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ORIF Tight area above knee after patella surgery 10 wks ago

veggiemuffin

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I guess my title says it all. I feel things are generally going well with my recovery.I have about 120 ROM and will be happy if that’s where I stay. But the tight area above the knee keeps me from walking normally. I have swelling at the knee but who doesn’t? I actually stopped doing leg exercises a few days ago to see if that would make the tight area go away. I never went to PT. Just used a list of exercises some nice home health aids gave me. Anyway the swelling went down a lot but the tight, sort of hard area is still there. Wondering if this is something I should worry about. My ORIF surgery was July 21, 2020.
 

Celle

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Hello @veggiemuffin - and :welome:

So, I think I understand you had an Open Reduction and Internal Fixation - did you fracture your patella? If not, what caused you to need surgery?

It sounds as if you're doing well, apart from the tightness, which I am sure is normal. For some people, it lingers for several months, just fading away gradually.

Even though we probably all wish that recovery could be faster, I'm afraid that almost all orthopaedic surgery takes a long time to recover from. Things to do with the knee can take as long as a full year before all your tissues have healed completely.

You did well to avoid doing lots of demanding exercises. Just exercising your knee gently is all it needs.

Even though you didn't have knee replacement, almost all of teh advice in these recovery guidelines will apply to your knee as well.

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​

4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. Try to follow this

6. Access to these pages on the website

The Recovery articles:
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling
Heel slides and how to do them properly
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Healing: how long does it take?
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

There are also some cautionary articles here
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in the majority of BoneSmart’s forums, we ask that each member have only One Recovery Thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 
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veggiemuffin

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Thanks for your reply. Yes, I tripped over a garden hose and landed on my concrete porch, knee first. Got wired back together the next day.

I’ve been reading posts on this forum for several weeks for tips, etc. I noticed the issues are very similar. From reading posts I had been thinking this tight, hard area would go away on its own, but then started worrying that maybe it’s something I should be concerned about. I keep forgetting to ice and elevate.
 

Celle

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Yes, I tripped over a garden hose and landed on my concrete porch, knee first. Got wired back together the next day.
Ouch! That must have hurt. :console2: Thank you for explaining further.

Thank you for explaining further.

If you can, carry on with icing and elevating. Nothing is going to happen fast, but it will help to reduce the swelling gradually.
 

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