Nursing Care Plan For Knee Fracture

Nursing Care Plan For Knee Fracture


A knee fracture is a significant orthopedic injury that can severely impact a person’s mobility and overall quality of life. This nursing care plan is designed to address the complex needs of individuals who have sustained a knee fracture. Whether the fracture involves the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), or patella (kneecap), proper nursing care is essential to facilitate recovery, prevent complications, and promote the patient’s physical and emotional well-being.

The care plan encompasses a range of nursing assessments, diagnoses, interventions, and evaluations to provide comprehensive care. Key focus areas include pain management, mobilization, surgical wound care (if applicable), rehabilitation, patient education, and psychosocial support. By addressing these aspects, nurses play a crucial role in optimizing outcomes and assisting patients in regaining their independence and functionality following a knee fracture.

Nursing Assessment for Knee Fracture:

Assessing a patient with a knee fracture is crucial to determine the extent of the injury, the presence of associated complications, and the individual’s specific care needs. Here is a comprehensive nursing assessment for knee fracture:

1. Patient History:

  • Obtain a detailed medical history, including the mechanism of injury, date and time of fracture occurrence, and any relevant comorbidities.
  • Inquire about the patient’s pain level, mobility status, and previous knee issues or surgeries.

2. Physical Examination:

  • Inspect the affected knee for signs of deformity, swelling, bruising, or open wounds.
  • Palpate the knee to assess for tenderness, crepitus, or abnormal bone alignment.
  • Evaluate neurovascular status by assessing sensation, movement, and pulses in the affected limb.

3. Pain Assessment:

  • Use a pain scale to assess the patient’s pain intensity, location, and characteristics.
  • Inquire about factors that exacerbate or alleviate pain.

4. Range of Motion (ROM) Assessment:

  • Gently assess the knee’s range of motion, noting any limitations, pain, or crepitus during movement.
  • Document the degree of flexion and extension possible in the injured knee.

5. Swelling Assessment:

  • Measure and document the circumference of the injured knee compared to the unaffected knee to track swelling progression.
  • Assess for signs of compartment syndrome, such as increased pain, pressure, or tension in the calf or thigh.

6. Neurovascular Assessment:

  • Check distal pulses (dorsalis pedis and posterior tibial) and capillary refill in the affected limb.
  • Evaluate sensation by assessing light touch, temperature, and proprioception in the foot and lower leg.

7. Skin Integrity Assessment:

  • Inspect the skin around the knee, particularly if there is an open wound or surgical incision.
  • Look for signs of skin breakdown, infection, or pressure injuries, especially in immobilized patients.

8. Psychosocial Assessment:

  • Assess the patient’s emotional response to the injury, including anxiety, fear, or frustration.
  • Inquire about the patient’s support system and coping mechanisms.

9. Medication and Allergy Assessment:

  • Review the patient’s current medications, including pain management medications and allergies to medications or materials used in surgical procedures.

10. Imaging and Diagnostic Tests:

  • Review X-rays, CT scans, or MRI reports to understand the type and location of the knee fracture.
  • Ensure that the patient has received necessary diagnostic imaging.

This comprehensive nursing assessment helps guide the development of an individualized care plan for the patient with a knee fracture. It ensures that all aspects of the patient’s physical and emotional well-being are addressed while facilitating timely and appropriate interventions to promote recovery and prevent complications.

Nursing Diagnoses for Knee Fracture:

1. Acute Pain related to knee fracture, tissue damage, and inflammation:

  • Pain is a primary concern for patients with knee fractures and can hinder mobility and overall well-being. Addressing pain is essential to enhance the patient’s comfort and participation in therapy.

2. Impaired Physical Mobility related to knee fracture and associated pain, swelling, and limited range of motion:

  • Knee fractures often lead to impaired mobility and difficulty with activities of daily living. Restoring mobility is a critical goal for patient independence and recovery.

3. Risk for Compartment Syndrome related to increased pressure within the knee compartment:

  • Patients with severe knee fractures are at risk for compartment syndrome, a potentially serious complication that requires early detection and intervention.

4. Risk for Infection related to open fracture, surgical intervention, or wound care:

  • Patients with knee fractures, especially those with open fractures or surgical wounds, are at risk for infection. Preventing infection is essential for optimal healing.

5. Impaired Skin Integrity related to immobilization, surgical incision, or traction device:

  • Immobilization methods, such as casts or traction, can increase the risk of pressure injuries or skin breakdown. Preventing skin integrity issues is vital for patient comfort and recovery.

6. Impaired Coping related to the emotional impact of the knee fracture and changes in daily life:

  • Patients with knee fractures may experience emotional distress, anxiety, or frustration due to the injury’s impact on their independence and daily activities.

