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Author Topic: rehabilitation of fractured patella  (Read 2666 times)

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Offline vick

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rehabilitation of fractured patella
« on: July 10, 2006, 08:44:27 AM »
HI i fractured my patella bone on 20 june last month....just took off the cast 3 days ago , and my knee area still abit swollen the kneecap does not look the same as the other uninjured leg , is this normal ? i having pain all over my leg now , soemthing i never experienced during my leg was in cast , the doctor said i cannot walk yet cos he dunno if it is completely healed by seeing the x ray , so still using the clutches and any way to self start rehab ? i can bend my leg 45 degrees the most , y is my knee still abit swolen is it normal? will i ever walk???

Offline margirl

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Re: rehabilitation of fractured patella
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2006, 12:26:36 AM »
Hi there,

The stars must have been aligned on June 20th bc that is the same day I fractured my patella.  I just went to the doc today and got 2nd X-ray (not completely healed but getting closer).  I did not have surgery but was in an immobolizer since the injury.  Now I am in a small knee bandage.  I'm not sure about the pain you are feeling...is it all the time or only when you move it?  Did you injury any tendons around the patella?  I think I have been lucky bc I do not feel much pain at all but I did not injury any tendons..only the bone.  My knee is still very swollen....almost the same as when the injury happened.  My Dr. said it is bc it has been immobile for so long but once I start moving it and walking on it, the swelling should go down.  We'll see ;-)    I can bend my knee about 90 degrees and am too scared of re-injury to go any further.  My Dr. said today to begin walking on it (with crutches) and then start weening my way from the crutches, then to one crutch, and then no crutch.  I'm not sure if this is normal rehab or not.....I've never broken a bone in my life until now.   You will walk again although I completely understand the frustration...sitting all day for the last three weeks has been very challenging for me and somedays it feels as if this will never end!!

My suggestion would be to talk to your Dr. about the pain you are feeling and where.  He/she can also give you suggestions on rehab. 

Good Luck

Offline kimmyxs

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Re: rehabilitation of fractured patella
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2006, 03:28:00 AM »
Wow, I broke mine on June 17.  I had surgery to screw the pieces back together. I am still NWB and in a brace at full extension.  No movelment at all right now.  The xrays show that I am healing well so when I have the staples removed on Thursday, he will begin to see what ROM I can attain. He will open the brace to 30 degrees and them 60 with PT.  My legs is still swollen (I dislocated it and the dislocation broke the patella  - we thnk - I don't think I fell on the knee at all).  I would keep the leg elavated as often as possible.  Swelling is normal. 

I would follow my OS suggestions on exercise, but I wouldn't push it right now.  That immoblization causes that quad to just shrink away to nothingness.  Mine is already much smaller than the other and it has only been 4 weeks.  I do admit to wondering if I will ever walk again.  I hate those crutches!  I am also wondering when I can drive again.
6/03/89 - First Knee Cap Disclocation
7/05/89 - Returned to work
6/17/06 - Tramatic Knee Cap Dislocation and Vertical Fractured Patella
6/28/06 - ORIF - Screws - no wires
8/24/06 - Ditched the brace - start PT
9/20/06 - First spinning
1/15/07 - screw removal, LR , VMO Advanc  & patella cleanupl

Offline vick

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Re: rehabilitation of fractured patella
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2006, 07:54:19 AM »
wa on The same date as me , all i KNOw is I fractured my patella bone , There was a Little pain when i broke it too , Now the pain is Suddenly i Will feel LIke a Ant Bit at My Knee or my muscle areas , I feel pain when i straighten my leg In the bed every moRning But afternoon and night i dun feel that much pain.....I cannot ask my doctor everything cos he just sees me 5 min , and everytime i go for my appointment its a diff doc , my 1st x ray when i put my cast the doctor said my august u will be ready , my 2nd x ray a diff doctor said  He dun even know if its healed by seeing the x ray and told me to use the clutches and not to walk till he gives the signal...im having physio this coming monday , i can oni bend abit im scared to go beyond that too , the doctor just said i slight chip in the bone, i was in that long cast for 2 weeks and he asked me to remove it , now im not wearing any form of bandages or cast , The pain part I hope it goes away , When i try to bend my leg even a little it feels so stiff , I tried drinking alot of milk , I was just taking my motor license and this happens ...and the doctor never give me any medicine , the hospital is really lame , y cant they give me appointment to one particular doctor so he might understand my leg....when u try bend your leg and then straighten it , is there any form of pain or muscle pulling kinda effect?

