View Full Version : Hamstring Avulsion (complete tear from pelvis)

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12-08-2011, 05:27 PM
Hard to sleep when so many thoughts keep swirling through my head...

H20, good luck to you with your surgery! You will not be that far ahead of me and I will be good to have a recovery buddy. Thanks for the offer of tips- I'll take all I can get. This forum is wonderful, never imagined that there would be such a wonderful support community for this rare injury. I'll be thinking of you on the 17th and can't wait to hear from you how things went. I'm sure it will go really well, every one on here is very positive about the results of surgery and I find that really inspiring.

Jackie, I slipped on a wet tile bathroom floor while picking up towels. I too did the splits with my right leg forward. I was booted out of the ER at 2:30 AM by a very rude doctor and some even ruder nurses and told to "Suck it up...you fell, it's gonna hurt- what do you expect?" I did get an x-ray, but of course it showed nothing. When I had my accident I was driving home from SC w/my 4 children. The car broke down and we were staying a hotel close to the car. So, when they made me leave in the wee hours in the morning I was alone and injured and hundreds of miles from home. My husband had flown home ahead of us so he could return to work and I made the kids all stay in the hotel and I went to the ER in an ambulance. It still makes me mad when I think about it!

Paul, we have the same insurance! Good old Aetna- : / You are so encouraging with your progress and positive attitude. So glad you stitches removal appointment went so well and that PT was a relief to you!

Does anyone on here know why when I called the surgeon who will be doing my surgery, he said to come see him immediately and that he'd do surgery immediately if I needed it. Then when he examined me he decided waiting 2 -3 weeks would not matter? It seems strange to me, when all the wisdom states ASAP is best. I wonder if there is something about me or my injury that made him change his mind? Should have asked him, of course, but didn't think of it!


12-08-2011, 05:28 PM
Hard to sleep when so many thoughts keep swirling through my head...

H20, good luck to you with your surgery! You will not be that far ahead of me and I will be good to have a recovery buddy. Thanks for the offer of tips- I'll take all I can get. This forum is wonderful, never imagined that there would be such a wonderful support community for this rare injury. I'll be thinking of you on the 17th and can't wait to hear from you how things went. I'm sure it will go really well, every one on here is very positive about the results of surgery and I find that really inspiring.

Jackie, I slipped on a wet tile bathroom floor while picking up towels. I too did the splits with my right leg forward. I was booted out of the ER at 2:30 AM by a very rude doctor and some even ruder nurses and told to "Suck it up...you fell, it's gonna hurt- what do you expect?" I did get an x-ray, but of course it showed nothing. When I had my accident I was driving home from SC w/my 4 children. The car broke down and we were staying a hotel close to the car. So, when they made me leave in the wee hours in the morning I was alone and injured and hundreds of miles from home. My husband had flown home ahead of us so he could return to work and I made the kids all stay in the hotel and I went to the ER in an ambulance. It still makes me mad when I think about it!

Paul, we have the same insurance! Good old Aetna- : / You are so encouraging with your progress and positive attitude. So glad you stitches removal appointment went so well and that PT was a relief to you!

Does anyone on here know why when I called the surgeon who will be doing my surgery, he said to come see him immediately and that he'd do surgery immediately if I needed it. Then when he examined me he decided waiting 2 -3 weeks would not matter? It seems strange to me, when all the wisdom states ASAP is best. I wonder if there is something about me or my injury that made him change his mind? Should have asked him, of course, but didn't think of it!


12-08-2011, 08:24 PM
4 week update

Pt had me slowly fire my hamstring this week ! The leg moves... Going well with increased weight bearing this week to 75 Percent. Having difficulty with sitting soreness in the incision. Quick tip, the pt wanted me to perform isometric quad sets on the days off from pt which is 3x per week. My quad is definitely loosing in this.

Any tips out there from the old timers ( legends) regarding week 5-8 ?

Paul glad to read all the good news !
Good luck to all .

13-08-2011, 12:17 AM
Apparently, it's also hard to post only once when too many thoughts are running through your head!

13-08-2011, 03:10 AM
Hey, H20, you are in a tough spot. Yes, timing is important, the sooner the better. But Doctors do differ. The difference between the 2 world class Doctors I saw one day apart in NYC was unbelievable. I would have been happy with either doing the actual surgery, but the difference between the post surgery protocol with the knee brace versus the hip and knee conbination brace is huge. One was old school and the other more pregressive for lack of a better word. Or in fairness, one was conservative and didn't want any risk factors, and the other was willing to trade patient comfort for a higher risk factor. For sure the call is made for the individual patient, and my condition and famililarity with crutches may have been a factor. For sure Renee's retraction and maybe needing a cadaver graft is one. Perhaps your prior injury also dictates the combo brace. In you case though I think the scar tissue from the prior inkury may be the biggest issue, (which is why I originally urged a 2nd opinion and the most experienced person you could find), but also if another doctor felt you didn't need the combo brace (and you were personally confident in that) that would be major. All that said, if you have to or don't have another option, you go with what you have. I would have done it with the full brace, and had the surgery scheduled but got lucky with my 2nd opinion being the next day.
You will come thru fine no matter what course you end up with.

13-08-2011, 05:56 AM
7 week update (7wks + 1day)

Progress is still good, although not going as quick as weeks 3-6 went. Did some small jogging today, only 5 minutes but it felt good. The strengthening and stretching continues, this is a long process. Knee is still stiff but have full range of motion, just need to keep working this (stretching) every day.

Quad is getting stronger but am amazed at how weak it had gotten. Remember that I was walking without crutches at 4 weeks but still lost a ton of strength in my quad. Mini squats (2-3") have progressed into squats which are maybe 70% of normal. Also have started some one legged mini squats, this has really shown the weakness in the quad.

Hip range of motion is getting better but progress is slow. The knee went really fast but it has far less effect on the hammy. Hip ROM is bringing my knee to my chest while lying down. I would say another couple of weeks on this yet. What helps is to ride the spin bike (this get me to about 90 degrees) for a bit to loosen things up and then I hit some good stretching.

So once you loose the crutches it is all about strengthening and stretching. Get some exercise to get the body moving again, swimming, walking on treadmill, elliptical are all good if cleared. I try to have a session of stretching and strengthening in the morning and evening but get at least one in per day.

Sitting is still an issue, especially for long periods of time. It has gotten better but I still have discomfort. Not sure how long this will last, seems like some people were fine at 2 months and other had pain at 2 years. The good news is that I can sit on my road bike without much pain and that is what I am trying to get back to.

Hang in there everyone, it gets better!!!

13-08-2011, 06:18 AM
Hi Jackie,
Glad you are doing better, you will make it thru this. Definitely write down all your questions, I don't know about you, but if I don't write them down and check them off I won't remember them.

Not sure what you mean by "strange feelings" but the only things I have felt is the really wierd and painful/annoying sensation on the back on my thigh below the incision, but that is there constantly. I was told it is due to the bruising and also because of surface nerves cut in making the incision. I was assured it would go away, albeit in weeks to months.

Another is a really sharp shooting pain down the back of the leg, very brief (a split second), and painful, that takes me by surprise and only happens rarely and with no pattern. They said this was from the nerves back there, possibly the sciatica, not because there is anything wrong, just that those nerves were in an area that had undergone trauma, whether the injury or the surgery. Also normal and would go away. Now that I think about it, it hasn't happened for about 5 days. Maybe it's done and over.

The only other issue I have is when I wake up, whether in the middle of the night or in the morning, I have an involuntary stretch of my back and legs that despite my trying I just can't stop. It definitely puts some starin on my hamstring althugh I get my hips up as soon as I feel it starting so as to mitigate the tension on the hamstring. I was concerned it might be slowing the healing or causing a minor reinjury as it is pretty strong, but the Docor said it would not, and the everything looked fine. Still, I can feel it at the attachment/surgery point for a few hours after it happens, low grade soreness but only when that happening. Wish it wouldn't do that.

Hope everyone is healing well and getting the info they need to make their decisions.

13-08-2011, 10:50 AM
Thanks for the support everyone, Paul I am feeling better about my MD as I have heard some great feedback about his work from several people. I still think I am going to end up in the combo brace. I will know for sure on Tues.
Renee, I know what you mean about thinking too much and not sleeping......I need to get this surgery done so I am not a sleep deprived zombie! Sorry about your slip and your ED experience
I have been a little concerned today because I had some numbness on the bottom of my foot and increased pain from the beginning of the week. I hope it is just because I have been limping around a little too much. I am not seeing any increased swelling. The numbness is gone now but pain still worse.

13-08-2011, 10:28 PM
H2O, that's great about your Doctor. I would question him about the difference in the braces and get a definite answer on if the combo is warranted in your case and not just that it's the way he has always done it. If he thinks it necessary so be it, but then get in as much simulation and practice as you can before the surgery. Best of luck to you!

16-08-2011, 02:48 AM
Hello Everyone! How did the weekend go? Paul, are you continuing to recover and progress? Jackie, how are you doing now? What's your mobility? Have you been back for a doctor check yet? H20, thinking of you as your repair day gets closer!


18-08-2011, 12:47 AM
Hi Renee,
Doing well and making progress, I am 3 weeks post surgery today. I had my 2nd PT appointment Monday and besides the usual massage, soft tissue work, and range of motion, we started with some very, very light muscle contraction. As in, just barely make the muscle contract. Felt good to be out of the brace and move my leg. As far as the muscle work, it also felt good to be able to activate my quad muscle, which was against a stationary weight, at various leg angles, but not moving the leg. (I'm still not allowed to do anything with the hamstring). The soft tissue work was again very painful but it feels much better afterward. I really like Todd, my PT.

Unfortunately, and a total surprise to me, (but not at all unexpected to Todd), there will be some knee rehab involved as well. Apparently there was some knee ligament damage done in the fall, and I guess I might have realized the possibility if I had thought more about it. Having been in the brace for over a month now I had no idea, and the immobility no doubt exacerbated the problem. Nothing requiring any more surgery, but with even the slightest extension of the leg with resistance I felt some weird painful stuff going on around my knee. My PT zeroed in on it by simply touching some of the ligament points on my knee, and let's just say that he immediately got my attention. The good news is I am rehabbing the leg anyway, and it will just be incorporated in my overall rehab. The bad news is I have come to the realization that this will definitely be longer and harder than I thought. Stupid me, in the past I have always bounced back really fast, and I kind of thought OK, just a matter of strengthening the repaired hamstring and regaining the strength that has been lost in the quad. (The quad muscle has very noticeably atrophied already-amazing how quick it happens). Well, now I know better and am fully prepared for the long haul.

Getting around on crutches as much as possible, icing as often as I can, which is best done with the brace removed while in bed. Unfortunately while I can usually manage to get the brace off myself, I can't yet reach down far enough to get it back on, the lowest strap is a little too far away. Since I am alone all day I make do with loosening the top 2 straps and icing under it as best I can. Sitting is still short term because of the pressure from the brace on the back of the leg resting on the chair bottom. But my PT said that if I was going to sit for awhile to take the brace off. Am going to try that tonight and see if it allows me to spend more time in a chair. If it does, and I can develop a little more flexilbilty that allows me to put the brace back on myself, that will provide a lot more options.

I am driving already, not very comfortable, but doable, even for the hour+ to PT. This is possible because it's big and my Suburban's seat goes way back and I can adjust it in a wide varety of ways. Not sure with my height I could drive a regular size car. I figured out all of this before the surgery, but while wearing my brace, and it has paid off big time. Can't stress enough to get your brace ahead of time and practice and learn. For example, while I could get into my truck and position the seat to enable me to drive, I found out that I couldn't lean forward far enough to reach out and close the door without over stretching the hamstring. So I made up a piece of dowel with a hook on it and can now easily grab the inside handle and shut the door. Lots of little other things like that come to light. Like leaving an extra reaching tool in the bathroom. And way better to figure them out now.

Jackie, I hope you are doing better every day and have lots of good answers from your Doctor.

H20, will be thinking about you today, I'm sure your surgery will go well and hope you have a speedy recovery.


18-08-2011, 06:22 AM
I'm new to the site and it is great to read all the imput from everyone. I would like help finding a surgeon for a second opinion. If anyone has any info for me I would be grateful. I have a complete tear with "moderate" retraction to the anterior hamstring and a partial tear to the posterior hamstring. The radiologist who read the MRI gives no specifics or measurents. I have been told by my Orthopedic surgeon that surgery is not an option in this region and that PT will be adequate for healing. My GP tells me to get a second opinion from someone who deals with this injury more often. I need help in finding a surgeon in this region. I live in Las Cruces, NM. I am 45 min out of El Paso, Texas and 4 hours from Tuscon, AZ.

19-08-2011, 12:03 AM
You definitely need a 2nd opinion and probably another MRI. You simply do not have enough info to know what to do. Did you have this MRI done at a major hospital? What does partial mean? Why aren't they being more specific with retraction #'s? What about the third hamstring? All critical info. You will need to make a lot of calls and locate someone who has dealt with this exact injury before, don't settle for less than that. The ignorance about this injury by well respected and well meaning doctors is mind boggling. Your best bet will be Ortho facilities and doctors that specialize in Sports Medicine. You should also check with the team physicians of pro sports teams. I know that is not easy in NM, but Phoenix / Arizona has teams such as MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks, NBA Suns, WNBA Mercury, NHL Coyotes and NFL Arizona Cardinals.
You should also call Dr. James Bradley at UPMC and see if he has trained anyone in your area, he trained my surgeon in NYC as well as many others. UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, 3200 South Water Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone: (412) 784-5770. Also perhaps the pysicians for major college programs in your state.
Don't wait, time is very important.

19-08-2011, 03:51 AM
Paul thanks so much for your information. I have made a call to Dr.Bradley's office and I'm now waiting for further information from them. I'm also researching the orthopedic docs who work with the pro soccer and baseball teams out of El Paso. If no leads come from either of those, I will start calling Tuscon and Pheonix areas to see what's available there. Thanks again.

19-08-2011, 03:59 AM
Here it is POD#1 My surgery was late last night (finished about 9PM) so spent the night. just got home and am feeling pretty good. I only have a knee brace so far but someone is expected to come to my home today and fit me with the hip brace. I don't remember anything from the surgery and my leg feels almost better already. Except when PT came to show how to go up and down stairs with my crutches. I needed to take a valium after that for muscle spasm. I came home with oxycodone, vistaril and valium. I also picked up stool softeners and pepcid over the counter so I would be prepaired. I was told I have 4 anchors and dissolveing stiches on the outside. I go in for incission check in two weeks and will get my PT schudel at that time.
Renee try to get some sleep it hasn't been bad thus far....of course who knows what tomorrow and the new brace will bring. I will keep you posted. Thanks for your well wishes Paul and Renee

Jackie E
19-08-2011, 08:57 AM
Paul and Renee,

I haven't been on much lately but after reading update from Paul wanted to post what I found out at 12 day appointment.

I saw the PA not the doctor. They removed brace for the first time and took dressing from incision then redressed with something like butterflies but much bigger and said they should stay for 10 days. They didn't x-ray or anything just told me that I could take the brace off while just sitting in bed with leg propped up and long enough to shower if I could hold leg up and maintain balance which I haven't done. The nurse that removed brace said it was on wrong I had thought it had moved and shifted as the swelling went down in my leg but we didn't know how to correct. Their cast person came in and adjusted and put the brace back on much tighter than priviously had been.

So nothing happens for me for four more weeks and at that appointment they mentioned they may remove the brace and then order PT and said I would be allowed to use a PT closer to home since they are in Dallas which is about an hour and a half away. I am not sure I am comfortable with this.

She also reminded me of the recovery on this surgery being the worst anyone could go through. Paul llike you I am uncomfortable trying to sit in chair at all. It gets pain started and now I am no longer taking any pain med as of a couple of days. The only comfortable place to me now is the bed and the potty chair or shower chair since I can lean back.

Renee I hope you are doing well and preparing for surgery. Were you able to get your brace yet?

More later,


19-08-2011, 09:55 PM
H20, that's pretty good news, glad the surgery went well. Very interesting about the brace, you will have to let us know about that. Curious that they let you come home without it and crutch up & down stairs immediately after surgery & while on painkillers etc. if the reason for it is to keep you safe. You'd think that this would be the most risky time. Will they let you take it off while in bed or sleeping? Good luck with your recovery.

Jackie, glad you are doing OK. Great that you can remove the brace at times. Did they give you any isometrics to do while in bed? I have a series that i started at 2 weeks where I contract the quad (while not firing the hamstring, a little hard to do) and hold it for 10 seconds X 10 repititions. I do this 4-5 times a day. I'd think it important to get as much muscle tone and strength back as soon as possible. And to be able to get about on crutches and take a shower is a big payoff.
I too have had to readjust my brace as the swelling has gone down. The leg sock is a huge help with comfort from the brace straps.
I share your concern with a local PT vs. the one in Dallas that I assume has experience with this injury? If you can tolerate the drive (mine is 1hour 15 each way) I would go to Dallas at least for the first few times if you could. When they started moving my leg around for the first few times, and doing massage and soft tissue work, I was much happier knowing they had done it before, and it was obvious to me that they had. Especially since with the incision pain and numbness, I really couldn't give much feedback as to what I was feeling with the hamstring itself. I wouldn't want someone over stretching it or something.

Were you able to get your brace ahead of time and figure out some plans?

i'm off to PT session #3, best of luck and a speedy recovery to all.

19-08-2011, 10:30 PM
Week 5 update

Was seen by my surgeon this week and had the brace removed. Pt was excited she was Abe to get me to walk on one crutch and yesterday no crutches ! However this is not easy task... Muscles feel weak and in the get go joints are stiff. However i am getting optimistic again.

Sitting continues to be very difficult .. Any suggestions ?

Regarding exercise I am performing exercises at home on the off days from pt.

Have a great weekend all !

20-08-2011, 01:45 AM
POD#2 my hip brace came yesturday and my knee brace is off. Paul I am courious about your brace since you said you couldn't reach to take it off. Mine stops above the knee is yours lower? Mine stays on full time except I can take it off to shower. I don't quite dare to shower yet though. Just going to the toliet is a challange not being able to bend at the hip. The thought of getting into the shower scares me a bit. I can toe touch with my crutches but absolutly no weight bearing. Dra I am excited you were able to walk without crutches that seems so far away. Renee how are you doing?

20-08-2011, 07:15 AM
Dra, that is great, brace off and walking without crutches before the 6 weeks is excellent! Sounds like you are making real progress, I'm encouraged too. What exercises are you doing at home? My PT, at start of week 4 today, has me take off the brace and do quad contraction isometrics 12 seconds X 12 X 4 times a day, toe raises (L&R together) 20 X 4 times a day, side to side rocking, approaching full weight bearing on bad leg 30 X 4 times a day, walking with crutches 60-70% weight bearing stepping over low cones and emphasizing heel and toe and fully straightening the knee, 4 x a day. I keep pushing for more and he keeps reining me back. That's because he is smarter than me. I listen to him. Ironicaaly, most of my pain is knee related, not hamstring.
Sitting is not too bad for me if the chair is padded enough. I can sit without the brace with my hips at a full 90 and knee at a 90 for about a half hour reasonably. Then the wieght on the incision gets to be a bit much. With the brace is a much shorter time.

H2o, I only have the knee brace. I can take it off by undoing the top 3 straps and then pulling it up on my leg, but cannot bend far enough forward at the waist to reach down that far to snap the buckle without overstretching my hamstring. Don't envy you that hip brace, the bathroom must be difficult. Hang in there, it gets better.

20-08-2011, 07:28 PM
Hi Everyone! I've taken a little break on here due to a family emergency- dear cousin diagnosed w/bone cancer. She's going to be getting some excellent care now and that feel wonderful.

Everyone's progress is so exciting, it's hard to believe how far some of you have come in such a short time!

Jackie and Paul, my doctor ordered my brace on Wed., but that's all I know. I'm frustrated because I don't even know if I see him again before surgery. I'm really going to push for answers on Monday. I email his assistant and she tells me that my questions are very good and that she'll forward them on the Doctor and that's the end of communication.

H2O, thanks for the encouraging words. I really enjoy your daily posts as my surgery is getting close. What did you mean by, " my hip brace came yesterday and my knee brace is off"? Doe a hip brace include a knee brace or do you just wear one and not the other? How is the pain? Are you on pain meds still? Are you still in the hospital? If not are you just lying in bed all day at this point? Can you sit up at all with the hip brace on?

Does anyone know the answer to this question? I have a lot of pain still on the back of my knee on the injured leg. On the good leg there is a tendon that I can easily feel on the outside back of the knee, on the injured leg there is no tendon. Does anyone know if that's normal, or could it be a separate injury. It's a good question for my surgeon, but I'm not sure I'll have contact w/him before Aug. 31.

Paul, which leg did you injure?

Dra, Paul recommended a good comfy chair for sitting a while back. He ordered it from Staples. Paul, do you still think that's chair to have? If so, I'm going to order it today.


21-08-2011, 01:45 AM
Hi Renee,
So sorry about your cousin. My father had bone cancer and my brother is fighting cancer so I know what you are going thru, it is not easy. My brother goes for another CT scan today, this will be the first time I am not there with him in 7 years.

Keep after your doctor about your questions. Obviously you need to not alienate them, but you also have important issues you need answers to, so use very friendly persistance.

Sounds like your tendon question is simply a result of your avulsion. If the hamstrings are no longer connected at the pelvis and retracted there is obviously zero tension on them and you would not feel them very much behind your knee, while you will definitely feel them on your good leg. Think about when your Doctor examined you, I bet he felt behind both legs for comparison. I know for a fact I couldn't feel mine on my injured leg, which for me was the left. Now, after my surgery, I can. In fact my PT has me place my hand there to feel them and monitor whether or not I am activating them while doing exercises when he doesn't want them firing. You can clearly feel the increased tension. Likewise while bending my knee he has me monitor the increasing tension on them so as not to go too far. While rehabbing, so far most of my pain is from the patella and knee ligaments, but what is present from the hamstring is more in the area behind the knee as opposed to the surgical attachment point which one would have thought to be more likely, but actually isn't. All that said, that's just my particular case, you should definitely ask your Doctor about it.

Don't know that I would just order that office chair without trying it first, everyone is different. And in my case the chair I normally use was one of those ergonomic ones (Heman Miller Aeron) that has a hard front edge and a mesh bottom with no padding so it was a huge difference. Don't know how that differs from what you normally use. And it's only for at my desk and main computer, not particularly comfortable for just sitting, some of my LR chairs are better for that. I don't have one but many people have said that their recliners are the best for regular sitting comfort.

Hope everyone has a good weekend and continue haeling fast.

21-08-2011, 03:58 AM
POD#3 Renee They did not have my hip brace on the day of my surgery (probably because I am in such a rural area that the rep isn't here very often) but the rep for the brace came and fitted me at home on POD#1. I woke up from the surgery with the knee brace on locked at a 90 drg angle. It was just to keep me from moving the leg too much imediately post-op and keeping tension off the hamstring. I do not have to wear the knee brace at all now that I have the hip brace on. Also if my surgery time had been earlier in the day I would not have had to stay overnight. It was scheduled for 430pm and actually was delayed until after 6pm because of another case. So I expect you will not have to stay overnight unless yours is more involved which I think you said you may need a cadaver tendon which would be more involved so I am not sure what will happen in your case.My surgery lasted about 2 hours. As far as meds go I am now up to going 6 hours between my doses of oxycodone (I started at every 3 hours the first day) and I took just one valium before sleepinng last night and none so far today but I haven't done much activity either. I am going to attempt to shower later so I will probably need one after that. Sleeping with the brace on is not easy and no I can not sit with the brace. it keeps the hip from flexing. So I am pretty much in bed except when I get up to go to the bathroom. That is a challage too and I have no advise for that you just have to find the most comfortable position for you. Also get yourself one of those grippers so you can reach things if you drop them and also helps to scratch you lower legs and dress yourself. They are only about 15 bucks and well worth it. Overall my leg still feels better now even though I am not usung it much yet. Just having that lump off the back of my leg from the muscle being colapsed feels so much bettter. I can move my foot all around witout pain. oh and I am on an aspirin a day to prevent DVT they also gave me one shot of Lovenox (blood thinner) before I left the hospital. I am sorry to hear about your cousin. But hopefully this info will take some stress off you for your upcoming surgery.

22-08-2011, 05:55 AM
POD#4 Managed to shower last night. did ok; the hardest part was getting out of the tub (had to grab hold of the curtain bar and jump over the side.) Also wraped my dressing with saran wrap to keep it semi dry per my MD.Today I decided to venture downstairs and that was exhausting. There was no comfortable way to sit even though i have a pub style dinning room table and could put my one good cheek on that easily it got uncomfortable pretty quicly. I think a tall padded stool might be good.I was wiped out by the time I got back to bed. Think I spent all of 15-20mins down there. Not really painfull just very tiring. I have just had one oxy so far today so lessening those pain meds as much as I can. I don't really like the way they make me feel.It is going to be a long recovery I am already going stir crazy. I have watched way too many movies done too much Sudoku and I already have my exercise bands attached to the bed and working out as much as I can. i can only hope going downstairs will get easier soon. Anyway, hope everyone is doing and you all had a good weekend.

22-08-2011, 06:37 AM
Hi All, name is Kim, new to the forum and absolutely thrilled I have found you. I completely tore the hamstring off the pelvc bone by not paying attention and slipping down my front steps. First thought it was a simple strain, got up and continued to feed livestock. When i tried to get out of bed the next day and couldn't, I knew i was in trouble. After a quick trip to the ER and several doses of happy drugs later, x-ray showed bleeding (bruising) and possible internal tear. A couple days later the wonderful words "pelvic avulsion (evulsion) made their first appearance. I will be visiting my first orthopod this Thurs and after reading everything on this site, pretty much expect surgery of some sort. What I really need to know is, are there specific questions besides how many of these have you done before? That i need to ask. I am 42 years old semi active female (meaning no super X motocross riding for me) and recently moved to MT from CA. Any and all help y'all can give me will be greatly appreciated. Also, even though the ER doc gave me crutches, it does not hurt to do small amounts of walking, even with out the pain meds. The pain kicks in when i am sitting, standing or lying in a position that hits that softball size knot right at the juncture of my thigh, pelvic region and buttocks.

22-08-2011, 09:01 AM
Go read my post #1969 on page 197 for some questions to ask. You should bring a written list and someone else with you to help remember all that you hear. Make sure you speak to someone who has experience with this injury.

22-08-2011, 08:46 PM
Hi Paul,

How did your brother's CT scan go?

I'm sure you are right about the "lack of a tendon" issue. It's just hanging out until it gets reattached!!

I thought you just ordered your chair, so I'll go try some out at Staples this week.

Question- are you able to do any house work? You are almost a month out now right? I'm trying to judge how much I'll be able to do to help my family at your stage, is the reason I ask.

Only 8 days until my surgery.

Hope you had a nice weekend!

22-08-2011, 08:58 PM
Hi H2O,

I love hearing of your progress, it's so interesting and encouraging for me as my surgery is coming up very soon. I can't believe that you got to have a bath so soon! At least that's what I think I read, but I cannot find it now.

Regarding my doctor's prediction of a 3-4 day stay, I'm hoping that's his "worst case scenario" but it also could be because I live about 3 hours away from the hospital where he will do surgery. On his website he says that he check all of his patients 3 days post surgery and I"m guessing he may just want me there to check me. Other wise I'd have to spend 6 hours in the car, could be wrong about this too. He seems like a very conservative doctor. Am fairly concerned about our lack of communication. Am going to try Paul's advice of friendly persistence. That's a wonderful term and I like the idea, so I'll let everyone know how it works for me!

Your posts have taken a lot of the stress on me! Thanks so much and have a great day!


22-08-2011, 09:17 PM
Jackie, would love to hear how you're dong?

Kim, I'm just amazed at your lack of pain! You are very lucky. The softball sized knot is probably your muscle. Mine was large like that for weeks, but now it is a much smaller lump back there. Just to let you know I fell on July 9 and at this point I have very little pain and can walk around short distances just fine. Sitting is pretty good, provided I have the correct chair. Walking any distance over 6-7 years or walking on inclines or uneven ground is very difficult. My leg just no longer works right. It is also numb in a lot of places. I'm 48 and semi-active and but I just feel too young to never hike with my kids again or walk in a mall or go camping. All my kids are still at home and I even have a preschooler to keep up with, so I really want to get back to my old level of activity. I'm also tired out when I try and do much of anything. I really think it's from trying having my leg to contend with all the time.

