Avulsion fracture

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone. Basically, it is a fracture that occurs at the location where a tendon or ligament attaches to the bone. This tendon or the ligament pulls off a piece of the bone along with it instead of ligament tear. An avulsion fracture can occur anywhere in the body, most commonly in the knee joint.



  • Sports injury – like football, basketball, volleyball, cricket
  • Road traffic accidents

Types of avulsion fractures in knee joint

  • ACL Avulsion
  • PCL Avulsion

What is the difference between ACL, PCL ligament injury and ACL, PCL Avulsion fracture?

In ACL, PCL, ligament injury, the ligament is torn. Whereas in ACL, PCL avulsion injury, the ligament is intact but the ligament attached with the bone is fractured and pulled off. The commonest site of bone pulling is seen at the tibial attachment site.

Symptoms of ACL, PCL avulsion fracture

  • Pain
  • Inability to perform any activity due to intense pain
  • Swelling in the knee area, within hours of injury
  • Inhibited range of motion
  • Inability to bear weight or a general feeling of instability

ACL and PCL avulsion fracture treatment


  • Ice packs
  • Immobilization of knee joint
  • Assisted walking
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain killers

Displaced avulsion fractures require surgery

  • Open reduction and internal fixation with a screw can be done
  • Arthroscopically loop or transosseous can be fixed

Postoperative rehabilitation

  • Physical therapy
  • Assisted full weight-bearing walk with knee brace on

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    Dr. Vijay Kumar Sohanlal
    Orthopedic surgeon
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