The patella is the bone commonly known as the kneecap. It is surrounded by the large tendon between the quadriceps, our powerful thigh muscles, and the tibia, the lower leg bone. The quadriceps muscles are responsible for straightening the leg.
A patella injury may consist of damage to the kneecap itself, tearing or rupture of the tendon, inflammation of surrounding tissue, or injury to the cartilage behind the patella.
Acting as a shield to the knee joint, the patella can easily be broken. Often the result of injuries by slips, trips and falls, car accidents or accidents at work, fractures may occur at the top, lower or centre part of the patella. They may consist of a single slight crack or shattering of the patella into multiple pieces.
In addition to often requiring surgery, patella fractures may cause arthritis to develop in the knee over time.
Tearing of the tendon surrounding the patella can also be caused by slipping, tripping or falling, motoring, or work accidents. Some injuries to the tendon are repetitive strain injuries caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons.
Repetitive activities and the patella
Repetitive stress injuries related to the patella include:
- Patellar tendinopathy: Also often called patellar tendonitis or jumper’s knee, this industrial condition is an overuse injury where repetitive movement causes an inflammation of or injury to the patellar tendon and/or surrounding tissue.
- Prepatellar bursitis: Commonly known as ‘housemaid’s knee’, this occupational illness is caused by repetitive crawling or kneeling causing the space between the kneecap and the skin (the bursa) to become inflamed and fill with fluid. It is a fairly common patella-related work injury among roofers and carpet installers, for instance.
- Chondromalacia patellae: This work related condition is more or less severe roughening of and/or damage to the cartilage located at the patella’s back. It is a repetitive strain injury that can usually be effectively treated with physiotherapy.
Claiming for a patella injury
Regardless of whether your patella injury was the result of repetitive movement or accidental injury at work, a motoring accident or a slip, trip or fall, you are likely to have a valid case to claim compensation, if:
- You sustained the injury, or developed/were diagnosed with a patella-related industrial illness, during the past three years
- Someone else was responsible for your workplace injury or occupational disease
Get more information about claiming for industrial injury compensation from Accident Advice Helpline today. Just call the our 24-hour helpline on 0800 689 0500 and have a confidential chat with one of our friendly advisers.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice