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Author Topic: 31/M patella fracture. How long until returning to running/riding/surf/snow etc?  (Read 90 times)

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Offline alessio_db

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Hi there people! I've just recently come across this site after spending hours net researching patella fractures and recoveries and the like, so hopefully have come to the right place for some advice - for info I'm a 31yr/M. I recently (about 2 weeks ago) fractured my patella (comminuted 3 part) at a local skatepark, falling down onto my knee against the hard concrete while trying to re-enter from the top of a small quarter pipe ramp. I'm not sure what I was thinking trying to go skating after about a 10yr hiatus from the sport, but it seemed like a good thing at the time - obviously the body didn't quite respond to what my mind thought it could.

I went straight to ED that morning and managed to get booked into an operation that afternoon (which meant I had to cancel my trip to Bali for a friends wedding which I was meant to fly out that night - the wife wasn't too impressed). I believe I had ORIF with k-wire and tension band to pull the pieces back together. Following the op the pain wasn't actually that bad, but maybe that was due to the nurses doing a great job and giving me pain meds nice and early into the piece. I was discharged the following morning, with notes for FWAT and given elbow crutches and placed in a full leg splint (richards splint). The visiting PT told me to just start doing isometric quad muscle tensions to keep it active.

So now I'm about 12 days post-op (went in on 4th May) and have been keeping up with the quad exercises and using the crutches when I'm out of the house, though I find that I can fully weight bear on the leg and can walk around without crutches at all (albeit at a very slow pace, as basically walking with a locked leg which I have to swing from my hips). Sleeping is a pain but I tried a pillow between my legs last night and that worked wonders. I have my post op review tomorrow where I'll get a hinged knee brace and then the surgeon can tell me how its progressing (hoping some healing is happening and I haven't stuffed it by being too mobile).

To the point, I'm just wondering what the recovery from this injury will be like? I'm actually getting married in about 6 weeks time, in Italy (I'm in Australia) so I'd love to be in some sort of better shape by then - hopefully be able to stand without a brace for the important bits (for photos!) and then bracing it when the music gets louder. I am a keen runner and road biker, quite often going for 6-8km runs and 30-40km rides. I've also done a few triathlons in the past (HIMs - latest was about a 4:30) and did run a marathon once (did a 3:03) but would like to one day try get under the 3hr mark. I also do surf when I can find time, and was planning on a snowboarding trip at the end of this year/early next. I'm just wondering whether any of these past hobbies are still possible and when I'd likely be able to return to any previous ability? Has anyone had experiences with similar injuries and return to these type of sports?

FYI I've previously had an ACL reconstruction in the same knee about 10 years ago (ruptured it playing indoor soccer - operation was a patella tendon autograph), but my recovery from that was actually very good and I was running 6wks after the op, and at 8wks was running up to 8kms. I realise that this bone injury is different than a ligament injury, but I wonder if I can have a similar sort of success as I had with the ACL. I've got naturally pretty big/defined quads, so hoping these could help with the recovery.

Thanks in advance for your responses, it seems like there is a mountain of info on this site so I'm sorry if this is covered elsewhere, it just feels nice to put your own story out there and get heard!

« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 04:37:28 AM by alessio_db »

Offline reflex_nl

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bad luck... just a simple incident. A broken patella needs time, but there is a good outcome in many occasions, but it will take time, at least a year.

Your young an hopefully the cartilage is still ok. The first milestone is at about 12 weeks... be very careful not to overdo stuff.  Goodluck and try to read some stories on the recovery on this website; there are many broken patella's.
RK Patella Luxation in 2000
RK Scope grade 2 damage to patella
RK PT for 4 mths, recovered 90% after 4 years
LK Patella Luxation in Oct'16
LK Scope to remove loose bodies (grade 4) to patella Nov'16
LK Lateral Release + MPFL Reefing + MCIC in the UK Dec'17