Lipohaemathrosis of the knee
Accident involving a two wheeler which he was pillion riding. Joint swelling.
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Joint effusion consisting of three layers was noted.
Lipohemarthrosis is defined as collection of fat and fluid (blood) within the joint usually following trauma.
It is seen in 40% of all intra-articular fractures of the knee. Most intraarticular fractures of the tibial plateau are known to present with lipohemarthrosis knee.
Conventional x-ray may not depict this condition. CT scan is diagnostic as it shows the characteristic three layers:
- fat which being lightest settles to the top
- the middle layer consists of serous joint effusion
- the inferior layer being the cellular components of blood
In conclusion lipohaemarthrosis is highly suggestive of intra-articular fracture. Accurate diagnosis is essential as it will decide whether surgical or conservative treatment is to be adopted.