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Author Topic: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair  (Read 12380 times)

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Offline Griceberg

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Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« on: December 08, 2014, 03:39:27 AM »
Hey everybody.

I had quad tendon repair over 8 years ago and I continue to have atrophy, weakness, and soreness in my leg. I've asked a few doctors why the atrophy isn't reversable and have yet to get an answer. Has anybody on this site gotten an answer from any doctor about this issue? I'd love,to know why it never gets back to normal. My right thigh is like a wet sponge.
5/25/06  Right quadriceps tendon rupture from patella.
6/9/06  Surgery to repair quad tendon. Anchored to patella with sutures.
- After 6 weeks, began physical therapy for two months.
1/2007  Began another month of pt.
- Currently still experiencing pain on top of and on the interior of the kneecap.

Offline Stuart Rulka

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2014, 06:21:38 PM »

Griceberg, firstly, condolences are in order. Most of us with a RQT have experienced some degree of atrophy but have managed to regain most of our loss.
   With all due respect I suggest very strongly that the Doctors are not the right people to whom to pose your question. Find a Physiotherapist with experience handling rehab of this injury and put yourself on his/her hands. The OS is, of necessity, concerned primarily with ensuring the success of his Surgery, rehab is secondary. Only a Professional in Rehabilitation Medicine, experienced with dealing with this relatively rare injury, and who has kept current with the latest techniques, can focus exclusively on your recovery. All others must recommend a very conservative approach. After 8 years you will need expert help!
Good luck.
Stuart Rulka
Complete RQT Aug2 2013
Surgery Aug3 2013
Resumed work Aug6 2013

Offline mojocpa

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2014, 05:32:21 PM »
I did the double over a year ago and I have to say my quads are stronger now than before the fall. Having done the double, I had to use the muscles equally versus a single that may "cheat" and rely on the good leg. Just a guess. Dave J
Bilateral quadriceps tendon rupture 10/1/13
Surgery 10/2/13

Offline Griceberg

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2014, 06:09:47 PM »
Hey guys. Thanks for the replies.

Let me just say this. I had been involved in sports most of my life. For a good part of that time, I participated in powerlifting. Not to make myself out to be a genius, but I know how to train. I've got extensive practical experience and education related to weight training/sports training. I also had two sessions of PT after my surgery with a good therapist.

My question, which I might not have asked in the right way, is this: Why does the contour of the muscle not return to normal? Why does the atrophy remain?

I guess what I'm saying is that when I ask the doctor aboutthe surgery and he says, "It's fixed," it's only fixed and not "normal." What I want to know is, why wont the muscle and tendon grow back and function like normal? It's in the right place.

I can work out like a champ for months and my right leg is clearly smaller that my left. And what little gains I do happen to make are totally gone after about a week if I don't work legs a couple of times. It is extremely disappointing and discouraging. Not to mention, I'm embarassed to wear shorts any more.
5/25/06  Right quadriceps tendon rupture from patella.
6/9/06  Surgery to repair quad tendon. Anchored to patella with sutures.
- After 6 weeks, began physical therapy for two months.
1/2007  Began another month of pt.
- Currently still experiencing pain on top of and on the interior of the kneecap.

Offline fishy

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2014, 10:23:00 PM »
Fishy here....double RPT.  My PT said that I could expect about 80% recovery of muscle mass, contour though is more like cottage cheese.  I have run 50+ marathons and I was very proud of my tight gluteus and beautifully contoured legs.  Age took some (67 yo) and the accident took the rest.  I am now 18 1/2 months post injury and walking is mostly normal, stairs are slow and going down stairs is still really slow.  I really had a great Doc and my PT was a seasoned Army Captain (I had my operation and rehab at a VA hospital in Anchorage, Joint Base Elmendorf/ Ft. Richardson, JBER)...I rehabbed with 20something testosterone driven troops that had leg injuries far worse than mine....and I still need to continue to rehab by exercise....it will be a life long thing for me.... hope this helps....  Bob

Offline Stuart Rulka

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2014, 02:59:39 AM »
Griceberg, as usual I seem to represent one extreme. Almost as ancient as Bob (2months short of 67)  my quads are basically symmetrical again. Not as well defined as they once were, but the age thing..... I was in good shape when injured, hiking 1hr  of steep grade at 90% max cardio 4 times a week. Fortunate to have Surgery 16 hours after rupture. Started PT at 2weeks, riding a bike at 3 and back hiking one of the world's 10 most dangerous Hiking trails (Vancouver's Grouse Grind) at 6 weeks.
  It is my contention that  my recovery owed everything to the rapidity with which my PT ( Chief of PT for the Vancouver Olympics) got me moving. This was completely at odds with my OS , who originally wanted me to put off hiking for a year, then relented to a mere 6 months. Had I followed his advice I might never have regained my former Quad strength. Still 10% off my former times but at 66 a six week layoff will do that.
 This is why I keep reiterating that the Surgeon does the a Surgery but should let the PT look after the Rehab!
I really don't understand why you have been unable to regain your Quad contour and strength. Must be some other factor at work.
Stuart Rulka
Complete RQT Aug2 2013
Surgery Aug3 2013
Resumed work Aug6 2013

Offline destroyedbothtendons

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2014, 04:26:51 PM »
Fishy,
18 & 1/2 months and you are still struggling down stairs?  That's not what I wanted to hear.  I was actually expecting/hoping to be pretty much functional by that point.  I will be at 1 year this upcoming week.  I am finally able go down steps without stopping both feet on the same step and without turning my body.  Of course there needs to be a railing and when my left leg is supporting most of my weight I am really holding on. 

