A patella fracture, probably the most common form of knee fracture, is a fracture of the kneecap, and it is very painful. The main cause of this type of injury is a fall, where the injured has landed directly on the kneecap. It can also happen during an eccentric contraction, or when the knee is straightening while the quadriceps muscle is contracting. The first thing a physician will do for a kneecap fracture is take x-rays, to find out to determine the type and severity of the fracture. Then a course of treatment will be chosen. There are actually many different types of patella fractures, with the most common ones being transverse, vertical, osteochondral and marginal.
When most people think of knee fractures, they automatically think of the kneecap. But in actuality, a knee fracture can be any fracture of the kneecap and the bones around the knee, including the tibia (shin bone) and the femur (thigh bone). There are a number of causes for these types of fractures, including sports-related injuries, automobile accidents and falls, particularly falls from heights. As with kneecap fractures, x-rays will confirm the diagnosis of these fractures. In most cases, these fractures can be treated with immobilization, but more severe fractures may require surgery.
Causes of a Knee FractureKnee fractures usually result from some sort of trauma and vary for each type of fracture.
These are fractures that are usually caused by a direct hit to the kneecap. Patella fractures often occur when someone falls, or is in a car accident (if the knee hits the dashboard during a collision). This type of knee fracture can also be caused if the knee is in a semi-flexed position during a fall.
Femoral Condyle Fractures
These fractures occur when the knee is stressed.
Tibial Eminence Fractures
These fractures are also caused by accidents, such as a hit to the proximal tibia when the knee is flexed, and if the knee is hyper-extended during an accident. This type of fracture tends to mainly occur in patients who are between the ages of 8 and 14 years, but they are also reported in adult patients.
Tibial Tubercle Fractures
This type of knee fracture is more common in men than in women, and is often seen in athletes, especially those involved in jumping sports, such as basketball and hurdles. This is mainly seen in younger patients, and is rare with adults.
Tibial Plateau Fractures
These fractures are caused by blows with extreme force, such as falling from a height or being hit by a vehicle. This is quite common with elderly patients, and people who have osteoporosis.
How to Treat a Knee FractureWhen someone has fractured their knee, there will be a number of things involved in the treatment of the injury. For one thing, the patient is going to be required to take it easy for a while, which should be no problem because, at first, it is going to be very difficult to put any weight on the knee. Physical therapy is usually required, and many patients will need to use a knee brace to keep the leg immobilized while it is healing. Check out our selection of leg immobilizers.
If you have a knee fracture, it is important that you follow all of your physician's instructions in order for your knee to heal properly. Taking care of the problem right will reduce the risk of needing surgery later. For temporary pain relief and to help with any swelling, you can use an ice pack or wrap around your knee. Check out our full selection of ice pack wraps for knees.