The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: surrender on October 02, 2010, 03:17:30 PM

Title: Six weeks post op broken patella on at 83 degrees
Post by: surrender on October 02, 2010, 03:17:30 PM
This is my first posting so not sure if I am doing this correctly.  I have been on knee geeks since my surgery 6 weeks ago and am thankful for this forum.  I was progressing each day and go to PT 3x per week.  I have been doing this since 2 weeks post op.  The last few weeks I don't seem to be able to get to 90 degrees.  I'm at about 87.  I try as hard as I can stretching my knee.  I think I overdid it this last week because it's very stiff and sore.  I broke my patella in half and had a figure 8 wire put in, no screws.  My therapist is telling me I should be approaching 120 degrees and they want to force that.    I work at home on my knee doing all my exercises and pushing the limits each day.  Anyone have any suggestions?  I would appreciate it.  Terri
Title: Re: Six weeks post op broken patella on at 83 degrees
Post by: 95stang5.0 on October 05, 2010, 10:42:09 PM
keep pushing. I did the same thing but 6 pieces, and have pins and wire. I was stuck actully at 85. Just push push push. Have some one help you at home and bend bend bend. ICE elevate, and do it again. If it hurts to bad obviously slow it down but its gonna hurt i was almost in tears a cpl times but i am at 105 today and doing ok. Cant wait to get hardware out in april. My injury was in june. So just takes time. Good luck.
Title: Re: Six weeks post op broken patella on at 83 degrees
Post by: surrender on October 05, 2010, 11:57:52 PM
Thanks so much for taking time to reply.  I finally got to 91 degrees on Monday!!!  I got the ok to drive today.  I'm encouraged.  How do you feel about getting the hardware out?  I cannot, at this moment, imagine going through this all again.  I have heard it's easier.  When did you start to walk without your brace?  Thanks.  Terri
Title: Re: Six weeks post op broken patella on at 83 degrees
Post by: 95stang5.0 on October 07, 2010, 10:29:40 PM
I to thought i wouldnt want another surgery. Now that it is feeling better i want the hardware out so it feels normal. I think it was about 2 months with no brace and it feels weird. Just take YOUR time not what everyone else thinks you should be doing. If you need crutches when your dr and peers say you dont. Use them any way you know your body. I am 21 and live at home and when the Dr. said lose the crutches at one a half months i knew i couldnt, so I used them and heard it everyday to lose it from my parents but just listen to your body.

It will get better. Just do what the dr tell u to for PT and its gonna hurt. How much pain are you in right now? What does the dr. have you doing? Whats going on?
Title: Re: Six weeks post op broken patella on at 83 degrees
Post by: surrender on October 08, 2010, 01:57:16 PM
Hey, thanks for the reply.  I went from a wheel chair, to walker, to a cane.  I had a friend who had all the equipment so it was awesome.  I have never done well on crutches!  I tried it and flew across the room and jammed my toe!!!  I am walking with a limp of course.  I do not like pain meds and have not been on them since the first few days.  The doctor has given me free reign basically and leaves it up to the therapist.  I have the therapist that pushes the most.  That's ok.  She has done a good job.  My knee is still "hot" and I don't like anything touching it.  It hurts at night.  I do probably 30 exercises.  Squats, foot slides, leg raises, marching (that's a sight to behold!), step climbing, all kinds of things.  My knee is still twice the size, at least of the other.  I always wear a leg brace, the kind that has the dial so they can adjust by degree.  I stopped wearing it at night long ago or when I am sitting somewhere.  I had also read on this site about rocking in a rocking chair.  It works really well because you can adjust how far to stretch the knee.  I still have a spot that hurts a lot.  I don't know if it's the wires or the break spot.  I have good days and not so good days, fairly good nights and not so good nights.  Let me know how it goes with you and if you have learned any tricks to make life a little easier.  I certainly have learned how impatient people are now that I am back in public.  I used to do the same things to people, dart around them and get impatient.  Oh, how ugly that is.  A guy almost ran me down with his car the other day.  I used to be impatient like that too.  Lots of lessons learned.   Best Regards, Terri
Title: Re: Six weeks post op broken patella on at 83 degrees
Post by: 95stang5.0 on October 09, 2010, 12:18:44 AM
Thats great a friend could help you out!. I know what you are saying as far as people being inconsiderite. I to was one of thoe people before my injury, now realize that its a rough time trying to limp around out of people way.

