Quad Tendon Repair

Post-operative Period

0 to 1 month:

  1. 1-2 visits per week, everyday home program

  2. Prone lying and gentle stretching to achieve full extension

  3. Quad sets, may use electrical stimulation, increase # visit/week if quad inhibited

  4. Patellar mobilizations

  5. Isometric quadriceps and hamstring exercises

  6. Icing program, 3 to 5 times a day, 30 minutes each after exercises

  7. Knee brace locked in extension at all times for first 2 weeks post-op

  8. After 2 week post-operative visit, may begin active flexion and passive extension from 0° to 45°

  9. May advance flexion 30° every 2 weeks starting in week 3

  10. Weightbearing with crutches for 4 weeks with brace locked in extension, no exceptions!

1 to 2 months:

  1. 2 visits per week, 5 times a week home program

  2. Continue to advance flexion 30° every 2 weeks until full ROM achieved

  3. Continue all exercises in previous phase (as described above)

  4. Gait training to walk without a limp with crutch assistance should be a primary goal of this stage

  5. Crutches and brace should be weaned off by 6 weeks

2 to 3 months:

  1. 1 to 3 visits per week, 5 times a week home program.

  2. Continue exercises in previous phases (as described above)

  3. Toe raises with weights, step-ups (begin with 2 inches and progress to a full step)

  4. Endurance closed-chain quadriceps exercises should begin such as Stairmaster, stationary bike, elliptical trainer, Nordic trac, etc. Focus on increasing endurance and should be performed 3 to 4 times per week.

  5. Continue gait training, including progression to fast walking on a treadmill or even ground

  6. If a pool is available, swimming may started but the frog-kick and breaststroke should be avoided

  7. Gait and range of motion should be normal by the end of this phase. If it is not, contact Dr. Berkbigler

3 to 5 months:

  1. 4 to 5 times a week home program. May also have 2 visits per month to review home program.

  2. Continue exercises in previous phases (as described above)

  3. Begin slow jogging and progress to slow running on even ground or treadmill, no cutting, jumping or pivoting

  4. Advance strengthening with weights including leg presses, step-ups, mini-squats, and leg curls. Repetitions should be smooth and slow and NOT explosive. May advance swimming (no frog-kick or breaststroke). Avoid leg extensions

5 to 8 months:

  1. 3 to 5 times a week home program. May need physical therapy supervision for functional training.

  2. Begin advanced strengthening with weights including leg presses, squats, leg curls, and lunges – Avoid leg extensions

  3. Initiate pylometric program as appropriate for patient’s functional goals

  4. May begin functional training exercises including fast straight running, backward running, cutting, cross-overs, carioca, etc.

  5. Begin gradual return to previous sports/activities/work duties under controlled conditions

  6. Full return to sports/activities/full work duties are pending Dr. Berkbigler’s approval based upon the following criteria:

Criteria for Return to Sports/Full Activities:

  1. Quadriceps and hamstring strength at least 90% of opposite leg

  2. One-leg hop test and vertical jump at least 90% of opposite leg

  3. Jog, full speed run, shuttle run, and figure of 8 running without a limp

  4. Squat and rise from a full squat

  5. No effusion or quadriceps atrophy