A kneecap fracture is a break or crack in the kneecap (patella). It may be just a small crack in the bone, or the bone may break into pieces or shatter. Some fractures may stick out through the skin.
A kneecap fracture is also called a patellar fracture.
A broken kneecap usually results from a fall onto your knee or a direct hit to the knee. Some kneecap fractures can happen when you are jumping or running.
Symptoms may include:
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and how the injury happened. Your provider will examine you. Tests may include X-rays or other scans.
The treatment depends on the type of fracture.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe pain medicine.
With treatment, the fracture may take 6 to 8 weeks to heal. You may need to do special exercises to help your leg get stronger and more flexible. Ask your healthcare provider about this.
Follow the full course of treatment your healthcare provider prescribes.
To keep swelling down and help relieve pain:
Ask your healthcare provider:
Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.
Most broken kneecaps are caused by accidents that are not easy to prevent. However, here are some things that can help prevent injury: