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Avatar universal


I fell down three steps and ruptured my patellar tendon. My injury occurred 12/14/06, my surgery was 12/18/06 and they discharged me from the hospital on 12/19/06. 1/3/07 at the docs he said to do quad flex's 30 times twice a day and 10 heel toe points every hour. Next appointment on 1/18/07 I get the x-ray like usual then go into the exam room. He comes in, takes off my brace, throws it on the counter and then tells me to lay down. (i truly think he told me to lay down so I couldn't punch him when he did what he did next.) Next he grabs my knee cap and starts yanking it side to side and massaging my knee very roughly. He tells my wife she has to do this twice a day, ten to fifteen times and then pick up my knee so it bends a little 3 to 5 times. He then told me I couldn't have my brace back and sent us home with a script for Physical Therapy. I guess my question is, it has only been 4.5 weeks since my surgery and now i can't have the brace? Fast forward to today 1/31, only 6 weeks since surgery.  Doc had me put my leg off the edge of the table then proceeded to push down on it little by little until I was literally crying.  I'm a 39 year old big guy that doesn't cry. I'm really concerned that this guy is too agressive and he is going to rerupture it.  I'm a 350lb guy and I really don't want to have to go this surgery again.  Should I start looking for another doc?
217 Responses
Avatar universal
Your quad muscle is going to be shot for quiet sometime. It has been 9 months and I still have only about 50% of the muscle.  I have worked it hard too.  Amazing that it takes so long.  I can do 80 lbs leg extensions now but that took forever too.  Just keep working the knee and it will eventually come around.

Avatar universal
Your post was very informative.  I am a 57 yr old male.  I had a complete rupture 11/4/10, (surgeon said my knee was "mush"), repaired including allograft on 11/9/10.  Complete immobilization for 3 weeks post-op.  Then brace for another 4 weeks.  Been in PT 3 times/week since middle of December.  Now end of March 2011.  ROM has been to 0-132 degrees for about a month. 150 lbs. leg press, 40 lbs. curl and extension.  But still have pain on complete extension. Can walk, but it's very hard not to limp.  I was ready to give up until I saw your post.
Avatar universal
Keep your head up!  I'm a 39 year old male and about 13 months out from my rupture in April 2010.  I've read most of the posts here and am surprised by the wide array of techniques for rehab from various docs.  Here is what my experience was:  after surgery, immobilizer for first 4 weeks, no bending, only minor weight bearing.  4-8 weeks post op, hinged immobilizer with no more than 45 degree bend.  8-12 weeks post-op, hinged immobilizer with goal of 90 to 110 degree of bend.  After 12 weeks doc removed brace and told me no need for follow-up PT.  Said I had done on my own everything that PT would want me to do.  I'm very happy with the way my ortho handled my surgery and post surgery.  One year out and I would say I am at 98% with no limitation on ROM just some discomfort on occasion going down stairs or down grade applications.  Was on elliptical machine and stationary bikes 6-7 months post op working out vigorously to stengthen the quad, and can now jog (with some discomfort) and am now comfortable with full out sprints.  It is a long road, but coming from an active 5'-10", 195lb ex-athelete, I am confident you will be back too.  It is a horrific injury, just happy that the technology and expertise is here to fix us.  40- 50 years ago, who knows what our lives would be like with this type of injury.
Avatar universal
Just reading all the threads.  Interesting variety of treatment.  Here some thoughts about early mobilizaton an weight bearing.  Its good if you you get surgery within a week of the injury, didn't need a graft and have no other illnesses which would cause delayed healing (ie diabetes).  Tendon to bone is at 6-8 weeks then you need to rebuild the quad (6-12 months).  I am 6 weeks post-op and an ER doc so I have researched the hell out of this topic.


Avatar universal
Great range of experiences and recoveries.  I fell on the ice on March 23, 2011, with complete rupture of the left patellar tendon.  Had surgery two days later with an awesome orthopedic surgeon.  Three days after surgery i returned to teaching part time.  It was horribly painful but in the long run, it was for the best.  Day time television isn't fun. I work at a place where my commute is short,  coworkers would transport me in the back seat of their car.  At three weeks out i began trying to climb in and out of my car, just to fight cabin fever.  By five weeks I was driving.  The doctor began unlocking the brace at six weeks.  I began using my old school nordic track just to keep the leg moving, at first i only used the legs part and held on for dear life.  By week 8 I was at 60 degrees flexion just sitting on my bed and letting gravity flex the leg.  At this time I ditched the crutches for a cane.  I ditched the cane at week 11.  I started climbing onto my road bike hooked up to an indoor trainer stand.  I set it at maximum seat height and minimum resistance.  Then i started just pedaling gently, at first just seeing how close i could get to a full rotation.  every day I'd try to push it a bit farther.  Within a week i was pedalling.  Around this time I finally achieved my first true straight leg lift, my main complication was that my quad took awhile to come back, eventually it did.  At week 12 I hit 100 degrees flexion.  I also began pedaling my bike outside for real.  The first ride was only two miles.  I got home an hour later i felt something rip in my knee, it hurt like hell for two days.  Turns out it was a bunch of adhesions and scar tissue in my knee getting freed up.  The earlier post about the patient who had his knee forced by the doctor while he was on the exam table sounds like manual release of this stuff, it is common for the surgery and has to happen one way or another.      Week 13 the surgeon took away the leg brace away, I'm at 120 degrees flexion.  In my case he's opted to skip pt.  As long as things continue to improve this will continue without pt.  As of this week I am now cleared for light running and road biking.

My advice for those going through this is to work with a surgeon you trust.  When in doubt call the doctor and find out if you are pushing yourself too hard or not hard enough.  All of us will heal a little differently.  Don't push yourself too hard, but don't take it too easy.  When your adhesions free up go for an ice pack, take some pain relievers, and plan for a day on the couch.  There will be good days and bad days, but you will be amazed as things start to heal faster.   Tomorrow will by my three month anniversary since the surgery, I'm going road biking to celebrate.

