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Author Topic: Possibility of recovery 2 years later?  (Read 3658 times)

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Offline SkyeGospel

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Possibility of recovery 2 years later?
« on: March 21, 2015, 11:15:03 AM »
Hi there. I'll try and sum things up as concisely as possible: I ruptured my patellar tendon about 22 months ago. It was initially not noticed - it was assumed by all the swelling that I had sprained my ligaments only. It was only at the 7 week check up that it was noticed I had absolutely no strength and an ultrasound showed the patellar tendon ruptured. My kneed was operated on a couple of days later and I started going to physio shortly after.

Unfortunately physio reached a stage where I could bend my knee well but there was still no strength in it to do straight leg lifts, etc. When they put me back in touch with the surgeon he said it might just not get any better since there was such a long gap (7 weeks) between the injury and the surgery. So physio agreed I would just leave physio to the side and be content with the knee as it is - relatively little pain but virtually no strength.

Any way, the reason I am coming back to this forum after all this time is that I have noticed a slight improvement in the knee over this last month or so - things like being able to sleep lying on my left side without pain and just a general feeling that the knee is firming up a little through general day-to-day things.

It is making me start to wonder if there might still be hope for getting more strength into the knee? And, if there is, then I would LOVE to have any advice as to how to go about this. I was wondering about starting to use a knee support or something to keep everything together? I'd love to be able to walk up and down steps again without having to put both feet onto each step! Any thing I should be doing? The other thing that doesn't help is that I am very over weight (I know that losing weight is an obvious way to help - working on it but very slowly!)

Many thanks for any advice. I found this forum very helpful in the early months of recovery but have just been giving up on my knee for a long time now.

Stuart

Offline SellaVee

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Re: Possibility of recovery 2 years later?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2015, 03:17:04 PM »
Hello again, Stuart, I've wondered how you were doing.  I'm sorry to hear how things have gone.  Here are some random thoughts from my own experiences.

I have recently had the wire taken out and although it's left an ugly scar I'm pleased with how much better the knee feels.  After the surgery I went back to see my super physiotherapist and mentioned the difference in muscle tone between my right and left knees.  The bad news is that she said that was probably it as far as improvement went.  Having said that I've continued to see small improvements in my knee function.

One thing she did do that I fount helpful was to strap my knee with 5cm Kinesio tape.  You would need to see a physio about this to get the pattern right.  She also attached me to something called a Kneehab which stimulated my muscles electronically.  Being hands on she massaged my knee too.

I'd try having a word with the physiotherapist and see what they suggest.

If we add the power of prayer into the mix you never know what might happen.

God bless,

Sella
Ruptured patellar tendon (avulsion fracture) 11 June 2013
Surgical repair with wire 5 July 2013
Wire removed 28 January 2015

Offline SkyeGospel

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Re: Possibility of recovery 2 years later?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 11:05:29 PM »
Thanks so much for your reply Sella - and I've just noticed that your injury was on the same day as mine - 11th June 2013! I'm really interested to hear that you had the wire taken out... Was this by choice or did it eventually break? I seemed to read online that it is sometimes taken out but when i mentioned this to my surgeon he said he wouldn't want to do that as it would be another thing needing to heal but I often feel as if pain I get from the knee might be coming from the wire rather than the injury itself.

I had wondered about getting something like this to start wearing: http://www.physioroom.com/product/PhysioRoom.com_Stabilising_Knee_Support/3107/38722.html?gclid=CjwKEAjwrbSoBRDok47Sv6Ci80wSJABFUszTNRRriTHGwtB3eL58j3ifyGirlna0eiZM9CzuDjg2mhoCvrfw_wcB

The Kneehab looks fantastic... I searched around to see if there were any available second hand but there doesn't seem to be a single one on either eBay or Gumtree t my surprise! And the rental/buy new price is hefty.

If I'm totally honest I don't feel a huge amount of confidence in the physiotherapist - I feel really bad saying that as she was a lovely person but it sort of felt that it was just a case of keeping trying the same exercises but them not working.

Thanks again for your advice - and will definitely keep praying... I know looking back God's had a lot to teach me that He couldn't have taught with a quick recovery so it's all good.

Stuart

Offline SellaVee

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Re: Possibility of recovery 2 years later?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2015, 04:32:40 PM »
Stuart, I'm travelling in SE Asia at the moment so my internet access is intermittent - apologies for the delay in replying.