Good Luck to you.
Bilateral Quadriceps Tendon Rupture 12/19/13.
Surgery 12/21/13
Quad Tendon Revision Repair Left Leg 4/1/15

Offline fishy

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2014, 07:36:50 PM »
Fishy here.... hey Destroyed....., yeah, I had hoped to be able to do much more than I currently can do.  There are soooooo many positive things to take from this event.... I got my legs back.... I can walk and function so I can go forward to complete my lifes journey.... I may not run but I can walk, I may not climb and descend without trouble, but I can climb and descend, period.  And the pain is diminishing.  I imagine that I will continue to improve because I want to improve.  Keep up the great postings, and I will be doing the same.   Thanks, and to all.....stay positive    Bob

Offline bballkingofnba

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2014, 09:17:31 AM »
How is your range of motion in the leg? Do you have full extension and full volitional control of your quads?

Offline mojocpa

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2014, 03:09:06 PM »
I am with Fishy on this one. Declines and going down stairs still suck, but at least I can do them. I am not in a wheelchair or using a walker or crutches. If this is what life gives me, I will gladly take it. 
Bilateral quadriceps tendon rupture 10/1/13
Surgery 10/2/13

Offline destroyedbothtendons

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2014, 05:35:36 PM »
Don't get me wrong as I am not complaining about my woes.  Last year at In-Patient rehab I saw many people who were in a much worse place than me.  It's just that the OS and the PT gave me the impression that I would make a full recovery.  There is no pain to speak of and just occasional stiffness.  The worst part is than I can no longer bowl (American bowling) properly.  If this never comes back I will be one sad person.  I will also be wondering if I wasted all this time at the gym in an attempt to get to a point that isn't realistic.

Thanks for the kind thoughts.  Good luck with your recoveries.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 06:15:12 PM by destroyedbothtendons »
Bilateral Quadriceps Tendon Rupture 12/19/13.
Surgery 12/21/13
Quad Tendon Revision Repair Left Leg 4/1/15

Offline Stuart Rulka

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2014, 06:20:19 PM »
Destroyedbothtendons. Merry Christmas, remember time spent at the Gym is never wasted, even if you never quite regain your old form. You will always be the better for it.
   Good luck.
Stuart Rulka
Complete RQT Aug2 2013
Surgery Aug3 2013
Resumed work Aug6 2013

Offline mojocpa

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2014, 11:36:34 PM »
Destroyed, a lot of it is mental in my opinion. I had one instance where I was backing up and almost stepped on someone else's foot, the reaction was one of that knee mentally buckling - every one around me was asking if I was okay. I also think that we are more cognizant of our knees now and don't take them for granted. As far as full recovery goes, I think everyone is different as far as the amount of recovery.  If you think about bowling, it depends a lot on your knees. Things do get better, it is just everybody heals differently. Stuart was doing his Grouse Grind shortly after his surgery. I believe that is mostly uphill, though. I will be happy to get to the point of walking down stairs with something in my hands "normally". But if it does not happen, then so be it, I will go on with my life.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 11:39:06 PM by mojocpa »
Bilateral quadriceps tendon rupture 10/1/13
Surgery 10/2/13

Offline destroyedbothtendons

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2015, 05:03:23 PM »
So last night I informed my teammates I will no longer be bowling.  It just wasn't worth the aggravation to be that bad at something that I used to really enjoy.  Hopefully someday I will get back there. 

Thanks for the moral support.  Maybe I just expected too much too soon.
Bilateral Quadriceps Tendon Rupture 12/19/13.
Surgery 12/21/13
Quad Tendon Revision Repair Left Leg 4/1/15

Offline Thomas99

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Re: Weakness and atrophy after quad tendon repair
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2015, 02:12:00 AM »
I feel your frustration destroyedbothtendons, I also used to play ten pin bowling with a quite respectable average of 190. I'm also Worried that I won't be able to bowl again. Just the thought of putting all my weight on my injured knee, gives me the nightmares of collapsing in a heap. I may now never get my elusive 300 game ( came close with a 298).

Is there anyone else out there that has been able to play ten pin bowling after rupturing their bowling leg tendon ???

Less than 2 weeks for my second surgery attempt to fix my left patellar tendon.















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