You will get better,
1722500 tn?1309451198
In March, 2005 I ruptured my left Patellar tendon pushing off to do a layup in a basketball game.  I was 44. I had surgery same day - kind of lucky.  The cast was on for 3.5 weeks.  The brace was on for another 4 weeks or so.  I started pt on week 6.  By week 16 I was off pt and on my own - biking, doing weights, but no running.  By that time I had pretty full range of motion.  Full strength took a year.  I am an avid cyclist, so full strength for me is pretty intense. My left knee became stronger than it was before - less pain and more sustained strength.

On June 8, 2011 I had a traffic accident and ruptured my right Patellar tendon.  I was standing on the brake trying to stop before I struck the car that turned left in front of me in the intersection. The distance was too close. My speed entering the intersection was between 35 and 40 mph. I am unsure of my speed at collision as I was standing on the break.  Upon impact, my body was thrown forward to the extent of the seat belt.  The air bag did not deploy (2008 Toyota Prius - 81K miles).  My knee struck the underside of the dash while standing on the brake. The combination of impact and tension ruptured the tendon cleanly at the bone.  The surgeon repaired the tendon on June 10.  He drilled a couple of anchors into the bone and sutured the tendon.  I am using the same doctor I had with the left Patellar tendon.  This time he is insisting the cast stay on for 5 weeks, to be followed by a brace. I can walk with the cast without crutches - it is just slow and clumsy.  I feel ready to start moving the knee and doing light flex exercises now - 3 weeks after surgery.  The doctor is concerned about re-rupturing the tendon.  

At any rate, based on my last experience and the literature I have read, early and gradually increasing exercise if very important for full recovery.   My doctor is concerned about re-rupture so he must have seen those situations and my particular injury is concerning him.  The risk of re-rupture likely depends on the nature of the tear or tendon separation and the time it takes for the tendon tissues to heal back together after suturing.  Some types of tears or separations may heal faster than others.  Each situation may have its own unique circumstances - so if your doctor thinks you should be able to start bending your knee, start bending your knee.  
Avatar universal
Hello, I am at week 3 after rupturing my Patella tendon playing basketball. I work in the orthopedics industry as a sales manager so I was able to pick out a great surgeon. I have been in a full length leg brace the entire time , locked out in straight extension. He had me start using a cpm machine to 30% of flexion at the two week mark. It hurts quite a bit but I made sure I took my pain meds a half hour before each session in "the rack". I am in it 4-6 hours total (2-3 sittings) per day depending on how long I can surf the web and answer work calls before going stir crazy. I am going back at the 4 week mark to see my doc and hope that I can begin PT. Thanks to all on this site as it has been very informative to me on what to expect. Best of luck to you all.
Avatar universal
I would like to firstly say that I am not a doctor, I am not an expert and my opinion is purley experience.

I have read this site and it bothered me that everyone was talking about surgery...I thought OMG should I have had that surgery???? then I realised all these people must have had complete evulsions and I wondered how many had took bone with it making it an eulsion fracture (ruptur). So my warning is to read forums but remember ALL situations are different and unless you want to type everything or read everything information is often left out. In saying that information is power....to change, repair, heal, or manipulate (some people use this against people but that is not my intent in saying it at all:{     ) a situation to suit you. If you want to read my story I have a short version below....

When I was 19 I had a german proceedure to correct knee problems which envolved stapling the patellar ligament to align the ligament. Long story. Needless to say it was then a 12 week recovery with the leg completely straight for 10 of those weeks the last 2 were no weight bear before rehab.

I am now 48 and both knees are RS....a series of wear and tear on the supporting leg and the other due to the original operation. I have had 2 recons and 3 grease and oil changes (clean ups bilaterally with lat releases).

I was grouting a room and got a little sore then went to a personal training session, felt a pop and stopped with that excersise, but not training. It took 2 days to swell and then the inability to bend. I have a fairly high pain threshold and have not been in pain....some of you are saying lucky girl....well the trouble is because I have not felt any pain I ignored it for 2 whole days. It was the inability to bend that made me check it out. After all I am not a stranger to ache and swell.

It was an MRI that showed exactly how much fluid was around and that it was a partial tendon rupture. I am immobilising, icing and resting....I am an active person so its driving me dotty. Daytime tv as previously said really does suck and I have watched every dvd in my collection.

We need a long term plan for my knees..surgery was not an option for me as I am due in 7 weeks to go to Antarctica and Peru....I am NOT giving that up.

I can weight bear and I am really taking it easy, so we will see how it goes..but what to do next....I am not done yet. 2.5 months in a wheel chair all that time ago still rings clearly....I am going to talk further to the doctor the week before I leave and look into 1012 to have an answer.

What I say to those in pain....bear it...its tough but necesary, at the same time listen to what your legs are saying...I am definately not saying baby it...no good comes from babying anything in life, but listen and watch. Symptoms will appear...just like my awelling and act....get advice. If you need to change doctors or get a second opinion be extremely honest to them so they don't tell you the wrong thing. A lot of good comes from a sound or confident mind...healing will quicken if you believe in it. I promise you that! Some surgeons whilst they have your best interest at heart are harsh....that cannot feel it remember. It is very different feeling a pain to knowing (through education only) a pain.

I wish everyone on this site well including myself....
Avatar universal
I'm a 22 year old woman who has dislocated my patella for the 5th time 27/12/11. I was given a brace for 2 weeks the trouble is no matter how tight I strap the brace it always falls down my leg and isn't doing very much good at all.. I was wondering if I needed the brace I can put my weight on my knee I have already started heel toe and leg lift excercises I still use a crutch because there is quite a bit of swelling. And I can't quite bend my leg just yet
Avatar universal
I suffered a dislocated pattelar and ruptured tendons about 4 wks ago and was reffered to and orthopedic surgeon and braced. The problem is I live on a small caribbean island with 1 MRI machine and it broke down with no idea as to how soon it will be up and running. Two orthopedic surgeons have suggested surgery and one noted that the muscles have tightened to the point that the leg cannot bend at all and after 4wks of injury I'm in pain and have localised swelling. Please give me some feed back as I'm concerned about what may be happening and considering my present experience should I fear post surgery/recovery.

