The Ruptured Tendon

It does seem a very long time ago that Arabella fell on broken glass and ended up in hospital.  In fact, it was 10 long weeks ago.

Hospital - a good place to do uni work

Hospital – a good place to do uni work

Since having a lot of repair work done including the stitching back together of her patella tendon, Arabella has been living with her leg in a full-length brace.

A few weeks ago it was time for the brace to come off and for Arabella to gradually begin bending her knee again.  For this she had sessions with a physiotherapist who removed the brace and replaced it with a dial-up version where you can set it to the amount of degrees you wish the knee to bend.

We had one week at 60-degrees and Arabella was often stumbling about as she tried to get used to a leg that had been in a fixed position and was now on the move.

A straight-leg brace

A straight-leg brace

When we went back to the physio the notes said the surgeon stated it was now time for her leg to have full range of movement.  The device was altered and after a 90-minute session late on a Friday afternoon, we came home.

That night Arabella went to the movies with some friends.  And fell down a flight of stairs.  She was taken to the Emergency Department of the nearest hospital where she told them her knee had ‘given way’ as she descended a staircase and that she’d felt a ‘pop’.   She was told it was probably nothing to worry about but to have an MRI just to be sure.

I wasn’t being very sympathetic as to be honest, I’m quite over ‘the leg’.  Ten weeks of her ‘disability’ has been more than enough and Arabella is overly dramatic and prone to gross exaggeration so I was quite sure any ‘pop’ would have been extremely insignificant and nothing at all to be concerned about.

Bend the knee

Bend the knee

MRI’s don’t happen immediately; you need to get in the queue.  So she came home from hospital and over the weekend we watched as her knee expanded until it was the size of a melon.  And there was some very suspicious black bruising behind her knee.  On the Monday, and during a cyclone, we went to our local hospital to see about some queue jumping.

The doctor reassuring her that it's unlikely she's re-ruptured her tendon

The doctor reassuring her that it’s unlikely she’s re-ruptured her tendon

The doctor who examined her leg ordered an ultrasound.  The results weren’t conclusive but the doctor was quite sure Arabella had nothing to worry about and that she hadn’t re-severed her patella tendon.  But just to be sure he said she should go ahead with the MRI.  We were told to be grateful that she could have it as quickly as in three days time.

Learning to walk with a bent knee again

Learning to walk with a bent knee again

After the MRI it was another three days before the results came in.  Arabella went to see her orthopaedic surgeon who gave her the news that the ‘pop’ she felt was in fact the patella tendon being blown apart.

She cried.

I could have cried.  Because we are right back where we started 10 weeks ago.

Two sympathetic friends

Two sympathetic friends

As it is now almost two weeks since re-severing her tendon, the doctor wanted to book her in for the surgery as soon as possible.  But that meant her being admitted to a hospital almost an hour from where we live in a part of Sydney I am not familiar with.

The surgery was scheduled for tomorrow however I’ve just received a phone call advising the operation cannot go ahead because the surgeon needs to order in a piece of equipment and it won’t arrive in time.  So we’re now looking at Monday.

Here we go again...

Here we go again…

And then it will be eight-weeks with her leg in a fixed position while we tape up the leg for showers, chauffeur her around, help her put on her shoes and try to be sympathetic.  And then she’ll start the re-habilitation of trying to bend that knee again.

This time with no ‘pops’.


  1. Ohhhhhhhh, Charlie! Poor Arabella. Poor you!

  2. Egads! I’m so sorry this happened. 🙁

  3. Oh no! Such bad luck – for you both. Hopefully the only pops you’ll be hearing in the next 8 weeks are champagne bottles being popped 🙂

  4. Oh no poor Arabella and poor mom! Sending wishes for a quick but gentle recovery. Next time she will have leg mobilisation restrictions for longer than 10 weeks. Well the good news at least it is winter for you guys so she is not wearing a hot and sticky leg brace in the summer months. Bless her heart.

  5. I’m very sorry to hear that she’s had such a relapse. I hope that both surgery and the healing process go better this time!

  6. What a horrible thing to go through. Poor thing. I would have cried too. I would have cried for you too. I hope the next 10 weeks goes easier than the last 10.

  7. Oh my goodness, I can’t believe that you’re back to the beginning! Poor Arabella 🙁

  8. Arghhhh! That makes my skin crawl just thinking about the tendon popping. Poor Arabella and you, this is an endurance test for sure. Wishing Arabella all the best for recovery this time around and wishing you a double dose of strength to get you both through this.

  9. Oh No How frustrating and with everything else that is going on too 🙁 lots of love, Liz xx

  10. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    Oh my gosh. How awful for Arabella and for you, too! You poor things.

  11. looks like you need to keep her away from stairs and glasses! sounds like having a toddler all over again 🙁 hope the knee heals well this time – and good luck with showing patience and kindness in what must be a frustrating situation for everyone.

  12. Oh, this is just awful. I am sorry you, especially Arabella, are going through this all over again. Once seemed quite enough. Hang in there. Prayers for you all.

  13. Oh, what a bummer! Poor Arabella. Poor everyone! Sorry you have to go through all of this. 🙁

  14. Oh my God Charlie….this is so sad!! Poor poor girl. And poor you!! I am feeling like crying 🙁

  15. Poor Arabella. Of course, I would have gone from the brace to a cane and lots of very careful and very short trips on flat surfaces. Best of luck for speedy healing and hopefully, she’ll be a LOT more careful the next time the brace comes off.

