3 doctors weighed in:
If my boyfriend has a broken knee cap is he going to need a total knee replacement?
3 doctors weighed in

Dr. John Dearborn
Orthopedic Surgery - Reconstruction
In brief: No
Kneecap or patella fractures generally heal.
Sometimes, many years later, arthritis can appear.

In brief: No
Kneecap or patella fractures generally heal.
Sometimes, many years later, arthritis can appear.
Dr. John Dearborn
Dr. John Dearborn
Thank
Dr. Greg Hicken
Orthopedic Surgery - Reconstruction
In brief: Not likely
Fractured kneecaps or 'patella' can be repaired if the bone is displaced.
Most patellar fractures will heal and not lead to arthritis. Rarely a damaged patella needs to be replaced after some time has passed, and rarely a knee replacement may be used.

In brief: Not likely
Fractured kneecaps or 'patella' can be repaired if the bone is displaced.
Most patellar fractures will heal and not lead to arthritis. Rarely a damaged patella needs to be replaced after some time has passed, and rarely a knee replacement may be used.
Dr. Greg Hicken
Dr. Greg Hicken
Thank
Dr. John Ayres
Orthopedic Surgery
In brief: No
It depends on the severity of the fracture and the amount of damage to the articular cartilage.
If it is a low-energy injury that is nondisplaced and minimally symptomatic, it will probably heal up without any residual problems or arthritis. If it is a high-energy injury, displaced, comminuted (broken into many pieces), with a lot of articular cartilage damage, the prognosis is not as good.

In brief: No
It depends on the severity of the fracture and the amount of damage to the articular cartilage.
If it is a low-energy injury that is nondisplaced and minimally symptomatic, it will probably heal up without any residual problems or arthritis. If it is a high-energy injury, displaced, comminuted (broken into many pieces), with a lot of articular cartilage damage, the prognosis is not as good.
Dr. John Ayres
Dr. John Ayres
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Warren Strudwick
Board Certified, Sports Medicine
26 years in practice
490K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors