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Bad start to 2015 - Ruptured quadricep.

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Bad start to 2015 - Ruptured quadricep.

Old 01-08-15, 02:59 PM
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Gerryattrick
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Bad start to 2015 - Ruptured quadricep.

After two cycling accidents the start of each of the last couple of years were not good, so I was looking forward to an injury-free 2015. Fat chance!

I got up in the dark early on Tuesday morning as I couldn't sleep due to a ongoing back condition. Didn't want to disturb my wife so I grabbed my clothes and crept out of the bedroom to dress downstairs. In the dark I slipped barefoot on the edge of the first step and fell down 13 stairs to the first floor landing. To stop myself falling head first I threw myself backwards and ended going down on my side with my right knee bent underneath me. Terrific pain in my right knee caused me to yell out and almost faint with the pain, which, ironically, really disturbed my wife! Ambulance came fairly soon and rushed me to hospital. They diagnosed a ruptured quadricep and, on Wednesday morning I had an op carried out to re-fasten the right quadricep to the knee, plus tidy up some tears in the muscle, I believe, although my memory of the talk with the doc is a bit hazy.

The op was deemed a success although the initial aim to do it while I was awake under an epidural was changed when I still felt pain as they started the op, so I had to be knocked out anyway. Now that the effects of the initial anaesthetics have worn off I am still in some pain but, drugged and trussed up in a full length leg brace, with two crutches, I came home today.

The recovery prognosis is pretty good but the recovery period is going to be long. Estimates are for two weeks doing virtually nothing but keeping my knee straight in the brace, and then, depending on progress starting PT to increase movement and strength. There are mixed estimates of when I am likely be able to do some light, or stationary, cycling of around 3 - 5 months.

This was my first overnight stay in hospital for 60 years and I was the only patient on the short-stay ward that didn't go in with a bag of their own regular drugs, which is not going to harm my recovery.

I am not going to ask for medical advice on a cycling forum, but am interested in the experiences of other in the 50+ who may have had the same injury, as to the recovery times they went through.

Last edited by Gerryattrick; 01-08-15 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 01-08-15, 03:12 PM
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Oh man - the description of the injury itself sounds painful. I hope that the doctors have done an admirable job and that your eventual physiotherapy will get you back riding in the spring.

The take away from this - never worry about waking up your wife?
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Old 01-08-15, 04:02 PM
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All I can say is HOLY CRAP!!! and people who know me will tell you I do not talk like that, seriously. Has something to do with the way my parents brought me up.

As I was reading about not wanting to wake up the boss lady and stairs I got goose bumps. Follow directions and best of luck with the healing.
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Old 01-08-15, 04:32 PM
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Thanks. I also never swear but must admit to using the F-word at one point when the pain was at its worst.
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Old 01-08-15, 04:40 PM
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I hate stupid misfortunes. I hope you heal faster than the prognosis.
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Old 01-08-15, 04:48 PM
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Jeez. Why is it that we can do a 40 MPH descent in the rain with no problems, but trip and nearly kill ourselves walking downstairs?

I've never heard of anyone having that kind of injury before, so all I can offer is empathy.
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Old 01-08-15, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
Thanks. I also never swear but must admit to using the F-word at one point when the pain was at its worst.
From what you told us, just using it once is a stone miracle. Sorry about the injury, Gerry, I hope things heal up well. don't push it too hard or take chances with the recovery. And, stay off of the stairs for a while, those things can hurt you.....

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Old 01-08-15, 07:06 PM
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The F-word? You mean fudge?...Ralphie "Only I didn't say "Fudge." I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the "F-dash-dash-dash" word!"

I never heard of a ruptured quad, but it sounds awfully painful. Had it been me it would have been more like Ralphie's Dad "In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan."

Sorry for shamelessly quoting "A Christmas Story" but I do like that movie. Gerryattrick, we'll keep you in our prayers and here's to a speedy recovery and coming out of physical therapy better than before the accident.
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Old 01-08-15, 07:48 PM
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Dang, that's bad luck! Hang in there and rehab religiously, when you are allowed to.
No experience here with quad injury but will think of you whenever I do quad sets the next couple of months.
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Old 01-08-15, 08:49 PM
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Stairs are no one's friend. Winces and commiserations, Gerry. Wishes for a smooth if not speedy recovery.
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Old 01-08-15, 10:37 PM
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I used to live in a house with stairs. Changed that about 12 years ago and I didn't realize how smart that was until I read your post.

Hope you recover quickly . . . and try to stay away from stairs (wear your helmet if stairs can't be avoided!).

