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Author Topic: ruptured patellar tendon  (Read 871 times)

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Offline nbamforth

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ruptured patellar tendon
« on: December 08, 2007, 05:29:15 PM »
Hi everyone one on knee geeks this is one hell of a great site.
i am a 36year old male who on 14th september 2007 ruptured my left patellar tendon in the mid section.The story as it goes was like about 15.00hrs on that day i was on uniformed patrol with three of my colleagues in the area of  west yorkshire.We came across a male who was dealing drugs in my area.we stopped the vehicle and spoke with him.after a short time we searched the boot area and found a large amount of cannabis.The male grabbed the drugs and ran off down the road with them.instinctively i gave chase and stopped him in his tracks and arrested him for drug dealing.a violent struggle started and a number of my colleagues joined in and everyone ended up on my left this stage i estimated that there was about 80 stone on my poor knee which quite rightly gave way we ended up on the floor and strangely apart from feeling like someone had given me a dead leg i felt no pain.i was unable to lift my leg of the floor and the knee swelled up to a fair old size.That was it from that moment on my life was changed.before this happened i was very active with a wife and two young children.i also had a plastering business which was non stop and supported my family as my wife didnt work.
everything was going singingly and financial stuff was on target although i must say that i didnt really see alot of my family but that is the spin off to working all the time.what do you do have a poor standard of living or work hard for the nice things in life where you know that your family is very well catered for.
anyway i was taken to calderdale royal and the doctor didnt have a clue what i had done.her words were "well i have never seen anything like this before officer i need to get a second off she ran and came back with a more senior doctor who gave me the low down and the severity of the injury.i was taken to huddersfield royal infirmary where the following day i was operated on and spent three days in hospital with a back slab on full length pot.
basically what i have experienced whilst in hospital was total respect for the nhs nursing staff.i can only speak from personal experience but they were brilliant and they did there best to help me.i have read recently in the us where people have had to wait 5 weeks to be operated on and only due to them having health insurance.we the british dont know we are born and i am very proud and grateful to be british at a time like this.
i came out of hospital with asparin and wonderful drug called tramadol which makes you feel on top of the world and at the same time quite wife has recently told me that i spoke a load of mumbow jumbow after coming home and to be fair i struggled to remeber alot of my visitors in the early days of the injury.
i came out of hospital with a full length pot on and it was extremely difficult to get around.the plaster pot is just so heavy and makes showering and toileting very difficult indeed.i bought myself a leg shower bag which was a total god send and enabled me to keep clean.
you need to take great care getting in and out of the shower as accidents are very easy to occur.i spent five weeks sat on the sofa watching tv and reading fhm and being really colleagues have been great and it is true when they say that the police service is like one big family.they really cared for me and did everything in the early weeks to help need to stay in touch with your family and friends as they are the ones who keep you sane and in touch with the outside world.
having children is very frustrating as they struggle to understand why daddy isnt able to grab them and play with them.what i can say is that although this injury is absolutely terrible it has brought me closer to my wife and children.the key is to get your head around what you are now capable of doing realistically and understand that life for the time being is a different set of circumstances.take each day as it comes and dont be too hard on the weeks go by you will improve although it is very slow and at times you hit rock bottom and i personally have been very have been so active to now been stopped dead in my tracks is alot to take on board.the six weeks whilst i had my pot on were the hardest just because of the mobility or should i say the lack of it.sleeping is hard because you need to visit the bathroom in the middle of the night and that can be quite a risky need to get your a plastic bed bottle where you can wee into it when required.what is strange is when you wake up and forget that you have the injury and then reality hits home again.
since my pot has been off i have been using the RICE(rest,ice compression,elevation technique) i have also used a hot water bottle on my knee.the physio says that this increases the blood flow into the knee joint.have this on four a max ofr 15-20 mins.
i have good range of movement up to 130 degrees.however the tendon itself really hurts most days and i am still taking 400mg of ibruprofen to target the pain,twice a day.
it is now about 90 days since my accident and i still walk with two crutches and unaided i have quite a significant limp.i am unable at this stage to ride a stationary bike on the lowest level,infact this was one of the reasons why i have lost a week in is so easy to just do too much and you definately pay for that the day after.i feel that there is play dow in my tendon area and imy knee is really this normal for me at this stage in the healing process.
my exercise programme so far is this three times a ady.
start with 15 reps of leg slides
15 reps of straight leg raises.
l15 reps of side leg raises.
standing on the injuried leg for twenty seconds for 3 sets.
2xsets of 15 reps of squats with own body weight.
2xsets of 15 calf raises stood up .
calf stretches 10 reps.
unweighted leg extensions sat on the edge of the table for 15 reps.
well that is me so far at three months recovery i try to have a positive mental attitude and look forward to getting back to the way it was.i will keep you all posted.this site has really helped me get all my experiences so far on the scene and hope that what i have written has bored people too much but on the other hand hope it has helped people aswel who are in the early stages of the injury.all the best
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 08:33:14 PM by nbamforth »

