Recovery & Support for Patella Fractures

Recovery from a fractured patella, or kneecap, can sometimes take months, and NYU Langone doctors and specialists are committed to helping you remain as comfortable and mobile as possible throughout your treatment.

Medication

NYU Langone’s dedicated team of pain management specialists is available to assist you 24 hours a day. Your doctor can refer you to a specialist to manage any pain while you pursue nonsurgical treatment. If you’ve had surgery, a pain management specialist visits you immediately after the procedure. Pain relievers can help you to feel well enough to begin physical therapy, which is a vital part of recovery from a fractured patella.

Our doctors often recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen. If pain is more intense, your doctor can prescribe a stronger medication to be taken during the week or two after the injury. 

Physical Therapy

Rehabilitating the injured knee is an important part of recovery, whether you have had surgery or nonsurgical treatment. Physical therapy can help you to recover strength and motion more quickly. It also helps to strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee, reducing the risk of another injury. 

NYU Langone’s highly trained team of physicians and therapists at Rusk Rehabilitation has experience helping people recover from patella fractures and can show you simple exercises that increase flexibility, strengthen leg muscles, and rebuild range of motion in your knee. 

Physical therapy can begin as soon as your doctor determines that your knee can bend. This may be within days of an injury if the patella fracture does not require surgery. If surgery is performed, gentle weight-bearing exercises typically begin three to six days after surgery. 

Physical therapy can take place at NYU Langone, or your doctor can refer you to a physical therapist located closer to your home.

Smoking Cessation 

Research shows that the nicotine present in cigarettes slows bone healing after a fracture. NYU Langone doctors understand how hard it is to stop smoking and can refer you to our Tobacco Cessation Programs for assistance quitting.

More Patella Fractures Resources

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