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What Is the Lateral Condyle?

Crutches may be necessary to help treat lateral condyle problems.
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  • Written By: Nicki Howell
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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In the human body, the lateral condyle is located on the lower part of the femur, tibia, and metatarsals. The femur, also called the thigh bone, is responsible for aiding the body in basic functions such as walking, jumping, and running. Located below the knee, the tibia is a bone that is responsible for connecting the ankle bones to the knee. The metatarsal bones are long bones that connect the bones on the back of the foot to the bones in the toes.

Lateral condyle fractures can be common in children. Patients often are between six and ten years old. These fractures can be tricky to repair because they are unstable and easily can become immobilized. For this reason, patients usually need to be extra diligent about keeping weight off the affected area.

Classification of lateral condyle injuries generally are based on how far the bone is fractured. The classification ranges from I to III, depending on the severity of the injury. Types of treatment typically will vary based on the extent of the injury.

If the lateral condyle is fractured in the femur, a doctor may repair the injury by placing metal screws in the bone. This holds the fracture together until it is completely healed. For more serious damage to the bone, a replacement bone may be needed. This can occur when misalignment from the injury is severe.

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Treatment for a lateral condyle fracture in the tibia may include setting the leg. During this process, a doctor usually will manipulate the bones into place before stabilizing the leg with a splint. A doctor also may provide a muscle relaxant which can decrease swelling and pain before the procedure. Movement usually should be restricted during the healing period, and crutches might be necessary for up to eight weeks. Physical therapy also may be needed for serious fractures of the lateral condyle.

Lateral condyle fractures in the metatarsal bones are considered stress fractures. These fractures typically are caused by overuse of the bones with force, such as running for long distances or jumping movements. Bones that are weakened by health conditions such as osteoporosis also are at high risk for stress fractures.

A lateral condyle that is fractured in the metatarsal bones may require immobilization with a cast. Keeping weight off the injury for several weeks by using crutches also could be important. Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, could be used to manage pain during the healing process.

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Discuss this Article

BoniJ
Post 1

Since I have the beginnings of arthritis in my knees, I have done a lot of research on bones and joints.

The lateral condyle of the femur,tibia, and metatarsals are very important to joint function. They are at the lower part of these bones and they are rounded to help the joints move smoothly.

If you have arthritis in the femur, tibia or the metatarsals, and you get a fracture or a stress fracture, healing time could be long. A new bone may be needed to replace the broken one.

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