If you suffer a fractured kneecap, you’ll immediately know that something is wrong. This injury is associated with a variety of symptoms, including:
- Severe pain when touched
- Swelling in and around the area
- Pain when attempting to move
- Difficulty straightening the leg
- Deformed appearance
If you have reason to believe that you have a fractured kneecap, immediate medical attention is required. A doctor may be able to diagnose you through a basic examination. However, an X-ray is typically ordered to learn more.
A fractured kneecap usually requires surgery, with two options on the table:
- Open reduction fixation surgery
- Partial or full patellectomy
Both of these procedures are extensive, thus resulting in a recovery period that typically lasts several months. A patellectomy is a two-hour procedure that removes part or all of the kneecap. With open reduction fixation surgery, the surgeon opens the area and attempts to put together the broken kneecap with screws, pins or metal wires.
Physical therapy can help you recover from a fractured kneecap and potentially regain your former strength and range of motion. If you neglect to seek therapy, you can’t expect your knee to heal completely or to be able to use your leg as you did before.
If you suffer a fractured kneecap on the job, perhaps as the result of stepping into a hole or falling from a height, report the incident to your employer and keep them current on your treatment.
As you work closely with your medical team to recover, consider when you may be able to return to your job. Since you’re likely to require time off, you’ll want to learn more about filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.