Fractures often occur around the knee joint involving either the distal femur, the proximal tibia or the patella.
Sometimes these fractures are undisplaced and can be managed without surgery but a lot of these fractures involve displacement of the fracture fragments and require open reduction and internal fixation or ORIF.
When these injuries occur the aim is to fix the bones in a stable fashion and allow physiotherapy to commence early. Plasters are never these days used on the knee joint and a knee brace is often used.
Fractures about the knee may lead to osteoarthritis, but by putting the fracture back in a so-called anatomical fashion, which means the joint surface is reconstructed in as close to perfect as possible, then the risk and likelihood of osteoarthritis developing in the joint is minimised
Physiotherapy is an integral part of the treatment and is recommended to start as early as possible. Preoperative physiotherapy is helpful to better prepare the knee for surgery. The early aim is to regain range of motion, reduce swelling and achieve full weight bearing.
The remaining rehabilitation will be supervised by a physiotherapist and will involve activities such as exercise bike riding, swimming, proprioceptive exercises and muscle strengthening. Cycling can begin at 2 months, jogging can generally begin at around 3 months.
The rehabilitation and overall success of the procedure can be affected by associated injuries to the knee such as damage to meniscus, articular cartilage or other ligaments.
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