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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A patellar fracture is a break in your kneecap.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
- You cough up blood.
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.
- Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
Call your doctor or bone specialist if:
- You have a fever.
- Your pain gets worse, even after treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Antibiotics help fight or treat a bacterial infection.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.
Brace, cast, or splint care:
- Check the skin around the device every day. Apply lotion to any red or sore areas.
- Ask your 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.
- Do not put any sharp or pointed objects inside the cast.
- Rest your knee as directed. Crutches help rest and support your knee when you walk. Your healthcare provider will tell you when you can start to use crutches. Follow instructions about how much weight to put on your leg.
- Apply ice to help decrease swelling and pain. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel before you place it on your knee or supportive device. Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for 2 days, or as directed.
- Elevate your knee above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your leg on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably. Do not put pillows directly under your knee.
Go to physical therapy,
if recommended. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.
Follow up with your doctor or bone specialist 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.
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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.
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