Is my Knee Fractured?

Whether you are in your peak physical condition or trying to get back into shape, sport/activity related injuries can happen to anyone. Knee injuries are one of the most common complaints for active individuals. You can rule out a knee fracture by recognizing the causes, signs and symptoms of your knee injury.

Potential Causes

Knee InjuryFirst and foremost you must consider what has occurred prior to the onset of your symptoms. An actual fracture is caused by experiencing a blow to the knee. This can happen following a fall, especially directly onto a hard surface, such as concrete, as well as an accident in a vehicle or even riding a bike. A fracture would be caused by excessive force and would not usually occur due to a twist or misstep.


The symptoms of a fractured knee will include:

  • Severe pain that is either “in” the knee or around the actual kneecap
  • Noticeable swelling
  • Pain during movement of the knee
  • Difficulty or inability to extend your leg or do a straight-leg raise
  • Appearance of fractured “pieces” or deformity of the knee
  • Tenderness of the knee

Examination and Confirmation

If you have any of these symptoms it is imperative you seek medical attention. A doctor will assess the damage to your knee and confirm whether or not you have in fact experienced a fracture or if you have sustained another form of knee injury. Your doctor will have you move your knee as well as place their hands on the area to test for tenderness. It is important to be prepared to experience some pain during the examination. X-rays will be taken to assist in the final diagnosis of your knee injury.


If you have actually fractured your knee cap, your doctor will refer you to an orthopedic surgeon. They will further assess your fracture and decide what procedure is required to repair your fractured kneecap. The most common procedures include a full or partial patellectomy or open reduction-internal fixation surgery.

Seeking medical attention immediately following your knee injury is your best bet to a speedy recovery.

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