What is a Split Kneecap?

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February 01, 2019
Edward Smith

What is a Split Kneecap?

Knee pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek medical attention. It impacts people of all ages from childhood all the way up to the elderly. There are many different reasons why an individual might suffer from knee pain. One of the possible reasons is a split kneecap, also known as a patellar fracture. According to statistics published by My VMC and Classic Rehabilitation:

  • About 20 percent of women will suffer from knee pain at some point in their life.
  • Another 15 percent of men will also suffer from chronic knee pain.
  • About 25 percent of people over the age of 65 suffer from pain in their knee.
  • Knee pain is frequently cited as an issue that impacts people’s quality of life.

Because knee injuries and knee pain are so common, it also has many different causes, which could even indicate a medical emergency.

The Differential Diagnosis of Knee Pain

The knees are under a tremendous amount of stress because they need to support the entire body. Other causes of knee pain include:

  • A knee sprain or strain
  • A direct blow to the knee
  • Arthritis or other degenerative conditions
  • A torn ligament including the ACL, MCL, PCL, or LCL
  • A torn or damaged meniscus
  • Chronic medical conditions such as patellofemoral pain syndrome or Osgood-Schlatter’s disease
  • A bone fracture

While many people think of bone fractures in the leg as impacting the femur, tibia, and fibula, these can also affect the knee.

Diagnosing and Treating a Split Kneecap

The knee is protected by a bony shield called the patella. While the job of the patella is to protect the vital structures that rest underneath, it can be damaged as well. When the patella is fractured, this is often called a split kneecap. Usually, the patella is injured by a direct blow, such as that of an auto accident. Some of the symptoms of a patella fracture include:

  • Pain that is worse on palpation of the knee.
  • An inability to walk or bear weight on the affected leg.
  • Visible bruising or swelling over the knee.
  • A reduction in the range of motion of the leg.

A fractured patella is typically diagnosed on an x-ray. It requires a unique “sunrise view” angle on the film. If a broken patella is diagnosed, the leg is often put in a cast for several weeks and might even require surgery.

Watch YouTube Video: Patella Fracture Repair. This animated video demonstrates the diagnosis and treatment of a split kneecap, also known as a patellar fracture.

Contacting an Injury Lawyer

Whenever a loved one requires surgery following an auto accident, it is normal to have questions. Some of the concerns a family might have could include the circumstances of the accident, issues related to fault after the collision, and damages. These are all reasons why it is a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. An experienced injury lawyer is able to help families with all of these issues and more.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. A fracture of the kneecap is a painful injury with a prolonged recovery process. If you or a loved one has suffered a split kneecap or another serious injury following a car accident, please call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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What is a Split Kneecap?: Autoaccident.com

Image Attribution: by nattanan23 on Pixabay. The image has been reproduced here with permission/ What is a Split Kneecap?.

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