Knee fracture

What is a knee fracture?

A knee fracture is a break or rupture in a bone in the knee joint. These bones are usually injured by falls, traffic accidents, contact sports and physical exercise.


Depending on the severity of the fracture, some knee fractures can heal without the need for surgery, and conservative measures will suffice. However, bigger fractures will need surgery and a more lengthy recovery period with attention needed to physical therapy.

Symptoms of a knee fracture:

Symptoms of a knee fracture include:

  • Joint pain and tenderness
  • Swelling and inflammation, with the possibility of bruising
  • Limited range of motion
  • An inability to walk and move properly or place pressure on the affected knee

Medical tests for knee fractures:

Firstly, a detailed physical examination will take place. Next, the following will be carried out to determine the severity and location of the fracture:

  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan

What causes a knee fracture?

The causes of knee fractures can be very varied. As mentioned above, many result from sports and physical activities. They can also occur following a fall or accident. Osteoporosis can also increase the risk of knee fractures.

Can knee fractures be prevented?

A knee fracture is difficult to prevent, unless certain sports or physical activities are avoided entirely. However, this is not realistic, but it is important to play physical sports with care, avoid poorly lit areas to not trip over, organize your house to avoid accidents, and wear a seat belt to minimise the possibility of knee fractures resulting from car accidents.

Treatments for knee fracture

Treatment of a knee fracture depends on the fractured bone and the type of fracture. If the parts of the bones are well aligned, a brace or cast on the knee may be enough. If the kneecap is affected, surgery may be necessary. Therefore, recovery from the injury depends on the fractured bone, the type of fracture, the treatment, and its progression.

Which specialist treats you?

Orthopaedic surgeons treat knee fractures.

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