about us
orthopedic topics message forum

orthopedic topics


Bipartite Patella

What is it?

  Right knee
  Normal patella Bipartite Patella

The patella or knee-cap develops from one center of bone formation (or ossification center). In some cases, a separate second center of bone formation is present. If these two centers of bone formation do not eventually fuse, a situation arises where there is an accessory bone from the second center of ossification that is attached to the patella by fibrous or cartilage tissue. This is often on the supero-lateral corner of the patella.

What are the symptoms?

Usually there are no symptoms, and the diagnosis is made incidentally when X-rays were taken for a knee injury. It may be mistakenly diagnosed as a patella fracture.

What does your doctor do about it?

If X-rays taken for a knee injury show a radiolucent line at the supero-lateral corner of the patella, a comparison view of the other knee will confirm or rule out bipartite patella, since it is usually bilateral.

Sometimes the injury involves the bipartite patella itself, which could be a separation of the fibrous or cartilage union at the bipartite patella. In those cases, a cylinder cast or knee immobilizer to rest the knee in extension for 4 to 6 weeks usually resolves the problem. In cases of persistent or recurrent pain, excision of the bipartite patella may be necessary.


NOTICE: The information presented is for your information only, and not a substitute for the medical advice of a qualified physician. Neither the author nor the publisher will be responsible for any harm or injury resulting from interpretations of the materials in this article.

Questions or comments? Post your thoughts in the Orthoseek Message Forum!
Find a pediatric orthopedic surgeon in an area near you.

Home | About Us | Orthopaedic Topics | Message Forum

Copyright (c) 2003 Wheaton Resource Corp.
Comments, questions, or suggestions are welcome. Please contact us using this form.