TKR Two TKRs and a broken kneecap - on the mend now!

I certainly intend to be, @JusticeRider !
It’s an avulsion fracture by the way, which basically means that the pull of ligament/tendon snapped off the top of my kneecap. :flabber::bawl::thud:

Here I am in my new leg brace, which keeps my 8 week-old knee joint in full extension… You can also see my 4 day-old LTKR in the other photo - I’m not using that brace anymore because it kept falling off…

This poor left leg is having to do all the work now, getting me in and out of bed, on and off the commode, etc. I am allowed to bear weight on the broken patella, but not to bend it at ALL.

The biggest problem is that with my right leg stretched out, my centre of gravity is too far forward, and really I need to bend the other knee right back when I push up with it to compensate. But of course that knee has just been replaced, and is swollen and sore, and was pretty weak anyway, so that is very difficult, to the point of being pretty much impossible. The physios say I’m doing well, and it’s true to an extent: I couldn’t do it at all yesterday, even with help, and now I can, but I need a lot of help. I can’t take the physios home from hospital with me, sadly, so I guess I’m stuck here for now!


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Crumbs! That is one amazing contraption. You are probably better off in hospital for a while yet. We are all rooting for you and just hope it will heal without more surgery. Hopefully every day your newly operated leg will be a bit better to help out- fingers crossed .
It is a brace that can be locked at any specific range of motion, @EalingGran, so if people are allowed to bend their knee a bit but not freely - say 90 degrees - it can be set to allow that much movement and no more. Sadly, mine is set to zero!
Despite its Terminator/RoboCop appearance, it’s actually more comfortable than the other one was, because it has been adjusted to fit, and the other one is One Size (Doesn’t) Fit All!
Oh Fiona, I am so sorry you have to deal with this.
We're with you all the way and rooting for you.
Hugs and lots of comfort to you!
Hello. I had my RTKR 8 weeks ago and my LTKR 7 days ago. Unfortunately, a few hours later, as I got out of bed for the first time, my right kneecap ‘exploded’: I felt excruciating pain as a fragment where the tendons were attached suddenly snapped off - an avulsion fracture.

This is a serious complication. I’ll explain more if anyone is interested, but first, I just wondered if anyone else has had this experience? I’m feeling very alone, vulnerable and worried, as well as struggling a lot with the practicalities, and I’d appreciate hearing from anyone who’s been through anything similar…
Thanks in advance. :)
Dear Fiona,
Everytime I read this my heart breaks for you. Such an unfortunate situation, but we'll be here with you in support all along the way. Remember you're never alone here, day or night, lights never go out.
I merged this post with your original recovery thread so you have your history all in one place which will be helpful for anyone reading to comment. I edited the title a bit to include the broken kneecap without making the title too long. If you prefer something else, please let us know and we will gladly edit accordingly.
Wishing you comfort and sending a warm hug your way. :console2:
@FionaW, so sorry to hear of all that you are going through. I can’t imagine trying to recover with 2 operated legs, one seems more than enough :wink:

I have an MCL avulsion fracture which is similar to yours, but mine was caused during knee revision surgery, along with a fractured femur and tibia. It’s 12 weeks since I had the surgery, and I wore that shorter leg brace for 11 long weeks :boohoo: Mine was locked at 0-90 and I was partial weight bearing of 50% on that leg for 7 weeks and then fully weight bearing, but still on crutches. I found that “one size fits all“ brace sooooo annoying, it slipped down as soon as I moved. I was constantly hitching it up. The physio had to keep shortening the velcro straps as the swelling on my thigh reduced to try and hold it in place. In the end I wore thin thermal leggings underneath, which did help a bit.

Now the brace is off, I feel that I am back to square one regarding the knee revision and trying to increase my mobility. Still walking with 2 crutches. My knee is still v painful, particularly where the avulsion fracture occurred. My physio told me last week to do 2 stretches morning and evening and a couple of exercises during the day, just alternating depending on how the leg feels. I am worried that the MCL will detach again, even though an x-ray last week looked promising.