Life will get back to normal. I work for the city in which I live. Its been four months and i am back at work. I cant kneel on the knee, or climb any ladders, but I still pour concrete, run equipment, dig holes, all sorts of things 2 months ago i thought was never going to happen. It obvioulsy takes me time, as I am far more careful where to walk or work.

Sleeping is still probably the thing that I hate most. I catch my self waking up because i roll around putting pressure on my knee where it hurts. I try to put a pillow between them and it seems to help. Try taking some benedryl or something else but not for to long. Can be bad.  I am still at one step at a time as i think I said earlier. Still dont have much of a quad muscle. But it takes time.

My knee is still swelled up at the end of the day i wear a J brace all day and it does have swelling. It doesnt hurt much worse at the end of a work day then the begining. I thought it would be  a constant pain the rest of my life but its not yet, and from what I hear hopefully geting hardware removed will only help.
let me know if there is ne thing I can do to help you or any ?S u have.

Title: Re: Six weeks post op broken patella on at 83 degrees
Post by: surrender on October 09, 2010, 05:09:50 PM
I go back to my doctor on Friday, but I do have a question.  There is a spot that is still red and that's seems to be where the pain radiates from and "the heat".  I'm not sure if it's from the break, or the wires.  It's still pretty swollen, twice the size of my other knee, so I can't see much yet.  Did you have this problem?  Were you able to see wires once the swelling went down?  How long has it been since your surgery?  The brace you mentioned, is it the one that just covers the knee area instead of the whole leg from knee down?  Thanks!  I'm at 7 weeks but cannot imagine walking without the brace.  My leg is like a stick, it's so tiny, seems so vulnerable.
Title: Re: Six weeks post op broken patella on at 83 degrees
Post by: 95stang5.0 on October 15, 2010, 03:17:36 AM
Sorry i havent been on the computer Been really busy at work. I cant see the wires through my knee yet. It is swollen compared to the other knee, but Dr said it will always be bigger, maybe its not swolen its just going to be this size. The scar is still red and purple at times and feels warm, all normal dr says. I can however feel the pins with my fingers and they do feel weird, dont hurt normally but i think now when i bend it as far as  i can it is pain from the pins.