7. Knowledge Deficit related to the knee fracture, treatment options, and self-care requirements:

  • Patients and their caregivers may have limited knowledge about knee fractures and the necessary care. Education is essential to ensure understanding and adherence to the care plan.

8. Risk for Falls related to impaired mobility and the use of assistive devices:

  • Patients with knee fractures are at an increased risk of falls due to limited mobility and the use of crutches or assistive devices during recovery.

These nursing diagnoses address the physical, psychological, and educational aspects of caring for patients with knee fractures. By focusing on pain management, mobility improvement, prevention of complications, and psychosocial support, nurses play a central role in facilitating patient recovery and well-being. Individualized care plans are essential to address the unique needs of each patient.

Nursing Interventions for Knee Fracture:

1. Pain Management:

  • Administer prescribed analgesics or pain medications as ordered to alleviate pain while monitoring for adverse effects.
  • Implement non-pharmacological pain management techniques, such as ice application, elevation, and distraction.
  • Educate the patient on the importance of reporting pain promptly for effective pain control.

2. Mobility Enhancement:

  • Collaborate with physical therapists to develop a tailored exercise program to improve knee joint range of motion, muscle strength, and joint stability.
  • Assist the patient with early ambulation and weight-bearing activities as prescribed, using assistive devices like crutches, walkers, or braces.
  • Provide guidance on transferring and moving safely to prevent falls.

3. Compartment Syndrome Monitoring:

  • Assess for signs and symptoms of compartment syndrome, including pain out of proportion to the injury, increased swelling, and altered neurovascular status.
  • Ensure proper positioning and alignment of the limb to minimize the risk of compartment syndrome.

4. Infection Prevention:

  • Monitor the surgical incision or open wound for signs of infection, such as redness, warmth, swelling, drainage, or increased pain.
  • Ensure meticulous wound care and dressing changes according to the surgical protocol or healthcare provider’s instructions.
  • Administer antibiotics as prescribed for open fractures or infection prophylaxis.

5. Skin Integrity Management:

  • Conduct regular skin assessments, especially in areas of pressure or friction from casts, braces, or traction devices.
  • Provide pressure-relieving devices or padding to minimize the risk of pressure injuries.
  • Encourage the patient to perform active range-of-motion exercises to prevent skin breakdown.

6. Psychosocial Support:

  • Offer emotional support, active listening, and therapeutic communication to address the patient’s anxiety, frustration, or emotional distress related to the injury.
  • Involve the patient in decision-making regarding their care and rehabilitation plan.
  • Consider referral to a mental health professional if needed.

7. Patient and Family Education:

  • Provide comprehensive education about the knee fracture, including its type, treatment options, expected outcomes, and potential complications.
  • Teach proper techniques for using assistive devices, maintaining cast or wound care, and adhering to prescribed medications.
  • Discuss strategies for managing daily activities and adapting to limitations during recovery.

8. Fall Prevention:

  • Assess the patient’s fall risk and implement fall prevention strategies, including safe ambulation techniques and use of assistive devices.
  • Ensure a safe environment by removing tripping hazards and using non-slip surfaces.
  • Educate the patient about fall risks and safety measures at home

9. Collaborative Care:

  • Collaborate with the interdisciplinary healthcare team, including orthopedic specialists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists, to coordinate care and monitor progress.
  • Ensure timely follow-up appointments and imaging studies to assess healing and treatment effectiveness.

These nursing interventions aim to address the physical, emotional, and educational needs of patients with knee fractures. A patient-centered approach, individualized care plans, and ongoing assessment are essential to promote recovery, prevent complications, and enhance the patient’s overall well-being.


In conclusion, the nursing care plan for knee fracture is a comprehensive framework that addresses the multifaceted needs of individuals affected by this significant orthopedic injury. Knee fractures can profoundly impact a patient’s mobility, independence, and overall well-being. The nursing interventions outlined in this care plan focus on pain management, mobility restoration, prevention of complications, psychosocial support, and patient education.

Nurses play a pivotal role in providing holistic care, facilitating collaboration among healthcare providers, and empowering patients to actively participate in their recovery. By addressing pain promptly, implementing mobility-enhancing interventions, monitoring for complications, and offering emotional support, nurses contribute significantly to the patient’s physical and emotional recovery.

Education is a fundamental component of the care plan, ensuring that patients and their caregivers understand the nature of the knee fracture, treatment options, and self-care requirements. This knowledge empowers individuals to make informed decisions and actively engage in their rehabilitation process.

Through diligent implementation of these nursing interventions and continuous assessment, nurses aim to optimize patient outcomes, promote a return to functional independence, and improve the overall quality of life for those affected by knee fractures.


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