    Best wishes to you on her speedy recovery as well. 🙂

  16. I’m so sorry to read this! Speedy recovery for your daughter and good wishes for nurse Charlie too!

  17. Ouch! It makes me hurt to look at that knee. And how odd that the physical therapists would rush her through the PT so quickly. Here they take weeks with you to ensure that you don’t fall or have something like this happen….which can still happen anyway, of course. So sorry for Arabella and for you. I hope she has a good and full recovery.

  18. Oh Charlie. I’m not sure I have any words. I’m so, so sorry to hear this. Poor Arabella…poor you! x

  19. How incredibly frustrating! Poor Arabella, poor you. I have one that is prone to dramatics and feel so guilty when the drama is well founded, it’s not often though! GG

  20. Lock her in the house Charlie! Wrapped in bubble wrap and cotton wool, with someone in front of her sweeping the path for any miniscule particles that might cause tripping. You poor things, what a bugger to have happen again. You really do get over the sympathy stage though, my family has stopped cutting my food and now if they cook steak I have to pick up the whole thing in my good hand and gnaw at it 🙂 I think the surgery a few weeks ago- my fourth recently – has been a step too far 🙂 Best wishes guys, love and prayers going out to you xo

  21. Lordy, reading this I almost want to start crying too! Sending best wishes xox

  22. My heart sunk when I read the title of your post, poor Arabella hope she is not suffering too much, going to be a long 10 weeks for you and then the rehap, hope all goes well and without any complications.

  23. OK! Only one way to go! Minute by minute! Hour by hour! Day by day! One cannot change facts. This too will pass . . . the day will come you will be able to look back and smile ‘sheesh’!!!!! The very very best to all the family!!!!

  24. Sorry to hear Charlie, but at least Monday is not too far away!
    Sending positive vibes for a successful and speedy recovery!

  25. This is just unbelievable! Bless ALL of you in this really troubling time. I am so sorry. I know this is interrupting her social schedule quite a bit, but what about school? I hope she hasn’t lost too much ground there, but I almost can’t imagine how she can maintain. You know I work in a university, and I remember a year not long ago when one of our students injured her leg twice, had multiple surgeries, and ended up losing almost a year. She is now in medical school and doing well. All will be well with Arabella in good time, but we can still feel badly for her right now. 🙁

    • Oh Debra . , , throughout my working day today I have wondered whether to bring the ‘school issue’ up . . . . methinks Arabella will be just fine later IF she honestly and truly IS passionate about her university studies . . . . that assuredly is up to her and Charlie and Drew . . . .but being an academic myself very quietly I have hoped and prayed for quite some time . . .

  26. Far out… that is so totally crumby and unfair, poor Arabella.
    Sending all the healing powers I can muster! xox

  27. Oh dear lord! I think I commented before that I’ve had many knee surgeries. I was about Arabella’s age when I had a very similar thing happen. Argh. I won’t go into details, but I have so much sympathy for her. My surgeries were about 30 years ago, so I know that the technology and surgical procedures are sooo much better now.

    Wishing Arabella all the best for a speedy recovery. And big hugs and good thoughts and prayers for the whole family. ((Hugs))

  28. Oh my 🙁 Poor Arabella, and poor you! That is terrible news. She really does seem to have had a run of health challenges, but this latest saga with ‘the leg’ is particularly impressive. I’m so sorry to hear about this set back and hope the surgery goes smoothly at least xo

  29. Great to hear there’s nothing to worry about. Your daughter seems like a bravey! 🙂

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  30. Oh, no!!! What a tough ride this has been for you both. Hope this next recovery period goes without a hitch and Arabella is back to new in a couple months. xo

  31. My goodness you guys have had such bad luck!!!!! Best of luck for a speedy recovery x

  32. Oh Charlie what a disaster and poor Arabella!

  33. Oh Charlie, no! I’m so sorry for all of you!
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  34. Oh, Charlie – I do feel for you – my hubby had a hip replacement last week which had massive complications (nearly 2 months in hospital), then just when we thought everything was right he dislocated it! and then again and again – 5 times and has been a hip brace now for about 6 months – hopefully coming off next week! Anyway you probably didn’t need to know all that – good luck to Ms Arabella and you 🙂

  35. That is all quite hideous and such a long process. Dealing with the medical system can be quite exhausting. A few years back, Dario broke his collarbone in 2 places in a mountain biking accident and needed 7 screws to piece it together. Once it had mended, they took out the screws which left weak points where the screw holes were. A week later, he pulled the rope on an outboard motor on a boat and snapped it again. Yes, back to the beginning. I think we should lock these kids up when they injure themselves so they can heal properly.
    My heart does go out to her because the rehabilitation will be long, let alone the healing.

  36. Lucy Geraghty says:

    That sounds so painful! Poor girl, what a thing to have to endure. Thinking of you all.

  37. Aw, how very stressful – for both of you, Charlie <3 Sending prayers for healing <3

  38. That’s so sad! I’m sure she is just as frustrated as you are! Hang in there.

  39. OooHHH NOOOO!! I’m so sorry for both of you. 🙁

  40. Oooh no! I’m late to the party and have only just seen this. My thoughts are with you and Arabella, but mostly you. I have 2 girls – I know just how histrionic they can be.

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