Patellar (Knee Cap) Fractures

Patellar (Knee Cap) Fractures

Patellar (Knee Cap) Fractures. 

The Patella is a small bone that sits right in front of your knee. It is type of joint that is particularly vulnerable for fracture. Direct injury by a fall or a motor vehicle collision in which the knee joint hits on the dashboard also result in knee cap fracture. As one of the leading orthopedic hospital in coimbatore, we get a large number of patients with patellar fractures

Patellar fracture is fairly serious in nature and can make bending or even straightening your knee exceedingly difficult. Simple patellar fractures can be treated with the help of a cast or splint but complex fractures in which the bone shatters definitely requires surgery and stabilization to stabilize the kneecap.

A patella can actually fracture in a wide variety of ways. Some fractures may be simple while some fractures can be really complex where the bone breaks into multiple pieces. Patellar fractures can occur in the bottom, center or top of the bone in general.

Patellar fracture symptoms:-

Pain and swelling are probably the most common cause of patellar fractures. Other reported symptoms of a patellar fracture include

1. The inability to straighten the knee joint or keep it straight while raising the leg

2. Inability to bear weight and walk

3. Bruising

Physical Exam:-

Usually, after taking an elaborate medical history your doctor will perform a medical examination of your knee joint. In the even patellar bone is fractured and displaced, the edges of the fracture can often be felt through the skin.

The other important sign for which your doctor will check for is called the hemarthrosis. In this condition, blood collects in the joint space resulting in exceedingly painful swelling in around the area of the knee joint. Your doctor will drain the blood around your knee to help relieve pain

Next, an X-ray will usually be done to assess the extent of the fracture.

Patellar fracture treatment strategies:-

Non-surgical management:

In simple fractures where the pieces of the bone are not out of place, a surgery is usually not required. Your doctor may apply a simple cast to stabilize the knee joint and restrict mobility. The idea here is to keep the broken bones in proper alignment/position so as to help healing

The type of fracture will also determine if you can actually bear weight on your leg while you are wearing the cast. In the event your fracture is really large, weight-bearing will not be allowed for at least 8 full weeks. In case of simple fractures, weight bearing to a certain extent may be allowed

Surgical Management:

In complex fractures, where the pieces of the bone are displaced, you will probably require surgery. Since the muscles of the thigh are very strong, the pull exerted by the muscles can also separate the bones impairing normal healing. Complex fractures in most patients require immediate intervention.

Screws and pins combined with wires are usually used during surgery to fix the bone. Small plates may also be sometimes be used to fix the patella.

Painkillers will usually be prescribed after the surgery. Because the leg will be immobilized for a few days post surgery, the thigh muscles may weaken and the knee joint may become stiff in general.

Tailored physical therapy and rehabilitation will help speed up your recovery from the fracture. Maintaining a healthy diet, combined with regular exercise is usually all that is required for you to heal completely.

References:-

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/patellar-kneecap-fractures/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020138300001704

 

 

 

 

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