Offline margirl

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Re: rehabilitation of fractured patella
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2006, 02:22:38 PM »
I'm sorry about your Dr. situation, that is frustrating!  If you aren't feeling pain all the time then maybe it is just a part of healing.   Do you feel pain if you put pressure on the bone?  The surrounding tissue?  Does it hurt if you move it, NWB?  My leg does feel very tight when I move it.....like a thick rubber band but it has started to loosen up a little since I've been moing it in the last 2 days.  It is not painful but just tight.   I can tell you from my situation that my patella has not healed completely yet but my Dr. said to start moving it to get ROM back and to do straight leg lifts to get my quads (and hold it) back in shape.  I truly believe the quicker you can get to movement the better off you are.  My next appt. is not for 3 weeks and he said by then I should be back to normal....full walking and driving.  Something to look forward to ;-) 

Offline vick

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Re: rehabilitation of fractured patella
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2006, 07:49:53 PM »
when i touch the bone and press lightly theres no pain ,  feel slight muscle pull when i try straighten my leg and , have this  tigh area and my leg muscle area pain randomly ,  also when i straighten my leg on bed i get this pain, the below part of the knee slight pain too , when i dun move my leg most of the time theres no pain ....just drinkin milk and trying to forget the condition of the leg , got to get my bike license too after this heals , Any way to reduce pain and speed recovery ?  any tips.........i saw in a website they said about lifting leg slightly and leting it down for few seconds,  i lost all my strength i cant lift my leg even abit and my weight is oni around  49 and im 18 , small sized guy.....yea hope u rehab and have happy life, i never wondered there would be so many people like us worrying bout knee and stuff ,  yea so basically the pain area is right below my knee the joint part , tigh area and the lower part of the leg (muscle area) , just more worried bout the below knee pain , cos its near the kneecap

Offline Dzeigfinge

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Re: rehabilitation of fractured patella
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2006, 01:08:54 PM »
I broke my patella on June 2, had surgery on June 6 and last week was allowed to go without crutches. I am still wearing my leg brace a bit (he wants me to only wear it outside the house). But I can hardly walk. I look like a polio victim. Not so much the pain but the stiffness. My leg is straight but I can hardly lift it. I have been been going to PT and she did get me to 105ROM-but that hurt like you would not believe. They also told me that I could start driving now but I am a bit afraid as the leg is so heavy and if I need to brake suddenly....Ouch. I have heard that breaking the patella is worse then the other part of the leg because it is in the joint area. So  maybe it takes longer?

Offline robpaul

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Re: rehabilitation of fractured patella
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2006, 04:51:54 PM »
Well hello all.  New to this website and I broke my kneecap in three places way back in April, April 22nd to be exact.  a portion of my knee was displaced with the tendon attached, had surgery May 3 with screws and wire.  Was in an immobilizer brace from May 3 to about July 3rd.  Had no skin damage, no tendon damage, just the bone.  Had hardly any pain and was only on pain medications for about 2 weeks.  I have about 100 degrees range of motion, trying to keep regular PT appts. 1-2 x week to increase range of motion.  Have had about 6-7 appts. and initially was only about 40-45 degrees.  While my swelling has diminished I still have some issues with it and apparently it will continue.  Doing some light strength building, but won't be running and jumping any time soon (injury occurred playing b-ball).  I am 38 years old, have always been really active, first bone break ever.  But now, beginning to feel some pain in the knee, not sure why, and my physician is extremely backed up with other patients so havenot been able to get in.  THe pain is slight, does not require me to take any pain medications (1-2 out of 10 on the pain scale).  My x-rays have always looked good, beginning to wonder if my rehab is slowing or even going backwards.  My job situation is tenous because I accepted a new job based on my physician's prognosis-definitely scary predicament.  But I am walking, driving, can put a little weight on the knee but no braces anymore.  Knee still gets stiff and swollen and I keep hearing different prognosis from 8 weeks to 12 weeks.  If anyone is further along and can provide some insight, would really appreciate it.

Offline kimmyxs

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Re: rehabilitation of fractured patella
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2006, 02:46:26 AM »
I am jealous of you all for having more range of motion than I do.  At my 2nd post op visit we had hoped to open the brace to 30 or 60 degrees.  No such luck, my muscles were so tight that my OS was concerned that I would rebreak the knee cap.  That was a week ago last Thursdayy.  I do have PWB after that visit, but no ROM.  I have been taking my leg out of the brade and seeing (without pushing it) if I had some ROM.  I am now to 30 degrees.  I called my OS Friday, and he let me open the brace to 30 degrees, but to still use the crutches.  We will rexray this Friday to make certain the knee is fully healed and then jump into PT.  I can do a straight leg lift without the brace and I can move the kneecap by contracting my quads.  While they seem to have wasted a bit, they were this original culprit in the fracture in the first place. 

