Advertisement - Hide this advert





Author Topic: Patella fracture, non surgical  (Read 1397 times)

Offline TPW

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Liked: 1
Patella fracture, non surgical
« on: April 24, 2017, 07:07:36 PM »
I'm so glad to have found this site. Seems like everyday I'm looking on the Internet to see if what I'm experiencing is normal! I am a 39 year old female who fell forward onto my right knee on April 4th while ice skating with my family.  At the moment of impact, my knee had a sharp pain and I was unable to stand up on my own. Partially because of the pain and a little bit of shock maybe?  I was able to skate off the rink and walk without pain but there was an immediate blue bruise on my kneecap when I pulled my jeans up to inspect about 10 minutes after the fall. I iced my knee but was able to walk with minimal pain at first. Took some ibuprofen for inflammation even though knee wasn't immediately swollen. Over the course of the evening it got harder to move and walk on. Put a knee brace on to sleep that night.
My daughter drove me to urgent care the next morning and x-rays showed a fracture of the patella, they said surgery wasn't needed because it was intact. I was given a knee immobilizer and crutches and told to see an orthopedic Dr in a week for follow up. I was told to use the crutches and sleep in the immobilizer. There was more swelling but it still wasn't painful, just an uncomfortable feeling when I put pressure on the knee.
It took not quite a week to be able to walk without the crutches. I was not told to remain off my knee but I had to always have the immobilizer on when walking. I saw the orthopedic Dr on April 13, x-rays showed it was starting to heal and he said it was stable and to come back in two weeks. I was full weight bearing with the immobilizer and had no pain.
I noticed that my knee got sore if I overused it and I'd ice it as needed. Still pretty swollen at this point, but little pain. The stiffness of my muscles in my knee was uncomfortable.
I've been able to bathe and take care of myself since about day 3. It's definitely challenging getting dressed, but manageable. I've even been able to go up and down stairs with no pain that the past two weeks. My muscles in my thigh and knee seem to feel numb, though when I'm sitting I undo my brace and massage the muscles. I am able to do a full leg lift with the brace off, multiple ones in fact, with no pain but I can tell the muscles are weak. I am not bending my knee at all at this point.
I have my follow up with the orthopedic Dr this Thursday. I'm anxious to hear how the x-rays look. For the past 5 days or so I have had zero uncomfortablness and no need to ice my knee. I hope this is a good sign. Dr said I might be able to switch to the other brace and start trying to get some range of motion back.
Questions:
1. Is it OK to sleep on my side if my knee brace is somewhat elevated and no pain? I move a lot in my sleep and the Dr did not specify anything to avoid other than no driving and no walking without the immobilizer on.
2. Are there any exercises I can do to strengthen my thigh or knee muscles without bending my knee? I'd like to minimize the amount of atrophy, though I know it's happening.
3. I've been taking a bath to bathe instead of a shower because the knee is so stiff. Can I shower or should I just keep up the bath until it's fully healed? No Dr's orders on this either.
4. How much is too much?  I'm in a constant state of wanting it to heal and not wanting to sit all day. I'm three weeks post injury tomorrow. Feels like a lifetime!
This is the first bone I've ever broken, first time I've been injured in my life, so it's really messing with me and I'm ready to be better but don't want to push too fast and do more harm.
Thanks for listening if you've made it this far!
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 05:09:04 PM by TPW »
4-4-17 Fall, right knee injury
4-5-17 x-ray showed fracture of patella, stable, no surgery needed, immobilizer and crutches
4-13-17 ortho, x-rays show some healing, FWB with knee locked at zero
4-27-17 ortho, x-rays showed fracture healed, PT cleared, FWB in brace
5-18-17 healed, no more brace

Offline TPW

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Liked: 1
Re: Patella fracture, non surgical
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2017, 07:47:28 AM »
Figured I'd post a follow up. I am just over three weeks post injury and Dr said my fracture looks healed. He is cautious because most fractures take 6-8 weeks to heal,  but he cleared me to start physical therapy. I begin next Monday. Because it's so early, he wants me to continue in the knee brace, locked at zero when walking and going up and down stairs. I am allowed to sleep with it locked at 30, and I'm OK to start bending it slowly while sitting until I feel resistance. I was surprised to be able to bend it with no pain this afternoon, though my thigh muscles felt very strange. I have a follow up in three weeks for x-rays to make sure is good and he's hopeful I'll be able to ditch the brace after that.
4-4-17 Fall, right knee injury
4-5-17 x-ray showed fracture of patella, stable, no surgery needed, immobilizer and crutches
4-13-17 ortho, x-rays show some healing, FWB with knee locked at zero
4-27-17 ortho, x-rays showed fracture healed, PT cleared, FWB in brace
5-18-17 healed, no more brace

