Skip to main content

Dealing With a Broken Kneecap

A while back, I suffered a serious knee injury that resulted in surgery and months of rehabilitation.

The X-ray of my fractured knee

The X-ray of my fractured knee

My Patella Fracture Journey

Back in November 2011, I fell down a step and landed on my kneecap, shattering it into four pieces.

I had surgery to pin it back together, and my leg was immobilized in a splint for six weeks.

The patella fracture healed, but the fun was just beginning. My knee joint was completely stuck due to scar tissue and severe muscle atrophy.

Since then, I've had more surgery to remove the hardware that you can see in the photograph above.

This article is about the information I've discovered about patella fractures and what helps to rehabilitate this injury once it's fixed.

This is my leg right after my operation to get my pins removed. I was still at the hospital, waiting to be discharged.

This is my leg right after my operation to get my pins removed. I was still at the hospital, waiting to be discharged.

Everyone Is Different

From reading other people's experiences from the comments on this article and on the KneeGeeks Forum, it is clear to me that there is no definitive way to deal with a broken kneecap.

What works for some people does not necessarily work for others. It is important to remember that although we are all in the same boat with having a fractured patella, we are quite unique in our rehabilitation and ways to deal with it.

Treatment variations depend on individual factors such as age and general fitness, but more particularly, it depends on the locality and the methods applied by the medical staff responsible for your treatment.

It is important to remember when reading the experiences and advice shared on this page that your own situation may be different because of the above reasons.

Always check with your doctor before trying out new rehabilitation methods, as there may be a medical reason why it has not been suggested to you already.

Most importantly, don't worry or get disheartened if you read here that someone else has recovered from their patella fracture more quickly than you appear to be doing.

Different personal and medical factors mean that everyone will progress at different rates. Generally, the ways and means of getting to a particular place in your rehab will differ, but the overall timescale of your full recovery will be pretty much the same.

Keep working hard, and you will get there!

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Patientslounge

Types of patellar fractures

Types of patellar fractures

Kneecap fractures come in many shapes and sizes! They range from a single crack to a break into several separated pieces. If the bone is cracked but the pieces stay in place, the treatment involves immobilizing the leg for about six weeks until the fracture is healed.

If the pieces are separated (displaced), then surgery is usually required to hold them together while it all heals back into place. My fracture was a comminuted displaced fracture . . . the one I would probably have not chosen if I could have picked. It means that my bone broke into several pieces and did not stay in place. You can see the arrangement of pins and wires used to fix my fracture in the X-ray at the start of this article.

So You Fractured Your Patella Too?

Patella fractures only make up about 1% of all bone breakages overall. I am curious to know which type of patella fracture is most common when they do occur. Check the names on the diagram above and select the relevant option below. Thank you for taking part in this poll.

My Knee Immobilizers: A Cast and a Splint

Following surgery, my leg was put in a "cylinder cast" for the first two weeks. After that, when my staples were removed, I was put in a velcro splint for another four weeks.

I've read that some patients are put in a hinged brace at two weeks which allows some movement of the knee joint to commence. I wonder if I'd had one of those, maybe my knee would not have been stuck straight when the six weeks were up. I imagine early movement would have been painful but worth it if it meant gaining a decent range of motion in a more reasonable time frame later.

The Physioroom Elite Hinged Knee Brace

After six weeks in an immobiliser, my fracture had healed, and the doctor told me to start walking without the splint, but my quads were practically non-existent, and my physio told me they weren't strong enough to support my leg.

I was panic-stricken at the thought of walking without anything to help. I trawled the internet for advice about whether or not it was a good idea to progress to a small support brace and once I'd concluded that it was a good idea, the next thing was to decide which type would be best for me.

I decided that I needed a hinged brace which would allow me to alter the degree I could bend my knee. This would help to support my knee and stop it from bending too far and also allow for adjustment as my range of motion improved.

I decided on the Physioroom Elite Hinged Brace because it had adjustable hinges that could also be removed later, when I could cope with less support. The brace was also washable, so it would last a while, and it came in various sizes. I needed to measure around my knee at the widest part to select the correct size.


The brace slides up over my leg and has a velcro strap which wraps from the back of my knee and fastens over and above the joint to keep it securely in place. The adjustable velcro allows me to tighten or release it for a comfortable fit. The Elite also has a patella support, which is a reinforced ring inside the brace to stop the patella from tracking out of place and it is open to prevent overheating. We call it the knee donut!

I definitely needed the brace to help me start to walk again and still use it now for additional support when I'm driving or standing for a long time. I don't use the hinges anymore, and have removed them completely. It is possibly time for me to downgrade to a smaller support now, but I have worn it at least once a day for the last ten months now, so it has definitely been worth the money and I would recommend it to anyone considering getting a knee brace to help them through their patella fracture recovery.

Hinged Knee Brace

Better a broken bone than a broken spirit.

