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Hello. A week and a half ago I fell directly on my left knee cap. The doctor said I broke it in 5 places, one is directly lateral. None of the breaks are displaced so he said it will heal on it's own without surgery.

He put me in a weight bearing knee brace that can be adjusted for bending range of motion. It is bent at 15 degrees right now. I definately am unable to bend and lift it at the same time. I can bend it a little without engaging the muscles, and when my leg is completely straight it doesn't hurt to have weight on it.

Does this sound right to you? I just like to get more than 1 opinion.

I don't know how much is too much for my ROM. I don't want my recovery to end up being longer than expected.

Thanks!

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I too broke my patella at the end of March. I saw an Orthepaedic Surgeon who immediately suggested surgery to wire the pieces together.
During surgery the doctor discovered I also damaged my patellar tendon. I was not allowed to bend the knee or bear weight for four weeks!
I am now in a knee brace that allows me to bend to 40 degrees and can bear weight on my leg.
I have been a good patient and listen to my doctor's orders because I don't want to risk future problems.
You might see another doctor if your insurance will cover it. I have x-rays every two weeks to see how the bones are healing.
I think you should look for a doctor who is more proactive - it's your body after all.

Good luck!
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I broke my knee cap 7 weeks ago. At the time the dr. (not my regular physician unfortunately) said no x-ray was necessary. Well here we are 7 weeks later... Anyone have an idea of the healing time of this surgery? Problem is we are headed for a well-planned family vacation to Disney in 9 weeks so I am a bit concerned about that. As it is planned around a business trip for my husband, we can't exactly change the dates. I know it sounds crazy but I am desperate to know how long my knee will have to be immobile. As long as I can be out of a cast or immobilizer by the time we go (2/8/09) I can handle this! Any advice?? Thanks.
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I shattered my patella in a simple fall on Sunday, Dec. 14. I went to ER immediately, and they took an x-ray. The ortho surgeon said surgery was mandatory. But instead of being admitted to the hospital that day (very expensive), I made a date for three days later at an outpatient surgery center. In the meantime I was in a brace, on vicadin, and very sedentary.

After the surgery, I found I had a tolerance to pain meds. Nothing in the surgery center post-op would work to relieve the pain. Finally they gave me some pills that gave me comfort enough to go home. I was prescribed oxycontin. This was great for the pain in the first few days, but then I experienced side-effects.

Beware high anxiety, leading to psychosis and constipation. In order of worst to least worst in the whole experience: anxiety was the worst, then constipation, then the knee surgery.

Today is Dec. 30. Less than a week ago I got a walker. That helped me to be more mobile around the house. It also gave my leg with the bum knee practice in walking. The next day I was hobbling around without the walker, but may have overdone it. Now I walk with a cane.

The knee is now weight-bearing, but can't bend. This is the two-week mark after surgery.
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On December 16th, 2008 I fell and fractured my knee cap along with sprained low back. I took a fall straight down on my knee. May 10th of this year I had fallen from a ladder and a suffering from a concussion, whiplash, and lateral meniscus tear(which was operated on Aug.12th, 2008). I have went through alot of emotions and feelings, and I am typically a happy person. I hope your recovery time is short and all heals well soon.
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I broke my patella in 5 places last March 3, 2008, fell on black ice. Went to the er and had surgery the next day. Knee was wired together, I was put in a bledsoe brace, and told I could go back to work immediately and go for PT the next week. Well the knee cap fell apart, and I had to have my knee rebroken and fixed again. (Extremely painful, it's not a joke)

Second time around, August 2009, with a new doc, I was home for one month, in a brace with my leg straight for 8 weeks. NO BENDING!!! Non weight bearing for at least one month with crutches. I was home the first month with an ice machine on the leg for 3 weeks, and in a leg bending machine for the same amount of time. Bending started very slowly, 2 degrees, 3 degrees, 5 degrees and on until I could bend it to about 30-40. It was a very long haul and continues to be. I still have the hardware in my knee which will possibly come out in April 2009. I can still not walk up stairs comfortably. I am probably about 80% better, but I am sure I will never be the same. See the doc next week for the next phase. It is a year now. I am a healthy 60 year old. It's been hell.
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Personally, I have been through this twice. I wonder what age you are? I am 60, in very good shape, but I fell a year ago and shattered my patella in 5 places on black ice. They operated and I was put into a bledsoe (bending) cast, and started PT almost immediately. The knee did not heal, and they had to rebreak it and perform the operation all over again. New surgeon this time, aftercare was no weightbearing for 2 months, leg completely straight for same amount of time. He ordered me an ice machine and a leg bending machine, that I used for the 1-2 months I was flat on my back.

