Patellar (Knee Cap) Fracture
On this page
- What has happened?
- What should I expect?
- What should I do?
- What should I not do?
- Will I be followed up?
- What if I have concerns/questions?
What has happened?
- You have broken your knee cap
- These are common injuries and most do not require surgery
What should I expect?
- Your knee will be swollen and sore
- Initially, you may be unable to put any weight on your injured leg and you should not bend your knee
- You will likely develop some bruising around the knee, and occasionally this may extend into your calf/foot/ankle - this is normal
- You will be placed in a knee brace by Emergency Department (ED) staff, with your knee kept straight
- You will likely remain in the knee brace for 4-6 weeks. However, the brace may be changed to allow some bending of the knee after a few weeks
What should I do?
- Take regular pain relief (e.g. paracetamol and ibuprofen) as needed
- Do not bend your knee until you are reviewed in the Orthopaedic Clinic
- Elevating your leg will help with pain and swelling - you can do this by resting your leg on a stool or 1-2 pillows while sitting/lying down
- Use the crutches provided as these will make it easier to get around
What should I not do?
- You will not be able to drive with this injury
- Do not take your leg out of the brace except for showering, and ensure your knee is always kept straight when the brace is off for bathing
- Avoid exercise and sport
- Try to reduce or stop smoking as this may delay bone healing
Will I be followed up?
- Yes, a follow-up appointment in the Orthopaedic Clinic will be requested when you leave the Emergency Department (ED) and you will be contacted about a date and time
What if I have concerns/questions?
- If your injury is not settling or you have other concerns, you should see your GP first - take your ACC form/number with you