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Author Topic: Recent Open Patella Fracture  (Read 1366 times)

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Offline dre.poupon

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Recent Open Patella Fracture
« on: December 01, 2019, 01:19:02 AM »
I recently fractured my Patella skateboarding and did not realize how devastating this injury would be. I was really lucky not to have torn anything on top of the fracture, but  it has undoubtedly been the most major injury Iíve ever had.

I fell onto my left knee from about four feet and onto concrete. As I went to roll over/get up, I couldnít move it at all. I cried out and couldnít move. My kneecap basically split in half. My leg was moving involuntarily because the displacement confused my muscles. Out of fear of ambulance fees (I live in Oregon, US), some friends helped me out of the skatepark and drove me to the hospital.
The whole experience was pretty traumatic. My fear and anxiety definitely made things 20 times worse. I think everything would have been a lot more manageable if I wasnít so scared.

I went into surgery immediately and got some screws put in. The first week was horrible, but the pain has since subdued and Iím feeling more like myself again. In fact, I hardly had pain the second week. Itís returned this past week, though in no way close to the extent of what it was the first week. Iíve been doing light weight bearing and can definitely tell when I overdo it. The swelling is still significant and the pain killers are a nightmare. Iíve really been trying to avoid them unless necessary.

Iím a pretty athletic girl in my early twenties and have lived a very autonomous life for a long time, but this injury has really set me back. I was completely bedridden the first week, and now I can move pretty well and completely by myself for the most part.

Anyways, I start physical therapy somewhat soon and Iím extremely anxious about it. My fear and anxiety feel directly correlated to my pain levels. Iím nervous about my second surgery (though it isnít for another six months or so) to get my screws out. Iím trying to take everything one day at a time, but with a full recovery time of about a year itís hard not to feel a little bummed out on myself from time to time.

Any advice or feedback is so appreciated. Iím pretty lost here!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 01:23:18 AM by dre.poupon »

Offline BenAldridge0

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Re: Recent Open Patella Fracture
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 06:17:57 AM »
Hey there,

Typing this on my phone so it might be a little messy. Good to see another American on here  8) 

Iím down here in cali and injured my knee swing dancing and running two and a half years ago. To this day I havenít received an explanation for why my knee behaves the way it does. I was a little different than you in that my initial injury was nowhere near as significant, but then I had a false sense of empowerment and figured it would take care of itself while I stayed active.  I could be moving  to Portland within a year, and itís kind of a bummer because I know itís such an outdoor community but Iím not sure how much adventure I can participate in!!

Anyways, the only advice that comes to my mind is two fold: 1) empower yourself with knowledge, which youíve already done by showing up on this forum .  If itís any consolation, I scoured through different resources but settled on this site as the best online resource. Youíve obviously done your homework in being here!   And then 2) itís ok to be anxious, and itís even ok to express that to your physical therapist.  Have an open mind when you approach the meeting, tell them youíre nervous, but also give yourself the flexibility to test the physical therapist out as a good fit. In my case, I was with a few Kaiser physical therapists, but ended up going out of network with an independent one that was on another level.

Oh and finally, just be patient and compassionate with yourself! Better to be patient now and get better rather than force something and delay your progress.  I wish I would have been patient with myself two and a half years ago!

Offline Serena fix

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Re: Recent Open Patella Fracture
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 02:09:14 PM »
I also fractured my patella into several pieces after slipping on wet floor while helping my son move into his new apartment in Chicago. I had ORIF surgery a week later in Cambridge Mass. The first month was awful. I was practically bed ridden, depressed, ill at ease with my crutches, the straight leg raises which I was encouraged to start immediately, were painful, and I couldnít imagine ever being my old active self again. At the beginning of the 2nd month I could see light at the end of the tunnel. Little milestones mean a lot, the gradual loosening of the knee brace, getting rid of altogether at 7 weeks, only needing one crutch, then finally no crutch at 10 weeks. At three months post surgery I felt I was well on the way to recovery, my range of motion was good, I was exercising on a stationary bicycle, walking (somewhat fearfully) into town. However a new problem has set in. My bone is well on itís way to healing but my hardware, which is protruding through my knee is painful and preventing any further progress and I will see if my surgeon is prepared remove it this early. There are many old threads on this site testifying what a brutal injury this is with patience being the most common advice. So hang in there and celebrate the little milestones as they come.

Offline Bella Gamba

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Re: Recent Open Patella Fracture
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 10:54:35 PM »
Just to add my 2 cents:  the recovery after metal removal is much quicker as your bone will already be healed.  Also, at your young age, you can expect to heal sooner.   

One thing that I learned after the fact (my fracture was at the tibial plateau) is that you need vitamin K2 to absorb calcium into the bones.  Most doctors do suggest taking a high dose of vitamin D3 but this just makes the Ca++ available, without the K2 it just circulates in your blood...

Best wishes!