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Author Topic: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces  (Read 1223 times)

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Offline vladkov

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I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« on: January 28, 2018, 10:59:24 PM »
Hi guys, finding this forum is very comforting knowing that there are people who've been in my shoe and have recovered 100%. It gives me hope that one day I will be there and answering people like me.
   
I'm 23, and my story is that I shattered my kneecap (patella) while snowboarding. I was hitting a big curve rail, and lost my balance and I hit my knee on the rail. And when that happened I knew I was in trouble, cause I heard a loud "crunch" noise. When I was on the snow I tired to feel my kneecap but my finger went right through and I felt multiply pieces move. And about 2.5 week later I got my surgery. Currently I am 3 days out of OR and the pain stop, but its very discomforting at times. 

I've been looking around and I can't find my answer, with my injury I shattered my kneecap so bad that the middle of my knee is gone, in a million pieces. So they took it out, and now I have a hole in the center of my kneecap. They couldn't do a tradition figure 8 surgery, so they did a triangle. I wanted to ask if "I" will be able to make a 100% recovery with my specific injury? And about when will I be able to walk and return to normal living?

Thanks GUYS

Offline eldoboardn

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 09:22:06 PM »
Hi Vladkov,

Sorry to hear about your accident.  You rail riding snowboarders are much braver than I am.  It only took me slipping off a rail and banging up my shins one time before I swore them off forever :)

Everyone has a different recovery time for this injury, so it's hard to say how yours will go.  My patella was broken into many pieces as well.  My doc's answer to the question of getting back to 100% was always a very non-committal 'that's where we want to get you'.  I think he was non-committal because the recovery has so many variables involved.  You're young and probably at least somewhat active if you snowboard, which seem to be things in your favor with this type of injury. I'd suggest talking with your doc to see what he/she thinks about your possibilities.  Having put your knee back together, your doc would probably know better than us amateurs on the forum :)

As for getting back to walking, it took me around 8 weeks to get out of the immobilizer and off crutches, but I was told not to put any weight on my leg for 7 weeks (my doc was afraid that if I activated my quad muscles, it could pull the patella apart.  It takes 6-8 weeks for the bone to heal).  After being in the immobilizer so long, my leg didn't want to bend, and the quad and calf muscles were atrophied, so when I did start walking, it was with a severe limp (better to walk with a limp, than having to use crutches).  Walking without a limp didn't happen until a few months later.  I was able to get back to snowboarding about 4 months after my accident (had to tolerate some pain, and stick to the groomers... but it was worth it).

Again, most of this just depends on your specific situation.  Just try to keep a good attitude, and prepare yourself for a slow recovery (maybe 6-12 months or more), and if you get there sooner, it'll be a welcome surprise :)

Offline vladkov

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2018, 04:18:11 PM »
Thanks Eldoboardn for the reply, its still so crazy when I think about it. But you're right, I'm being optimistic but also ready for the worst. But even if I do get the bad news, I'll prove them wrong. Now just healing, and I can't wait for rehab so I can finally begin my journey to coming back! Gonna be a fun one! How long were you in PT? How long did it take you to be back 100% from the injury?

Offline eldoboardn

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2018, 10:01:36 PM »
Good attitude..  that's the way I looked at it as well.  I was determined to get back to 100% no matter what they told me.

My doc said he didn't want them 'cranking' on my knee in PT right after I got out of the immobilizer and off crutches, so I did things on my own for 6 weeks (mjeffrey put together a good post with Ideas and tips for getting ROM and quad strength back that helped me out a lot -  http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=66471.msg638678), and then was in PT for 6 weeks.  By that point I was back to being pretty active (boarding, swimming, biking and even some light jogging), so my doc told me I could stop the PT..  they weren't doing much other than having me ride a stationary bike and massaging scar tissue at that point anyway.   

Overall, I'd say it was about 6 months or so before I got close to being 100% again.  It's been about 18 months since my surgery, and although I'm back to being very active, I'm still not 100%.  I still get pain going down stairs, sprinting, squatting, and pretty much anything that causes me to put stress on my knee when it's bent.  It looks like the problem is with the hardware in my femur (Along with my patella, I also broke the lateral condyle of my femur which required 2 screws to put back together).  I'm having surgery in April to remove the most of the hardware (2 of the 4 screws in my patella get to stay), so I hope to be back to 100% by the summer time  :D

 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 10:04:48 PM by eldoboardn »

Offline frogman

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2018, 04:50:35 PM »
vladkov, hi, I am a 39 yr old, 6' 5" guy, pretty active, 250lbs, I also shattered my knee snowboarding, i did it on January 26th, i was riding through the trees and hit one with just my knee cap.  It broke into 8 pieces, I had surgery 5 days later, and am 5.5 weeks post surgery, 2 screws and some bone stitches are holding mine together.  Have been in a full length cylinder leg cast for 4.5 weeks.

Yours sounds a little worse than mine, hope you make a good full recovery and can get back out on the slopes.  I live here in Utah and we have had a pretty bad year for snow, so i feel like i have at least not missed out on a great snow year.  How has the season been were you are at?

I signed off on rails and boxes long ago after missing a box with my head by about a 1/2", bought a helmet after that and rarely hit them unless they are in the kiddie park.