— Lady Marjory Allen of Hurtwood

Gel Ice Packs Were Essential “After Therapy” Relief

If you are only going to buy one thing to see you through the physio programme, let this be it! They are just the best thing ever for cooling a raging knee joint and soothing the soreness and irritation.

I am using gel packs throughout my healing process. I got them back in January, just before I started my physio, and they are still going strong. They come with a thin white pouch to place over them to save the cold from hurting your skin, and they are flexible, even when frozen. I tend to leave mine in the fridge. That way, they are always chilled when I need them.

Some Gentle Physio Knee Exercises

When my splint was removed after six weeks, my quads were totally wasted (atrophied) and my range of movement (ROM) in my joint was barely 20 degrees.

It took many weeks of gentle exercises, three or four times a day, to get them to wake up again. If you are going through this, don't be disheartened if all your hard work seems to be going nowhere. One day, your muscles WILL twitch, your leg WILL raise up in a straight lift and your knee WILL begin to bend again! Be patient, be determined, and you will get there.

Here are some of the exercises I did to kickstart my strength and movement. Start with five of each and build up to more when five gets too easy. There are many more quad-strengthening exercises, but your physio therapist will advise you which are safe for your particular injury.

Quads Tensing

Sitting or lying with both legs out straight, flex your foot back, push your knee down and tense your thigh muscles as tightly as possible. Hold for a few seconds then relax. Hold for longer when it becomes easier.

Inner Range Contractions/Short Arc Quads

Sit or lie with legs out straight. Roll up a towel or something similar (I used a soft pillow) and place it under your knee. Press your knee down into the towel and lift your heel at the same time. Try to get your leg out straight, keeping your knee on the towel as you do. Hold for five seconds and then slowly lower your heel back down.

Straight Leg Raises

Sit or lie with legs out straight. Flex your foot back, push the knee down into the floor to lock it straight, lift your heel and raise your leg about 12 inches from the floor, keeping the whole leg straight as you do. (This is very difficult to begin with. Don't be surprised if your leg feels like someone put a rock on it. Even if you can't manage to lift it at first, keep going through the motions, one day it will lift up!)

Watch how to correctly achieve the straight leg raise exercise in the YouTube video below.

Heel Slides/Knee Bending

Start with legs out straight and slowly start to slide your heel along the floor towards your butt, as far as it will go. Hold for a few seconds, then straighten the leg back out. Repeat.

Prone Knee Bends

Lie face down with legs out straight. Keep your thigh down on the floor and bend your knee, lifting your foot back towards your butt as you go. It's trickier to do it this way as the muscles in your knee are tighter on the front.

Pedal Exerciser: Helping to Push the Bend!

My physio therapy involved two main aspects - improving the muscle strength in my leg, and improving the range of motion (ROM) in my knee. The best method for improving the ROM I found was using a static pedal exerciser.

The Drive Medical Exercise Peddler is the one I purchased, and it allowed me to sit down comfortably whilst working on my knee bend. Whilst I was unable to do a full rotation, I used the pedal on my good side to push back the bend in my bad leg. I could hold the tension for as long as I could bear it and ease off when I needed to. The alternative exercise involved standing up at the bottom of the stairs with my bad leg up on the first step and leaning into the bend. This made me feel a bit woozy and dizzy and I could not focus on working through the pain as well as I coils when sitting working on the pedals. My ROM increased by 20 degrees in the first four days I used the pedal exerciser at home ... definitely worth the investment!

Knee Massage: Do It While You View It!

Right from the start of my rehab, knee massage has been crucial. It helps loosen scar tissue inside the joint, keeps the external scar supple, encourages the muscles to wake up AND it soothes the pain during and after physio sessions.

I use E45 lotion or cream to massage my knee joint and I follow the routine in the video here for massage technique.

This video will take you through a step-by-step massage that really does help to loosen the joint and soothe the pain. It also has info about the knee joint and how it works.

How Did You Break Your Patella?

Most patella fractures happen as the result of a direct impact to the kneecap. Usually, this would take the form of a fall or forceful knock or blow. However, it is possible to fracture your patella by over-extension of the quad muscles with sudden and excessive force. For example, this sometimes happens to athletes when the sheer power in their muscles is enough to split the bone in two.

Let’s try to find out which is the more common way of fracturing your patella in this question poll. Thanks for taking part!

Please feel free to tell us more about how you got your patella injury in the comments below (with the exception of gory details of course, some of us haven’t eaten yet!).

Broken Knee Resources That I've Found Useful on the Web

Has This Information Helped You?

The information in this article is based on my own experiences and what I've found useful. What have I left out? Did I provide you with anything useful? Let me know in the comments below!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

Question: When will I be able to drive a car again after breaking a kneecap?

Answer: Everyone is different, I was driving after about four months but it depends on your car, which leg it is, ROM, quad strength etc.

