Do You Have a Knee Fracture? Peter D. Vizzi, MD, Can Diagnose and Treat Your Injury in Lafayette, LA
A knee fracture can affect any of the bones that come together in the knee joint, including the thighbone (femur), lower leg bone (tibia), or kneecap (patella). If you’ve injured your knee in a fall, car accident, or sporting mishap, you are welcome to consult with Peter D. Vizzi, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who sees patients in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Also known as a broken bone, a fracture can range in severity from a tiny hairline crack to a bone that has broken into two or more pieces — or completely shattered. In some cases, a bone fragment may penetrate the skin.
What are the symptoms of a knee fracture?
Depending on which bone is affected and the extent of the damage, a knee fracture can produce a variety of symptoms, including:
- Pain, swelling, bruising, and tenderness
- Pain that worsens when the knee is touched
- Pain that worsens when weight is placed on the affected leg
- A grinding sensation during movement
- Difficulty bending the knee
- Leg muscle spasms
- A change in the shape of the leg
After reviewing your medical history, discussing your symptoms, and performing a clinical examination, Dr. Vizzi may request an X-ray, which can be performed at his office, or order another type of imaging scan to further evaluate your injury. After completing his assessment, he will recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
How is a knee fracture treated?
Treatment for a knee fracture can vary based on the type of injury present. For instance, if a fracture is relatively simple, a splint or cast can be worn to stabilize and protect the bone until it heals. Additionally:
- If the broken ends of a bone have separated and shifted slightly out of alignment (a displaced knee fracture), Dr. Vizzi may perform a closed reduction procedure to move the bone back into its proper position.
- If a bone has broken into several pieces or completely shattered (a comminuted knee fracture), Dr. Vizzi may recommend a surgical procedure to restore the bone to its proper position and possibly secure it in place with hardware.
- If a bone fragment has pierced the skin (an open knee fracture), emergent surgical care and antibiotics will likely be needed to decrease the chance of infection. This often is managed through an emergency room/hospital setting.
With prompt and appropriate treatment, a knee fracture may heal within a few months. During the recovery process, physical therapy can be performed to help restore knee strength and flexibility.
If you live in the Lafayette, LA, area and would like to discuss your knee fracture or other injury with Dr. Vizzi, contact us today to schedule an appointment.