Floating knee with early onset fat embolism: a case report


  • Selva Kumar K. Department of Orthopedics, SRINER, Porur, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Deva Department of Orthopedics, SRINER, Porur, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Thirunthaiyan Department of Orthopedics, SRINER, Porur, Tamil Nadu, India




Fat embolism, Floating knee, Early onset


Fat embolism syndrome in young adults is most commonly associated with the long bone fractures most commonly femur and tibia. Its concomitance with floating knee is reported scarcely in reviewing the literature. Though it has been proposed that onset of fat embolism presents following an asymptomatic interval for about 24 to 72 hours, our patient developed onset within 8 hours following trauma. This case report is of first in this kind ever reported in the literature. We present a caseof 26 year old male patientwith floating knee Fraser type1 and Early Onset Fat Embolism syndrome who developed within 8 hours ofinjury underwent staged intramedullary nailing of femur and tibia with an excellent functional outcome without any sequelae of fat embolismat 2 year postoperative followup. Appropriate clinical judgement and awareness to suspect fat embolism syndrome and timely immobilisation with proper supportive care and serial reassessment and planned surgery preferably intramedullary nailing in young patient would benefit the patient in toto in case of floating knee with early onset fat embolism.


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