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I fell in New Orleans and fractured the bottom of my knee cap in about 5 places and had a horizontal break at 1.9.cm. plus a chip.  Flew home in full not bend leg brace.  My ortho gave me an option, surgery or give it a week, total bed rest, I was able to walk around my house and bear weight with full leg brace.  I had to wear the leg brace 24 hrs. a day, not bending of the knee or the muscles above or below the knee. Totally straight.  After 1 week it was still in place and I went for 1 more week, still in place, then 1 more week.  After 3 weeks I was allowed to leave my house with full leg brace and crutches, but he warned if I got bumped or fell I was done.  I basically did not leave my house for 8 weeks.  Leg brace came off and he said "no therapy", just bend it a little each day and come back in a month.  He felt therapy could harm it.  After that month I had full mobility of my knee and the bone healed perfectly.  It 4 months since and I do have knee pain, but mainly from all the tendons and ligaments, fully expect to get better over time.  So, if the knee is broke and separated don't bend it, it only pulls it farther apart!!!!  Get a good Dr. that will show you the x rays and explain everything.  I'm glad I did as at the 4 month mark the bone looked like it had never been broken.  I had no surgery, no PT, but a great dr who had me come in every week.

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I live in the UK and from what I've read here there are some similarities and some differences in the approach to treatment and rehab so I thought I share my story for members to compare with. I twisted my left ankle on the edge of a low step and fell down onto my right knee cap. It broke into four pieces and the fracture was displaced so I had surgery the following day to pin and wire it back together. I was put in a full cylinder cast for 2 weeks. I was allowed to walk partially weight bearing with crutches from day after my surgery. Walking was uncomfortable but not particularly painful. In fact I didn't experience too much pain overall, but I kept topping up with my range of prescribed painkillers (paracetamol, ibuprofen AND codeine) every six hours, so didn't really give it chance to become noticeable. I was Xrayed after 2 weeks when the cast and staples were removed and then put into a velcro splint. My worse problem mobility wise has been getting my leg from the bed/couch to the floor as I was unable to do a leg lift type of movement. So I've been stuck where I'm put until someone comes to lift my leg up and down for me. I commenced physio therapy after 3 weeks of being in the splint (5 weeks post op). This was just a few quad squeezes and ankle stretches. A week later my physio started me bending my knee with some supported heel slides, but range was almost nil at this time. My quads were still very atrophied and my physio didn't feel they were strong enough to support me yet to try walking without the splint. Last week, 6 weeks post op) I had another Xray which revealed that the fracture had now healed. The doctor said I could ditch the splint now and just use a tubey grip bandage for support. I managed to persuade him to let me keep the splint to get home in as I struggle to get into my car and the walk into the house is a nightmare. Since then, I have left the splint off whilst sitting and lying down and have increased the frequency of my physio exercises at home lots. I haven't tried walking without the splint on yet, partly because I'm terrified of it, and partly because I prefer to check with my physio that my quads are ok to do this first. I am seeing her again tomorrow and hope she will see some improvement in strength and show me how to get on my feet and walk again! I think I would feel more confident if I could use a smaller knee support or something that would hold my knee from giving way whilst allowing a little movement at the same time. I haven't slept without the splint yet, but hope to try that tonight. Again, its the fear of bending or jolting my knee suddenly in my sleep that's stopping me from having a go. Yep, my confidence is in bits and I think until I get over some of my fears my progress will continue to be slow. 

Its good to read forums like this and know that I'm not alone, keeping in mind that everyone is different and treatments and progress will depend on the individual and their particular injury and situation. 
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Fainted fell in garage over three steps onto cement two weeks ago. Shattered patella
in four equal places. Next day surgery only with screws and wires. Using soft brace
with Velcro from the start and able to walk three days later without walker. Use cane
as well. Have l0 staples to hold knee together. Stopped pain pills after one week as they are constipating; Tylenol extra strength twice a day works. I don't see how anyone
could drive with this thing; I can't. I shall keep you posted. Nobody knows why I fainted.
Worse part of surgery was anesthesiologist coming to me afterwards; he said I'd clamped down on tube in mouth with front tooth. Instead of waiting for me to surface, he
pulled out tube and twisted out tooth which happened to be a capped crown. Finally have temp. in and negotiating with hospital to pay the $2000 bill for tooth as all he had to do was wait a few seconds for me to surface.
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