I would be worried if they told you to bend your knee. Think about it, the bone needs to heal, and any bending or weight is not helping. Good luck.
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no it does not sound right, see another surgeon.
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Hi, I fell at work December 31, went to ER for xray and it showed joint efusion but nothing else. They told me to follow up with my doctor which I did. He thought it was a sprain, told me if no better come back in two weeks. It wasn't better so I did. It took me until now, April 29th to find out I have a patella fracture. The pain I have been in has been terrible. I had a MRI done and that is how they found the fracture. My question is this, I am seeing a ortho surgeon in a few days, is there anything he can do since it has been 4 months? The pain isn't going away. Thanks for any help or suggestions
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Two weeks ago, I fell and found out after X ray that my patella was broken laterally. I was sent to the hospital and operated on the following day. Pins and wires holding it together. I was sent home a few days later with only a plaster on the stitches and crutches. The doc said to walk on it slowly. My leg is strong but I cannot bend, possibly only 5 %. I have been told that in 10 days they will xray again and then be sent to physiotherapy. All other people I´ve spoken towith similar injuries had hard casts, I only had a plaster covering the operation. Is this unusual, I want to know how long to expect this recovery process to last. :'(
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It sounds to me that using a plaster is pretty common too. I think it's important when you have received treatment to bear in mind that everyone's recovery can be different, and not to panic when you hear that someone else hasn't gotten the same treatment that you have. I hope that this helps you gain some perspective. Recovery can take four to six weeks, usually. Although check with your doctor to see if it takes less or more time.
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My husband fell on ice at work on March 10th, 2009....he was taken to ER and x-ray showed broken patella, he had surgery that afternoon with wires and pins to hold the piece together. It is now June 15th and he has just come from the orthopedic surgeon (he has been back about every four weeks for x-rays). He is being advised to come back on July 8th....and still no work! He has been going to physical therapy since about two weeks after surgery...twice a week. He is getting very antsy, but since his job is very physical....the Dr. didn't think it was in his best interest to go back yet.
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Well I broke my left patella on National Bike to Work Day June 24th, I had an x-ray the next day and they determined that I had a nice fracture down the center of my patella. The leg swole up like a grapefruit and they were worried that I may have also torn some ligaments. I'm going to the VA hospital and they're so backed up I just had my MRI yesterday, July 8th. My follow-up appointment isn't until the July 20th. This is getting ridiculous. I'm in a brace, and they said no bending, but a little weight bearing was ok. They had me on oxycodone and then hydrocodone but the side effects were a pain in the ass to deal with so now I wait. I'm starting to be able to walk without crutches but I hobble like a decrepid old man.
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i broke my knee laterally last week. The ER doc originally said I would need surgery. However the next day the orthopedic surgeon said because the bones had not moved apart, no surgery was needed. he put me in a post-operative leg brace and set it for about 15 degrees of movement. I'm now going in weekly for x-rays to make sure the bones have not moved, and he usually expands my range of motion by 5 degrees or so. He said I should be walking on it in 2-3 weeks, and the brace will be off in 6-8 weeks. Also, I know he is an extremely competent doctor, he fixed my collar-bone last year, and my father's knee 2 years prior. Surprisingly, I've had almost no knee pain, the worst part has been MASSIVE swelling and muscle aches.
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I broke my knee cap after falling off my bike late July. I had to wait two weeks before they would operate because I had skin abrasion that needed to heal first. I was told having skin abrasions would increase the chances of infection 4 fold. After the operation I was told I would be in a full length brace for 6-8 weeks followed by 2-3 months of physical therapy to loosen up the joint. I was told no weight bearing on the knee until the brace comes off. I was also told the times could vary because everyone heals differently.
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