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Old 01-08-15, 11:00 PM
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Hope you heal well. Get into PT as soon as your doctor and pain allows and stick with it religiously. I think the statistic is that every 4K steps (I think I got this from a Bill Bryson book) of a stairway, someone has an injury accident requiring professional medical attention. After car accidents, stairs are the leading cause of accidental injury/death. You're certainly not alone. My friend just broke a bone in his foot when they slipped on stockings. I've taken to ALWAYS holding the handrail and descending like an 80-yo man (which I'm not that far from).

- Mark

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Old 01-09-15, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by K100Fran View Post
Had it been me it would have been more like Ralphie's Dad "In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan."


If it hadn't have been for my wife being present that would have been me.

Thanks for all the replies.

I've been told by the doc that I'll probably have to give up my ambition of winning the TDF, especially if it's a hilly course, but I'm on enough drugs to qualify for a podium finish.

I just count myself lucky that I avoided a head first fall as we have dog-leg stairs with a wall at the foot of the top 10 steps.

Last edited by Gerryattrick; 01-09-15 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 01-09-15, 06:42 AM
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On the bright side, the low-end estimate of 3 months puts you about even with when I will start up cycling again. I spent a half hour on the tractor this morning, plowing the driveway. Believe it or not, even that can be an aerobic exercise session. And so it begins!

Heal well and STOP DOING THAT STUFF TO YOURSELF!!!
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Old 01-09-15, 09:29 AM
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On Oct 16 (the day before the first CO ski area opened), I was coming down a twisty mtn road on my motorcycle. Negotiating a 90-degree hairpin turn, my front tire rolled over the yellow-painted line adjacent to the centerline, putting it into a lateral drift from which it never recovered. The bike skidded out from under me to the right, and I went face-first into the road, landing on the left side of my full-face helmet, my arms, the left side of my chest, and my left knee. The bike and I came to a stop in the ditch, with the bike on top of my left ankle.

Thanks to the foresight of wearing proper motorcycle gear, there was no roadrash, but the only piece of gear that was reusable was my boots.

Left leg turned purple from the crotch to the toes.
Left knee swelled up like a water balloon.
X-rays found nothing broken.
MRI found partial tear (< 20%) to medial side of quadriceps tendon at top of patella.

Ankle swelled and was painful for 2 months.
Left side of ribcage was sore for 2 months.
Ortho surgeon told me 3 months until tendon fully healed, so that should be one more week.
I still have an area ~4" diameter just above the patella that is partially numb.
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Old 01-09-15, 10:10 AM
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Shimagnolo - OUCH!!

That sounds bad and luckily I had none of the other damage that you had. Glad to hear that it is improving. Is your rehab going OK, and does your PT include any cycling yet, or is that something for the future?

Last edited by Gerryattrick; 01-09-15 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 01-09-15, 12:13 PM
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Ouch! Get well soon.
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Old 01-09-15, 02:53 PM
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Gerry, dont do that again. I may never use stairs the rest of my life.

Sure hope that recovery hurries along.
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Old 01-09-15, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by K100Fran View Post
Had it been me it would have been more like Ralphie's Dad "In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan."
Having seen the movie and living on the shoreline of Lake Michigan I at times catch myself looking up at the sky, searching.....
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Old 01-10-15, 01:53 PM
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I was wincing just reading the title. Recover quickly.
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Old 01-10-15, 04:24 PM
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I was helping my wife make the bed and had a bicep mussel rip from the bone. They used a titanium toggle bolt to reattach it.The use of ice packs will do more than pain meds and probiotics help the side effects of the meds.Simple full flexing movements followed by strength training when allowed should bring you back up to snuff in no time.I would rather be shot or blown up again than have that happen a second time.My best to you and your speedy recovery sir.

Lesson learned never help the wife make the bed
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Old 01-10-15, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post


.... but I'm on enough drugs to qualify for a podium finish....
Great line!

Be sure to take your probiotics and stool softeners to avoid a different kind of intense pain.
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Old 01-10-15, 09:15 PM
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No experience myself, but it sounds like this injury is similar to what recumbent trike riders get sometimes. Look up "leg suck." I'm pretty sure the name is correct on several levels.
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Old 01-11-15, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
No experience myself, but it sounds like this injury is similar to what recumbent trike riders get sometimes. Look up "leg suck." I'm pretty sure the name is correct on several levels.

Just looked that up on Wikipedia and it probably would cause the same type of injury. I've seen a YouTube clip of a weightlifter doing heavy-duty squats when his quadricep tendons snapped.

I don't know if it's coincidental but I've been taking an antibiotic for a prostatitis infection and one of the potential side-effects of the drug is weakening of the tendons.

P.S. I enjoyed the Wikipedia article on recumbents. Very impressive machines.
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Old 01-11-15, 07:50 AM
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great story. have fun recovering. i have only recovered from nagging injuries, not real injuries.
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