Patella Fracture

This injury happens when there is a break in the patella. The patella is a large, movable bone at the front of the knee.

  • Causes

    Some common causes of this injury include:

    • Sharp blow to the knee
    • Excessive stress on the knee

  • Definition

    This injury happens when there is a break in the patella. The patella is a large, movable bone at the front of the knee.

    The Kneecap
    si55550925 96472 1
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Diagnosis


    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor will look closely at the knee to see if there are signs of
    fracture. A straight leg test may be done.

    Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:

    • X-ray
    • CT scan
    • MRI scan

  • Prevention

    To help reduce your chance of getting a patella fracture, take the following steps:

    • Do not put yourself at risk for trauma to the bone.

    • Do
      weight-bearing exercises
      to build strong bones.
    • Build strong muscles to prevent falls and to stay active and agile.
    • Wear proper padding and safety equipment when participating in sports or activities.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your risk of developing a patella fracture include:

    • Increased age
    • Postmenopause
    • Decreased muscle mass
    • Osteoporosis—decreased bone mass
    • Participation in contact sports such as football and soccer
    • Obesity, which places strain on muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments
    • Violence, such as car or car-pedestrian accidents

    Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors.

  • Symptoms

    If you have any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to a patella fracture. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:

    • Sudden, excruciating pain in the kneecap
    • Swelling, bruising, and tenderness
    • Inability to extend the knee
    • Difficulty walking

  • Treatment


    Talk with your doctor about the best
    treatment plan
    for you. Treatment options include the following: