A comminuted fracture is a bone break where the bone is smashed into several pieces.

comminuted fracture of the patella
In this illustration the fragments of the comminuted fracture are un-displaced. If the fragments are displaced, it is important to try to 'reduce' them and hold them in position while the fractures heal.


Comminuted fractures in the patella

A comminuted fracture may occur in any bone, but in the knee one is usually referring to the patella (kneecap). Cerclage wires are often used to hold the fragments together until healing takes place.



Current concepts review: Fractures of the patella. Gwinner C, Märdian S, Schwabe P, Schaser K-D, Krapohl BK and Jung TM. GMS Interdiscip Plast Reconstr Surg DGPW. 2016; 5: Doc01.

Comminuted displaced fractures of the patella. Böstman O, Kiviluoto O and Nirhamo J. Injury. 1981 Nov;13(3):196-202.

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