Patellar sleeve fractures

Dr Jeremy Jones and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

Patellar sleeve fractures represent chondral or osteochondral avulsion injury at the inferior pole of the patella.

Patellar sleeve fractures occur in the paediatric population, typically between 8 and 12 years of age.

Unlike Sinding-Larsen-Johannson disease, these injuries are acute and result from sudden and forceful contraction of quadriceps. Acute pain and focal pain and tenderness occur at the time of the injury.

Lateral x-rays demonstrate swelling at the lower pole of the patella and some degree of patella alta. If a small bony fragment has been avulsed with the cartilage, then this too may be seen. Because it is an extra-articular fracture joint effusion is usually absent.

MRI is critical if the diagnosis is suspected as the degree of chondral injury cannot be assessed on plain-radiography, and co-existent extensor mechanism injury may be present.

Surgical treatment is preferred.

Knee pathology

The knee is a complex synovial joint that can be affected by a range of pathologies:

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Article information

rID: 7513
Tag: knee, refs, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Patella sleeve fracture
  • Patellar sleeve fracture
  • Patella sleeve fractures

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