A fracture to the patella – or kneecap – is a fracture of one of the three bones that, along with the femur and tibia, make up the knee joint. A fractured patella may also be referred to as a fractured kneecap or broken kneecap, or a patellar fracture. Because of the flat and round shape of the kneecap, fractures to the patella are different from other types of arm and leg fractures. An x-ray is usually used to identify a patella fracture. If a fracture is not visible but suspected, a CT scan may be used. An MRI may be used to show bone contusions and injuries to nearby muscles and tendons.
Causes of Patella Fractures
The most common cause of a patella fracture is a fall onto the kneecap, often in a slip and fall accident or staircase fall. Direct trauma to the knee in an accident may also cause a patella fracture. The following types of accidents may also result in patella fractures:
- Auto accidents
- Cycling accidents
- Construction accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Trucking accidents
- SUV rollover accidents
- UTV rollover accidents
Patella fractures are also sometimes associated with other leg bone fractures, including femur fractures, tibia fractures, fibula fractures, and trimalleolar ankle fractures.
ORIF Surgical Treatment
The usual treatment for most displaced patella fractures that require surgery is open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). Open reduction describes open surgery to stabilize and set bones. Internal fixation refers to an implant or the fixation of bones internally during surgery to facilitate healing. Internal fixation devices made of stainless steel or titanium are commonly used in ORIF surgical procedures. With any ORIF procedure, there is a high risk of infection. If the patella has been shattered or is broken into fragments beyond repair, an ORIF procedure may not be used, and the patella may need to be removed.
The surgical removal of the patella is a patellectomy. A patellectomy may be performed if the patella bone is shattered beyond any possible repair. If only part of the kneecap is removed, the procedure is called a partial patellectomy. If the kneecap is completely removed, the procedure is called a full or total patellectomy. A prosthesis or replacement is typically not put in its place. Patellectomy may also be performed in a patient with degenerative arthritis or a kneecap that dislocates frequently and repeatedly.
Compensation For Patella Fracture Injuries
A patella fracture is a painful outcome for any accident. Patella fractures are likely to require surgery, a long period of immobilization, and extensive rehabilitation. Sometimes, victims experience chronic pain for the rest of their lives. If you have suffered a patella fracture in any type of accident, Estey & Bomberger is here to help you. Our attorneys are experienced in every aspect of the claims process, from preserving evidence to negotiating the highest possible settlement for your injuries.
No Obligation Attorney Consultation
With more than 70 years of collective experience fighting for victims of personal injury in California, the attorneys at Estey & Bomberger know how to get maximum results. If you have suffered a patella fracture or any other bone fracture and would like to speak with an attorney about a potential case, call Estey & Bomberger at (800) 925-0723. If we represent you in your claim, we will not charge any fees unless we win your case.