The bones of the knee are the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone) and patella (kneecap). view
Knee fractures may involve the lower end of the thigh bone (femur), upper end of the shin bone (tibia), the kneecap (patella), or any combination of the three. view
The main bone in the leg (tibia) breaks into two or more pieces depending on how bad the injury. view
Knee dislocations are true orthopedic emergencies. In addition to the knee joint being out of place, the nerves and blood vessels that supply the leg are at risk for injury and can threaten the viability. view
Leg compartment syndrome occurs when the pressure within the front, back, or outer leg compartments rises above the blood pressure needed for the heart to pump blood to the thigh. view
A knee ligament injury can be a sprain in which a ligament around the knee gets stretched or the ligament can be partially or completely torn. view
The menisci are two C-shaped cartilage disks that sit between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia) and provide stability, support, and cushioning for the knee. view
Patellofemoral syndrome encompasses a spectrum of conditions that can involve the kneecap (patella), quadriceps muscle group, iliotibial band (ITB), hamstrings, as well as the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia). view
Knee arthritis is the loss of the cartilage cushion in the joint contact surfaces that normally allows for smooth, pain-free gliding during knee range of motion. view
The common tendon disorders about the knee include bursitis, tendonitis, quadriceps, and patellar tendon tears. view
Stiff knee, also referred to as arthrofibrosis, is a condition that is associated with moderate to severe pain with knee motion. view
The knee is one of the most well-perfused (good blood supply) areas of the human body and because of this ample blood supply to the knee, circulating white blood cells offer excellent protection against infection. view
Leg bone fractures can occur in young or older patients. These fractures usually occur from a fall in older patients or high-speed injuries such as motor vehicle or motorcycle accidents in younger patients. The main bone in the leg (tibia) breaks into two or more pieces depending on how bad the injury is. The smaller bone in the leg (fibula) may break as well but is often not fixed, unless there has been an ankle injury as well. X-rays show the breaks, their location and pattern. A physical examination is important to check for injuries to other structures, such as muscles or nerves.
Fractures of the leg bone can be incomplete fractures and the bones do not move out of place too much. When this is the case, these fractures can be treated in a cast and then a walking boot. When these fractures are complete or if the bones have moved around, they often require surgery. Surgery ensures that the bone is aligned in the correct position and that the patient can begin to put weight on the leg immediately. This used to be done with long incisions and plates and screws. Now special slender metal rods can be placed inside the bone through small incisions. Therapists work with the patient the next day after surgery to start moving the leg, working on strengthening the muscles around the knee and leg, and to begin walking again. Once the fracture(s) is healed, most patients are able to return to their activities with or without limitations, based on their pre-injury level of ambulation and function.