A (reluctant) two-timer quadriceps tendon rupture


Submitted story by Mike

I’ve Just stumbled across your site and it’s interesting to read about the experiences of other ‘Quadders’. I’m a (reluctant) ’two-timer’ so here’s my contribution to your collection of mishaps….

About 10 years ago we were on holiday on the Greek Island of Lefkada, we’d only arrived that day and were walking down to the beach when I slipped on a thin dribble of diesel (fuel oil) leaking from a van. I shot into the air and landed with my left leg bent back so my foot was somewhere near my ear – ouch!. Long story short, I was amazingly lucky that Lefkada has a very good orthopaedic hospital and, at their advice, had the repair done the next day. Getting back home proved more difficult (never buy low cost travel insurance) but we did make it back and, with post-op treatment from my local hospital, I made a good recovery and was able to get back to hill walking, cycling etc,

Fast forward to October 2020, I’m now 63. and at my step-son’s house in Sheffield (we’re in the UK) It was a small house with a very steep and narrow staircase. Walking my toddler granddaughter downstairs, two steps from the bottom I slipped, shot forward, left foot caught on door-frame and yes, you guessed it, ruptured the left quad AGAIN!  Straight away I realised exactly what had happened (even though I didn’t want to believe it) so knew what I was in for. Problem was we were about 90 miles from our home in North Wales. I couldn’t get an NHS ambulance due to Covid pressures at the time so was stranded on the floor, in quite a bit of pain. I didn’t really want to go to hospital there due to the Covid situation and eventually hit on the idea of getting a private ambulance to come across and deliver my wife home and myself to our local hospital back in Wales. They were excellent (we’re so lucky to have the NHS here), and I was operated on the following morning, 24 hours after the accident.

So we’re now about 12 weeks post-op, I was in plaster for the first 7 weeks and have been in an adjustable knee brace since early December (It’s now mid-January). The brace has just been increased to 100 degrees of flex (though my knee can’t quite manage this yet), and both my surgeon and physiotherapist are happy with progress. Looks like I’ll be another 4-5 weeks in the brace then the serious physiotherapy will start. The surgeon has warned me to avoid too much strain on the quad until I’m at least six months post-op.

The medics assure me that the latest injury is not connected to any weakness from the last time, that they managed to do a good repair and there should be a full recovery. Despite this, I am still a little concerned about how well the injury will heal. Although I had a good recovery after the first time, I’m 10 years older now but determined that I can get back to hiking and cycling this summer – wish me luck!

PS One interesting thing the surgeon told me last week, though he doesn’t think it applies to me, is that there seems to be a connection between repeated quad ruptures and degraded kidney function – he didn’t really explain it fully, but I thought it could be of interest.

Best wishes,


About the author: Steven

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