I had the wire taken out because it broke and I could feel it digging in.  My consultant told me that my problem was arthritis but I insisted on having it taken out because I could see on the X-ray that part of it looked like a coat hook.  They opened up the lower half of the original scar and removed three pieces of wire.  They only put one in so I rest my case.  My knee feels so much better now that it's out and I don't set off the alarm at airports.  I do have a rather ugly scar, but that will fade.

I had a knee sleeve like the one in your link but I now prefer to strap my knee with kinesio tape.  However you might find it useful to use a sleeve.

The best advice I had was from my friend on the Black Isle who told me to throw money at it when I was first injured and feeling really low.  I booked a private physiotherapist who was recommended by another forum member.  My NHS physiotherapist was lovely but not a patch on the private one who has lots of experience and much more time to spend with me.  It has been money well spent. Many of us on the main thread agree that a good physiotherapist is crucial to a good recovery.

Hope this helps,

Sella

Ruptured patellar tendon (avulsion fracture) 11 June 2013
Surgical repair with wire 5 July 2013
Wire removed 28 January 2015

Offline SkyeGospel

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Re: Possibility of recovery 2 years later?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2015, 10:53:40 AM »
Thanks again Sella.

Interesting to hear about your experiences with the wire - I had a couple of times about a year ago when I was certain the wire had snapped but they did an x-ray and said all looked fine. I think I would like to get rid of it. I'm travelling to Glasgow every week next term for part-time college so I am going to look into a consultation with a private physio nearby to see what they say - Where I live in the highlands there are none nearby so this term would be a great opportunity to try and have a few appointments if there is anything they felt they could do.

Thanks Sella.

Stuart

Offline bballkingofnba

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Re: Possibility of recovery 2 years later?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2015, 06:15:47 AM »
I would also get an opinion of another surgeon. I feel like something can be done where you should get near normal function and strength in your leg.

Offline SkyeGospel

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Re: Possibility of recovery 2 years later?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2015, 05:13:07 PM »
Thanks for that. Very encouraging to know there is at least a possibility of more recovery. I will definitely try and look into some second opinions over this next couple of weeks.

Stuart

Offline carkeltom

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Re: Possibility of recovery 2 years later?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2015, 03:05:41 AM »
Hello Skye.  I was injured about a month after you and Sella.  So, I too am glad to see you back on the board.  I had a double RPT, so my recovery has taken longer than a single I believe.  Even after 21 months, i still find those small signs and feel myself getting better.  I wish you the best of luck and thanks for checking back in.  I would love to share my story and hope you find some hope also.

Tom
Bilateral patellar tendon rupture 7/19/13

Offline Thomas99

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Re: Possibility of recovery 2 years later?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2015, 05:32:42 PM »
I would suggest look at getting a second opinion. I fully ruptured my left patellar tendon in June 2014, had surgery 5 days later, but I was not improving after 3-4 months and had no quad function, could not do straight leg raises at all. I sought a 2nd opinion and new MRI which found I had ruptured 75% of the tendon again. As the injured tendon was a mess they used my right hamstrings to graft a new tendon in the left. There was quite a long time between original surgery date and eventual 2nd surgery date of late January 2015.

I would think even if the original tendon is shortened & scarred, that they could graft in from your hamstring tendons or even use a tendon graft from a cadaver.

Offline SkyeGospel

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Re: Possibility of recovery 2 years later?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2015, 01:15:42 PM »
Thank you all so much for your replies, advice and encouragements. Sorry not getting back earlier but for some reason I didn't get the usual email to say anyone had added a message (or somehow lost it!).

Just a quick update. I have now had 4 private physio sessions in Glasgow (and probably won't be able to get any more as I have finished my studies there and there are no local private physios).

They basically said they were shocked that I had been told things would probably not improve any more as all the muscles were still there and they reckoned there should be possibilities of getting them strengthened. They were very thorough and the knee has, after 2 years, finally come on in a huge way! I can now walk up and down stairs properly (though still not smoothly and with a good bit of pain!). I can do straight leg lifts and just have so much more strength and flexibility!

And I know things will keep improving as I keep doing the exercises they have prescribed.

I can't thank you enough for recommending seeing a private physio and can I say to anyone else who may be considering it that it is worth doing whatever it takes if you can possibly get to do it yourself. Cost me 40 per appointment which seemed expensive but that means a total of 160 to be able to walk properly without a limp again which is sooo worth it!