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Author Topic: Fractured Patella (Lateral Fracture)  (Read 1733 times)

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Offline myknee

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Fractured Patella (Lateral Fracture)
« on: February 16, 2004, 07:48:39 PM »
X-rays confirmed I had fractured my patella (2/14/04) as a result of my falling on my knee.   During the ER visit I was given a stabilizer brace.  The emergency room Doctor suggested I have a follow-up visit with an Orthopedic doctor Tuesday (2/17/04).  The ER Doctor explain that my break was across the lower part of the patella leaving approximately a fourth of the knee seperated by the break.  The ER Doctor stated the the Orthopedic doctor was determine if I needed surgery to bring the bones together for healing or if the break could heal without surgery.  I broke the patella on my right knee.  My concern is I had polio in my right leg and I am able to walk without braces etc.  The right leg including the knee is deformed and movement as a result of the polio is limited.  If surgery is recommended, is the surgery orthoscopic to attach a wire to the bones to bring them together?  I would prefer the patella to heal without surgery.  Is it possible to use a cast to bring the knee cap  together?  I would like to avoid surgery if at all possible because of the complication of having had polio in that leg.  I am skeptical that surgery may be recommended and maybe not warranted.  How do I go about determining if surgery is absolutely necessary?  My gut feeling is since I wasn't taken for surgery right away after the ER x-ray that my break may not warrant surgery.

Offline lizl

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Re: Fractured Patella (Lateral Fracture)
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2004, 08:35:08 PM »
Welcome, Myknee!

You'll find a number of posts from fellow broken patella-ites in the Bone Breaks Around the Knee section. Here's a link:

http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/cgi-bin/KNEEtalk/YaBB.pl?board=fractures

Whether or not you will need surgery will depend on how "displaced" your fractured parts are--in other words, how far apart they are.  The bone cannot fuse if the parts do not touch each other. If stabilization keeps the parts in proper alignment, healing can happen without surgery. If the fragments are separated, surgery is necessary to reposition the fragments and wire them together to keep them that way.

You'll find lots of information and support on this site, so you've come to the right place!

LizL
2003: 1/28-29Fell on wet floor,broke kneecap
ORIF(hdwr&immob)
Post-op drug reaction
3/4-5/13 brace
3/21-8/28PT
12/19Hardware removal,scope,partial meniscectomies
2004: More PT
lost job
Settledw/WC Oct
2005: Personal injury lawsuit--reschedulings,failed mediation
2006: settled out of court in March

Offline JanieE

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Re: Fractured Patella (Lateral Fracture)
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2004, 08:38:35 PM »
Hi myknee,

Sorry you had to join us, but welcome to the broken patella club.  You found this board rather quickly, hopefully being more informed will help the process.  

I can't answer all your questions, but will try to answer what I can.  The ER Dr. was right, only the OS can decide if you need to get your knee wired.  I think most of us whose break separated the patella had to have surgery.  Check under the heading of "bone breaks around the knee", there are a few of us on there and not all have had the surgery.  Make yourself a list of all the questions for the OS. You want to get as much information as possible while you are there.

The decision to wait for surgery does not neccessarily mean it is not needed.  Since it is a break, they can just immobilize it until you see the OS. I had to wait a few days too before my surgery. Unfortunately the surgery is not arthroscopic, it is open.  Depending on where you live, the after care seems to differ. Some are in a immobilizer, some a cast.

One of the things you will notice when reading the other posts, everyone's recover is different, yours will be too.  All OS's and PT's approach this injury differently so it is hard to tell you what to expect.

Hang in there, you are not alone. While you are visiting your OS on Tues, I will be seeing mine too, in surgery to have my hardware removed.

Be sure to post any questions you have, there will always be someone here to answer them. Currently there are quite a few of us at different points of this injury.  

Good Luck,

Janie

9/19/03 slipped in water on vacation broke left patella-displaced
9/23/03  surgery wires and screws
11/10/03 PT
12/3/03 walking with crutches
1/14/03 out of brace
2/17/04 hardware removal

Offline lizl

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Re: Fractured Patella (Lateral Fracture)
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2004, 09:01:28 PM »
Janie,

I was just thinking about you as I cruised through the knee break section and realized you hadn't posted there in a while.

Good luck with the surgery tomorrow. You WILL NOT BE SORRY! I feel so much more normal since my second surgery and my function is improving steadily.

Be sure to post in "our" section as soon as you can to keep us up to date on how it is going with you.

LizL :)

PS to Myknee: Janie is right, of course. Usually the ER doc does not make the surgery decision. In my case, however, the ER doc did go ahead and tell me that I would be admitted to the hospital and that an OS would be coming to see me later in the day. My fracture was grossly displaced, however, and they did not have to wait for an OS consult to know that surgery would be necessary.  They drugged me up, straightened my leg which was bent following my fall, immobilized it, and took me to a room on the Orthopedic floor hours before I actually saw the OS. Of course, I don't know how many doctors reviewed the x-rays early on.

Don't be too stressed over the prospect of surgery. It does have its advantages. Successful fusion is pretty much assured with ORIF (Open Reduction Internal Fixation, the surgery to put in wires and pins) and it usually happens on a somewhat predictable timetable. Whether you have surgery or not, recovery from the stabilization is a longer process than recovering from any surgery you have. The main point right now is getting the fractured sections properly aligned. How is your pain level?
« Last Edit: February 16, 2004, 09:15:22 PM by lizl »
2003: 1/28-29Fell on wet floor,broke kneecap
ORIF(hdwr&immob)
Post-op drug reaction
3/4-5/13 brace
3/21-8/28PT
12/19Hardware removal,scope,partial meniscectomies
2004: More PT
lost job
Settledw/WC Oct
2005: Personal injury lawsuit--reschedulings,failed mediation
2006: settled out of court in March

Offline myknee

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Re: Fractured Patella (Lateral Fracture)
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2004, 01:04:15 AM »
Thank you for your replies.  Your information was helpful and I will keep you informed as to my progress after I receive word from the OS.















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