Discussions By Condition: Knee conditions

Bipartite Patella???

Posted In: Knee conditions 14 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • June 24, 2008
  • 00:32 AM

I Am Currently In The Military And Have Been Having Severe Knee Pain For The Past 2 - 2 1/2 Years. It Is Extreamly Painfull To Run, Hike, Squat/kneel, Or Walk Up Stairs. In Early 2007 I Ran Out Required Physical Fitness Test Which Was A 3 Mile Run. The Day After I Couldn't Bend My Knee, And It Killed Me To Walk, But I Did It.
During This Time I Have Gone To My Local Military Doctor. At First They Diagnosed Me With Pfps, Treatment Motrin. I Returned About A Week Later With The Same Pain, And Again Diagnosed With Pfps Treatment Motrin. This Went On For About 6-8 Months. I Went Back In And They Finally Ordered X-rays, And They Said They Were Normal. Sence Then I Have Had 5 X-rays And Agin All Is Normal It's Pfps, Motrin. Well In 2007 After Our Physical Test I Went In But To A Different Doctor, And They Ordered X-rays. The Doc Came In Hey Your Knee Cap Is Broken. So He Orders An Mri And For Me To Go To Physical Therapy. The So Called Physical Therapyst (this Is The Military) Said It's Not Broken It's A Bipartite Patella And You Were Born With It. Oh And There Is Nothing We Can Do. What The Heck / Before The Military I Was A Fulltime Firefighter, And Before That I Was A Detention Officer At The County Jail. I Never Had On Single Issue With My Knees. I Have Seen 3 Different "specialists" And The Last One Said Well You Shouldn't Do Things That Hurt And When You Get Out Get A Job That Doesn't Require You Be Physical.
Has Anyone Else Had This Problem? Or Anyone Have Any Suggestions Beside Beating The Crap Out Of The Doctors????

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14 Replies:

