Knee Fracture Treatment | Knee Bone Fracture Surgery | Fractured Knee Recovery, Healing Time and Symptoms
Knee fracture occurs when the patella or knee cap is broken or goes out of place due to a sharp blow to the knee, fall where the knee landed first, or too much stress on the knee such as heavy leg exercises, leg training, or weight lifting. The kneecap is the movable part of the leg that is positioned on the front and connects the thighbone and the leg bone. Its function is to make the leg bendable and provide support to the thigh muscles and the lower limbs. Because it has tendons, ligaments and nerves, these areas can also become damaged when knee fractures occur.
Because our knees are located on the front part of our legs and connected to it are three large leg bones, many kinds of knee fractures can happen and such are the following:
• Fractures in the patella. These can be caused by a direct hit to the kneecap by a solid object so these fractures are common to athletes and skateboarders. Motor vehicle accidents are also one of the main causes of patella fracture.
• Femoral condyle fractures are caused by the disruption of the normal placement of the ligaments in the knee due to knee stress
• Tibial eminence fractures are caused by the direct blow to the tibia which injures the knee such as when riding a motorcycle or a bicycle.
• Tibial tubercle fractures commonly occur during high impact jumping such as doing gymnastics, diving, playing basketball and football.
• Tibial plateau fracture can result in falling from a height, collision of knee to a car or any forces that can make the kneecap out of its socket.
Knee Fracture Diagnosis
As a preliminary investigation to your knee fracture, your doctor will inquire about your medical history and do physical exam such as closely inspecting the knee for signs of fracture. He may include a straight leg test wherein you have to raise your leg while lying flat on your back. An X-ray around your knee will also be part of the procedure but if your doctor wanted a clearer picture of the structure of your injured knee, a CT scan can be his best option. Another effective and sure way of diagnosing fracture is the utilization of an MRI Scan. More doctors are using this because it is more advanced, and can produce a clearer and detailed imaging.
Knee Fracture Causes
The most common causes of fractured knees include:
• Direct sharp blow to the knee, which happens during football, martial arts, kick boxing, a fall or vehicle accidents.
• Too much stress on the knee, which it cannot bear. Examples are lifting heavy weights, climbing steep stairs frequently, marching, marathon, and other stressful leg activities.
• Unavoidable factors such as losing bone density due to advancing age, post-menopause, osteoporosis, obesity, and the decrease of muscle mass due to illness.
Knee Fracture Symptoms
The following are the usual symptoms of knee fractures but they can also be symptoms of other medical conditions. If any of these symptoms occur, you have to consult your physician as soon as possible.
• There is a sudden and unbearable pain in the knee after the accident.
• There is swelling on the injured area and the skin becomes tender to touch
• The person cannot extend or move his knee
The most obvious symptoms of knee fractures are deformities on the knee due to dislocated or broken patella, bleeding in some instances, swelling followed by bruises and clicks on the knee when the person tries to move his leg.
Knee Fracture Treatment & Fractured Knee Recovery:
Treatment options for a broken knee include the non-surgical and the surgical approach. Non-surgical approach includes only wearing a cast to the knee for about a month, as the patella is still intact and not badly fractured. After the cast, the knee brace will follow, and thereafter, physical therapy. You can also help yourself with a crutch or cane to support your mobilization.
Surgical approach is only necessary if the kneecap is fragmented. Two kinds of surgery may be accomplished. The first procedure is the open reduction-internal fixation surgery. This will put back broken pieces of the kneecaps by means of using pins and screws. The second procedure is the patellectomy. This is the last option for a kneecap that cannot be repaired anymore. Part of your kneecap may be removed and the damaged part will be replaced with metal plates or your kneecap can be entirely removed if beyond repair.
You can always do something to reduce your chances of having a broken kneecap so better consider the following precautions:
• Do not subject yourself to any risk where you could end up with a broken knee
• Have a diet that is rich with calcium and supplement yourself with vitamin D.
• Do include weight-bearing exercises in your program so that you can have strong muscles to protect your bones.
• Always consider wearing leg padding and safety gears whenever you participate to high-impact sports
When To Call a Doctor
Once you observe signs and symptoms of a fractured knee such as swelling, deformed kneecap, bleeding, bone protrusion and pain in the leg that is unbearable, rush the person quickly to the hospital before internal bleeding and shock occur.