Question: I am 10 weeks post a traffic accident that broke my knee and led to surgery. I am 3 weeks into physio, and my range of motion is 20 degrees. I am struggling to see when I will get full range back. My question is, how long did it take you to get back to full range of motion (135 degrees I think it is) and also can you kneel down now?

Answer: I don’t think my range of motion will ever be back to full, but it’s near enough I guess. It took a while to get there though, around 12 months I would say. I don’t kneel; my quads aren’t strong enough.

Question: Has your patella healed back into its normal shape/size since breaking it? Have you had any issues with patella tracking?

Answer: The bone is definitely larger, not really noticeable to others though. There have been no problems with patella tracking at all.

Question: Is broken knee cap therapy painful?

Answer: Sometimes it is painful, but taking painkillers before helps.

© 2012 Celticep


jason on December 24, 2019:

Thank you very much for the information. I have been on this painful test for a week and I am looking for a ray of hope. I am on a 30-day anticoagulant regimen, so I cannot take pain medication, but so far I am fine.

Becky on August 17, 2019:

I fell off a motorized scooter when trying to adjust my footing. Knee was the first to hit the ground. No skin was broken but my knee definitely was. I was traveling too. The ER stabilized it enough so I could fly home for surgery. It was shattered. I know have two pins and a string wire like suture in place. I'm 1 week out of surgery and going strong. I've been cleared to start bearing weight with crutches which I've been doing for about 5 days now with no pain!! Getting into the right position to sleep has been the challenge, but I think I've found what works for my and is most comfortable.

Thanks for this post! Really helpful to know what can be done to prevent muscle waste!

Ethan Hansen on August 03, 2019:

Was in a motorcycle accident and hit some gravel so the bike low sided. The bike fell to the left side of me and as I was going down hit my patella on the asphalt, suffering a lower pole. At first thought it was just a dislocation but first responders said it was still in place, but it was an open wound so I had air pockets around my knee joint. It happened about 1:30am and I was made one of the first patients to receive surgery so they could clean the wound and keep the air pockets from causing infection. I’m in a knee immobilizer and it’s one of the most uncomfortable things ever created. My first check up is this coming Monday August 5 2019, wish me luck on how I’ve been healing!

Anmol Deep on May 10, 2019:

I suffered comminuted displaced open patella fracture 4 days ago in a road accident.A part of patella is missing.Will the patella need to be completely replaced.Will I able to walk again normally and do other normal activities?Pls reply me ASAP.Pleasep

Grace on May 05, 2019:

Missed step and broke mine on Halloween. Now-7 month’s later after surgery and pt still painful when doing stairs, driving, sitting long time. So so glad that 34 yr old athlete mentioned his knee getting “hot” as this happens every day-I will try ice. Keep keeping on!!

Marianna lubenko on September 03, 2017:

Fell over at the ice rink... Definitely shouldn't have tried to show off! !! (((

Ronald thompson on August 26, 2017:

Fell around 600 ft at otter falls washington probablly should of died but suffered a split head and transversed patella

Jackie on August 22, 2017:

I shattered my kneecap when water got under a mat in my garage during Hurricane flooding. My leg just went from under me so fast and bent like it shouldn't. I don't remember my kneecap hitting the floor surace at all.

Susan on August 11, 2017:

My horse and I fell and she rolled over my knee!

Kieran on August 08, 2017:

had a transverse displaced fracture, pain was not bad at first and only started when i had to fly home for an operation. after the operation i was walking within 20 mins with crutches, and climbing stairs that afternoon. 4 days later i can fully support myself on my knee. currently taking 60mg codeine and 1g of paracetamol every 6 hours, and 400mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours. now a week later and wondering what the future has in store for my knee

Theresa on July 08, 2017:

I'm stuck 6 months post a comminuted fracture at 90degree rom, anyone else been through this? There is a Facebook page Patella fracture if anyone wants to join.

Patella Fracture - 34 years old, athlete Conservative treatment on July 07, 2017:

My patella / kneecap fracture - injury pain and recovery – Conservative treatment / no operation

Impact: There was a blow to the left knee – fall on the pavement of the skateboard and my patella fractured.

First symptoms: It hurt, but not as much that I would suspect a fracture. I walked after the injury for about 500 meters, climbed stairs and drove with manual clutch for at least half an hour in city traffic. It was not until I could not move the knee any more becouse of the liquid building in and around the knee like a baloon. At that point I decided to visit the ER.

ER/: Xrays showed multiple patella fracture (vertical, diagonal, sideways), but no gap was wider that 2mm. I was not able to lift the leg straight up, but not other injury except the patella fracture. They did the liquid extract from the knee with a needle – It was bloody – 1 dcl. I spend a few days in the hospital, leg immobilized, got drugs, and new ice pack every two hours. Icing helped immensly. CT scan was performed three days later to conclude the treatment will be conservative, no operation needed. I got a full left leg closed plastic plaster from ankle to thigh. I was ordered not to walk too much for the first few days, later I should do quadriceps exercises, heel rises, straight leg raises when possible. I was given crutches. Bad leg goes first down, last up – remember the rule they said.

