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Author Topic: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery  (Read 1248829 times)

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Offline John42

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4725 on: April 17, 2013, 09:38:53 AM »
Hi Jedward   

100ROM after 13 weeks, not bad - but you are pushing too hard - you have sustained a very serious injury, and the rehab is normally not less than 6 months to near normal recovery

LISTEN TO YOUR KNEE - take it a little slower - anything over 125ROM is a bonus.

Keep posting

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Ruptured Patella Tendon January 9 2003
Slipped on black ice.  Manchester UK

Complete Ruptured Tendon

Offline parchfan3

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4726 on: April 17, 2013, 04:55:12 PM »
Hello Everybody

Just wanted to thank everybody. It has provided really nice information and inspiration for me as I deal with this injury. I tore my right ACL as a 19yo so I kinda already knew what to expect from major knee surgery but it still really helps to hear other people's stories.

The Injury
I am 34. I have a history of patellar tendonitis caused by years and years of basketball and lots of jumping off that left knee. On February 22 I was playing full court basketball when the injury occurred. As I attempted to jump for a lay up on a fast break, I planted my left foot on a small wet spot and my left knee slid and hyperextended underneath. I saw the hyper extension and knew I was in trouble. As I sat on the floor and attempted to bend my knee a saw a large "divot" under my patella and was immediately able to self diagnosis a patella tendon rupture. I have to say there wasn't a whole lot of pain. XRays, MRIs, and Doctors confirmed my diagnosis and I was scheduled for surgery at Columbia Presbyterian on the 28th of February.

Where I'm at now...
Tomorrow is 7 weeks since surgery.

ROM: Doc had me open up my large brace to 45 degrees 2 weeks post surgery. He started me on PT with gentle ROM activities for the knee. Was disappointed that I only at 70 degrees of flexion when I saw him again at 5 and a half weeks. He provided me a much smaller brace with no locking mechanism and recommended that I ditch the crutches entirely (which I'd pretty much had done on my own already). This made a world of difference. With much more flexion throughout the day my knee felt a lot less stiff and I am now able to open up to 100 degrees of flexion.

STRENGTH and EXERCISES: Straight leg raises are coming in bunches now. PT started me on a small "knee bike" at 5 weeks. It is placed at the foot of my bed and has a very small ROM. This helped me transition smoothly to a recumbent stationary bike and I was able to ride on an upright stationary bike for the first time yesterday (which is just shy of 7 weeks). Working on leg extensions each day and they are feeling okay but sometimes have a little pain on top of the knee. Also doing a lot of hip strengthening stuff to help improve my gait.

My doctor has definitely encouraged me to be aggressive with PT because he believes the repair was a really strong one and he easily got me to 90 degrees flexion in the OR. I think this is important. Every repair is different. So it is important to trust your doctor in terms of how aggressive or conservative he wants you to be.

MY FUTURE GOALS: I am a competitive age group triathlete. I have raced some Half Iron distant races and have gotten on the podium at smaller, more local Sprint and Olympic distance races. The NYC Triathlon (olympic distance) is July 14th. That is just over 5 months post surgery. I would love to Swim and Bike this race even if I have to skip the run. The Central Park Triathlon is August 4th and that is just shy of 6 months Post Op. It is only a Sprint Distance race so I am hopeful I can do all three legs. The Timberman Half Ironman Triathlon is August 18th. I'd love to Swim Bike and Run this race but I realize that would be asking a lot.

My first love is basketball. And before my injury I played 2-3 times a week. I might have to call it quits. This sport is a killer on the knees, ya'll.

good luck to all on their recovery journeys
-Dave

Offline verbal

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4727 on: April 18, 2013, 07:27:06 PM »
Hey guys, been a while since I've posted, nice to see so many new posters :)

2yrs on for me since I ruptured my tendon, recently my knee has felt heavier if that makes sense, and I've noticed slight swelling below and to the left of the kneecap. Anyone else had this so far after the op?

I am not keen to go to the docs as I am hoping to change jobs in 4 months and will be needing a medical :(

Cheers all..
31/01/11 Fell Downstairs Ruptured Left Patella Tendon
10/02/11 Surgery Pinned And Repaired
22/03/11 Plaster Removed & T-Scope Brace Fitted
6 months post op, Current ROM 90-100

Offline bballkingofnba

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4728 on: April 18, 2013, 07:29:10 PM »
Hey Tim,

That is great progress! My ROM and walking was the same as your recovery is going. I ditched the brace Week 7 and by Week 8 had 128 degrees. I was still unable to go down stairs for a LONG time however, but I believe that was due to the anterior knee pain and swelling I had from the patella fracture (lost a tiny piece of my kneecap in the trauma). In fact, a year out from surgery I still have a lot of anterior knee pain and its hard for me to bend my leg standing on one leg due to the pain. But I think thats due to the farcture I sustained and not the tendon. At least that is what my physical therapist told me and said the pain from a kneecap fracture can take years to go away.


