Any type of knee injury has the potential to impact your life. This is particularly true of an injury that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to walk.
A fractured kneecap is among the most serious knee injuries, as it hinders your ability to bend your leg and bear weight.
There are many potential causes of a fractured kneecap, including but not limited to:
- Motor vehicle accident
- Slip and fall
- Fall from height
- Blunt force trauma
What are the primary symptoms?
While no two injuries are exactly the same, there are a variety of common symptoms associated with a fractured kneecap:
- Severe pain in the kneecap and local area
- Difficulty moving the knee
- Deformed appearance
- Tender to the touch
- Difficulty extending the leg
If you have reason to believe you've suffered a fractured kneecap, don't hesitate to seek medical attention. Your doctor will do the following to diagnose your injury:
- Ask about the details of your accident and what you're feeling
- Examine your knee and local area
- Take an X-ray from several angles
- Order an MRI and CT scan to rule out other injuries
What's the best treatment of a fractured kneecap?
Your treatment depends largely on the severity of the injury. Here are the two primary types of surgery:
- Open reduction-internal fixation surgery: This occurs when a surgeon opens the skin, realigns the bones and attaches them with screws, pins and/or metal wires. Any pieces of bone that are too small to fix are removed from the body.
- Full or partial patellectomy: This surgery entails the partial or full removal of the kneecap. It typically comes into play in the event that the kneecap is too damaged to repair.
After surgery, your doctor will refer you to a physical therapist that can assist with your recovery. This will hopefully help you regain full range of motion, while also strengthening your knee to prevent future injury.
Even though there are many ways to repair a fractured kneecap, it doesn't mean you'll make a full recovery. Subsequently, you may find it difficult to return to work.
If you suffered a fractured kneecap on the job, report the incident to your employer and keep them in the loop as you recover. Also, don't wait to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.