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Patellar fracture

A patellar fracture is a traumatic break of the patella bone (knee cap).

This can be a simple break into two parts, or a comminuted fracture, where the kneecap is smashed into three or more parts.

It is really important to see an expert after a patellar fracture, because arthritis may be triggered behind the kneecap if the broken fragments are not properly re-aligned after the injury. The surgeon will look for 'displacement', that is he/she will look on the X-ray to see if the fragments are still in good contact or whether the impact has forced the fragments apart.

Displaced fragments may be pulled closer together with a cerclage wire, a wire that is passed in a circle around the outer aspect of the kneecap.

Follow-up X-rays will be necessary to determine how well the fragments remain aligned and whether healing of the bone has occurred.

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