  • yeah.. i have the same thing. it took me 3 years for my doctor to actually order x rays. then i went to an orthopedic and they said you'll have to live with it and take 12 pills of motrin a day. he also talked about some surgeries that he could do but he preferred it to be left alone. i tried to get steriod injections but he said that it wouldn't work because it was in the knee cap. he also suggested wearing a knee brace with a patella stabilizer. i just bought one (trufit premium knee stabilizer) that seems to work pretty well but i can't run nearly as fast and it's annoying. i guess physical therapy wouldn't work because it has to do with the actual bone so we're pretty much in the same boat.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 9, 2009
    • 01:44 AM
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  • As a fellow service member, I encourage you to do the research on bipartite patella so you know what kind of questions and referrals you need to be asking for, because if you follow the process you should get the care you need and deserve. Physical therapy/rest IS often suggested first, regardless of certainty of cause-because sometimes this condition and many others will improve with rest/corrections of training or muscle imbalance, etc. if aggravated by injury or lack of well rounded conditioning. Primary care physicians will often blanket anterior knee pain with the not very helpful and vague term "PFS", so you need to truly heed their advice of rest as well as any instructions from a PT for a few reasons: 1. so that you can request a referral to an orthopedic specialist if your primary care physician doesn't have the sense to do so after a few months(and to be fair, you need to be certain you are seeing your assigned primary care physician and making a connection with them, going to a different doctor or 1st available every time your knee gives out won't help you much). 2. compliance with assigned rest or Phys therapy w/ and continued pain will justify further image testing/referral and 3. following their instructions to a T and communicating with your providers will help them get to the conclusion of the problem faster- and this is an unusual problem to have, and unusual to have cause to fix it even when it exists. My bipartite patella was discovered by the orthopedic surgeon and was missed by 3 family practicioners and a physical therapist(more for a lack of the proper xrays needed that ortho will order for you!) It took 4 months of failed therapy, a deal of vigilance and aggressive scheduling for appointments, 3 sets of xrays, an MRI and CAT to confirm BP and rule out other sources, and I was scheduled for surgery the same day I met with the orthopedic surgeon. It was very obvious to HIM what was wrong and how to fix it at that point. Good luck and I hope you can fix yourself without the surgery (its painful!)
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 31, 2009
    • 03:55 AM
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  • I'm a seventeen year old athlete who was diasgnosed with a bipartite patella after a year of pain following a jammed knee. From what I've heard, BP tends not to be a problem until some trauma irritates it. I had already taken a few months off to rest my knee and track season was coming up so I went for the surgery right away. They did a lateral release, where they make a small cut in the tendon next to the knee cap to take tension off of it. I was up and walking around my house with crutches the same day of the surgery. Within a week, I was off crutches. By two months post op, I was back to full athletic participation and running the best times I ever have. I can't speak for anyone else, but the surgery was definitely the best route for me.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • hey i was also in the the military (ARMY) and i too have been diagnosed with having a bipartite patella. just like you, i didnt have any problems with my knee prior to service. i was a tomboy and played sports ever since i was a little girl. i even danced professionally for 13 years. it wasnt until i went to basic training after a 5 mile AGR that i started to feel the knee pain. you know how it is in basic, though, you dont want to the tmc in fear of hearing the worst and getting recycled. so bore through it, graduated, went on to AIT and came home. i was out dancing when i felt my knee pop and it instantly swelled up. the next day i went to work but got sent home because i could barely move around. i went to the hospital where they took xrays and thats when i found out that my kneecap was "broken", only they ruled that out when i told them i had never been in an accident, fallen, or even so much as broken any bone in my life! they diagnosed it as a bipartite patella telling me that it had been this way since birth. because the unfused piece is so big, though, i have to either get knee replacement surgery or screws in my knee...im only 21!!! so yes i blame it on uncle sam cuz had i not wen through all that extensive training i probably would have never known about my little problem.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 12, 2010
    • 00:19 PM
    • 0
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  • i found out i had bipartite patella-in both knees-at a young age after lots of swelling and pain. only 1% of the population are born with it, mostly males, and usually only in one knee. Im a girl with it in both :( having lived with it for years, its 'tramuma' to it that cases it to swell ane be painfull. Other than taking anti inflamatories and pain killers, there is nothing the doctors can do. because the bone is separated and that is causing the pain. Jolting, bending, running, as you do alot of, is mostly what causes the pain. The only thing you can do is surgery. they take out the smaller bone fragment. In your case, this would probably be the bes route considering your career. For me, a teacher, i just have to live with it. The doctors diagnosis sounds right, it can often be mistaken for 'broken' kneecap, but its just something you have to live with. unless surgery is an option for you.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 25, 2010
    • 06:05 AM
    • 0
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  • I understand your pain and frustration! I had a work injury about 5 years ago and thought I sustained a broken patella, however after about 15 x-rays, 4 MRI's, 2-CT's and a Bone Scan, (also about 6 physicians, 2 full years of physical therapy, a dozen or so Coritizone injections, and drainage of the bursa, which is the sac of fluid behind the knee cap ), I had knee surgery on my bipartite patella. The Orthopedic Surgeon made an incision of approximately 1.5 inches across the top front-side of my patella. I had another full year of physical therapy, and had to wear a brace to do anything physical for a long time, however there is hope for you! I don't have anything more than just a dull pain, very similar to what I felt when the weather would change before the surgery, and it is very rare. In fact I suppose it is similar to "arthritis" in a joint from an athletic life. The DO that performed the surgery gave me the option of screws, removal, or basic symptomatic treatment. I opted for the removal of the smaller piece. I don't have any issues nowadays and can exercise as I please, though I do find my knee "weak" and occasionally give out after an exceptionally hard work-out, however there is no pain associated with it! I'm not encouraging you to have surgery. It isn't an easy road to take and the bumps are plentiful. I was in a straight leg brace for a 2-3 months, which was far more miserable than I had anticipated. I suppose if I could give you one piece of good advice from my own experience, I would say: do not, under any circumstances, let a physician drain the bursa from beneath your patella by going through what can only be described as "the crack" between the pieces. It is by far the most excruciating pain I've felt. One of the early doctors I saw performed this task "in my best interest" in his office. I never saw him again, and after consulting with my surgeon, found out it was a common mistake. :) I hope this has helped a little. Good luck and thank you for your service to our country.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 9, 2010
