The following are Tips & Tricks that I thought would be useful and beneficial to anyone that just suffered a Quadriceps Tendon or Bilateral Quadriceps Tendon Tear or is in the process of rehabilitating it. If you feel there are other tips that could be added to this list please contact me.
As I have mentioned before in this site, make sure you agree on getting the Nerve Block from the Anesthesiologist when he/she sits down with you before the surgery. I can’t stress this enough. Unless you have some condition that prevents you from receiving this – GET IT!
Purchase your leg brace(s) online via Amazon to save quite a bit of money. If you buy your brace from the doctors office expect to pay a hefty amount. If I remember correctly insurance didn’t cover the cost of the brace, but this might have changed since my time.
Raised Toilet Seat
This tip was provided to me by my fellow Quadder Wayne and honestly I can’t believe I never thought of using one. A raised toilet seat will add 4 inches or more (depending on the model) to the height of the toilet making it much easier to do your duty when wearing a straight leg brace or two.
Get a Gym Membership
If you don’t already have a membership to a health club or gym get one. Preferably one with access to a pool and a hot tub. These will help with your rehabilitation profoundly as water therapy is amazing physical therapy for a ruptured quad tendon. The late night sessions of walking in the pool from one end to the other worked wonders for my legs and I believe also cut my recovery time down. The other benefits of a gym will be access to strength training equipment and cardio machines.
Thanks Wayne for mentioning this as well. Leg Lifters helps post-surgery clients raise or lower their legs. I talk about using a bandanna or small towel in my ‘Driving Difficulties’ section. The bandanna worked for me in terms of getting in my car, but I would highly recommend using this instead as it was designed solely for lifting the leg.
Walk Down the Stairs Backwards
If you are unfortunate to live by yourself with this injury as I was and you live in a 2 story or more apartment or house, then navigating the stairs is extremely scary and tricky. Now if you have only one QTR it is still manageable to walk down the stairs with no problems, but when you have 2 full length leg braces… forget about it! Walking down the stairs backwards was the only method I could use to get down the stairs without sliding down. Here is a video I made with me navigating down my stairs.
Cushion for Your Car
Driving was a necessity for me since I ran an online business and needed to get to the post office. Getting out of the house helped to clear the head and not feel like a hermit. For me a properly placed cushion or pillow lifted my driving position enough to wear I could keep my brace straight. This also applies if you are the passenger and need to keep the leg straight. Of course I should mention that your height will have a lot to do with this as long legs will make it more difficult for driving. If you are short you probably will be OK without the cushion.
Get Your MRI & Surgery done as soon as possible
When I first ruptured my right quad tendon back in 2007 I knew absolutely nothing about this injury until my OS advised me that it was the same injury Bill Clinton suffered (although his was a partial tear). I quickly researched online about this injury and found out that the sooner you have surgery performed the better outcome will be for your injury. I had to wait over a full week for my first QTR injury, but my second occurrence I got scheduled in just a few days. Getting the surgery done as quickly as possible means you are on the road to recovery sooner.
Buy Yourself a Reaching/Grabbing Tool
There were countless of times I could have used one of these, but I never got around to getting one. Get one ahead of time for it will come in handy when you least expect it.
Portable Pee Bottle
This can really help out especially in the beginning soon after you had surgery. Getting out of my bed was very difficult especially since I had a very tall bed frame. Those mid night pee sessions and the pain in the ass to get out of bed just to pee with 2 leg braces can be quickly resolved with a pee bottle placed close by.
Stay Mentally Positive & Track Your Progress
Along with getting the Nerve Block I can’t stress enough about being and staying positive. It is completely natural and expected to get depressed, angry and resentful after you incur this injury. You will probably go through periods of ‘why me?’, ‘if only I would have done this’, etc.
Save the pity party for another time. I don’t want to sound like a dick, but being negative and down on yourself does nothing for your recovery. Trust me I had my fair share of depression, crying and down right anger with these injuries. However, just be aware that this too shall pass. The first two months seem to be the hardest, but for some reason as soon as I got past the 7-8 week mark and was cleared to start Physical Therapy, I started feeling so much better.
Better because I think I started realizing I was on the road to recovery. I know I still had a long way to go, but these small victories or as I like to call them ‘small wins’ made a lot of difference in my recovery. Keep a journal and write down your ‘small wins/victories’ they really helped me a lot. Mine were things like the 2 week Post Op mark when I got my staples taken out, the 6 week mark when I got the green light to start adjusting the ROM on my braces and etc.
I wish I had done a step by step and posted all my progress, thoughts, etc. as they happened like I originally wanted to cause now I have to backtrack and recollect on certain parts of what happened and share it online.
Share Your Experience
As odd as it might sound I actually felt really good when I talked about and shared my experience with tearing my quad tendons. The more I talked about it the better I felt. I’m not sure why, but just sharing my story gave me a little confidence booster and even more so if saw another person at the gym going through the same thing. Try it you might surprise yourself.
What better way now to share your experience with others who have gone through this injury than via my Facebook Group that I just recently created. Click the link and join our group. We are growing weekly and there is so much engagement that you are bound to learn a lot as well as have the opportunity to share your story which I encourage.
Do Not Rush the Healing Process & Avoid Stupid Stuff
I don’t really need to expand on this, but don’t partake in anything idiotic that could result in re-rupturing your injury. It has happened to a few people I know and the last thing you want is to make your rehab even LONGER! I will admit that I took a chance with walking both of my dogs when I still had my two braces on me. Even though I had very good ROM at that point, I still should have waited a lot longer to walk them on the trails.
I should also point out that I’ve read a lot of personal stories from people who try to rushing the process of their recovery. Whatever you do take your time and heal and recover in a timely fashion. People have reached out and asked if it is ok to go on questionable vacation spots while just a month after surgery.
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