In Brief: Patellar Fractures
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Despite the patella’s small size, patellar fractures can lead to profound pain and impairment owing to their articulation with the distal femur and their critical function in the extensor mechanism of the lower extremity. Treatment often alleviates the impairment—knee extension is restored—but even well-executed treatment may be associated with poor outcomes.
Structure and Function
The patella is a sesamoid bone in the extensor mechanism between the quadriceps tendon and the infrapatellar ligament (patellar tendon). It functions as a lever for knee extension, effectively augmenting the force of the quadriceps. This position and function has three important consequences: (1) the quadriceps is weaker without a patella; (2) there are large compressive forces at the patellofemoral joint; and (3) the patella is subject to high tension forces . The combination of compressive and tensile forces has implications for both mechanisms of injury, methods of treatment, and ultimate...
KeywordsPatellar Tendon Avulsion Fracture Extensor Mechanism Transverse Fracture Patellar Fracture
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