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Author Topic: My Broken Patellas  (Read 703 times)

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Offline bubble17

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
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My Broken Patellas
« on: December 19, 2009, 09:26:19 PM »
Hello all,

I've been following some of the posts on this site for a few months now and have found it very useful so I thought it might be time that I posted myself.

I am a 20 year old student, and I had an accident about 9 months ago, March '09, and ended up breaking both patellas, a femur, and a few other things. I was admitted to hospital and taken to surgery the next day, after which I emerged with an abundance of hardware, wires, pins, screws and a rod. I spent two weeks in hospital. Not moving gave me me severe muscle atrophy, it took a long time to stand up and I could not bend either leg at all. Trying to sleep was the worst of it. I was in a high dependency ward, on a morphine drip desperately trying to prove to the occupational therapist that I would be much better off at home. And after some help from my Dad, proved my point by walking stiffly with crutches and splints on both legs.

After being back home lying still for a while and spending two days in a wheel chair I decided it was time for crutches, and remained with them for 8 weeks before I could walk unaided. I was really worried about walking with a limp - my doctor told me I would be walking with one for nearly a year, but it was gone within 3 months of the accident date. Then, after 3 months of sitting on a chair in the shower, renting a stationary bike for ROM, countless physical therapy sessions and a lot of practice with stairs I gained full ROM and moved to Australia on my own to do a year abroad as part of my University course. I am thankful that prior to moving my course did not require me to spend time close to uni while I was recovering, and completed all my end of year work from my bed.

10 months on, I'm here in Sydney and they're both still numb, stiff, painful and aching. As both of my legs were broken and I had muscle depletion in both they are still very weak, and not as they were before the accident even now. My doctor told me that it would be 2 years before I have my hardware out if at all, but I am quite sure that I am going to have it out as soon as I get home - in about 6 months. I know it is that that is causing the pain and having it out will allow me to get back to exactly how I was. My physio also thinks I've developed scar tissue under the knee cap which is why one of them has lost some of the movement I managed to gain back, but he says they can take it out at the same time as my hardware. Additionally I am flat footed and have hyper-moblity, which means recovery has taken perhaps longer than it should - I have had to spend extra time strengthening my quads in order to stabilize my legs and prevent putting too much pressure on my ankles.

Even so, I am still having rehabilitation and can now manage stairs without difficulty, I spend 4 times a week in the gym (more than ever before), I climbed a glacier in New Zealand, am planning a skydive for a few months, and doing the Sydney bridge climb next week.

When looking for information on recovery times, I was really keen on getting back to my old self but I could not find any posts about anyone that had broken both, so decided that I would just have to heal at my own pace and see what happened. I just wanted to share my story and say that I really know what people who've broken their knee are going through and that some days it feels like one step forward, two steps back, but don't give up with the exercises - perseverance really pays off. I have enormous faith in positive attitude, and wish everyone well who is also in recovery. The only thing I can't do is run, but I'm working on it, and I feel I'm nearly there :)