Fracture of the patella is almost always caused by a direct blow to the knee. This injury can occur in any sport and cause significant disability.


Patella fracture cause immediate pain, swelling, and reduce motion such as from a fall or motor vehicle collision. The patella can also be fractured indirectly. For example, your thigh muscles can contract so violently that it pulls the patella apart.

Major symptoms of a patellar fracture include pain and swelling in the front of the knee. Additional symptoms include:

  • Bruising
  • Inability to straighten the knee
  • Inability to walk
  • Immediate intense knee pain


If the fracture does not cause significant misalignment of the patella, 4 to 6 weeks of immobilization (by bracing or casting) is recommended. If surgery is required, the is immobilized postoperatively for a shorter time, which allow earlier range-of-motion exercises. Weight bearing should be avoided for about 4 to 6 weeks, which could cause atrophy and weakness in the knee. Being with resistance above the knee and progress to the ankle as long as no stress is felt on the knee. See the doctor if the injury still persist.