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Patellar Fracture Repair


A patellar fracture repair is surgery to repair a fractured and displaced patella (kneecap).

Knee Anatomy


The week before your surgery:

  • Arrange to have someone drive you home after surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all the medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine before surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of surgery.
  • You may need to wear a splint or brace on your leg until surgery. This helps decrease movement and helps prevent further injury to your kneecap.
  • You may need an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI before surgery. Your surgeon may use these tests to help plan your surgery. Ask for more information about these and other tests you may need. Write down the correct date, time, and location of each test.

The night before your surgery:

You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

The day of your surgery:

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Take only the medicines your surgeon told you to take.
  • An IV will be put into a vein. You may get medicine or liquids through the IV.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.


What will happen:

  • You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may instead be given spinal anesthesia to numb the surgery area. With spinal anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery, but you should not feel any pain.
  • With an arthroscopic reduction and fixation, small incisions are made in the skin over your kneecap. An arthroscope (thin tube with a camera on the end) and other small tools are put through the cuts. With an open reduction and fixation, a larger cut is made in the skin to open it for repair. With a partial or total patellectomy, you surgeon will make a cut and remove part, or all, of your kneecap. The fractured pieces of your kneecap are put back in their correct places. Your surgeon may use hardware, such as wires, screws, or other materials, to hold the pieces together. The incisions are closed with stitches and covered with bandages. Bandages help keep the area clean and dry to help prevent infection.

After your surgery:

You are taken to a room where you can rest. You will have a splint, brace, or cast on your knee. This will protect your kneecap and limit movement so it can heal. Healthcare providers will watch you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When healthcare providers see that you are ready, you may be allowed to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken to your room.


  • You cannot make it to surgery on time.
  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.


You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. The hardware in your knee may break or come loose. You may have stiffness in your knee after your kneecap has healed. Scar tissue may form on or under your skin where you had surgery. You may have less movement and strength in your knee and leg. Your bones may not heal properly after surgery. You may get a blood clot in your leg. This may become life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.

Learn more about Patellar Fracture Repair (Precare)

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Further information

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