Good luck w/your ortho and I hope he's seen this injury before. My experience was that 4 doctors (one was a highly recognized ortoho) all told me NOT to have surgery. They all said it was too risky and that PT would be fine for me. The PT and members of this group felt otherwise. So I saw as fifth doctor and he told me that if I wanted to avoid significant pain and disability for the remainder of my life, then I needed to bit the bullet and have the surgery. He was adamant about the need for surgery. He did not mince words whatsoever. It's so hard to volunteer for the amount of short term disability I'm going to have from the surgery, but as Paul said, don't sacrifice the rest of your life for some short term inconvenience (or something close to that). And that's just the way to look at it as far as I'm concerned. I'm having my surgery in 8 days and as far as I'm concerned, it cannot get here fast enough. I'm ready to face this and start my recovery.

Good luck to you and let us know how it goes at your appointment!


22-08-2011, 10:54 PM
Hi Renee,
You sound great and have a great attitude, I love it. You will do fine, albeit there will be some low points-but you will do fine.
My brother went for the scan on Saturday which is easy, but we don't hear the results till Wednesday which is the usual pattern. That is the appointment that is most important for me to be with him just in case it is not good news. Unfortunately I will miss that for the first time in 7 years also, as my wife is having surgery (gallbladder removal) the same day. Couldn't reschedule either of them. I am praying that he gets an all clear, and I think that will be the case-but you really never know.

As far as daily routine, I am at 3 1/2 weeks today, but from the get go I was getting around on crutches, although just to the bathroom and back, and to get icepacks from the freezer the first couple days as there is discomfort and you tire very quickly. From day 5 post surgery I was alone all day and it was fine. Made my own lunch etc.. Helped that I have a wide wingspan and could move dishes from the fridge to the counter and microwave and counter to counter pretty easily. Alot will depend on your kitchen layout too. Even able to use the stove. But you're not going to be carrying any dishes around, I slide them from counter to counter and stand midway between obstacles and lean the crutches against the counter and pass things from hand to hand to get past the stove and cabinets to the next counter. And EVERYTHING takes a HUGE amount of time. What took 2 minutes and was done without thinking, now tales 10 minutes and careful planning. Was able to open sliding doors and let the dog out. I washed dishes in the sink and unloaded and loaded the dishwasher. By lifting the bad leg up behind me I could even reach down and pick up things from the floor. Can carry most things in a plastic bag or tote-but very carefully. You'll figure stuff out.

However-I only have the knee brace. With a hip brace you will not be able to to bend down to the dishwasher for example and certainly not pick up something from the floor. I have to believe you will be severely limited in what you can do in comparison, and will need someone there. (Now that I think of it, with a hip brace I wouldn't have been able to even get icepacks from the bottom freezer drawer). And with all your kids, as opposed to it being just me, you will have a much more difficult situation. I would think you will need to arrange for daily help as much as possible, especially timed to your kids schedules, you can always cut back if you are more able. Get your support system in place. I have no doubt your regular daily routine makes mine look like a vacation.

One thing that I really don't know how to figure in, is that you are far far more mobile and advanced after your injury than I was. After my injury there was no chance I could move anywhere at all without full use of the crutches. I could barely get out of bed. So maybe that bodes well for you after surgery, as I was much more comfortable and mobile after the surgery with the brace on and maybe you will be even more so since you were ahead of my curve before the surgery. But the surgery might just equalize everything out. And again, I only have the knee brace. If at all possible you need to get your brace to try. That will answer all your questions as you can try it yourself in real situations. If you can't, simulate having it and really take note of how often you bend at the waist in all your daily tasks-it's a lot. All that said, I am hoping to the max that you don't need the cadaver graft and don't need the hip brace. But always plan for the worst and be prepared, and then you can be pleasantly surprised if it doesn't happen.

Sorry to bring up negatives, here is the positive: At 3.5 weeks, with permission from my PT, I can remove the brace in the house and really practice walking with a normal gait, it feels great. In fact I am almost fully wieght bearing on the bad leg. (OK, so the almost fully weight bearing I will have to confess to him today. Probably will be justifiably scolded.) Of course one must be very careful, but my mobility and comfort level is vastly improved. Of course I have removed every possible obstacle on the floor, all throw rugs and runners etc. and my pup can't understand why her toys are no longer scattered everywhere. Now if I can just eliminate the involuntary stretch issue that I think is setting me back every day. I need to talk to my PT seriously about it today as I had a bad episode yesterday morning.
But overall I am highly encouraged by the progress. And as I mentioned I was driving at day 13, not difficult with it being my left leg injured. It will be long haul but I can see a difference every day and every day gets easier with the daily tasks.

Again, you have the right attitude, spirit, and motivation and will get thru this well.

Best to all,

Jackie E
23-08-2011, 07:04 AM
Hello Everyone,

Renee I am doing better with each day. I don't return to doctor for three more weeks so just wearing brace and resting most of the time. I am handling the brace and walker better now. I am allowed to touch the ball of my foot on right leg with brace to the floor without any weight just for balance. This does seem to help. I walked into my living room last night and was able to sit and get comfortable in my recliner. This was the first time that I have been comfortable in any chair. My family has been so supportive that they don't allow me to do anything. They are concerned that I might fall again. Yet I feel stronger and have figured out ways to do some things that I couldn't do in the beginning. My pain is so much better now that I haven't had to take any pain meds for days and the days before was only one dailly of a non-narcotic pain med prescribed when the injury first happened. I am concerned about how PT will go since I am waiting at least six weeks wearing the brace waiting to start.

I know you will be able to figure all this out. It takes some planning and time but hard to know before it happens. Like Paul suggests the brace before surgery will tell you a lot about what your limitations will be. I was also walking and feeling pretty well before surgery like you are now but I did have the feeling that the leg was useless and couldn't do the things that I had done in the past like a trip to the mall. I was very limited but could walk on my own without crutches or walker and was still able to go to work.

One thing that has been helpful to me was to put things that I needed handy and within reach in baskets with handles that I could reach with the grabber from my bed. I also got the bed rest pillow that Paul sent the link to from Target. I was struggling for several days before I had someone get it and now I rest comfortably on it. I adjust the slope of it to sit up higher or lower during the day and at night I still use just lower in the bed. It supports you much better than regular pillows and I have all kinds of small pillows neck pillows, bolsters, leg pillows, all shapes and sizes that I can prop on and around me to make me more comfortable. I still haven't turned on my side.

Good to keep hearing from everyone on your progress.


23-08-2011, 08:00 AM
Jackie, it is wonderful to hear how well you are doing! So glad that it is working out for you. One thing, while obviously you have to follow your doctors recommendations, they often will take into account how the patient feels and how aggressive they want to be. Certainly he is considering your need to heal, but the only thing I would ask him about is, as you are rightly concerned about, is the legnth of time before PT. Generally it is started earlier. Maybe doing some passive range of motion PT to get your knee joint moving. Not strength stuff, nothing to put the hamstring at risk, but just to not have the knee locked in one place for so long. You might also ask, if he doesn't want to do that, if he could just allow you to lock your knee in a little different angle for a week at a time just so it has some different position rather than the same one. My PT did that for me, and by coincidence I was dicussing it with him today and he said he often does that as it provides a slight change for the knee that doesn't include actual motion, but still maintaining the brace's protection of the hamstring. Of course everyone is different, and your Doctor has the final say on anything, just a thought you might bring up to him.
Keep on healing and being positive!

23-08-2011, 08:42 PM
Morning Paul and Jackie!

It's really nice to hear all your good news. I cannot believe that you are walking already Paul. I guess that's because your an athlete. Can't wait to be where you are. And I'm glad to hear the "negatives" because they will allow me to plan and remember that you too went thru tough times, but you also made it through!

Sorry that you have to miss that appointment Paul. My thought are with you all. Your wife will feel so much better after her surgery and it's not a bad surgery at all. I'd do it again in a heartbeat to avoid those terrible gallbladder attacks.

I don't think I'll get my body brace ahead of time, because they have to be made especially for everyone. PT will fit me for mine while I'm in the hospital. I feel sure I have to stay at the hospital because I live so far away. In Dr. Shaffer's literature is says that he wants to see all patients back in the office 2 days after surgery. With me living 2 1/2+ hours away- one way, there is no way that will happen. I'm hoping I only have to stay 3 nights and not the 4 that he said was a possibility.

I'm in contact w/ a member of this site who had her injury 18 months ago. I'm buying a toilet seat from her. It has the right side cut out. Apparently, it's made the round on this site. The potty was huge for me after surgery and being a woman it's something that I had to face at least 5 times a day. OUCH!
She also said that the roll about http://www.roll-a-bout.com/ was a big help to her. I'm going to try and get one too, if insurance will cover it!

Take care and keep on healing well!


24-08-2011, 05:23 AM
Hi Renee,
I'd chceck on that roll-about. If you are also in a knee brace or combo brace I doubt it will work. I would also think that it is a lot more bulky and awkward than just using crutches. Keep in mind that you aren't going any great distances (the photo shpws a guy out on the street) but are instead maneuvering over door sills, around corners and tight rooms like bathrooms etc. Doesn't look all that stable to me as far as preventing a loss of balance, just my 2 cents. They even say on the web site it is for below the leg injuries. I can see the benefit if it is the ankle or the foot that is resting on it. But the whole idea with our injury is to be non weight bearing on the injured leg. With that you are completely weight bearing except below the knee. I would definiretly check with your doctor first, it might actually hurt you rather than help.
Bummer you can't get your brace ahead of time, but at least you will be in the hospital while learning tio use it. I'm sure they will have an Occupational Therapist work with you-I'd make sure ahead of time. you should be able to call the hospital to check that.

24-08-2011, 12:25 PM
Here I am POD# 6. Glad to hear of the good progess everyone is making Jackie so happy to hear you have a comfortable chair you can sit in. I can't wait for that! Welcome Kim sorry about your injury. Renee I did want to pass on to you about this. hip brace that you can bend a bit you just can't really get to a 90drg angle. I can probably bend my hip about 30 to 45 drg. Sitting in a chair is not easy you have to slouch or sit just on the one cheek but the knee is free to bend and I am able to ride in a car if I lean the seat back enough. Pain has not been bad I am down to taking just two oxy's a day.Today I spent most of the day up my daughter took me for a ride in the car and I layed outside in the sun for a couple hours. Good day all and all. My dressing did fall off however and had to replace it. Got it a little too damp in the shower(saran wrap came off) Can't see too much of the incission looks about 5 inchs long and is still a little black and blue, swollen and numb to the touch. it is in the crease of my buttocks so not too noticeable.Also had my first BM today and it was fine.I have taken a stool softener with every pain pill I have takenand it seemed to work. I could not imagine being constipated while having to sit on the toliet in my awkward postion. All is well and at this point I am glad I had the surgery. My leg really does feel better even with the lack of movement. P.S. I guess I never signed my name before it is Sue.

24-08-2011, 12:44 PM
Oh renee I also wanted to say Jackie is right about the pillows I have many different shapes and sizes they have been great in helping me get comfortable.

26-08-2011, 05:13 AM
Hi Everyone!

I just got a phone call from my surgeon, Dr. Ben Shaffer, and he said that he'd talked to his colleagues and read the most recent literature and everything points to "no brace"!!!! So, I'm gong to have a knee stabilizer when for when I get up and move around, but other than than I won't have to wear any type of brace! The Dr. STRESSED that I cannot put any weight on the leg whatsoever.

This new braceless procedure will reduce my hospital stay from 3-4 days to one night. Because they are planning on using a cadaver tendon, I'll need for 24 hours of IV antibiotics. So, I guess there is really the chance that I won't need that and, therefore, could possibly come home the same day. My surgery is now 6 days away and I'm so relieved to get this wonderful news.

I will start PT w/in one week of being home.

Thanks for the pillow advice Jackie and H2O, I"ll definitely take it now that I will be able to sit up some.

Paul, I'm thinking of you today and wondering what news your brother got yesterday. Regarding the wheel about, I was using the recommendation of Janet, a lady who was posting when this site first got started. She used one and really liked it. She was in the body brace and it allowed her to go back to work in 4 weeks. But now that I won't be in the body brace, I'm not going to mess with it. You are right, it would not really be conducive to home use, going down the street or office corridor would be a better use for it!

T-6 days 'till surgery!

26-08-2011, 06:27 AM
Great news Renee! That sounds so much better. My MD has let me do toe touching from the first day for balance but no weight (hopefully yours will do the same). It definately helps and doesn't hurt at all. I go to seee the MD again next wednesday. He will check my incission and hopefully get me going with PT.

Jackie E
26-08-2011, 09:43 AM
Hi Renee,

That is wonderful news because the brace has been the thing holding me down due to position and weight of it. I never realized it would weigh like it does. I had found a case of a patient that did this surgery without the brace when I first found out about this injury. My daughter even suggested that I search for a surgeon that would do this without using a brace but I was already so far out from the injury date that I felt I didn't have the time to do that. I think you will be able to do much more than we thought without the brace. I wondered about the latest research on the brace after the case I read about. So glad for you that he discussed with others and did the research. Be sure and keep us informed of your progress if you are able. I will be thinking good thoughts for you on your surgery day.

Hope everyone continues to do well.


26-08-2011, 10:53 AM
Renee, that is fantastic! Can't help but wonder if he spoke to Dr. Feldman at some point as I brought it up with him again on Monday. No matter, that is just great news. Just another example of why patients need to be informed and persistent. And the value of this forum. I found my Doctor thru Dra, as you did from me. Amazing.

Jackie, take note, I suspect your PT issue is a similar info situation and can't help but think that if your Doc did some research or consultation he might change his opinion about your waiting so long for PT.

Renee, just be very careful, I had several near falls and was glad I had the brace on, so wear it when you get out of bed or your chair and move around for at least 4 weeks. Remember, most falls happen in the home even for unijured people. And as you get better there is a tendency to get complacent. But you will be happy to hear I am now out of the brace except when driving or doing something of higher risk like lots of stairs. I can even walk with full weight bearing already and today is just one day past the 4 week surgery anniversary. I will still use the crutches for a while for stability as a mishap at this point could still be a disaster, but really don't use them for support., Riding a stationary bike each day and doing my exercises diligently. But I can totally see improvement in flexibility, stregnth and stability, each and every day.

Thanks for asking about my brother, thankfully he got an all clear. And I brought my wife back home today, her surgery went well.

It must feel like a huge weight has been lifted from you, now we just need you to dodge the cadaver graft and it will be a home run!
Stay in touch,

Jackie E
26-08-2011, 11:17 AM
Hi Paul,

That is great news for you too being out of the brace at four weeks. When I return for my next doctor visit at six weeks it appeared they would remove the brace and then start the PT.
That is so confusing to me I think I should call and ask questions. Because I will probably need the support of the brace once the PT starts like you did. So do you feel that your hamstring muscles now work like they did before your fall? And are you still having any pain or at what point did it stop? I had a bad day yesterday. My leg seemed swollen and had a throbbing pain off and on in the back of thigh and knee. I meant to call my doctor this morning but it was better today.


26-08-2011, 11:35 AM
6 week update

Walking without a cane.. However the muscles get tired and experienced discomfort , using ice. I also drove for the first time. As you all could imagine sitting is difficult , however it is improving. I am using a wedge pillow that really helps. Glad to read all the post, good luck to all !

28-08-2011, 11:46 PM
Hi everyone,
Haven't been on for a few days, making preperations for the hurricane. Only a few more hours and then we are thru with it. Been OK so far.

Thiis is 4 1/2 weeks for me.
Jackie, they will definitely be removing your brace while you do PT, they did that when I first started at 2 weeks and still wore they brace 24 /7. Has to be off so they can move your leg and also to do tissue work. Not sure whether you meant they will be letting you out of the brace completely or you meant just at PT.

I found the brace didn't really "support" my leg, just kept me from over bending etc. At 3 weeks my PT adjusted my brace and allowed some bending and movement, gradually increasing the range of motion the brace allowed till it didn't restrict it at all. He still had me wear it for a while as he wanted it there as a "reminder" to be careful. Now I don't use it at all and am walking and even climbing stairs without crutches. It is important to work on your gait machanics as you progress with PT as you definitely develop some bad habits and favor the bad leg. Jackie, you will need to be especially vigilent with this as you have been in the brace longer before starting PT.

My hamstring muscles certainly "work" as they did before, just not as strong or with the complete range of motion. I can tell they will eventually be as good as new. The only pain I have is still from sitting on the incision for an extended time, and that darn area below it, and when I over stretch the hanstring. I did that the yesterday while using my truck to pull a boat out, I "forgot" about the injury and twisted and bent forward to look behind while backing the trailer up. Knew I had made a mistake instantly. No damage but it will let you know when you are overdoing it. It will take some time to get the full flexibilty and strength back.

Like you, earlier on I also had a day or two that were worse than others, where the swelling was more painful especially where the brace straps were. But they will be less frequent as time goes on. I basically don't have to ice anymore, the swelling is pretty much gone, being mobile definetly helps reduce the swelling, now just some sore areas where the initial injury caused really deep bruising. But every day I can tell there is improvement and it is very encouraging.

Hope everyone is doing well and healing fast.


31-08-2011, 09:37 PM
Hello Everyone! I'm of to Washington DC to have my surgery at 1:15 today! If any of you are prayers, I'd appreciate as many prayers as I can get!!

Thanks again, Paul, for the great recommendation that allowed my to meet my doctor. The first FOUR doctors told me, "NO" to surgery and then Dr. Shaffer said, "Without a doubt, yes." And I know this was the right decision for me. I'll email you when I get home! Thanks for all the support and encouraging words, they've made me brave!


Jackie E
01-09-2011, 09:35 AM
Hi Renee,

I was thinking about you today and will be praying for you. Let us know as soon as you can how everything went.


01-09-2011, 10:47 AM
We'll be thinking of you and will say a prayer too. I'm sure everything will go well, you are in good hands.

01-09-2011, 11:55 AM
This Is Katy Coffman Renee's daughter. My mom wanted me to tell you that she is doing incredibly well.
Her tendon unrolled like a window-shade and was able to be reattached with some slack. No cadaver tendon!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And will be in the hospital only two nights.
More to come later!

Katy :)

02-09-2011, 09:18 AM









02-09-2011, 12:04 PM
Tell Renee I am thrilled with that news! Awesome result, she will do really well. best wishes for a speedy recovery, look forward to hearing from her sson.

05-09-2011, 12:42 PM
Hello Friends!

Sorry I've been out of touch for so long, but a lot has transpired. Right now I'm in a nursing home. Yep, you heard right, a nursing home. Not exactly sure why I landed here, as I still consider myself as doing very well. My best guess is that the combination of a much larger than normal incision and no brace combined w/the stipulation of no wt. bearing and no bending at hip or knee, just made it impossible form to care for myself w/out some intensive training.

Contrary to what I expected, my incision is not in the glutial crease. The incision begins in the lower third of my butt cheek, right in the middle and runs down my leg to about 4-5 inches above my knee. I was told that the incision was made like that because I had a "beautiful" solid stump where my tendon detached. It was very easy to reattach it with a screw and anchor, therefore, the bigger incision was made to get the best reattachment possible. Something doesn't make sense here, so I'll ask more questions when I see Dr. Shaffer.

I'm getting along great and learned a ton from PT and OT today. The place does not "feel" like a nursing home. Very friendly, clean, cheerful place with incredible, dedicated CNAs and nurses. Don't get me wrong, I cannot wait to get out of here, but at least it's not a dump by any stretch.

I'm planning on heading home on Wed, would have been Tues., except Monday is a holiday. PT gave me the news a few hours ago that I can now do "flat wt. bearing" on the surgery leg which will make all the difference.

Am typing lying on my back, suing a child's netbook and it's too difficult to do much at a time.

Thanks for your prayers and kind thoughts. I love hearing of your progress.

Lel, Please don't let these doctors tell you "No", for the simple reason that THEY don't think you need the operation. Four doctors told me "NO" before Dr. Shaffer told me, "Yes". My leg is so much better already (4 days post surgery).

Paul would love to chat w/you for a bit if you have the time. I don't have your number here with me, so if you still have my cell and feel likeit, give me a call! : ) Hope your wife is back 100% by now! : )


07-09-2011, 10:15 AM
Hey where is everybody? Would love to hear from some old friends or new?
Fle, have you gotten q second opinion?

Jackie E
07-09-2011, 10:48 AM
Hi Renee,

I am still here but not much posting happening lately. You have had quite an experience! So you go home tomorrow? Thinking back I wish I could have stayed longer with experienced care rather than just the one night. I felt tramatized by my inability to walk on one leg on the walker with the weight of the brace and the pain. I also had poor planning all the way home. I was very uncomfortable and the car just wasn't big enough in the front seat and had family with me so the back seat was not an option.

I am feeling much better now moving the leg more freely and pain is just mostly the discomfort of stretching or something. It is hard to explain. I return to doctor next Tuesday and just hope I can lose the brace or at least not sleep in it. I don't rest very comfortably in it in fact I sit up on my bedrest pillow to sleep.

Let me know what is going on with you now. Good to hear from you.


08-09-2011, 12:29 AM
Hi Jackie,

Good to hear from you, Jackie! I know what you mean about feeling traumatized by trying to walk on one leg. I've been traumatized and I've had tons of experienced care. I can only imagine what it must have been like for you at home and on the ride home. ACH!

At first I was pretty upset about having to come to a rehab center, but now I'm so grateful that I did!!! They just took such a burden off of and my family and me. There are just so many things you have to do when someone is THIS disabled....keeping up with all the meds, getting to the potty, baths etc even tunring over in bed is an issue at first. And it is all so much more manageable here. I'm really glad. to be here. Oh, and one thing that more reason I decided to come here instead of home was that since Saturday, I've been getting PT and OT twice a day. I've learned so much and made so much progress with them, that that part alone made it worth it!

We are a big, happy, yet chaotic, family and with all the kids at home like they are makes it SO hard to rest and I've needed a ton of rest. I'm shocked at how much I sleep and rest I've required since surgery. I remember reading about how tired everyone was, but I just wasn't expecting this much exhaustion. David, my husband, brought the kids for a visit on Sunday and it was terrific to see them, but it was overwhelming and so, so tiring!

My follow up doctor visit apt.. changed my departure plans and now I'm going home tomorrow. I'll be much more ready by then. Today is a week since surgery for me. I get my staples (43) out tomorrow! Cannot wait. These things sting and ache a fair amount.

As far as the ride home, my husband is going to take out the middle seat in our van and I'm going to lie on the floor of the van for the 3 hour ride home. I know it's not the safest, but I just cannot see my self sitting/reclining for all those hours, no matter how many pillows we have. My incision goes right thru my butt cheek and down my leg and there is frankly NO WAY I can sit on it! : )

I've been so encouraged by hearing of everyone's great progress. Let's keep i touch. I hope Paul is off skiing and having lots of fun and just too busy to check the board all the time now!

Jackie E
09-09-2011, 02:25 AM
Hi Renee,

Yes it is all quite an experience and one I will never forget. I am sure since Paul is up and around again it is hard to come back and post. I can't wait at this point to get up and go again.

So you are already doing physical therapy and what is the other one? That is the huge difference in what I am doing and everyone else. I return next Tuesday and have had the brace on for six weeks without any type of PT.

I understand your fatique I was the same way. You also got quite an incision with 43 staples. I didn't have staples so there was nothing to remove.

Let me know about your trip home yesterday.


09-09-2011, 11:46 AM
Hi everyone,
I am still here. The hurricane with all the preparation and then the aftermath just made it dificult to post, as did lots of doctor appointments for my wife. Renee, I will call you tomorrow to talk. But I am well and glad to hear you are doing well also. Quite the story you have! Jackie, hang in there, it gets better, but press for answers about PT.
Will also post a general update tomorrow.

09-09-2011, 04:11 PM
Hi everyone, I am now 6 weeks post surgery. Last update was at 4 weeks and I had just gotten off the crutches and out of the brace. Since then I have made more steady progress and I can tell a difference every morning when I get up. Seems hard to believe as I remember how hard it was at the beginning and it seemed like nothing was changing.

I now walk witthout any limp and with a normal gait. Other than the time consuming 2 times a week PT trips, (each about 3.5 hours door to door), and the daily self done PT exercises and workout of about 2 hours every day, life has now largely gone back to somewhat "normal". Since I have been off the brace and crutches, the biggest single factor in getting back to normal is that for the last week I can now sit down at my desk and computer for extended periods. Still some discomfort, but an hour or 90 minutes is doable in my office chair. Uncomfortable but doable. I should note that this sitting issue is solely due to the incision, not the hamstring. My PT says the incision pain/discomfort will take some time to go away, could even be a few more months, but at my urging he is spending considerable time each session deep manipulation/massaging the incision and underlying tissue to breakup the scar tissue which is causing the pain and discomfort. It is a pretty painful process, but shows noticeable results so I push him to do as much as possible. Restaurants are now a much better experience since I can sit down-but I do choose ones with padded seats!

My PT is absolutely terrific and recognizes that I am highly motivated and therefore doesn't waste my time at PT doing anything I can't do myself at home, so I do no repetitive exercises there after he carefully shows me how to do them on my own. So my PT time with him is only things that require equipment that I don't have, (which is not much), or learning additional exercises to do, but mostly deep tissue work and manual stretching of the leg. He is expert at bringing it to the max point without damage. And it is no fun, uncomfortable and painful, but in a good way. And crucial so that I can learn what the limit is when stretchinh by myself.

At home I ride several miles a day on the stationary bike and increase it every day, (really hated that seat at first!), and do a wide variety of strengthening and stretching routines. I add, delete or increase the time and reps of them as I progress and get new instructions. Some can only be done every other day to allow enough recovery time. It is extremely important, (and very difficult), to be very precise in doing the stuff they show me, both for safety reasons and to maximize the benefits. It is very easy to "cheat" and make them less tiring or uncomfortable, but then that defeats the purpose right? I should also add that it is also very important not to do more than what you are told. After a few previous warnings, last week I was read the riot act last week for overdoing it. He could tell right away from the feel of my leg (and he was right). That session was cut short and I was literally sent home and told to lay off for a day. I guess that was an adult time-out for bad behavior.......Biggest thing for me is as I feel better and better is to be careful and not do anything stupid. It is so great to be mobile that is it amazingly easy to forget you still can't do the things you used to take for granted and that can get you in trouble.

So the moral of this story is that for the fastess recovery you will truly only get out of PT exactly what you put into it, you should push your PT to have you do the max possible as they will respond to your effort, but follow their instructions to the letter or risk reinjury or a setback. There is no easy road and it's certainly not fun. So much about this whole injury, right from the decision to have surgery, is about accepting the present pain and discomfort for the future long term gain you will receive. Although my strength and range of motion are impoving daily and I have been walking with a normal gait and climbing stairs almost normally, there is no question that I still have a long way to go to get back to where I was pre-injury. Still looking at several months more PT work at least.

If there is one single thing I would coinsider the most imortant regarding PT, it's that, (admittedly not an easy thing), if you can find someone that has actual experience with this injury then use them if at all possible. I have no doubt that has been big factor in my progress.

But everyone hang in there, it does get better and it is a joy to get back to mobile and not be dependent on others. The time that takes will vary, but everyone can do it.

Renee, sounds like you are doing well. Your incision is the same as mine, only longer down the leg as you had more retraction. Not surprising as our Doctors know each other. Please be very careful at the beginning when moving around, even with all my progress, at 6 weeks I still have to be careful about bending and making sure I don't fall or slip.

Jackie, keep in mind all I said about PT, push for starting as soon as you can, but recognize that everyone is different. And you may have to search out a good PT, they are not all the same, just like we all had to search for the right doctor.

Everyone heal fast,

14-09-2011, 04:10 AM
Hello everyone,

I had a complete avulsion of the hamstring tendon one month ago while waterskiing. I had an MRI the next morning to verify the extent of the injury. I had surgery last Friday, the ninth of September.

Today is four days post op and I have to say, it really hasn't been too bad. I learned a lot reading the posts everyone had posted on this site. This prepared me with regard to transportation, pain management and getting my house set up.

