This condition is a break in the femur at the knee joint. The fracture can range from a small crack to a full break that allows part of the bone to separate. This injury can involve the cartilage on the base of the femur in the knee joint, and may increase the risk of developing knee arthritis later in life.
The femur is the largest and strongest bone in the body, so it takes tremendous force to cause a fracture. The most common cause of a fracture is direct trauma to the leg from an automobile accident or a fall. Supracondylar fractures are most common in patients who suffer from osteoporosis or have had total knee replacement surgery.
Pain is usually the most common symptom. Most patients who experience a supracondylar fracture may also experience lack of mobility, bruising, swelling, or a popping or locking sensation in the knee joint.
Most fractures require surgery. Treatment options also may include rest, anti-inflammatory medications and immobilization of the knee in a cast or brace.