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Knee Fractures



A fall or other injury can sometimes cause a fracture (broken bone). Whether it’s the patella or the tibia, we want to help you effectively treat this injury, return to normal strength, and get active again.


The knee is one of the largest, most frequntly injured, and most complex joints in the body. Acute knee pain is usually due to an injury in the majority of cases. The knee is vulnerable to trauma. Most injuries during teen years and as adults are caused by sports events, motor vehicle accidents, or falls. While soft tissue injuries are more common than bony ones, a knee injury commonly needs radiologic evaluation such as an x-ray when there is suspicion of a fracture or soft tissue injury. 

X-ray is very helpful for evaluating for bony injury. Most knee fractures like patella (kneecap), avulsion injuries, and dislocations will be seen on x-rays. Sometimes an ultrasound,  computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is needed to identify the extent of injury present.

Many knee fractures can be treated non operatively.  Commonly immobilization in a special brace, use of crutches, protecting the joint, and appropriate use of rehabilitation services can help fractures heal and restore function.  

Another type of knee fracture called an osteochondral knee fracture may occur in athletics and can affect younger athletes who are skeletally immature. This type of injury can be hard to detect.

Sometimes a knee fracture that could be treated non operatively can be come a surgical fracture if it is unstable or becomes displaced through improper care or incorrect treatment.  

If you suspect you have a fracture, it is important to be seen in a sports injury clinic such as Sports Health Northwest. Our sports injury doctor will be happy to evaluate you and determine the underlying cause of your knee pain. 

In many situations, we are able to offer same day appointments for our Portland area patients.

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