I did get two recommendations, one from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and the other at a local orthopedic center two miles from my home. I had amazing care at both places but decided to go with the local surgeon since he had more experience with this injury. He also recommended only the knee brace post op which sounded appealing to me since I could be wearing it for up to six weeks. He explained to me why isolating the hip is unnecessary after this surgery. The hamstring is a two joint muscle and as long as the knee is bent, a majority of the tension in the hamstring is on the lower portion. Not at the top. Anyway, the 40 degree bend at the knee is totally comfortable. I imagine every injury is different and this approach won't work for everyone. The first surgeon I talked to said he was planning on my hip fixed 20 degrees and the knee 60-90 degrees. That would have made life very miserable!

I've been taking Vicodin and a muscle relaxer for pain and as of today I have very little discomfort.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences. I know I've got a long road ahead of me but, so far, so good!


14-09-2011, 06:22 AM
hi I suffered a severe avulsion to my hamstring in costa rica while surfing , my surgery was on Aug 5. being in a hip flexion brace has been very difficult . I look forward to my therapy sessions I feel sometimes though that the therapist is pushing me to much... I am hoping to get this brace off soon. I would like to know if others feel what i have. I feel a heaviness to the outside of my hamstring , like a 10 pound weight. they tell me its scar tissue. If anyone is ahead with there therapy ,let me know at what point you really felt progress. I really hoping I fully recover soon , need to get back in the water

15-09-2011, 11:32 AM
I was water skiing two weeks ago and tore my hamstring. An MRI last week confirmed that it is an avulsion and the tendon is detached from the pelvis. As such, since I'm new to this thread, and my doctor is recommending surgery, can anyone give me information on the recovery time, etc.? It's been 2.5 weeks and I really can't even consider surgery for at least two more weeks. My orthopedist also informed me that the first two weeks of recovery will be spent on my stomach. Has anyone else experienced this?

Any comments and input would be greatly appreciated as I'm extremely apprehensive at this point.

15-09-2011, 11:35 AM

Forgive my directness, but do you mind me asking your age? I'm experiencing the same injury - water skiing - and have been told I need surgical repair. I'm a 44 year old woman who is pretty active, and I'm dreading that my doc tells me I'll be on my tummy for the first two weeks...

Thanks for any input you can give!


15-09-2011, 11:56 AM

I'm also 44. I had my first checkup today (5 days post op) it went well. The surgeon said I can bear weight to comfort. I can pretty much walk on it but I'm not going to. I get the staples out in a week. I may be able to take the brace off at that time too. I'm nervous about that.

Apparently my hamstring and tendon were healthy and flexible without much scar tissue. he said there was very little tension on the tendon and muscle once it was re-attached.

I'd make sure you have someone with lots of experience with this specific injury.

Good luck with your surgery. I'm really glad I did it.


15-09-2011, 03:16 PM
Hi Lisa and Johan, today I am 2 weeks post surgery and I am very glad I had the surgery. At first my surgeon told me I'd be in a hip and knee brace for 6 weeks. Then 3 days before surgery he called and said that the latest research shows that that much restriction is actually hampering recovery so I have no braces whatsoever. It's been hard at times, mainly because it's so hard to be so immobile, but it's getting better.

Johan, I'd say today I had a turning point. Suddenly I seem much better. My husband even noticed. I am 48 and not an athlete by any means. I don't exercise at all except for chasing my 4 kids. Our family likes to hike, and camp and we play with the kids outside. I had my surgery 7.5 weeks post injury and was very lucky to not need a cadaver tendon. My tendon reattached with some slack.

I will start PT on Sept. 30th and I know there is still a lot of work to do, but I'd do the surgery again in a heartbeat. My leg now works like it should!

By the way, I went to FIVE doctors before that last one told me that I needed the surgery. The first four were either against surgery or they said, "wait and see". I knew I could not live the rest of my life lame, so I would have kept looking for a doctor who would do the surgery for me. One interesting thing is that the fifth doctor, the one who did the surgery, was the only one who had any real experience with the injury/repair.

Good luck!


15-09-2011, 03:19 PM
Hi Jackie,

How are you doing with your recovery? Are you walking at all yet?

I was having SUCH a hard time with the mental aspect of all the confinement earlier this week, but today my husband rigged his truck so I could get out of the house and go for a ride and it made all the difference! I'll never take walking for granted again! Just to smell the air, feel the sunshine and see the world again was such a major joy for me! : )


17-09-2011, 08:44 AM
I'm amazed in the range of recovery techniques used by physicians and how much the pain and suffering vary from this injury.

I really think a surgeon with "lots" of experience with the injury is very important.

Good luck everyone!

17-09-2011, 11:37 PM
Oh I just love this forum! Waterskiing injury Sept 3, had an MRI Sept 13, and my doc got around to reading it Friday and panic'd. Complete avulsion with retraction. He talked with a surgeon who said - no surgery before even seeing me or the MRI. After reading this forum for a few hours, I know two things. There are a lot of great people on this site, and I am going to seriously up the speed of the process. Being in Boston, there should be a fair number of people who do this well, and I'll spend the weekend getting appointments lined up and hopefully surgery next week. I would great ly appreciate any leads for good doctors in the Boston area.

More later, and thanks for all the encouragement. - Richard

18-09-2011, 05:55 AM
Johan, am I correct in understanding that your surgeon said that you could bear weight on your injured leg 5 days post surgery? That would be SO great for you. Please let me know if that is what he said? Also, how much retraction did you have?


18-09-2011, 06:16 AM
Richard, I just wrote you a long email and it's GONE!!!! The most important thing I said was that back somewhere around the second week in Aug. there was someone who knew of a good doc. in Boston. This site is searchable, but I cannot remember how to to do it. Maybe you are more computer savvy than I am. I'll look for you and see what I can find. Good luck and I hope you can find the way to search the site.


18-09-2011, 12:15 PM

Yes. The discharge directions said toe touch to comfort. At my 5 day checkup he used the words bear weight and said to use discomfort as the guide. I guess the quads must do almost all the work?

Today is day 8 post op. I have to say I felt better a couple days ago. It's mostly my incision that is providing the discomfort. I'm actually goin to take a vicodin tonight. I'm not interested in suffering. Haha. I've been off the pain meds for 3-5 days.


You might want to look for a surgeon that specializes in sports medicine. Find out who is the ortho for the red sox, celtics and pat's, etc..

Have a good night everyone!


18-09-2011, 11:51 PM
In the past day I have managed to get two different appointments on Monday and am moving forward here in Boston. More later. Thanks for the directions and ideas so far.

19-09-2011, 11:49 AM
Hi Renee,
Glad to hear you are doing so well. You will really make progress once you start PT. I'm now 7.5 weeks post surgery and doing great.
To all newcomers-You MUST get a surgeon who has done this surgery before, the more times the better. Anyone who has no experience and tells you to just let it heal does not have an opinion of any value. Period. Look for sports medicine practices and ortho doctors that are affiliated with pro sports teams. And time is important before scar tissue forms making the surgery more difficult.

19-09-2011, 01:37 PM
Hi All,
I had complete avulsion of all 3 of my hamstrings on Juy 1st. July 2nd the on call Dr at the hospital did my surgery and put 6 anchors with a total of 30holes in my pelvis and I spent 2 more days in the hospital on morphine. I went home in the body brace (leg and body -- only allowed to move my leg 30 degrees at most) Spent 6 weeks in the brace and was then allowed to start Physical Therapy. Things were going well until Tuesday Sept 13th when the physical therapist working with me had me pull my hampstrings against her hold on my leg and they all ripped off again (spent Wed in the hospital getting an MRI for confirmation). The Dr came in and said that they had completely torn off again but that he didn't want to do surgery to re attach again. I am very very concerned that after all I have been thru and lost work days that I will only have 60 - 70% recovery (I have read that people who don't have surgery only have these results). I don't know if the surgeon I went to has ever done this surgery before. I am in a lot of pain and mentally feeling completely worn out and devastated. After 13 weeks of pain I was finally able to sit for about 2 hours at a time and go out to dinner, etc. Now he wants me on crutches with no weight bearing on my leg for 8 weeks and no physical therapy. My leg and foot are swollen which didn't happen at all over the 2 months of recovery. Can anyone give any advise or articles I go to and make my case for reattaching? I live in the Phoenix area and would love to get a 2nd opinion but don't know of any Dr's that may have experience with this. i am meeting with the Dr tomorrow to discuss other options than leaving all 3 hamstrings unattached. Thanks much for helping me. Laurie

20-09-2011, 07:06 AM
To all fellow hamstring avulsion patients,
I had my water skiing accident August 13, 2011, saw a sports med doctor on August 17th, MRI on August 18th, and surgery on August 23rd. I feel very fortunate to have found a doctor in Columbus, Ohio who had done 4 previous complete hamstring repairs. He said it is very rare to have a case like this. That is why I am so glad to have found this forum. After reading some of the posts it made me feel better. So, I am 4 weeks out tomorrow post op and I don't think I will ever be the same again. We'll just have to wait and see. I have never experienced this kind of extensive surgery. Two things I must comment on that has made recovery a little easier. Pillow pets for propping and sitting and Miralax every morning in my coffee. If your going to be on pain meds, don't forget the Miralax.
Good Luck to all! I thought I would be up and around in a few weeks. But don't kid yourself, it takes a long time to recover from this severe of an injury.

20-09-2011, 10:35 AM
I would really look for other docs in your area who have done this - sports medicine places, big teaching hospitals, and talk to the people who do knees - they will not do the pelvis, but they will know who does.

And publish where you are from - maybe one of the other members will be able to help you with a direct recommendation

21-09-2011, 01:10 AM
Hi all,

had "total rupture" 8/4. 1st specialist said to wait and see. Finally got a new name. Is anyone familiar with suzanne miller at the baptist in boston? How about scott martin at brigham & womens in boston? Can you believe no one at mass general does this surgery. Any other referals out there? Ps: Ref letter #2048 written earlier this month

21-09-2011, 01:18 AM

i am looking for a surgeon in boston too. Note my recent posts. Have you come up with any names other than the ones in my post?

21-09-2011, 03:13 AM

i am looking for a surgeon in boston too. Note my recent posts. Have you come up with any names other than the ones in my post?

I came down with the same two people you did. I was referred over to Scott Martin at the Brigham from the Mass General people, and Suzanne Miller seems to do all the others. Between the two of them, they appear to do everything in Boston. I contacted both, talked with both , and they both have slightly different approaches. More of a personal preference. Just got home from my visit with Scott. Scott is talking 6 weeks to brace off, Suzanne 4. She operates out of NE Baptist, he out of Brighams.

21-09-2011, 03:54 AM
Scott martin did a rotator cuff on me recentley. He is my "wait & see" doc. I see suzanne miller tomorrow. Though i am athletic, i think my age is a barrier to surgery. Will you choose from one of these 2 doctors? Scott says he does 10 - 14 of these surgeries a year. Haven't asked suzanne yet. In other parts of the world (where there is more competitive watersking) the orthos see much more of this injury. I suggested to my husband that we spend our winter in australia!

21-09-2011, 04:01 AM
Hi All,
I had complete avulsion of all 3 of my hamstrings on Juy 1st. July 2nd the on call Dr at the hospital did my surgery and put 6 anchors with a total of 30holes in my pelvis and I spent 2 more days in the hospital on morphine. I went home in the body brace (leg and body -- only allowed to move my leg 30 degrees at most) Spent 6 weeks in the brace and was then allowed to start Physical Therapy. Things were going well until Tuesday Sept 13th when the physical therapist working with me had me pull my hampstrings against her hold on my leg and they all ripped off again (spent Wed in the hospital getting an MRI for confirmation). The Dr came in and said that they had completely torn off again but that he didn't want to do surgery to re attach again. I am very very concerned that after all I have been thru and lost work days that I will only have 60 - 70% recovery (I have read that people who don't have surgery only have these results). I don't know if the surgeon I went to has ever done this surgery before. I am in a lot of pain and mentally feeling completely worn out and devastated. After 13 weeks of pain I was finally able to sit for about 2 hours at a time and go out to dinner, etc. Now he wants me on crutches with no weight bearing on my leg for 8 weeks and no physical therapy. My leg and foot are swollen which didn't happen at all over the 2 months of recovery. Can anyone give any advise or articles I go to and make my case for reattaching? I live in the Phoenix area and would love to get a 2nd opinion but don't know of any Dr's that may have experience with this. i am meeting with the Dr tomorrow to discuss other options than leaving all 3 hamstrings unattached. Thanks much for helping me. Laurie

Lauralei.....this is terrible and I feel for you. I live in San Diego and chose not to have the surgery. I, too, injured myself on July 1st. My ortho has done these surgeries and after a long conversation we chose to bypass surgery. Not sure if you'd like to speak to him or me but if you do please send me an email as PHX and SD are relatively close by.

21-09-2011, 02:43 PM
I feel sooooo sorry for you. After reading your post I am scared I will do the same. I can't believe he won't reattach. That doesn't seem right. What did the doctor say?

21-09-2011, 02:54 PM
I can't believe you have had to wait so long. I know you must be in a lot of pain. My water skiing accident happened August 13, went to see a doc on the following Wednesday, MRI on Thursday, and surgery on Tuesday Aug. 23rd. I am now four week out and still using the brace except for sleeping and still have a very hard time sitting. I am 53 years old and it seems like this injury is taking forever to heal. I am a teacher and cannot even consider returning to work until October 17th. Good Luck. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Julie

21-09-2011, 08:22 PM
Scott martin did a rotator cuff on me recentley. He is my "wait & see" doc. I see suzanne miller tomorrow. Though i am athletic, i think my age is a barrier to surgery. Will you choose from one of these 2 doctors? Scott says he does 10 - 14 of these surgeries a year. Haven't asked suzanne yet. In other parts of the world (where there is more competitive watersking) the orthos see much more of this injury. I suggested to my husband that we spend our winter in australia!

Yes, I am leaning to Scott Martin, mainly because his office seemed less chaotic, he seemed more conservative in his approach and he did not downplay the difficulty of the operation. Suzanne seems a bit more loose, but really competent. I think either one would be good choices, and it really comes down to your feeling about the person and how you relate to them. Australia sounds like fun! Maybe in January when I am up and about again.....

21-09-2011, 11:36 PM
I had my surgery two years ago in August 2009 from a wonderful surgeon, Dr Steven Cohen from the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia. Surgery was two weeks after my injury at Riddle Hospital. I am doing well--back to all my activities.
Dr Cohen worked with Dr Bradley from Pittsburgh where they co-authored a paper about hamstring avulsion repair. The research is ongoing about the best way to recover from the surgery. I did have a hip brace which I wore for 6 weeks with only toe touch weight bearing.
Good luck to all you new members--you can recover fully. Listen to your body and of course your MD and PT.

Jackie E
22-09-2011, 01:59 AM
Hi Renee,

I am just catchig up on the forum and found your message. I have wondered about you and how you were doing. You are so right in saying that about walking. I say that everyday to myself now.

I never left my house because it was too difficult only for the first doctor visit on August 15 and then the next time was September 13. My surgery was August 3. On the visit Sept 13 doctor said I was coming out of brace but would be on the walker or crutches for 6 to 8 more weeks. The brace was removed by PT on the 15 and the leg would't straighten out after being braced for six weeks at 50 degrees.
I am going today for my third PT session. I am walking on walker and am at about 50 weight on the leg. Doctor said thereapy until 8 weeks would not touch hamstring only stretching leg back out and getting me able to walk on again. My leg is much bigger than the other one and skin is red compared to the other one. I had a lot of new swelling in my ankle yesterday and had to keep ice on and off of both ankle and knee. Therapy is painful for me.

My recovery may be different from others because the doctor said I had a lot of scar tissue that made the surgery more difficult. So what is your next step?


22-09-2011, 06:21 PM
Hi Jackie,

Isn't it wonderful to not be keeping up with this site daily? To all the folks here who are newly injured or contemplating surgery, it does get better. Much better!

I saw my Dr. 6 days post surgery and I will go again next week on the 29th. I really think that the brace must stiffen your leg, as Paul mentioned the same lack of bending straightening ability. I have had no brace and can fully straighten and bend my knee w/o pain. On the other hand, your brace has given you total protection and you have not had any fear of "undoing" your surgery. Most of the time I feel like I have had so much leg freedom that it will be a long time until I can trust that I have not damaged my newly repaired leg. I just cannot bear that leg brace though. It almost gives me a "claustrophobic" feeling. I've never head of anyone saying that before. I just cannot stand the thing!

Thanks for the update and I'll let you know how my Dr. apt. goes!


22-09-2011, 06:39 PM

I'm SO, SO sorry that this happened to you! I am sure you are devastated. And the pain you are in is only making it all that much worse.

Question- why does he not want you to bear wt. on it now? That seems like an unnecessary burden on you. I mean you've already had the injury, so why not walk on it? I was walking on my leg 2 days after my fall and walked all over the plance on it for 7 1/2 weeks before my surgery. Then at surgery they rolled the muscle/tendon right back up my leg and reattached.

Also, I cannot imagine why you had thirty holes in your abdomen? I've never heard of that before. I'd like to know if your surgeon had done this surgery before.

What did the doctor say when you talked to him. I know that there was someone on here a few weeks to a few months ago who lived in Phoenix, I'll do some research for you. Hang in there, I know that this must be a terrible and very discouraging blow to you, but there IS someone out there who will be able to help you. I'll post to you again as soon as I can find the Phoenix Dr. for you.

Take care and let us hear from you.


24-09-2011, 09:32 AM
Update from Boston:
Chose Dr. Scott Martin for the surgery - 6 weeks hip brace and he is prepping me for 6 more weeks of work to get a more normal range of motion, not to say anything about strength returning. I have surgery scheduled for Thursday Sept 29, and have already been told there will be an audience of students.

I picked up a grabber and a sloped toilet seat, and get my hip brace fitted monday, so I can wear it for a minimum of 2 hours a day before the operation to get used to it.

A puzzlement: We live in an old brownstone in downtown boston with the bedroom on the 3rd floor. The surgery is day surgery (in and out) and he says I should be able to walk up the steps (about 50 of them) with crutches right after surgery. I think he is nuts. Is there a transportation method that I can take back to the house with a couple of people to help me up the stairs and into bed? Or can I really walk up 3 flights of stairs after this surgery?

24-09-2011, 07:53 PM
Hi roedel,

I had injury on July 9 and my surgery on Aug. 31.

From personal experience, there would have been NO WAY I could have managed 50 stairs right after surgery. I still find stairs stressful on my leg. I wonder if your doctor would order a hospital bed for you that would allow you to stay downstairs. If he orders it, there is probably a good chance that your insurance will pay for it. So far insurance has paid for everything that my Dr. ordered.

Here's a thought- I'd have felt very isolated and "out of it" on the third floor for 6 weeks. You may want to locate yourself in a more central location in the house, if that's possible. I'm downstairs and I love still feeling in the middle of it all, even though I cannot get around much. Also, all your visitors won't be traipsing up to your bedroom AND, and this is big, the person helping you won't have to run up and down sitars constantly. You'll need a lot of help at first.

I too was supposed to be in the hip and knee brace for 6 weeks, but my surgeon called three days before surgery and said that he'd talked to his colleagues and done some reading and decided against the hip brace. I think that this is pretty unusual, but it's worked for me. I ended up not even having the knee brace, so I was really lucky. Obviously, there are all different protocols on here for recovery, but your surgeon's method is proven and it does get results.

Some people have used a knee-scooter or a wheel about and that has worked well for them. My insurance paid for it, so I got one and I do use it, as it saves my arms some, but it's a pain to try and turn around in. We have a long hall from my bedroom to the kitchen. I use it to go back and forth, other than that, it stays put. In a brownstone I'm not sure that it would be any use to you at all, but wanted to mention it to you just in case.

You are wise to be planning and picking up what you need now. Don't forget to pick up a few good books! : )


24-09-2011, 10:41 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. Our condo is on the 2nd and 3rd floor, so it one or the other. I'll figure it out between now and Thursday. The idea of a hospital bed is an interesting one, and i'll see what I can do. I agree that it is kinder to the person helping me (my wife) to be downstairs (on the 2nd floor) but it also impinges on her space. I'll see what I can do.....


01-10-2011, 01:11 AM
Day one
Surgery was yesterday - done as day surgery, then backhome about 8pm. The MRI had originally showed a 4cm retractio n, but it was really more like 7cm when they got in there. Dr Scott Martin did the surgery, did a great job, but really provided almost no written information about post surgery restrictions or what to avoid. I got most of that from Bradley & Cohen's 2007 paper and this wonderful website.

After calling around, it turns out the ambulance company here in Boston does a "Carry up service" where they arrive at your home and either carry you up from the street to your room or visa versa. $100. Generally they use a chair or a backboard, but after talking about it, I elected to climb the 52 stairs on crutches, and they just spotted me and supported me as I needed. It gave me a lot of confidence with two people to catch me if I faltered. Not a problem, since i still had a lot of the painkillers from surgery in my system. Just took it one step at a time

The first thing I realized - you can't drink from a cup while lying down!!!!! Add bendy straws to the list of post-operation needs.

I'm already looking forward to the 6 week date when I can throw the brace in the trash. Spending most of the day in bad, flat on my back. Getting up every hour or two to keep from getting stiff.

01-10-2011, 02:31 AM

So glad to hear that things went so well for you!


09-10-2011, 10:07 PM
LELYNANA, how did you make out with Suzanne Miller? Wand what did you decide to do?

Day 10
The thread seems pretty quiet, but thought it good to share. I took pain meds for first day, but that was about it. Incision site is tender and sore, and the back of the leg feels off and on like I am sitting on sandpaper. The brace is a hip brace with no knee brace. As the doc said, you have to immobilize one or the other if you really want the protection. Dermabond for the close up along with an suture with micro barbs (tradename Quill) so that it does not slip. I went to the doc on day 5 and was all tired out by the time I got home. Amazing how much effort the body puts into healing itself. He told me that absolutely no excess effort the first several weeks, and I have kept the brace on full time, loosening it at night so I can sleep better. Right now meds are 1 advil 3x per day, with an Advil PM in addition just before bed. I'm getting about 8 hours of sleep with this combination, although I do wake up a couple of times during the night to reposition myself.
I can stand for about an hour at a time, working on my computer on the tilt top hospital type overbed table - the best $140 I ever spent. It tilts so I can use the computer while in bed, and then I can flatten it down to work standing up. Swelling really only started at day 6, and if the original injury progression is any guide, I think that the swelling will be pretty much gone by day 21. I am icing both my foot and my injury twice a day, per the suggestion of a great PT locally. I can maneuver up and down stairs very slowly and carefully and am downstairs twice a day, each time for about an hour. I can perch on a fairly high stool with a pad on top (one cheek on the stool, and the injured leg tucked back along the side of the stool) for about 20 minutes at a time. From what I have read elsewhere, my progress seems about typical.
Interestingly, my doc has not given me any written rehab protocol at all, but I see him again on day 12, so I will ask again then. Also I am allowed to put weight on the bad leg, up to and including balanced full body weight (50% of body weight on each leg) when I am stationary and on crutches, otherwise just toe-touch weight bearing. Does not seem to be an issue, since with the brace, the hammy can't extend fully.

Pia :-)
11-10-2011, 06:53 AM
Hello to all of the new people here - so sorry you have had to join in! I was injured early 4/11 and had surgery about 2 months later after an MRI foud a complete avulsion. I was in a knee brace and only toe touch weight bearing for 6 weeks. This site was wonderful as I faced surgery and right after but - now that I am back to work and active again I have been here very little - which is a good thing!
I am now at almost 4 months after surgery, swimming hard frequently, walking lots, doing lots of PT exercises - weights and stretches, riding bikes both stationary and around town. My one remaining challenge is trying to start running.
When I have tried brief stretches of jogging my injured leg feels incredibly weak and fatigues and aches almost immediately. The repair site feels fine - at most achy but no real pain. I am limited in my ability to run more by a sense of weakness/aching in the leg around the knee and down the outside of the calf. Has anyone else had the same trouble or, does anyone know when other people usually tried to return to running?
Thanks for the help!

12-10-2011, 12:07 PM

Scott Martin preformed this surgery on me in Feb. I just had my last visit with him in September. I had a complete avulsion of the hamstring in November. It took awhile to get the surgery due to another doctor sending me to PT, never even mentioned surgery. Long story short . . . he's terrific ! My cousin who is a PT, researched him, stated he's one of the best. You definately want someone who performs this surgery often and knows what they're doing. I listened to everything he told me to do because he stressed if it comes disattached there is not a second reattachment.

12-10-2011, 12:22 PM
I had my surgery in Feb and just had my last visit in September. My doctor told me no running till next spring. Also, I used to bikeride 17 to 20 miles a day. I just started bikeriding and I'm lucky if I can ride 6 miles on flat ground at the moment. My doctor told me when the muscle gets tired, it just gives out. He told me everything is going to take time . Maybe 2 years before I'm back to normal. I still have a hard time sitting .

12-10-2011, 08:30 PM
[QUOTE=dccoffman;57755]Hi Jackie,

Isn't it wonderful to not be keeping up with this site daily? To all the folks here who are newly injured or contemplating surgery, it does get better. Much better!

I saw my Dr. 6 days post surgery and I will go again next week on the 29th. I really think that the brace must stiffen your leg, as Paul mentioned the same lack of bending straightening ability. I have had no brace and can fully straighten and bend my knee w/o pain. On the other hand, your brace has given you total protection and you have not had any fear of "undoing" your surgery. Most of the time I feel like I have had so much leg freedom that it will be a long time until I can trust that I have not damaged my newly repaired leg. I just cannot bear that leg brace though. It almost gives me a "claustrophobic" feeling. I've never head of anyone saying that before. I just cannot stand the thing!

Thanks for the update and I'll let you know how my Dr. apt. goes!


The brace gave me the "claustrophobic" feeling. I was suppose to wear my brace a few weeks before surgery and had the hardest time doing it. When I woke up from surgery, the doctor had put it on. It stayed on for two months and I was bed bound. My doctor didn't want much movement. The funny thing was after surgery, I felt safe with it on. I didn't start PT till after 2 1/2 months. By the time I started, the first thing was to straighten my knee. It was stuck in a bent postion. I was totally freaked out that I couldn't straighten it. Needless to say, it's straight once again. I had crutches for 8 weeks. I never thought I would walk again. It does get better !

13-10-2011, 10:57 AM
This is one of the few forums I have found regarding the Hamstring Avulsion Injury and subsequent surgery. However, I am surprised that I have found nobody discussing complications after the surgery. Long story short, I tore hamstring and apparently avulsed the bone (they found out 2 years later when I complained of pain) when I was 11. I am now 35 and this past winter, the scar tissue that is now the size of my fist completely avulsed again at which point PT only made it worse, so I went in for the surgery. Here I am 7 months post-op and back on disability because I cannot sit. I've never been able to sit "equi-cheek". However, I was getting there and starting to run again, but 4 weeks ago, the pain started back up, the skin so sensitive and good amounts of swelling. I can't seem to get it under control. I am back in PT, and on way to see accupuncturist, pain management doctor and sports psychologist because of the 9 months of pain I've been through has taken a toll on me. Has anyone else gone through this???


Thanks - hope everyone else has recovered well....

13-10-2011, 11:27 PM
Cherice, - thanks for the update - good to see the path that you are progressing down, and to see it gets better, but also that it takes a lot of work.

Day 14 - the Doc's visit was good - he took off the dressing put on in surgery, looked at it and re-dressed it with a waterproof cover, and told me it was ok to shower. YIPPEE!!! It also turns out that his PA was telling me the wrong stuff. No 50% weight when standing stationary - stay off the leg. I am developing a complete protocol for this rehab with Dr Martin, so that the next person doesn't have to have these conflicting signals. It's all about healing now, not pushing it. "Anything with 'Push' in it is not a part of the program" is what he said. Tough for me to accept that, but I am pretty much in bed 18 hours a day and up for 6. I think it will be like that for much of the next week as well. Let it heal, let it heal....... Pain limited to a sandpaper/sunburn type sensation on the back of the leg.

Also: The area on the back of the leg below the incision and almost down to the back of the knee is pretty well numb, and the doc says it will be for about a year or two. Not a big deal, but interesting.

14-10-2011, 03:34 AM
Pia - Good to hear from you again. I am not sure I have any answers but can share where I am at.

For the new people a brief summary, 41yo male, very active, marathon, triathlon, etc, complete tear of all 3 tendons on 5/31 playing hockey, surgery 6/23, no brace, PT started at 3 weeks, walking without crutches at 5 wks. Just a note on the brace, my belief is that not having that brace really helped get me on my feet again quickly. At no point did I feel like I was going to re-injury myself but I did take extra care in those first 3-5 weeks.

