An injury characterized by a break in the patella, the large bone at the front of the knee (which is a part of the knee joint). It protects the front of the knee joint and acts as a point of support, providing increased power to the thigh muscles, which extend the knee.
A kneecap fracture is a common result of an automobile accident and motorcycle accident, where individuals receive direct impact to their kneecap. The pressure exerted on an individual must be enough to cause it to break. Other causes of a kneecap fracture include prolonged use of the knee, such as with contact sports.
Intense pain in the kneecap, swelling of the knee and inability to move or extend the knee are symptoms of a broken kneecap.
Physicians will perform tests and take MRI’s and scans of the knee to determine if there is a fracture. If so, the doctor will perform surgery to fix the problem.
Two types of surgery used to fix a kneecap fracture include:
- Open reduction-internal fixation surgery —The doctor uses pins and screws to put the broken pieces back together.
- Patellectomy—The doctor removes part of the kneecap or the entire kneecap.