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Patellar Injuries

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An acute patella injury is an injury to the kneecap (patella) due to a direct blow or hard fall onto the knee. It is possible to fracture the patella, dislocate the patella, or damage the cartilage underneath the patella.
Symptoms of patellar injuries can include:

  • Bruising on the affected knee
  • Pain in the front of the knee
  • Pain that comes on suddenly following the injury
  • Swelling of the knee


Physical examination
Your doctor will conduct a complete physical examination and collect your health history to help make the diagnosis.

Your sports medicine doctor may order an X-ray to confirm the diagnose of patellar injury.


RICE method
While you’re at home, you should use the RICE method, which includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

Anti-inflammatory medication
Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication – or recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen – to help reduce swelling and pain.

If your kneecap injury is particularly severe – or if it has not been responsive to more conservative treatments – you may need to undergo surgery to repair the damage.

Why Choose the University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute?

World-class care in an academic health system. As a research and teaching institution, we treat children and adults with proven, leading-edge procedures based on clinical studies performed at the Miller School of Medicine. Our doctors, residents, nurses, and therapists work together to create healthy outcomes.

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