I am now a bit over 3 1/2 months, I guess 4 months is 10 days away as I look at the date. The strengthening has been a long battle and I continue to go to PT at least once a week. Lots of lunges and squats to work on the strengthening as well biking and swimming. The other main area is stretching, I still cannot get the knee of the bad leg all the way to my chest, although I am getting closer every week. Biking has really helped with the stretching, especially as you get closer to the aero position, it really get the hammy loosened up.

I started jogging on the treadmill at 7 weeks and my leg told me that was a mistake so I held off for awhile. Around 2 months I started very slow jogging on the treadmill for just 5-10 minutes 3 times a week. Keep increasing the time week after week until I was up over 30 mins - still only 3 days a week though. Main issue I had/have is that the leg does feel weak. The quad has to be strong enough to take the pounding or else it just goes all the way up the leg and increased pain at the surgery point - at least this is what the PT person told me!! This is why I have worked so hard on the overall strengthening. Currently I am up to "running" 3 days a week for about an hour each time and it is slowly getting better. Still towards the end of my runs I feel like the leg is weak but this used to occur at the start of runs. Running in quotes because I am at around a 10 minute mile (before the injury I was around a 7:30 - 8:00 pace).

My plan (based on doc and PT) is to keep building up the endurance by doing slightly longer runs and more frequent but still at a moderate (slow) pace. The speed will come back over time (6-9months) but the endurance will help with getting the strength back.

Pia - Are you doing lunges and squats for PT? How about 1 legged squats? I do probably 60 of these a day for PT and they seem to have helped in my case at least. I would suggest building up slowly, 5 minutes on a treadmill and them move to 10 and so on. I am not sure about the calf but would ask your PT person - have not had any calf pain myself. I did feel weakness in my knee early on but the strengthening helped that. Best of luck to you.

14-10-2011, 11:51 AM
It's so amazing to read the posts and everyone's experience. When my accident first happened, no one had ever heard of this type of injury. No one could understand what I was going through. I went from leading a very active healthy lifestyle to being confined to bed for two months in the body brace. I barely had the energy to get myself to the bathroom. I thought when this happened I was going to have surgery, stay in bed for a month , have PT and then go back to normal life. It wasn't the case. I had to have some live with me for two months and care for me. When I traveled to the doctor's office it was a two 1/2 hour ride. I laid in the back set of a car with pillows under my knees and head. I was on crutches for six weeks, my muscles had atrophied and my knee was stuck in a bend postion due to no range of motion.
I became quite depressed and never thought I would come out of it.( I was on pain meds for five months) Life had changed drasically due to my injury. I became sucidal !

Eight months after surgery . . . life is getting back to normal. I still can't jog and was told not to till next spring. I was told never to do squats or lunges again, he said they're over rated. I used to ride my bike 17 - 20 miles in 60 minutes. I just started riding my bike 6 miles in 50 minutes. ( flat ground, no hills yet) My ego would have had a different story before but now I'm just grateful I can ride again and will add distance when I feel my leg getting stronger. My dog had to stay with someone else for 5 months because I could not walk him with a leash. I walk my dog every morning for an hour, it's my favorite morning routine. I just started swimming because when I tried before my hamstring would cramp. I feel like a young girl learning to swim . . . delightful. All the things I thought I wouldn't be able to do are coming back . . . slowly. My leg still feels numb. I'm uncomfortable sitting and standing for long periods of times can be bothersome. Stairs can be tricky and slow . My doctor told me it could be another year or two before I feel normal per say . . . but you know , I've learned so much about myself. I've learned to appreciate everything my body can do. Never mind the wonderful friends who surrounded me and guided me thru this journey. I learned some valuable lessons in life !

My last visit my doctor told me he almost didn't perform this surgery on me because he didn't think I would comply with his instructions, I had a problem wearing the brace before surgery. I asked him why he did, he told me I would have had siatica (sp) nerve problems in life. I'm blessed because he took the chance with me. So no matter how hard it seems , trust me it gets better . . .

14-10-2011, 12:05 PM
Richard: I had a similiar experience with a PA giving wrong info. From that moment , I always just saw Dr. Martin. I must say I feel blessed that he did the surgery for me. Do you go to Brigham & Women's on Francis St or Boyleston? I found the one on Boyleson Street to have better parking and not as crowded.

15-10-2011, 01:51 AM
Boy, it sounds like you have had a rough time of it!! I was off pain meds except for Advil after day 2, but that is really dependent on the individual. I am moving my knee every day to keep it from seizing up, since the hip is the only thing that is restricted. I guess he has updated his protocol in the last year.
The atrophy is tough, but my right leg is getting really strong from having to balance on it all the time. If I were to guess, the brace is not needed except to prevent a catastrophe, but the negative effects of another surgery are sufficiently bad that few doctors want to take the chance. I still feel safer with it, however. Best wishes to you as you come back to close to 100%.

And to RehabAgain - I get chills up and down my spine even THINKING about lunges!!!!! It's a long way away.

17-10-2011, 02:38 PM
Hi folks, so glad to be able to log in! I had surgery 5 weeks ago for complete avulsion. Am 50 yr old female live in nj, did my injury playing wiffleball on beach- crazy! Had the surg 6 wks after injury because like many of you was misdiagnosed. I am doing pt 3x wk and go back to doc on tues. I have the hip brace, as of last visit have to wear til 8 wks. Walking with 1 crutch, normal weight, trying to focus on normal gait. Surg leg feels pretty good, am investigating other lower back pain and weakness in non-surg leg. Today I walked a mile on the boardwalk (slowly!!!). It's really helped to hear your experiences. I wish you all continued progress, strength, and inspiration! I look forward to more updates.

21-10-2011, 07:55 AM
3 weeks after surgery

Welcome to the club of broken hamstrings! It sounds like you are progressing well, and getting stronger by the day. I went back to the doc two days ago, and he was pleased with the healing and told me 4 more weeks in the brace. I was so looking forward to only another 3, but a total of 7 week is what it will be for me. I still feel quite a bit of pain in the back of my leg, mostly seems to come from one muscle rubbing up against another, and getting used to being under tension again. Nothing terrible, and nothing that an Advil won;t pretty much take care of. So I continue to spend about 14 to 16 hours in bed and the balance of the time up or trying to sit. Still have not found much of a good way to do it. I've tried several stools, several pads and cushions, and just haven't found the secret yet. Still on the hunt...

21-10-2011, 02:49 PM
Richard, Thank you for the welcome! Yes sitting has been a challenge but definitely gets better. I actually perchased a lazyboy recliner (my husband had wanted one for years!). But truthfully, the best chairs have been any with arms, like a dining room chair, for easy up & down, with a pillow to sit on and one wedged in the lower back fro support. And even tho my brace angle has not been adjusted beyond 30 deg. am definitely able to sit more upright with more comfort every day. I've stopped using the crutch and am attempting climbing steps in the normal manner - very slowly!! I've been lucky with pain in my surgical leg, only barks when I'm getting streteched at pt, but quickly resolves. My other leg has more pain, but still sorting that out. I can tell you from where you are now, progress becomes much more rapid. Are you doing any sorts of exercises while in bed - isometrics, othere leg lifts, arm exs, or ankle pumps and strengthening with stretch bands? I think these helped me. And pt has been a real blessing! Am now doing plank exercises for core which really feel beneficial. Are you going to do aquatherapy? I want to get a plan next week from my pt and join a pool for a while. I hear this helps tremendously. You too sound like you are doing really well, so keep up the good work! You are the Boston person, right? My husband will be there for the crew regatta this weekend - sorry to be missing this one, but getting ready for next year, My friend told me, "The harder you fall, the higher you bounce." So there we go!

Pia :-)
22-10-2011, 05:17 AM
Hi Rehab -

You are doing great - what wonderful progress! Thanks for answering my post - it really helps to hear all your detail. I was never much of a runner before (just 3-4 miles when I couldn't find a pool to workout in) so I am no where near as far along as you. I have progressed this week to a slow walk/run over about 4 miles. At first the leg weakness and calf discomfort makes me want to quit but - it seems to lessen a bit when I push through it.

I have been doing squats with an exercise ball but no lunges - great idea, I'll start. The stretching is really helping - I am now close to normal in that department.

To give all the "newbies" hope - on the day I hit the 4 month post-surgery mark I hiked for a few hours in the mountains with lots of up and down then - celebrated with a nice bottle of bubbly! Woo hoo! You will all get there too

23-10-2011, 04:38 AM
Thank you Pia and Rehab for all your hopeful posts and details about strengthening and recovery. Sounds like you've both made wonderful progress, and Pia, hiking and bubbly sounds like a fantasy day! I'm curious as to how much time you guys now need to spend daily/weekly on stretching/strengthening/aerobic activities. My main exercises were jogging 3-4 miles, rowing in a crew shell, or elliptical/weights at the gym. I will return to work soon (teaching) and am wondering how all this will fit in to keep progressing. Thanks again for all the helpful info!

24-10-2011, 02:04 AM
Virginanj - yes, I am the one in Boston, and the Head of the Charles Regatta is this weekend, but, alas, I am inside lying in my bed reading. It is a great weekend event - one of my favorites. I did get out the front door and down to the corner of the block (all of about 150 feet) this morning. Nice to be outside for a change, even if only for 5 or 10 minutes.

My doc (Scott Martin) is absolutely against any sort of PT until like week 13, when he is absolutely sure that the tendon has healed to the bone completely. I think it is an aversion to anyone who might mess up his work. But yes, lots of ankle flex pumps, and upper body work to keep that going. I also started leg lifts when you mentioned it. Thanks. I do keep my lower leg moving so that it doesn;t freeze up, and otherwise keep the brace on all the time. Just had my first dinner with friends at our place, and found that I could sit slouched down sitting on the edge of the padded stool for about an hour. Pretty proud of myself!!!!

Still quite a bit of swelling in the feet when I am vertical or even sitting. Looking forward to the month 4 hike.

25-10-2011, 10:02 AM
Pia - I would start with controlled in place lunges. Bad leg out in front, good leg in back, hold onto a table or something at your waist just for balance, bend both knees at the same time, good leg knee goes to the floor, bad leg knee out forwards. I do at least 3 sets of 10 of these every day. Sounds like you are doing great.

25-10-2011, 10:14 AM
Virginia - I probably only spend 15-20 minutes per day on the strengthening/stretching now - this is in addition to my normal workout. Once I finish my workout (run/bike/or swim) I spend extra time stretching the hammy as well as doing lunges and squats for strengthening. It is hard to keep doing these things as I feel as though I am "back" but I can tell I am not fully recovered. My doc and PT tell me that I should keep going for another couple of months (to get to 6 post op total) to see where I can get to. I remember before surgery different doctors throwing around different number of what % I would be with and without the surgery. This number will vary for each person and really will vary depending on the amount of work put into the rehab afterwards.

Best of luck to you and hop in that pool. It is a long road but will get a little better every day. Keep doing your PT!!!

Pia :-)
27-10-2011, 02:36 PM

Funny, I was just thinking today that all of this PT takes loads of time! I think Rehab and I have been very similar in our approach: we have done lots and early! My actual start in PT was slow - about at 8-10 weeks but I started swimming at 2 weeks post op for about 1 hour 3-4 times a week. Then working up to include now some sort of aerobic exercise about 1 hr daily (swim, jog, fast walk, cycling) with daily stretching, lifting and working with one of those exercise balls. That second part - the rehab part is at times hard to stick with (as Rehab mentioned). However, I feel the improvement and am as motivated as possible so I tend to talk myself into about 15 min a day, sometimes twice a day.

Interestingly, I saw my PT yesterday to have him look at me running because my gait feels so "off". While impressed with my progress to date, he felt my hamstring strength is no where near normal and gave me still more exercises to do. He wants me to back off of stretching some and focus more on weight/resistance training. He also threw in some "high-step running - 10 high steps to fire hamstring followed by recovery walking, 10 high steps and so on. Whew - that is hard!

All by way of saying - it is hard work but - you will get there!

28-10-2011, 12:28 AM
Haven't been here for awhile, thought I would check in. For the newbies, my injury was 1/20/09. Finally had surgery Dec 30,09. Developed RSD which is a chronic sympathetic nerve pain disorder. Have had numerous nerve blocks for pain issues. One of the thoughts for my continued weakness in the leg is that it is a result from the sciatic nerve injury I had. One I fell, I stretched the sciatic nerve, which needed to be debrided during surgery. Also have a cadaevor tendon as mine had retracted so far.
I continue to work part time, 24-27 hours a week. Trying to increase working time, thought is I need to go very slow. Now that the pain is better, I finally feel I am getting back to myself! Been a long haul, some things will never go away. I continue to have difficulty with sitting, not uncommon for those of us with this injury. I figure every time I sit, I am putting pressure on the injured area and surgical site. One of the biggest bummers, I cannot drive for more than two hours at a time! Pre injury, it wasn't a big deal for me to drive six hours. Now, after a couple of hours, I am pretty much done for the day! Tried all kinds of pillows and cushions, nothing helps!
I have great strength in the leg, muscle has grown back somewhat. Since it was atrophied, and also was operated on, I figured anything that comes back is s great thing!

For all those out there, don't give up! Life does get better, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

30-10-2011, 02:33 AM
I had my surgery on sept 9th. At about three weeks post op I came down with a cold. I had a couple sneezes that were accompanied with a sharp stabbing pain. An MRI done at five weeks post op confirmed that I had undone most of the repair. So, at six weeks post-op, I was wheeled back in for the same surgery. That was eight days ago. I'm doing fine and it pretty much felt the same as the first time. I have my first appointment on Wednesday to get the staples out. Reminds me of that movie "Groundhogs Day"

My surgeon is or has been the sports medicine doc/surgeon for all the pro sports teams here in town. He's done dozens of these and has never had anything like this happen with this surgery. So, a word of caution, BEND YOUR KNEE IF YOU THINK YOU ARE GOING TO SNEEZE!

Thank God my family, friends, employer and co-workers are being supportive.

This is getting old....


01-11-2011, 03:26 AM
Dear Johann,
Wow! I am so soory that you had to do this twice - absolutely groundhog day! I'm glad you are feeling better, you have a great attitude! Are you permitted to put any weight on your leg yet? I know it just felt so much better to let that foot be flat on the ground! What city are you near? I'm just curious because I had my surg in Phila and my doc is also a team doc for the sports teams (as are apparently most of these guys). My doc was Stephen Cohen and I had my surg on sept 8. I get to take my brace off this week and am a little nervous about it, but I think I'll practice these next few days in my home to get comforatble with it. And have to go back to work Nov. 15. It is a crazy journey! I think this thread has helped a lot just to know there are other folks out there dealing with the same issue and who get it. I wish you the best of luck this time and great progress with your healing. Keep us posted!

Jessica Litwak
04-11-2011, 01:01 AM
hree years ado I tore my hamstring it - 3 cm avulsion I didn't do anythinga nd it healed and I was biking and hiking and doing yoga without pain.
Then a month ago I fell hiking and tore both hamstrings. The docs told me not to do anything since there was no bruising, but the pain increased so I got an MRI. One is 3 cm (the same one from 3 years ago) and the other ( new one) 5cm avulsed. The right side, according to this surgeon looks like the hamstring is somewhat deteriorated I am in New York. Two surgeons have said they need to operate on both legs at the same time. I am terrified. T
he surgeon is Russel Warren- anyone ever heard of him- he works alongside a hand surgeon because of the potential nerve damage. He is not a nice guy but I don't care if he's a good surgeon.
My insurance doesn't cover it so I am having to fund raise and go into massive debt to pay for it. They tell me the surgery is not painful. They tell me six weeks in a double brace. Then I will be able to drive and walk. But reading this thread it sounds like they are underestimating the pain and the process.
I live alone and I don't want the surgery. But I don't know if I have any choice. I am 53 and I eventually want to hike, bike and do yoga but not sports or running. The pain is slowly diminishing and if I had not had the MRI I would just be starting PT .
I am so scared. Suregery is scheduled for November 11th. Please be in touch! Thank You!,

05-11-2011, 02:06 AM
Dear Jessica,
It seems really scary - but lets get a second or third opinion for your injury. The 3cm retraction side - did it get any worse when you had your accident?

The first thing - don't let anybody work on you unless they have done this many times before. Like 20-40 previous operations. The hospital for special surgery in NYC does a fair amount of this, but the people who do it well are few and far between.

Bradley and Cohen wrote the first good papers about it, and still do a lot of it.
Steven B. Cohen
Thomas Jefferson University, Steven.Cohen@rothmaninstitute.com
James Bradley
University of Pittsburgh

In Boston, Suzanne Miller and Scott Martin do all of them. Between them, they have done about 100. Scott Martin is more conservative, Suzanne Miller a bit more aggressive, but both have great recommendations. If you come to Boston see both of them.

Among these three places you should be able to get a good second opinion. It is worth the time to get the surgeon right.

I am not familiar with anyone who has done two sides at once, but I am sure it has been done. I am 5 weeks post surgery right now, and there is still some pain, but it is coming along well. I am attaching the protocols from bradley and cohen, as well as the protocol I am working up for Scott Martin (I have to do something with my time). Fair warning - these are not definitive and not complete, but they give you some idea of how the recovery works. With two legs and living alone it will probably be necessary for you to have some help come in on a regular, daily basis.

And try to get some insurance even at this late date, because the insurance company negotiates the rates for you. For example, in Boston, the hospital charges for the surgery were $19,000, but they were negotiated down to about $7800 by the insurance company. If you have no insurance, you may be charged the full $19,000. If the insurance company negotiates it, you pay $7800. The system is really terribly stacked against private pay patients. I wold be glad to share the charges that I have gotten in Boston if you would like them.

Take a deep breath, and start making phone calls....


p.s. - I cannot upload the file to this website, but I have put it up on my own website



08-11-2011, 06:27 PM
Thank you to everyone for sharing your information. My son is 14 and recently had surgery for a partial avulsion from the ischial tuberosity. He was told by his surgeon he was one of the youngest patients to have this surgery. 18 months ago, he had an injury while sprinting in 7th grade. We had it checked out and were referred to PT to do stretching and recovery. He is a competitive soccer player as well, and from that moment seemed to continue to have ongoing hamstring problems, particularly when doing a lot of powerful kicking. After two months of physical therapy, he reinjured the same leg in soccer camp. After another few months of physical therapy, he reinjured the same leg in a game and had to go back to PT and the doctor. He would always say "Mom, I feel a presence back there" and then if he didn't stop it would feel worse. Doctors just kept saying it was a bad strain and that it could heal with physical therapy. It was in May of 8th Grade (one year later) that he was just horsing around with a soccer ball on the playground and extended his leg to do a small kick and said he felt like his hamstring tore off. He was in a lot of pain, but again the doctor said just a strain. After three more months of not doing anything but PT (no sports) and really being careful, he tried to go back out and play soccer and couldn't even jog across the field without pain. I finally got them to do an MRI and we saw that it was partially avulsed. After reading up on his injury and knowing how athletic my son is, I was convinced conservative treatment was not working for him. Our family doctor was not familiar with this injury, so we saw an orthopedic surgeon who did X rays and could see the hamstring had pulled off small pieces of the ischial tuberosity, but it was still partially attached. Thankfully, we had read up on this injury and insisted we wanted surgery as we knew conservative treatment was not working for him. The orthopedic surgeons at this hospital said "they would not touch my son with a ten foot pole" as they had seen more problems from the surgery than successes. After reading the information here and on other websites, our family was convinced the only way my son could play competitive sports again and sit normally for long periods without pain, would be to have the surgery. Thankfully, we were referred to a great surgeon who did the surgery for him on October 19th. I am just curious now on types of rehabilitation. I have read many different methods and wonder if anyone has had something like my son. The doctor devised a strap that is screwed into the heal of his tennis shoe and then attaches to a velcro belt around his waste. This keeps his hamstring immobilized so he can crutch around. He is supposed to do absolutely no weight bearing for 6 weeks and is to keep his leg strapped behind him when crutching. When sitting, he keeps the leg bent behind him off to the side, and when sleeping, he sleeps on his stomach with his leg bent in the air and pillows underneath. He was given a knee brace locked in a 30 degree position to wear at night if he needs it so he won't wake up and try to straighten his leg or get out of bed and walk in his sleep. Has anyone else had experience with strapping their leg up behind them to a belt, and how have you recovered? We fly back to the doctor on December 6 and at that time my son should be allowed to start Physical Therapy. Any ideas what that might be? My son is dying to get back to soccer, but was told he wouldn't even be able to think about starting light sports for 6 months.

16-11-2011, 07:25 AM
Day 47 (6+ weeks), Tuesday, November 15, 2011
THE BRACE IS OFF! It is somewhat disconcerting to be told by your doctor that you are very compliant. I don’t think I have ever been compliant in my life, and to have that moniker at this point is uncomfortable and at odds with my view of my place in the cosmos, however in this case I think it wise to comply. Oddly, I do not feel particularly vulnerable, but rather much more mobile and stronger than just a few hours ago. The next two weeks are to be spent weaning myself off of crutches, and toward a more or less normal gait. No particular pain, but quite a few twinges and tweaks in the muscles – not in the insertion points. Definitely progress.

21-11-2011, 01:25 PM
Hi all,
Checking in after a few weeks off site. I hope everyone is feeling better & healing well. Richard, congrats on no brace!!! Jessica, what did you decide to do? hope you are feeling more at ease with your options. Here's a couple links that may be useful for some - Bradley & Cohen's paper and a 2010 rehab protocol from Univ. Wisconsin. Also tried to attach a rehab case study article given to me by PT friend but too big to upload. If anyone wants it let me know & can perhaps email.

So I am now 10 weeks out, brace (hip only) off 2 weeks ago and back to work full time - feels good! Continuing PT - was doing 2.5 hrs. 3x week, now going to 2x. I have some pain & numbness in my non-surg leg that is also getting worked on and I do the exercise bike there part of the time so that's why so long. I am a huge believer in PT! Tried the elliptical yesterday for first time, felt good at the time but leg is a bit sore today. My walking/gait is continuing to improve everyday. Comfortable with 2 miles, and pace is getting there!
I see my surgeon next week and am wondering if he'll write me scrip for more PT, hoping so. Now need to research on best training techniques to prepare to return to sports and prevent reinjury. If anyone has any sources/suggestions appreciate them!
Everyone hang in there, especially if you are in the brace/crutch phases. It gets so much better. Move your body in whatever way you can - upper body ergometer, hand weights, lifting good leg - whatever you can do. I know that's what kept me sane;) Best wishes!

23-11-2011, 10:04 AM
I had a complete avulsion on oct 24. I was misdiagnosed but persevered with a second opinion on nov 7 when I got an MRI and the dreaded diagnosis. In the two weeks since the injury, my muscle had descended 7 cm and the doc operated on me the next day. He said I was lucky to have been properly diagnosed within 2 weeks because I had no scar tissue, no sciatic nerve involvement and my muscle was easily pulled back to my pelvis. Now the 6 weeks of brace and zero weight on my bum leg. I have read so many variations on when you can put weight on the leg and I think my doc is being very conservative based on others experiences but I'm paranoid as anything of damaging the repair so I'll just follow orders. Richard thanks for posting the protocols, it seems quit comprehensive to me especially since I was sent home with little more than the instruction to keep the brace on at all times and put no weight on my bad leg.

Richard thanks also for posting about the stairs. I live in a duplex on the 4th and 5th floors of a walk up and was petrified of how I'd get up the stairs. Reading that you had done it gave me some hope and though I felt like passing out by the time I got to the top, I did it on my own with just my husband spotting me.

I followed a lot of the advice from this forum. One item I recommend if you can afford it is a zero gravity recliner. They are pricey, but I had my husband go buy one because I was comfortable only in bed and was going crazy. With the recliner from relax the back, I can sit for a couple hours reading with just minor discomfort, and this was starting 1 week post surgery.

23-11-2011, 02:21 PM
Hi all, Congrats on all the progress - Richard, no brace-yay! Jessica, what did you decide to do, feeling any better about options? Here's a couple links that may be useful to newer folks, also tried to upload a case study from PT friend other night but that was some sort of problem on site, can email if anyone would like. Anyhow, here are these: Bradley & Cohen's paper & a very recent protocol from U Wisconsin,

I am back to work full-time, feels good! Leg fatigues a bit throughout day, not much pain. Doign lots of walking, gait still a little slow, most pain in knee with squat type movement. Also tried elliptical this weekend, about 20 min. Felt good at time, sore next day, but has resolved. I am a huge fan of PT (began at 2 weeks with gentle stretching & upper body ergometer)and advise to keep moving, even inearly stage - arms weights, other leg lifts, whatever you can do - preserves sanity;) Will see my surg next week & am hoping for scrip for more pt to keep working on lumbar-pelvic stability and basic stretching as I approach more sports-type activities.
Hope everyone continues with much progress & feeling lots of gratitude for all your thoughts and all the best of humanity that seems to appear when its needed. Happy Thanksgiving!

23-11-2011, 02:26 PM
Keep trying to post replies and links to protocols for avulsion & keep getting blocked. Not sure why, sorry have good info. hope all are well!

02-12-2011, 10:05 PM
I believe that this forum reply mechanism is no longer working. I have tried to post a couple of times, and can only do so by hitting the "Advanced" button on the reply area.

Update at 9 weeks post surgery

Walking with a cane, although I don't really need it most of the time. Just barely able to climb stairs unaided, but doing ok. Doc says no PT until week 12, so I am just working on my gait and trying to keep as fit as possible without working on the affected leg. The brace came off at week 7, and I thought I posted an update then, but it did not show up on the thread. Driving is not bad, and I seem to be able to do 2 hours at a time. Sitting is still a bit problematic, especially on harder seats. But very little pain, although it is very difficult to build up the time and distance I can walk. I am a furniture maker, and as such tend to constantly be on my feet, and I am only up to 5 hours per day in the shop, although every day I try to add a half hour. And I try to walk a bit more distance. But I am still quite tired at the end of the day, and tend to take a nap for 20 minutes to regain my strength after the workday.

The sloped toilet seat went into the trash last week and I can cut my own toenails as of three days ago. Each of these little items is progress, no matter how slow.

I'll see what I can do to get this forum corrected.


03-12-2011, 01:16 AM
Richard, I am 3 weeks post surgery and I too have a lot of stairs. I haven't left the house except to see the dr primarily because of the difficulty crutching up the stairs. I am curious at your stage how many times a day you're going up and down? Is up harder? Are you using a cane?

I have 4 flights and in January my husband will be traveling most of the month and we have a dog. So basically lots of stairs in my future and I wonder what I'll be up against.

03-12-2011, 06:55 AM
Also, I don't seem to be having a problem posting. Odd that others are

05-12-2011, 08:16 PM

At week 3 the stairs were becoming less of a problem. I really did not go out except for Doc appts. until week 5, when I started to go outside for short walks - I mean really short - like 150 feet from my front door!!! My condo has 19 stairs between the two floors, and at the end of week 3 I was able to go up and down maybe 4 times a day maximum. Since I couldn't carry anything in my hands, I would bring a very small two handled bag with me in my hand while I crutched. It couldn't be too heavy, but I was able to carry a couple of papers, or my laptop in it (the laptop was heavy enough that I had to be really careful not to get off balance).

My opinion - see if you can get a person to walk your dog while he is away. And it depends on whether you are in the beginning of Jan or the end of Jan. At 7 weeks my brace came off (your corresponding timing is maybe 1st week in January?) and I would not have been able to control a dog enough to walk it without losing my balance - remember - you are still very prone to re-injury about that time. I am now at 9 weeks, and still would not be comfortable walking a large dog, but maybe a small dog. I am on a cane, and can walk unaided. But i am still slow and not as stable as I will be later. And I would certainly not take a dog down or up the stairs by a leash. Just too easy to get tangled up in a nightmare!

The analogy my doc made is this:
When you get the brace off, think of the tendon re-attachment as a little seedling. It is planted, it is growing well, but it doesn't take much to pull it right out of the ground.

Good luck.

06-12-2011, 08:57 AM
I'm at 4 weeks tomorrow and I have 16 stairs within my condo and I'm ok going up and down a couple, maybe 3 times a day so it sounds similar to where you were at. I'll be just over 7 weeks when my husband leaves town for 2 weeks. Then it's 42 additional stairs to the ground floor. My dog is older and we never use a leash so the controlling him part is not a concern. I'm just worried about how much of a toll it is to walk down and up this many stairs up to 3 times a day at week 7-8. We have a dog walker mon-fri, 2x a day so I'm left with the nighttime walk. I'll have to get them to come weekends too I think. Not sure what I can do for nighttime.