Week 0-2- Fcuk me the pain was impossible. I used the painkillers (Doreta 37,5mg – tramadol+paracetamol) only for sleeping. First few nights the whole tablet, afterwards half of the tablet. It was not only the kneecap but the quadriceps muscle, especially on the side was hurting as hell. It is the inability to move the leg that had me nervous all the time. After app. 10 days I could sleep without painkillers. Also the closed plaster doesnt allow icing the area around kneecap. I didnt use the drugs during the day becouse I had to work (computer work) but I would use drugs during the day if I had the possibility. I was walking around with almost no pain, moving the leg in any direction was problematic. Showering was done with the help of the biggest (150 liters) trash bag, taped at the top with the wide white medical tape. Having a shit with a straight leg bacomes a fcuking thing. It is an adventure, I dont want to spoil the experience by telling you all details, but lets just say that a small box under the other leg helps immensly. No flexing of the leg at all. Quadriceps exercises hurt a lot so I didnt do it reguraly, mostly did heel rises.

Week 2-4 - At week 3 I got X-rays, nothing to see, one piece moved forward a little bit but doctor said it was within the healing range. I asked for open plaster which I got and from that point on I was Icing the area daily. Was warned not to do icing for more than 15 minutes every 2 hours, anything more could affect bone healing. I also did self massage of the area as much as possible. I introduced milk into my diet, lots of protein – tuna, meat, and as much vegetables as possible. Also started to do walks every day three times for about 15 minutes. At the end of 4 weeks after injury I was walking around without them. Since the open plaster is removable (valcro tapes) showering bacome a non issue, I just took a bath – with a little help of the spouse. Shitting was still an issue but I got used to it.I took the leg out of the plaster on the couch, but no flexing at all, but it was practical for icing and some massage. My spouse was kind enough to drive me around, I was sitting at the back seats with leg raised. I slowly started doing quadriceps exercises (pushing the knee down to the ground and squeezing the muscle), did a lot of heel rises. Straight leg rises were still very painful, almost didnt do it.

Week 4-6 Started doing long walks – 30 minutes with and without crutches. The pain was almost gone. Still no flexion of the leg. Started doing straight leg exercises, continued with quadriceps squeezes and heel rises. I had an intention to travel by plane at this point via connecting flights but I needed to fill up a lot of forms regarding the injury (separate forms for each airline), and got different answers. All of them offered airport help (wheel chair and such) but none wanted me on the plane. Well I could board if I paid for three seats. Seating at he exit rows was denied, since passangers seating there need to be in perfect health. At the end, no plane travel was possible.

Week 6-8 At week 6 I had an X-ray taken, doctor said no more plaster, use a 4 point flexion adjustable brace. Use it at 20-30 degrees for next three weeks, also I was told to start and try walking without the brace but with crutches to get used to proper walking technicque. I used the brace for around 10 days, afterwards I just started going everywhere without the brace and without the crutches. I lost app. 7 cm on the lower leg and app. 12 cm on the upper leg (circumferance). Started Physical therapy (PT) at week 6, right after the plaster came off two times a week. Laser theraphy was performed. First day of PT I had only 33 degrees flexion and it hurt a lot. I rented a kinetec device for flexing the knee at home, I used it three times a day for one hour religiously. At the end of week 8 my flexion was around 50 degrees.

Week 8-10 I started doing wall flex exercise (lying on the back againts the wall, both legs up on the wall, left leg slowly coming to the pain point, stoping for 15 seconds, a bit more for 2 seconds, 45 seconds rest – 15 minutes one session) two 15 minute sessions per day, usually in the morning and before sleep. During this exercise I had some trash metal music on my phone, and cried (literally) a lot. My therapist said no pain no gain. And the pain -my friend-it hurts a lot. With this said I was at 90 degrees at week 9 and 100 degrees week 10. During this time I started driving the car with (manual clutch), which was an immense relief for the family logistics. I had to put my seat really far, and still could not drive without immense pain for more that 15 minutes. Also the shitting improved, which was also a happy event. I still used the kinetec flexing machine regulary – even on my business trips, I took it to the hotel. All day – every day became a PT session for me. I used a lot of ice packs (actually gel packs) but still had a lot of pain at night. Some nights I woke up every two hours in pain, walked around a bit, etc. Basically from taking the plaster off the I had some sort of pain. If I didnt do the exercises the pain would be much less, but wanted mobility as soon as possible.