Avatar universal
Hi all,

I live in Australia, but this appears to be the only forum of this kind. My injury is slightly different to all the rest of yours, I just can't seem to find a forum for people who went through glass doors and severed their patella tendons! This is what happened to me. Not a sports injury so not a ruptured or torn tendon, was 100% severed.

This happened on the 5th January 2012, late at night. I waited in hospital for the whole night, and was taken in for surgery the following morning. They didn't know what was wrong with me but were concerned as they kept asking me to lift my leg straight up from off the bed but I was unable to do so. Anyway, they found that I had severed the tendon so they presumably stitched it back together and put in a wire to attach my kneecap to the tendon. I was discharged on the 9th Jan in a fully locked leg brace.

I was told by the nurses that I would be in the brace for about 6 weeks. I was supposed to go back in two weeks time for what I thought was another small operation to have the wire removed from my knee, then be in the brace for about another month after that. The way it has worked out (I think due to the fact that the surgeon is away on leave) is that I am only going back 3 weeks after the initial surgery, on the 27th Jan. Not only this, but I called the hospital today to find out if it would be day surgery or overnight, and was told I am not actually booked in for surgery this Friday, but just for a review with the doctor. This has me slightly concerned as A) my stitches will have been in for 3 weeks, and I feel that this is pretty long and B) I feel that every week the wire removal surgery is pushed back is another week I will have to be on the brace/crutches. Not sure if this is actually correct but just want to start physio as soon as possible to get back to normality as soon as possible!

I am in parts hopeful and distressed after reading all these posts. People make it sound like this is a terrible accident and that the recovery is a long, slow and very painful process. On the other hand it sounds like I will probably be driving in about a month, thank goodness, as there is not much I can do at the moment without being able to drive (such as work, etc).

My real question is: Does anyone know if my injury is the same as what you all are talking about? I ask mainly because I've been doing research on exercises to do to strengthen my quad - I'm pretty sure it has atrophied quite badly, just in the last couple of days has turned into flab! And a lot of the stuff I'm reading involves leg lifts, which I am still quite unable to do. I try my best, and when someone helps me lift my leg I can help them, a BIT, with a lot of strain, but it is quite scary to not be able to lift my leg at all. I hope that this also has something to do with the fact that the leg brace is pretty heavy.

Anyway, any comments and feedback would be helpful.
Avatar universal
I too snapped my Patella tendon, slipping on wet grass on a slight hill. This happened on the 12th November 2011. I was operated on two day's later, on the14th November. I had my leg, from ankle to groin, encased in a cast.I was told to come back in four weeks to have the staples removed from the wound and have a new cast fitted. The hospital screwed up the appointment meaning it was six weeks till the stiches were removed, 13th December. Again I was told to return in four weeks, on the 10th January 2012 now eight weeks since the accident. I attended the appointment. The cast was removed and my knee was x-rayed and MRI scanned. It was decided that a velcro brace with stays running up the back of the leg to stop any movement.
I am to return on the 8th February, thirteen weeks since the surgery. The Doctors have said all along that they are very happy with progress and that physio will start in February. Then I've been promised the knee brace to allow limited movement then a bit more and so on.
I was given no excersises to do post op or given any advice other than "If you can keep the weight on the straight knee to 50% for the first month, 75% for the next month and full weight on a straight leg weight from then on. I realise that everyone of us will require very personal requirements regarding the various stages of recovery, but mine seems to have been very long and drawn out compared to all of yours.
I also suffered blood clots in my lungs six weeks after the surgery resulting in Hospitalisation over Christmas and Warfarin being prescribed to help with this.
I'll let you all know how it's going
Take care

Avatar universal
I had my patellar surgery on 12/19/11. i was able to walk without crouches in 4 days. no soft brace needed within 3 weeks.started to do light exercise in two weeks. Doctor did not prescribe hard brace. I decided to loss 8 lbs while
recoverying. The lighter you are the less impact your knees see when recoverying. Ate healthy all while recoverying.
Why? cause you are less active while recoverying so there is a possibilty you could gain weight which is not what you want. Pushed myself as hard as i could whithout re-injurying myself. Doctor said i have made a very speedy recovery. it is now just six week after surgery and already have the go ahead to play light basketball(my favorite sport). I did non-impact exercises swimming, biking, ect. all are great for recovery.
Avatar universal
Well I am at almost two years since that dreadful day.  I still feel at about 90% and will never be the same.  I do everything except running as I just don't feel comfortable doing that.  For you newbies you can read my experience above.  I was pretty much a normal case study for this type of injury.  It will take 6 months minimum to feel some what normal. Yes, if you do the PT you will be able to walk and do fairly normal things, but you will not be 100% and you will always have this injury in the back of your mind.  I ride bikes, golf, swim, exercise regularly.  I took the injury as a challenge and went from 242 pounds to 208 to get the extra weight off the knee.  That alone has been a very positive plus.  Time and doing the PT is the key to this injury.  The one thing that surprised me was just how fast your quad atrophies along with your cafl muscle.  They both were shot to nothing.  Building that Quad muscle back is the key as it makes things go.  So, don't fret things will get better for all who have this injury....

