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What Is a Patella (Kneecap) Fracture?

A patella fracture is a crack in the kneecap or the small bone that covers the front of your knee called the patella. The patella acts as the shield for the knee joint. It will make you vulnerable to fracture if you do fall directly and land on the ground on your knee or during a collision hit the cap against the dashboard. A patella fracture is a serious injury, and when it happens, it may not be possible for you to walk straight or straighten your leg. Some of the fractures can be rectified by wearing a cast or having a splint until when then the bone heals. When the fracture happens, the pieces of bone move out of place during the time of injury. When the fractures are complicated, surgery will have to be done to stabilize the kneecap thus allowing it to function properly.

The kneecap can fracture in many ways; it could be a simple, two-piece break, clean or the bone may break in many pieces. The break can happen in the top, center, or on the bones lower part.

woman holding knee in pain

Patella (Kneecap) Fracture Causes and Risk Factors

  • Old age- patella fracture comes with age even with post menopause
  • The decrease in the mass of the body and the bones
  • Participating in the contact sports including football and soccer
  • Excess body weight is causing strain on body muscles, ligaments, bones and tendons.
  • Violence, this can be pedestrian or car accidents

Symptoms of a Patella (Kneecap) Fracture

Signs and symptoms of an patella fracture injury usually includes:

  • Severe pain around the kneecap
  • Swelling, tenderness, and/or bruising around the area
  • Experiencing pains when moving the knee in any direction
  • Difficulty in extending the knee and walking
  • The knee appears deformed due to the fractured piec

When Surgery Is Necessary

When experiencing kneecap pain or have just sustained a knee related injury, you should contact Dr. Madsen for diagnosis and treatment. Early diagnosis of a patella fracture can help speed up recovery time and prevent loss of strength and motion, so you can get back to doing what you love.

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