Best of luck to you, i'll be interested to see how we all progress!!

Offline vladkov

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 02:43:19 AM »
Eldoboardn- Thanks for the link, I will begin doing them as soon as the doc clears be for rehab. Six months seems so long but time is flying by and I'm already a 1/3 way there. This friday 3/16 I will be going for a check up (7 weeks post surgery) so its a big moment for me. I might be ready for rehab and I honestly can't wait for it to begin. But thanks again for the encouragement man, I really appreciate it!

P.S. I'm gonna try to post my X-rays pre and post surgery.

Offline vladkov

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 02:47:25 AM »
Front pre surgery

Offline vladkov

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2018, 02:48:05 AM »
Side pre surgery

Offline vladkov

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2018, 02:49:13 AM »
Front post surgery

Offline vladkov

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2018, 02:49:45 AM »
Side post surgery

Offline vladkov

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2018, 03:04:20 AM »
Hi frogman- Wow, that is also quite a story to tell too. Hitting a tree, thats crazy! Was your kneecap injury a communited displace or non displacement (mine was displace very badly)? I got in the injury on Jan 8th but had to wait until 25th because of the inflammation, so it does sound like my kneecap injury could be more severe.

I live in Jersey and the season hasn't been the best but we had some big snows that I wish I could've hit the slopes. Its funny this season was the first time I bought a season pass and I got injured hitting the slopes only the second time, COM'ON! HAHA story of my life. I also bought a new board and bindings and boots, had a $1000 setup and used it twice.

I'm going for a check this friday (7 weeks post surgery) so I'll keep this page updated! Hopefully the kneecap has started to fuse and has fused already partially so that I can begin rehab! 
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 03:06:35 AM by vladkov »

Offline eldoboardn

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 08:17:13 PM »
Wow, those x-rays show your kneecap better than any of mine did.  Looks like you had a pretty bad break..  probably worse than mine.  I think I can even see the hole in the middle there.  The post surgery pics look like you have an anarchy symbol in your kneecap :)
Good luck with your checkup.  Hopefully things have healed up so you can get to work on rehab!


Frogman -  What resort were you riding when you broke yours?  I'm in Utah as well, and have a season pass at Brighton this year.  I've been riding the trees in Snake Creek a few times this year and wondered what would happen if I ran into one of them...  those trees are huge.  I doubt the tree would even move if I hit one.  You definitely aren't missing out on much this season.  Conditions have been pretty sad compared to last season.





Offline frogman

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2018, 02:13:44 AM »
Yeah that is a pretty crazy xray you have there,  are you moving your leg yet? ?  I just got my cast off yesterday and the dr said I can move it until it hurts to much,  pt on Monday.  MiNE was very much blown apart, some was sitting in my quad, then some got pulled down and out of sight below my knee,  and then pieces on the side as well.   Have  no idea how he put it all back in place.   I think my I was just blessed to find the right dr after 3 ortho guys wouldn't  work on it because it was so severe.  But yes yours  sounds worse, wishing you a full and speedy recovery.

Yeah that sucks about your season and a whole new setup,  out sounds like you were going to slay it like never before this year.   Oh well there is always next year right??  Well maybe next year if we can get these knees healed in time.  I leave my board out where I can see it everyday when I leave for work,  helps me remember that one day I will ride it again,  maybe just on the groomers for awhile.   I think it's good to have goals to get back to things you love.   I hope to ride some next year at whatever capacity my knee will allow.

I live up in logan and ride exclusively at beaver,  have for 15 years.  Yeah not much of a season to miss, unlike last year,  that was crazy,  lots of balls deep days for sure.  Never been to Brighton,  have heard lots of good things about it.   Do you know  jake Lawlor, he rides there all of the time and is really good.

Well guys let me know hoe everything is going with the recovery.

Offline vladkov

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2018, 12:41:28 AM »
I went to the check up and I got good news! My kneecap came together and it healed up really well, all of the cracks filled in and the holes too! God answered my prayers and made a miracle happen before my eyes, praise God! Even the doctor was pleased to see how well the kneecap healed up, he said it healed up alot alot better then he thought it would. So thats awesome to hear! I was so excited to hear those words that I didn't even think about taking a picture. I will next time I go for my check-up.

He gave me about 30 degrees to start right before the pain really starts. I was allowed to bear before this check up and now that I got 30 degrees I'm walking around the house without crutches and thats a good feeling. PROGRESS. I still haven't began PT cause I only have 30 degrees but soon. Things are beginning to get better and I see finally see light out the tunnel. I just have to keep on moving and eventually this will be one hell of a story to tell.

 I remember that when I got my injury I was bummed out, but when I heard (post surgery) the doctor say that theres a chance I won't be able to run or do any sports my heart sank. But I prayed to God, and alot of my family and friends to healing and for encouragement. And also I stayed positive, a big thanks to this forum. Slowing but surely I'll get to 100%!

« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 12:47:45 AM by vladkov »

Offline Bockel

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Re: I Shattered My Kneecap (Patella) in 7 Pieces
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2018, 09:48:26 PM »
Hey Vladkov I shattered my kneecap just a few weeks after you. Hope you are well! I remember reading this and thinking wow.. Hope this guy recovers OK. As for me I am still struggling but there is light at the end of the tunnel.