Avatar universal
It really sounds like we are at opposite ends of the recovery scale. I got the knee brace this week, the instructions are "to try to bend the knee to the brace setting" aprox 30 degrees. They will change the angle in two weeks.
take care

Avatar universal
Thanks for the honesty in your comment, I think it'll be a trial getting as much of the mobility back as I can, I'm 6'2" and I'm less than 190lbs. I'm going to try to lose some weight as I build up the muscles. I have the knee brace set to 30 degrees for two weeks, I'm to streach my knee as far as the brace allows with out too much pain. Then the angle gets increased week by week. I work in Telecoms and need to be able to get up those towers........
Avatar universal
I ruptured my patella tendon on my left knee on March 9th. I had my surgery on March 15th and like all of you here the pain was excruciating. Initially I cold barely stand let alone walk. I was discharged  from the hospital on March 17th and at that time could barely make it up and down the halls of the hospital with a walker. 3 weeks later and I am able to walk with just the brace on without the walker. I will begin PT in 3 more weeks but have been working on strengthening prior to starting PT. I've been doing hamstring stretches, leg raises, calf raises, contracting my quads and glutes, stretching my hips and training my core. I have been seeing a therapist now for a bicep tear that occurred at the same time my patella ruptured, and she's been giving me the exercises to do. My injury occurred while doing Olympic style push presses and when I brought the weight down I went down with it. My doctor has put me out of work until mid July, I'm a firefighter. I'm hoping my return date will be sooner but I'm smart enough not to rush it. I've lost 30 pounds and weigh in at 220 now and still dropping. I want to give my body every chance to succeed. I've seen the atrophy in my leg but I'm confident that muscle memory will kick in. As I read in an earlier post, I refuse to allow this injury bring me down but I'm using it as a chance to change my lifestyle, drop weight and concentrate on athletic conditioning as opposed to lifting massive weight. From adversity comes opportunity, just need to face it head on. I am grateful to find this fantastic web page.
Avatar universal
i am presently recovering from a pattelar tendon rupture an have read many of your response to various concerns. i find u to be very direct an stick to guidlines as recomended by the patients doc, which i find to be kinda comforting. am going on 3 wks post surgery with a knee immobilizer an recovering without any pain on a constant base. am wondering if after wk 4 post surgery if its advisable to start PT? an possibly stop using the brace
thank u
Avatar universal
I also had the same surgery on Apr 12th. I have already began PT. If you don't mind me asking how were you able to drop the weight while recovering?
2133308 tn?1335752909
I Had surgery twice because a patellar tendon rupture. Once in 2002, 2nd one in August 2011. First time I suffered lots of pain because i rushed to do things I wasnt supposed to. Both times I got hurt playing basketball. My advise is take it easy, listen to your body. I feel doing lots of stretches, leg lifts, squats, helped me  a lot. 8 months later from my second surgery,  Im still not able to play basketball, jog, sprint, go downstairs comfortably. Walking. biking, swimming are better activities for me right now. Stay positive, ul be able to back to normal in about 18 months.
Avatar universal
Hi all,
I've been searching around for a resource like this community.  You all GET IT!  I ruptured my left patellar tendon 4/20 playing in staff vs. students basketball game.  The kicker is this- I had the same injury, same knee 12 years ago playing softball.  I jinxed myself because I joked around that if anyone got hurt it would be.  Haha! What a prophecy right?
I knew exactly what happened and laughed about it while being helped off the court.  My students and teachers thought I was joking because of my response.  I wasn't!  I couldn't believe that I would have to undergo a third surgery for a ruptured tendon.  Yes, I said third! About a year after I tore the patellar tendon I ruptured my right Achilles tendon playing basketball! That's what made this recent injury a bit humorous and took the edge off the pain and anxiety.  Like who does this?  Shouldn't i have learned the first two injuries?  Not me!  I'm a former high school football and basketball standout, former Infantry soldier in the Army, and a regular gym rat. No major injuries until I became a weekend warrior!

At 41 years old, I felt pretty good playing competive sports within reason. Now, I'm not so sure? I'm beginning to question if I may have a degenerative tendon disorder (if one exists) or a nutritional deficiency.  Can anyone relate? Any thoughts?
Avatar universal
Wheezy32, its unreal that you've had somany tendon ruptures.. I understand heavy antibiotics can be attributed to weakened tendons, but the most common would be steroidal use.. Do you have asthma? The inhalants contain anti-inflammatory steroids.. Or perhaps you've experimented with performance-enhancing steroids.. Not saying that you have but this could explain it..
Avatar universal
My surgeon asked me the same questions.  I've never experimented with steroids and I'm not an asthmatic.  Years ago I recall taking antibiotics for a brief illness, but nothing major or long term.  Other than these tendon ruptures, I've dealt with bilateral chondromalacia since I was a teenager.  I could never confirm a connection between the two.  Oh well, lucky me?  Thanks for the reply.
Avatar universal
I am a 48 year old male and I was in the gym front squatting 225 lbs on my fourth set.  On the first repetition, as I was coming up, POW! My left leg made a horrible sound and collapsed under the weight.  I dumped the barbell into the rack and started rolling around on the floor screaming.  I could not find relief from the pain and the sight of my disfigured knee was all the more disturbing.  I finally found a position for my leg where it stopped spasming and I was unable to move it at all without excruciating pain.  I could not walk out of the gym and an ambulance came and took me to the ER.  I was examined and X-rayed and my suspicion was confirmed that my patellar tendon was ruptured.  They put me in a splint, gave me crutches and pain medicine and told me to see a specialist. The injury occurred on Monday, May 28, 2012.  I saw a specialist on Tuesday morning the 29th.  Surgery is scheduled for Thursday the 31st.  I'll keep you posted.  My wife won't let me live down the fact that I was screaming at the top of my lungs when it happened.  Oh well, I guess I'm not the man I used to be.
Avatar universal
Take it one day at a time jjsokol.  I never would've believed that a simple game of hoops would cause a repeat injury.  Frustration is part of recovery especially during the summer.  Your entire routine is thrown off!  Like using the bathroom...I took it for granted! LOLOL!  I suggest that you commit yourself to doing your quad sets early and it will get you off to a strong start for rehab.  I'm in my 6th week post surgery and I begin rehab next week.  My surgeon is impressed with my progress, but wants to take it slow.  Keep me updated on your progress!  Stay positive!
Avatar universal
SNAP! in more ways that one. I too have had multiple patella ruptures. First was an age ago in 1999. Volleyball (have played and loved volleyball and basketball since forever) jumped to spike and snap goes left patella. Surgical repair with immobilizing wiring in for 14 weeks. Not a fun wedding or honeymoon :-(. Have and three more small ops on it to debride scar tissue causing a uncomfortable clunk when I walked (hope you all don't get that). Left thigh never returned to sharp and knee does not track correctly. Then feb 2012 sprinting after a cricket ball snap goes the right knee, in agnoKnee I too knew what had happened, felt like I had sprinted into a knee high brick wall. This time after surgery recovery was 4 week lite weight and walking, then 6 weeks to slowly get to 90d with a ROM brace. Still have pain sleeping, standing up too long, say cooking dinner. But now my left knee is burning again with the added load of work she now is taking on.
I have often thought I have something wrong with my tendons, knees (pre-rupture) would burn if bent too long like driving or motorbike riding, then both rupture? what are the odds? Almost like the tendon started to come away from the shin years ago.
For those on recovery, good luck. I knew after a decade that lefty would never be normal again, but now my right is shot too so I have put aside my olympic dreams, and tremble in fear at the top of a flight of stairs.
Avatar universal
I am a 56 year old male an like most of you I managed to rupture the the tendon off the tibia side of the knee cap. One post on this site had patient saying that his doctor told him that he could only expect 80 to 90 percent recovery.  As far as I am concerned that is poor medical bedside manner so to speak . That patient was 53 years old I am 56 and after 7 weeks of PT I can walk without a limp and have 120 degrees of flex in my knee. Today I was played my first round of golf. This was 3 months almost to the day of my surgery. I walked the course and also shot a respectable score. I am not bragging here I am just pointing out the fact that age is not a factor. And I feel that this doctor is giving this patient a reason to fail. As my PT guy told me it's easy to do nothing and I truly believe that the greatest healing tool that you have is the 6 inches between your ears. I and my PT guy expect I will make a 100 percent recovery. Good luck to you all and a speedy recovery is something you should strive for. It can happen!

