The symptoms of a knee fracture include:
- Swelling of the knee
- Excessive pain in the knee
- Inability to walk
- Inability to straighten the knee
- Bruises in the injured area
Generally, patellar fractures are caused by a direct blow to the kneecap, due to a fall or a vehicular accident. Rarely, the kneecap can also get fractured by violent contraction of muscles in the thigh.
To prevent knee fractures, you must be:
If the injury is not severe, the broken bones might not be displaced much. In such cases, splints or casts may be sufficient to keep your knee straight. While the broken ends heal, the cast will hold them in a correct position. This process generally takes around six to eight weeks of time, during which you would be unable to shift weight onto the injured area. You may be advised to use crutches while walking.
If the patella is severely damaged and displaced, your doctor might recommend surgical procedures to heal the damage. If the broken pieces are too far apart, the fracture may take longer to heal or not heal at all. The muscles of the thigh at the top of the patella are strong and they may pull the broken pieces out of place, during the healing process.
Factors to be considered for the surgery are –
If your patella is shattered into several small pieces, your surgeon will remove the small pieces and attach the loose tendon to the major chunk of patellar bone that remains. Then, some screws and wires may be used to fix the bone. Complete removal of the kneecap is the last resort of the process, when all else fails or are improbable.