You may be playing tag with your friends, when you trip on a rock as you are being chased. When you land on your knee, you feel a sharp pain around your knee cap, and you can no longer straighten your leg. What you are most likely experiencing is a patellar fracture.
Patellar fractures are known in common terms as simply, a broken knee. The patella is the bone that creates the knee cap bone, which shields the meeting point of the thigh bone and shin bone. There is a thin shield of cartilage beneath the patella (so it can be moved around) as the bone also connects the muscles and tissues of the upper and lower leg.
A broken kneecap is a common injury that can be caused by a direct blow or excessive pressure on the bone. It should be treated immediately and may require surgery. If treated improperly it can lead to stiffness, weakness, or arthritis in the long run.
Some common causes of patellar fracture include:
Types Of Fractures
There are several ways to break or fracture a bone. Here are the most common types of patellar fracture:
Signs And Symptoms
Typically, it becomes very evident for affected individuals that they’ve broken their kneecap. For open fractures, the bones will obviously be seen from the torn knee. For smaller fractures, it may not seem or feel as evident. Here are some signs and symptoms of a patellar fracture:
Some individuals are at higher risk than others for a patellar fracture. They include:
Always be sure to take precautions when putting pressure on the knees, and be sure to wear protective knee gear as appropriate.
Depending on your situation and your x-rays, the orthopaedic surgeon may choose either a surgical or non-surgical approach to heal the fracture.
Whether the treatment method is of surgical or non-surgical in nature, physical therapy will almost always follow to ensure full recovery of the knee. Be sure to not strain or use the healing knee until a physician says it is ok to do so, or you may face more serious complications of the knee down the road.
Rather than treating any potential knee injury as a sprain or mild dislocation, it is best to seek medical care to make sure you don’t need further medical treatment, like surgery. It is always better to be safe than sorry.