Avatar universal
Glad I found this community.  I completely tore my tendon in my left knee on June 26.  Walking down the stairs and felt a pop and looked down to see my kneecap mid-thigh.  My reaction was to 'push it back' where it was supposed to be and then lost my balance and went down the rest of the stairs (about 10 steps).  I was lucky I did not break anything else.

Had surgery on July 3rd and am now at about 80 degrees and see the doc for my second follow up on Aug 16th.  The tendon was so damaged that he had to cut 1/3 away and reattach with wire in two places.  When I get to 80 it just seems like it won’t budge a millimeter more.  I will ask him how long should it take to stretch out 2/3rd's of a tendon.

I am finally off pain meds but may take 1/2 a hydrocodone every once in a while when the pain gets too bad.  taking long walks (six to 8 blocks) around the neighborhood with a cane for stability and can walk around the house without aids - but with the leg brace locked strait.  I hope to get a brace with the hinges so I can at least sit in a car.

I applaud everyone that can get the right frame of mind - that seems to help alot.  I also worry about the other knee - all the stress of going up/down stairs and just putting more weight on it seems to cause mild to medium pain.  I worry about tearing that one!

I am not a spring chicken at 49 - but was able to drop 10 pounds (5'11" and 185).  

Will just continue to stay at it and will check it to see everyone else's progress.


Avatar universal
Hi guys
I am 8 days postoperative 65 year fit old played tennis
Same fan is yours
Can you suggest experienced PT in the Thornhill Toronto
It is excellent site
Thanks everybody

Avatar universal
I’m 38 and I ruptured my patella tendon playing basketball. I drove hard to the basket and planted my left leg and then it felt like someone kicked me in the knee. Both my feet flew out from under me and I was lying on the floor on my back looking at my deformed knee.. a clean tear just below the knee cap. Below is a sequence of events that happened from my surgery to full recovery. The pain after surgery is one thing, but its getting your mind right and knowing that you will recover 100% and will have a normal life again. Also, the pain is the greatest the night after surgery. Stop taking pain killers as soon as possible though. The key to recovery is sticking with your physical therapy (PT) regimens and pushing yourself to get your range of motion (ROM) back. This is the painful part. Just suck it up and be confident that you will make a full recovery.. Everyday is like a small miracle. You'll be able to achieve something you couldn't the day before. It forces you to appreciate the small things in life. I hope this helps.

2/24: Injury
3/6: surgery
3/12: post op apt.
3/15: start electro stim therapy plus toe touches
3/19: 2nd post op. stitches removed. 25% weight bearing and start quad flexes.
3/23: 1st PT. 25 degrees ROM. Plus at-home exercises and massage area.
3/25: started upper body training w/ weights
3/26: 2nd PT. ROM increased and managed slight leg lifts off bench.
3/27: 3weeks post op. apt.
3/28: achieved 39 degrees ROM during PT. Pain still w/ straight leg lifts
3/30: ROM up to 40 degrees and leg raises a foot off the table was achieved
4/3: 4 weeks post op. ROM up to 51 degrees on flexionator. Swelling down and leg raises w/ minimal pain
4/5: ROM 53 degrees leg raises high off table
4/6: ROM 54 degrees. Prone position leg curls
4/9: walked around in the pool waist deep w/ only a neoprene knee sleeve
4/10: 5 weeks post op. 60 degrees ROM at PT.
4/11: 60 degrees ROM
4/13: 61 ROM.  Standing rubber band leg movements
4/16: follow up w/ Doctor. Removed crutches and opened brace to 40 degrees. Reported good progress. Tightness due to scar tissue and outside stitches.
4/17: 62 degrees. Weight bearing movements. Squats and balancing.
4/19: 71 degrees ROM.  Work on balancing scale. Brace opened to 70 degrees.
4/20: 74 degrees ROM. More balance and rubber band extensions.
4/25: 7 weeks and 1 day post op. PT included more shuttle squats and side dips. Manual manipulation achieved 79 degrees ROM
4/26: 81 ROM. Prone manipulation.
4/28: first day back at gym. No crutches and got on step machine (huge achievement) and used hot tub.
5/2: 8 weeks and 1 day post op. walk at 2.5 mph on treadmill. 93 ROM. No more brace.
5/4: elliptical training. 95 ROM. Walking normal pace w/ little discomfort.
5/9: 101 ROM. Leg extension leg curls. 9 weeks and 1 day post op.
5/11: 106 ROM. Dips aka step downs. Walking w/ no discomfort and gait restored to normal.
5/17: 118 ROM. First Step machine with full revolutions. 10 weeks and 2 days post op.
5/18: first time on recumbent bike. Achieved full revolutions
5/23: 120 ROM. 11 weeks and 1 day post op.
5/25: 124 ROM
5/30: doctors appt. All is well
6/4: 13 weeks post op. 136 ROM
6/12: 14 weeks post op. 142 ROM. Single leg lifts on shuttle.
6/18: 15 wks post op. 145 ROM
6:26: 4 months post op. machine test deficiency in injured leg. 40-60% deficient.
7:25: Light running on track. First impact since injury
Avatar universal
Where to start?

