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Expert Patellar Fracture Care for Swift Recovery

What is a Patellar Fracture?

A patellar fracture case refers to a medical condition where the patella, commonly known as the kneecap, sustains a break or fracture. The patella is a small, triangular bone that shields and supports the knee joint, making it a crucial component for leg movement. Patellar fractures can occur due to various traumatic events, such as falls, direct blows to the knee, or high-impact accidents. These fractures can range from simple, clean breaks to more complex patterns involving multiple pieces of bone. The severity and type of fracture often determine the course of treatment, which may involve either surgical intervention or nonsurgical methods. Effective management of patellar fracture cases is essential to ensure the restoration of knee function and mobility.

When To Go For Surgery

Surgery for a patellar fracture is typically considered when nonsurgical treatments prove ineffective or when the fracture is severe. If conservative approaches like casting or splinting fail to align the fractured bone pieces properly, surgery becomes necessary to restore the integrity of the kneecap and facilitate the return of normal function. Additionally, surgery may be recommended if the broken bone fragments are displaced, making it challenging for them to heal correctly without intervention. The timing of surgery may vary; for open fractures or those with skin involvement, immediate surgery is often required to minimise the risk of infection. However, for closed fractures without complications, surgery may be delayed until any associated abrasions or skin issues have healed. Ultimately, the decision to opt for surgery depends on the specific nature of the patellar fracture, with orthopaedic specialists carefully evaluating each case to determine the most suitable course of action.


In cases where bone fragments are separated by more than 1-4 mm and displaced by over 2-3 mm from the articular surface, surgical intervention is often required to address patellar fractures. The most commonly employed surgical technique is the use of a tension-band wiring (TBW) system, which involves the use of Kirschner wires (K-wires) and soft steel wires to stabilise the fracture. For larger sections of the patella that require fixation, screws, pins, and wires may be utilised during the surgical procedure. Any bone fragments that cannot be reattached are typically removed. Complete removal of the patella is a rare measure and is generally reserved for cases of severe  damage.with lot of communition ( multiple fragmentations ) which is difficult to attach to each other .

Doctor Checking a Form

Post-Operative Care

The following post-surgery care measures are crucial:

  1. During the initial two days post-surgery, applying ice to your knee for 20 to 30 minutes multiple times a day can effectively alleviate pain.

  2. Keep your knee elevated above heart level whenever possible to reduce discomfort and swelling.

  3. Using cushions beneath your ankles while sleeping is often recommended for added comfort.

  4. Ensure timely administration of prescribed medications and complete the recommended course.

  5. Follow the dietary recommendations provided by your doctor for optimal recovery.

  6. Usually patient is made to walk full weight bearing using knee brace in most of cases.


1. What is knee arthroscopy, and when is it recommended?

Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat various knee conditions. It's recommended when conservative treatments like rest, physical therapy, or medication fail to provide relief from knee pain or when there's a need for a precise diagnosis of unexplained knee symptoms.

2. What are the common knee issues treated with arthroscopy?

Knee arthroscopy can address a range of knee problems, including torn meniscus, ligament injuries like ACL or PCL tears, inflammation of the synovium, cartilage damage, loose fragments in the joint, and patella-related issues.

3. What can I expect during the recovery period after knee arthroscopy?

Recovery from knee arthroscopy involves rest, keeping weight off the knee, and possibly using crutches or a walker. Elevating the leg to reduce swelling is crucial. Patients are typically advised to follow a physiotherapy program to regain full mobility and function gradually.

4. How long does knee arthroscopy surgery typically take?

The duration of knee arthroscopy can vary depending on the complexity of the issue being addressed. On average, the procedure takes about 30 minutes to an hour. However, your orthopaedic surgeon will provide you with a more accurate estimate based on your specific case and number of ligament repaired or reconstructed .

5. Is knee arthroscopy an outpatient procedure?

Yes, knee arthroscopy is often performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can typically go home on the same day as your surgery. However, the exact discharge plan may vary based on your surgeon's recommendation and your overall health.

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