Just because you had patella surgery doesn’t mean you can’t have a sense of humor! This blog is all about recovering from patella surgery with a smile on your face. From funny stories about physical therapy to tips on how to make the most of your recovery, we’ll keep you laughing (and maybe even help you heal a little faster).
After having patella surgery, you may find that you are unable to lift your leg. This is normal and is due to the fact that the surgery involves cutting through the quadriceps tendon. The quadriceps tendon is what allows you to extend your leg. When it is cut, the leg can no longer be extended.
What is Patella Surgery?
Patella surgery is a type of knee surgery that is performed to correct problems with the patella, or kneecap. The patella is a small bone that sits at the front of the knee and helps to protect the knee joint. It also helps to move the leg when walking, running, or jumping.
Problems with the patella can occur due to injury, arthritis, or other conditions. Surgery may be recommended to repair damaged tissue, remove bone spurts, or realign the patella. Patella surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you will not have to stay in the hospital overnight.
After surgery, you will likely need to use crutches for a period of time. You will also need to do physical therapy exercises to regain strength and mobility in your leg. Full recovery from patella surgery can take several months.
Why can’t I lift my leg after Patella Surgery?
There are several reasons why you may not be able to lift your leg after patella surgery. One reason may be that the quadriceps (thigh) muscle is not working properly. This can happen when the patellar tendon is cut or stretched during surgery.
Another reason may be that the hamstring (back of the thigh) muscles are tight and need to be stretched. This is common after surgery, and your doctor or physical therapist can teach you how to stretch these muscles.
Finally, you may have a build-up of scar tissue around the knee. This scar tissue can make it difficult to move your knee. Your doctor or physical therapist can help you break up this scar tissue with massage and other treatments.
The Recovery Process
After having patella surgery, you will likely be unable to lift your leg for some time. The exact timeline will depend on the severity of your surgery and the type of procedure you had. In general, however, you can expect to be on crutches for at least four weeks. For some people, it may take up to three months before they are able to walk without any assistance.
Physical therapy will be a big part of your recovery. You will likely start PT a few weeks after surgery. The goal of PT is to help you regain strength and mobility in your leg. PT can also help you avoid any complications from surgery, such as stiffness or arthritis.
Most people make a full recovery after patella surgery and are able to return to their normal activities. It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions and attend all of your PT appointments to ensure the best possible outcome.
Exercises to Help with Recovery
If you had surgery to repair or replace your patella, you’ll need to do some exercises to help your leg heal and get stronger. Here are a few exercises you can do at home to help with your recovery.
- Heel slides: Lie on your back with your operated leg straight. Slowly slide your heel up towards your butt, then back down again. Do this 10 times.
- Straight leg raises: Lie on your back with both legs straight. Slowly raise your operated leg up into the air, then lower it back down again. Do this 10 times.
- Quad sets: Lie on your stomach with a pillow under your hip if it’s comfortable. Tighten the muscle on the front of your thigh by pressing your knee down into the bed. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax for 10 seconds. Do this 10 times.
Tips for a Successful Recovery
After surgery to repair a patella (kneecap) fracture, you’ll need to take it easy for a while. Here are some tips that will help ensure a successful recovery:
- Avoid putting any weight on your leg for at least six weeks. This includes using crutches or a wheelchair to get around.
- Attend all of your physical therapy appointments. Physical therapy will help you regain strength and range of motion in your leg.
- Do the exercises prescribed by your physical therapist on a daily basis. In addition to physical therapy, you’ll need to do exercises at home to speed up your recovery.
- Take pain medication as prescribed by your doctor. Pain medication can help you stay comfortable as you recover.
- Avoid activities that put stress on your leg, such as running, jumping, or strenuous workouts. These activities can delay healing and lead to complications.
When to Seek Help
If you have just undergone patella surgery, it is very important to follow your surgeon’s instructions for rehabilitation and activity. too much activity, too soon, can cause serious complications. In general, you should refrain from any activity that puts stress on your knee or puts you in danger of falling.
If you find that you are not able to lift your leg more than a few inches off the ground, or if you are having any pain or discomfort, it is important to seek help from your surgeon or a physical therapist. They will be able to assess your knee and determine if there is any reason to be concerned. In most cases, however, this is simply a normal part of the healing process and is nothing to worry about.
After surgery, it is common to feel sick to your stomach and have pain in your leg. You will be given medicine to help with these symptoms. You may have a drain in your knee to help remove extra fluid. The surgery may be done using tiny cameras and special tools inserted through small cuts (portals) in your skin. Or, your surgeon may make one larger cut (incision) over your knee.