The kneecap is a thick triangular bone that protects the front of the knee joint and acts as a fulcrum, providing increased power to the thigh muscles, which extend the knee. When a kneecap brakes or is displaced, bone pieces have moved out of place.
A traffic accident, sports injuries or a sharp fall on your knee can cause patellar fracture. But factors such as advanced age, osteoporosis, post-menopause, reduced muscle mass and obesity may increase the risk of developing a patellar or kneecap fracture.
There are two types of surgery to treat this injury:
Open reduction internal fixation surgery (ORIF) – The doctor uses pins and screws to reattach the broken pieces.
Patellectomy – The doctor removes part of the kneecap or the entire kneecap.
After surgery, you need to do physical therapy. This implies a range of motion exercises and stretches to strengthen the injured leg. In some cases, you will need another surgery to remove the pins and screws. Depending on the injury, recovery may take weeks or months.