Is it a common serious injury?
Injuries to this area of bone are commonly seen individuals of 20-45 age following motor vehicle accidents.
The bone above the knee joint ill break into pieces depending on the amount of force your leg is subjected to.
The muscles covering the particular part of the bone, nearby blood vessels and nerves will also be subjected to similar force so that they get contused, crushed or lacerated.
How severe would be the injury to bone?
The bone may break into to two pieces or many fragments. In many occasions the fracture runs through the knee joint. This will disrupt the structure of the knee
What is done in the hospital
This is serious form of injury. You will be thoroughly assessed. Your limb will be similarly assessed in order to see associated injuries.
What tests are done
X-ray and a CT Scan will be done usually.
Damage to the blood vessel will need additional investigations and surgical interventions.
What treatments are given and in what time frames?.
If the injury is severe, you will not be subjected to immediate definitive surgery. Your leg will be fixed to an externally placed metal frame (External fixator) until the skin, muscles and other tissues recover or till the limb is ready for an operation. This could take up to 1-2 weeks.
What is the definitive treatment
There are many ways of fixing a fracture in this part of the bone. It may be done with a plate and screws or a nail sent through the canal of the bone. There are specially designed metal plates to fix fractures around the knee joint.
External fixator alone will be the definitive mode of treatment in certain cases.
An important aspect of the surgery is to reconstruct the knee joint.
How long will be the hospital stay ?
In fact, The time, you have to wait before the operation may be longer. However after the operation you may be discharged in 2-3 days.
When can I walk?
You are supposed to walk with an walking aid with non-partial weight bearing until you are advised to go on full weight bearing
What is the average healing time?
The fracture will take about 8-10 weeks to heal in regular case. The time might vary on severity of the initial injury.
Know problems with this injury?
There are few known complications after the injury /surgery to this area.
Knee stiffness is a common issue. However with physiotherapy near normal function of the affected knee can be achieved though it is slow to come by.
If the fracture involves the surface of the knee joint, arthritis may develop in time to come.
In complex fractures, time taken to heal will delay and implant failures may occur. Additional procedures may be needed if unforeseen complications arise.
Alternative treatment options?
if you have this injury, unfortunately there is no other way out. surgical fixation is the only way of minimizing problems like; short leg, angled deformed leg.