PATELLA FRACTURE (BROKEN KNEECAP)
The patella bone, also known as the kneecap, It is the bone at the front of the knee joint. The patella is located where the shinbone and thighbone meet. This bone provides stability and strength to the knee joint and also helps to protect the joint from injury. Although rare, a fracture can occur to the patella. A patella fracture is defined as a crack or fracture of the patella.
Patella fractures can occur when a person falls or lands directly onto their knee. This is the most common cause of a patella fracture. A fracture can also occur when a person receives a direct blow to the knee cap. This can occur during contact sports like football, hockey or soccer or during a vehicle accident.
Another way a patella fracture can occur is when a person experiences a muscle imbalance. A muscle imbalance can occur when a person has strong quadriceps and weak hamstrings. This causes the quadriceps tendon to place too much pressure on the patella. A sudden contraction of the quadriceps muscle in the knee can cause the bone to fracture. This will result in instant pain and prevent the knee from straightening.
When a patella fracture occurs, there are several symptoms a person may experience. Some of these include:
- Instant sharp pain
- Deformed knee
- Difficulty straightening the knee
- Limited mobility of the knee
- Knee area tender to the touch
There are many different types of fractures a person may experience.
Different types of Patella Fractures:
- Displaced-If the patella breaks into two or more separate pieces, the broken ends of the bone are separated and do not line up correctly.
- Non-displaced-This type of fracture occurs when a bone breaks into two or more pieces but the pieces do not separate.
- Closed-The patella does not break through the skin. Some types of closed fractures may be treated without surgery.
- Open fractures-An open fracture occurs when the broken bone breaks through the skin.
The tendons underneath the patella can also be affected during a fracture.
To determine the severity of the fracture as well as the cause, Dr. Davis will do a thorough health history. He will then examine the knee and evaluate the areas where the pain and swelling are most severe. X-rays will also be taken to show the exact area where the fracture occurred. Once the fracture is diagnosed there are several different treatment options our Prescott Valley, Arizona office offer.
If surgery is not required then immobilization of the knee in a cast or brace is recommended. The cast or brace will be used for 4 to 6 weeks to make sure the bone heals properly. If the fracture is severe then surgery may be required. Other treatment options include physical therapy, muscle strengthening exercises and pain medication.
If a person believes they may be suffering from a patella fracture it’s important to call Davis Orthopedics immediately to avoid constant pain and further damage. Our experienced team is dedicated to getting our patients out of pain and back on their feet. Contact our office today for a consultation.