Week 10-12 At the end of week 10 I started riding a bicycle, which becouse of the limited flexion was not possible before. Therapis advised to use stationary bike, but I just skipped this step and went to a normal bike straight away. I used only one leg push for the first few days, after that I added power to the bad leg as well. I returned the kinetec at week 10 when I reached 120 degrees. I try to ride every day for at least an hour. I also started doing TRX exercises (squats with help, one leg rises). I walk the stairs every day at work to get some quadriceps strenght. I also started running slowly. The swelling is still not gone but it is much better. I have to ice the knee almost every exercise since it gets hot a lot. Flexion is at 140 degrees, but I still cannot reach the butt with a heel. There is still app. 10cm gap. Hopefully you got some information that you needed. Dont worry – every coin has two sides. Appreciate and accept the pain, do the work every day, every hour, every minute – and you will improve, I promisse you. What doesnt kill you, makes you stronger. Andi f you happend to be an athlete like me - This shit happened to Kylie Irving from Clevland Cavaliers, Dino Radja from Boston Celtics, and they both kept playing at the high level after recovery. Keep calm and carry on.

Elisa on June 30, 2017:

I fell down a steep driveway and fractured my left Patella in May 17. I had tension wiring and anchor fixation and was put in a hinge brace 24 hours post op... Fast forward seven weeks post op I can now reach 100 degrees flexion but am under strict instructions to keep the brace on. PT says, it's going to take more gritted teeth and determination yet. I've taken inspiration from your recovery account Celticep and particularly enjoyed the knee massage link. I oil up my knee ten mins before PT exercises and ice it afterwards which seems to help enormously. To anyone else who has suffered this injury, my respect goes out to you all. Stay strong.

Michele on June 28, 2017:

Excellent post! Thanks for sharing your story and all of the useful information and videos.

MaRy on June 20, 2017:

i shattered my patella in November of 2014 and still am unable to climb stairs. I Have full ROM but have tightness And many times my knee gives out. I exercise quads regularly But feel like This is the best I will be

Lisa on September 22, 2016:

Missed a step & fell with full impact on left knee. Displaced into 5 pieces, surgery 4 days later with pins & wire. Currently 4 1/2 weeks post surgery in immobilizer brace but weight bearing. Back to doctor in 2 weeks & hope it's healed to start therapy. Ortho has me doing leg raises & quad tightening (without brace/no bending) 3 times per day to help get muscles ready!!

Julie A on July 20, 2016:

Fell on knee, broke patella into 3 pieces, surgeon placed pins and wrapped with wire, no brace, no splint, ace bandage, crutches for about a week, then I was able to hobble around, walking normally within 2 weeks! I'm so glad I didn't have an immobilizer! PT for prescribed time (cant remember, it was 10 years ago.) Followed the exercises at home but I can say it took a full year until I was back to normal. 10 years later the hardware is still in there, doesn't bother me. I am on my feet all day at work now, age 55, no problems.

Alan george on December 16, 2015:

I fell over on 16th november it hurt but carried on , went to a&e on 8th december found out i'd been walking & working around with a fractured kneecap for 3-4 weeks only 2 ibrufen used . Saw the doctor 11th december as its started healing no operation another x ray 8th january

mada on September 26, 2015:

Week 7 after surgery. Only did basic exercises at home and can bend 90 degrees without feeling pain. Patellla was totally disintegrated , was put together with figure 8 and an additional ring around it.

sheila on March 13, 2015:

Im sharing about how kneecap break was an "other". Riding mtn bike, standing on pedels, going uphill on sand making tight left turn while ducking treebranches. Rear tire slid out on tree root as i went down left knee cap impacted direct upturned corner of "climing bars". My stance was off, i did it to myself. Splint 2 weeks, cast 10 weeks. Swelling and deep ache going on 3 years the 15 of march. Tore medial meniscus while in full leg cast. Flying along on crutches to catch a bus and my foot got caught.

michelle on February 07, 2015:

I literally was going down the stairs, and by the third step down, my knee snapped, and a horrible pain followed. I never fell or experienced any other kind of trauma. So I am absolutely mystified as to why this happened.

Briony on December 26, 2014:

I am a 19 year old student and managed to break my knee cap in half (transverse fracture) by literally just falling over! It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced and I had the op to wire it together a week later. They gave me absolutely no splint or anything, just a dressing to cover the scar. I had physio on it the very next day after the op and they got me bending to a 20 degree angle and walking with a frame immediately. It was unbelievably painful but I'm very thankful to the physios for making me initially do that. I am now 5 weeks on and have a 140 degree ROM and can walk with one crutch. I believe a lot of the healing process is to do with your mindset and a positive attitude gets you a very long way. I study chemistry at uni and have to be better for my January exams which gives me the motivation to do all my physio exercises everyday as often as possible. I hope to be walking without crutches for my exams in 2 weeks and for it to not be painful for the 2 hour duration! That's my aim :)

Shosh on November 25, 2014:

