How do you know if you have a broken knee cap?
What are the signs and symptoms of a patellar fracture?
- You have pain when your knee is touched or when you move your leg.
- You have swelling and bruising around your knee.
- You are able to straighten your leg but you cannot bend it.
- You cannot stand up or put weight on your injured leg.
With treatment, the fracture may take 6 to 8 weeks to heal. You may need to do special exercises to help your leg get stronger and more flexible.
- A broken kneecap occurs when the small round bone (patella) that sits over the front of your knee joint breaks. Sometimes when a broken kneecap occurs, the patellar or quadriceps tendon can also tear. The patella and quadriceps tendon connects the big muscle in the front of your thigh to your knee joint.
- If your fractured kneecap does not require surgery, your physician will likely immobilize your leg in a cylindrical long leg cast or, in rare cases, a knee immobilizer for four to six weeks. This will allow your fractured kneecap to heal.
- In most cases, it takes from 6 to 8 weeks for a stress fracture to heal. More serious stress fractures can take longer. Although it can be hard to be sidelined with an injury, returning to activity too soon can put you at risk for larger, harder-to-heal stress fractures and an even longer down time.
You can walk without a kneecap. Your kneecap, known as the patella, is a small bone that protects your knee joint. In those cases, though, surgeons do not create or install kneecap prostheses—because you can walk without a kneecap. Kneeling, however, may be a challenge without one, requiring protective gear.
- If part of or the entire kneecap is so secerely fractured that it cannot be repaired, it may be partially removed (partial patellectomy) or totally removed (full patellectomy). Only the bony fragments of the kneecap are removed.
- Kneecap subluxation or dislocation may occur more than once. The first few times it happens will be painful, and you will be unable to walk. If subluxations continue to occur and are not treated, you may feel less pain when they happen. However, there may be more damage to your knee joint each time it happens.
- For a knee dislocation to occur, these ligaments must tear. A partial dislocation is referred to as a subluxation. In some injuries, the kneecap (patella) and its ligaments are also disrupted. Inappropriate or delayed treatment of a knee dislocation may result in loss of the leg.
A broken kneecap occurs when the small round bone (patella) that sits over the front of your knee joint breaks. Sometimes when a broken kneecap occurs, the patellar or quadriceps tendon can also tear. The patella and quadriceps tendon connects the big muscle in the front of your thigh to your knee joint.
- This will keep the broken ends of bone in proper position while they heal. Depending upon your specific fracture, you may be allowed to bear weight on your leg while wearing a cast or brace. With some fractures, however, weight bearing is not allowed for 6 to 8 weeks.
- To treat this condition:
- Put an ice pack, gel pack, or package of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth on the injured area every 3 to 4 hours for up to 20 minutes at a time until the pain and swelling go away.
- Keep your knee up on a pillow when you sit or lie down.
- The patella, also known as the kneecap, is a thick, circular-triangular bone which articulates with the femur (thigh bone) and covers and protects the anterior articular surface of the knee joint.
Updated: 6th October 2019