If you have experienced a similar injury, I encourage you to check out this timeline which includes more details about the specifics of my patellar tendon injury and recovery. Comment your recovery suggestions and successes below! I would love to hear from you!
This is the tool I have been using to bend my knee over the weeks. Look at the before and after from where I was at the beginning to where I am now! Before: After:
It's week eleven now, and I am finally starting to get some mobility back. My doctor approved me to drive and to walk without my crutches. I have continued to use the Biodex machine and sitting elliptical at higher levels, as well as doing lunges and step-ups in the therapy pool and normal pool. I began to try to balance on my bad leg in the pool for up to a minute, but that is still very painful and difficult. Check out my video about using the sitting elliptical during week eleven here: https://youtu.be/_US4gmjF0-Y.
Check out this video on my Youtube page at https://youtu.be/fTPQSIbpGvE.
When using the NuStep machine, it's important to keep your steps per minute pretty high as it will help increase your range of motion.
Today I did 12 minutes on the NuStep machine and a half-mile on the sit down elliptical. I followed it by stretching of knee and doing some squats and two sets of toe raises which made my knee extremely swollen. Then I got back on the NuStep machine for another 12 minutes.
Yesterday, I did the NuStep for about 15 minutes, the elliptical for a bit, and then I did 10 minutes and 20 minutes of lunges in the pool.
For the past 2 or 3 weeks I've been having terrible cramps all around the knee area that wake me up in the middle of the night. My medicine tended to wear off around 2 a.m. and I was up the rest of the night with cramps. I used a muscle relaxer called Flexeril and it kept me till about 3 in the morning and so I've tried this new homeopathic pill from my chiropractor Dr. Richard Ballard at Ballard & Kind Chiropractic in Johnson City on Knob Creek Road. The pain has been so bad that I am even trying non-traditional methods. I'm taking about a cup of pickle juice with ibuprofen and tonic water and also using this cream that another chiropractor, Dr. Scott Vautrin, recommended. My doctor said this pain I am experiencing was going to be typical as I start to push my muscle harder
As you can tell, this injury has become a full time job. I spend three or four hours a day at the Wellness Center doing physical therapy, I stretch it at home another two hours and then ice my leg for another two or three hours at home.
I was finally able to wear shoes and socks today!
Check out this video on my Youtube page at https://youtu.be/GU32jfTvykA.
My monday of this week I was feeling really good and had even gotten my knee to bend to 90 degrees. I had worked on my leg five or six hours a day the whole weekend. When I was stretching, I heard some pops in my knee which the doctors said I could expect. This meant that my scar tissue was being torn. By Tuesday and Wednesday, however, my knee was very swollen. I continued to ice my knee and tried to keep it stationary. By Thursday I began stretching again and got it to 95 degrees using a heating pad and hot tub to loosen the tendons and muscles. My main goal now is to keep getting breaking up the scar tissue. Today, I even went to the pool at the Wellness Center and did some walking and lunges and squats. The cramping has been absolutely terrible and sleep has gotten rough again, but my therapy has helped. I have been stretching my quads, hips, and hamstrings which I think has helped with some of the cramping.
Check out this video on my Youtube page at https://youtu.be/UlZnnsQ4yFo.
This week, I was able to get my knee to almost an 80 degree bend by using the leg press, the stepper, and the Biodex machine. My knees and toes are incredibly swollen so I have continued to ice them and have even tried massaging them with lavender, peppermint, chamomile, lemon grass, and doTERRA deep blue essential oils.
Check out this video on my Youtube page at https://youtu.be/AfNyh7_oXXE.
One of the best things I have purchased is a compression ice machine which will cools my leg so I don’t have to keep getting ice. I got one for $160 bucks and it’s awesome. One of the tricks I found is to get water bottles, fill them, remove the lid, and then allow the bottle to freeze. Then, I screw the cap back on and I have my own own reusable ice pack. Using these cold compression machines along with an ace bandage has drastically reduced my swelling after therapy or any other type of strenuous activity.
This week I was able to get my knee bent to 75 degrees. Doing this causes pain along the interior of my knee, but the pain at the incision site has mostly gone away. I was able to use the Biodex machine for about half an hour and met with my doctor for my six week follow-up. He approved me to stand in a pool and use a hot tub to begin to stretch out my leg. I can finally sleep without my brace!
Check out this video on my Youtube page at https://youtu.be/T64wRqwErL8.
These weeks, I was finally able to walk around some with the help of crutches and my brace. I learned to use my right leg to lift my left leg (the injured one) over the pillows so I could do it on my own. Trying to sleep was awful as the velcro on my brace would catch on the sheets every time I rolled over. During physical therapy with John Crowe at Appalachian Orthopedics in week four, I was able to get my knee to move back and forth and bend to 50 degrees. By week five, I was able to get to 65 degrees and was able to get 215 steps on the NuStep machine in 2 hours.
Check out this video on my Youtube page at https://youtu.be/lS8JS1BDoJM.
This whole span of time I was in bed on painkillers, and don't remember much more than getting up every once in awhile to use the restroom and feeling miserable.
I undergo an operation to repair my completely ruptured patellar tendon at Appalachian Orthopaedics with Dr. McKinney.
I experienced a complete rupture of my patella tendon. It was as if my tendon had exploded inside my knee. As you can see from the x-ray, my knee cap (The light gray curved looking bone on top of the Femur) was displaced and sitting on top of my thigh.
I went up for a Behind the Back, Under the Leg, Reverse Layup, with the left hand off the backboard and completely ruptured my patellar tendon in my left leg.
This is me only one day before surgery... if only I knew. Check out this video on my Youtube page at https://youtu.be/yFOS5q8Ftk4.