The patella or kneecap can break in a number of different ways when impact is great enough to crack this bone. If the break is severe in nature, you could even require surgery for it to heal correctly. A doctor will opt to utilise a knee immobiliser when the break does not require surgery. Continue reading to learn the benefits of using this device to treat a broken kneecap.
Benefits of Knee Immobilisers
A knee immobiliser is a specific style of brace that holds the knee joint in place to prevent movement. One example of this brace is a wraparound cloth sleeve that has an open area over the kneecap. Two straps above and two below the kneecap fasten to hold the immobiliser in place. Metal supports on each side of this device ensure the patella stays immobile enough to heal properly. A main difference between this device and a cast is that as the knee heals, you can remove this device periodically to move or clean the knee whereas a cast has to stay on until the knee totally heals.
Recovery with a Knee Immobiliser
Once the doctor places an immobiliser on your knee, there are certain instructions to follow to ensure successful healing. Below, you will find an example of the directions you may receive from the doctor.
1. Watch the knee for swelling as the straps may require loosening in the event it increases. As the swelling decreases the straps may then need tightening for the immobiliser in place correctly.
2. The doctor may require you to stay off your leg completely and to elevate it depending on the severity of your injury. Your physician also might instruct you to ice your leg periodically throughout the day. Perform this action with an ice pack that is sealed completely to ensure that the immobiliser stays dry.
3. Your doctor may prescribe you pain medicine or recommend an OTC one that you can take for the pain and discomfort you can experience for up to fourteen days after the break first occurs with your kneecap. Contact the physician if the pain increases rather than decreases during this time.
4. Expect to wear the immobiliser for approximately four to six weeks. After this time, you should be able to start rehab exercises to regain a full range of motion. Do not quit wearing the immobiliser until the doctor approves it.
When you require the assistance of a knee immobiliser, there is no better place to turn for one than Northern Orthotics and Andrew Elliot, who is our certified orthotist. You will receive only professional products and service from us.