvas brace but have been advised by my consultant to take it off when I can and to move around as much as possible. He wants me to be able to bend to 45 deg by end Feb (6 weeks) and I can already manage 25 - 30. He says tendons heal better when they are moving. I can bend it more in the morning than in the evening - is this usual?

My biggest worry is slipping before the healing is complete.

Can anyone advise how to minimise the pain at night? Its keeping me awake.

Any advice for the new guy?

Offline frederico

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2007, 10:57:21 PM »
Welcome to the world of quadricep tendon recuperation.  I am now 5 months out, and I remember the first three months being very trying. 

I also had pain at night, which in my case seemed to be relieved by getting up and moving around.   I would get up a few times each night make a couple of loops through the living room and dining room and it always seemed to ease the pain by getting the knee moving.  My P.T. ascribed it to the impaired post-surgery ciruculation.  i.e. all the lymph vessels and veins were disrupted from the surgery...when there wasn't any movement, things sort of stagnate....by getting up and moving around the movement flushed out the toxins and noxious by products of the healing.  Seemed to make sense to me.  He also did some massage of the area to help the process of the vessels and circulation to be re-estalished. 

I had an IROM brace, which has a hinge which you can change gradually allow an increased range of motion.  It seemed to work well, because each week I would increase the ROM 10 degrees.  There was a safety valve in that I couldn't go more than that. I was warned time and again - NO sudden extreme bends of the knee. 
I would agree that tendons heal much better when they are moving....just as long as it is not too much too fast! 

I was able to bend my knee more in the evening than in the morning. 

I would agree...slipping and being out of control with that leg before healing....at least three months...is a BIG concern.   My first three months, the only time I took the brace off was to bathe. However, in that controlled environment, I would try some gentle bending and stretching.

Advice....take it slow and steady.  Don't expect to make gains in ROM or strength...just very gradual progress. It takes a while and you cannot rush it. 

Offline sball

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2007, 09:00:09 AM »
Thanks for sharing your experiences Frederico. I'll try walking around at night.

How long before you were able to drive?

Offline frederico

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2007, 06:49:20 PM »
Be interesting to see if the walking around at night works for you....let me know.

Driving...I think it was three weeks before I could drive, primarily because I couldn't bend my knee enough to get it through the door to get into the drivers seat.  Prior to that I had to scoot myself into the back (bench- type seat) and be chauffered by my wife.  That gets old quickly. That said, my injured leg was the left one and being in the US I only needed the right leg to be functional.  Once I had enough flexion to be able to negotiate the door opening, I was good to go.  I don't think I could have used my injured leg to drive though, as I didn't have enough strength to pick it up and move it.

rob johnson

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2007, 06:28:06 AM »
Hi, I ruptured my quadricep tendon on January 6, 2007.  I had surgery on January 12, 2007 to repair tendon. I started rehab on January 17, going twice a week to rehab.  It has now been five weeks ago today since surgery.  I am at 100% knee bend.  I just started flexing my knee without the brace on.  This is a very slow process and at times I feel like my knee is never going to get any better.  I have to walk in the brace and am off the crutches now.  I walk 1 to two miles a day depending on how I feel.  I work my knee about two or three hours a day at home.  Thanks for the comments. 

Offline frederico

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2007, 04:48:54 PM »
Sounds like you are doing super fantastic Rob J.! 

I just had my 6 month post -op appointment and was told I was doing well. ("summa cum laude") I should continue to work out with leg weights.  No squats with weights.  I can ease back into running but should take it v-e-r-y slowly. Still no "ballistic" movements. No jumping for a few more months also. 

Overall my course has been of a slow progressive improvement both in range of motion and quad strength. The only glitch which I troubleshooted was some locking/clunking of my knee. Initially, I thought it was the knee cap catching, but upon further analysis, it was the tibial-femoral articulation.  I had ripped my medial retinaculum quite a bit when I ripped my quad tendon, and I think the articulation was out of alignment after the surgery.  My P.T. did some gentle stretching and manipulation of my lower leg and it improved! 

Regards to all and best wishes for your rehab.

Offline JDELUNA

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2007, 02:58:52 AM »
I had a ruptured Quad tendon and had surgery for it back in August 2004. My doctor told me that it would take approx. 1.5 years before I would be back to normal where I do not think about my knee, etc. and he was right. I had PT sessions, etc. and after PT even did exercises on my own, still do now.  I will be honest with you, it was a SLOW process, but keep it up and after a while you will doing things normally again with your knee, I know I have...thank you God !!! ALso YES going down stairs I had a problem just like most of you, as I thought my knee or actually my leg would give out, but know I can walk normally up and down the stairs. It just takes time to get the muscles to get strong again, so all of you out there, please do NOT give up, just take it a step at a time, 1 rep after another, keep at it, do not give up,  and remember the results are not instant, but they are cummlative. So hang in there and God Bless  :)

Offline sball

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2007, 09:44:29 AM »
Hi Frederico and Jdeluna.

I was also told to expect around 18 months for a full (95% power) recovery. I'm now 6 weeks post op and still having significant pain at night. In fact, I haven't had a full night's sleep since 15th Jan when I had my surgery. I'm in pain, exhausted, REM deficient and somewhat grumpy!

Did any of you guys also have pain at night and, if so, how long did it last?

I'm also having some clunking and clicking when I flex and extend (around 100 - 110 degrees now) and there is some pain with each click. It really does sound/feel like the patella is sticking.

In the evenings, it feels like the patella has locked down tight over the joint and is restricting movement. Did anyone else have the same problem?

Thanks for all the good advice.

