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 the knee or a direct hit to the knee. Some kneecap fractures can happen when your child is jumping or running.
Symptoms may include:
Your healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history and examine your child. Tests may include X-rays or other scans.
The treatment depends on the type of fracture.
Your child’s healthcare provider may prescribe pain medicine.
With treatment, the fracture may take 6 to 8 weeks to heal. Your child may need to do special exercises to help his leg get stronger and more flexible. Ask your child’s 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 your child 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, to help prevent injury, make sure that your child: