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Patella Fracture (Broken Kneecap)


It’s fairly easy to break a kneecap simply by virtue of its position as a shield for the knee joint. This is a serious injury and one that usually requires surgical repair. Find out more about who’s at risk for this condition.

Causes & Triggers

  • Direct blow
  • Fall
  • High-impact trauma (especially motor vehicle accident)

Signs & Symptoms

  • Difficulty walking
  • Inability to straighten knee
  • Pain
  • Swelling

Tips & Treatment

  • Only about one percent of fractures are patellar fractures.
  • Patella fracture is twice as common in men than women.
  • People ages 20-50 are most at risk for this type of fracture.
  • Patellar fractures vary from having a slight crack in the kneecap to one that’s broken in multiple pieces.
  • Surgical treatment is usually required, along with post-operative physical therapy.

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