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Knee Fracture Treatment

What is a Knee Fracture?

A fracture is a condition in which there is a break in the continuity of the bone. Fractures of the knee can include distal femur fracture, femoral shaft fracture, fractures of proximal tibia and tibial shaft fractures.

Treatment of Knee Fractures

Treatment options for knee fractures include non-surgical and surgical methods. Non-surgical treatment involves skeletal traction and use of casts and braces. Skeletal traction involves placement of pin into the bone in order to realign the broken bones. Surgery involves internal fixation and external fixation.

Internal fixation

Internal fixation involves the below techniques:

  • Intramedullary nailing: In this procedure, a specially-designed metal rod is placed into the canal of the femur. A nail is passed through to reach the fracture site and keep it in place. The rod is secured in place with screws at both ends.
  • Plates and screws fixation: In this procedure, your surgeon repositions the broken bone ends into normal position and then uses special screws or metal plates on the outer surface of the bone to hold the bone fragments in place.

External fixation

During external fixation, metal pins or screws are inserted into the middle of the femur and tibia, and are attached to a device outside the skin to hold bone fragments in place to allow alignment and healing.

If your bone is fractured in many pieces, a plate or rod is fixed at both ends of the fracture to maintain the overall shape and length of the bone in place while it heals. In elder patients, where fracture healing delays, a bone graft taken from your own body or tissue bank may be used to form callous. In severe cases, the bone fragments are removed and the bone is replaced with a knee replacement implant.

Risks and Complications of Knee Fracture Surgery

The most common complications of surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Knee stiffness
  • Delayed bone healing
  • Knee arthritis