WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A patellar fracture is a break in your kneecap.
- Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
- Antibiotics: These medicines help fight or prevent an infection. They are usually given if you have an open fracture.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider 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 primary healthcare provider 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 primary healthcare provider 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.
Your primary healthcare provider 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.
Raise your knee above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Lie down and rest your leg on pillows.
Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover the ice pack with a towel and place it on your knee or supportive device for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for 2 days.
You may need to see a physical therapist to teach you special exercises. These exercises help improve movement and decrease pain. Physical therapy can also help improve strength and decrease your risk for loss of function.
Contact your primary healthcare provider 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 suddenly feel lightheaded and have shortness of breath.
- You have chest pain. You may have more pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
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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.