Patellar Fracture
with Rehab
ExitCare ImagePatellar fracture is a break in the kneecap (patella). These fractures may be complete or incomplete. It is common for injuries that cause a patellar fracture to also cause a tear (sprain) of the ligaments or ligament-like tissue (retinaculum), or a tear (strain) in the patellar tendon.
SYMPTOMS
CAUSES
Patellar fractures occur when a force is placed on the kneecap that is greater than it can handle. Common causes of injury include:
RISK INCREASES WITH:
PREVENTION
PROGNOSIS
If treated properly, patellar fractures usually heal.
RELATED COMPLICATIONS
TREATMENT
Treatment first involves the use of ice and medicine to reduce pain and inflammation. If the bone fragments are out of alignment (displaced), immediate realigning of the bone (reduction) by a person trained in the procedure is required. Fractures that cannot be realigned by hand, or are open (bones protrude through the skin), may require surgery to hold the fracture in place with screws, pins, and plates. Once the bone is in proper alignment, restraining the knee is often needed to allow for healing. After restraint, it is important to perform strengthening and stretching exercises to help regain strength and a full range of motion. These exercises may be completed at home or with a therapist.
MEDICATION
SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:
EXERCISES
RANGE OF MOTION (ROM) AND STRETCHING EXERCISES - Patellar Fracture
Your fractured patella may be corrected with surgery and/or with a knee brace. Upon your caregiver's instructions, you may begin your rehabilitation with some of the following exercises. As you complete these, remember:
ExitCare ImageRANGE OF MOTION - Knee Flexion and Extension, Active-Assisted
Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.
ExitCare ImageRANGE OF MOTION - Knee Flexion, Active
Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.
ExitCare ImageSTRETCH - Knee Flexion, Supine
Repeat __________ times. Complete this stretch __________ times per day.
ExitCare ImageSTRETCH - Knee Extension Sitting
Repeat __________ times. Complete this stretch __________ times per day.
*Your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer may instruct you place a __________ weight on your thigh, just above your kneecap, to deepen the stretch.
ExitCare ImageSTRETCH - Knee Extension, Prone
Repeat __________ times. Complete this __________ times per day.
*Your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer may instruct you place a __________ weight on your ankle to deepen the stretch.
STRENGTHENING EXERCISES - Patellar Fracture
Regardless of whether your physician has stabilized your knee with surgery or a brace, he or she may have you begin some of the following exercises to rehabilitate your injury. The exercises may resolve your symptoms with or without further involvement from your physician, physical therapist, or athletic trainer. While completing these exercises, remember:
ExitCare ImageSTRENGTH - Quadriceps, Isometrics
Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.
ExitCare ImageSTRENGTH - Quadriceps, Short Arcs
Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.
OPTIONAL ANKLE WEIGHTS: Begin with ____________________, but DO NOT exceed ____________________. Increase in 1 lb/0.5 kg increments.
ExitCare ImageSTRENGTH - Quadriceps, Straight Leg Raises
Quality counts! Watch for signs that the quadriceps muscle is working, to be sure you are strengthening the correct muscles and not "cheating" by substituting with healthier muscles.
Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.
ExitCare ImageSTRENGTH - Hamstring, Isometrics
Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.
ExitCare ImageSTRENGTH - Hamstring, Curls
Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.
ExitCare ImageSTRENGTH - Hip Extensors, Bridge
Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.
ExitCare ImageSTRENGTH - Hip Abductors, Straight Leg Raises
Be aware of your form throughout the entire exercise, so that you exercise the correct muscles. Poor form means that you are not strengthening the correct muscles.
Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.
ExitCare ImageSTRENGTH - Hip Abductors, Quadruped
Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.
ExitCare ImageSTRENGTH – Quadriceps, Squats
Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.
ExitCare ImageSTRENGTH - Plantar-flexors, Standing
Repeat exercise __________ times, __________ times per day.
*If this is too easy, shift your weight toward your right / left leg until you feel challenged. Ultimately, you may be asked to do this exercise while standing on your right / left foot only.
 
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
 
Document Released: 12/18/2006 Document Revised: 01/08/2016 Document Reviewed: 04/01/2010
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