How long have doctors been doing Quadriceps surgeries?
March 6, 2015 5:49 AM   Subscribe

At some point in the past, thigh and knee surgery wasn't as advanced / available / affordable as it is now, and the average Joe-Schmoe-Quad-Tear like me would have just put a splint on it and had a lame leg the rest of his life. I wonder how many years ago that changed? 1950's? 1970's? 1930's?

A couple of winters ago, I fell down the stairs and managed to tear my quadriceps tendon. (the part where the big thigh muscles converge into a tendon that connects to the kneecap) I had a successful surgery, but it was really bad injury, so my recovery took about a year. But I'm thankful because I'm pretty much good-as-new now, or as good as 33-year-old me could have ever hoped for.

I like saying 'just think - 70 years ago I would have been partially paralyzed for life!', but I actually have no idea how long ago that would have been.
posted by chickencoop to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's a brief history of ACL repair. It sounds like surgeons have attempting these kinds of repairs since early in the 20th century, with mixed success. It doesn't really mention how common it would be to have such a surgery, though.
posted by cabingirl at 6:47 AM on March 6, 2015

This is interesting. Plastic surgery to graft skin onto faces have been successfully done for hundreds of years - believe it or not, the method used was to clamp the arm so it rested against the face until the skin grew together!

But tendon reattachment, which I've undergone, and to my house-repair DIY mind seems like a very well-cleaned version of buying an eyebolt and locktite, and using thread and a needle to bind the free end to the eyebolt - THAT waited until the 20th century.

I realize the latter is more invasive, and infection was the hugest risk pre-penicillin (not to mention shock, pre-morphine), but it just seems backwards.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:27 AM on March 6, 2015

A search of pub med for quadricep surgery lists this study from 1948: Hamstring-tendon transplantation for the relief of quadriceps femoris paralysis in residual poliomyelitis; a follow-up study of 134 cases. It seems that by the mid 1960s, studies focused less on polio patients. Here is the number of results by year (for the search query quadriceps surgery).
posted by oceano at 11:55 PM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

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