A severe blow or injury may fracture (break, crack, or chip) the kneecap or the ends of the bones around it. You may notice severe pain and swelling. You may be unable to move your knee or put weight on the injured leg.


Possible treatments include:

  • A brace or cast to keep the bones from moving while they heal. It is applied as soon as possible for most fractures.
  • Surgery to put the bones back in place if the fracture is severe. Screws, pins, wires, and sometimes plates may be used to hold the bones together while they heal. Sometimes the kneecap is removed. After surgery, the knee is placed in a cast or brace while it heals.
  • Crutches to keep weight off the injured leg.
  • Exercises to help keep the muscles strong and knee stable.