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Regular Contributor
Posts: 206
Registered: ‎07-29-2010

Knee surgery and quad activation

Has anyone ever have trouble with quad activation after knee surgery. First I had 2 knee replacements,then my knee dislocated. Now I'm having trouble getting my quad muscle to activate.Has anyone evr had this issue.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 22,106
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Knee surgery and quad activation


@jagk wrote:

Has anyone ever have trouble with quad activation after knee surgery. First I had 2 knee replacements,then my knee dislocated. Now I'm having trouble getting my quad muscle to activate.Has anyone evr had this issue.


@jagk  I had both knees replaced at the same time and this term never came  Up.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,087
Registered: ‎06-19-2010

Re: Knee surgery and quad activation

I had my right knee replaced and not sure what that term is either.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,202
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Knee surgery and quad activation

I've had two iliopsoas bleeds that damaged the femoral nerve and cost me the use of much of each leg, including the quad, for most of a year. Until the femoral nerve regenerated the leg just sat there. It takes about six months for the nerve to heal and the function to return then you've got to rebuild the strength which takes a while. My broken femur in 2018 went right through the left quad and while the quad works, I don't feel it working. A combination of nerve damage and scar tissue has me largely unable to feel the left quad. It's not a huge issue other than going down steps. About 80% of the time it works fine. Maybe 15% of the time it just locks up and leaves me hanging and about 5% of the time it just buckles. I tend not to use that leg going down the stairs as a result of that.

 

The strength is fine and it works when I tell it to, but I don't "feel" it. I can see the leg move when I tell it to move, so I know it works. But there's no feeling of it working which is weird. It's been that way since the surgery and will likely be that way now until I die. The nerve function hasn't come back in three years, so it's likely gone forever. It's not an issue walking or climbing stairs, but going down the stairs gets a bit overly exciting if I use that leg.

 

If you lose the use of your quad for long and need to rebuild your strength, a bathtub or pool is a big help. I used my bathtub for rebuilding my quads. The buoyancy of the water helps to lift the leg and day by day you can lift it a little higher and a little higher and then once you're able to lift it out of the water completely, you can move to dry land exercises. A tub or pool is a big help in the early days though when the muscles are too weak to even lift the leg.

Fly!!! Eagles!!! Fly!!!
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,571
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Knee surgery and quad activation

I had what I think you may be talking about although no one ever diagnosed it or, for that matter, offered me much help in dealing with it. I did not have total knee replacement. I had a torn meniscus and had arthroscopic knee surgery to repair...I had a heck of a time! As just an example, I would walk up to a step and tell my leg to bend to step up and it wouldn't engage...it would not listen to me. Ha! Lying in bed trying to contract the quadricep muscle produced a very puny response. Hard to describe but it just wouldn't work as if it was disconnected or something. I went to several physical therapists and the one that helped the most was the one who offered Blood Flow Restriction exercise. You can Google it but basically they strap what looks like a heavy duty blood pressure cuff on your leg and it restricts blood flow. Then you do exercises and it fatigues the muscle quickly...you can lift much less weight so as not to hurt your knee, but get the same results as if you had lifted much heavier weight. There may be some controversy about this approach but it did benefit me somewhat. The other thing that helped me was time...it took a lot of time. Anyway, I won't ramble on anymore but end by saying it did finally get better but it took almost two years. My knee will never be normal but it is so much better.

 

Good luck, @jagk.         

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,031
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

Re: Knee surgery and quad activation

This sounds to me like something your ortho doctor should be able to address.