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Leg/Knee Case 3 History/Physical Exam

Patellar Fracture

History and Physical Exam

History reveals a direct blow to the patella or indirect trauma from forceful quadriceps contraction.

Patients often have joint effusion, overlying ecchymosis, and patellar tenderness. An important aspect of the physical exam is the straight leg test to determine if the extensor mechanism of the knee is intact. Lying supine, the patient elevates the leg, keeping the knee straight. If the knee cannot remain extended, the extensor mechanism has been disrupted.