Patella fracture


  • A 74 years old lady
  • Alleged fall at home
  • Complaint of painful swelling at right knee
Right knee radiograph in AP and lateral projection

Radiographic findings:

  • There is transverse fracture line at mid right patella (white arrow).
  • Minimal displacement of fracture fragment.
  • There is soft tissue swelling adjacent to the fracture.
  • Suprapatellar effusion is also seen (yellow arrow).
  • No other fracture is seen.
  • Degenerative changes of the knee joint.

Diagnosis: Patella fracture


  • Fracture of the patella represent about 1% of all fractures.
  • It is most common in those aged 20-50 years and more common in males.
  • It can occur due to direct blow to patella, severe forces by extensor mechanism, after total knee reconstruction or due to pathological fracture.
  • Treatment depends on degree of displacement and whether extensor mechanism is intact or disrupted.
  • Non-displaced or minimally displaced fracture with intact extensor mechanism can be treated non operatively.
  • Displaced fractures or disrupted extensor mechanism may require surgical treatment usually involves tension band wiring.

Progress of patient:

  • Initially patient was treated conservatively with knee splint and immobilization.
  • However there is widening of the displaced fracture fragments on follow up.
  • Patient subsequently operative wiring band.


Author: radhianahassan