Knee Fracture

A fractured kneecap means there is a fracture of the bone at the front of the knee joint. The knee joint consists out of three bones: lower leg, kneecap and upper leg. The kneecap is covered with a layer of cartilage that prevents friction between the bones and surrounding structures. The kneecap is included in the patella tendon (tendon of the anterior thigh muscles) to absorb compressive forces and friction.


The kneecap can fracture due to a direct blow to the bone. Think of a car accident or a fall. Long-term overuse of the knee can also be a cause of a fractured kneecap.


When it comes to a knee fracture, there's always additional damage and injuries, being that the surrounding structures almost always get damaged during the fracture. Things like location and size can say a lot about the fracture. There's always a sharp pain at the front end and edges of the patella. Swellings and external bleeding also occur often. You won't be able to stretch and bend your knee properly any more as that can be experienced as very painful.


When the kneecap is fractured, surgery has to be done to fix this. The patella is then brought back into position with fixation material. If the kneecap is still in place, it can be treated with a plaster cast. The recovery time differs per person, but putting no pressure on the kneecap for six weeks is the most common. The total recovery time is approximately three to six months. During the rehabilitation period, you can undergo the following procedures:

  • Dry needling
  • Manual therapy
  • Exercise therapy
  • Massage

Wearing a knee support can also help expedite the recovery process.