I hope I can answer any other questions hang in there.
My surgery was on June 8th 2010. The brace i have now for work is just a pretty basic elastic gel bad in the shape of a J. But around the house and on the weekends I dont wear it. My leg is still very small but is getting stronger from  using it. At first it will give out so be ready, i try to walk by things i can grab on to. go really slow and be aware of your footing. It will take time. What did your dr. say.
Title: Re: Six weeks post op broken patella on at 83 degrees
Post by: surrender on October 16, 2010, 01:46:00 PM
Went to the doctor Friday and it was very positive.  I am still at 92 degrees but he did not seem troubled by that.  I saw the x-rays and realized the pain and heat is from the hardware.  He thinks it will be June before I have the hardware out to make sure the bone is strong.  I only have 4 physical therapy sessions left.  My therapist felt I was leaving too soon but I am relieved.  I go 3x a week now and it's helped greatly but it's really inconvenient.  I have lots of equipment at home to do what I need to.  The doctor said to try walking without the brace some.  I am glad you warned me.  I am not looking forward to weening off the brace.  My leg is like a stick and the knee is still double the size of the other one.  At least I can walk without a cane or anything now.  My gait is pretty wacky but I can do it.  I don't wear the brace at night or if I am sitting somewhere.  I always wear it to walk.  I have not even really stood without it.  I guess that might be a place to start eh?  Let me know how it goes for you.  My leg is really swollen and sore after a day of standing.  Is yours still like that?  I am 8 weeks post op.  I broke it 10 weeks ago but did not go to the doctor.  I thought I just bruised it!  Guess not!
Title: Re: Six weeks post op broken patella on at 83 degrees
Post by: coral 251 on October 17, 2010, 03:39:21 PM
Hi, just been reading your thread, as i normally just go on the "bone breaks around the knee "pages.
I myself fractured my patella 6 months ago,i think you are doing really well to be at over 90 degs rom at only a few weeks post-op.
For me getting to this was the worst hurdle.
I had reached full rom at about 18 weeks post-op and feel that i achieved this all by myself at home, doing the exercises my pt had shown me,as i only had 5 physio sessions in total before being discharged.
i pushed and pushed myself with this,but now my problem is leg strength(besides hardware problems) what i am finding now is that even though i have got the full rom,i may-be neglected to work the rest of my leg,so i would like to point out that having full rom is not the be all and end all,DO concentrate on strengthening exercises also.
I can walk ok(ish )no limp, but very slow, and climbing stairs is an ordeal in itself i have also developed a large lump in the centre of my kneecap which i have been informed is the wire.
Unfortunately at my 6 months post-op checkup,my bone had not yet fully healed nor was it fully strong, so the hardware cant be removed as yet, so i guess i have to wait a few months longer, and put up with all the hardware problems,that we all seem to have.
I wish you lots of luck with your own recovery,and that you keep on doing so well.
         best wishes.
Title: Re: Six weeks post op broken patella on at 83 degrees
Post by: surrender on October 19, 2010, 03:05:09 PM
Hi, I have followed your thread also and thank you for responding to mine.  I went to pt yesterday and she pushed my knee until something snapped or buckled!  I'm not sure if it was the wires or the scar tissue.  She said I was to concentrate on the ROM mostly to get to 120 over the next few weeks!  I'm at 99 after 8 weeks post op.  I agree with you though.  The whole leg has to be strong to compensate.  I also have the red bump on my knee and I just saw the x-rays and it is the wire.  I have already been told by my doc I am looking at Summer before it's considered to remove wire.  He has seen so many who remove it too soon and re-break because it was too soon.  I am thankful I can walk, not very gracefully, but I can walk, and drive.  I only have 3 more pt sessions and I need to work on ROM just so it's not so painful when she pushes it.  Yikes!  Don't like that at all.  I do many exercises at home but it takes me almost 2 hours to do all that I have.  I also have a low seated rocker that really stretches my knee well.  I read that somewhere on this site and it does work.  Keep me posted on your progress.  Is your knee still "hot" where the wires are?  How well do you sleep at night now?  Are you still on pain meds?
Title: Re: Six weeks post op broken patella on at 83 degrees
Post by: coral 251 on October 19, 2010, 04:44:07 PM
hi again.

I had the hot knee syndrome for at least 4 months post op,but nothing the ice pack couldnt sort out,but even now when i have been on my leg for a while,like when i went on a 4 hour shopping trip,boy ,did i suffer that night, and had to retrieve the ice pack from the freezer,but it was ok again the next day.

As for the sleeping, that proved rather difficult in the early days,but no problems at all now,pain meds are nearly a thing of the past,i just have to resort to those now and again,once again, when i have done a little bit too much.

To update, i will be  7 months post-op on the 26th of october,good and bad days are to be expected right up to about  the 6 months stage.
Then things seem to get a lot better,i can walk almost normally,no stick, not really a limp,but must admit, outdoors i walk very slowing,constantly in fear of falling and re-fracturing.
As i said my os said the hardware cant be removed until around the twelve months mark,unless the hardware should poke through, then there wouldnt be any other option,but strongly advised against attempting to kneel,as this could result in this happening.

It seems, that most people on this site have said that the os has said about a year to have the HW removed.
As you have so rightly said ,some people have had it out earlier,either by choice, or have had problems, but it does seem that these are the ones who tend to re-fracture.
I do have issues which i am putting down to the hardware,firstly the lumps and bumps,and secondly pain when stair climbing,and then there is that dull ache ,that rubber band, and stiffness feeling,which i must confess is minimal now, to what it was like in the beginning.
You seem to be doing quite well at the moment, so keep at it, think positive,and know it will all come in time,but you need to be patient.
So good luck with your road to recovery, and keep me posted on your progress.
          best wishes.