Patella fracture: Mechanism of injury, signs and symptoms and treatment

A patella fracture, or broken kneecap, is a very painful injury. Typically, you land directly on your knee or have a direct blow to the knee. You can also land awkwardly from a jump, causing this injury.

Signs and symptoms of a patella fracture

Often you will not be able to lift your leg after the injury. Your knee might be extremely swollen. Sometimes you can feel multiple pieces of bone as you feel your kneecap.

X-ray showing a displaced patella fracture

Treatment of a patella fracture

A small percentage of patella fractures don’t require surgery. Most require surgery. The surgeon opens the knee, puts the pieces in proper place and holds them with screws or wires.

Rehab and recovery process

After surgery, you might wear a knee immobilizer or brace for a short period of time. You might also be restricted in your weight bearing. Then you work to regain knee motion and leg strength. Working with a physical therapist can be very helpful to return to your desired physical activities. Overall recovery and return to sports can take 9 to 12 months.

Also read:
Patellar dislocation of the knee: Treatment options
Patellar tendonitis: Signs, symptoms and remedies for this difficult knee problem

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