Kneecap (Patella) Fracture Treatment

A Kneecap (Patella) Fracture is a painful condition which can result from trauma injuries.

At Vitalis Physiotherapy, our treatment of kneecap fractures aims to:

What is a kneecap (patella) fracture?

The kneecap (patella) is a small, flat bone which sits on top of the knee where the thigh and shin bones meet, almost like a shield. The patella also connects the thigh muscles to the shine bone (tibia). Types of kneecap fractures include:

  1. Stable fractures – bone remains connected (similar to hairline fracture)
  2. Displaced fractures – broken end of the bone separate and are misaligned
  3. Comminuted fractures – bone shatters into three or more pieces; can be open or stable as well.
  4. Open fractures – bone breaks in that it pierces through the skin

Fractures and other serious injuries to the knee can result in damage to nearby nerves, blood vessels and other musculoskeletal structures, causing chronic pain or permanent injury.

Question mark

What are the causes?

The cause of an knee fracture can vary in severity, and can greatly impair mobility and function.

Some common factors which can trigger a fracture include:

  • Falls – force absorbed by the knee
  • Trauma – car accidents or high-contact activity
  • Sports-related injuries – sudden impact against the knee
  • Abnormal, rapid and sudden pressure – against the knee joint (sometimes also causing dislocation)
  • Health contraindications – low vitamin D/calcium + other nutrients, genetic predispositions (bone weakness), comorbid diagnoses (Knee OA, etc.), etc.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain (delayed or immediate) – can be sudden/severe/aching
    • Referred pain felt down the thigh and/or shin bones
    • Pain while walking/bending leg/standing
  • Stiffness/inability to move the knee joint
  • Tenderness/painful to touch
  • Reduced or no range of movement
  • Inability/extreme difficulty to weight bear on the knee/leg
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Instability – feels like the joint is slipping out of place
Dislocated knee

Treatment for a kneecap fracture

If you have fractured your patella, it is important to seek out immediate medical treatment. You will likely be referred for CT, X-ray or MRI scans to determine the extent of the injury. Surgical intervention may be recommended as a method of treatment – whether that be the insertion of pins to stabilise the joint, to a complete knee replacement.


Physical therapy is also highly beneficial in rehabilitating the structures around the knee after a fracture to increase range of movement and strength. At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we tailor a unique treatment plan to aid in your recovery through:

  • Stretching, strengthening and/or conditioning exercises
  • Restoring range of movement
  • Postural improvement
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Soft tissue release (massage)
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Taping
  • A unique home exercise program
  • Graded Exposure to load program

Your physiotherapist may also advise heat or ice application, rest and if necessary, pain medication. Additionally, they might recommend for you to use supportive braces or belts.

How to book an appointment?

If you have a fractured kneecap, or you’re looking for a ‘physiotherapist near me’, our physios at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess your condition to tailor a unique rehabilitation plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.


Need Help?

Are you recovering from a fractured patella? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

Contact us for more information on treatment

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073


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