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Author Topic: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery  (Read 1248599 times)

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Offline Johanna

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6060 on: May 29, 2016, 09:48:06 PM »
Downstairs,
I live in a senior community, and a new friend who recently moved here experienced two patella tendon ruptures after having his knee replaced.  He's had to endure a number of procedures. He was recovering from his knee replacement and as I understand it, was standing at his bathroom counter brushing his teeth when the first rupture occurred.  After it was repaired, he was using a foot cycle and it ruptured again.  The second time, his knee cap shot up his quad muscle.  He had to have a skin graft and extensive repair.  Unfortunately more difficulties followed.  He contracted a MERSA infection and had to have a spacer put in until the infection was cleared.  I've not given the full chronology here, however he's been undergoing over a year and a half of rehab and recovery.  He's being treated at Cedar's Sinai out here in SoCal, which is suppose to be a leading medical establishment.  He's very hopeful that he's in the last phase of his ordeal.  After all of his surgeries, his quad is extremely weak.  He's hoping to build strength in it enough to graduate from wheelchair use.

While I myself have numerous questions, I am going to just pose one in this post:

Q:  When can I expect to be able to sit in my recliner again?  (It has a motor to lift and release the footrest.)  My recliner has fairly low arm rests, however. 

I am a month and 2 days post op;  My surgeon is encouraging me to walk - weight bearing - immobilizer brace locked; I am also expected to bend my knee to 40 degrees, 10x per hour and do isometric quads 10x per hour too. (I will be increasing to 50 degrees this Wednesday.)  BTW:  I am still catching up on pages of posts here (I read as much as I can before I have to regroup and process the content) and I've read that the knee feels quite tight...at least for some...and that is true for me.  While I'm able to bend it, I feel a pull on my quad and my lower leg as well.  I do have a wire surrounding the site (I've since learned from early posts here that it is commonly done for heavier patients which is true for me, at age 70)...so far I've not felt a specific impact from it...hope to avoid that issue until my doctor removes it, which he plans on doing in a couple of months.

Sending support to everyone.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 07:02:31 AM by Johanna »
Patella Tendon tear in middle sometime after TKR. TKR surgery 12/16/14; PTR diagnosed 10/23/15. Patella Tendon only 3/4 inch long - noted during surgery. Birth defect (?) 3 prior surgeries on  (2)LK (Kerlan/Jobe) 1 RK performed in late 70s. Patellas 1/2 reg. size subluxed - age 6

Offline Johanna

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6061 on: June 01, 2016, 11:22:59 PM »
I hope there will be some activity on this thread soon.  Previous posts have helped me understand what is involved in recovering from this surgery.  I am grateful this site exists.
Patella Tendon tear in middle sometime after TKR. TKR surgery 12/16/14; PTR diagnosed 10/23/15. Patella Tendon only 3/4 inch long - noted during surgery. Birth defect (?) 3 prior surgeries on  (2)LK (Kerlan/Jobe) 1 RK performed in late 70s. Patellas 1/2 reg. size subluxed - age 6

Offline quickrecovery

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6062 on: June 04, 2016, 05:52:56 AM »
Hi Joahanna,

How are you doing?  I thought I'd come in and start the conversations going again. 

Can you give a bit more information on your recliner?  To a certain extent, sitting in that recliner may depend on the angle in which it lets your bad leg restl.  For my own personal recovery, I started PT around 4 weeks, then was able to go from 0-30 and then an additional 30 degrees every 2 weeks after. 

I'm currently starting my 15th week post surgery and I have 100 degrees active range of motion.  I've been stuck here for quite some time and am starting to get frustrated.  I know I have to be patient though.  I am using my stationary bike every day for 10-20 minutes a day and doing my heel slides, and leg raises.  My strength is starting to come back as I can start going up stairs now.  Going downstairs is still hard.

My incision is kind of puffy near the tibial tubercle.  I think I have an infection so I was given 2 weeks of Keflex to treat the area.  I'm hoping it works because this is my 3rd or 4th round of antibiotics.

Hope everyone recovers well.

Diane, how are you doing? 

Offline Johanna

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6063 on: June 04, 2016, 07:00:04 AM »
Hi quick recovery. Trying to post from my kindle. Please forgive typos. So glad you posted. I continue getting the run around on home health support for bathing and shampooing. Today he occupational therapist said she shampoo my hair. Not. It became precarious. My sis in law was much more on top of things. And that plus being stuck either on my bed without enough back support or the wheelchair just brought on the tears. Last time I had a meltdown was over a rehab placement mess and a problem with the impact of anesthesia on my system.

