What is the Recovery Timeline for a Quadriceps Tendon Rupture?

One of the most frequent questions I get is ‘How long will it take for me to get back to enjoying the activity/activities that I enjoyed before I got injured?” This is a somewhat difficult question to answer since everyone is different and everybody’s injury is different. I too was eager to know this when I first got injured in 2007. I could only go on with what my Orthopedic Surgeon and Physical Therapist  told me which were estimates of course. Looking back now with my first quad tendon injury, I healed rather quickly. Since I had only one leg to deal with it didn’t take as long as my second injury. I was also 6 years younger and had more free time (no dogs, no ‘regular job’) to tend to my full recovery.

I will break down a rough timeline on my bilateral quadriceps tendon rupture recovery below since I took more detailed notes for that event. Again, my recovery will be different than yours, but hopefully it will give a rough overview of the timeline of recovery. Having talked to many other ‘quadders’ over the last few years, the factors that pertain to the speed of recovery depend on several factors. Some of these factors include the  length of wearing the straight brace, starting point of physical therapy and how quickly you had surgery and the injury.

The following is my timeline from my 2013 incident. I will add more info to this timeline as I go through more of my data:

  • January 6th - Bilateral Quadriceps Tendon Accident
  • January 8th - Doctor's Appointment and MRI
  • January 9th - Surgery of Bilateral Quad Tears
  • Received Leg Braces to wear and locked at 0 degrees ROM for next 6 weeks for tendons to heal and repair themselves
  • January 23rd - 2 Week Follow Up with Doctor / removal of staples
  • February 22nd - 6 Week Follow Up / cleared for starting PT
  • Given the ok to start increasing ROM on braces at 20 degrees per week
  • February 27th - First Physical Therapy Session (initial PT frequency at 2x per week)
  • March 1st - ROM Increased to 40 degrees via braces
  • March 8th - ROM Increased to 60 degrees via braces
  • March 15 - ROM Increased to 80 degrees via braces
  • March 22 - ROM Increased to 100 degrees via braces
  • March 31 - Physical Therapy Session Frequency at once per week
  • April 1st - 15 minutes of stationary bike full rotation
  • April 5th - 12 Week Follow Up / cleared for brace removal
  • ROM Increased to 120 degrees via braces
  • April 15 - Last Physical Therapy Session. Performed therapy on my own from here on out
  • May 5th - Able to walk down the stairs with no braces
  • August 24th - Hiked Machu Picchu in Peru
My 2013 trip to Machu Picchu in Peru. My bilateral quadriceps tendons had no issues walking around this beautiful and sacred area.

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