• REGISTER for Joint Replacement Awareness Day on May 9th, 2020!

    Surgeons, patients, and other medical professionals will talk about topics you've told are important to you. You can ask questions LIVE of the participants. Please "like" and "share" our JRAD notice on your Facebook page too!

    Register and learn more in this announcement:

Watch 2019 JRAD Videos

Patella Fracture Surgery Recovery

JayR88

new member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
3
Age
31
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Hi I recently had patella repair surgery on November 6th and I am about 3 months out my Rom I believe is about 80 to 85 ..... I have done PT for about 4 weeks and seen little improvement but I have been doing most of the work myself. I may have pushed myself past my limits a few times and worried that I may have sabotaged some ROM... i read a lot on this forum that ROM shouldn’t be forced.... I can’t sit down all the way without my knee locking on me at a certain point then I have to release it a bit. Has anyone recovered from this type of surgery if so how long did it take for ROM to return. My knee is still pretty swollen and probably has scar tissue restrictions.....I recently started massaging my quads a lot and doing gua sha on my knee which helps a lot. I can do full rotations on my little pedalar at home but at the gym I have to lift up my hip high to get a full rotation on the stationary bike with the back support. I use the elliptical and I try to squat till I feel a stretch in my knee and also do a lot of stretching after. My surgeon said if my ROM doesn’t improve by April he would do an MUA which I definitely don’t want. Can anyone give advice please.
 

Celle

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Nov 19, 2011
Messages
37,092
Age
78
Location
New Zealand
Gender
Female
Country
New Zealand New Zealand
Hello @JayR88 - and :welome:

I think you need to go very gently with your recovery. The patella is only a small bone and it's quite fragile at the best of times.

Can you tell us a bit more about how you fractured your patella and what the surgeon did to repair it?
Did you have to wear a splint and, if so, how long for?

Since your knee is still swollen, it's probably that swelling that is preventing it from bending more.
I'm not sure that an MUA is going to help with that.

I'm going to ask @PolarBear60 if she can come and talk to you. I know that she had a fractured patella. She hasn't been on very much lately, but I hope she'll come.
 
OP
OP
J

JayR88

new member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
3
Age
31
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Hi thank you for responding, well I was riding my bike and I tried to get on a sidewalk curb and the tire went sideways my knee hit the curb and fractured in 3. I believe the surgery was a displaced fracture surgery and my Patela was put back together with tiny screws I’m not sure about wires I would have to ask. The doctor said my tendons and soft tissues were fine. And that my knee looked good based on the xrays. My problem right now is Stiffness in the knee especially in the morning until I get going and I can’t really straighten my knee to 0 degrees. I’ve been letting my heel sit on a pillow from time to time recently to try and get it to 0. But when I stand up u can see that my knee is in a slight bent position compared to the other knee. I was immobilized in a splint for 6 weeks from nov 6 to December 18. Then I was cleared to go to PT and start bending and doing strengthening exercises. I feel guilty about that because I didn’t go to PT for 2 weeks thinking I can do it myself. I finally gave in after 2 weeks and went to PT. It helped a little. But at this stage I still can’t get it to bend to 90 I believe and I’m just afraid it might be stuck this way. Again thank you for your response I really appreciate it. I’m 31 years of age and I just want to live again.
 

sistersinhim

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Messages
20,084
Location
Virginia
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
No matter your age, knee surgery takes a while to recovery from. That stiffness you're feeling is swelling in your knee. Are you icing and elevating your leg above your heart? That should help to get some of that fluid out. Having a swollen knee affects negatively on your ROM. As you heal and get that swelling down, your ROM should improve. You can not force it. If you try, you just inflame your tissues and they swell, worsening your ROM, causing setbacks. Just using your knee naturally and with gentle movements should be the best thing for it. Not only does your kneecap have to heal, so do all those soft tissues around it.
 
OP
OP
J

JayR88

new member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
3
Age
31
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Yes I do ice regularly and apply heat from time to time. What about scar tissue. Do I keep doing gua sha to get some of that off to improve it? Does scar tissue go away over time? Your advice really helps. Thank you.
 

sistersinhim

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Messages
20,084
Location
Virginia
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Be careful with heat. It can feed inflammation and increase swelling.

The infamous scar tissue (which is more correctly called adhesions) is very rare, and one of the easiest ways to develop it is to work your knee too hard. Over-worked knees get inflamed and hot, and hot tissues become drier than normal and more likely to stick together and form adhesions.

This article explains the difference between scar tissue and adhesions:
MUA (Manipulation under Anaesthetic) and Adhesions

You need normal scar tissue. That's what holds your incision together, and it's part of the normal healing process. Without it, you'd always have an open wound.
 

Celle

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Nov 19, 2011
Messages
37,092
Age
78
Location
New Zealand
Gender
Female
Country
New Zealand New Zealand
What about scar tissue. Do I keep doing gua sha to get some of that off to improve it? Does scar tissue go away over time?
I would stop the gua sha . If you have bad scar tissue (adhesions) I don't think gua sha will help much.

Let's see if you can get rid of more of your knee's swelling first (elevate and ice, elevate and ice - repeat as often as you can) before trying an MUA, too.
If your knee's flexion and extension don't improve once the swelling is gone, then maybe consider the MUA. There's no time limit on when it can be done.
 

PolarBear60

FORUM ADVISOR
Forum Advisor
Joined
Feb 22, 2015
Messages
4,656
Age
59
Location
Central Texas
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Hi, @JayR88,

I've had two cracked patellas. One cracked spontaneously when I was leaning into my truck to set my laptop back on the floor. My neighbor was standing three feet away and heard it crack. Xrays confirmed the break, and my surgeon put me in an immobilizer brace for three months. He did allow me to drive (it was my right knee), but I had strict orders to relock the brace whenever I wasn't behind the wheel. He monitored my progress weekly to make sure the break didn't worsen.

Since you had a complete break, your experience has been a little different from mine. I can say that during my three months of as much immobility as possible, all the aches and pains from my two knee replacements disappeared (so the Bonesmart method of resting and icing and daily living really does work, even though I was too stubborn to do it the first time).

I'm not surprised you're still experiencing stiffness at this point after your surgery. Even though the patella is small, it's a very active part of your knee joint, and it was heavily damaged. It's going to take a while for it to fully heal. The screws hold it together, but the bones need to regrow together, and everything will be sore until it's done doing that. At this point, I was just working my way out of my brace. My surgeon took quite a while before he let me open the brace up to 90 degrees, so I encourage you to relax. Do your day-to-day activities for now, but give your knee another month or two of grace before you're expecting it to be fully normal.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
50,128
Messages
1,360,369
BoneSmarties
31,539
Latest member
Doxiemome
Recent bookmarks
0

Top Bottom