Useful analogy!

Mrs P
08-12-2011, 05:04 AM

Is there anyone else here from the UK? I managed to do the complete avulsion jumping off my horse, felt a snap in my thigh and then like a lot of people was misdiagnosed at first. Only because I have private healthcare and a great physio who was convinced the hospital were wrong did I manage to get an MRI and a diagnosis by which time I was 7cm retracted. I am 2 weeks exactly post surgery and SO fed up. I have sores from my brace although I have found using prolite (horse saddle foam) is helping. I have been managing to drive short distances and have been back to work for 2 half days this week. I am a bit worried I might be overdoing things having read everyone else's threads but my surgeon has never done this operation before and has basically said to try stuff.

The only time I have had any pain really is lying in bed! I have never been sore up and about but have had a couple of stabbing pains in my hamstring and hip in bed, I am hoping this is cramp as I cant see how I could have damaged anything lying still!

Has anyone got any ideas about knee cramps? My knee has stabbing pains at night and nothing I do or take has helped so far!

This forum is great because nobody here I have spoken to has any idea about this injury !!

Sorry for the ramble, first time posting anywhere


09-12-2011, 07:31 AM
Gillian I am 4+ weeks post surgery and I never had any stabbing pain. That sounds scary, did you ask the dr about this? Perhaps you could adjust the degree of knee bend in your brace?

My dr wont let me put any weight on the leg for the whole 6 weeks that I have the brace on. He said the most crucial thing now is to let the repair heal and not reinjure it. That seems more conservative than many of the other posters here, but I figure I have to listen to my dr since he's the one who's expertise I am relying on. I think consistent though is advice not to overdo. If you feel you're overdoing then you likely are. Remember the most intense healing period is the 6 weeks following surgery when the bone and ligament create scar tissue to secure the repair. Don't do anything that could jeopardize this.

09-12-2011, 08:53 AM
Your surgeon sounds like many surgeons who are just trying this out. There are very few of these operations done, but enough of them that you should be able to get some information. Two of the best groups in the states doing this have some protocols established, and I have put them together for this forum. You can check them out here:



just paste it into your browser if the link doesn't work

The shooting pains do not sound good, but a few general things. It has to heal.
** keep the knee bent and the tendon un-stressed for a good 6 weeks.
** if it hurts, try not to do it
**for the first 6 weeks - the operative words are "rest" and "heal", not "push".

Which brace do you have? One wraps around your middle and upir thigh and keeps your hip immobile, the other wraps above and below the knee and keeps the knee bent. Either one does the same thing - keeping the tension off the tendon.

Best wishes

Mrs P
13-12-2011, 10:55 PM
Thanks for your help and advice, much appreciated! The notes are quite scarey as I seem to be further along quicker. On the plus side I am a really fast healer, always have been, so hopefully this continues. I also seem to have avoided all the swelling which is mentioned, I have had none? My wound is also totally closed and there has been minimal bruising. I really feel lucky reading how bad it is for other people.

I went to see my surgeon yesterday and he is so pleased with me that the brace has gone - provided I am sensible. The brace I had was a knee brace and I found it torture! I wont be straigtening my leg anyway for a while - my knee is nearly locked solid.

He confirmed the shooting pain was cramp thankfully and did a check on my hamstring which is working and with no pain or tugging hurrah! I am not allowed to do this myself though.

No physio for me til after I see him next on 9th January but I am allowed to go to my chirporacter as my back is killing me from being twisted all the time.

Thanks for the amazon tips as well, I have a lovely tilting laptop table for my bed now and working is way easier, who knew these things existed?!

This support is great especially when you get down. I had to cancel my honeymoon because of this stupid accident (3 weeks in South Africa over Christmas and New Year) and it can get kind of depressing being unable to do the simplest things!

Best wishes to everyone


28-12-2011, 12:16 PM
Throwing out a Hey There! Really glad to have found this site. I sustained a 2/3 Left hamstring avulsion while skinning uphill on skis--two weeks ago today. At first, like many of you, I thought I had strained my hammy but in retrospect any time you seriously wonder if you broke your femur you might have done something major. Anyway, I called my sports doc as soon as the bruising showed up. He was astute enough to know what happened so I'm heading to surgery tomorrow. Finding this forum has really answered a lot of questions and I'm sure I will have some input post op. Doc doesn't plan to brace. He had me get a knee scooter for mobility. PT starts the day after surgery. I have always been a fairly serious athete & hope to return to activity again.

29-12-2011, 04:51 PM
Hi Holly,
I just had surgery one week ago today

29-12-2011, 05:06 PM
I was playing tennis and went for a short ball and felt an explosion in my leg. I am 48 and am very active and athletic. I hope to recover and return to playing tennis, running and working out. This past week I have mostly laid around. I am most comfortable in bed with my leg elevated on a pillow. I used the ice machine religiously for about 4 days and use it off and on now. My doctor doesn't prescribe the hip brace as he says it is "old school". I was lucky to find Zack Vaughn, a Stanford doctor, who had performed hamstring avulsion surgery before. Because it is a rare occurrence, not many orthopaedic surgeons have performed this surgery.

I have tried to take myself off the pain meds but have found it's not a great idea as I am extremely uncomfortable without them. I have cut down on the dosage and frequency and take Celebrex. Each day I just have to assess where I'm at. I'm looking forward to physical therapy to start on Friday. I have a great PT that I have used before and I know he will do the maximum he can with where I'm at. I hope your surgery went well. I look forward to talking to you!

01-01-2012, 03:55 AM
Hey J. Nice to have some one to commiserate with. Surgery went well. 4 inch incision. Hammy was completely torn. I'm on day 3. Went to PT. these guys don't mess around. I haven't taken any real pain killers yet but due to discomfort sleeping I took a vistril last night. Can't really find a comfortable way to sleep sine I usually sleep in a fetal position. How's things going with you? Do you feel as if there's nothing you can really do? I feel pretty useless.

01-01-2012, 04:52 AM
Hi Holly,

You and I sound about the same. Mine was completely torn and my incision is about the same. I had my first physical therapy yesterday. He said I'm doing really well with the amount of strength,sensation and flexibility I have. I can't believe you started PT so early. What did they have you do that soon? I'm getting around really well now. I told him about this forum and how many people have the hip brace or the wheel cart instead of crutches. He said that when he sees people that have one of those, they are much weaker because of the lack of movement. The first surgeon I saw was going to put me in that brace post surgery. That would've been awful and so much more restricting!

I've been out walking on crutches a lot. I tend to have shooting pains when I get in bed at night from overdoing it. But as a Mom it's hard to sit still. I actually feel like I could walk carefully without crutches. I walk with crutches but put my foot down and sometimes cheat and move around a little without them. I see the surgeon for my follow up January 5. I am 10 days post surgery and feel so much better today than even a couple of days ago. I sleep on my back with two small pillows under my knee/thigh, that seems most comfortable. I can't believe you don't need pain meds, that is great. I went all day yesterday with just a Celebrex in the morning but I was walking a lot yesterday so had to take a pain pill for the shooting pains once I was in bed. They weren't too bad and just tell me I need to slow down a bit.

Happy New Year!

09-01-2012, 10:41 AM
Well JR, I'm now 10 days post op. i've been taking the scooter out to the local river trail--smooth concrete--flat. managed 2 miles today. Still having difficulty sleeping. Like you i use crutches o lot of the time. not enough room in house for scooter.
Also i find myslf cheaing a little here & there. Sounds like you have your hands full with beibg a mom on top of this! i can't imagine..my daughter is 23 and came to help care for me.
How was your post op visit? My PT has give me Quad sets, ankle pumps, straighten knee to 30*, side leg lifts& all the arm exercises I can think of while lying down also ab work & core strengthening.Have you started yet? they are prety agressive here. They also know mentally I struggle with inactivity. My 2 week post op visit is Tues Jan 10. Stri strips off & more regular showers coming my way. I also will get 45*. Can hardly waity to sit down in a montyh!. Hope you have a good week. Till next time..

Dave T
10-01-2012, 01:01 AM
Hi All, I stumbled across this thread while researching Hamstring injuries. Thanks to all who have posted here. It has been great reading.( Honestly,I haven't read all 214 pages yet.) 3 weeks ago I was testing in Tae Kwon Do and injured my hamstring. I am nervous about my injury as it has been 3 weeks and I have a hard time sitting and I feel like I am re-training my leg to walk. The Dr. is having me start PT tomorrow. He has not done any imaging as his statement was " ...it won't tell me anything I don't already know."

My concern is going through the conservative treatment (PT) without knowing if surgery might be required and waiting too long. It sounds like there have been good results surgically weeks after the injury, which is encouraging. It is also encouraging to read the reports of the results after surgery. My fear is down the road hearing from another MD, "If only something had been done sooner....".
Any input, suggestions, opinions etc. are welcome. Thanks for reading as this has been somewhat theraputic.

Now I must go. Sitting is very painful. Maybe I can get one of those stand up desks here at work. Laying down is somewhat more comfortable but they might frown upon that here ;)

10-01-2012, 11:40 PM
13 weeks post op

Dave T.

My doc totally missed the avulsion at first - but did order an MRI, where it was (painfully) obvious. There is a Catch-22 here - if you have a doc who has dealt with these, then he probably can palpitate it and identify it (my surgeon knew just what to look for and identified it right away) but a doc not intimately familiar with it will miss it, and think an MRI unnecessary.

If you really think it is avulsed, then get an MRI of it. If this doc won't get another doc. But as you read through the literature, the information says that partial avulsions may be better left alone, but it is not clear, and not a simple solution to operate, nor a simple decision not to.

After 13 weeks, I can function pretty well, but it is obvious that this is not "original equipment" and I have to modify some of my actions to accommodate. Still not to full function or strength - plan on 2 years, but the literature indicates 85 to 95% return of function and strength with surgery and solid commitment to rehab.


Dave T
11-01-2012, 06:07 AM
Hi Richard. Thanks for the response. I think I will give it another couple of weeks. I start PT today. I will see how that goes. Is the MRI for this painful? I just assumed I would just lay there. (not as painful as sitting, thankfully.)

I'm glad you're doing well with your recovery. 2 years?!! That's a long time. I hope this doens't sound like a dumb question, but, after surgery are you more prone to the same injury?

I think I might try a different Doc as well. He told the story of a patient who had the same type of injury as mine and sent her to 4 weeks of PT after which she still had pain. So then he ordered the MRI and found the avulsion. Thinking about it now as I'm typing this, why wouldn't a Doc get the MRI in the first place to know what he's up against? I am going to start the search for a new Doc.


11-01-2012, 05:33 PM
Hi Holly,

Wow, good for you for going two miles on the scooter! I have been in PT since December 30 and seem to be doing a lot of the same exercises as you. I have an incredible PT, probably one of the best in the area where I live. I am going to the gym on the days I'm not in PT and doing the bike with just the arm crank and all my PT exercises. They actually added side planks to my exercises today and I am doing a lot of ab and core exercises as well. I sit on a soft cushion on the arm bike and can tolerate it for about 20 mins before my incision area starts to get uncomfortable. I had my post op at two weeks and he was amazed at my progress and my ability to walk so well. He said I could be done with crutches and I was perfectly fine to walk. He wants me walking properly with no limp so I make sure I walk slow and concentrate on that. I'm still having a hard time sleeping and can't seem to find a comfortable position. I'm only taking ibuprofen for pain now so I just have to tough it out knowing it will eventually get better. When you said you can't wait to sit in a month, did you mean comfortably or are you not allowed to sit yet? I'm definitely sitting but I use a small pillow most of the time under my leg. I was allowed to drive after two weeks but it can be uncomfortable and I only drive short distances for now.

Thank you for keeping me updated as it is nice to have someone to compare notes with! I'm finding that our injury is such a rare occurrence and few people of ever heard of such a thing!


12-01-2012, 07:44 AM
Dave T.

The MRI is painless, but noisy. And not good if you are claustrophobic, although they are only doing your pelvis to your knee.

And no, you are not more likely to re-injure, but the statistics are on a very small sample. You will have quite tight hamstrings, and will have to limber up before working out. Oh, I guess I should have been doing that anyway......

Holly and JLR - sounds like great progress - with my conservative doc there was no PT till 12 weeks. Looking forward to hearing the results of everyone with light or no brace.


Dave T
16-01-2012, 10:27 PM
I saw a different Ortho Surgeon last Thursday for a second opinion. He had me bend over to try and touch my toes. Before I really started to try, he called his nurse over and says, "Oh jeez Laura, look at this!" as he's pointing to the bulge of my retracted hamstring muscle! Needless to say he ordered an MRI for this coming Thursday. He was already trying to steer me away from surgery with statements like, " ....you really don't use your hamstring muscles much anyway." :confused: This surgeon's bedside manner is very different from the norm. (no disrespect meant towards his knowledge and skill though.) In his defense, he did say that these injuries are rare and he doesn't see enough of these to say one way or the other about surgery. (not sure if I want him performing the surgery then!) I will have to search out an ortho surgeon with some experience with these here in Ft. Myers, FL.

Richard thanks again for the response and along with Holly and JLR (and many others) it is great to read of your progress and is encouraging should I have to go through with surgery.


17-01-2012, 11:12 PM
Hi all,

Wow, this is a looong thread! I thought I'd add my experiences here. I'm in Melbourne, Australia. I am 40 now.

On 30th August last year (a Tuesday night!) I did my hamstring at rollerskating training - was doing a plough stop but my right leg just kept going and you know where this is heading...

The pain was amazing.

ER didn't diagnose it as an avulsion, only a severe strain, so I was sent home with drugs and crutches. I guess I was able to compensate convincingly, and as it's rare, they just didn't know. As well, I am moderately fat, so any signs were probably a little hard to see if they did not know what they were dealing with, since this does not happen every day.

The next Monday most of the pain was gone and I was walking ok, just a bit funny. I went to the physio who thought it wasn't quite right, so he sent me to the doctor who sent me for an ultrasound on the Wednesday (ultrasound is covered by our national healthcare whereas MRI is not, and is expensive). The radiographer said "uhhhh... there's a 5cm gap where it should be attached." ooookay...

So I got the MRI done after all on the Friday. By two weeks after the event I had a surgeon's appointment and had the operation on Sept 21, three weeks and a day since I did it. By then it was retracted 10cm.

I was in hospital for two nights.

I was in a leg brace from my upper thigh to my ankle with my knee at 45-60 degrees for seven weeks. The scar is horizontally along the butt cheek/thigh crease (ish) and about 5 inches long. I haven't looked at it, personally.

I spent the vast majority of my time in bed with the leg on pillows. Because I was non-weightbearing for so long with the crutches I ended up with nerve and tendon damage in my hands that got way worse if I got about... so it was just easier to stay horizontal. Sitting was too awkward and painful, and that includes using the loo.

Ladies, I heartily recommend getting a Shewee with extension tube. It is many kinds of awesome.

Thankfully I had someone to look after me, as I couldn't cook or do anything much due to not being able to carry anything. After four weeks I had help to shower. Before then I wasn't brave enough to remove the brace and besides I couldn't get it off by myself!

I grew me some really nice looking biceps.

I was very uncomfortable for a few weeks, needing painkillers for at least 2 to 3 weeks but in decreasing quantities with time. I was on paracetemol too while I was in the brace but decided to end that when I got it off.

The brace came off at 7 weeks (9th Nov) and my entire leg was very wasted. I started weekly physio about a week later, and as of Dec 29th it's now fortnightly. He and the surgeon wanted to treat it very conservatively and I'm ok with that. I have a set of exercises to do twice a day with the difficulty increasing each time, and pool work three times a week. For four weeks after the brace came off I was on two crutches, eventually just using them outside, and a week later I had graduated through one then only when needed for hills. It's now 5 weeks after that, so 20 weeks since the injury.

Tell you what, the fastest way to make most people go grey and "eeouhhhhhhhh" is to tell them you snapped your hamstring off :o

I can now walk mostly without a limp but not climb stairs yet. I probably could but don't have much opportunity to be honest! Most of the ulnar nerve damage in my right hand has gone, only a little weird feeling in my little finger now, but the trigger finger - both middle fingers! - remains, though they don't get 'stuck' as such, only catch/crunch, especially in the morning. A couple of weeks ago was the first time I could comfortably sit and even now I have to get up every now and then. It still hurts a bit at the insertion, but most of the trouble or pain has been with my glutes as they started working and as a consequence protesting. That and the scar area. It is still a bit numb.

A week and a half ago the physio said I had a consistent 25% of the strength of the other leg. I have been able to ride a motor scooter since then too, though I have to use my good leg to get it up on the centre stand. I know I still favour the right leg, but am working against that.

Stay strong, everyone! it will get better!

-- cp

p.s. a couple of other things that really helped are a pair of long tongs for picking things up, a foam mattress overlay with that cool sine wave pattern in it to ease pressure, and a bed stick for getting in and out of bed. All cheap but good. I also found that elbow crutches were FAR superior to under-arm ones - manoeuvrable, easier to fit in cars, easier to get out of chairs, etc.

18-01-2012, 01:41 AM

Dave, sounds like you need a different surgeon. one that has done this procedure before cause you may not use your hamstring much (only when you walk, run or silly things like that) it is nice to have one and the big danger is adhesion of you hammy to your sciatic nerve..= pain for the rest of your life. Mine was adhering after two weeks.

JR when did you get to sit down?. I have been upgraded to 45* angle with leg that's all. no sitting 3 weeks post op. Sleeping is better now still taking tylenol at bed time. Very sad at loss of independence.. just want to walk my dog & shower without help.(dont have walk in shower need help negotiating tub.)
anyway glad to hear all your stories.

Mrs P
23-01-2012, 02:28 AM

I am now 2 months post op and doing really well. I can walk pretty much normally not for massive distances but I can get about. Started physio and going to do pool work next week.

In response to some of the posts, I thought I would share some of the stuff I have found useful!

A lapdesk - you can get them on amazon, mine has extending legs and a tilt table so I can use the laptop in bed, awesome way to work and stay in touch with the world, order your groceries etc.

Fake fur cushions - I use these in bed, they are more comfortable I find than any other and sleeping either on my back with them under my knee or on my side resting my bad knee on them

A stool - I dont have a walk in shower so this was the only way I could get in and out the tub on my own, sit on the stool next to the bath, swing your legs in and push up then the opposite to get out.

An old shoulder bag, tupperware box and a flask - with crutches I could not do anything for 6 weeks. I managed to make tea in the flask, soup, carry lunch boxes with stuff in them etc by hanging my old handbag round my neck. This meant I could eat through the day when my hubby was at work without having to be standing up and could cart most things round with me

Slip on shoes - cant bend down and with tights, the thicker the better so you dont snag them dragging them on!

My work have also got me a new desk which rises up at the push of a button allowing me to stand or sit and work and alternate through the day, also great.

Good luck to everyone thinking about the op, my consultant said I would be basically disabled if I did not have it and I too needed a sciatic nerve release as there were a lot of adhesions


Dave T
24-01-2012, 04:02 AM
Hi Gillian,
Sounds like you are doing very well with the recovery! Thanks for posting the useful suggestions. I have started my list of stuff to prepare just in case. I'm awaiting my results of an MRI done last Thursday. I have an appointment with the surgeon tomorrow. It's been 5 weeks post-injury and I cannot sit for more than 10 min. without pain and have a very hard time walking with a normal gait. My leg just doesn't work right. I'm not looking forward to surgery, but I can't live like this. The thought of my sciatic nerve adhereing to something that it's not suppose to does not sound like a whole lot of fun.

I'm looking for any surgeon with experience with this injury here in Ft. Myers,FL. I have located an ortho who is the resident Dr. when the Red Sox are in town. Once I get the MRI results, I am going to try and get a consultation with him hoping he has some experience with this. If anyone out there has any other suggestions for orthos in this area I would love to hear them.
This thread has been a great read (I still haven't read all of the pages yet) and a big thanks to all who have posted with their experience.

Dave T
25-01-2012, 01:10 AM
I just returned from meeting with an ortho surgeon concerning my MRI. The report states"...a high grade near complete tear of the left common hamstring tendon origin with no significant retraction of the torn tendon fibers......." He prefers not to perform surgery for two main reasons. My age (48) and the fact it isn't a clean separation. I told him my concerns were loss of mobility and damage to the sciatic nerve. He says he has never seen issues with the sciatic nerve. I do not want to have surgery, but I'm very active, and have two young kids 8 and 5yrs old. My concern is a few years down the road being unable to be active with my kids. If anyone is still active on here, have you heard or read of anyone with a similar diagnosis doing ok without surgery? Is a second opinion worth looking into?

25-01-2012, 01:04 PM
Hello.... stopping in to say hello...Refer to post # 1742. I am now 18 mos post injury.... surgeons opted not to do the surgery, however was referred to an amazing sports physician who heavily suggested plasma rich platlet therapy and stem cell theraypy. Numerous high profile athletes have tried this with huge success for major tendon tears and most recently there was huge success for a triathlete he had treated who suffered the same injury in a bike wreck. This same procedure is also used on race horses for tendon tears and now the medical profession has steered this method of treatment to humans. The only concern for me was due to the time lapse the amount of scar tissue that may have accumulated as usually the rule for this therapy is up to 6 months after the injury for best/maximum results as scar tissue may have prevented the stem cells from attaching or adhering to create new growth. After another couple of MRI's (my avulsion has a retraction of 17cm now with 7.5cm at the time of injury), consults, etc on 01 Dec 2011 I underwent the stem cell transplant procedure. They harvested stem cells from my hip (bone marrow) as well as lower abdominal wall of fat and cultured new stem cells to create new muscle and tendon tissue. Stem cells were then injected into 11 spots in the back of my leg from the back of the knee up to the but cheek/pelvis (horse needles at that!!). The first 2 weeks were painful, the extraction is similar to a scope surgery/laproscope or liposuction..so you abdomen and ribs hurt... hip hurt... but the most uncomfortable feeling was the large amount of fluid (stem cells etc) that had been injected in the back of the leg thus increasing the size so it was like a foot ball at the back... very uncomfortable to sit up in a chair or in a car for a couple of weeks but after that the cells began to be absorbed, and was not as much of an issue. Follwed with 4 Weeks of light walking, no pain medications other than simple tylenol allowed, and I am totally amazed at the results. I came back from my follow up and the doctor is totally amazed, as am I.... I have grown 29mm of new tendon and muscle.... as a result, I am scheduled to go back for another stem cell transplant in March to continue to grow new tendon and muscle tissue from pelvis down, and from the avulsed tendons up to join in the middle. Once this second session is complete, another round of PT... but I have to say, the leg feels much stronger than before... as a descriptive - when I was in the recliner relaxing, I could not push the recliner bottom portion in with my leg. Now, no problem.. and will only get stronger and better when the muscle fibres and tendons have been bridged. This therapy is big $$$$$$ but when there is no other alternative to surgery, nothing left to lose. I am so glad I did this.......
So far so good... To Dave, surgery is a personal decision. I also have a 5 year old at home.. and while I know I will never be what I was as a 25 year old (and quite frankly none of us ever will be even with the surgery...), for me it is now about quality of life... being able to ride a bike in the park, ride one of my horses, play ball hockey with my little fella.... and so on... I was actually able to hop for the first time in a long time in a game of hopscotch!! My doctor is a genius... and can't thank him enough for suggesting this.... there is a ton of info on it ... however not that many that do it... very cutting edge stuff....and much better than surgery.

26-01-2012, 05:35 AM
I had had this injury 15 years ago. Complet hamstring avulsion.
It was never surgically repaired, was not referred to an orthopedic surgeon. I am functonal,
but want to run a marathon or a half marathon. I am 49 years old. Should I look in to surgery now??? Does anyone know the long term prognosis and outlook for my health and activity since it was never repaired? THANKS MUCH.

26-01-2012, 06:06 AM
I suffered a complete hamstring avulsion injury about 15 years ago while waterskiing.
I was never referred for surgery. I have been a letter carrier for the past ten years, and walk several miles a day.
I have been thinking about running a marathon or half-marathon this fall, I'll be 50. Doing some trainig, and running seems alot tougher, the leg that was injured seems, kinda tired, heavy, a bit uinresponsive tor running, so I searched the web and discovered that it should have been surgically repaired 15 years ago when it happened. Does anyone have any information about the long-term prognosis for my health and activity or the possibility of a sugery now??
Thanks, Dan

26-01-2012, 06:30 AM
I had this injury, COMPLETE seperation of the hamstring tendon, while waterskiing 15 years ago, my doctor never sent me for surgery. So I hobbled around on crutches for a couple of months and gradually got back to walking. Was never referred for an MRI or surgery. There was blood and bruising from my glutes to my ankles for 2 months. was trying to get out of the water on 1 ski, heard a pop, excruciating pain, etc... anyway, I since got married, have 5 kids now, got nemployed as a letter carrier and walk 7 miles a day up and down steps, am very active with the kids, soccer, biking, etc... just discovered recently that I should have been referred for surgery! see my other post from today Dan (dande)

Dave T
26-01-2012, 10:19 PM
It sounds like your injury hasn't slowed you down one bit! That's great to hear. I'll bet your kids keep you pretty active and busy. That's encouraging for me as my injury wasn't a complete tear. I wish I had an answer to your question concerning what to do about surgery, but I think (only my opinion based on what I've read here and what my surgeon told me) that it will be up to you based on how much does this injury affect your daily life, how much it affects your training and how important is the marathon.

What I'm trying to deal with now is they found a large tumor on the MRI on the same leg as the tear. (7cm x 3.4cm x 2.4cm) I'm not sure if it has anything to do with my hamstring tear but I need to deal with it anyhow.

Dave T
03-02-2012, 01:28 AM
I'm finding out how rare and little known this hamstring injury is. I met with yet another Ortho Surgeon who looked at the MRI and told me that the tendon took a little piece of bone with it when it tore. His statement was, "Surgery for this is only done on elite, olympic-type athletes". :confused: He says this will heal just fine with PT. I asked if I would regain the use of the retracted muscles to which he replied,"Sure, it's only retracted just about an inch." So, I will try another 3 weeks of PT (and co-pays) to see if I can get some strength back. Then the tumor comes out! Oh well. I have learned so much from this forum thread and feel like it should be mandatory reading for Ortho Docs. For now, I will go the PT route. I will check on here every once in awhile and see what's up maybe give a progress update. Good luck to all who are recovering and those that are looking at surgery.

08-02-2012, 08:14 AM
Dave T, I am new to the blog, 6 days post op. Get a second and 3rd opinion. I was told I didn' t need surgery back in October2011 when i had my injury. My hamstring was a complete avulsion, tearing off a piece of the isschiam bone. I went to PT, and did everything they said to do. At 3 mos. I wasn't getting better. I went to a different surgeon who told me surgery needs to be done as soon as possible after injury. He said it might be too late to get mine fixed. I was SO angry that my first surgeon didn't know this or tell me options. Luckily my hamstring had only avulsed 3 cm. so it was still fixable, but they had to go in and remove the scar tissue that had formed. The longer the wait the harder it is to clean it up for a good repair. I think the first surgeon didn't know much about this injury since it is rare. From what I've read on line, the people who end up experiencing most of the problems are those who do not have surgery.

08-02-2012, 08:52 AM
Hi everyone. I'm carolg. Lost my post, and starting over. I' m 6 days post op, and doing fairly well. I had a completely avulsed hamstring along with piece of this ischiam bone. My injury happened in Oct 2011. I wasted 3 mos. going to PT because my 1st surgeon didn't think I needed surgery. The hamstring just kept falling down farther, and I got worse. My first surgeon referred me to another surgeon, who told me I should have had the surgery immediately, and that by waiting, the injury can become irrepairable and you can have a permanent disability. IF A SURGEON TELLS YOU NOT TO HAVE THIS SURGERY GET A SECOND OPINION! The people who end up having problems are usually the ones who did not have surgery. My injury occured while on vacation with my husband in Key West for Fantasy Fest ( a week long halloween costume celebration). I was leaning up against a sectional, to take off a six inch platform boot that went with my costume. The sectional wasn't connected, and the piece slid away from me across the tile floor. I ended up falling one boot on, one half off, and my left leg whent a direction it is not meant to go. My vacation was ruined along with months and months of my life. The hardest thing for me, is that I went from a quality of life 9, to a 2. I am very active. I love to dance, and bicycle, and I had a fantastic sex life. Then boom. It's all taken away. It's been brutal emotionally. I miss the endorphin rushes of working out, and I have had to give up almost everything that I love to do. My husband has been supportive, and encourages me, but it has been hard for both of us. I am just SO glad that I 've finally had the surgery, and now I can start getting better!