As far as the patella alta goes, I have one too but if someone just saw me sitting no one could tell unless I specifically point it out. I think its common since the tendon is quite malleable during the first few weeks and once we start bending it stretches a little. I have talked to three other people and they have a patella alta as well. I guess the other option would be not bending the knee for a couple of months but that would prob result in a stiff knee right? Sorry for the rant, but keep up the hard work. From weeks 8-16 I went crazy with the bike which helped tremendously. Biked for about 30 mins a day on good resistance to get the quad back. Once again, great progress and hope you recover 100%.

Offline awpalmer

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4729 on: April 19, 2013, 07:12:41 PM »
TendonTim & BballkingofNba

I have patella alta in my repaired knee as well. That being said, I did have patella alta in both knees before which could be a precursor to this now. It has yet to cause me any problems although it probably means that the repaired tendon will require a bit more stretching to feel normal again (due to the elevated position of the knee cap in relation to the tendons attachment on the tibia). I see my OS again this coming monday so I'll ask about it then and post here after.

Andrew

Offline Clint

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4730 on: April 21, 2013, 06:38:42 PM »
Hello,

I am not sure if I am in the right place to be posting this. Anyway, I'll proceed as if I am. My name is Clint, I am 35 years old, and I ruptured my left patellar tendon on April 11 when I fell down a flight of stairs. I was taken to the emergency room shortly after my fall and underwent X-Rays, MRI, etc., to determine why my knee was swollen and I could not stand on it. The diagnosis - complete tear of the patellar tendon (about halfway between the patella and the tibia).

Five days after the rupture, I had surgery at the local hospital. When I called my OS the day after the surgery he said it "went very well," adding that he was really happy with the repair and it (recovery) would just be a matter of time. He didn't say how long, but anyway I go back to see him and have the staples removed on Friday. Currently my entire leg - from mid-thigh to ankle - is heavily wrapped and I'm wearing a Bledsoe knee immobilizer.

My OS explained to me that he used a Krackow stitch procedure to sew the tendon back together and then looped everything through three holes that were drilled in my kneecap. Does anyone know if that is a common or effective way to repair a ruptured patellar tendon? I was given a general anesthesia and a "block" injection to numb my leg the day of the operation, and when that injection wore off the following morning is was in quite a bit of pain and I have been taking one or two Hydrocodone (5-325) every four hours to keep my knee from aching.

I know I'll learn a lot more this Friday when I go back to see the OS, but I was hoping those of you who went through a situation similar to mine might be able to offer some tips, or particular "do" or "don't do" advice coming out of your experience. I am glad I found this website - I plan on doing quite a bit of reading here and hopefully interacting with those who are currently recovering from a torn patellar tendon as well as those who have gone through this tough injury in the past.

Thank you,

Clint

Offline John42

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4731 on: April 21, 2013, 06:50:18 PM »
Hi Clint

You have indeed found the correct webpage - now you have to read some of the previous pages.  I am sure that you have realised, that you have sustained a very serious injury with a long rehab.

I trust that you have received my set of documents from which you will be able to understand your injury and gives you any idea of the rehab procedure.   

Where do you live?   Keep posting

Take care

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Ruptured Patella Tendon January 9 2003
Slipped on black ice.  Manchester UK

Complete Ruptured Tendon

Offline Clint

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4732 on: April 22, 2013, 12:28:52 AM »
Hi John,

Thank you for the help and the information. I do plan on reading all 316 pages of this board in hopes of gathering as much information as I can - besides, I definitely have some free time on my hands  :)

To answer your question, I live in Michigan - the Upper Peninsula, or U.P., to be exact. I'm located about a one hour drive north of Green Bay, Wisconsin and about a 3 1/2 hour drive southwest of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.

Anyway, as far as my knee goes, I'm still taking two Vicodin every 4 hours for pain. Like clockwork, my knee just starts aching after the painkillers wear off. I'm hoping that with time I will be able to cut down on the painkillers. The last thing I want to do is end up dependent Vicodin, like former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre was. I'm also elevating and icing it religiously. I forgot to mention that back in 1991 I suffered a football injury to the same knee - that surgery was just a scope to remove a small piece of meniscus that was trapped under my kneecap.

While I'm only on the first leg of my long road to recovery this time, I can assure you will be hearing from me a lot in the coming weeks and months.

