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Why can't I bend my knees after removal of knee bone - patella?

Q: I was injured in a road accident after which my patella was fractured. The first doctor failed to get a complete result, due to which I got a severe infection with pus in heavy volume and severe pain. I changed the doctor and the second doctor completely removed the patella with skin grafting. Now after one year, I am not able to walk without crutches and cannot bend my knee due to stiffness and swelling. My leg remains straight when I try to bend it and pains. It is very difficult for me to do my routine work and my job. Is it possible that I will be able to bend my stiff knee in future? Can I walk without crutches and become normal?

A:Any infection in the joint has serious consequences, with possibility of restriction of movements of the joint. Even without infection, an operation for removal of patella invariably causes stiffness of the joint. You have had both, that is an infection as well as a patellectomy. So, the possibility of your knee becoming stiff is very high. However, your pain should subside with time and you should be able to walk. If pain is a persistent feature especially at rest then it is better to check out for persistent infection and take steps for that in consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon. Eventually you should be able to walk on your two feet without the help of crutches. However, I do not anticipate significant changes in the knee range of movement. If it does happen, you will be lucky.


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