08-02-2012, 01:23 PM
Hey im David. Last may (8 months ago) i hurt my hamstring playing soccer. I fell and went into a split and then someone landed on me. For the next few days the slightest bit of movement hurt my leg. There was also very severe bruising on the back of the injured leg. I was eventually able to start walking pain free after about a week. I decided to go to the doctor after about 8 days as it was still extremely painful to walk up stairs or do anysort of bending at the hip or knee. The doctor said it was a minor tear and said to rest it and contact him again for a referral if i was still feeling it in a few weeks. After a few weeks i decided pt was necessary and began treatment. I was doing ultrasound and sports massage. After about a month of pt i was able to jog again and was discharged and told to take it easy, stretch, do some strengthening exercises. I did all this, and it began to get better. However after i had been doing this for a couple months it still had not started feeling much better. I was still unable to run at a fast pace or put much strain on it still. So i again went in for pt in september. They prescribed the same as before(ultra sound and massage) and also more strengthening exercises. It is now february and i am still doing pt. It has made improvements in strength, flexibility, and overall has been feeling much better but i am still unable to run full speed without pain and demanding exercises still bother it. Also it sometimes hurts while i am sitting for extended period of time. Is it possible that i could have been misdiagnosed and this could actually be a hamstring avulsion even though i am able to still jog and do most light exercises without much discomfort. I brought this up with my physical therapist but they dismissed it saying that hamstrings are just nagging injuries and i need to give it more time. But because avulsions are so rare i am thinking he just doesnt have any experience with them. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated as i would really like this to get better. Oh and i am twenty years old, if that has any importance. Thank you

08-02-2012, 01:29 PM
Dan, I found some info on the internet about repairs that were done a dozen years later that were successful. It sounds like each case is different, but if it were me, I would definitely talk to a surgeon who has done a number of these repairs. I'm 52, but I feel like I'm in my late 30's. Those of us who are athletic and keep our bodies healthy, have many years ahead to enjoy being active. I am very pleased with my surgery. The Dr. expects me to get everything back with time, patience, and persistence. I think a year of healing is well worth the 25 (or hopefully more) active years I have left.

08-02-2012, 02:16 PM
David, I think that there is a high probability that you were misdiagnosed. Did they ever give you a MRI? Hamstring avulsions are missed a lot. I had a complete avulsion, and was diagnosed correctly, but then told I didn't need surgery which wasincorrect. I went to PT did what you were doing. I was walking and riding an exercise bile for 1 week, then I lost all strength and was back at square 1. I just had my surgery 6 days ago, after ttrying PT for 3 mos. I've done a lot of reading lately, and looking at case studies. I have yet to find one person who did not have surgery that can do everything they want to do. The leg just doesnt heal right. Complications can happen over time, too, like the sciatic nerve scarring and causing permanent pain. Advocate for yourself, and get them to give you an MRI. You have practically your whole life ahead of you, and becoming lame would be awful. Make sure that you go to a surgeon that has done several avulsion repairs. Surgeons that do not have experience with this make poor decisions that will affect your whole life.Good luck. Carol

Dave T
08-02-2012, 10:55 PM
Carol, I'm sorry to hear about your injury on your vacation, but, I'm glad you finally had your surgery! I too am frustrated with the first surgeon I saw. He never even looked at my leg. Never ordered any imaging. Just blew it off as a "textbook" hamstring strain. I have had other opinions, only finding 1 surgeon who has done this before. Once. So needless to say, I don't feel real comfy with that surgeon. You mentioned in one of your posts "...quality of life...". I can very much relate! We are a very active family. We went hiking last Sunday and I tried to run...no wait...jog to keep up with the kids. It was useless. (Although, the kids thought it was great to finally beat Dad;)) This put me into a 2 day state of depression.

I am tired of getting lumped into an age bracket as well. The one surgeon who has performed this surgery before kept saying,"When you get to be our age.....blah blah blah". I'm 48. Active.(Martial Arts, hiking, running, biking) He's 60 and can't touch his toes. :confused:

I am now focusing on getting enough strength back to get through surgery to remove a large tumor in my thigh muscle they found on the MRI. (THAT was a nice surprise) Another source of frustration is finding a surgeon in the area experienced with this. But, that's a whole other story:mad:

Carol, keep us informed of your recovery. It is encouraging to hear you are on your way to getting back your life.

DavidL, your situation is exactly what I want to avoid. Months of PT (and co-pays$$) and still not be able to run. I agree with Carol and get an MRI if you didn't and get other opinions. This is a rare inury. Surgeons experienced with this, even more rare.

09-02-2012, 02:11 AM
Dave, I'm sorry to hear about the tumor you have to deal with. Is it up by the injury? or farther down? Since they have to go in anyway do you want to have the repair done at the same time? I know that sometimes surgeons have to open the leg farther to make other repairsfarther down. Luckily I have a brother who is a Dr. and a hospital administrator, so after I received inadequate medical care from the first surgeon I called my brother and asked for help locating a surgeon that had some experience. I live in Des Moines Iowa, so I thought I would have to go out of state for surgery, but I found surgeons with experience here and didn't have to leave. My brother researched this injury/surgery, and found out that if a surgeon does 5 of these a year, that is high volume for this rare injury. Most states have a larger medical center that deals with more complicated surgeries. I would have gone to Minneapolis, if I hadn't found someone here. That is four hours away from me. Travel is a huge issue, but my husband and I decided we would take the back seats out of our van and put an air mattress in to get me home. We could have rented a vehicle that had a bed in it as another option. Where do you live? I have been finding names of surgeons with experience as I have researched this injury. The Dr. that did my surgery is young and has done 2 to 3 a year. It takes 2 surgeons to do this surgery, and the 2nd surgeon was older and more experienced. They did an excellent job. Also, I hear you about the age thing. My husband is 49, a hockey player, rides his bicycle about 1000 miles in the 3 seasons we can ride, and he looks 38 or 40. People think I am late 30's or Early 40's. It's funny, because my husband and I love to go to outdoor concerts and social events. We dance and like to party, and the local social paper "juice", is always taking pictures of us! "Juice" is geared for 30 year olds. People who exercise are physiologically younger. Hell, I'm still menstrating at 52 with no end close in sight. I tell my friends that my "body" thinks that I am much younger than I am. Lol. I want to stay young and active, and enjoy life to the fullest! I have an 87 year old artist friend who acts 25, and I love her! So does everyone else! She has a passion for living life, and she still has boyfriends! She is definitely an inspiration to me. Let me know if you want help finding a surgeon. I can dig up some information. Carol

Dave T
09-02-2012, 02:48 AM
Carol, The tumor is in the front, almost opposite the tear so I'm not sure they could do both. I have an appt. on Mon. in Tampa, 2 hours from me here in Fort Myers, FL. Yes, I would love some help finding a surgeon! Very nice of you to offer. I have hopes the surgeon I see on Monday will have some suggestions as well. You and your Husband remind me of my Wife and I and sound like a lot of fun to be around. We have young kids so we aren't as social, but we're just as active! Living life should be a passion. I'm not sure who wrote this but it pretty much sums up my view on life: My life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather I will skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming...

09-02-2012, 03:13 AM
I want to share couple of things that I learned that have helped me tremendously post surgery. 2 weeks before surgery, when I made dinner I made 3 times as much, and portioned out the extra food into containers to freeze. It wasn' t that much extra work because I was cooking anyway. This way I'm guaranteed there is healthy food to eat, and that my busy guys aren't just going out for fast food all of the time. It has been great. Not only has it helped my family in taking care of me, now that my husband is at work, and my son at school, I am more independent, and can microwave my lunch. I made smaller portions for me, to help from gaining weight since I am so inactive. Lentil stew is great for filling you up for a long time, with a small amount. I have also found a couple bites of whole grain oatmeal will stave off hunger til the next meal. I have to watch it, cause I can fall into a pattern of eating because I am depressed about having to lie around. I am so pleased with cooking and freezing ahead, that I'm going to start doing this all of the time. There are plenty of nights I don't want to cook, but I don't want to have to eat junk either.
The other thing I discovered is that night shirts, post op are the simplist things to wear. I can put them on myself, and it makes going to the bathroom SO much easier. I can't dress myself below, and I like being independent. Now that I am 1 week post op, I've switched to skirts and tops. I feel like I'm getting better faster when I'm dressed, and lying on top of the bed instead of in it. Probably a little crazy, but whatever helps the psyche at this point, is good. I can' t imagine trying to wear pants. the brace I have is huge and metal. Even Ginormous sweat pants would be hard to get over it. If I wore sweat pants under oit, my husband would have to take my brace off, dress me, put my brace on, and then I would have to try to pull my pants down far enough to go to the bathroom. Sounds awful. I'll stick with skirts, no undies. Much easier access. Sorry guys. You could wear kilts, or night shirts. Gotta go for simplicity for the most independence. My doctor did give me a funny look when I told him, unless you have a better idea on how I can dress myself, I'm just wearing skirts no undies for awhile. I mean, seriously, I don't want to have to be dressed. He said me no, I don't have a better idea. You are stuck in how much you can do for yourself right now. Something you can't avoid for awhile anyway. Carol

09-02-2012, 03:44 AM
I want to share couple of things that I learned that have helped me tremendously post surgery. 2 weeks before surgery, when I made dinner I made 3 times as much, and portioned out the extra food into containers to freeze. It wasn' t that much extra work because I was cooking anyway. This way I'm guaranteed there is healthy food to eat, and that my busy guys aren't just going out for fast food all of the time. It has been great. Not only has it helped my family in taking care of me, now that my husband is at work, and my son at school, I am more independent, and can microwave my lunch. I made smaller portions for me, to help from gaining weight since I am so inactive. Lentil stew is great for filling you up for a long time, with a small amount. I have also found a couple bites of whole grain oatmeal will stave off hunger til the next meal. I have to watch it, cause I can fall into a pattern of eating because I am depressed about having to lie around. I am so pleased with cooking and freezing ahead, that I'm going to start doing this all of the time. There are plenty of nights I don't want to cook, but I don't want to have to eat junk either.
The other thing I discovered is that night shirts, post op are the simplist things to wear. I can put them on myself, and it makes going to the bathroom SO much easier. I can't dress myself below, and I like being independent. Now that I am 1 week post op, I've switched to skirts and tops. I feel like I'm getting better faster when I'm dressed, and lying on top of the bed instead of in it. Probably a little crazy, but whatever helps the psyche at this point, is good. I can' t imagine trying to wear pants. the brace I have is huge and metal. Even Ginormous sweat pants would be hard to get over it. If I wore sweat pants under oit, my husband would have to take my brace off, dress me, put my brace on, and then I would have to try to pull my pants down far enough to go to the bathroom. Sounds awful. I'll stick with skirts, no undies. Much easier access. Sorry guys. You could wear kilts, or night shirts. Gotta go for simplicity for the most independence. My doctor did give me a funny look when I told him, unless you have a better idea on how I can dress myself, I'm just wearing skirts no undies for awhile. I mean, seriously, I don't want to have to be dressed. He said me no, I don't have a better idea. You are stuck in how much you can do for yourself right now. Something you can't avoid for awhile anyway. Carol

09-02-2012, 03:51 AM
The other thing I love using post op is my polar insulated, bicycle water bottle. It holds 24 oz. stays cool, and has a loop on the cap so that I can loop it on my fingers, and still use my crutches. I drink a lot of water, so this makes it easy for me to refill.

09-02-2012, 04:41 AM
Dave T, I love that quote too. I feel the same way. You might want to look into Doctors Hospital in Sarasota. I was looking at orthopaedic surgery ratings , and they are listed in the top 5% of the nation, and #1 in Florida, supposedly. Of course, I always have to investigate what I find on the internet. Just because they have a high rating, doesn't mean that the surgeon with the most experience with hamstring avulsions will be there. But their high rating, may bring in more patients, thus increasing the number of rare surgeries. My brother told me to ask how many of these surgeries had they performed, and what were the outcomes of the surgeries. If can ask your internist or reg doctor if they know any of the drs.or administrators in Sarasota, and or Tampa. Sometimes some of the doctors went to medical school together, and the can tell you who the best surgeons are. That's what my brother did for me. He called an administrator here, that he knew from med school, and asked who the best was. If your doctor doesn't know anyone in theses areas, I wouldn't hesitate to call the hospital administrator of the hospital, and ask. It's a rare injury, so it is more difficult to figure out. My father was a hospital administrator, and he would have pointed someone in the right direction. They know their surgeons very well.

09-02-2012, 05:30 AM
Dave T, It looks like Tampa has excellent Orthopaedic surgeons. I bet you will find a surgeon there that you trust. If it were me, I would probably ask who has done the most of these surgeries. That's always hard to say to surgeons themselves, because surgeons usually have pretty big egos. It might be easier to ask who they would choose to be their 2nd surgeon, and why. In my case, the second surgeon actually had more experience, but I felt comfortable with that because if there were complications, I knew he would step in. The young surgeon was an up and coming hot shot who prides himself in doing excellent work. Although most of the surgeons have personalities that I wouln't be able to get along with, that's what makes them good surgeons. I can't stand tthe neurosurgeon that did my back surgery, but he is an amazing surgeon!

09-02-2012, 12:18 PM
O.K. I had to reinvent underwear, because it was driving me nuts not wearing any. I just cut open the side that my injured leg is on. It easily slips on my good leg, and then I duct tape the other side. I thought about velcro, but i think duct tape is more comfortable. Duct tape! The solution for almost everything!! Ha ha

09-02-2012, 04:13 PM
I am kind of concerned. My leg has been more swollen for about 30 hours. I keep icing it and taking ibuprophen. It hurts more, which I think is due to the swelling. Tomorrow a.m. i will call the dr. unless it gets worse in the middle of the night. The leg feels warmer than my good one. My foot is swollen and red too. I took some hydrocodone, i had been taking just advil for pain, but i need to sleep. Carol

Dave T
09-02-2012, 09:56 PM
Hi Carol, how are you doing this a.m.? How is the swelling? You sounded pretty uncomfortable. It's amazing to me you are just taking advil for pain! Ah yes, duct tape. The essential tool in any toolbox and now for Post-op fashion;) Paints an interesting picture in my head! A person does what they have to...... adapt and overcome.
Thank you for the suggestions concerning surgeons. It doesn't surprise me that Sarasota is high on the list. There is a large amount of retirees in this area. Hips, knees and shoulders are the money makers here. When I had my knee worked on 3 years ago, they had patients lined up like an assembly line.
If the surgeon I see on Monday is not experienced with this, my question to him will be,"Who would you have perform the surgery if you had the same injury?" This place is located on the University of South Florida campus so I would think there would be some options.
Thanks again for the suggestions and I hope you have a better day. Hang in there!

10-02-2012, 01:39 AM
Dave, The University sounds like the right place to be. The Orthopaedic surgeons there are rated high. I really hate pain killers, so I rarely take them. Usually the first four days, and then switch to advil. I hate the grogy, really down feeling I get taking painkillers. I'd rather experience a little more pain, than feel so depressed. At least taking advil, I can read, and keep my mind busy. Sometimes I have to take pain medicine at night to sleep. The pain with this surgery really isn't that bad. The extra swelling makes it feel worse. I went through back surgery about 18 years ago. That was bad. My L5 had shattered, and pieces embedded in the nerve. I lost feeling from the waist down, and had emergency surgery. It was another rare thing that hardly ever happens, but that's the story of my life. Lol. Nothing they gave me touched the pain. I was in pain for 2 and a half years. It took that long for the nerves to heal. I learned to dissociate from the pain to keep from going crazy.

I am going to see the Dr. today, hopefully, (still awaiting their return phone call. I just want to make sure that I don't havr an infection, or boold clot or something. It 's most likely nothing. Carol

10-02-2012, 12:43 PM
I feel SO much better! Dr.gave me permission to remove the leg brace part of the time w I am lying down. Hydrocodone+taking off leg brace= relief. Ahh....The brace makes my leg swell so this is new found relief. : )

12-02-2012, 02:38 AM
I am new to this forum. I must say it is very helpful! Two and one half weeks ago had a fall the first morning out while vacationing in Cabo San Lucas. Excruciating pain, plus first experience in a Mexican ER. Had to wait a week before flying home. Complete tear of all 3 tendons at ischium tub... Saw orthopedist at Kaiser who did an MRI and gave me the option for surgery. A 64 yrs he said I would be the oldest one he has ever done the surgery on. I have a kaiser PPO plan so I can use a surgeon out of Kaiser and will be seeing one on Monday to check him out. My Kaiser doc wants to do surgery this week, but I have not had surgery with Kaiser so am a bit scared. Question now is how do you get home from the hospital in your car, in your house, and up the stairs?

12-02-2012, 10:21 AM
Hi All

I am here to join this very unfortunate club. I have been reading all the posts on here for a few months now and gleening all I can from your experience.

My name is Tania and I live in the UK. I had a waterskiing injury last April where I did the splits (on an internet date!!!) that is another story. But it has taken me until very recently to even get an MRI scan on the NHS system here. Finally I have managed to see one of the only surgepons in the country who knows about this type of injury and it has been diagnosed as a chronic avulsion of two of the three hamstrings on my left leg.

I am a very keen alpine skier (working as a ski guide), runner, cyclist, yoga enthusiast etc - generally very active and this has without a doubt been the most depressing thing I have ever had to deal with in my life (perhaps that makes me lucky!). I think I definitely made my injury worse last year as I did not know what was wrong and it was constantly diagnosed by doctors and surgeons as only a mid muscle tear, which led to me over doing the gym and yoga to then be in a whole world of pain.

I am booked for the op on 22 May - but I am just so p'ed off at the wait as it will be over a year by then.

I have some questions for you seasoned avulsion injury club members:

Is there anyone on here who has had to wait this long who has now had sufficient time to see the results of the op? I know there are a few who had just had the op and were worried they had not made the right decision.

I am definitely getting the op as my current condition is totally unacceptable to live with. I have some pins and needles in the back of my leg and sit bones, and there seems to be alot of strain on the adductor (inner thigh muscle).

My surgeon has said an 85% success rate - I am so worried that I will be the unlucky 15%. Has anyone on here had it fail and did you get it re-operated on?

A more stupid question - has anyone alpine skied with this injury pre-op? I know it sounds silly but I am just so depressed I thought at least if I could ski just on the easy runs it might cheer me up - of course though I am worried about making it worse. The sugeon has said it cannot be made worse as it has completely unattached and moved away from the bone. He was not worried about me skiing on it. He said that I could leave it how it is and live with it - not an option in my books, but does this mean that you can go about your normal life to the extent it will allow?

I have seen a physio and am having exercises to improve it before the op.

My other question is would it make that much difference to just pay to get it done privately now and not wait another 3+ months, or has it been left so long it will make little difference. I just want to get on with my life it is driving me crazy - and everyone around me!

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, I will no doubt be glued to this once I have had the op and cannot do anything for 2 months!


12-02-2012, 01:52 PM
Hi Tania, if you noticed no one has been in this forum for awhile. I myself joined today after much reading all the info. I cannot give input to your problem since my surgery in coming soon. What I can do is give a little support to your depression and anxiety. I know how scary and frustrating this is for you, since I am sharing the same experience but at a much older age. You are so young, athletic and energetic so you will come through it all fine. I have learned from the forum that surgical treatment has not been around that long on this, and medicine advances at amazing paces. So the delay in surgery you have experienced may ultimately be resolved in the future. Ah, if I ony had your youth I would be more optimistic about myself. My own doc says he has never done this procedure on anyone so old. Hello age discrimination.

I don't think I would do anything to risk further injury if I were you. Just hang in there and be resiliant. Athletes always do better in surgeries, so don't get down.

12-02-2012, 11:22 PM
Hi Mobley

Thank you for your reply and yes the depression and total shock that something this serious has happened to me it really half the battle. I am only just getting my family to realise how serious this is and that I have not spent the year whinging about nothing! Unforunately I am not feeling very athletic at the moment - the gym and exercise get pretty boring when you are constantly worried about making it worse.

Poor you too - at your age :) !!! In this country they would not even consider doing the op on someone over a certain age as the NHS would consider it a waste of money - it is totally outrageous if you are fit and active, but unfortunately that is what you get when you have a state run health system. They weigh your level of need up - the first surgeon I saw looked at me for 5 mins - asked if it was affecting my job, then told me my leg will never be the same again I need to accept this and go back to physio and get on with my moderated life. I think he knew it was something more serious but he did not warrant me as important enough to even get an MRI scan - I was furious! I am currently pursuing a legal negligence case against the NHS for how I have been treated. Luckily I did not drop it and have chased down the best surgeon in the country for sports tendon injuries and he took one look and is going to operate - just the waiting list unfortunately. Our private health care is not nearly as good as yours either since it is not competitive as most people go with the state run variety so there is not so much funding. I now have private but of course too late for this incident - will probably never need it again (with luck)!

Has anyone on here heard of Professor Maffulli? He is operating. He is known as Mr Tendon in the UK apparently! I have researched him and it looks like he is the guy researching stem cell therapy in this country - if the op does not work I am going to offer to be his guinea pig!

A friends Dad has avulsed both right and left legs hamstrings about 10 years ago and is in constant pain from it having never had the op - even just sleeping at night, so you are definitely doing the right thing. Of course having done all three I am sure it is not even a consideration to leave it. My whole leg is out of kilter with 2 gone, and I have had problems with the glutes and calf muscles as they have been over compensating. It is like running with a flat tyre exactly as someone else described - I can jog for about 5 mins then the strain of lifting it just wears me out and it goes flat to the floor. I see people out runnnig and it makes me want to cry.

Thanks for your support. Let me know how the op goes. I have read somewhere that if it is all three it is more obvious to surgically repair and I would have thought it would be a clean break and perhaps easier to repair. Keep positive and good luck - at least you are in the right country for medical care - it is far superior to ours in the UK.


13-02-2012, 12:46 AM
Sorry to hear that you are joining this illustrious group. I had out-patient surgery, and they sent me home right away. Don't know anything about Kaiser, but do know that I fought with the insurance company beforehand to have them send me home in an ambulance, since I had to get up 52 stairs to the bedroom. They would not do it, but I found out about "Carry Up Service" where an ambulance crew meets you at home and carries you up to your room. In my case they charged $100 for the service. I was happy.
Then I got home (by taxi - I live in the city- lying flat on the back seat) , and they were going to carry me up in a chair. Oops - I can't sit down in a chair. OK, they said that they would strap me to a backboard and carry me up that way. It sounded not good, so I just had them stand next to me and spot me as I crutched my way up all 52 stairs and into bed. It sounds horrible, but you have so many pain killers in you at that point that you don't feel bad doing it, just woozy. I would do it that way again.
In retrospect, I'm glad I went all the way up to the bedroom rather than just into the living area at that time, since the following day I was a bit less interested and able to move around on my own.

I could not drive for 7 weeks, so plan on having someone drive you or take a taxi or a hire car. You have to be pretty much prone.

Best of luck. Just make sure your doc has done a fair number of these. You do NOT want to be the first or second.

Richard - Boston 18 weeks post-op

13-02-2012, 11:27 PM
Hi Guys

Can anyone give me any advice on going back to work after the surgery. I am potentially going to be starting a new job in a new career and would be going in 2 months after op. Is this an unrealistic plan? Will I be able to do full days work and sit at a desk all day?

Everything is coming up at the same time!

I will have waited 10 months for the op if that adds to the rehab time.


14-02-2012, 12:50 PM
I am 12 days post surgery and doing reasonably well. I find it concerning that your surgeon said go ahead and ski on it, unless your injury is completely scarred into place,which it may be by now. If you read my earlier posts you saw that I was initially told not to have surgery. That was a mistake. I had a complete avulsion, and my tendon just kept falling down my leg. The surgeons who do most of these say time is important. The longer you wait the harder it is to remove tthe scarring that develops from the injury, and the more likely the sciatic nerve can become scarred as well. I don' t know whether waiting a few months after already waiting since April will make a difference with the outcome. I know that successful surgeries are done a year or more after, its just harder to do. For me, waiting 3 mos. because my first surgeon didn't know what he was talking about, has been horrible. I have lost my quality of life, and I could be walking by now. Personally I wanted the surgery right away, because the recovery is a long time, and I want to get my life back. I'm glad to be on my way to getting better. I will be starting to walk by May, and hopefully close to my original strength by fall/ early winter. I have yet to hear of anyone who has done very well not having the surgery. It sounds like the people who have the most trouble, are those who have scarring to the sciatic nerve. My surgeon told me that when people wait to have the surgery, the injury can become inoperable, or extremely difficult to fix, because if the tendon retracts too far down the leg, they can' t stretch it enough to reattach. Then you have to look at cadver tendons, or stem cell therapy which is very expensive

14-02-2012, 02:46 PM
Mobley, Hi, I'm Carol. Sorry about your injury. I was on vacation when I had my injury too. Not a good thing. I'm 52, just had the surgery 12 days ago, and although it's challenging, I'm doing well. My entire hamstring was avulsed also. Going home after the surgery is hard. Are you staying in the hospital at all? They did mine outpatient, and sent me home right off the gurney. Not good. I really needed to have stayed 2 nights. It is almost impossible to get into a car or van to go home. You are not supposed to sit(that would tear the hamstring right back off). I had to lean on one butt cheek, lying down, with a pillow between my legs, and I was in excruciating pain. We put the van seat back to a lying down position. It was hard getting up and over into the van seat. I had to go back the next day, because they put my brace on wrong. That time we took the car, with the seat all of the way back. It was a little better, but I'm 5'4, so I don't know how that would work for a taller person. Stairs were killers. I only had 3 because i live in a ranch. I had been on crutches for 3 months already, but it was much worse post op because of the anesthesia (unsteady), and the brace. I don't think there is a way to get home that in't going to be painful. But I highly suggest pushing for a one or two night stay. The pain medicine they gave me only lasted 3hours, so I wasin a lot of pain. By the time the Dr. called me back, to get stronger meds, I was halfway through day 2. After that I have taken only advil, except for a couple of bad nights. The brace is heavy, and metal, (heavy metal) lol. That is what makes it hard to sleep. But at least I know that wearing it will prevent me from accidentally tearing the hamstring back off. It has already saved me 4 times when I lost my balance and the brace held my leg when i would have jerked it wrong.

15-02-2012, 02:42 AM
Dave, I 've been wondering how it went at the Dr. Monday. Did you find a surgeon that you like? Are you getting a plan put together? It's got to be hard having to deal with 2 problems with the leg simultaneously. Let us know how you're doing. Carol.

15-02-2012, 02:55 AM
Thank you Carol for the info and support! I saw a top rated ortho surgeon who with another surgeon have advanced this surgery to an arthroscopic form, which he said will enable a little easier recovery. If they get in there and it is too damaged or problematic they will then do the surgery with the traditional incision. He has stressed that the recovery and PT is the most critical factor for a good result. I feel very confident in his skill and knowledge and caring. He is well published and has presented at ortho conferences, a definite over achiever which I like. He will order a hospital bed for downstairs, and any other aids I need. Suggestions for other needs?

I have ordered a shewee to pee standing up, and have gotten men's boxers in which I am slitting one side, and using velcro on the waistband and acouple of snaps to close the slit. So maybe that will be easier. We are going through the obtaining med records, insurance, etc. now. My insurance will pay 80% so I guess that will be worth it rather than the HMO. Surgery is next week which brings it to 4weeks since the injury.

I amtrying to figure out if coming home I will be better laying in a back seat. My kids have a cherokee but then I would have to get up higher to get in and out. Any suggestions from anyone? I don't know if I will be overnite in the hosp, depends on if arthroscopy is successful. I am terrified of the initial pain and getting home. I will address the initial stronger pain meds with the doc Head of time. I am very lucky my husband (Nurse Ratchett) is retired know and can take care of me. But he has for this month and I know how hard it is on the caregiver.

Will let you, tania and any others know how it goes. If any of you have ipads and play "words with friends" or any other competitive app games, we could start our own club to entertain each other. I know this is a long haul!