Stuart

Offline sball

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2007, 09:56:26 AM »
Oh, and one other thing - at night, when my knee swells and tightens up, I also get a strange tingling sensation on the top of my right foot - feels like a nerve is being constricted or something like that.

Any thoughts from anyone?

Offline frederico

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2007, 01:01:56 AM »
Stuart,

Sorry to hear you're still having pain at night.  Does getting up and walking around help at all with this?
I think mine night pain persisted up until about three months out.

I think I had some patellar catching as well, but as the muscles strengthen, this seems to improve.  My P.T. had also done some "myofascial release" around the patella as well.  Because of the incision, there can be some scarring down of the patella, so this needs to be released. As I'm remembering as well, with vigorous activity (p.t.) the patella would get sore and be more uncomfortable.  Gentle stretching to push the system without overtaxing is key, but admittedly hard to discern where the balance is.

I put hot compresses on my knee evening and that seemed to loosen things up.

Tingling sensation usually =  nerve being pinched, you're correct. Why? I don't know.

Regards,

Fred


Offline sball

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2007, 12:20:21 PM »
Hi Fred

36 degrees celsius (97 F) here in Dubai today and its still only spring. Looks like its going to be a stinker.

Yes, getting up and walking around does help. I'm 2 months out now and I suppose I can put up with another month as long as I know there's hope in site.

I've been told not to start any real strengthening exercises until 3 months - lunges, squats etc., so I'll have to wait to see if this improves the patellar catching. I must say though that there has been a small improvement in this. The worst is that things seemed to be getting better and then 4 days ago quite a lot of the pain came back - day and night. I didn't do anything I can remember to disturb the repair and the PT says he can see no new damage, so I don't know what this is. Possibly either over-use or some physical jerks at night during the odd half-hour patch of sleep.

Vigourous activity certainly seems to over stress things. You're right - hard to discern the balance.

I still get a lot of swelling at night.  I've tried icing but that hasn't achieved much. I'm going to try the hot compress route tonight. I'm also going to ask the PT about myofascial release. I have a really good guy - used to be the PT for the Swiss handball team and certainly seems to know what he's about.

He tells me that I'll need to start riding a stationary bike soon to impove motion. Oh joy!

I'm also wondering if there is a correlation between age ec. and the time it takes to heal something like this. I'm 44, 1.84m - just over 6 feet - and weigh 98kg and I'm interested in your (and anyone else with the same injury and repair) stats, if you're willing to share them in a public forum like this. If not, no worries. I'm also a type 2 diabetic whch I'm told does effect healing times. Interestingly enough, research would tend to indicate that people with diabetes are at higher risk of this type of injury. Guess I'll have to take it easier and be more careful in the future - just so hard to remember when you're running around having fun, playing with the kids etc.

Thanks for continuing to respond.

Stuart

Offline frederico

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2007, 08:57:39 PM »
Hi Stuart,

It is spring like here....67 F with a gentle rain. The geese have been flying northward in droves, always a good sign of warmer weather.  Up till last week it had been unseasonably cold.   

I found once I was able to handle the motion of the stationary bike, it helped, as long as I didn't over do the time I did it or the resistance.  I have an elliptical trainer which I used intially and that worked well with a very light resistance. Once I was able to make the range of motion with the bike pedal, the gentle resistance and motion seems to pump the knee, helping the patella find it's groove and increasing the overall flexion.  The few times I pushed too hard on the bike, I could feel it the next few days in stiffness and some discomfort around the patella.

I am 54 y.o., 6'1" and 84kg. Everyone has been telling me that the older you get the longer it takes to heal - I have to agree.  :(  I was in pretty good shape prior to my accident (lots of biking) which I think was a benefit to my recovery.

If you are a well controlled Type II diabetic the healing should be relatively normal...only if you are poorly controlled will the healing be slowed.

Keep the faith on the recovery...three months is a good benchmark to shoot for in terms of starting to be able to rebuild the muscle.  The tendon should be pretty much healed by then.

Regards,

Fred

Offline wahrenjie

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2007, 04:25:11 PM »
Hello, I just discovered this site yesterday and I hope I can get some feedback from people with the same issues. I ruptured my left quad tendon on 11/3 and had surgery on 11/7. I was in a cast for 2 weeks and a hinged brace locked at extension after that. I didn't start PT (meaning I didn't bend my leg at all) until exactly 10 weeks post op. I've been going to PT 2/3 times a week since. On day one I got 33degrees ROM. 2 1/2 weeks ago they got me to 90 degrees with excruciating pain. For the last 1 1/2 weeks I've been able to gingerly pedal the bike all the way around. I'm not using a cane or crutches anymore but most of the time I walk with a limp. I still have pain in the bottom left area of my patella. So I'm only allowed to do leg lifts and isometrics. Yesterday my PT told me he spoke with my OS and feels I can't get any more ROM using PT alone and I should get MUA. Is it to soon (this is week 8 of PT) for them to recommend this to me? They say with this i should be near normal function in less than a month. Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2007, 12:48:40 AM by wahrenjie »

Offline frederico

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2007, 09:56:12 PM »
So...what's MUA?  I started my P.T. about 5 weeks out but had almost 90 degrees at that point from the hinged brace. I stretched my leg on my own with some tightness, but never pushed to extreme pain. I can't say I can offer much input on the appropriatness of this. 

Offline frederico

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Re: Ruptured Quadriceps Tendon
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2007, 11:11:26 PM »
Okay, I'm a bit slow on the jargon.  MUA = manipulation under anesthesia. Sounds painful to me- but I don't know much about it.