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||A knee fracture can be a break of any of
the bones around the knee--Femur (thigh bone), Patella (kneecap),
Tibia (shin bone)
and X-ray of a Normal Knee
||The femur, patella and tibia are the main
bones around the knee. The femur is connected to the patella by the
quadriceps tendon and the patella is connected to the tibia by the
patellar tendon. Either of these important tendons can also be
injured when a bone is broken.
||There are many causes of a fracture
around the knee. A very common cause is a car accident. A blow to
the knee during almost any contact sport can also result in a
fracture. Falls from heights or even sudden indirect forces, such as
stumbling down stairs, can cause a fracture.
||The diagnosis of a knee fracture is made
initially by a history of an acute injury to the area. On physical
examination, there will be moderate to severe swelling and usually
an inability to bear weight on the affected leg. X-rays will usually
confirm the fracture but sometimes a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image)
or CT (Computed Tomography) scan may be needed to further assess the
||Treatment for knee fractures is based on
the severity of the fracture and the bone involved. Usually
fractures of the femur require some form of surgical stabilization.
Mild fractures of the patella can sometimes be treated with
immobilization. Displaced patellar fractures, however, require
surgery. Finally, tibia fractures are highly variable and need
individual assessment prior to developing a treatment plan. Most
surgery involves the placement of screws, plates, wires or rods.
of Lateral Tibial Plateau Fracture with Screw Fixation
of Proximal Tibia Fracture with External Fixation
Prevention of knee fractures requires excellent strength and
stability of the joint. Agility and flexibility may also help
athletes avoid these broken bones. Usually, however, a knee fracture
is the result of an unfortunate sports related collision or accident
that was hard to avoid.