15-02-2012, 06:19 AM
aqaGreat news Mobley! I hope that arthroscopic surgery works out. That sounds like the way to go! I should order a shewee, its still hard to be on the toilet w/o really sitting. I don't know what the best way to go home is. Maybe you could ask an OT or PT. We used the van, and it was too high, and painful. The car was better cause the seat lies down, but it was painful. Lying down in the back sounds good, except how do you get in. The more you have to move, the harder it will be. It amazes me the things surgeons can do! They had to open my leg way up since it had been 3 months. They had to remove the scar tissue and bone fragment and move all the muscles to retrieve the tendon that had retracted. It sounds like you are ready. I have found that night shirts and skirts are easy to wear because i can put them on myself, over my head. If you want to be able to put your own socks on, you may want to get a sock putter onner. I think I'm going to get one because my feet get hot and I am alone during the day now. Good luck with everything!

Dave T
15-02-2012, 10:56 PM
Hi Carol. How is your recovery going? Welcome Mobley and Alpinebunny. My appointment on Monday was a mixed bag of results. The Cancer surgeon feels the tumor is benign based on the MRI. I asked "Are you 100% sure?" His answer, "No". So the tumor is coming out. When I asked about the hamstring I pretty much received the same answer as before. "You need to give it more time". In his defense, he is a surgeon specializing in sarcomas, not avulsion or partial tears. It still amazes me how little is known about this inury. My plan now is to keep with therapy. Give it all I got. Get this tumor out and then see where I'm at. I know the longer I wait the more difficult the surgery is, but at this point I'm at my wits end. I just need to focus on the tumor for now.

I'm in that gray area of the "...near complete tear" but not fully avulsed. I have a visibly retracted muscle in the back of my thigh and even after 8 weeks post-injury, I have to concentrate on every step to keep a normal gait. Sitting is still a pain in the .........ischial tuberosity. The surgeons have pretty much said it's hanging by a thread. I'm not sure what will happen at this point.

Mobley, good luck with your surgery! I'm interested in the arthroscopic approach to this surgery. Sounds promising.

Tania, I can relate with you as far as your experience with your first Doctor. The first surgeon I saw didn't even examine me. He said it's a "Textbook strain" He didn't order any imaging because "...it wouldn't tell me anything I didn't already know" Good luck with your surgery and keep us informed.


15-02-2012, 11:51 PM
Hi All

Dave - poor you with the tumour as well, that is terrible. But thank god they found it. Mobley - please do keep me updated with the surgery and the journey home. I am currently trying to work out all those details. I have surgery now booked for 27 Feb private so I don't have to wait any longer. I am planning on travelling home lying down in the back of my parents estate car with the back seats down with pillows and blankets, but I am wondering how I am going to get in and out at the other end. I hope they don't turf me out of hospital too early - I am having at least one night potentially more.

Carol - interesting stuff from you regarding after the surgery. I am planning on getting a she-wee - shame they don't do one for the other by the sounds of it. A good friend is an OT and I was chatting with her last night. She thinks I should use a bucket as could be done standing up - unpleasant I know but if needs must! She said how about bikini bottoms with tie sides as knickers for the first few weeks! And she recommended a leaning stool which you can hire for doing teeth etc.

I am wondering how it is lying in bed - do you need to have your leg bent? I am not having a brace. I am studying for a masters and have to get an assignment in a week after the op - I am wondering if I will be able to type etc in bed or if it will be impossble and I should get it done before if possible.

I am off to the gym now to try to get it as strong as possible before the op so hopefully the rehab will be shorter.

Good luck to all


16-02-2012, 09:47 AM
Dave, I can empathize with your situation. When presented with more than one complex issue at a time, I pick the most urgent and address that first. I would choose to do the same thing you are doing. Surgery for the tumor. The reality is, you can't do both at the same time, anyway. Dave do you have surgery scheduled for the tumor? I agree with you there too. I would want it out. It is good news that the surgeon doesn't think it is cancerous. They usually can tell by what the tumor looks like, because cancer looks so much different. So that is very good news. I'm sorry you have to deal with all of this right now. Let us know when you have your surgery. Wouldn't it be great if they could fix your hamstring arthroscopically like Mobley's having done? Take it easy on your hanstring, cause when it's just hanging on I would think it would be fairly fragile. Best of luck.
I am healing well, just slowly. Today I put my own sock on! A huge accomplishment for me, considering I cant touch the sock or my foot to do this. I felt like I can accomplish whatever I put my mind to. At least this injury is having some positive effects on my personality. I think I am developing more initiative, confidence and determination.

16-02-2012, 10:08 AM
Tania, I glad you have your surgery scheduled. I have a brace that keeps my leg bent at 90 degrees. At first my brace made it hard to sleep, but I am very thankful that I have it. I'm 2 weeks post op, and there have been 7 occasions that I would have torn my hamstring if I had't had the brace on. The brace makes me feel much safer. After all of this I don't want to tear it off again. Everyone's case is different, so ask your surgeon about bending your knee. I need to keep mine at 90 degrees, because my hamstring is too tight, and would pull back off. They let me take it off for short periods of time, if I am lying flat on my back.(bending at the waist stretches the hamstring too. When I have my brace off, I can stretch my leg out and gently move it to help my knee and other muscles from being so stiff. Personally, I am relieved to have the brace. I slipped a few times, and my leg jerked hard each time, and the brace held it in place.

16-02-2012, 10:21 AM
Tania, If it were me, I'd get the paper done ahead of time. I thought I would be able to do more after the surgery, but I felt grogy and the pain made it hard to think. Plus surgery and anethesia is hard on the body.

16-02-2012, 11:15 AM
Hi all,

Well surgery is now scheduled on Feb 29. Darn! Tania you are going to beat me to the table! Glad it has worked out for you. Do as much with your scholastic challenges before surgery. You are tired for quite a while after a surgery, plus your work may not be up to standard.

Dave - I agree with carol, they can see alot about tumors with an MRI. Most likely benign, so keep us posted.

Carol, sounds like you are coming along. I wish I was that far along. Doc said my brace will be set at 70 degrees. Do you know how long you have to wear it? Sounds like you are feeling more hopeful. Way to go! Love hearing your daily progress.

Hang in there all!

17-02-2012, 03:23 AM
Hi All

Mobley - How funny! We are on the same day. We can keep each other company on here for the next 3 months - if we are able to type!

Carol - thank you so much for your advice re-post op - I am very worried now about not having the brace. I know my hamstrings will be very tight as they were very tight before I did it and having now been curled up in the middle of my thigh for 10 months I doubt they've loosened up much! I can't imagine how I can keep my leg bent without it being held up surely that requires the hamstrings to hold it? I asked the surgeon about the brace before and he said that is causes more muscle wastage and you then take longer to get the strength back. I guess I can only do what he says but I will ask again. Really useful to know about the position you will be in after the op - but if your leg is bent behind you how can you lie in bed without lifting it slightly up in front of you which would obviously be very bad?

Anyone else out there not have a brace?

This site is great - I am so glad I found it!


17-02-2012, 04:44 AM
Hi all,
Tania, through my years of handling medical care for my parents I found out one very important thing...you often have to manage your doctors and medical care. The more you know the better, about the surgery and recovery. I went in with 3 printed research with results papers on the surgery and recovery, so he knew I knew what he was talking about. Sometimes its hard because you have to learn a lot of the terminology and the process. I would show him any research, I usually make printed copies for the doctor, and ask him if he would not mind trying a brace, since it could protect you from further injury. Maybe at least wear it while up and navigating. Since this is not a real common surgery your doctor may not have this knowledge. Give it to him.

I have invited you and Carol as friends on this forum. Not sure how it all works, but if so there are some emails we could do direct so as not to tie up the forum with the daily groans we are certain to have post surgery, e.g., such as whining and crying, which I think we will need to do, right Carol?

17-02-2012, 06:04 AM
With the brace on, in lying down position, my knee is bent up ward and my foot angles back down to the bed. There is not that much of a bend where the leg meets the body, since it gradually slopes up. I keep a pillow under tthe hanstringfor support when on my back. I can only lie on one side, (good leg), and then I put the pillow between my two legs which feels good for my injured leg, and keeps my good leg from being irritated by the brace. What my doctor told me, is that having a little bit of bend at the body is fine, as long as I do not bend forward. I bend to my good side, and lean backwards to be on the toilet, so I am semi lying down with only my good butt cheek touching. I use my arms to hold most of my body weight ( I have really good upper body strength). It is very humorous looking, but it works for me. Ha. The first 2 weeks I had a hard time sleeping. Mostly because of the brace. I am used to it now and I sleep like I normally do. I am a back and side sleeper, so I don't know how it would be for a stomach sleeper. When I wasn't sleeping, I asked the Dr. if I could take the brace off at night. He said no, there was too much of a chance I would move wrong in my sleep. I'm athletic, but my house is somewhat messy, and I live with my husband and 16 year old son. Therefore, clothes on the floor, a wash cloth, or just something that wasn't meant to be there, has caused a crutch to slip, and then I've caught myself. The brace kept my leg from moving wrong as I corrected my balance not to fall. The first 6 weeks are the most dangerous for pulling the hamstring back off. After that I get to lose the brace. The way I see it, not walking on my injured leg is going to cause all of the leg muscles to weaken anyway. Where you live may not be as much of an obstacle course. Lol. I was on crutches 3 months before the surgery, with out a brace. My leg was already weakening from not walking on it. I definitely will have my work cut out for me when I can finally start strengthening.

17-02-2012, 06:24 AM
I agree with you totally about being knowledgable and advocating for your medical needs. Many people fall through the cracks and don't receive the care they need and deserve. I think it's great that you and Tania are having surgery on the same day! The first 2 days are the hardest. After that the pain isn't too bad, because it isn't nerve pain. The harder part is adjusting to being dependent for a short time, and having to stay in bed most of the time for the first 2 weeks. I've started week 3, and I am up more, and feeling better. I put my own sock on yesterday! and I've been putting my own underwear on for a few days now. I am a piano teacher, and today is my first day back teaching. I have to stand, but I've been increasing the amount of time I 've been up, so I feel ready. I haven't taken advil for 4 days. Things are getting much better.

Dave T
17-02-2012, 10:06 AM
Hi Mobley, don't worry about tying up this thread. There isn't that much activity and I, for one, am interested in what you are going through, even the whining and groaning :) please keep us informed!

Carol it sounds like you are making great progress!

17-02-2012, 10:25 AM
Thanks Dave...have you found out anything on your tumor yet?
And Carol I so appreciate the detail of the brace and daily activities. It is not only valuable for us gimps, but also those who are caring for us. I read all these details to my husband so he knows what to expect in helping me in everything, thereby helping us plan for this surgery and aftercare. Since I am down all the time since I cannot really sit or walk much and do not want more slippage of the muscles, this last 3 weeks have been challenging to both of us. What is really scary is how many months this handicap is part of our lives. With two weeks to surgery and all the post op and PT required we are already so frustrated. It is definitely taxing on any relationship, even one as long as ours.

Lets face it...us gimps are not always in the best mood!

17-02-2012, 10:26 AM
Hi everyone,
Ah! That was difficult! I taught piano for only one hour today, but I had to stand on one leg the whole time. My foot hurts. My other leg doesn't reach the floor to even toe touch, no weight. I used the crutches, and held myself up with my arms as much as possible. Before the surgery I alternated between sitting and standing. I 'm going to have to figure something out. I need to find something to lean on or put a recliner in the room so I can slouch. Some days I teach 3 hours in a row. Maybe a chair I can slouch in would do the trick. I've been given the O.K. to slouch now, and I was able to slouch in bed today w/o pain.

17-02-2012, 10:52 AM
I understand your frustration about dealing with this injury. It is very challenging not being able to do haldly anything. I was on crutches 3 months before the surgery, but at least I was mobile, and could drive and do something. I've had a couple of meltdowns, that my husband had to witness, that weren't pretty. He does the tough love thing with me if I start feeling sorry for myself, which is good, but really makes me mad at the time. He willl come back later with compassion and encouragement, saying something, like "I'll take you dancing when you get better". I love to dance. He has been looking for concerts and activities that we can go to in the Spring, so I have some things to look forward to. One saturday, after a meltdown the night before, he stayed in bed with me most of the day and we watched movies together. He would give me a hug or kiss from time to time. I appreciate that he has been taking good care of me, both physically and emotionally. I really didn't know what to expect, but he really stepped up to the challenge, and that has made a huge difference. It has been very stressful losing our "regular" life, because we do a lot of things together, and all of that has been taken away, temporarily. It helps when he reminds me that this situation is temporary. Sometimes it seems to go on forever, and ther is still a long road ahead. The good thing is, once you have the surgery, everyday is a step in the right direction. Everyday day you get a little better.

17-02-2012, 10:57 AM
Way to go Carol!!! Matbe you could look on Craig's list for a cheap used recliner. That way you could dispose of it when you no longer want it. I have a couch with recliner seats which has really helped out these few weeks. It is comfortable in a recliner. Take it easy tonight and celebrate your achievement.

17-02-2012, 05:19 PM
Hello from Christchurch, New Zealand. It's been a boost to find this forum as I lie in bed surfing the net! A special thanks to Richard (Roedel) for posting the protocols on his website. Gives a clearer picture of the road ahead.

While playing sport on February 2nd, I moved and ended up in the front split position. I was taken to hospital and discharged the next day and given and ultrasound request. The ultrasound revealed a tear but due to bleeding was inconclusive. I was then referred to SportsMed and referred for an MRI. I was advised of the avulsion of hamstring and referred to orthopaedic surgeon.

I had the surgical repair on Monday 13 February (11 days post injury). I was discharged the next day with full leg brace and elbow crutches, with the instructions No weight bearing. The occupational therapist organized an adjustable toilet seat and shower chair.

So day five into my recovery, I have little to no pain except to sit is very uncomfortable. Bed is the most comfortable place. I have a review with the surgeon next Wednesday.

I found this forum today and have read with interest everyone's comments. I look forward reading more. Thanks to all. It helps :)

17-02-2012, 09:17 PM
Good luck to everyone for your recovery. It's a long hard road, don't let anyone tell you otherwise, but it can be done.

Just a quick update. My main story is on page 214 and I'm now almost 5 months after surgery. Avulsed 10cm, surgery 3 wks after, 7weeks in a brace, further 4-5wks on crutches. I've been back at work for about a month to month and a half, casual office work and some walking around.

I'm still in the middle of physio , fortnightly visits and twice daily exercise routines which take forever, but have been encouraged by things actually improving practically. For example, this last week or so I can now walk up and down most stairs pretty normally though it tires me still. I haven't limped for a couple of weeks. I can cut my own toenails (surprisingly banal achievement but sooo satisfying!). It took a long long time to be able to sit comfortably, and even now i have to get up and stretch often, and need a pillow if the chair is very hard, but in most things it feels ok. My main issues now are fatigue with a lot of walking, and limited flexibility eg shoelaces but the physio says that will come gradually as the muscle and tendon are conditioned.

I have been riding a motor scooter since the start of January and it has done wonders for my independence, enabling me to get to the pool much more easily, shop, etc. I haven't really tried to drive but don't have a car anyway so it doesn't matter.

So it is a long road but you WILL be ok. Be good and follow the instructions, and get the support you need, both here and practically.

There is a time to be 'selfish', and that time is now.

Feel free to PM me if you need.


My main probelms now are in motivation, since I can 'get by' now.

17-02-2012, 09:34 PM
Tried to edit my post but it timed out... I wanted to add that those first 11 weeks were in a kind of twilight world, not doing or wanting to do much. But it passes. I hope it works out better for you all.

Also, my main problems now are in motivation to keep up with rehab, since it takes a LONG time and is SO boring and I can 'get by' now with most things.

And I get very tired.

Still, I have almost completed Tiny Tower, and am still weaning myself off Pocket frogs :-) so I guess i have achieved something. *somewhat hollow laugh*

18-02-2012, 02:48 AM
Welcome to the site. I have learned a lot from this blog, and it is helpful talking to people wwho are experiencing the same injury.
I'm Carol. It's been 16 days post op, for a complete avulsion repair. I am doing fairly well. I too have a leg brace from the top of my thigh to my ankle. I spent most of the first 2 weeks in bed. I have been given the Drs. OK to slouch now, although it still gets painful. I am still on strict instructions not to sit, or bend forward.

18-02-2012, 03:06 AM
Thanks for checking in Flerdle. It helps to hear how you are doing, and get a glimpse ahead. It's great that you aren't limping anymore! Congratulations! It's helpful for me to hear you talk about the motivation factor. I can see myself falling into that. I think I'll take a calendar, and list monthly goals, and achievements. That way I can see improvment over time, since it can be so gradual.

18-02-2012, 10:00 AM

You need a leaning stool. Look online - amazon have them.


18-02-2012, 10:31 AM
Hi All

Thank you for all your advice, it really helps to be able to chat with other people going through this.

I woke up at 0730 this morning (on my day off in case your wondering!) worrying about the brace and the cadaver and what if the muscle doesn't reach back to the pelvis again - blah blah blah, I am driving my family and friends nuts I am sure. Anyway I managed to speak to my physio who has dealt with a number of avulsions and is the physio for the British waterskiing team - hence his experience. And he has said not to worry about all the details. He reckons that the Professor dealing with my injury is the god of tendons in the UK and he will know what to do no matter what the situation, I am praying I can't bear to think about being stuck like this for the rest of my life.

When I had previously asked the surgeon about the brace he said he had previously used them but feels that the recovery is better without in his experience which is dealing with one of these a month. I am worried after what you have said Carol, but I need to trust him as he is dealing with my case. Mobley I would normally be questionning and I have read all the papers on our injury too, and I have sent him an email asking my questions, but he is one of apparently only 2 surgeons who deal with this regularly in the UK so I think I just need to go with what he recommends - I can walk around perfectly OK at the moment and I can cycle on the spinnning bike for 40 mins pretty hard, plus hamstring curls, leg press etc on the weights machines as I have been told by surgeon and physio, so possibly not as bad as it could be. I do have a constant feeling as if the adductor is being pulled away though, but hopefully that is just the strain from taking all the strength of of the missing hamstrings, hoping he can check that whilst he's in there!

Carol that was very helpful about the lying in bed and sitting positions, I am hoping I can kind of recline in bed with leg on pillow, that's how I had it when I originally did it. I am half way through my assignment, so hoping to have it ready to hand in before the op.

What have you been doing the whole time while you have been in bed? My friend asked me tonight what I am going to do for the whole time lying around, I am thinking probably sleep alot!

My Whizz Freedom arrived today (another brand of she-wee) it is brilliant - you can wee standing up just like a man and aim it exactly where you want as it is rubber. I at least now know I will be able to wee without pain!

Bring on a week on Monday, I just want it out of the way now.

I'd just like to add that I am very very grateful to my parents for paying for my operation to get it done quickly - I hope to try to pay you back one day!


18-02-2012, 02:50 PM
Hi Tania,
I am where you are in regards to anxiety of our pending surgery. Its hard, do we have the right surgeon, will we recover fully, should we wear a brace? And, I am so tired of waiting so long for a surgery that will be painful and with a long recovery. I have had a real down day. But In all my up and down feelings I had a real perspective slapped into me tonight that we all should understand. I spoke to my sister-in-law today who has been battling myeloma (bone cancer) for the last five years, has endured stem cell transplant, enless rounds of chemo, etc., and has the most wonderful attitude about life. She has said for all of us...stay positive, play mind games with yourself to stay positive and hopeful. Lets face it, we are not going to die from this, we are just going to be laid up a long time. She would change places with us in a heartbeat.

Tania , you probably have very good doctors. This has not a surgery that has not been around for a long time, so how can we judge what is the best approach. Oops, I don't have an MD after my name. So feel confident in your docs and give your parents a big hug and kiss for their generous gift. And to all my other forum friends, today has not been my best up day, so sorry for not being there. We all will get thru this long road together.

18-02-2012, 11:12 PM
Hi Mobley

I am glad I am not the only one! I thought I was being neurotic. I have had two very down days ranging from anger to crying about why this has happened to me and whether I will ski ever again the same (my one big passion sportwise) I know its not the bee all and end all, but it is not helping with the ski season being on and my boyfriend and friends all out there having a great time - its not just the missing of the present season, its about the implications of this for the future that is making me depressed.

I just can't stop worrying that I won't ever do the things I love again to the same standard. Every time I see someone jogging I feel like crying and it sends me into an immediate depression. Its very hard for everyone around us to understand the worry, I know I am being negative but its hard not too when you have this problem and the surgeon says that he may open you up and not be able to fix it and then you will be recovering from surgery with no benefit from it - I guess they have to say that, but I am wishing he hadn't as I am fixated on that now.

You are right though about your friend - I keep thinking things coud be worse and yes no doubt there are lots of people who would trade places with us! Stiff upper lip as my Dad keeps saying to me (that might be a British phrase)!!!

I have a second interview for a new job on monday and am so worried about telling them about the long time till my start date and also worrying about whether I will actually be able to start then, what if the op has complications etc. My head is spinning!

Sorry for whinging on - it's nice to be able to commnuicate with people who understand! Anyway I had better get on with my assignment - one more essay to write!

Stay positive all


19-02-2012, 01:23 AM
Tania and Mobley,
I understand how you feel. Waiting for the surgery once you have it scheduled is horrible. I too was anxious and crying. Tania, I would trust your surgeon. It sounds like he is very familiar with this surgery, and he wouldn't be going w/o a brace if it was causing major problems for his patients. These Dr. are very opinionated, and they all think they are right. What matters is what the final result is, and he is having great sucess, or he wouldn' t have the reputation he has. My brother is a Dr. and when I told him my surgeon said it might not be fixable, my brother's comment was, " well, then he's an idiot". I liked that! Ha. Once the Dr. had a new MRI of my leg, he knew it was fixable and exactly how he was going to go about it.
Mobley, you are so right about putting things in perspective, and your sister-in-law's situation. We are not dying, and we haven't lost a limb. I've done a lot of searching on line, and people who have this surgery do very well. Most of them are almost like new, and they can do what they did before, after the long period of healing. The key is in staying as positive as possible, and yes, we will all have our meltdown moments. Laughter is a great healer, so watching comedies, and having friends to laugh with helps a lot. I have much gratitude to live in a time and place where fixing my leg is possible, so I keep thinking about that.
Tania, finding things to do in bed was so important to me, especially because I hate to be still, and I'm usually on the go. I love to read, but at first, with the pain killers, I was too grogy. I did get some audio books. I also got on the internet a lot. When I switched to advil I started reading. I like to compose music, so I've been reading about sacred geometry and music. I am composing pieces that correlate with geometric shapes. It will beinteresting to hear what they sound like when I am done. I have a basic idea, because I can hear the intervals in my head. I love to draw, and haven't done so in awhile, so I'm doing a bit of drawing. What is really hard for me is the lack of physical exercise. I was limited for 3 months before the surgery, and I really miss working out, and the endorphins. At first I slept so poorly, and a lot of that was due to lying around all the time. I am going to start using small arm weights just to do something, and I hope that helps a little. I went to physical therapy before the surgery and my PT showed me how to do a modified ab excercise that doesn't hurt the leg at all. Lying flat, you lift your upper body just off of the surface, and then with your arms straight out against your sides you move them up and down about four inches each way relatively quickly, while you breathe in and out. I've started doing these. I also get up and walk around the house on my crutches fairly often to get the blood flowing, and to not get too weak.

19-02-2012, 01:38 AM
Tania, 18 years ago, I had back surgery, and was in a much worse place than I am right now. I had a desk job in a buying office, but I could not sit for more than a half hour. worked in a cubicle with my desk just being a slab of counter going across. What I requested, is that tey buil a raised desk in part of the cubical. That way I could go from sitting to standing throughout the day. I had a stool that I could put one foot up on also, to have another position to shift to. It didn't cost them hardly anything to do this, and I used it for 2 and a half years (that's how long it took my back to heal). There are always ways of figuring out how to make your environment work for you. Plus this is a temporary situation, and you will be getting better all of the time. What is your Dr.s opinion on when he thinks you can start work? This is an individual thing, and you are young and strong.!

19-02-2012, 03:30 AM
Hi all,
First of all I want to thank you Carol from your words of emotional support 2nites ago, telling us how your husband has helped you through this. I read it to my husband and it choked him up. At my age I should have better perspective about things, but I guess we all share the same emotions daily. Thank goodness we have each other. And welcome Flerdle!

Tania, don't worry about if you get a job you are seeking. There is always a better one waiting around the corner. Jobs and careers are fleeting. Fate does put you where you are supposed to be. (oops, why are we here?!). Ha! I too have experienced the depression, anxiety and tears. You are not alone.

I like your creative approach to filling time, Carol. I hope we someday hear what you are composing. My son is in the movies business and is a member of the academy, so he has loaded me up with all the Oscar movies and then some, to keep me entertained. I have had an Oscar party for the last 10 years, and have decided to still have one this year, even though I am laid up and surgery will be 3 days later. Might as well have one really great party with really good friends before the big day.

Dave, where are you? Here is hoping we all get well thru just today...let's just worry about today...

Dave T
20-02-2012, 01:37 AM
Hi All.
Tania and Mobely, I can't imagine the stress right now for you both. Like everyone has said, keep your eye on the goal. This might sound strange but something I've done in the past is put up a picture(s) of you doing what you love to do the most, something you could do before your injury and use that to help yourself visualize where you want to be. It will be a long road, but from what I've read on here, it will be worth it. The whizz freedom!? My Wife and I had a great laugh with that this morning. It sounds like it should work great!

Carol, you are an inspiration to anyone looking at or going through this surgery! I love to read your updates and your suggestions.

I have surgery to remove the tumor scheduled for March 13th. Should be no big deal. Especially compared to what others will be going through at that point.
During a PT session last week I had a chance to corner the therapist for a while and drill him with questions. He also did a lot of testing and exploration and he thinks that only one tendon is completely gone with the other two still connected and taught. I asked him will I ever be able to run again? He said " of course". Athough he did say I will probably never be able to do the "chop kick" again.
I did seem to turn a corner last week after some grueling PT sessions. (1.5 hours!) I have a renewed interest in the therapy and will give everything I've got. Time will tell.


20-02-2012, 10:57 AM
It's good to get an update from you. I've been thinking about you. I'm glad to hear that PT is going so well. That's got to be motivating. Soon you'll have your tumor surgery behind you, so that's good. I love the idea of putting up a picture of what you want to do when you get better! I 'm going to do that. When I injured my back, I had to give up some things I used to do. There is no way I will ever be able to do a chop kick, but I'm not sure I could have done one before. Lol. After my back, I can still do the things most important to me. I've had 5 herniated discs, so I feel good about being able to do all the things I can, and not have pain. I have learned what to avoid doing, and what my limitations are, which makes a huge difference. I'm guessing the hamstring will be similar. I ' m hoping I can eventually wear heels again, because I love dressing up, but if not that'll be O.K. As long as I can dance! and ride my bike! and go out and have fun!

21-02-2012, 04:32 AM
Hi All

Thanks for your thoughts Dave. I too have been thinking about your situation - you are so positive and upbeat, you are an inspiration! It makes me feel a bit pathetic!

Good news that you physio thinks its only one thats gone. I think that I originally only had one that had gone but because I didn't know I snapped another on the leg press - I am very wary of that machine now it can do all sorts of damage if there is a weakness there because all your other leg muscles are so strong you can push through without realising the damage you are doing.

I am feeling alot more positive today, I got the job I wanted and the managers were totally cool about my time off for my operation, I am very excited I have been planning this career change for nearly 3 years now and its all coming together. And I won the lottery at work 800!! What a result, at least I have some funds to pay for my physio now.

I am starting to feel more positive about the surgery, its got to work. I am going to try not to think about the unlikely negative outcome till I get to it.

Carol - you really are in the wars! And what a great spirit you have, you too are an inspiration, keep active and keep upbeat thats the key - you are right. It seems like my new job which is with my current company British Airways - will be able to accommodate any chairs or desk changes needed to let me do my job properly so that is also a relief.

And yes Dave I am going to look for some photos of me skiing and put them up somewhere to remind me of the goal.

Mobley I will be thinking of you on Sunday night and Monday, I will try to get on here as soon as I am able to update. Perhaps we can catch up on here on Tuesday or Wednesday and compare tales!

Thanks for all of your support, its really appreciated.