Your account is informative. Had a stable patella fracture 3 months ago in Portugal. .However, despite having the most old-fashioned treatment ( 2 weeks backslab ,followed by 4 weeks full plaster ), I have recovered full movement and more-or-less back to fitness regime with very little residual pain-I am nearly 65 ,so not a spring chicken.I had also broken my wrist,so could only use one crutch. Difficult to know whether I am just lucky but I was formerly very active,I carried on 'exercising' on immobilser with doctor's permission (just quite a lot of slow walking and some leg lifts),took all the vitamins and glucosamine which are recommended on the internet but I am convinced that the intensive physiotherapy(four times a week for 6 weeks ) has been a crucial factor. The treatment included a graduated exercise programme and soft tissue stimulation with Laser,TENS and ultrasound , followed by pool classes in the integrated sports centre-. In my opinion, the physiotherapy here is better than what is offered in the UK, although, once again, I was lucky to get most of it paid for on work-related insurance(even at full cost it would not have been prohibitively expensive) and to have access to what is probably one of the best facilities in Portugal. I know of the posters here had much more serious injuries but I wanted to offer an account of a positve outcome .

kinico on November 01, 2014:

I'm curious as to how your knee flexion is now? I'm 4 months post displaced fx. Have had pt for two months, still getting only 45 to 50°flexion under pressure. I'm pretty sure a manipulation and arthroscopic surgery are next to help me bend it.

Margaret on October 30, 2014:

Thanks so much for the info. I am one week into this painful ordeal and looking for a glimmer of hope. I am on a 30 day anticoagulant regimen, so cannot take any pain medication, but so far managing ok.

melissa-g-taylor-31 on March 26, 2014:

I was in a car accident on Dec. 29,2013. I had to be extricated from my car. I broke my ulna and patella in the accident. I have a lot of health issues, and I feel that is the reason for my slow healing. I was finally told by the doctor that I could remove my immobilizer. But now my knee joint is totally frozen and I am unable to bend me leg at all. I also have constant pain and swelling on my knee. When I mention this to the doctor, he kind of brushes it off and says it's normal. Is it really? I went from being very active to just sitting around in pain all the time. This is driving me crazy. The doctor prescribed Ultram for the pain and that's it. He hasn't mentioned any kind of exercises or physical therapy that would help me. All I got was another doctor's appointment scheduled for June. I'm at a loss and tired of sitting around in pain all the time. Any kind of activity just seems to make it worse. Has anyone else experienced this and is it really normal? Any suggestions, advice, etc is greatly appreciated.

wishdreamocean on October 21, 2013:

I broke my knee in a play wrestle. The fracture was near invisible on X ray, so my doctor thought I had just sprained it. EVENTUALLY I got him to jolly well refer me to a physiotherapist. When I finally got to the physio, she looked at the x ray and saw the break. She said it should have been put in a brace, but that it was now too long since it happened for that. I got some excersises and a little bit of radiotherapy (radiofrequency? ultrasound?)

Now, six months on, I still have knee pain and am utterly unsure what to to, and am pretty sure it will never heal. I was a runner and did other sports before that, and could dance as well. I am very upset to have lost so much of my ability forever.

Is there any chance of recovery? Would surgery help?

anonymous on August 16, 2013:

Thanks for your informative lens which I found so useful post op to repair a fractured patella. i am almost 12 months post op and about to visit the OS to check if I can have the 3 screws and wire removed. How was your recovery post hardware removal ie management of new scar, mobility etc. best wishes.

anonymous on April 22, 2013:

Hi all! Just checkin back in. I'm now 6 mo!!!! Post patella fracture & surgery. I last checked in with PT 3 weeks ago and was at about 134 ROM. It's just really feeling like I'll never be able to fully bend my leg??? It just feels stuck & painful to bend much more. Any thoughts? With this injury is it impossible to get full ROM again? I'm doing very well on weight bearing, easily walking 4 miles a day, able to ride my bike again. Thanks!


Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on February 20, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Debby, I'm not sure that there's a "better" option here, both would be good for knee rehab. Advantage of water exercise is that it is non weight bearing, so less strain on the joint. Advantage of regular would be that you can do it more regularly throughout the day, even at home. Perhaps mix the two?

anonymous on February 19, 2013:

Which is the better kind of pt aquatic or regular

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on February 15, 2013:

@OhMe: Thanks for visiting, I'm pleased you found it interesting. Any knee injury is hard work to deal with and recover from, so hopefully this lens will be useful to others too.

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on February 07, 2013:

I remember my mother breaking her knee cap many years ago. This is very informative and helpful to anyone suffering a broken knee cap. I had a knee replacement about 13 years ago. Thanks for sharing your story.

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on January 12, 2013:

@rawwwwwws lm: Thanks for your comment Rawwwwwws. Its important to me that the lens is helpful to others as I know how much I appreciated any help or advice that I could find when I was in the early stages of this injury.

rawwwwwws lm on January 11, 2013:

Thanks for sharing, enjoyed my time passing by your lens! Your lens was so meaningful.

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on January 04, 2013:

@kimark421: Thanks for visiting and your lovely comments!

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on January 04, 2013:

@norma-holt: Thanks for coming back with your blessings! Best wishes for 2013 to you too!!

