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Author Topic: Quad - failure to fire  (Read 727 times)

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Offline Meandthetree

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Quad - failure to fire
« on: May 02, 2020, 01:51:12 AM »
After 10 weeks of panic and stress I promised myself I would post about my most recent surgery recovery to maybe help others in the future.

Two years ago I had a pretty nasty skiing accident, resulting in a schatzker vi Tibial plateau fracture, amongst other things. 18 months after, having had the metal work removed and regaining most of my post accident mobility, my patella started slipping and occasionally dislocating. In late January this year, I had tibial tubercle transfer surgery to realign the patella and an arthroscopy to clean out some floating debris.

My recovery, now 12 weeks in, was the strangest and in some ways the hardest after all my surgeries to date. Firstly, I had no post op pain or discomfort. The morning after surgery I got out of the hospital bed, got to the car on crutches and sang to the radio for the whole 2 hour journey home. I slept beautifully and my wound healed exceptionally well.

At week 2 I started light PT and my range of movement started to improve pretty quickly, with again little to no discomfort. Then at week 4 we tried to introduce quad exercises and nothing happened. I had no strength or activity in the quad at all. Anything that required unsupported engagement from the quad was impossible. At week 6 my PT introduced EMS to my treatment plan and even provided me with the machine when the clinic reduced hours due to COVID, to use twice daily. Still nothing - except stress on my part. I researched as much as I could but couldn’t find a lot about quad failure beyond the four to six week mark that didn’t involve long term and even permanent failure.

At week 7 my surgeon (who is normally fabulous) noted that my quad ‘was still sleeping’ and told me to stop relying so heavily on my crutches! He wasn’t too worried, but offered no further advice except to remind me that this surgery was just the last in a long list of traumas my little leg had been through and maybe I just needed to stop googling!

Anyway, after trying everything and getting myself pretty worked up, a week ago, for no particular reason, and not in response to any particular thing, my quads fired up, just like that. With their arrival at the rehab party I am now walking 2 1/2kms daily without a limp and can go up stairs with ease. Slopes and down stairs are still a work in progress.

My lack of pain, while a blessing in one sense, made rehab difficult because I couldn’t tell I was overdoing it until my leg responded with swelling or bruising. My surgeon speculated that my lack of pain may have been due to nerve damage, but as I have normal feeling in my leg and can feel pain everywhere below the surgery site this is probably not the case.

I have used this website for information through my whole recovery, and am truly grateful. I just hope that my still in progress, but happy ending story will help someone else who is dealing with quad failure.