Fractures around the knee are common injuries that can affect people of all ages. These fractures occur when one or more of the bones surrounding the knee joint are broken. Fractures around the knee can result from various causes, including trauma, falls, sports injuries, and motor vehicle accidents. High-impact forces or direct blows to the knee can lead to fractures. Certain factors, such as weak bones (osteoporosis), repetitive stress on the knee, or pre-existing conditions like arthritis, may increase the risk of fractures.
Types of Fractures around Knee
Fractures around the knee can involve different bones and have various patterns. The most common types of fractures include:
- Patellar Fractures
- Tibial Plateau Fractures
- Tibial Shaft Fractures
- Femoral Condyle Fractures
- Fibula Fractures
To diagnose fractures around the knee, a thorough physical examination and imaging studies are typically performed. The healthcare provider will assess the patient's symptoms, examine the knee for tenderness, swelling, or deformity, and evaluate the range of motion. X-rays are commonly used to visualise the fractures and determine their extent and location. In some cases, additional imaging tests like computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be recommended to provide a more detailed view of complex fractures or associated soft tissue injuries.
Treatment Options for Fractures Around Knee
The treatment of fractures around the knee depends on several factors, including the type and severity of the fracture, age, overall health, and patient preferences. Treatment options include:
- Non-Surgical Treatment - Some fractures can be managed without surgery, especially if they are stable or only involve a small portion of the bone. Immobilisation with a cast, splint, or brace, along with pain management and physical therapy, may be recommended.
- Surgical Treatment - Complex fractures or those associated with severe displacement, joint instability, or open wounds often require surgery. Surgical procedures may involve the use of plates, screws, rods, or wires to realign the bones and promote healing. In some cases, joint reconstruction or replacement may be necessary.
- Rehabilitation - Following treatment, rehabilitation plays a crucial role in restoring knee function and mobility. Physical therapy helps to strengthen the muscles around the knee, improve range of motion, and aid in a gradual return to normal activities.