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Author Topic: Swollen knee after 6 months from patella fracture surgery  (Read 222 times)

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Offline axand

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Swollen knee after 6 months from patella fracture surgery
« on: January 30, 2019, 07:21:20 AM »

I am now 6 months after my patella surgery, I have broken the patella in 5 pcs with a minimum displacement and had surgery 3 screws and 2 wires (I have the story documented here: ).

Now at my 5 months check the x-ray showed that the fracture is still not healed and I think I have a delayed union for now.. but what I am curios to know if you still had the knee swollen after such a long time from the surgery? My knee is swollen above the patella (knee cap) especially, and it is with aprox 4cm bigger than the good one, I have regained relatively quick my full extension and ROM (I would say I am at 95% as I was before), I still have muscle atrophy and this would be my questions:

1. How long should I expect my knee to be swollen and what can I do to improve this? My OS told me that is normal and for now this is not an issue... but I think it might be for the muscle strengthening exercises maybe...

2. When I do exercises, even if I work hard I don't really have any muscle soreness on the quadriceps. For example if I do stationary bike, on my good leg the quadriceps start to burn but on the operated leg has no issue ... which I'm not sure why (it is true that I've exercised more with the operated leg to recover it, but I'm not sure if this is the issue)

3. For delayed fractures if you have any advises that I could do to help the bone heal.


Offline Bella Gamba

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Re: Swollen knee after 6 months from patella fracture surgery
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2019, 06:00:11 AM »
Hi Axand,

I suffered a tibial plateau fracture (not a patella fracture) and was pretty swollen for the first six months (and even longer) after ORIF surgery (so I agree with your OS that this is possibly "normal").

To help with inflammation I wore compression stockings (thigh high) and elevated my leg and iced constantly.  For ice treatment it is nice to have an ice therapy system (mine is a Donjoy) because it delivers iced water uniformly through a pad you can place around your knee.

With respect to your second question, do you think you are working more your “good” leg? I would suggest pushing the pedal with one leg at a time and see if you can do the turn with your “bad” leg with the same strength/intensity as you can with your “good” one.  When doing PT exercises my physical therapist suggested that I work both legs not just the injured one.

I do not think I have an answer for your third question.

I hope this helps!