Patellar Fracture

Patellar fracture is a complete or incomplete break of the kneecap (patella). Most fractures of the patella are accompanied by sprain or rupture of ligaments, ligament-like tissue (retinaculum), or tendons attached to the patella.

Initial treatment consists of medications, elevation of the leg, and ice to relieve pain and reduce swelling. Cast or brace immobilization, especially if the fracture is in proper alignment and position, is performed. Surgery is usually recommended to reduce the fracture into proper alignment and position if the joint surface is not smooth. This is done by using wires or screws to fix the fracture and restore the joint surface’s smoothness. After immobilization (with or without surgery), stretching and strengthening of the injured and weakened joint and surrounding muscles (due to immobilization and the injury) are necessary. These may be done with or without the assistance of a physical therapist or athletic trainer.

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