Patient Information Resources

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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I am a professional football player with bipartite patella. The pain and discomfort are keeping me on the bench. What’s the best treatment for this?

Bipartite patella is a failure of the kneecap to harden after birth. This can happen to boys or girls, but is fairly uncommon. Symptoms range from mild discomfort to severe pain. Motion may be normal and the knee joint is usually stable. Swelling may occur and some patients describe a “catching” sensation. Treatment begins with drugs for inflammation. If these don’t help, a local steroid injection may be tried. A decrease in activity is advised for up to three months. Sometimes, a cast is used to immobilize the knee. Rest from movement may help it heal. If an injury to the bipartite patella doesn’t heal, surgery may be needed. The doctor can remove one or more pieces of the cartilage and smooth out the remaining section.


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