How to manage a patella fracture among children

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The patella or kneecap develops a durable, bony lid over the knee joint. Children below the age of 15 years old are less likely to develop patella fractures. The average age for patella fractures among children is 12 years old which is an age in which children are more likely to engage in sports and physical activities. Most cases of injuries are called as sleeve fractures which is a type of fracture that only occurs in children. Being prepared to carry out the appropriate measures for a fracture can greatly help worsen the injury. This is possible by registering for first aid training today.

What is the patella?

The patella is best described as a compact piece of bone that is hard to break. The tendons are responsible for connecting the kneecap to the upper and inferior leg bones. In some cases, a patella fracture occurs once the tendons shear off from the bone due to excessive force.

A patella fracture in a child is often caused by a direct blow to the knee. This can occur during a sporting event such as soccer or when the child falls from a tree. In some cases, a patella fracture occurs due to vehicular accidents when the child strikes the knee or lands on his/her kneecaps.

What are the symptoms of a patella fracture?

When it comes to patella fractures, it can cause a lot of pain thus the child can cry if he/she has a broken kneecap. Understandably, any movement of the knee in any direction can cause an abrupt rush of pain. The knee typically swells or appears different than the other knee, thus making it easier to diagnose without triggering further pain. The child will not be able to walk using the affected leg. Nevertheless, in cases where the fracture is trivial, it might not be obvious that the knee is broken which is the case when it comes to sleeve fractures.

Patella fracture
Any movement of the knee in any direction can cause an abrupt rush of pain.

What is a sleeve fracture?

Sleeve fractures on the patella can occur among children once the leg muscles pull a small bone fragment from the patella while the knee is being used, typically during sporting events. This will make the knee buckle, thus resulting to pain. It is important to note that a sleeve fracture can oftentimes involve miniature pieces of bone, thus an X-ray will not help reveal the issue. A minor sleeve fracture will not require surgical intervention.

Treatment for patella fracture

The child who is suspected with a patella fracture must be taken to the emergency department right away. The doctor will request for an X-ray in order to check the severity of the damage. A patella that is fractured among children would require surgery. After the surgery, a special type of cast will be applied in order to encase the knee and prevent it from moving for several weeks. Physical therapy will help keep the joint moving correctly again during the healing process.

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