    • 01:29 AM
    • 0
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  • Thank God Im not the only one going thru this! I was beginnig to think I was going crazy!! I went to one dr in may and he said I had Symptomatic Bipartie Patella and I was out of work for 2months with a brace on my knee then I did physical therapy for a month. Nothing helped and when I went back after all that he said well we can do surgery but he said it would be extremely painful and might not fix the problem. So I opted out thinking that Id give it time and see if it got any better, which it didnt so I went to a different a doctor to get a second opinion and he was a complete ***k he said he had never heard of this diagnosis and he said that he thought it was all in my head and thought I was drug seeking! When he took the xray and saw my MRI results he said I did have a two piece kneecap and said he would just try a cortisone injection and see if that worked and again no luck! I am starting to really hate drs! I work 12hr shifts in a hospital as a nurse Im on my feet constantly and Im sick of still being in pain! Naproxen and Tylenol are not cutting it! I am at loss what to do! Im only 24 and I cant just keep dealing with this for the rest of my life!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 19, 2010
    • 02:37 AM
    • 0
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  • hi i have bipartite patella it has been giving me major problems for years. one consulatant told me i would have to learn to live with it. i have been back and forward to docs pain unbearable. i have now to go for surgery on it. can anyone tell me how long the recovery process is? and how long i will be off work? they are going to cut my ligament as well.thanks.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 23, 2010
    • 11:38 AM
    • 0
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  • I have the same issue!!! It didnt start with me until I was about 16 I woke up in really bad pain one night and had my mom take me to the hospital where they took X-rays and told me that nothing was wrong I went through this process for about 5-6 years before they said "Oh you have a fracture in your knee cap and need to go see an ortho doc about it!" Well when I got there he had me go for more X rays and noticed that it wasnt a fracture that it was in two pieces and told me that I have Bipartite Patella and that I was born with it and it normally isnt an issue for most people and that having surgery would only make it worse. So I have gone about another 2 years dealing with it and I dont even do too much to stress it out more I am a Manager of 2 kiosks in 2 diffrent malls and I play a lot of video games (I do have 2 kids that I chase after) but now it is not only making my left knee hurt but my right as well and is affecting the joints in my left foot and my left hip because what they say I have been doing is "Safe garding" and making my other joints pay for it!! Looking to have surgery and they say recovery is about 4-6 weeks but that depends on what they do as well I will keep anyone that is looking to have surgery updated about recovery and options as I go along
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had the same condition.. but just yesterday I had the smaller fragment removed.. even though it was almost half of my knee cap. It's super painful but the results from my MRI and CT showed that I had severe inflammation in between the two fragments of the patella and I was slowly tearing my patella-femoral tendon so we opted for surgery the very next day. I had this condition all of my life, but the past 2-3 years it has only gotten worse. I had tried many patella stablizers but they did nothing at all for me, and I had tried PT which only made the pain worse. If you can still walk on your knee without the fragment dislocating I would suggest to stay away from surgery, it's extremely painful. My main reason for doing the surgery was because of my lumbar spine, where I had a fusion from L4-S1 and my knee wasn't allowing me to rehab for that surgery because of the excruiating pain. I'm only 17, going on 18 next month. And my competitive sports career is over due to this surgery so I would think long and hard before having this type of surgery. Hope all goes well :)
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hey,i am a college athlete this will be my senior year. at the end of last year i collided with y 2nd basemen and i hit my knee... they told me i strained my mcl. after living with the pain for more than 3 moths i went to a different doc who told me that nothing was wrong with my mcl acl or any ligaments. he did however tell me that i had a Bipartite patella. he sent me to physical therapy. they didnt do anything... she told me that the pain was coming because i didnt use my butt muscle right... and at 50$ a visit i got sick of paying for somthing that was not doing anything beside make it so i cant walk. I start my senior year of my college career this fall and i cant run cant squat cant even sleep at night some times because my knee hurts that bad. im at the point of not knowing what to do.. i know there are some surgery that can help but i dont have time for all the pre treatment that last 6 months... any ideas?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Hey,i am a college athlete this will be my senior year. at the end of last year i collided with y 2nd basemen and i hit my knee... they told me i strained my mcl. after living with the pain for more than 3 moths i went to a different doc who told me that nothing was wrong with my mcl acl or any ligaments. he did however tell me that i had a Bipartite patella. he sent me to physical therapy. they didnt do anything... she told me that the pain was coming because i didnt use my butt muscle right... and at 50$ a visit i got sick of paying for somthing that was not doing anything beside make it so i cant walk. I start my senior year of my college career this fall and i cant run cant squat cant even sleep at night some times because my knee hurts that bad. im at the point of not knowing what to do.. i know there are some surgery that can help but i dont have time for all the pre treatment that last 6 months... any ideas?SOMETHING is OBVIOUSLY wrong! I would get a 2nd, 3rd, etc., opinion to find out just what that is. Your bipartate patella could definitely be causing malalignment and arthritis. I was a 3-sport ahtlete in high school and also 2-sport college athlete that had arthritis at that time because of that very same thing. After reading yours and many others' stories I now feel very lucky to have had excellent doctors, surgeons & physical therapists to help me remain active for many years. Good luck!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi im wondering if any of use have had the operation and your knee is back to 100%.because i had the op 4 months ago and am still in pain where they took the piece out.how long did it take to get back to 100% etc
    surferman5 1 Replies
    • October 29, 2011
    • 01:22 AM
    • 0
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  • My son, a 13 yr. old, elite soccer player, was diagnosed with bipartite patella this past September. He rested it, completed pool quad physical therapy and was better. At an IMG camp over X-mas break he got slide tackled again, re-injuring his knee.Because of the high recurrence rate of BP, our son, type 3, was going to have the piece removed openly until we saw a small study about ultrasound therapy, called Exogen. It completely healed, fused the bone in 2 boys the same age. We r trying it!
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • January 24, 2014
    • 08:06 PM
    • 0
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