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Author Topic: Dislocated patella recovery - contradicting statements  (Read 850 times)

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Offline Chelly19

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Dislocated patella recovery - contradicting statements
« on: January 30, 2015, 03:00:30 PM »
Hi guys!
I'm new to the forum, and it seems this is the only place I might get some answers from people who know what I'm going through. I'm 19, and I dislocated my patella 2 weeks ago while playing Just Dance (who thought such a stupid game could have such consequences?!). It didn't go back on it's own and the ER doctor had to put it back. It's the first time this has ever happened to me, and it was super painful. I'm terrified that it will happen again, but nevertheless I chose not to have surgery as my injury wasn't so severe. Nothing broke and the ER doctor said that nothing was torn. I've been in a brace locked at 0 degrees since it happened and I started physical therapy yesterday. My muscles have wasted away and now I have to work on getting them back. The physical therapist seemed confident and said that the knee looks good and seems to be progressing well, I just need to stop being scared of using it. She gave me exercises to do at home, including bending my knee 90 degrees. She said I could shower and sleep without the brace as long as I'm careful and I only need to wear it for walking. After the session, I had an appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon, and he actually said the exact opposite of what she said. He told me to keep the leg in the brace, no taking it off for showering or sleeping, for the next 4 weeks and do minimal exercise. I'm so confused and scared, I don't know which one I should trust or believe. My knee felt better after the exercise and the swelling even subsided a bit. I'm scared that the exercises will damage my knee or make it pop out again as this seemed to be what the surgeon was implying. The surgeon is already talking about doing surgery when it pops out again, as if it's a sure thing and the therapy won't help at all. With all that being said, I have to mention that the physical therapist actually remembered my case and had my file with her, while the surgeon didn't even know what had happened to me until I told him and didn't bother to look at the file. (He thought I was coming in to have stitches removed.) What do you guys think I should do? Who should I listen to? I feel like the surgeon just wants to cut me open regardless of it not being necessary. I think he's trying to scare me into surgery, thinking that my knee would never be the same without it. I'm so frustrated with this whole situation, and I just want everything to go back to normal as soon as possible. If I do what the surgeon says, I think I could lose all range of motion and I probably won't have any muscle strength left at all if I don't use my leg for 4 more weeks. What are your stories? Did you guys regain full strength and rage of motion and how long did recovery take for you? I realize that every case is different, I just want some opinions/advice.

Offline vickster

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Re: Dislocated patella recovery - contradicting statements
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2015, 03:49:57 PM »
Personally, I would follow the surgeon's instructions for now but get in touch with the physio asap to explain and discuss the conflicting information.  Let her communicate with the surgeon as they need to be on the same page.  Usually in an acute situation like yours, the surgeon will lead on treatment instructing the physio team.

Unfortunately, with a serious injury like yours you are probably looking at months of rehab and not weeks, and that's even if surgery isn't needed (I think if it's the first dislocation, conservative management and physio is usual, unless joint is completely wrecked)

(Protect)-Rest-Ice-Elevation- Compression (P)RICE) is the usual rule for knee injuries until told otherwise.  You need to get the swelling down really and then the strengthening can follow

Have you had an MRI to check the state of the ligaments, other soft tissues and bones?  Can you ask for a second surgeon opinion if concerned / unhappy?

There might also be some useful information in here , the information hub and perhaps search on dislocated patella above in the search box

Good luck :)
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
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