patella fracture,what to expect.
A patella fracture is quite a serious injury,and the road to recovery is not a short journey,it can take anything from 6 months to year to gain any kind of normality.It can be just a fracture,or a displaced fracture,in the case of a displaced fracture,surgery is usually needed to repair the bone.which ever one you have,the journey to recovery will be a long hard frustrating one-.with the nondisplaced fracture,not requiring surgery, you won't experience problems with HW(hardware),but will still be of a similar timescale for recovery.
The main object is to gain your ROM(range of motion),and equally as important, regain your leg strength and recover muscle loss,this is usually done by physiotherapy,and home programmes,or/and gym/pool etc.this can be regained much quicker by some people than others,as no two injuries are the same, and our bodies all heal at a different pace.
It is not an easy journey by far,and requires patience,and trying to remain positive throughout,and at times you will get very frustrated and think you will never walk again,but you will get there.
Some of the things you may experience are:,hot knee,swelling,stiffness/tightness,sensitivity on or around the scar area,and pain and swelling,and SLR's (straight leg raises),can be quite painful, and give a great feeling of heaviness.ice packs can be used for the "hot knee"syndrome,and the scar sensitivity can be eased by massaging with comfrey oil or similar,and massaging can help break up scar tissue.Some people may experience different symptoms,as all injuries are different, but these being the most common.Another quite common symptom is bone clicking and cracking, this can be caused by a number of reasons,one of which could be maltracking of the patella,caused by a weak VMO muscle,but best checking it out with your Dr. or PT.
These symptoms can last for a few weeks,or in some cases a few months,in some cases even years, but it does get better over time.the bone is usually pretty strong after about a year,but can take up to 3 years to gain full strength.ROM can prove difficult to regain,some people get it back quite quickly, while others do struggle,and some find it so difficult to regain ROM at all, it is suggested they have MUA (manipulation under anesthesia )this can help, although it can be quite aggressive.
If you have had a HW (hardware) fix with the usual figure of 8 wire and pins, this is usually removed at around the 12 months post-op stage,unless it causes too many problems, then they will remove it earlier if the bone has healed.-once all the swelling has subsided,it is not unusual to see the outline of the wire,or develop a lump above it,sometimes it can look as though it is about to poke through the skin,but in most cases this is unlikely,unless it is knocked or knelt on.
Stair climbing can be an issue, and mastering this can take months, and even longer in some cases,in fact once you can go up and down stairs with ease and painfree,you know you are probably nearing the end of your journey.and can progress to other activities.And you have to always bear in mind,what everyone on the KG site says;it's a marathon not a sprint.
How do i know all this? simply because i have gone through it all,and i know what a terrible frustrating journey it is,i fractured my patella into 3 pieces,it was a displaced fracture,so therefore needed surgery,and now at 10 months post op,i am almost "normal",i have just got one or two HW issues,but these should go away once the HW has been removed,hopefully at the 12 months stage.
I know i will never be as i was before the injury,as i have been informed that i will develop arthritis,in this joint,but i am just so thankful to have come as far as i have, and can walk normally once again.
I hope this helps with any concerns anyone may have with this injury,and i wish you all a full and speedy recovery.
Kind Regards. Coral.
PS. If you require any further info or exercises please feel free to contact me, and i will be more than happy to help if i can.