Thank you so much,

Clint

Offline TendonTim

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4733 on: April 22, 2013, 09:30:53 PM »
Hi Clint,

I hope you're feeling alright with the pain. I still remember those early days. After the femoral nerve block, the pain is intense. I used the pain meds for about a week and a half so I'm thinking you're pretty much the same as the rest of us.

I just wanted to pass on the link for the rehab that I used. It's a bit more aggressive than what my doctor gave me so I made sure that I was careful with everything but I definitely think that it was a helpful approach. Also, it give you a run down of pre-op, intra-op, and post-op so you can see how they approach the repair. Lastly, they're reference page gives you about 50 or so research articles from the past 40 years or so. I'm a 2nd year medical student so I really wanted to know the success rate between the different kinds of repair. (fyi the 3 drill hole through the patella is a really solid repair and one of the best) I wish you the best of luck with this injury.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1249472-treatment#a1134

To Andrew and BBallKing,

Thanks for your help and info. I'm really trying to work on active flexion past 110 degrees and it seems like the more work i do with the bike, step ups, and squat, the better things get. My goal is to be at full active flexion by week 12. Passive flexion should be achieved by friday which will be week 10 for me. Good luck with everyone's recovery. Ben gave me a great quote that I'm really living by right now. "If it feels good, DO IT!" Lol

Offline awpalmer

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4734 on: April 22, 2013, 11:12:50 PM »
Thanks for the info Tim! The info in the link looks great, I think my rehab followed this pretty closely looking back.

I hope you achieve full active ROM by week 12, as I am currently at week 13 and still haven't gained back the last 5deg. My heel gets within 4-5 cm of my butt when I bend my leg for passive ROM, but it seems I've plateaud and can't seem to break through the last little bit. I'm guessing it is simply a matter of pushing it a little more each day to get there within the next week or so.

I was also discharged from both physio and my surgeon today and given the green light to begin really focusing on leg exercises! I've been doing leg presses the past 2 weeks (close to 0 weight), and let me tell you, the first time my physio made me try I didn't think it was possible. Big mental hurdle to break through but now its one of my fav exercises. Can feel pockets of scar tissue throughout the bend which is a weird feeling, but overall its starting to get slightly easier. Thinking a road bike is going to be my best friend this summer....

Offline Clint

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4735 on: April 23, 2013, 12:18:07 AM »
Hi Tim,

Thanks for the good info. We'll see if what my OS has in store for me when I see him Friday morning. Glad to hear you think the procedure he performed is a good one - my OS is a relatively young Dr. - he graduated with honors from UW-Madison's OS program in 2004 and did his residency at Penn State University afterwards. He's only been in private practice since June, but I really like him so far. I'll run that aggressive rehab plan past him when I see him next. Btw, the pain seems to slightly better today,  6 days post surgery.

Thanks again,

Clint

Offline bballkingofnba

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4736 on: April 25, 2013, 04:31:42 PM »
Hey awplamer, did you ever ask your doc about the patella alta?

Offline awpalmer

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4737 on: April 25, 2013, 08:26:23 PM »
My surgeon said that there wasn't a problem with it, especially since I had already had it before in the same knee (along with my healthy right knee as well).

Andrew

Offline Clint

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4738 on: April 26, 2013, 11:02:13 PM »
Hello all,

Today I saw my OS for my 12 day post-operation appointment. He removed all 20 staples from my vertical incision (about 5 inches in length) and he scheduled me to see a PT on Monday. My OS also told me I could put some weight on my injured left leg, "pain permitting." Doctor's office faxed my employer informing them that I would be on short-term disability for an estimated additional 4 weeks - possibly up to 6 weeks. I've managed to read through the first 230 pages of posts on this thread - very informative stuff and a wonderful resource  ;) - so I pretty much know what to expect at the PT session. However, I was wondering if there were there any specific questions I should ask the therapist on Monday? I hope everyone else is doing well on their road to recovery.

Clint


Offline Jedward

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #4739 on: April 30, 2013, 09:35:47 AM »
Quick update from me. After being in lots of pain post 3 months on flexion and and with straight leg raises I had a second op yesterday to remove the wire which had been insterted to protect for 12 weeks but would possibly be left in and also remove scar tissue and explore around.  The great news is not long after the op I did a straight leg raise with zero pain, same today.  Pain on flexion gone other than surgical pain.  I feel it had to be the wire that was hampering me and causing so much pain.  Interesting they don't use it in US and Canada - although it protects from further rupture is does restrict so I would recommend to anyone it should come out after it has served it purpose.  I saw two consultants and one felt it must come out, the other thought it could probably stay in.  I am so glad the pain has gone and I was told while I was under I got Full ROM, I was up to 112 degrees before the op - I will be intesterested what I will be after recovery from the surgery.  Feeling very happy and on the right road now.