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Can You Walk With A Broken Kneecap?

About Broken Kneecap & Its Causes

The knee is one of the busiest areas of the body. It not only carries the weight of the body but also aids in movement and balance of the body. This is the reason behind knee being a vulnerable area for various types of injuries. While knee sprains and twisting injuries to the knee are something that are quite common, fracture of the kneecap or what in medical terms is called as a patella fracture is something that is quite rare and uncommon.

A broken kneecap accounts for about 2% of all the fractures that can occur in the body. [1]Broken kneecap usually occurs in individuals between 20 and 50 years of age with males more likely to be affected than females.[2]

A broken kneecap can occur as a result of a direct blow to the kneecap as a result of a motor vehicle collision, a fall on the knee, being hit on the knee by a heavy object, or a gunshot wound to the kneecap. Playing certain contact sports like football or rugby may also result in a broken kneecap.[3] Skiing and dancing also are things that put heavy stress on the knee and may result in a broken kneecap.

Can You Walk With A Broken Kneecap?

Can You Walk With A Broken Kneecap?

Coming to question on whether an individual can walk with a broken kneecap then the answer is NO. The moment an individual incurs a broken kneecap there is immediate development of pain and swelling which may be quite significant. There may also be a visible deformity. In case of a displaced fracture, a visible gap may be noted at the area of the knee. The symptoms will be so significant that it would be virtually impossible for the individual to bear weight on the knee.[4]

Thus it is quite understood that the individual will not be able to walk with a broken kneecap, although there will be no restriction in the motion of the ankle and toes. In conclusion, an individual with a broken kneecap will not be able to walk due to the fracture as there will be significant swelling and pain along with visible deformity which will prevent any weightbearing on the affected knee and thus prohibit the affected individual from walking after a broken kneecap.

Even though an individual with a broken kneecap will not be able to walk, the range of motion of the toes and ankles remain unaffected due to the injury that caused the fracture in the first place.


Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 15, 2020

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