The patella, or knee-cap, may be broken transversely or vertically. In some cases it is shattered by a severe fall or blow. This fracture is generally occasioned by violent jumping, or a sudden movement to avoid falling backward. The fragments of the broken bone generally unite in six or eight weeks, but it is quite rare that actual bony union takes place, the parts being generally bound together by a sort of ligament. Very little inconvenience is experienced, however, unless the ligament becomes stretched, as is sometimes the case even to the extent of three or four inches.

The best method of treatment is that suggested by Prof. Hamilton which is so well shown in Fig. 374, that further description is unnecessary.

Fig. 374. Treatment of Fracture of the Knee Cap.

Fig. 374. Treatment of Fracture of the Knee Cap.