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Thread: A Tumble, A Grumble and a Broken Knee

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  1. #1

    A Tumble, A Grumble and a Broken Knee

    I took a stupid fall down a concrete step!

    Here's the email I just sent my pt. Please tell me if you have any advice..

    Bad news. I fell out of my chair down a concrete step and landed on my knee and dr found a small fracture  (its still in place though) She just put an ace bandage on it and told me to not put weight on it and try not to use my quad. I have a message in with the orthopedist, but they are closed now and I didn’t hear back so I have to wait til Mon to even talk about making an appt.

    Now that I’m home I have so many questions about how I should limit my movements and its really hard to dress, pull my pants up, shoes on/off without bending my knee a lot. I also worry about my transfers and wonder if I’m putting weight on it. I know I can ask for a pt consult for this, but not until after Monday. Sorry to bug you, but just thought I’d try You and see if you have any advice. I know my next step would be going urgent care, but I’m not very expectant that a reg. dr will tell me anything new.

  2. #2
    It is likely that with a fracture like this that the treatment would be immobilization with a knee immobilizer soft splint as the preferred treatment in SCI (not with a cast). You need to NOT be bending it right now.

    You may have to arrange family help/temporary PCA to help you with things like dressing that you cannot do without bending your knee or putting weight on it. This may need to include getting a lift for transfers (you can rent if not purchase). I would agree that you don't need to go to the ED if you were unable to get into see an orthopedist today, and if they can get you in Monday for a more definite splint, but you must stay off it and avoid bending or the fracture could get worse and become displaced. Displaced patella fractures sometimes require surgery to repair.


  3. #3
    Thank you. I am NOT happy with that restriction and will do my best, but UGH!

  4. #4
    Moderator jody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    east o the southern warren
    I fell at the walmart today. hurt my ass and lumbar.
    I can't sleep its too painful. I didn't know it but I think I hurt my neck too. I feel like I have an after spinal tap headache. someone knock me out with darlagee's kneecaps.

  5. #5
    Senior Member NikkiMaya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Southern Maine
    I don't have any suggestions. All I can say is sorry and I also hope it heals quickly. That's a really nice blog you have!
    In our world constituted of differences of all kinds, it is not the disabled, but society at large that needs special become a genuine society for all. -Frederic Major, Former UNESCO Director General

  6. #6
    I was standing and fell one day and broke my left kneecap. I went to the ER and had surgery the next day and had to wear a leg immobilizer. I had a scooter I was using at the time so I just hooked a bungee cord to my tiller and held my leg out straight. When I got to work, I put my foot on a cardboard box. Dressing was kind of sucky but I didn't wear a shoe or sock.

    I know this doesn't help you a lot but just knowing some of have been there too lets you know you're not alone.

    Good luck.
    ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne

  7. #7
    Maybe SCI nurse can address my comments:

    Was ice recommended to control any swelling? If so, one must be careful not to place it directly on skin, and only for about 15 or 20 minutes at a time!
    With recent bad foot injury, my icing it helped a lot (I have sensation).

    While waiting for medical help, in order not to bend the knee, would more, and gently wrapped Ace bandages help? They would seem to "fill in" the pit behind the knee to keep knee from bending too much. I'm thinking 3 or 4 ace bandages until you can get to the doctor again. We keep 2 such bandages in our household first aid kit, then hubby went to get 2 more, cost about $6 each.
    Again, I am just relating what I did with my feet - I had much more pain when trying to transfer - my butt would go to transfer and my feet would pivot to follow and ouch! The worst foot I triple wrapped - not tight at all! with the bandages, and that pretty much stabilized my ankle/foot and made less pain when transfering.
    I was delayed getting to doctor, then she had me get an xray which was done while I sat in my chair. You can ask the xray people if they have a way to xray while you sit in your chair or transfer to one of their chairs. Important you speak up to them about your needs.

    In my case the radiologist said many small fractures on one foot and the orthopedic P.A. said strained tendon from calf to underneath foot. Whatever. A lightweight ankle "brace" was provided and now 4 weeks later its healing slowly, still tender, but much less pain when I transfer.
    Orthopedic fellow said to return for re-check in 5 to 6 weeks from last week, making an estimated 10 weeks to heal for something stupid I did in my wheelchair.

    Again, run these suggestion by medical person if you decide to try.

    Best of luck and don't stop the wheelchair acrobatics, just wear a fully air-filled body suit next time!

  8. #8
    Thanks for the well wishes- I have been continuing to do stuff, just slower and more carefully.
    I'm frustrated that I'm having so long to find out how to handle it. The swelling is way down. I'm just trying to not put weight on it when I transfer, dress or pull pants up which is a hassel. Also not bending it more than it is with my foot on my footplate. They better get me in tomorrow when I call. I'm hoping it won't be bad enough to need an immobilizer- hope, hope, pray, pray... I know I may need to do more, I'm just trying to not worry till I find out more. The specialist office said they would have the dr review it, then call me back to schedule, so maybe it wasn't bad enough to try to get me in the next morning. ( I called on thurs afternoon, then when I called back fri they were closed...)

    Jody, hope you're sleeping better- I'll consider what you said about my kneecaps the rantings of a sleepless night...

  9. #9
    Triumph, my PC dr. did send me home with an ace bandage and I'm wearing it, but I think the normal tightness they wrapped it is a bit too tight for my poor circulation, so I take it off when I'm just sitting with it up in my recliner or in bed. Interesting idea of wearing more than one to keep it from bending.

    The other problem is if my knee doesn't bend enough in my wheelchair, my foot hangs off in front and my foot drops and the blood pools in my toes as I have flaccid calves and feet... man, its always SOMETHING.

    OK, enough complaining for the night. If they don't give me an appt in the morning I will have lots more tomorrow- but I'll save my growling for then.

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