Q:

What is the rehab for a fractured patella?

A:

Quick Answer

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states that rehabilitation for a fractured patella, or kneecap, involves stretching and strengthening exercises to compensate for the several weeks in a cast that this injury usually requires. After the initial treatment, patients must typically keep all weight off the affected leg.

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Full Answer

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a fractured patella is a serious injury that often requires surgery to treat. This is especially the case when the break is severe enough that the pieces of bone have moved relative to each other and their normal position. If the pieces are large enough, a combination of pins, screws and tension bands are necessary to hold the bone pieces together for healing. Any pieces that are too small to be reattached are instead removed. The tendons that normally attach to the patella must then be attached to a new site if the removed pieces were on its former attachment site.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons warns that while some patella fractures don't require surgery because of a lack of displacement, the leg must still be kept totally immobile and unstressed for an average period of six to eight weeks. This requires the use of a cast and often crutches.

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