I AM feeing a bit more positive in general though. It certainly helps now that the sun is shining, down south, here in the UK!
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@FionaW, I feel so sorry for you and DogTiredKnees having to go through this. I can understand how worrying it must be for you and I can empathise with how you're feeling. This op makes many of feel vunerable and depressed, even people with straight forward recoveries, without your added complications. I really feel for you at this time. I hope when the time comes to go home lots of care is put in place for you. I hope there are people on here that can offer advice re their recovery. Take care x
I merged this post with your original recovery thread so you have your history all in one place
Oh. I deliberately posted it in the wider forum, @Layla , because it’s a rare complication and clearly no one who is following this thread has experienced this, so I wanted to try to reach a wider audience. Do you think you could move it back, please? And then if you want you can re-merge them later when I’ve seen whether anyone new responds.
Thank you so much for replying, @DogTiredKnees … Though I’m sorry to hear that you too
have an MCL avulsion fracture which is similar to yours
It is good to connect.
I had exactly the problems you describe with the first brace. The locked one is better, but still moves a bit. 11 weeks?! How did you cope?! Were you told from the start it would be that long?
I’m in the UK too, in Yorkshire. Let’s stay in touch. :flwrysmile:
@FionaW I was told originally that I would be wearing the leg brace for 6-8 weeks for the fractures. I had regular appointments with the surgeon and physio, and at each visit they put the brace removal back! If they’d told me at the beginning that it would be 11 weeks, I’d have been horrified!

Even though the brace allowed a bend to 90 degrees, I never achieved that. At the moment I can get to 80 degrees on a very good day, but I am being careful to avoid re-fracturing the knee.

I was in hospital for a week, and on my return home I was still using a walking frame. But this put huge pressure on my wrists, felt like a trapped nerve. I moved onto so called “comfy handle”crutches, which did help. I didn’t really move about too much, just between the front room, bathroom and bedroom, as movement was (and still is) extremely painful. I was very reliant on my partner and friends to look after me.

I was housebound for those 11 weeks, except for hospital/physio/GP appointments, which was quite challenging. There is a small section at the bottom of the wound which is still open, so I have to go back to the GP each week to have it cleaned and redressed. No-one knows why it is being so slow to heal.

But despite all the above, I am feeling that there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. I know that you are still at the beginning of your recovery, but I do hope that you are able to be positive and know that things will get better!
:prayer: for your @FionaW.

Oh. I deliberately posted it in the wider forum, @Layla , because it’s a rare complication and clearly no one who is following this thread has experienced this, so I wanted to try to reach a wider audience.
As you know, you are allowed only 1 Recovery Thread. What we can do is change the title of this thread to one that you would like and that would call attention to your request. Then, later on, we can change it to another one after your kneecap it healed.
@sistersinhim - That’s exactly why I gave it the title “Anyone else had a broken kneecap after TKR?”
Ideally, I want to hear other people’s experiences, so it really doesn’t feel like it’s part of my recovery thread.
Thanks again @DogTiredKnees !
You’re confirming what I suspected: that they might be deliberately under-stating the time I’ll need to be in the brace to stop me from despairing! Mine is set to 0, so I’m in full extension, and obviously that’s very limiting. I’m also getting weird, very painful locking in my just-replaced left knee, like the artificial joint has subluxed, which presumably it can’t do. I’m hoping this eases as the swelling goes down!
I’ve been in hospital a week today, and because I can’t get out of bed or transfer without assistance, I can’t go home yet.

I’m really glad to hear you’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel - glad for you, and glad for me because it’s reassuring!
@FionaW I hope that my reply regarding the length of time I wore the brace didn’t make you feel worse! Everyone is different and heals at different rates. My leg is undeniably weak because it never recovered fully from the initial knee replacement in 2021. I have been walking with a single crutch since then and I knew that there was a risk of bones being broken during the revision surgery. I can’t imagine how painful and frustrating it must have been for you to have the avulsion fracture after surgery. At least I was asleep when mine happened!
No, don’t worry @DogTiredKnees , your reply definitely didn’t make me feel worse! I am the sort of person who deals much better with situations when I have as much information as possible, and I much MUCH prefer to prepare myself now for the possibility that I could be in the leg brace for longer, rather than expecting to get out of it after 6 to 8 weeks, and only discovering then that I won’t!

I also knew that my recovery was going to be harder than average, but it is nevertheless a bit of a blow to have an unexpected complication on top of the expected ones. Ho hum!
@FionaW Glad to hear it ;) Do you have any idea of timescale for your return home? I suppose it may be too early to predict.

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