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on January 04, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Catherine, sorry to hear about you injury but pleased to hear you are doing well. The daily exercise regime will definitely be contributing to your good progress. I still do half an hour a day even now. If I miss a day or two my quad muscles soon let me know with an aching reminder. Glad you've found this page useful, good luck with your rehab!

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on January 04, 2013:

@Diana Wenzel: Thanks for you good wishes. I am pretty much doing the things I was doing before the injury again now, apart from stairs and steps. Getting used to the adjustments I've had to make and hoping that things will continue to improve over the coming year.

kimark421 on January 02, 2013:

Ouch! Very nice lens. Thanks for sharing your story!

norma-holt on January 01, 2013:

A new blessing on this lovely lens and may you have a wonderful, successful and happy 2013. Hugs

anonymous on December 27, 2012:

Fractured my patell last August. Had the surgery with 2 pins and wire mesh. Was released from PT in late November. I have 130 RM. Would like to know how many times a week you exercise. I have an hour routine, but I am getting bored doing them daily. Your blog is the best I have found. Thank you so much!

anonymous on December 23, 2012:

this is not anything but nice to see

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on December 17, 2012:

You have been through a great deal with this nasty break. Hope you are experiencing a high quality of life again. I once thought I had broken my knee cap during a remote canyon hiking excursion. Fortunately, I was able to hobble back to civilization despite an extremely painful injury. Thanks for sharing information and resources that can help others heal. Wishing you all the very best.

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on December 03, 2012:

@Virginia Allain: Thank you, I hope you don't need to use it either. But will continue to post experiences for as long as its helping others Vallain

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on December 03, 2012:

@cjbmeb14 lm: thanks for visiting, it was nasty at the time but we're getting there now

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on December 03, 2012:

@Cari Kay 11: Thank you, my intention when I set up this lens was to share my experiences in the hope someone else may find the information useful

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on December 02, 2012:

I hope I won't ever need to use the info you've provided here. Obviously you are helping a lot of people in the same situation. Good work.

cjbmeb14 lm on December 02, 2012:

Sounds really nasty.

Great lens though.

Kay on November 26, 2012:

I love how this page is helping others! Blessed!

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on November 23, 2012:

@Metalpriest: Thanks for the tip, I'm taking a calcium supplement now because I've had several other broken bones in the past and starting to think there's a weakness there generally.

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on November 23, 2012:

@darciefrench lm: I guess I'm lucky in that respect, I sit for most of my work and just hobble around when I'm training people

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on November 23, 2012:

@CoolFool83: Oh poor doggy, hope you manage to find what you need to help him

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on November 23, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks Ben, getting there slowly!

Metalpriest on November 23, 2012:

Awesome lens. Very informative. I have also found that eating lots of egg and other protein rich food items improves the health of our bones, as well as the knee caps.

darciefrench lm on November 21, 2012:

My brother in law has knee problems - he's had multiple surgeries and has needed to be retrained for another job

CoolFool83 on November 14, 2012:

Thanks for this lense. I like some of the knee braces you've listed. I got a dog dealing with some knee problems, I'm trying to find a good dog knee brace for him. Not in much pain, just struggles to get around at times.

anonymous on November 13, 2012:

I enjoyed your lens and I'm wishing you a speedy recovery.

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on November 07, 2012:

@MelRootsNWrites: Thanks for visiting, I hope your sister is fully recovered now, I've heard some physios can be a bit over enthusiastic! I guess I was lucky that mine were relatively gentle with me!

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on November 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks keetykaa, I wanted to share my own experiences and put all of the useful info i found on the internet together in one place. I hope I've achieved that and that it helps someone in the same situation

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on November 07, 2012:

@WriterJanis2: Thankfully, I have no memory of the pain, I think the shock helped me to block it out. The rehab for me has been more of a constant, challenging ache, than pain. I've heard of others who have real bad pain experiences though, so I guess I have that to be thankful for Janis

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on November 07, 2012:

@AshleyCarew1: Yes, and its quite humbling to reflect on how much you life can be changed in the split second when you hit the floor too Ashley! Thanks for visiting.

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on November 07, 2012:

@justmelucy: Some of us have bad luck with bones it seems ... I've broken my arm four times and now it seems I'm starting on my legs! Hope you are feeling better by now.

Melody Lassalle from California on November 06, 2012:

Wow! Sounds like you've been through a lot. My sister broke her knee a few years back. The recovery was slow. Then, they over did it in PT and the muscles on one side were too strong. Her knee cap ended up popping out of place. She had to go back for surgery and start over. Glad to see you are recoverd and thanks for sharing your story!

anonymous on November 01, 2012:

Nice from you that you shared your own experiences with us. Great lens ;)

WriterJanis2 on October 31, 2012:

It seems like this would be so painful.

AshleyCarew1 on October 24, 2012:

Nasty injury! That first pic really shows the fragility of the human body!

justmelucy on September 02, 2012:

Great lens with so much information. My fractured ribs from a few years back have healed. Now I am in my third week wearing a splint after 9 weeks in a cast to repair a shattered wrist. Wouldn't you know it would be my dominate right hand. My typing is all hunt and peck for awhile.

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on August 09, 2012:

@norma-holt: Thanks for your blessings, I got a Reiki treatment after my second surgery which I believe helped me begin to build my confidence again.

anonymous on August 06, 2012:

@Celticep: I really understand you, and I feel for you .Last year, I torn my lcl and damaged a nerve, it was really painful at that moment but the rehab is the most difficult part , specially getting that knee bent. I'm still working on it everyday :)

norma-holt on August 06, 2012:

My sympathy for all you have been through. One can only imagine and I know about muscles and immobilisation. My daughter injured her leg in a bus accident and it was boound up for a few weeks and the muscles shortened. Fortunately a good naturapath, some accupuncture and finally spiritual healing fixed it. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2. Hugs

Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on July 02, 2012:

Goodness; I guess I didn't realize how long you had to keep your knee imobile. I learned a lot from your article. Keep well!

Beverly Lemley from Raleigh, NC on June 13, 2012:

I took a fall last night at a meeting (embarrassing!) and I skinned it up pretty good. I was thinking how lucky I was it didn't end up worse. I completely sympathize with your journey and change in plans for the time being. Likie Julie says, we really don't realize how much we depend on our knees. You aren't going anywhere very fast if something happens to one. Great lens, thanks for the info and I hope you are back on the fast track again! B : )

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on May 25, 2012:

@julieannbrady: Yes we do Julie, I think I read somewhere that its the joint that takes the most strain on a daily basis. I would never have imagined how debilitating a knee injury could be. Getting there though, slowly :)

julieannbrady on May 16, 2012:

Oh my, can't imagine dealing with a broken patella. We rely on our knees probably more than we imagine.

AgingIntoDisabi on April 20, 2012:

Hope I never have to deal with this -- looks quite painful.

John Dyhouse from UK on April 14, 2012:

A very interesting lens, as I commented after the poll, above I have undergone a knee replacement aand recognise many of the difficulties that you have had. I believe however that after the operation I had a head start, as I was supposed to walk on crutches virtually as soon as I was back on the ward after the op. The exercise regime was very similar however - as you might expect. I also found the video useful. I still get a few twinges at times and find myself rubbing the knee, I will be trying the massage routine to see if it helps. BTW, thanks for commenting on my lens about my recovery from the op.

Annamadagan on March 28, 2012:

Thanks for sharing. I think it would stink if I broke my knee. My mom has suffered with arthritis in her knee. Broken bones hurt!

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on March 28, 2012:

@Swisstoons: It actually didn't hurt that much when it happened, just a kind of sickly thud, its the rehab that's been the painful part due the to stiffness and muscle weakness. Thanks for visiting and leaving comments! :)

Thomas F. Wuthrich from Michigan on March 27, 2012:

Wow. It hurts just thinking about this. I've whacked them(or had them whacked) a few times...and that was bad enough. It can leave you fairly whimpering.

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on March 22, 2012:

@SusanDeppner: Thanks for your good wishes Susan :)

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on March 22, 2012:

@RinchenChodron: Thank you so much. I've read that ACL, along with most other knees injuries, are extremely painful and like the patella fracture, take a lot of rehab to get them back to anywhere near normal. The pedals are brilliant, I know I will keep using them even later on to keep things moving, hope yours come in useful too :)

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on March 21, 2012:

Bless your heart. And your poor patella! Thanks for sharing your first-hand advice. Stay safe!

RinchenChodron on March 21, 2012:

I never broke my patella, but I did break my ACL and needed surgery (4 months later) once car insurance decided to pay for it. Took me one year in PT to get my range of motion back. Slept in a brace to both bend and straighten my leg. Good luck healing! It's years later but I recently ordered one of these peddle thingys and hope it will keep me active.

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on March 15, 2012:

@flycatcherrr: Thanks Flycatcher, Squidoo is certainly helping to fill the time :)

flycatcherrr on March 15, 2012:

This injury sounds just appallingly painful and frustrating for you! But as it seems to have brought you to join the Squidoo community, I guess that just goes to show "it's an ill wind that blow no good" after all. Welcome!

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on March 14, 2012:

@debnet: Thanks Deb. I hear that tendon injuries can be just as (if not more) painful than a break. In fact, the break and the 6 weeks it took to fix it were not so bad, its the rehab of the wasted muscles and stiff joint that's proving to be the real pain, in more ways than one! Keeping positive though, thanks for your comments again. Cari

Debbie from England on March 13, 2012:

OUCH!! I once pulled the tendons around my knee and that was bad enough!! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Celticep (author) from North Wales, UK on March 07, 2012:

@DIY Mary: Thanks Mary, its a slow process but I'm getting there :)

Mary Stuart on March 07, 2012:

It sounds as if you have been through quite an ordeal. I wish you luck with your recovery!

Related Articles