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(Broken Kneecap; Fracture, Patella; Kneecap Fracture; Patellar Fracture)
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- Sharp blow to the knee
- Excessive stress on the knee
- Increased age
- 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
- Sudden, excruciating pain in the kneecap
- Swelling, bruising, and tenderness
- Inability to extend the knee
- Difficulty walking
- Open reduction-internal fixation surgery—The doctor uses pins and screws to put the broken pieces back together.
- Patellectomy—Rarely, the doctor removes part of the kneecap or the entire kneecap.
- 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.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
American Physical Therapy Association http://www.orthopt.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Henry P, Panwitz B, et al. Rehabilitation of a post-surgical patella fracture. Physiotherapy. 2000;86:139-142.
Patellar (kneecap) fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedics website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00523. Updated March 2010. Accessed September 9, 2013.
Stress fractures. The American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acfaom.org/information-for-patients/common-conditions/stress-fractures. Accessed November 18, 2008.
Tay G, Warrier S, et al. Indirect patella fractures following ACL reconstruction. Acta Orthopaedica. 2006;77:494-500.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013