The symptoms of a knee fracture include:
- Swelling of the knee
- Excessive pain in the knee
- Inability to walk
- Inability to straighten the knee
- Bruises in the injured area
A patella or a kneecap is a small bone that connects the bones of your thigh and your leg. The function of a patella is to protect the joint in the knee, by acting like a shield. The bones of the thigh, patella and legs are covered with articular cartilage, a slippery fluid that enables smooth movement of bones when you walk. Because the kneecap is a shield, it can get injured in falling or tripping. Fractures in the knee vary not only in the area damaged, but also in the extent of damage. The kneecap could slightly crack or get broken into pieces. It could happen at the top or center or lower parts of the patella. It could also exist in many parts of the kneecap. Other variations could be stable fracture, displaced fracture, open fracture and comminuted fracture. In stable fracture non-displaced fracture, the broken pieces would be aligned and they also stay in place during the process of healing. In a displaced fracture, the broken pieces are not aligned but are separated. Often, this requires surgical correction.
An open fracture is a fracture when the damage is not only to the bone but also to the neighboring muscles, ligaments and tendons, the skin may open to make the bone visible. This happens during excessive damage and is a complicated case. A comminuted fracture is a fracture when the bone gets shattered into more than three pieces, it is called comminuted fracture.
Treatment to knee fracture would depend on the severity of the damages. At Medanta, one of these methods may be employed to treat you:..
Treatment to knee fracture would depend on the severity of the damages. At Medanta, one of these methods may be employed to treat you:
If the injury is not severe, the broken bones might not be displaced much. In such cases, splints or casts may be sufficient to keep your knee straight. While the broken ends heal, the cast will hold them in a correct position. This process generally takes around six to eight weeks of time, during which you would be unable to shift weight onto the injured area. You may be advised to use crutches while walking.
If the patella is severely damaged and displaced, your doctor might recommend surgical procedures to heal the damage. If the broken pieces are too far apart, the fracture may take longer to heal or not heal at all. The muscles of the thigh at the top of the patella are strong and they may pull the broken pieces out of place, during the healing process.
Factors to be considered for the surgery are –
If your patella is shattered into several small pieces, your surgeon will remove the small pieces and attach the loose tendon to the major chunk of patellar bone that remains. Then, some screws and wires may be used to fix the bone. Complete removal of the kneecap is the last resort of the process, when all else fails or are improbable.
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