Knee Fracture

Understanding Knee Fractures

A fracture denotes a disruption in bone continuity, often caused by high-energy incidents in youth or weakened bones in older individuals. Knee fractures encompass various types, each requiring distinct diagnosis and treatment.

Types of Knee Fractures

  1. Distal Femur Fracture: Occurring just above the knee joint, this involves the lower part of the femur, resembling an inverted funnel.
  2. Femoral Shaft Fracture: A break along the straight portion of the femur, extending from hip to knee.
  3. Proximal Tibia Fracture: This break affects the upper shinbone, potentially involving the knee joint, leading to joint irregularities and instability. Causes vary from trauma to compromised bones due to disease.
  4. Tibial Shaft Fracture: Located along the tibia’s length, between knee and ankle joints, often resulting from sports injuries.

Diagnosis of Knee Fractures

Physicians diagnose knee fractures via medical history, physical exams, and imaging tests like X-rays and CT scans. These assessments determine fracture severity and guide treatment planning.

Treatment Options

  1. Non-Surgical: Involves skeletal traction, casts, and braces to stabilize fractures.
  2. Surgical: Utilizes internal or external fixation methods.
    • Internal Fixation:
      • Intramedullary Nailing: A metal rod inserted into the femur’s canal stabilizes the fracture.
      • Plates and Screws Fixation: Bone ends are realigned, secured with screws or plates externally.
    • External Fixation: Metal pins or screws externally stabilize bone fragments, promoting alignment and healing.

Complications and Recovery

Common surgical complications include infection, knee stiffness, delayed healing, and arthritis. In complex cases, bone grafts or knee replacement implants may be necessary for optimal recovery.

Prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment tailored to the fracture type and severity are crucial for ensuring optimal outcomes and minimizing complications in knee fracture management.

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