Fractures around the knee can be a significant source of pain and functional impairment. The knee joint is a complex structure, consisting of the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), and patella (kneecap), along with ligaments and cartilage. Fractures in this area can occur in various locations and patterns, such as the femoral condyles, tibial plateau, or patella.
When it comes to treatment, the approach depends on several factors including the type and severity of the fracture, the patient's age, activity level, and overall health. Non-displaced or minimally displaced fractures may be managed conservatively with immobilisation using a cast or brace, along with pain management and physical therapy to restore range of motion and strength.
However, for more complex fractures or cases with significant displacement, surgical intervention may be necessary. The main goals of surgery are to realign the fractured bones and promote healing. There are two primary surgical options for fractures around the knee: fixation and replacement.
- Knee Fracture Fixation - In this approach, the fractured bones are repositioned and held together using metal implants such as screws, plates, or rods. These implants provide stability and allow the bones to heal in the correct alignment. The choice of implant depends on the fracture type and location. After the surgery, rehabilitation is crucial to regain strength, mobility, and functionality of the knee joint.
- Knee Fracture Replacement - In certain cases, where the fracture is severe or associated with pre-existing joint disease, knee replacement surgery may be considered. This involves removing the damaged joint surfaces and replacing them with artificial components made of metal and plastic. Knee replacement is typically reserved for older patients or those with significant joint degeneration, as it provides long-term pain relief and improves mobility.
Both fixation and replacement surgeries carry risks and require careful evaluation by an orthopaedic specialist. Postoperative care and rehabilitation are crucial for successful outcomes, regardless of the chosen approach. It is essential for patients to follow Dr. Rajesh Malhotra’s guidance, engage in physical therapy, and gradually resume normal activities to optimise their recovery and regain function in the knee joint.