I'm a 32 year old Firefighter that had ACL reconstruction on my right knee 8 weeks ago. The graft was taken from my left patellar tendon because of a previous ACL reconstruction in my right knee had already used that one.

Surgery went well, woke up in recovery, they were discharging me helping move me to a wheelchair and the left leg buckled and I felt a pop! Uh-oh. Saw the doc the following morning, thinks I tore the patellar tendon, MRI confirms, in a cast on the left leg, and the immobilizer on the right (yup!)

Had surgery on the left leg on August 23rd went well (no more injuries sustained at the hospital). Have been in a locked hinge brace since then, no bending, quad activation, etc. ACL rehab for right leg is going well.

I see the doc on Oct. 2nd, hopefully get to open the brace a little and start rehab on it.

Thanks for all the insight on rehab, knowing what to expect with the ACL, but was a bit lost in regards to the Patella.
Avatar universal
i had a patella rupture dec 2010 my tendon tore away from my kneecap i had extensive surgery where the surgeon drilled holes in my kneecap  then stiched my tendon back to my kneecap they put a metal cage around the injury to keep it in place put me in a cast for 8 weeks then a brace for 6 weeks it was as the surgeon told me a horrific injury. but as time goes by the injury has healed and does not stop me from getting on with the things i have always done .Dont let it bother you when i was in hospital iseen people with some terrible illnesses what we had is very small in comparrison with others
Avatar universal
hi every one.

here`s my story
away on holiday and briskly jogging and my leg slipped and planted to the ground I heard a loud pop and fell straight to floor fast and hard
was in a lot of pain. my friends carried me straight to the car I could not bend my leg at all and if it moved I screamed in pain. my knee cap may half way up my thigh which I tried to move back but it sprang straight up my thigh again. I sat in AE for about 2 hours then had and x ray and doctor confirmed I had completely ruptured my patella tendon. surgery took place the following day.
they said they were going to drill 3 holes in my knee cap and put a box wire from my thigh to knee cap and shin.
they said surgery would take an hour but it took 3 said there was other things they had to do but all in all it went well. I was in a lot of pain for the next 2 days but they put me in a material brace and got me on crutches so I could go home were they said I must go straight to my local hospital to get further treatment. it was the second day after surgery when I was on crutches and it lots of pain and really was struggling on the crutches. that night before I was due to go home there was a lot of blood leaking from the brace it was leaking up my leg and dripping on to a towel I kept passing out. the following day I got to my local hospital and they said I had an infection in my knee resulting in massive swelling and me staying in hospital for another 5 days on drip and antibiotics. I'm now on week  and when I toe touch on crutches I get pins and needles straight up my leg and sharp pains in my knee and thigh. I cant weight bear at all even on pain killers. I'm desperate to get back to work but there telling me I have to have the wires removed which involves more surgery. does anyone have any ideas on when I could get back to work. hospital are saying minimum 8 weeks from surgery.
Avatar universal
Thank you for posting this timeline.   It's very helpful and I plan to do the same so others can gain insight.  

I'm a 45year old male.  Competitive cyclist, skier, etc.   I had a full rupture of my patella on left leg just below kneecap.   I was jumping on a trampoline dunking basketballs at my 9yr old sons birthday party.    Came down on trampoline and it just went.    Hurt like hell and my poor son had to watch me carted away in ambulance but he's fine now.       I'm 2 weeks post surgery in a leg brace     Doc has opened it up to 30 degrees (when seated) and I can bend it without too much pain.    I keep it locked when standing.    He said to add +10 degrees each week till my next appt.   He said at 5 weeks ill start passive PT.    

I've heard different opinions from docs on how aggressive to go with activity and PT but I think I'm just listening to my doc who teaches sports medicine at a top hospital in Philadelphia  and seems very  knowledgeable.    

I've taken it on my own to go to gym on crutches and carefully do upper body machines since week 1.   I've also been doing the hand bicycle trainer for 40 min which is great for getting your heart rate up.  It feels so good to get the blood flowing and a good sweat going!!!   I highly recommend it.  

Keep the faith and remember this is nothing compared to what I've seen some friends deal with in battling cancer.    

Thx for sharing.     And if anyone has any experience skiing post recovery I'd love to hear it and if you feel comfortable.  

Avatar universal
Cool seeing all the stories on here.

On June 21, I was playing field hockey and got hit in the knee by someone from the opposing team with a stick (it wasn't accidental either but that's another story...).  I knew it was bad as soon as it happened - had enough minor bumps and bruises to know I'd done something major.

Turned out I had a fractured patella and the patella tendon was detached as well.  Because it was a compound fracture, they operated the next morning, re-set the fracture (luckily I didn't need any metal hardware) and reattached the patella tendon.

Anyway for the first 6 weeks I was pretty limited.  Brace locked at 10 degrees to allow the fracture to heal.  It was hard for me as I'm massively into sport and fitness.  I couldn't drive myself to the gym but got some DBs at home to do some upper body stuff.  Since then I've been able to get to the gym 3x week but doing upper body stuff only obviously, and mainly seated.  Pretty frustrating given I could squat 160kg (double my body weight) before it happened, but still awesome to be able to work out again.

Saw the surgeon last Fri and he cleared me to start physio and open the brace up to 30 degrees.  It was a little tight at first but by the next day I was locking the brace out with no tightness or pain at all.  Going to plan, in 6 weeks time I'll be up to 90 degrees ROM and out of the brace!

Started physio yesterday.  Couldn't do a straight leg raise there, but went through some basic strengthening exercises, and she measured my quads.  The right one was 46cm circumference - the left (injured) leg was 41cm.  To be honest the difference actually looked like a lot more, probably because of the (lack of) muscle tone!  

Anyway when I got home I managed to do a straight leg raise.  It was tough , not so much painful as just quite tight through the kneecap and a lot of hard work, but still awesome to nail it that given I'd only just started rehab.  That gave me a lot of confidence about the road ahead!  I'm dying to get back to all the fitness stuff I loved, and my goal is to be in seriously good shape for snowboarding for next winter here in the Southern hemisphere... given I've missed snowboarding this winter.
Avatar universal
Hoping to discover something &/OR MAYBE a new direction BUT IT IS MORE LIKELY FOR ME "It is what it is" truely since it has been forever. Due to the HORSE I rode jumping a fence that the hadn't cleared & the horse fall also. FYI....
I had survived a TRAMATIC BRAIN INJURY that happen due to that HORSEBACK RIDING FALL in 1977.

Avatar universal
My name is Tom and my email is ***@****    On 7/19/13, I suffered bilateral patellar tendon ruptures.  Surgery on 7/21/13 and then into a rehab for a week followed by 5 weeks in the immobilization.  Looking for help with a bilateral patellar tendon rupture protocol as most are for unilateral ruptures.  If anyone is watching, feel free to email as I would appreciate the input.
Avatar universal
         I did mine on the 21/03/2014 (2 days after the injury) after the tendon on my left knee was completely torn while playing in a basketaball match. For my repair they sutured the torn ends of the tendon together. To avoid it tearing in the early healing stage, they passed a couple of wire loops through the quadriceps tendon (above the kneecap) and ran the wire down to the top of the shin bone and through a bone tunnel together with loads of supposedly self dissolving stitches. After 5 days in the hospital they got me up and walking on crutches and sent me home. It took me about 3 weeks before I was confident enough to get around under my own steam.
Stiches were removed after 2 weeks. I started physio after about 3 weeks and I'm sorry to say this is where the real pain starts. According to the surgeon and depending on the condition of my torn tendon the plan was as follows: 2 weeks 0-30 degrees, next 2 weeks 30-60 degrees, next 2 weeks 60-90 degrees, afterwards 90-full bend. So far i have reached 90 degrees active and with the push of my physio around 100 degrees. The problem is that it seems like me leg is stuck a bit the last 10 days to the same degrees as a further push by my physio is trully killing me. Any advice please?????
           I recently visited my surgeon and he told me that removing the wire is not a must unless it causes pain or any other sort of discomfort. That will not take please until the first 4-5 months of the surgery anyways. Today I completed 3 months post surgery and me ROM is at 90-95 degrees active and 110 passive. For my good surprise i tried 2 days ago to use the sitting bicycle on the gym and with lots of pain i did 5 minutes. Yesterday i completed 10 minutes. I can walk with small dificculty and my physiotherapist told me to do exercises at home at least 5 times per day and no more than 20 minutes (it includes several sets of bends with each bend lasting around 20-30 sec).
Avatar universal
Hi All,

Finding this site has been very encouraging. I tore my patellar tendon in my right knee playing basketball on 7/17. Went to the basket full speed and jump stopped and all of sudden felt like someone took a sledge hammer to my knee. After the injury it was apparent the knee cap was dislocated. I was rushed to the ER and upon review it revealed that I had torn patellar tendon. I had surgery the following Monday (7/21)

I am  27 years old and a former college athlete and was training hard for an Iron Man in October so experiencing this injury has been very discouraging. It is nice to read all of your stories of recovery and draw inspirations from them.

I have my appointment 8/11 (which will be week 3) to withdraw my staples etc. I am already able to walk (with the brace looked at 0) confidently and the last few days started to do calf raises and leg raises (with the brace on locked of course :))

I was wondering how many weeks it took for people to be comfortable to walk without the brace. Additionally, is there any younger athletes on here on who done an accelerated program? I am trying to respect the injury but for someone who lives sports and fitness it is really hard to laid up
Avatar universal
Hi all,

I ruptured my patella tendon on May 25/15. Had surgery 9 days later.  Was in an immobilzer for the first 3 weeks then placed in a hinged brace. Doctor had be locked at 0 for 4 weeks post op.

My Doc said that this was a pretty bad tear. He advised that he didn't want me to do any PT until 3 months to allow for the tendon to fully heal. I made an apt with him at around the 8 week mark as I was only at 30 Degrees ROM. He finally cleared me for PT which I began last week Fri. I am at 45 degrees now at at the 11 week mark.  After reading these posts I feel like I am behind and not progressing as well as I should.

This type of injury can really get you down but I am trying my best to stay positive.  This website is very helpful. Reading all of the other posts really put things in perspective for me. Like one person said on here this could be far worst!

@ RecoveryMode101...youth is on your side for sure but it also just depends on your body. I love sports, enjoy working out so I know what your going through. I'm pushing doing all kind of exercises but I am still only at 45 degrees.  It will come though just gotta keep at it. I'm still walking with my brace but you may be different all depends.

