Fractures can occur in various parts of the knee including the patella, femur, and tibia. Symptoms of a knee fracture can include sudden intense pain, loss of mobility, swelling, numbness, bruising and sensitivity to touch. The following areas of the knee can be fractured and are treated by Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine:
Femoral condyles – The femoral condyles are located where the femur meets the knee joint. Fractures in this area of the femur may require surgical treatment, depending on the severity.
Patella – The patella, better known as the knee cap, is easily fractured with the force of a fall as it serves to protect the knee joint. Although it is easy to fracture, it can be difficult to treat, often requiring surgical intervention to heal properly.
Tibial fractures – The tibia is the weight-bearing bone of the lower leg and consequently, there are multiple areas where it can be fractured. Most commonly, fractures of the tibia occur in the shaft, but may also occur at the tibial plateau, which is located directly beneath the knee joint, the tibial tuberosity, which is a projection located on the front of the tibia below the knee joint, or the intercondylar eminence, which is a protrusion at the top of the tibia that extends to the middle of the proximal and medial condyles. If not treated properly, tibial fractures have been known to contribute to arthritis.
Depending on numerous factors, including the severity of the fracture, age of the patient, dominance of the wrist and/or hand that is afflicted, and whether or not the fracture was influenced by internal factors such as osteoarthritis, Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine will recommend different treatment options.
Treatments of fractures depend on the severity of the injury. If the fracture is minimally displaced or non-displaced treatment options include bracing or the use of a cast often supplemented by physical therapy. The ultimate goal of bracing and/or a cast is to allow the fracture to heal naturally and cause no further damage. Physical therapy is used to ensure that the muscles in the affected area do not atrophy and full range of motion is restored.
Displaced fractures or multi-fragmented fractures impact range of mobility and require further intervention. Surgery is a treatment option often utilizing structural aids such as pins, wires, screws, plates, sutures or a combination of these methods. If the affected bone is not able to regain its original shape, a bone graft or artificial replacement may be necessary.