Bipartite Patella

bipartitie patella xrayBipartite Patella Description
Bipartite Patella is a normal variant that occurs in 2-6% of people.  It is much more common in males than females.  People with a bipartite patella in one knee have a 50% chance of having a bipartite patella in their other knee. 

Bipartite Patella Anatomy
The patella is the bone in the front of the knee.  The patella is commonly referred to as the "knee cap."  The bones in the body form and grow in childhood and adolescence through cartilage areas referred to as growth plates (physes).  A bipartite patella occurs when one of these growth plates failes to close (failure of ossification).

Bipartite Patella Symptoms
Bipartite Patella is nearly always painless and an incidental finding.  Only around 2% of people with bipartite patella will have pain from it. 

Bipartite Patella Treatment 
Bipartite Patella s diagnosed based on a detailed history, physical exam and xrays performed by an orthopaedic surgeon, or sports medicine specialist.

Because most bipartite patella do not cause any pain, no treatment is needed.  In most people with  knee pain and a bipartite patella, the pain is from something else, such as a meniscal tear. 

Athletes with a bipartite patella may continue with sports without restrictions as long as they do not have pain associated with it. 

Bipartite Patella Prevention
Bipartite Patella is a normal anatomic varient and there is no prevention of it. 

Bipartite Patella Risk Factors
There are no specific risk factors for Bipartite Patella.

Similar injuries that can be confused with Bipartite Patella include:

Meniscal Tear
Patellar Tendinosis
Pre-patellar bursitis
Knee sprain

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