Offline mjeffrey

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • Posts: 183
  • Liked: 51
Re: Patella fracture, non surgical
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2017, 08:49:09 PM »
Good to hear a positive outcome 😊
2014:
20 Feb: Comminuted patella fracture, 4 K-wires, Cercalge, Figure of 8
11 Mar: Staples removed Flex 50
22 Apr: Control Xray, flex 80, progress stalled
09 May: MUA: flex 120, 3 weeks CPM
23 Jun: Slow Running, Flex 135
06 Jul: Flex 140
08 Aug: Hardware removed
10 Sep: full flexion

Offline Athomeinfrisco

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Liked: 0
Re: Patella fracture, non surgical
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2017, 01:40:02 AM »
I'm going through something similar but my ortho said no weight bearing but that's virtually impossible for me. The fracture is nondisplaced and vertical towards the right side of the kneecap. Hoping it's healing even though she said no weight bearing. Are you still healing quickly?

Offline TPW

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Liked: 1
Re: Patella fracture, non surgical
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 06:28:25 AM »
I am just about 5 weeks post injury. I have no pain in my knee whatsoever and I've had one PT visit. I was able to bend my knee to 30 degrees and do all exercises given to me to start building muscles back. I am full weight bearing with my locked brace, so PT said she's limited to exercises until orthopedic Dr clears me, which will hopefully be on the 18th. She told me I'd be cleared to drive at that point too! My PT will increase after my next orthopedic appointment. I am icing the knee once a day and the swelling is going down finally.  I can see a knee again!
4-4-17 Fall, right knee injury
4-5-17 x-ray showed fracture of patella, stable, no surgery needed, immobilizer and crutches
4-13-17 ortho, x-rays show some healing, FWB with knee locked at zero
4-27-17 ortho, x-rays showed fracture healed, PT cleared, FWB in brace
5-18-17 healed, no more brace

Offline TPW

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Liked: 1
Re: Patella fracture, non surgical
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 07:55:18 AM »
Another update: I'm now 6 weeks post injury. Saw orthopedic today for x-rays which showed complete healing of fracture and he released me from my immobilizer! My leg feels naked now and my muscles are definitely getting worked. I had PT earlier this week and was able to bend easily past the 30 degrees. Quad muscles are still tight and make my leg feel weird when using. PT tomorrow should be good because she can really start working my knee now that I am without the brace.
Questions-
How long does it take to re-train your brain how to walk with a bent knee? I have to really think about it and it's so much effort still!
Orthopedic says I don't need any kind of brace, but did you find it easier with a sleeve brace or ACE bandage? Maybe it's just mental still that it needs support.
I've been cleared to drive, but I haven't yet. How long before it feels normal to move the leg on the pedals? I plan on practicing this weekend.

So glad it's healed and I can move to the next phase. Took my first stand up shower today and it was glorious. I was being cautious about being around wet, slippery surfaces for fear of falling. Now my brain has to walk in the truth that my knee is OK and to push it a little.
4-4-17 Fall, right knee injury
4-5-17 x-ray showed fracture of patella, stable, no surgery needed, immobilizer and crutches
4-13-17 ortho, x-rays show some healing, FWB with knee locked at zero
4-27-17 ortho, x-rays showed fracture healed, PT cleared, FWB in brace
5-18-17 healed, no more brace

Offline TPW

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Liked: 1
Re: Patella fracture, non surgical
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2017, 07:33:20 AM »
Another update: Tuesday will be 7 weeks since my fall. Knee is healed from fracture and doing well. I did PT last Friday after getting released from the orthopedic Dr and my brace and my ROM was 99 degrees! However, muscles really start getting tired early in the afternoon and I find it hard to keep lifting and bending my knee to walk so I have my brace for support though it's unlocked to full range of motion. I'm sleeping with the brace as well because I have woken to pain so bad when I don't wear it. I'm guessing from keeping knee bent for so long and it stiffening up. As soon as I put the brace on, the pain is instantly gone. PT says to give it a week for my muscles to catch up. Waiting is hard! I did drive today for the first time since the injury, and all was good. I'm glad to have some independence back in that department! Anyways, that's what's new with me this week. I'll keep doing my exercises and hopefully it just gets better and better.
4-4-17 Fall, right knee injury
4-5-17 x-ray showed fracture of patella, stable, no surgery needed, immobilizer and crutches
4-13-17 ortho, x-rays show some healing, FWB with knee locked at zero
4-27-17 ortho, x-rays showed fracture healed, PT cleared, FWB in brace
5-18-17 healed, no more brace

Offline TPW

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Liked: 1
Re: Patella fracture, non surgical
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2017, 06:19:30 PM »
Kind of feel like I'm talking to myself, but hopefully my journey can help someone else like others did for me. Last night I successfully slept without any pain in my knee and didn't wake to put my brace on and today I've noticed it doesn't feel as stiff as it had. In PT yesterday I was able to bend to 115 degrees and do full rotations on the stationary bike, both forward and backward. I was also able to do leg presses with 40 pound weights. My PT has me walk backwards on the treadmill going 1.0 to help my walking. This really works because I can tell a huge improvement after this exercise. I still have to focus on bending my knee to walk and do heel to toe because of the time walking straight legged. I can also tell that my muscles are getting stronger,  I haven't needed my brace in many days.  I'm encouraged by the progress.
4-4-17 Fall, right knee injury
4-5-17 x-ray showed fracture of patella, stable, no surgery needed, immobilizer and crutches
4-13-17 ortho, x-rays show some healing, FWB with knee locked at zero
4-27-17 ortho, x-rays showed fracture healed, PT cleared, FWB in brace
5-18-17 healed, no more brace

Offline TPW

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Liked: 1
Re: Patella fracture, non surgical
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2017, 07:10:03 PM »
I'm now 8 weeks since my injury and doing great. My knee no longer feels tight, my muscles are coming along and getting stronger,  and I'm walking normally without having to think about how to walk. I have one more scheduled PT appointment tomorrow and I'll know more if she needs to see me again.

ETA: Had PT today and ROM is now 132 degrees. I will go a couple more times at least to continue strengthening my muscles. I was able to do the stationary bike for 2.5 miles on a normal setting with resistance for 10 minutes straight.  It was a workout for sure! I did leg presses today and had no straining or pain like I'd had last time. It feels like I'm getting my life back.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 08:20:10 PM by TPW »
4-4-17 Fall, right knee injury
4-5-17 x-ray showed fracture of patella, stable, no surgery needed, immobilizer and crutches
4-13-17 ortho, x-rays show some healing, FWB with knee locked at zero
4-27-17 ortho, x-rays showed fracture healed, PT cleared, FWB in brace
5-18-17 healed, no more brace

Offline TPW

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Liked: 1
Re: Patella fracture, non surgical
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2017, 09:27:00 AM »
Just past 10 weeks since my fracture and it's getting almost back to normal. My muscles are getting stronger, and my PT said my quad almost feels like the good one. My ROM is not back 100% yet, but it's close. I just started being able to walk up stairs normally, though I do have to use a railing to support. I cannot go down the stairs normally yet. My strength is good and I'm able to walk without pain. I can bend down ok,  but need support for standing back up. I can't kneel without discomfort, tendons still need stretching as they cause discomfort during certain PT exercises. I've been driving about a month, and short distances are fine, but recently had to drive far away and my knee was in pain (my gas pedal knee was the fractured side) so all the work to use the gas and brake wore it out. Knee was painful and tight after driving that long. Good news is that once I walked on it, it felt better almost immediately. I have another month of PT and then hopefully I'll be good to go. I'm almost at my month since being cleared from Orthopedic Dr.  He said I could run and jump after that month was up. Kind of scary!  Ready to get back exercising now that the weather is nice out. So, that's my update!
4-4-17 Fall, right knee injury
4-5-17 x-ray showed fracture of patella, stable, no surgery needed, immobilizer and crutches
4-13-17 ortho, x-rays show some healing, FWB with knee locked at zero
4-27-17 ortho, x-rays showed fracture healed, PT cleared, FWB in brace
5-18-17 healed, no more brace

Offline TPW

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Liked: 1
Re: Patella fracture, non surgical
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 09:05:04 AM »
My only restriction now is I can't run or jump per my PT. I'm still working on strengthening my muscles. No pain in my knee which is great and just last week I began to be able to walk down stairs normally!
4-4-17 Fall, right knee injury
4-5-17 x-ray showed fracture of patella, stable, no surgery needed, immobilizer and crutches
4-13-17 ortho, x-rays show some healing, FWB with knee locked at zero
4-27-17 ortho, x-rays showed fracture healed, PT cleared, FWB in brace
5-18-17 healed, no more brace

 















support