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  1. #1
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    Brief Medical History Overview

    Age: 48, Male, Presenting Problem Since: 9 months, Symptom Behaviour: getting better, Aggravating Factors:: standing up after sitting, climbing up or down stairs, Easing Factors:: Feels fine during normal activity except when standing from sitting position or going up or down stairs., Investigations: X-ray showed my right patella was shattered into 4 pieces 9 months ago. It is fully healed now, according to more recent x-rays., No Diabetes, No history of High Blood Pressure, No Medications, No Osteoporosis, No Hx of Cancer, No Unexplained Weight Loss, No Bowel/Bladder issues

    Major problem / Symptomatic Areas

    Knee - Anterior - Right

    Patella fracture - should I avoid stairs for the rest of my life?

    Physical Agents In Rehabilitation
    Hello,
    I shattered my right patella into 4 pieces around 9 months ago in a car accident (knee hit the dashboard hard). I did not have surgery because the pieces were only mildly to moderately displaced. Overall, my knee feels pretty good now. It typically doesn't hurt at all unless I am standing up after sitting or climbing up or down stairs. I was recently reading about how stairs can put tremendous force on the patella, up to 5 times your weight. I weigh 180 lbs, so 5 times 180 lbs is 900 lbs of force on my patella!
    I am in the market for a house, and there are both 1 story and 2 story houses available in my area. The idea of putting 900 lbs of force on my patella going up and down stairs numerous times per day does not seem very appealing. The back of my kneecap is definitely not smooth nor in the correct shape due to healing after being displaced. My orthopedic surgeon who oversaw my recovery said that I am at high risk for developing arthritis down the road due to the injury - he said his guess was a 50/50 chance. He had also advised me that getting surgery would not likely reduce my odds of getting arthritis, which is why he advised against doing surgery. I'm afraid I would potentially speed up the development of arthritis if I move into a 2 story house and climb up and down stairs many times per day, so I am considering ruling out buying a 2 story house and only looking at 1 story houses. I would be totally happy in a 1 story house, so I really don't mind. But am I being paranoid? Or do I have a legitimate concern about frequent stair usage over a period of many years potentially speeding up the onset of arthritis?
    Thanks!

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  2. #2
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    Re: Patella fracture - should I avoid stairs for the rest of my life?

    Aircast Airselect Short Boot
    Hi greg8044,

    I think that first of all you need to calm down. It is true that due to the displaced fracture of your patella and the unperfect healing it is likely that you have a more probabilities to develop arthritis at your knee. However you need to consider that athritis develops also in people with no fracture of the patella. Arthritis process is not still totally kwown. It is thought to be multifactorial. Since surgery does not apper to help you prevent the onset of arhtritis, I would work on factors such as body weight, muscle stregth programs, posture and biomechanics. Yes, avoiding excessive stairs may help but I do not believe a "normal" usage of them is a key factor for arhtritis.



 
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