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Patellar Fracture

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Patellar Fracture (Aftercare Instructions) Care Guide

A patellar fracture is a break in your kneecap.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Medicines:

  • Medicines can decrease pain or help fight or prevent an infection. Ask your primary healthcare provider (PHP) how to take pain medicine safely.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your PHP if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your PHP as directed:

You may need to return to have your stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Brace, cast, or splint care:

  • Check the skin around the device every day. Apply lotion to any red or sore areas.

  • Ask your PHP when you can bathe. Do not get the device wet. Cover it with 2 plastic bags. Tape the bags above the device to prevent water from getting in. Keep your knee out of the water as much as possible.

  • Do not push or lean on any part of the cast or splint because it may break.

  • Do not put any sharp or pointed objects inside the cast.

Crutches:

Your PHP will tell you when you can start to use crutches. Crutches support your knee when you walk to help prevent a fall. Follow instructions about how much weight to put on your injured leg. Use crutches as directed.

Walking with Crutches

Elevate:

Elevate your knee above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your knee on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.

Ice:

Apply ice on your knee for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.

Wound care:

Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.

Physical therapy:

A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.

Contact your PHP if:

  • You have a fever.

  • Your wound is red, swollen, and feels warm.

  • You have pus coming from your wound.

  • Your knee pain is getting worse, even after treatment.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your cast or splint breaks or gets damaged.

  • Your foot or toes are swollen, cold, numb, or they turn white or blue.

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.

  • Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

  • You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.

  • You cough up blood.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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