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What is a Knee Fracture | Symptoms and Treatment

They are typically caused by direct falls to the knee or sharp blows to the knee. Also, They are very serious injuries and can make walking and everyday activities extremely difficult. However, Car accidents are another common cause of knee fractures.

However, Treatments for a Knee Fracture depend upon the severity of the fracture. Commonly prescribed treatments are medication or physical therapy.

What is a Knee Fracture?

A Knee fracture also known as a patellar fracture is a serious injury, which can impact your ability to bend or straighten your knee. Some patella fractures are simple, but this small bone is also capable of breaking into many pieces.

However, Fractures of the knee can include the following:

  • Distal Femur Fracture

The distal femur is part of the femur bone that flares out like the mouth of the funnel. A distal femur (top part of knee joint) fracture is a break in the thigh bone that occurs just above your knee joint.

  • Femoral Shaft Fracture

A femoral shaft fracture, including knee flexion, is a break that occurs anywhere along the femoral shaft, a long, straight part of the femur.

  • Fractures Of Proximal Tibia

A proximal tibial fracture is a break in the upper part of the shin bone or tibia. Proximal tibial fractures may or may not involve the knee joint. Fractures that enter the knee joint may cause joint imperfections, irregular joint surfaces, and improper alignment in the legs. This can lead to joint instability, arthritis, and loss of motion.

However, these fractures are caused by stress or trauma or in a bone already compromised by diseases, such as cancer or infection. Proximal tibia fractures can result in injury to the surrounding soft tissues including skin, muscle, nerves, blood vessels, and ligaments.

  • Tibial Shaft Fractures

A tibial shaft fracture is a break that occurs along the length of the tibia or shin bone (larger bone of the lower leg) between the knee and ankle joints. These fractures can occur while playing sports such as soccer and skiing.

What are the Symptoms of Knee Fracture?

A fractured kneecap tends to cause immediate pain. However, other symptoms include the following:

  1. Immediate swelling and bruising in the knee.

  2. Pain Behind the knee.

  3. Trouble bending the knee or placing weight on the affected leg.

  4. A scraping or grinding feeling during movement.

  5. Muscle spasms.

However, In some cases, the broken bone will be visible through the skin. In other cases, the knee looks the same as it always does but does not function normally.

How do People Fracture their Knees?

Knee fractures are mostly caused by a powerful impact. Such as any accident or injury. In rare cases, the knee can be fractured due to a sudden contraction of a quadricep where the muscles can pull from the patella.

However, Other Common causes of knee fractures include:

What Knee Injury Causes Pain Behind The Knee?

Meniscus or cartilage tears of the knee can cause pain behind knee – usually more on the inside or outside. Most of these tears are degenerative.

However, Sometimes, the ‘root’ of the meniscus tears, where the meniscus attaches to the middle of the knee, tears.

If you have sudden or intense pain in the knee, the doctor may recommend that you rest and apply ice to your knee. In some cases, your doctor may also ask you to elevate your leg while you’re sitting down to help improve the blood flow in your leg.

Knee Fracture Diagnosis

Common diagnoses for a fracture of the knee may include:

  • Computed Tomography scan of your bones (CT scan)—an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the injured knee.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)—uses magnets, radio waves, and a computer to make detailed pictures of the knee to help your doctor make a diagnosis.

  • X-ray— a picture of your knee to see what kind of break you have.

What Are The Risk Factors For A Knee Fracture?

Common risk factors for a Knee Fracture may include the following:

  1. Osteoarthritis — patients with osteoarthritis are at a higher risk for knee fractures.

  2. Age — as the bones age, they become more brittle and are more susceptible to breaking.

  3. Sports — participating in high-impact sports such as football, basketball, and downhill skiing.

  4. Gender — females are more likely to suffer from a knee fracture.

  5. Smoking and drinking alcohol — smoking and drinking alcohol impact hormones and bone structure, increasing the risk of knee fractures.

  6. Previous knee injury — a previous injury or knee fracture doubles the risk of suffering another injury.

However, knee pain from a simple knee fracture may heal on its own, although a cast may be necessary to keep the pieces from moving around.

How Should I Take Care Of My Knee Fracture?

Your healthcare provider may recommend trying to avoid stairs, squatting, and bending, when possible, to limit stress on your knees. However, Make sure to follow through with physical therapy after your fracture has healed, in order to restore your muscle strength and range of motion.

What Are The Treatments For A Knee Fracture?

Common treatments to treat a knee fracture include:

1-  Medications And Supplements

Doctors may prescribe prescription-strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if over-the-counter options, like naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), aren’t providing relief.

2-  Physical Therapy

Make sure to follow through with physical therapy after your fracture has healed, in order to restore your muscle strength and range-of-motion.

3-  Knee Braces

If you suffer from chronic stiffness or weakness in your joint, you may want to continue wearing a knee brace for support.

How Does Knee Support Help Pain Behind Knee?

A knee support can take pressure off the part of your joint most affected by osteoarthritis and help relieve pain. If your knee feels like it might buckle when you put weight on it. Also, knee support helps you stand and move around with more confidence.

Surgical Treatment

Surgery is recommended for cases where the bones are displaced. Because, If the bones are not close together, they will likely not heal properly. However, The goal of Knee fracture surgery is to repair the break by using screws, metal pins, or plates.

Recovering from knee fractures is a slow process. During recovery, the knee will have to stay immobilized while in a brace. You will work with your orthopedic physician to determine when you can gradually put weight on the leg or knee. With treatment, a knee fracture will take six to eight weeks to heal.

Dr. Rao K. Ali M.D.

Dr. Rao Ali, a board-certified pain management physician, leads the clinic, which specializes in nonsurgical treatment. The physician has experience in the emergency room as well as training in pain management and rehabilitation. As a personal physician, he works with each patient to develop a treatment plan that will minimize or eliminate their pain. Providing expert diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions, Pain Management In Dallas, PA provides a comprehensive range of services. These services include neck pain, back pain, hip and knee pain, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome, headaches, migraines, and many others.