CALL NOW (337) 508-1000

CALL NOW
(337) 508-1000

Fractures of the Knee

Brett Cascio, M.D.

Fractures of the Knee

Fractures of the Knee

Fractures of the Knee

The knee joint is a complex joint made of the lower end of the femur, the upper end of the tibia and the patella. Around the knee joint are muscles and tendons that support the joint and allow for fluid movements. In certain situations where some form of trauma is experienced, fractures of the knee joint can occur. This can either be fracture of the lower end of the femur, the upper end of the tibia or the patella itself. In this article, we shall briefly take a look at fractures of the knee.

Fracture of the Upper End of the Tibia

The tibia is the shin bone. When it suffers any form of injury or trauma, the bone can fracture either in one place in multiple places. A single fracture is called a traverse fracture while multiple fractures are called comminuted fractures.

When a fracture occurs, there may or may not be displacement of the broken segment. When displacement occurs, it can be seen as a bulge under the skin or sometimes may even protrude out of the skin. While the shin bone is particularly strong, there are certain conditions that can make it weaker, such as cancer or osteoporosis. In younger individuals, this fracture is often due to a great deal of trauma sustained by the bone.

Patients complain of pain and swelling around the joint with a rather typical appearance of the joint appearing unusual. Circulation to the foot may be compromised and the foot may become cold. Diagnosis is made through X-ray and treatment involves surgical correction through external fixation. Complications such as compartment syndrome may occur and this requires immediate treatment. In some cases, a cast is sufficient.

Fracture of the Lower End of the Femur

This type of fracture is often seen in older individuals who have weak bones. Fractures can be traverse or comminuted. Once injury occurs, the break in the bone can either be closed (where the overlying skin is intact) or open (where the overlying skin is broken and the bone is protruding outward). The latter tends to affect surrounding structures such as blood vessels and nerves a lot more and requires emergency treatment.

Patients who suffer from a fracture of the lower end of the femur experience pain, swelling and tenderness of the knee joint. The knee appears deformed. Diagnosis is made through X-ray and treatment is often surgical through external fixation.

Fracture of the Patella

The knee cap, or patella, is an uncommon fracture that occurs following direct trauma to the knee cap. The fracture may just be a small crack or can shatter the bone completely. In other words, the fracture can be a stable one or an unstable one respectively.

Common symptoms include difficulty walking and pain, along with an inability to straighten the leg. Diagnosis is made through X-ray and treatment can include placement of casts and splints and sometimes surgical treatments using a wire to hold the bone in place.

Conclusion

Fractures of the knee joint can be of numerous types and are often managed through surgical techniques.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2021 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Cascio, medical director of Sports Medicine at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, specializes in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

 

 

About Us

Research

In the News

Media & Downloads

Contact Us

Shoulder pain is a common problem, and there can be many causes. A full diagnosis of your symptoms will help address the underlying problem.

 

 

Shoulder Anatomy

Shoulder Conditions

Shoulder Treatments

What is a Shoulder Surgeon?

Dr. Cascio will work with you to perform the necessary exams and tests to diagnose the source of your hip pain and then provide you with your options.

 

 

Hip Anatomy

Hip Conditions

Hip Treatments

What is a Hip Surgeon?

 

 

Knee pain is a common problem, and there can be many causes. Dr. Cascio treats knee pain and injury.

 

 

Knee Anatomy

Knee Conditions

Knee Treatments

What is a Knee Surgeon?

 

 

Elbow pain is a common problem, and there can be many causes. Dr. Cascio treats elbow pain and injury.

 

 

Elbow Anatomy

Elbow Conditions

Elbow Treatments

 

 

Ankle pain is a common problem, and there can be many causes. Dr. Cascio treats ankle pain and injury.

 

 

Foot & Ankle Anatomy

Foot & Ankle Conditions

Foot & Ankle Treatments

What is a Foot & Ankle Surgeon?

 

 

Worker’s Comp injuries need a doctor with the special training and experience to handle these complex problems. When you can’t work, the stress of life is compounded.   Dr. Cascio and his team have years of experience dealing with both the surgical and non-surgical treatment of on the job Injuries.

  Learn More