The problem with the recliner is that it is low and even more the absence of hardly any armrests. I've had to take pain meds for shoulder aches more than my knee at this point.

The recliner is motorized and it has a full attached foot rest. So I think I'd have enough support for my leg. Getting up is the big issue. I had hoped to have a solid mattress on a hospital bed in the living room to help me not feel confined so much and to give me comfortable support to watch tv and read.

As things stand now I have a stack of pillows I have to arrange several times a day for day time lumbar support. And remove them at night to go to sleep. The old back rests from dorm days in college seem to be a thing of the past.

I see my surgeon on Thursday. Not sure what help he  can give me on this.
My Rom is coming along. Will be at 60 degrees next week.

I hope to avoid buying another recliner  however I have another knee to deal with after this. It won't be cheap. It's bad enough waiting for a shower and not being able to get up and drive somewhere. Just want to be comfortable while waiting for the tendon to heal.

Sending you luck on your Rom. From what I have read progress does slow down after a few months but important to keep on with it because more is usually possible even if not achieved as quick as is fair for all the effort.

This ordeal really does pose unique demands on us. Perseverance tenacity and sheer guts seem to be a necessity.  We are initiates in an elite group of that not a shred of doubt !!!
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 07:06:50 AM by Johanna »
Patella Tendon tear in middle sometime after TKR. TKR surgery 12/16/14; PTR diagnosed 10/23/15. Patella Tendon only 3/4 inch long - noted during surgery. Birth defect (?) 3 prior surgeries on  (2)LK (Kerlan/Jobe) 1 RK performed in late 70s. Patellas 1/2 reg. size subluxed - age 6

Offline Downstairs

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6064 on: June 05, 2016, 04:30:16 PM »
Thanks Johanna!

I am now a month a 2 days post op.  I can walk without crutches full weight bearing with the brace locked.  I have zero discomfort.  I try to do upper body exercises, eat well and take vitamins. 
My OS did not assign any ROM but I am moving it 20 or 30 degrees when I sit watching TV.   I did not have that extra restraining wire. 
I see my OS sees me in 11 days and my first physio is booked for 16 days. 
I am itching to get going and get some strength and mobility back but don't want any setbacks.

Offline Johanna

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6065 on: June 05, 2016, 05:46:51 PM »
Sounds good, Downstairs.  The more I read here, and John's important reminders, we've got to take our time. A chore for sure.  I am going to unlock my brace after I finish posting this, while I sit and watch a little TV. (When my PT comes tomorrow, I am going to have him help me set my brace to 60 degrees.)   Oh, who am I kidding...with this, a TON of TV.  I am catching up on some books I've had waiting in the wings, so to speak, ready for reading.  And, I don't know if this is meets anyone else's sense of humor...but, I saved my Netflix fun for a reward after this procedure...and I laugh out loud frequently viewing Grace and Frankie.  To me, it's a real hoot...and sure helps distract me from obsessing about my knee and all the inconveniences.

And after my last post, I found a gadget I'm going to try.  I'm posting the link here because it might help some of you too.  I even joined Amazon Prime for 30 days...may watch Amazon movies for a few weeks, too...lol. 

http://www.amazon.com/Able-Life-Universal-Stand-Assist/dp/B00I45JJRS?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages00

Be sure to watch the video to see how this thing works.  Hope Springs Eternal and liberates me from two more months sentenced to my bedroom!
Patella Tendon tear in middle sometime after TKR. TKR surgery 12/16/14; PTR diagnosed 10/23/15. Patella Tendon only 3/4 inch long - noted during surgery. Birth defect (?) 3 prior surgeries on  (2)LK (Kerlan/Jobe) 1 RK performed in late 70s. Patellas 1/2 reg. size subluxed - age 6

Offline Downstairs

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6066 on: June 05, 2016, 06:34:00 PM »
Keep up your spirits.  I just finished watching Wentworth on Netflix.  It is kind of like Orange is the New Black (another good series) but set in Australia.
60 degrees sounds like good progress.

Offline Downstairs

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6067 on: June 05, 2016, 11:56:24 PM »
For the rehab phase is this the best thread to read?  Or is there another thread with more pearls for the 4 to 12 week period post-repair?