Avatar universal
i was less than 90* after 3 months, and had to get another surgery where they poked two holes in my knee and cleaned out scar tissue, then forced bent my knee when i was under.
when i came out, my knee could go 130*.
that was 4 years ago, and i'm still self rehabbing it weekly.

the good news is, it progresses every month.  it's still getting stronger and more flexible.

my therapist compared it to breaking wire with your hands.  you have to keep bending and moving it, until it finally looses up.
Avatar universal
So I'm not alone that's good to hear.  I've been at 45* for the past 3 weeks now.  My PT doesn't want to do any thing too drastic until I've past my 3 month mark. When I asked my Dr about manipulation surgery he said that they prefer not to do that for fear breaking any bones.  After reading the blogs/posts on the net it seems very common for folks that are suffering from stiff knee to have this type of procedure.

I am hoping I don't have to go under the knife again, I'm still not back at work yet. Hopefully like you said If I keep bending and moving it, it will loosen up. Fingers crossed.

Happy to hear your doing much better.
Avatar universal
Hello everyone.  Had complete rupture of patella tendon and had surgery 3 years ago this March and I'm still having issues with my knee popping when I do exercises like leg extensions or squats.  Had anyone experienced these same issues and if so how long before it goes away?
Avatar universal
Hello.  I saw your post while researching people with bilateral patella tendon ruptures.  I recently went through surgery almost 4 weeks ago with the same injury.  Would like to know how you progressed through your injury?
I stay very active and coach many of my kids sports, so this has been a tough one.
Avatar universal
Hi I am 60 year old female in good shape out walking for fitness-training for an annual 5k this summer. I tripped on the sidewalk and down I went. Banged my head on the concrete, got a black eye, broken wrist and blew my knee cap all to  hell. I went to the ER and was in hella pain. After xrays confirmed a broken wrist my knee cap was fractured in 3 places got a cast on my left arm and a brace on my right leg. Cute huh?? Anyhow I am 10 days away from removal of both and the problem is I have done everything right strictly adhearing to docs orders. My question is can I go up and downstairs if very careful?? my housework is piling up- Laundry mostly- what do you guys out there think??? thanks and oh this knee cap is PAINFUL TLW
Avatar universal
Looking for others who have bilateral patella tendon rupture/tear and have had surgery.   Anyone out there?
Avatar universal
I just had my patella tendon reattached back in May. I also had my knee scoped in July due to there being too much scar tissue in the knee to bend it in physical therapy. Since the scope I gained a bit more range of motion. its very tight still and on pain meds but therapy is still pretty rough to get through. I thought the scope would let me bend it a lot more right away, but guess it requires more time. They just started me on that methylprednisolone to help with the pain along with norco and now ultracet to try that for the pain. Going to therapy 5 days a week and doing the exercises at home along with icing. I know I can probably be doing more at home but PT has been wearing me out. Like other people have already wrote finding this site has been a big help and kinda a relief seeing others having similar experiences. Therapy is brutal and just wanted to see if any of you and any advice to help get through the grueling sessions with the pain. About 11 weeks out of the initial surgery and I am at 80 degrees. I have read a lot of other comments and seen that some people were about the same pace as me, some were behind and others were further at this time with ROM.
Avatar universal
Tore my patellar playing basketball 12/17/15. I'm am a 20 year old baseball player. Didn't have surgery for six weeks but doc was able to reattach my own tendon. It's been almost a month knee flexion is at roughly 95 degrees. Pt three times a week. Started a week ago, couldn't even flex my quad, already doing sets of 20 straight leg lifts with no brace and am walking with brace at 50 degrees. Seem to be progressing quickly just hope I don't rush the healing process but like I said I am responding well to therapy. Would love to hear from you guys if this seems out of the norm.
Avatar universal
I ruptured mine Nov 9th surgery Nov 11th.  Have regained full motion and have 7 weeks of therapy left.  It is still tight and uncomfortable if i stand or sit for long time.  I have had some issue with the knee buckling while walking.
Avatar universal
Well Ive ruptured my patella tendon for the second time ( other leg) The first one was 2years ago and im 2 months post op on this one... The first one was very painful during PT the bend it while I was on my back and then flipped me over on my stomach to bend it that way waaay to much pain!!! It was about 2 months to get to 90 degree on the first rupture again very painful!! BUT my good friend who also is a PT told me the sercert to getting the ROM without the PT putting you through their painful excercies and it is Hang your leg over the bed and let gravity do it's thing.. It will hurt as the ROM comes back. Make sure you use someone or use your other leg to left it back up after about 25 secs... Your ROM will be back in no time under your own pain level not the PT
On April 22nd, I fell while getting on my horse. I landed on my left foot and heard a loud SNAP! The pain set in immediately and my first thought was that I broke a bone. I couldn't get up nor walk. Every time I would try to move I heard another snap coming from my knee. I went by ambulance to the nearest ER and had all sorts of xrays done. They didn't find any broken bones but sent me home in an immobilizer and crutches to use since I couldn't put any pressure on my left leg. I went to my local hospital and was seen in the ER a couple days later. After the MRI it showed that I had completely torn my patellar tendon, ACL, MCL and had two tears in my meniscus. I had surgery the same week to fix the patellar tendon as well as the MCL and meniscus tears. I rehabbed the heck out of my knee but it just wasn't bending like it should have. On July 28th, I had MUA as well as scar tissue clean up. When I woke up from surgery, I could already bend my knee beyond 90 degrees and I was FINALLY able to ditch the crutches two weeks later. It is now January 2nd and in a few weeks I have surgery to reconstruct the ACL. They will be doing a hamstring graft from my right leg since I did so much damage to the left. The best advice I can give any of you is not to give up! I still have some discomfort mostly from my patellar area while walking but my surgeon said he cannot believe I am at this point considering all the damage that was done. Those first few weeks sitting in a recliner for 23 1/2 hours a day is not easy but remember there is light at the end of the tunnel!
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