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Author Topic: quad atrophy - will I walk again without help  (Read 845 times)

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Offline Jo L

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quad atrophy - will I walk again without help
« on: March 20, 2014, 09:35:47 PM »
I'm looking for advice or someone who has similar issues so I can compare problems and progress. History - as a teenager I dislocated my right knee three times doing sport and ended up having my patella pinned. This worked for twenty years then two years ago I hit my knee and it dislocated again, spent six weeks in a moving brace and went through PT. A week out of PT someone stepped on my heel and my knee dislocated again, this time the consultant decided to do a lateral release. Started PT again but although I regained motion my quad had wasted so much I could no longer move the lower part of my leg independently or preform a straight leg lift. PT went on for about six months and I was still having to use one crutch when walking so eventually I was referred back to the consultant. He went in and had a look and concluded that my patella wasn't tracking properly and arthritis was making this worse, the situation was deteriorating and so recommended a PKR. I am now ten weeks post op, as before I have good bend and have no problems using a cycle machine, can do straight leg lifts and squats but still have to walk with two walking sticks. I spend one hour a day on the bike, I walk about half mile with sticks (this takes just under an hour)! And do sixty straight leg lifts and sixty squats but still have little or no quad strength. I do PT once a week and have just started with a personal trainer in a gym for half hour everyday. I feel like I am working hard and so am really frustrated at my lack of walking progress, I think 50% of my issue is physical and 50% mental! I am terrified of hurting my knee again and after walking with a crutch for nearly two years giving them up is beyond scary. I have two young children and start a new job in five weeks time and so have to improve my walking soon. Advice please  :-[

Offline Sara10

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    • My patellar tendinosis
Re: quad atrophy - will I walk again without help
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2014, 04:04:25 AM »
Hello.  I know very well of quad atrophy and how hard it is to get it back.  But if you are doing squats I would have to say you are strong!  Especially also with how much you are active.  60 leg lifts and squats are really good.   I maybe do 25 leg lifts before I get tired.

You may already have the strength for walking, but not the range of motion.  How do you do walking after a good stretching session?

I know what it's like to fear the pain after having it so long.  But trust that your body never stops healing.  And as long as you are not going in the opposite direction that your walking will continually get better
11/2012 R patellar tendon injury, immediate quad atrophy
12/2012 MRI- tendinosis
1/2013- OS- Patellar tendinitis and Chondromalacia
3/2013 L Patellar tendon pop, no quad atrophy
7/5/13   Normal MRI, right knee tendinosis cured!

Offline Jo L

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Re: quad atrophy - will I walk again without help
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2014, 11:58:04 AM »
Hi Sara, I do my leg lifts and squats in sets of 30 and do one set in the morning and one in the afternoon, couldn't do 60 all at once. I think my range is quite good, I can bend it 125 degrees but do struggle with full extension when straight. When walking I seem to have a delay in my bad leg, I step forward with my good one and then I really have to think about moving the bad one, it is not an automatic motion. Also I take tiny steps and so would say I shuffle more than walk especially when outside on uneven ground and going down slopes is nearly impossible. I think you are right though that my strength is good enough to walk without sticks but I am terrified and then I panic and all my muscles tense up and It all goes terribly wrong. Are you walking independently and what is your daily exercise regime like? Jo

Offline Sara10

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Re: quad atrophy - will I walk again without help
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 12:37:09 AM »
Hey there,

I am walking independently now.  I know what you mean how you have to think before you put your leg down.   It took a while to be able to walk without thinking about my knees.  They were constantly on my mind.
So a year ago today I was not walking.   I mean, I was able to meander to the restroom and to the kitchen cook dinner, but the most I walked was half a block before it was in pain that I had to sit down.  July 2013 I started seeing my most progress.  By November 2013 I was pain free.

For the most part i've stayed pain free, but it's still a battle.  I can walk pain free most days now, but I still can't really walk downstairs, upstairs fine though.

My daily exercises now are straight leg lifts 25x, clam shells with blue theraband until fatigue, penguin walks 3 sets of 15 each side, hip abductions until fatigue, glute bridges until fatigue.  Just recently my PT added Dorsiflexion drills for my calves and ankles.  It could be a reason why stairs are hard for me so doing those hopefully I can walk down stairs normally again.

Outside of PT.  I go to a stretching class once a week, and do a pilates mat class once a week.  Weekends I walk for longer periods and do errands.  Light biking maybe once a week.

So hang in there.  It will get easier, but it's incredibly slow.  For a good year after my initial injury I wasn't able to do normal things
11/2012 R patellar tendon injury, immediate quad atrophy
12/2012 MRI- tendinosis
1/2013- OS- Patellar tendinitis and Chondromalacia
3/2013 L Patellar tendon pop, no quad atrophy
7/5/13   Normal MRI, right knee tendinosis cured!















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