Offline Johanna

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6068 on: June 06, 2016, 02:54:58 AM »
downstairs, have you seen this?
http://www.uwhealth.org/files/uwhealth/docs/pdf6/sm_pat_tendon_quad.pdf

And there's Facebook page with a lot of info...John posts the link every so often on this thread.  Finally, have you had the time to read the entire thread, can't recall if you posted about that...many previous posts detailing out their PT activities.  Hope this helps.
Patella Tendon tear in middle sometime after TKR. TKR surgery 12/16/14; PTR diagnosed 10/23/15. Patella Tendon only 3/4 inch long - noted during surgery. Birth defect (?) 3 prior surgeries on  (2)LK (Kerlan/Jobe) 1 RK performed in late 70s. Patellas 1/2 reg. size subluxed - age 6

Offline Johanna

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6069 on: June 09, 2016, 04:25:15 PM »
Hi RPTers...

On my way to see my surgeon.  I am 1 month and 15 days post-op, and my hinged brace is set for 60 degrees, and locked straight/weight bearing when I walk.  I'll share the latest about my recovery upon my return in the hopes that it will interest members here.

Hope you are all making your way back to mobility...

~ Johanna ~
Patella Tendon tear in middle sometime after TKR. TKR surgery 12/16/14; PTR diagnosed 10/23/15. Patella Tendon only 3/4 inch long - noted during surgery. Birth defect (?) 3 prior surgeries on  (2)LK (Kerlan/Jobe) 1 RK performed in late 70s. Patellas 1/2 reg. size subluxed - age 6

Offline Johanna

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6070 on: June 10, 2016, 04:23:30 AM »
Hi RPTers...I hope everyone is out having fun...looks like most of you are further along in your recovery given the traffic on this thread. 

For what it's worth, here's the latest from me (I did find it helpful reading the chronology of recovery from others, so perhaps down the road I'll help someone(s) by sharing my treatment narrative.  [BTW:  Did    jreach72 post much?  I noted a 2 post activity for this member...I'm particularly interested in how he/she is doing because the treatment protocol is so similar to my own...an achilles tendon alograft (that is the one from a cadaver, correct?)]    I don't recall others here who had the same procedure, however I am still reading the thread history. (I find I can read about 5 pages, then I have to stop, so that I don't become too caught up in the possible pitfalls before recovery is concluded.) OK, on to today's experience.

My surgeon removed my brace and had me bend my knee, and then straighten out my leg.  He almost let out a whoop, along with me...:-) because that was just not doable prior to the graft.  Before he had me do this, he also had me do a quad set to assure himself that my quad is engaged.  So, that made for a positive experience.  He wants me to continue increasing the degrees by increments of 10.  At six weeks out, I'm now at 70 degrees.  As I've mentioned before, with all my knee surgeries (5), acceptable ROM has come about pretty well.  I wasn't going to count on it with this one, knowing that the repair is so radically different. 

He also told me I could stop wearing the brace to sleep, as long as I didn't try to get up in the middle of the night and not wear it.  I am not ready to go without just yet.  It's been a long haul since the diagnosis, and I don't want any weird movement I might do while asleep to screw it up.  It's not fun wearing the brace all night, and it's getting hot out here in SoCal (in the 90s of late), but I can bite the bullet a little longer.  I'll lock the brace when I walk and practice bending it 3 sets of heel slides a day, plus the other exercises: straight leg raises (with the brace locked), quad sets and weight bearing walks etc. 

My surgeon figures he'll remove the wire in about 7 more weeks.  Again, since I've not been directly bothered with it yet, I'm not in a hurry for that either.  I just don't want anything to mess this up!

He did teach me something more about anatomy after I posed a few more questions about the procedure.  The two little bones at the achilles tendon which were screwed into my tibia will be absorbed by new bone in about a year's time.  Didn't know that was possible.  Further, for the sutures that he placed into my patella (3) he anchored them with soft tissue which he said would integrate into the knee cap fairly quickly.

He also mentioned since it is my left knee, and I drive an automatic, I guess I'll be able to drive once I get a bit more ROM.  However I'd have to be able to have it bent within the unlocked brace and then lock the brace as I get out of the car.  While I've got a larger car now, mini SUV, I'll see how to negotiate that whole transfer in a few weeks.  I miss driving terribly.  But, you all could nickname me Ms. Cautious...not going through this whole thing to have some little deal cause a reversal.

Last but certainly not least, that gadget I was going to try to get in and out of my recliner is working OK so far and I feel liberated from being bedridden...OMG.  So glad of it.