Did I mention that my knees never looked the same since my first dislocation.  I still have the adhesive and seristrips over the suture site. That area is a bit itchy, but doesn't hurt unles it rubs the top of the brace straps.  It is still swollen, but at least I am beginning to see the knee cap - barely!

Sadly though during this period of time the stress on the left knee has been phenominal.  It aches most of the time and the cracking is getting worse.  It has locked up several times - for example when I was in bed and using it at 90 degree to rest my cross stitch.  It scared me.  It was painful getting it back into a fully extended position.  I have to remember to talk to my OS about this!

I rarely have much pain.  I gave up the pain pills last week.  I will ask for some to prepare myself for PT.  I cannot wait to get enough ROM that I can drive again.  It has been 5 weeks.  My friends and family have been great, but the loss of freedom is huge!  I would ask Joel for advice for all of us.  Joel where are you! 
6/03/89 - First Knee Cap Disclocation
7/05/89 - Returned to work
6/17/06 - Tramatic Knee Cap Dislocation and Vertical Fractured Patella
6/28/06 - ORIF - Screws - no wires
8/24/06 - Ditched the brace - start PT
9/20/06 - First spinning
1/15/07 - screw removal, LR , VMO Advanc  & patella cleanupl

Offline Dzeigfinge

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Re: rehabilitation of fractured patella
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2006, 03:17:05 AM »
One thing I should memtion. My OS did not want me to start PT until 60 ROM. So if you are only at 45 don't push it.
Also I was told that there would be swelling for a while and there is....so sit tight!

Offline vick

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Re: rehabilitation of fractured patella
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2006, 05:10:51 PM »
wats pt?

Offline vick

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Re: rehabilitation of fractured patella
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2006, 05:13:55 PM »
Well NOw im In a Situation Whereby i can use oni partial 50 percent weight on my left knee , Im seeing the physio on the 31st and the doctor on the 4th , i really wish they could let me walk , But i find this thing strange when i stand up i see that my injured knee is more rounder than the uninjured leg and i feel kinda akward , cos i feel its too round and the other leg is not round its just straight , when i put my hand to feel the movements they make while i extend my leg from being bent , its the same , but why is that the injured leg looks so diff in shape?

Offline Dzeigfinge

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Re: rehabilitation of fractured patella
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2006, 07:31:24 PM »
wats pt?
PT is physical therapy or as I like to call it-Pain and Torture

Offline kimmyxs

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Re: rehabilitation of fractured patella
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2006, 04:22:54 AM »
I saw my OS yesterday.   He opened the brace to 90 degrees, the xrays look great.  I can fully bear weight, but he wants me to use crutches or a cane for longer walks (like when I go to Boston in 2 weeks).  I am to wear the brace at least until my next visit on the 24th.  He wants me to keep doing heel slides, lifting the leg gently and letting it fall as far as it can without pushing it too far.   He hasn't set me up for PT yet.  He says that on occasion with my muscles so tight, that I can tell how much to work the knee.  He was pleased I went from 0 to 40 degrees by myself.  I have tendonitis in my left knee from the extra stress.  He said that is not unusual.

All in all, he said I could begin to drive, if I feel comfortable doing so.  In reality, my coworker and I have decided that with the cost of gas, carpooling makes sense.  We will continue.  I am still doing upper body work at home to keep my strength up.  I don't want to go to the gym being a real flabby person just because of lack of resistance training.

He did say that the swelling is normal. 

Did I mention that another woman was at the OS that morning.  She fractured her patella 3 weeks before, but didn't displace it so no surgery.  She was in a wheelchair and complaining about the fear of using crutches.  Her husband must be a saint.  She is younger than I am and just not willing to do anything on her own.  They were amazed to find out that I have been back to work for three weeks and getting around mostly by myself.  I do wish I had taken another week at home especially when I got my short term disability check.  I actually made out fairly well. 

OS still thinks he will probably end up having to do a Fulkerson TTT later to keep the patella in place because I have tracking problems.  The kneecap is moving pretty freely.  He did say that if that keeps up, I may need to stay in some kind of brace until future surgery.  Carp!
6/03/89 - First Knee Cap Disclocation
7/05/89 - Returned to work
6/17/06 - Tramatic Knee Cap Dislocation and Vertical Fractured Patella
6/28/06 - ORIF - Screws - no wires
8/24/06 - Ditched the brace - start PT
9/20/06 - First spinning
1/15/07 - screw removal, LR , VMO Advanc  & patella cleanupl















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