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Patellar Fracture In Children


A patellar fracture is a break in your child's kneecap.



  • Pain medicine: Your child may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you give your child his medicine.
  • Antibiotics: These medicines help fight or prevent an infection. They are usually given if your child has an open fracture.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
  • Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Your child may need to return to have his stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

Brace, cast, or splint care:

  • Check the skin around the device every day. Apply lotion to any red or sore areas.
  • Ask your healthcare provider when your child can bathe. Do not get the device wet. Cover it with 2 plastic bags. Tape the bags above the device to prevent water from getting in. Help your child keep his knee out of the water as much as possible.
  • Tell your child not to push or lean on any part of the cast or splint because it may break.
  • Do not let your child put any sharp or pointed objects inside the cast.


Your child's healthcare provider will tell you when your child can start to use crutches. Crutches support your child's knee when he walks to help prevent a fall. Follow instructions about how much weight your child should put on his injured leg. Use crutches as directed.

Walking with Crutches


Help your child raise his knee above the level of his heart as often as he can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Have him lie down and rest his leg on pillows.


Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover the ice pack with a towel and place it on your child's knee or supportive device for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for 2 days.

Ice and Elevation

Wound care:

Ask your healthcare provider how to care for your child's wound.

Physical therapy:

Your child may need to see a physical therapist to teach him special exercises. These exercises help improve movement and decrease pain. Physical therapy can also help improve strength and decrease your child's risk for loss of function.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child's wound is red, swollen and feels warm.
  • Your child has pus coming from his wound.
  • Your child's knee pain is getting worse, even after treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child's cast or splint breaks or gets damaged.
  • Your child says that his foot or toes feel numb.
  • Your child's foot or toes are swollen, cold, or turn white or blue.
  • Blood soaks through your child's bandage.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Patellar Fracture In Children (Discharge Care)

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