Won’t be riding for a while

Torn Quadriceps Tendon

Friday 10th September started like most days by taking Karon a cup of tea at 08:30. I put the tea on her bedside table without waking her, then went into the bathroom. The dog next-door barked… usually a sign the postman is outside. Looked out the window and sure enough, he was there walking away from the house. Assuming we had post, I ran downstairs. The stairwell was dark and I misjudged the last step onto the landing, thinking there was another step.

No. The result was I slammed my right foot onto the landing expecting it to travel another 6-8 inches. There was an audible (even without my hearing aids) ‘snap’ or crack and the pain just above my right knee hit. I have never experienced pain like it. I was shouting out and writhing around half-way down the stairs. It seemed to go on for minutes. The noise woke Karon. I must have passed out briefly as I was unaware of her passing me. After things settled a little, I dragged myself back upstairs and onto the bed. Passing the mirror I was as white as a sheet and dripping with sweat.

Spot the difference. My right knee is no longer symmetrical with the left.

Once prone the pain eased somewhat though it was still enough to make for the odd gasp and I was still shaking. I knew there was damage to the knee and I knew I wouldn’t get into a car, so I called an ambulance. Being non-life threatening, it took a while – about two and half hours – before a team from Reading turned up. Luckily the male member was a strapping lad who, after all the usual checks and some pain killers, propped me (virtually carried) down the stairs and then out into the ambulance.

In A&E Basingstoke I was handed over pretty quickly and about a half hour later passed into the ACU area. A couple of hours later the x-ray showed no broken bones but they couldn’t ascertain the damage to the knee tendons, partly because I couldn’t bend it enough for a thorough assessment. It being a Friday and now mid-afternoon, it was too late for a non-urgent trip to the fracture clinic, so the nurse said I could go home and the fracture clinic would get in touch early the following week.

In A&E the knee had swelled up a bit, but at least the pain wasn’t too bad now.

Eventually I was fitted with a leg brace then wheeled out to the main entrance for Karon and Cas to pick me up. Cas’s car is more accessible than Karon’s little MX-5!

At home with the leg brace. So glad we have a sofa with extendable leg props.

True to their word, I was contacted and told to turn up at the fracture clinic Thursday. This meant another long wait – about two and a half hours past my appointment time – but eventually I was seen and quickly assessed by one of the Registrars who confirmed what I had initially thought. A torn or partly torn quadricep tendon. Surgery is needed, so swabs for MRSA were handed over and the trauma team will be in touch for the knee to be repaired, hopefully sometime this coming week.

Then I can take my first trip along the long road to recovery.