Knee surgery is a suitable and necessary treatment for patella injuries such as fractures or serious dislocations, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Less severe forms of fracture or dislocation may not require surgery.
In the case of patellar fracture, doctors typically recommend surgery if patella fragments are no longer near each other and cannot heal, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. If surgery is necessary, the type of procedure performed depends on the nature of the injury. Physicians treat fractures in which the patella breaks into two more-or-less neat pieces by securing the parts next to each other with pins and wires placed into a figure-eight arrangement across the two parts. Fractures in which the patella breaks into a larger number of small chunks are typically treated by removing the bone particles and affixing the tendon to the remaining whole piece of bone. If the patella is broken but its parts have not scattered, keeping the knee in a straight position with a cast or splint is enough.
In the case of patellar dislocation, doctors typically recommend surgery if physical therapy and weight bracing produce no result or if more than one dislocation has occurred, reports the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The typical treatment consists of reconstructing the patella’s ligaments, which ordinarily keep it from becoming dislocated. If the dislocation occurred due to something other than injury, such as a congenital deformity, a different type of procedure may be necessary.