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This type of fracture often is the result of severe trauma. However in elderly, osteoporotic individuals this type of fracture may result from lesser trauma. It may also complicate the treatment of congenital dislocation of the hip, when children are mobilised after splintage. For this reason children are sometimes hospitalised for a few days at this stage.
The distal fragment of the fracture is tilted backwards. This is the result of the pull of the gastrocnemius attachments.
On examination the knee joint is swollen and deformed. The patient cannot move the joint because of the pain. Foot pulses of the anterior and posterior tibial arteries should be palpated.