Pain, bruising, and swelling occur on the kneecap with a patellar fracture. However, because the knee joint is complex, these symptoms could also signify injury to other parts of the structure.
The primary symptom of a patellar break is the inability to straighten the knee. This was the case with Dante. Dr. Adigweme says, “Your patella helps you extend your knee, so he (Dante) was unable to extend his knee and had significant difficulty walking.”
To diagnose the condition, an orthopaedic physician typically will undertake a physical examination and medical history. This includes manually palpating the kneecap, where you can often feel the edges of the fracture through the skin, particularly if it is a displaced patellar fracture. The doctor usually checks for hemarthrosis, which is internal bleeding that can collect inside the joint space. If you haven’t had x-rays, these are common to confirm the diagnosis.
Together, Dr. Adigweme, Langdon, and Dante decided that an outpatient orthopaedic procedure to repair the patella fracture would be the best approach to get him back on his feet.