My plans for recovery time - I have ordered two books on positive thinking to read (I think I could improve in this area!!), plus some books on how to make an impact in a new job and I have my disseration to start so that should keep me busy. In fact I am already thinking perhaps I won't get all that done! Roll on Monday and finding out it the surgery has worked.

I hope you are all having a good day whatever you are doing and you are all feeling positive.


21-02-2012, 08:05 AM
I'm teaching 2 hours today. Trying to figure out what to slouch on inbetween standing. I tried putting pillows on a queen anne's chair, but it's not working too well. I love the leaning stools, but I don't want to spend the money, especially having lost 2 weeks pay. The only problem with being self employed. I may have to have my guys haul a recliner up from the basement. I was trying to avoid that. I did make homemade spagetti sauce today. It felt good to cook again. Well, I'll keep trying until I find what works for teaching.

21-02-2012, 08:17 AM
Most people thought I should take more time off before teaching. Last Thursday was day 15. I just feel better when i teach. The only problem is my leg hurts. I will be so glad when another couple of weeks go by. I wonder how long it will be before they O.K. sitting? Even being able to put my other leg on the floor would help. My dressing stick broke, so I'm back to not being able to put my sock on. I have discovered that women's "boy shorts" are easy underwear to get on, and they don't irritate the incision site.

21-02-2012, 10:12 AM
Hi all! I have now joined the club. I was roller skating with my church group kids Jan. 14th, locked my skates together somehow, ( I'm not known for my grace), landed on my left knee and my right leg just kept going. Basically did the John Travolta right there at skateland. Had surgery on February 3. I have no idea how much my retraction was. I live in Minnesota so had to search around for a surgeon. Found the doctor who was the team doc for the Vikings. (Wish he could help them with their game!) Had outpatient surgery and am in a brace from thigh to ankle. Stitches came out at two weeks (had my sister who is a doctor pull them out and gave her a bottle of good wine). Brace went from a 60 degree angle to a 30 degree angle at the same time
(two weeks post op). Still have a week and a half to go on the 30 degree angle. My question is:

After the brace comes off, how long on crutches and how long before I can go back to work? I am a 6th grade teacher at a middle school.

By the way, spent the entire day reading through this post. So good to get information from all of you!! I feel like I know some of you already. Thanks for any advice you can give.

21-02-2012, 10:51 AM
Hi gang,
Welcome Kaug (can we call you that it is easier to type). And hello to my other inspirational buddies. Darn, 9 more days til surgery...want it over with. Tired of being laid up.

Yesterday was chaos. Got a call from the caregiver of my 90 year old mother in law, who lives 70 miles away. My sister in law, who takes care of everything with her is on vacation in Hawaii. My mother in law woke up unable to move one leg, and at the time was on the floor. My husband was out running errands and did not answer his phone,I could not reach his sister on the cell, nor my daughter , nor my son, also on vacations out of town. I cannot reach anyone! As you all know I can barely walk, sit or stand for more than 5 minutes, let alone drive and handle the problem. Panic set in...I am helpless to help. Is she having a stroke?

Finally got ahold of kids and husband, a friend who is a Physicians assistant, and the caregiver. Anyway it was determined 911 was not necessary at that moment. at 90 years and dementia, there are a lot of things wrong. Anyway, my husband probably will have to get her to a doc tomorrow so I will be solo,for I don't know for how long.

I do not know about you guys, but helplessness was a reality I was not prepared for, since it will get worse for the next few weeks. Definitely was meltdown time yesterday.

Glad to hear you are back Dave, and of course love the hope and progress from Carol and Tania. THIS is such a LONG HAUL!!!!!!

21-02-2012, 12:59 PM
Hi fellow gimps,
Being in California I'm in a totally different time zone than most of you. So, most of you will not get the post til tomorrow. Now my last post got my "bitchies" off my chest. So we are moving on. So here goes.

Since my surgery is not until next Wednesday, the 29th (leap year, maybe my surgery will be one fourth cheaper?) I am having my 10th annual Oscar party. Why not go into surgery with a great celebration?! And you are are invited to join me and all my live friends here for the party through the forum. We all need a little fun!!!

We will be online with you. The pre shows start at 2 pm PST and Oscars at 4. I am sure my friends that will be here would all like to meet you all. So if it would not take up too much forum space would you like to come, of course watching it simultaneous on your own TVs?

This one is special. My son does lead digital special effects for major movies. One of his movies "Tranformers 3" is up for a special effects oscar, along with sound and sound mixing. Though he is not specifically named on the Oscar, he spents 9 months and was at the shoot in Chicago for the movie. I know this is not a serious part of our forum, but I think we all need need some partying.

Anyone of my favorite new friends want to come to our party?

21-02-2012, 10:23 PM
{snip} I was roller skating with my church group kids Jan. 14th, locked my skates together somehow, ( I'm not known for my grace), landed on my left knee and my right leg just kept going. Basically did the John Travolta right there at skateland. Your description gave me the shivers. As you would have read, I did mine rollerskating too, same leg. I was doing a plough stop though...

Had surgery on February 3. I have no idea how much my retraction was.
Had outpatient surgery and am in a brace from thigh to ankle. Stitches came out at two weeks (had my sister who is a doctor pull them out and gave her a bottle of good wine). Brace went from a 60 degree angle to a 30 degree angle at the same time
(two weeks post op). Still have a week and a half to go on the 30 degree angle. My question is:

After the brace comes off, how long on crutches and how long before I can go back to work? I am a 6th grade teacher at a middle school.

By the way, spent the entire day reading through this post. So good to get information from all of you!! I feel like I know some of you already. Thanks for any advice you can give.Welcome.

It sounds like you might not have been as retracted as me, and/or your surgeon is being less conservative than mine. I was in an upper thigh to ankle brace at 60 degrees for 7 weeks, and I was four weeks on 2 crutches after that (gradually being used less and less about the house) then 1 week on 1 crutch then only used outside on hills for about a week after that. You'll probably find that you don't use them as much inside compared to when you're outside/travelling/commuting. I would recommend you do take them with you when out in public, at least for a while, for protection/consideration from others.

Hopefully because you won't be as immobilised for as long and you will have some muscle strength left you will get going more quickly than that.

My entire leg needed building up again from absolute zero and that's taken a couple of months of physio and 2xdaily exercises. Today was exactly 5 months since the Op, and for general living it copes with most things, though flexibility is still an issue (tying shoelaces for example) and it gets stiff if I sit for too long.

You'll find that your knee gives way if you try to hurry, and your quads and calf (and hamstrings!) won't have the strength to say take stairs normally for a while.

Work-wise it very much depends on the mix of standing walking and sitting that you have and how out of condition you are from all the rest. But at a guess you'll probably be at least somewhat crutch-dependant for two to three weeks after getting the brace off (minimum) and you might like to take that time to get generally back in condition. Going back to work is much more tiring than you think.

I could probably have been a bit quicker at getting moving but the tendon and nerve damage to my hands made me take a lot longer to get out and about. I tried to get out a bit a few weeks after the op but a short walk destroyed my hands for several days, so I just stayed at home.

22-02-2012, 12:00 AM
5 Months post surgery
To Carolg and maug -
The going back to work thing is really variable. As a furniture maker mostly working alone, it was 7 solid weeks in the house, with very few trips out until the last week or two. Then a slow back to work building up to 8 hours over 2 weeks. But others have done it in much less time. I think the type of brace also has some effect on the mobility and the ability to be able to work. It seems the knee brace is more conducive to working than the hip brace. Not sitting is tough.

I just got back from PT (12th PT session) and had a solid eval - I feel and seem about 80% of the way back now after 5 months. I am still having trouble sitting in a car for more than an hour without discomfort, but breaking up a trip into one hour segments, and getting out to stretch is not a bad idea anyway. Progression was 7 weeks in brace, 10 days crutches, a couple of weeks on a cane (more to warn other people that I had an issue). And PT starting after week 13. Slow but steady - and it seems to be working.

It may also be that I am living in a 3 story brownstone and constantly doing stairs that the stair issue has not been major.

Good luck with the return to work. And the Oscar party!

22-02-2012, 01:22 AM
Thank you for the welcome!
Flerdle: I don't even know what a plough stop is! LOL. I guess I did my own form of stopping. I'm thinking of calling it the haug stop. And yes, it is fine for all to call me that!

I am having a better day today than yesterday. For whatever reason, I was in more pain yesterday than at any other time. I stopped taking pain meds two days after the surgery and really haven't been all that uncomfortable pain wise but yesterday was just one of those "one step back" kind of days.

I would like to share a couple of tips that have helped me:

Tip1: I wear an apron with large pockets in the front. That way, especially if I am alone in the house, I can carry my book, a tablet and pen, my little book of sudokos, my ipod, a can of pop or small bag of snacks or whatever else I want to take from one place to the other.

Tip 2: Things to do while laid up:
Write thank-you notes
Angry Birds - although I am sick to death of them
Organize photos into albums
Pay bills online if that is available to you
plan your spring garden
Order new shoes:D
Order groceries online if that is available
Work on your family budget

Some of these things are just for fun and some help me feel like I am still contributing to the family in some way!

22-02-2012, 01:52 AM
Thanks all for the timeline info on recovery. It really helps us anticipate and plan. Since I have 15 stairs to go up to the bedroom, we are getting a hospital bed downstairs. The question is how long will it be before I can get up the stairs a couple of times a day. The shower is up there. I ask because if I need to be downstairs longer than I month, maybe we should buy a used bed, rather than rent one. Rental is $185 a month.

Thanks for coming back to the forum Richard and Flerdle, it really helps us rookies out with physical and emotional issues.

22-02-2012, 02:24 AM
So I found out that my avulsion was retracted 4 cm. Seems like that's pretty good? Don't even see the doctor until 6 weeks after surgery. Not once. That's seems a little odd. They also told me that I can take the brace off at four weeks post op. When I asked if I start some exercise then or weight bearing, the nurse said she would have someone call me. It's probably not worth it to ask if this is typical since it's such a non-typical injury and the doctors don't all seem to be on the same page as far as post op treatment but it's a little unnerving to not see my doctor until 6 weeks after surgery other than to go to a regular MD to have my stitches out. Anybody have the same experience?

22-02-2012, 06:00 AM
kaug: I saw a nurse at 2 weeks to just get the wound checked, no stitches out since they used absorbing ones.mI saw the surgeon's associate at that same visit as the surgeon was on holidays, it was more of a discussion as to timelines than an examination though. Then I saw the surgeon at 7 weeks which was when he said I could take off the brace.

So probably fairly normal, kaug. There's really not much they can do - it just takes time for things to fuse.

I started physio about 8 weeks. Roedel, your progression seems quite similar to how mine has felt - though no stairs means I got less exercise and challenge!. Good to know I'm not quite as slow as I thought :-).

23-02-2012, 05:06 AM
Welcome Kaug! You had your surgery 2 days after mine, so we are probably about in the same place. Today is week 3 post op. I teach piano out of my home only 2 hours a day, and I can barely do that. It takes so much energy, and I can't sit, and it's hard to stand on one leg that long. Each day I've tried a different piece of furniture to slouch in, but I still haven't found what works. There is no way I could work at school right now, I can't even ride in a car, let alone drive. I admire teachers of sixth graders, because i think that is one of the most difficult grades to teach. If I were teaching sixth grade, I would probably take 6 to 8 weeks off. I am feeling positive about my progress, it is just a long one. I'm glad you hoined the blog!

23-02-2012, 05:37 AM
Hi all
I had my surgical review yesterday - 10 days post surgery. The nurse removed the dressing. The surgeon then came in briefly, the surgery went well, incision area healing well, 4 more weeks in full leg brace, no weight bearing. Did I have any questions. Thanks to the advice offered here I was well prepared and knew what to ask. He has given me a further 4 weeks leave with flexibility to return earlier if I feel able.

I have good mobility with the crutches and use a smal shoulder bag (similar to Kaug'apron) to carry items around in. My main limitation is sitting. Does anyone have advice as to when this might become easier?


23-02-2012, 05:46 AM
Mobley, that must have been so stressful trying to figure out care for you mother in law while having trouble getting ahold of others. You did an excellent job. I can really empathize with you. I have had those helpless feelings as well. What I've come to know is, I have a sharp mind, and I can figure out solutions to problems, that don't involve me being physically strong enough to do the work myself. Therefore, I am not helpless. My Dad comes to mind, he was a hospital administrator. He had vision on how things should be. He was inspiring, motivating, and brilliant, and he kept things running smoothly. The funny thing is, he couldn't do things himself. He had a horrible sense of direction, and got lost if he was driving. He couldn't adjust the knobs on the t.v., or even get the stereo system to work. Ha ha. But he could make amazing things happen, and he was highly regarded in the community. I think about my Dad now, when I feel helpless, and realize, that I can make things happen too. It may not be the way I usually do things, but I figure out how to get the job done. It's just a small thing, but it meant the world to my 16 year old son, so I made sure it happened. He had his 1 year aniversary with his first love (oh I remember how intense first love is). He wanted to give her a blue rose ( had a deeply romantic meaning between the 2 of them). He had no way to pick up the rose, and asked me to please figure out how to get it for him. Tthe rose only cost him $5. But I called and paid $8. to have it delivered. Simple. Not cosr effective, but worth much more to my son. To me, the most important thing in life is relationships. Although this surgery has been a great challenge for me, I have been able to maintain my relationships. My son still relys on me to listen to his concerns, and issues that he is dealing with in his life, and my ears work just fine. The only difference is he has to come find me in the bedroom, since I still lie down a lot of the time since I can't sit. Although my husband seems to be supporting me more than I him right now, this is a give and take, and I am there for him when he needs me. We are stronger than we know. And sometimes I remember that. : )

23-02-2012, 07:07 AM
Hi all,
Thanks for your words of encouragement. Carol you really help. Life does these things. I believe there is a reason for everything, even this. This whole experience has really made me appreciate my husband and kids, like you do. You are giving your son what he needs most, your momness. I sit, excuse me, lay in my room and look at all the photos and art that are all the tropical destinations we have been to through the years. So they will be my pictorial inspiration to get through this. I WILL walk again on a beach. I WILL go snorkeling. I WILL have dinner out someday again. Heck, I WILL be able to eat at a dining table in a chair again. Hey, its the little things, right?

Congratulations Julie on getting to 10 days post-op! With all of you as my lead, it will be better for me for surgery next week. Tania, is your surgery Monday or Wednesday? You must be getting nervous like I am. At least we will go through this as a team.

23-02-2012, 09:12 AM
I'm glad to hear you are healing well. I can't sit either, but my Dr. actually told me not to. I 've been given the O.K. to slouch. I guess my hamstring is too tight for sitting yet. I find it hard to slouch. After awhile that hurts too. I go from standing to lying down. I am 3 weeks post op, and back to teaching piano, which is hard, especially not sitting. Maybe someone will have a good solution for us.

24-02-2012, 05:24 AM
Getting to be able to sit actually takes a long time. You're RESTING YOUR WHOLE BODY WEIGHT ON MAJOR SURGICAL TRAUMA for goodness sake :-)

With a leg brace on you'll just be uncomfortable no matter what, so just slouch, sit on the good side more, use pillows, whatever. At table, make sure you sit near a corner so your brace leg can be in the best place. Take up space. Put another chair or stool to the good side to lean on slightly (works well for the loo). Get up and down a lot, do NOT expect to be able to sit for more than a few minutes at a time.

Once it is off it's a lot better, but will still take a few weeks. I think I was maybe two and a half to three months before it was suddenly one day 'hey, I'm sitting and it's pretty ok.'

24-02-2012, 06:54 AM
Thanks Flerdle. I tend to expect too much too soon. 2 and a half -3 months is how long it took for me to be able to sit when I was going through conservative treatment. After the surgery I was back to square 1. I will be patient. It will be wonderful to sit again, as it will be great to get off crutches. It's been 4 months already on crutches, and my armpits are sore. Most likely only one more month to go. I'm trying to look at the positive. Some days are easier than others.

26-02-2012, 10:09 AM

I have learned so much from reading this forum before I had my surgery 4 days ago. I had a complete rupture. MRI showed it 2.5" torn, the doctor wanted to do surgery right away, since it had already been two weeks. I did the splits dragging behind my 12-dog team of sled dogs. I wanted to wait a week, since I had a sled dog race that weekend, I did have someone else run my team for me, but when I had surgery last Tuesday, they said it had retracted to over 6" and curled up on my sciatic nerve. He said if I would have waited any longer it couldn't have been repaired. I had my surgery at Tria in Bloomington ,MN, they are the sports doctor of the Vikings and the MN Twins. I was their first dog sled injury. I am in a brace from top of tight to ankle and at 90 degree angle. I stopped taking the pain meds the day after surgery, since they make me feel out of it. I am not supposed to bear any weight on my leg. 9 staples come out in 4 days.

I am already going crazy sitting around and doing nothing. PT won't start till 4 weeks post op. I am really going to have to learn some patience to get thru this!

26-02-2012, 10:39 AM
Welcome Maddog,
Though my surgery is not til Wednesday, I can understand the boredom since I have been down already four weeks. I am hoping the delay in surgery has not permanently wrecked things, but getting the right doc and scheduled was the challenge. Like you, I have found much solace and support here and the info is invaluable. Sounds like your accident was painful! Thinks of it this way, at least you have a good story for yours.

I have so appreciated support from Carol, Rich, Tania (where r u?) and others. Keep us posted.

26-02-2012, 11:32 PM
Hi All

For some reasons none of your posts have been coming through on my email - so I have missed alot!

Welcome to the new comers. I am having my surgery tomorrow morning at 0830 UK time having waited 10 months for full diagnosis to surgery. I have been advised that I will not be having a brace and I will be weight bearing on the leg straight after with crutches! I am terrified - how can mine be so different from all of yours!

I am just praying that he will be able to fix it. I will post as soon as I can with an update.

Good luck Mobley if I don't get on here before although I am certainly planning to be posting when I can.

Best wishes to you all


27-02-2012, 12:12 AM
Tainia, I will be sending good vibes your way. Your surgery is different than ours so have faith, so keep us posted, even on down days. Good luck!

27-02-2012, 06:38 AM
I am 5 days post-op. All night I suffered with horrible back pain. I would switch from flat on my back, to my left side. My right leg is in top of thigh to ankle brace at 90% angle. The back pain is worse than anything to do with my leg. I stopped taking painkillers the day after surgery, because they make me nauseous.

I suppose the back pain is from laying around? My body just isn't used to it?

27-02-2012, 09:23 AM
Hi everyone,
Tania and Mobley, I'm thinking about you, and visualizing excellent results with your surgeries. The first couple days are the hardest, so know that it improves quite a bit after that.
Maddog, I'm sorry about your accident. I am really glad you got in right away and that they were able to fix it! I can relate about back pain. My back pain was bad the first week, then greatly improved. I still get it from time to time, but I've had five herniated discs, so it doesn't surprize me. Try lots of pillows. You will discover what works for you. A pillow under the knee, or thigh, or between the knees if you are on your side. I stopped taking my pain killers after 2 days, but advil helped a lot. When you are up on your crutches, make sure they are high enough. The Dr. office sets them according to your height, but that doesn't always work. My PT reset mine, because I was very hunched over and it hurt my back. I am 5'4 but my crutches are set at 5'7. Good luck, and I hope your back pain resolves soon.

27-02-2012, 09:49 AM
Tania, I think it sounds fabulous having no brace and weight bearing on crutches! Your surgeon must have a really strong way to attach your hamstring which is great. I am into the 4th week of the brace and I am getting very tired of it. My leg has gone 4 months w/o weight bearing, and it has really atrophied all over. It will take me a fair amount of time to get my muscles built back up.

Mobley, I am hoping that you are able to have the arthroscopic surgery, because there will be so much less pain and swelling. Both of you have positive things planned and that is wonderful! Just remember, after you have the surgery, every day is one day closer to being better. That's what keeps me going. Carol

28-02-2012, 12:55 AM
How is the pain going maddog? If you can not get back on prescribed pain killers, then take over the counter and ask your doc or pharmacist what is the max dosage you can take. Then don't stop taking them. If you take them only when you get into pain, you are in a pain cycle and the result is less effective. If the bottle says every four hours then do so, and continue to. Ask your doc. Sometimes a bottle may say e.g. 400 mg, but your doc says you can actually take 600mg. Hope today is better for you.

Carol how was the weekend for you, and what is going on withyour progress?

28-02-2012, 07:51 AM
Today I have really bad lower back pain. I just throbs. Haven't had it this bad for awhile. I think between "slouching", and trying to carry things while I use my crutches, I've got my back inflamed. L4 and L5 have been herniated/ shattered in the past, so when I don't take care of my back, it flares up. Slouching is horrible for it. Tonight I'll take a muscle relaxer. I've been taking advil, but it doesn't cut the back pain. If I still am this bad tomorrow, I'll call my internist for stronger pain killers.
I took it easy through the weekend, after teaching last week. I have to get my back under control, or I'm going to have to cancel classes. Thankfully, I only teach 1 hour today. At least my C7, and T2,T3,T4 aren't acting up. The thorasics were herniated two years ago, and my neck cervical 7 has some stenosis. I have a traction machine to use when my neck flares up. The leg really isn't bothering me much, other than keeping me from living my life. This too shall pass. At least I feel fine emotionally right now. My antidepressants are doing their job. Depression runs in my family, and I have been on meds most of my life. I am positive most of the time, for me my thought processes slow down to the point that I can no longer function. With meds, I am just fine.

28-02-2012, 08:02 AM
Just keeping it all in perspective. A few months is nothing compared to the rest of my life. My husband got me internet Neflix. I can get movies and T.V. shows, HBO, etc. on my T.V. I've been watching past episodes of Grey's Anatomy, which I really like. I grew up in a medical family, so I can relate to a lot of it on many levels. I'm the only one who didn't go into the medical field. The online netflix thing is a good deal. 8 bucks a month, and I can watch whatever I want, whenever I want. Plus, i don't have to get out of bed to put in a movie.

28-02-2012, 10:29 AM
Hi Carol,
Sorry for such a bad couple of days. And pain meds can make you more depressed. I get nauseated from pain meds too. So in prep sent out the ole man for the following to combat nausea. Crystalized ginger, made with some sugar...the only place I can find it here is Whole Foods, or a health foods store. Also ginger tea. This old chinese remedy does work, though it tastes terrible. I know the only way I can stay on pain meds will be combatting nausea. Will let you know how it works this time.

I was amazed you have done so much so soon. It must be exhausting. Slow down, if someone misses a week or two of lessons, or you miss a little pay, everyone will survive. Listen to your body. I could not exist sanely without my ipad and cable tv and dvr, being down a month. Two more days to surgery and the real journey begins. So call the doc, get real meds, and vege out.

28-02-2012, 01:36 PM
Thanks Mobley. Yes, I may cancel lessons. Tonight I can barely turn from my side to my back because my back is spasming so bad. I' m in a lot of pain. I took a couple of hydrocodone, and flexerill (muscle relaxer). As bad as it is, it will probably take several days to a week to get the muscles to mellow out.
Good luck w/ surgery!

28-02-2012, 06:03 PM
Hi Guys

Well it's done! I am still in hospital.

It turns out it was not an avulsion after all. I had snapped the muscle high up the leg in effect the same as an avulsion but required muscle to muscle repair. I feel very lucky my surgeon could do it as I was under the impression that that was not possible this late. He had to remove loads of scar tissue then stretch the two ends back. I have a scar in the crease of my bottom and a separate one down the back. He left skin in the middle to make it stronger. The muscle had a very big gap and he prepared me for not being able to get it re attached plus also said he may need a graft from the other leg so I feel very lucky it reached and did not require that. My leg is straight and I need to lie down for two weeks. I need to be very careful not to tear the stitches.

The whizz freedom is brilliant I don't know what I would have done without it, top tip! The hospital were very impressed with my preparation. Going home later which I am worried about as it hurts a lot to get up and down.

I am not sure if it is better to have a complete muscle tear but am so thankful it is attached again my leg feels instantly better and I am lucky it turned out to be only one. The feeling of strain being taken off all the other muscles is amazing.

I feel a lot more positive.

Mobley I will be thinking of you tomorrow. Sorry I don't have more relevant news. Good luck, I am sure you will feel so much more relieved once it's done. It's good to be on the right track.

Best wishes to all and I will write more once I get my laptop.


Dave T
28-02-2012, 09:44 PM
Tania, I'm glad your surgery was successful! Best wishes for a smooth recovery. Keep us posted as the muscle to muscle repair is somewhat different. Stay positive as I feel that's half the battle when recovering from any surgery.

Carol, I'm sorry to hear about your pain. It must be frustrating to go through leg surgery only to have intense pain in your back. It sounds like you know how to handle that though. Aside from that, it sounds like your not letting your leg slow you down much. That's great to hear. I hope your recovery continues to go well.

Good luck on your surgery Mobley! I hope all goes well. Let us know how well the ginger works for you this time as well. I might be trying some of that here in the near future.


29-02-2012, 01:06 AM
Hi everyone,
Tania I am happy for you, and so glad your surgery went well. I don't know what is going on with me. My pain is a 10. I am starting to wonder whether it is my kidneys. I can barely move. Even my abdomine is taut and hard. I almost went to the ER. My DR. will see me at 11:00. I'm hoping it's not systemic.

29-02-2012, 03:37 AM
My back has been better, one week post-op today. I have only been taking Tylenol extra strength when needed. I had brain surgery last April from hitting my head on ice and suffering a large subdural hematoma, and I only took the pain meds for a week after that. Us mushers are tough, sometimes stupidly so. :) My body must be getting used to laying around and being lazy. I have been having needle-like pains in my incision site which must mean my nerves are healing. Sometimes they are pretty sharp & surprise the heck out of me.

Tomorrow 9 staples come out, if we don't get the blizzard that is predicted for us, otherwise I'll have to wait.

29-02-2012, 06:38 AM
Hi, i went to my Dr. today. She thinks probably more of L4 came out. If I' m still in pain in 2 weeks, she'lll order a MRI. She prescribed steroids, muscle relaxers and hydromorphone. I am in so much pain. I really hope this resolves soon. If it has herniated more, I will get an epidural to shrink it.

29-02-2012, 08:22 AM
Hi Carol

God you poor thing. That sounds absolutely dreadful. I hope you are OK and you were doing so well. It sounds like you need to take it easy.

I seem to be lucky - I don't have any back ache. I too have weird twinges where the muscle ends have been re-attached. I keep thinking its the stitches undoing, but the nurse assured me it wasn't. I have to lie flat on my back for the next 2 weeks at least maybe longer. No more than a 30 degree bend at the hip and I cannot bend my knee - funnily enough mine is in a brace to hold it straight! Seems that we are all different. I just can't believe after 10 months of having the muscle bunched up with loads of scar tissue and the other bit at the top goodness knows how far away and he has managed to cut it all back to get an open wound then sew them back together and have a straight leg. I am so grateful.

It seems that alot of doctors here think that muscle to muscle repair is not possible so I feel very very lucky to have had such a good surgeon. This injury has been a mystery from start to finish - only with a true diagnosis once they opened me up.

Thanks for the well wishes Dave - how is yours going?

Let us know how you are Mobley when you are able.


29-02-2012, 11:27 PM
Carolg - I am so sorry you are in so much pain. Our thoughts are with you. I hope that the doc can get a grip on the pain with some meds, and that will help you heal.

An interesting side note on my case - not even worth mentioning with the other issues going along here right now, but thought I would mention it anyway. The nerves on the back of the thigh have in my case (and most others) gone completely numb since the surgery (5 months) . But about 4 days ago, I got a sharp pain in the back of the thigh area - I thought I must have reipped something, but it was only of very short duration. Came back several times over the next couple of days before I realized what it must be - that group of nerves waking up!!!!! And sure enough, there is more feeling back there (a smaller patch of numbness) than there was before.

Slowly but surely seems to be the mantra here.


29-02-2012, 11:45 PM
Hi Richard

That is good to hear. I too have a completely numb bum and thigh area and lying on it all day seems to make it feel worse but I can't lie in any other position. I keep standing up just to get the pressure off it. I had a feeling like a feather being brushed over my backside earlier which I could not reach to itch! Very annoying!

The back ache has actually started a bit now - but in my case its due to lying in bed flat on my back for most of the time. Also I have not managed the dreaded number 2 as we call it here - its been 3 days now!

I can't wait to feel my hamstring in one piece once the dressing comes off and I can reach down that far! I have become obsessed over the last 10 months with the taughtness of my hamstrings!