Offline JaneDown

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Re: ruptured patellar tendon
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2008, 10:30:08 PM »
Hello Nick,
I have no experience of your particular injury, I just felt compelled to say that I'm so sorry you've been knocked back by this. Your account of it is so descriptive and whilst my own problems are not the same as yours a couple of things you said really hit home. I too have two small chldren and feel that they have lost me over the past 11 weeks (since surgery) , I just can't be their Mummy whilst I'm like this and I really hope things get better for me so that I can be better for them. The other thing you said that struck me was about how you sometimes wake up and momentarily forget it's happened and then are jolted back to the reality of your situation. I constantly catch my breath and come back to reality when I realise once again that life has changed so much. I've had surgery that seems to have gone rather wrong, I can barely look after myself at the moment, let alone my children, and I can only prey that things improve. Likewise I really hope you go from strength to strength. Good luck with your recovery, keep us all updated.
Knee pain since 2002
2006 MRI shows lateral meniscal tears
Oct 2008 Bilateral partial lateral meniscectomies (long recovery!!)
Jan 2009 MRI shows surgery caused damage to medial meniscus!!!
June 2013 knee injury, agony!!!
August 2013 - left knee medial partial meniscectomy

Offline dm

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Re: ruptured patellar tendon
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2008, 06:07:10 AM »
sorry to hear you're having it so rough at the moment, but you've to remember a few things that are important. Tendons have no blood vessels, so they heal very very slowly. So 3 months isn't all that long for a tendon you got ripped in half to heal, especially if you want to be able to run with it, and play with the young'uns, and get back to being an active duty officer and doing your side business too.

Keeping the leg immobilized in plaster all that time like they had causes a lot of muscle atrophy, so you have a lot of work to do to make everything work like it did before everyone jumped your poor knee. Think of it like moulding glass mate, if you want a nicely done flower vase, you have to take your time, if you want a crude water pot, quick and crude will hold water, but looks like crap. Keep working on the PT, it's a constant thing, the more quad exercises, the more bike work, etc, you can do the stronger it'll get. the more non weight bearing work you can do will make the weight bearing stuff easier.

Doing things like quad sets, where you take a small rolled towel and put it under the knee so that it just bends the knee slightly, and tighten the quad, sqashing the towel, and doing that in sets of 15, as much as you can stand, will help strengthen the quads too. It is an exercise that's just a bit easier than the straight leg raise, as it's not weight bearing. It's something you can do while watching tv or reading to the kids, or as a substitute exercise if the straight leg raise hurts at the moment. Keeps working the quads, but lets you ease off a bit. I've done a lot of these.

A variation on the leg slides uses a long strap or towel around the foot as a support as a control so that you can assist with the movement with your arms. You can apply resistance when straightening your leg, and you can pull when flexing the knee to increase passive range of motion.

Of course, always ask your therapist about any of this stuff before trying it on your own, please. I'm just mentioning things as options or ideas, to help keep you motivated and to let you know there's lots of things you can do to keep working on the knee, even if you can't quite do the bike yet.  Has your therapist had you working with the 6" wide flat rubber therapy bands? I've used those too. There's a whole set of exercises that they can have you doing at home and or at therapy with those too. Some may or may not be appropriate for your level of recovery. SO .... don't get discouraged. There's plenty of work yet to do before you're chasing down the bad guys, but if you get at it too fast, you can tear that tendon again.

Don't worry about the "play" in the knee yet, as you increase muscle strength, you'll see a lot of it magically go away. Atrophy lets a lot of slack devlop in joints as they loosen up from lack of muscle tone which would ordinarily help keep things in place. The tendon itself will also tighten up as it strengthens. It'll also scar down as it heals. The doctors allow for that as they put it back together, if they didn't, it'd be tight to start with then heal way too tight, and then you'd be having more work to do to get it to loosen up enough to be functional.

There's a long road to go to recover from a torn tendon, but it's best to not rush it, as much as you just want to get up and go. Take the opportunity to play some board games with the kids, teach them a new skill, work on their studies, and just annoy the heck out of them! You'll be back at all the work you were doing soon enough, and you'll realize just what opportunity this is that you could have taken advantage of. So don't waste it!

My knee's toast, I've had mine operated on 5 times, my doc does wonders patching me up, but I manage to go mangle myself again. I fell 3 months ago and smashed my poor knee into a concrete floor and thought I'd tore my patellar tendon. Thankfully doc says I didn't, just gave it a really bad case of tendonitis and fat pad inflammation (read microtears to the tendon instead of really rip it like you did) which has gotten me some real nasty shots in my knee. I just love 8cm needles shoved in under my kneecap  and through my patella tendon -- NOT!! :o But I'm in line for a new knee, most likely before I'm 45, due to the accumulated damage, no matter what I do, it's just a matter of how long we can put it off. By the way, I'm also 36.

I know this's practically a novel, but I hope I've answered a bit of what you asked about, although my situation didn't quite pan out the way yours did, I've been through enough of the "knee wars" that I thought you'd appreciate the perspective.

Work's been insane, so I'm not online as much as I'd like, so if you have any questions I might help with, if you message me via the message link to the left of the post, I'll be happy to get back to you with a day or two. I do get my messages more often than I get the time to sit on the board right now, sadly, with needing to keep on top of the bills. My MRI just cost me $110 as my copay, to find out my tendon wasn't torn. That's more than a day's pay. Talk about ouch!
multiple arthroscopies 2/00,3/01,6/01,1/03, 12/07,10/10. chondromalacia, severe medial joint space narrowing following 3 partial menisectomies, chronic pain problems, kneecap problems, OCD lesion, failed mfx.