Stress fractures of the patella

Gregory A. Brown, Mark R. Stringer, Elizabeth A Arendt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Patella stress fractures are very rare. Approximately two out of 10,000 athletes presenting to a sports medicine clinic will have a patella stress fracture. A patella stress fracture usually presents with a history of weeks to months of progressively worsening anterior knee pain. The athlete’s training regimen may be increasing in intensity and involve distance running, repetitive jumping (basketball), or repetitive kicking (soccer). The athlete may note a “pop†if the stress fracture acutely displaces. Transverse patella stress fractures usually occur in the distal 1/3 of the patella. All reported cases of longitudinal stress fractures have occurred in the lateral facet and have been associated with distance running. Radiographs are frequently normal. An MRI is preferred to confirm the diagnosis. Once a patella stress fracture has been diagnosed, the treatment is similar to the treatment of other stress fractures of the lower extremity. One should avoid loading of the bone, and keep progression of activities in a pain-free progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStress Fractures in Athletes
Subtitle of host publicationDiagnosis and Management
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783319092386
ISBN (Print)9783319092379
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.


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