Knee Fracture: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 26. January 2017 11:08

Knee is the largest and most complex joint in the body comprising of three major bones femur, tibia and patella (knee cap). Other components include fibula, cartilages, ligaments and tendons. This joint is responsible for the flexible movement, bending and folding of the legs. It is highly prone to muscle tear and bone injuries. A fracture refers to a broken bone in the knee which in most cases is patella, but in severe conditions the other major bones are also affected. Based on the severity of injury they are classified into non-displaced, partial displaced and completely displaced fractures.

Risk factors

  • Knee joints  may degenerate with the age
  • Women going through postmenopausal period have decreased bone mass and are prone to fractures
  • People suffering from Osteoporosis have weaker bones
  • Obese people have a higher risk of knee fracture, because  excess weight puts a lot of pressure on the knees
  • Persons doing excessive exercises or playing high impact sports
  • Climbing a lot of stairs puts strain on the knees and damages the cartilage

Causes

  • A sudden jerk in the joint after falling from a moving vehicle
  • Lifting heavy weights
  • A tear in meniscus
  • Weak bones due to calcium and vitamin deficiency

Symptoms

  • Problem in walking
  • Incapability to straighten the knee
  • Swelling and stiffness around the knee
  • Pain
  • Cracking sounds when knee is bent or straightened
  • Change in knee’s shape.
  • Numbness in the leg below the knee

Diagnosis

  • The doctor  may diagnose the severity of injury by taking an X-Ray or a stress radiograph
  • CT scans may be necessary to completely understand the damage caused by the fracture
  • MRI scans may be required to visualize the soft tissue injuries
  • Arthrocentesis (collecting synovial fluid from a joint capsule) may also be done if the patient has Arthritis, to see blood and fat globules which are the indicators of knee fracture

Treatment

Non-surgical treatment

  • Cast: The doctor may advise the patient to put the fractured knee in a cast in order to restrict its movement and promote healing.
  • Medication: Anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers can be prescribed by the doctors to provide relief from pain.
  • Braces/Splint: The use of supportive devices like braces can be suggested by the doctors. After looking at the fracture’s healing speed the immovable braces can be replaced with the flexible ones.
  • Crutches or wheelchair: Doctors may recommend people with knee fractures to use crutches or wheelchair to avoid putting weight on the knee while walking.

Surgical treatment

  • Internal Fixation Surgery: Depending upon the severity of fracture, the doctor may use metal pins and screws to put back the broken bone in place.
  • Knee replacement: In case of unrepairable damage surgeon may remove the patella and replace it with an artificial one.

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Knee Cartilage Tears: Orthopedic Treatment In Frisco, TX

by Administrator 16. January 2017 11:16

Knee Cartilage is a connective tissue that acts a cushion and protects the knee joint from sudden jerks or shocks.  There are two types of cartilage tissues present in the knee, the first one known as meniscus (presents between the bones) and the second as articular cartilage (covers end of the bones) respectively. Though cartilage is a tough tissue it is highly susceptible to injuries and the condition is majorly seen in elderly, obese and sportspersons.

Causes

  • A sudden jerk to the joint during a fall from an automobile accident or while playing contact sports like rugby, football etc.
  • Injury caused by sudden twisting of the knee
  • Over use of the joint
  • Lack of movement
  • Degeneration of tissues in elderly people

Symptoms

  • Persistent pain in the joint while walking or even resting
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Grinding sensation
  • Feeling that the joint will give away
  • Unusual lumps or bumps on the affected area
  • Pain in the knee joint
  • Difficulty in straightening the leg

Diagnosis

  • The doctor may recommend a McMurray’s Test or Thessaly’s Test in order to diagnose meniscal tears.
  • Certain imaging tests may also be suggested by the doctor to assess the condition. These include -
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans – This test may help the doctor to visualize the damaged tissue in the knee
  • Arthroscopy – To evaluate the extent of cartilage damage that has occurred the doctor may recommend arthroscopy. This involves inserting a camera into the affected area to visualize the damaged tissue.

Treatment

Conservative treatment

  • The doctor may suggest the patient to follow PRICE (protect, rest, ice, compress, elevate) technique to reduce inflammation and swelling.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers may also be prescribed in order to alleviate pain.
  • Exercises that enhance the rate of nutrient diffusion into the cartilage and reduce the formation of scar tissue in the joint, may also be recommend by the doctor.

Surgical treatment

Depending on factor like age and activity level of the patient, size of the lesion etc. The orthopedic surgeon may decide from one of the surgical methods –

  • Debridement-   This procedure may be conducted to remove the damaged tissues that irritates other body parts by continuously rubbing against them. The process is done arthroscopically with the use of a mechanical shaver.
  • Marrow stimulation - Orthopedic surgeon may drill holes under the damaged cartilage to expose the blood vessels that lay inside the bones. This allows a blood clot to be formed in the cartilage which further stimulates the formation of a new tissue.
  • Autologous chondrocyte implantation – In this technique the orthopedic surgeon may take a piece of cartilage from the patient and culture it in the laboratory to form new cells. Then, after 1-2 months implant the healthy cells in place of damaged tissue.

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Lateral Collateral Ligament Knee Injury: Orthopedic Frisco

by Administrator 24. December 2016 10:17

Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that joint the bones in the human body. The knee joint is stabilized by four major ligaments and the Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) is one of them. It lies on the outer side of the knee joint and connects the lower end of the femur (thigh bone) to the fibula (lower leg).

The LCL injury may vary from a mild stretch (sprain) to partial tears and complete ruptures. This injury can occur in any person irrespective of the age and gender. The outwards location of the LCL ligament makes it prone to injuries. Minor sprains tend to heal quickly with conservative methods but serious ruptures or tears make the joint unstable and it remains prone to such injuries in the future.

Causes

  • Direct hit or injury to the inner part of the knee joint which in turn pressurizes he outer LCL ligament
  • Sport activities that involve a lot of running and sudden directional changes such as soccer
  • Not warming up adequately before exercising or lack of muscle conditioning
  • Improper alignment of the muscles and bones may lead to ligament injuries during simple activities such as walking or climbing stairs
  • Falling on the knee
  • Collisions in sports or vehicular accidents

Symptoms

  • Mild knee ligament sprains are generally not accompanied by any symptoms in most cases. However, the partial tears and complete ruptures may have the following symptoms.
  • Stiffness of the joint
  • Swelling in the knee joint
  • Limited range of motion is intact
  • Weakness and instability is felt in the joint
  • The feeling of joint locking or catching may occur
  • Pain which varies from mild persistent ache to sharp severe ache

Diagnosis

  • Detailed clinical evaluation of the injured knee through visual observation and palpation
  • The patient is asked to move the leg and knee in different directions to check for movements that aggravate the symptoms and assess the range of motion intact
  • X-ray imaging may be required in most cases
  • MRI scan reveals the severity of damage to the ligaments and other soft tissues in the knee

Treatment

  • Splinting or use of a knee brace
  • Application of ice packs at regular intervals within first 72 hours of injury
  • Prescription of pain killers and anti inflammatory medicines
  • Resting the injured knee or leg in an elevated position is recommended. Any activity that involves weight bearing or knee movement should be avoided until the swelling subsides
  • Physical therapy sessions aimed at strengthening the supporting muscles and improving joint flexibility
  • Complete tears of the LCL ligaments require surgical intervention. The ligament may either be stitched back or removed and replaced by a ligament graft
  • The patient may be asked to use taping or bandage techniques while exercising or playing a sport to give the joint support post surgery

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