A fracture is a bone break.
Key issues with fractures involving the knee
A fracture may be 'open' or 'closed' - an open fracture is one that has broken the skin, and thus it carries a greater risk of infection. A closed fracture is more common, and usually there is a much less potential for infection. The next big issue is the degree of displacement and the stability of the fragment/s - if there is no displacement and the fragments are stable then simple immobilisation may suffice to allow bone healing in a good position. If the fragments are displaced or the joint is unstable, then the surgeon will try hard to reduce the fragments to a good anatomical position and then fix them with plates or screws or similar devices until healing occurs. It is important also to assess any damage to nerves and blood vessels.