Knee Fracture

Updated: Oct 17, 2015
  • Author: Mark Steele, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Overview

Background

Fractures of the knee include fractures of the patella, femoral condyles, tibial eminence, tibial tuberosity, and tibial plateau. [1, 2] Direct and indirect forces can cause these fractures.

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Epidemiology

Patellar and tibial plateau fractures each account for 1% of all skeletal fractures. Distal femoral condyle fractures account for 4% of all femur fractures. Fractures of the knee can result in neurovascular compromise or compartment syndrome, with resultant risk of limb loss. [2] Soft-tissue infection or osteomyelitis can occur with open fractures. Other complications include nonunion, delayed union, osteoarthritis, avascular necrosis, fat embolism, and thrombophlebitis.

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