Sending you all best wishes.

~ Johanna ~
Patella Tendon tear in middle sometime after TKR. TKR surgery 12/16/14; PTR diagnosed 10/23/15. Patella Tendon only 3/4 inch long - noted during surgery. Birth defect (?) 3 prior surgeries on  (2)LK (Kerlan/Jobe) 1 RK performed in late 70s. Patellas 1/2 reg. size subluxed - age 6

Offline Johanna

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6071 on: June 13, 2016, 11:51:23 PM »
Missing posting activity here.  No one in recovery from this surgery of late?  I learned I may have to hire someone to assist me with my initial shower task.  Haven't attempted that yet, and I learned that some insurers won't cover it. (I had about six covered visits during my TKR.)  A one time aide visit ranging from 35 to 50 dollars.  I also learned I may not have in house physical therapy much longer...before I am able to drive to my out patient facility (an hour and a half one way on the freeway...long time to keep my knee in a bent position).  It's been a day of daunting news.

Am I posting in the correct thread?  I recognize that many posts here give details about rehab exercises/challenges and tips...while I've been including thoughts/concerns about my entire recovery experience.

Hope everyone is on the mend.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 12:13:06 AM by Johanna »
Patella Tendon tear in middle sometime after TKR. TKR surgery 12/16/14; PTR diagnosed 10/23/15. Patella Tendon only 3/4 inch long - noted during surgery. Birth defect (?) 3 prior surgeries on  (2)LK (Kerlan/Jobe) 1 RK performed in late 70s. Patellas 1/2 reg. size subluxed - age 6

Offline quickrecovery

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6072 on: June 14, 2016, 06:51:19 AM »
Hi everyone,

Just thought I'd check in and post.

I'm now on my 16th week.  I had a visit to the hospital today for a wound check.  I've been having some problems because my body has been reacting to the sutures which resulted in a stitch abscess several weeks back.  I was given Keflex which is to be taken 4x a day.  Theres still some drainage going on near the tibial tubercle.

I asked a doctor at the fracture clinic what they thought about my range of motion being at 105 degrees.  The doctor who saw me said that I'm a bit behind and that I should expect about 5 to 10 degrees more.  I'm not sure if that's accurate or not, but it got me pretty scared.  My surgeon told me on the otherhand that 105 degrees wasn't bad and that I should keep on going.  There are "tricks" to get the range of motion back.  I'm not sure what that means. 

I'm currently seeing two physios because I'm very concerned about my range of motion.  I'm doing my heel slides with a belt (on back and stomach), and I recently started squatting into a chair.  I'm happy to say that I can sort of go up stairs now.  Going down is still kind of tricky.

Hang in there folks!  I had a pretty rough day with a doctor telling me I won't progress much more past 105, but I'm hoping to prove them wrong. 

Offline John42

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  • Complete Ruptered Patella Tendon 9 Jan 2003
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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6073 on: June 14, 2016, 07:40:56 AM »
Hi Quickrecovery

I ended up with 115ROM and can live with that - yep, cannot run after a bus, but there is no limp, just watch your gait.


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

Complete Ruptured Tendon

Offline diane72

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Re: Ruptured Patellar Tendon Surgery
« Reply #6074 on: June 14, 2016, 10:08:03 AM »
Hi All,

Quick check in from me too. 5 months post accident (surgery 2 weeks post accident).

I'm walking independently but limping still
My leg press shows 73kg on the good leg and 41kg on the bad one (it leapt up after a trip to Centerparcs from 21kg)
I can do stairs up alternating foot by step (not easily but working on it from the one step at a time approach)
Going downstairs I can only do one step at a time as I have to put the bad leg first
While at Centerparcs last week with my 4 year old, it was really tough but I managed to ride the adult trike around the forest with my husband and 4 year old on their bikes
I also swam for the first time last week for up to 15 min at a time (the leg feels so tight though)
Like quick recovery the bit I'm struggling on is ROM, I'm at 110 and struggling to get further
I traded my car in for a KIA Soul and It helped me back on the road (it was my right leg I ruptured)

And finally I start a new job tomorrow which allows me to take a train rather than the unpredictable 3 hour round trip I used to do on the M25 to work, wish me luck!

Diane x
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 10:12:24 AM by diane72 »
Patellar tendon complete rupture,
12/01/2016,
Didn't notice my 4 year old's microscooter,planted my foot and went flying, schoolbag, workbag, catbowl, BANG!